Search Menu
Bernese Mountain Dog sitting in a field outdoors.
© -

Along with chocolate and cheese, the Swiss Canton of Bern is best known as the home of four breeds of mountain dogs, including the Bernese Mountain Dog. They’re striking, powerful, placid, and affectionate, so there’s a lot to love. Here are even more Bernese Mountain Dog facts that will teach you all about this breed.

The Breed Is Versatile

Bred in an agricultural region of Switzerland, Berners are all-around farm dogs, good at droving, drafting, herding, protecting the farmyard, and being wonderful family companions.

The Breed Hails From Bern

The Bernese Mountain Dog was developed in Bern, Switzerland, which is where the name came from. They were one of four mountain dogs that helped drive cattle. Milk was important to Switzerland’s biggest exports: chocolate, and cheese, and the Berners played a big role in that.

Bernese Mountains Dogs Are Majestic

This large, powerful dog has a beautiful, silky tri-color coat of black, white, and rust, with distinctive markings. Their dark eyes radiate intelligence.

Bernese Mountain Dog standing in fall leaves.
©Mikkel Bigandt -

This Is a Cold-Weather Dog

Of course, they need to live indoors with the family, but they thrive on cold-weather outdoor activities. Berners will happily join you for hikes, camping, backpacking, and a good romp in the snow.

They Will Be Your Kids’ Constant Companion

The breed is known for being particularly gentle and affectionate with children. They may even take it upon themselves to watch over the children, and they’re not rambunctious with them. However, given their size, they may be too big for very young kids.

They Come in Two Standard Colors

Berners’ coat colors are among the things that make them so iconic. You probably know them as Black Rust & White, but the Bernese Mountain Dog breed standard also allows them to be Black Tan & White.

Bernese Mountain Dogs Do Well in Dog Sports

This breed from the Working Group competes in a variety of dog sports. Obviously, they excel at drafting and carting, but they also hold their own in agility, obedience, herding, and conformation.

Best of Breed: GCH CH Bull Valleys Breezin Right Thru V Hinks, Bernese Mountain Dog; Working Group judging at the 2016 AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin in Orlando, FL.
Photo by HOTdog

They Tend to Be Hairy

The breed has a double coat and sheds a lot. They also cast off their coats seasonally or cyclically. If anyone in the family has allergies, this may not be the breed for you.

The AKC Recognized Them in 1937

The AKC recognized Bernese Mountain Dogs in 1937. That same year, the Komondor was also welcomed into the ranks of AKC-recognized breeds.

They’re a Popular Breed

The Bernese Mountain Dog is ranked in the top 20 of over 200 dog breeds according to AKC registration statistics. People love these gentle giants because they offer the best of both worlds. Plus, who could resist that face? It’s easy to see why Americans love this popular breed.

 At AKC Marketplace, we can help you find your dream dog. You can find AKC-registerable puppies from responsible, passionate breeders, and we provide the tools you need for every step of the process. Visit to start connecting with dog breeders in your area!

Related article: Working Dogs: Meet 31 Purposely-Bred Dogs
Get Your Free AKC eBook

Selecting a Puppy

How do you know what breed is right for your family? How do you find a reputable breeder? What questions should you ask a breeder? Download this e-book for guidance on these questions and other important factors to consider when looking for a puppy.
*Turn off pop-up blocker to download
*Turn off pop-up blocker to download