Bernese Mountain Dogs are a popular breed known for their gentle nature and fluffy coats. However, potential dog owners need to consider the high maintenance requirements and potential health issues associated with owning a Bernese Mountain Dog. Despite their adorable appearance, these dogs may not be suitable for everyone.
One of the biggest challenges of owning a Bernese Mountain Dog is their high maintenance requirements. These dogs have long, thick coats that require regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling. They are also heavy shedders, which can be a problem for people with allergies or those who don’t want to spend a lot of time cleaning up dog hair. Additionally, Bernese Mountain Dogs are prone to certain health issues, such as hip dysplasia and cancer, which can be expensive to treat.
In addition to their high maintenance requirements and potential health issues, Bernese Mountain Dogs may not be suitable for hot climates due to their thick coats. They also have a relatively short lifespan compared to other breeds and can be quite large and strong, making them challenging to handle for some owners. Bernese Mountain Dogs are also prone to separation anxiety and may become destructive if left alone for long periods of time. Training can also be a challenge, as these dogs can be stubborn and independent.
High Maintenance Requirements
One of the major reasons why someone shouldn’t get a Bernese Mountain Dog is their high maintenance requirements. Berners have a dense double coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting and keep it healthy. They shed significantly, and their long, thick coats make the issue worse. As a result, they require regular brushing, bathing, and trimming to keep their coats in good condition.
Berners also require a lot of exercise to stay healthy and happy. They are a large breed and need ample space to roam and play. They thrive on mental and physical exercise and need regular walks, runs, and playtime to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. Failure to provide enough exercise can lead to destructive behavior and other problems.
Another factor that makes Bernese Mountain Dogs high maintenance is their need for attention. They are a very needy breed and require a lot of love and attention from their owners. They are happiest when they are with their owners and can become anxious and depressed when left alone for long periods. They need regular interaction and playtime with their owners to keep them happy and healthy.
In addition to their high maintenance requirements, Bernese Mountain Dogs are also prone to certain medical issues. They have a short lifespan of about 6 to 10 years, depending on their health. They are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, bloat, and cancer. As a result, they require regular vet check-ups and may require expensive medical treatments throughout their lifetime.
Overall, Bernese Mountain Dogs are a high maintenance breed that requires a lot of time, attention, and resources. They are not suitable for everyone and require a committed and knowledgeable owner who can provide them with the care and attention they need to thrive.
Potential Health Issues
While Bernese Mountain Dogs are generally healthy dogs, they are prone to certain health issues that potential owners should be aware of. Here are some of the most common health problems that Bernese Mountain Dogs may experience:
According to research, the largest cause of death in Bernese Mountain Dogs is cancer. Some cancers are more prevalent for this breed than others, with histiocytic sarcoma or malignant histiocytosis being the predominant form. Other cancers that some Bernese Mountain Dogs suffer from include:
- Hemangiosarcoma – a cancer of the blood vessels
- Lymphosarcoma – a cancer of the lymphatic system
- Osteosarcoma – a cancer of the bone
- Mast cell tumors – a type of skin cancer
Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
Bernese Mountain Dogs are a large breed, and as such, they are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia. This is a genetic condition that affects the joints, causing them to develop abnormally. Over time, this can lead to pain, lameness, and arthritis.
Bloat, also known as gastric torsion or twisted stomach, is a potentially life-threatening condition that can affect Bernese Mountain Dogs. It occurs when the stomach fills with gas and twists on itself, cutting off blood flow to the stomach and other organs. Symptoms of bloat include restlessness, pacing, drooling, and a distended abdomen.
Other Health Issues
In addition to the above, Bernese Mountain Dogs may also be prone to:
- Hypothyroidism – a condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones
- Von Willebrand’s Disease – a bleeding disorder that affects the blood’s ability to clot
- Eye problems – such as cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy
It is important to note that not all Bernese Mountain Dogs will experience these health issues, and some may never experience any health problems at all. However, potential owners should be aware of the breed’s predisposition to certain health issues and be prepared to provide the necessary care and treatment if needed.
Not Suitable for Hot Climates
Bernese Mountain dogs are not suitable for hot climates. They have a thick double coat that makes them more comfortable in colder temperatures. In hotter areas, Berners can easily overheat and suffer from heat exhaustion or heatstroke.
According to Puplore, Bernese Mountain dogs were bred to live in colder climates and have two coats of fur to keep them warm. They are not built for hot weather and can quickly become uncomfortable and distressed in high temperatures.
If you live in a hot climate and still want to own a Bernese Mountain dog, you should take extra precautions to keep them cool. This includes providing plenty of shade, fresh water, and air conditioning when possible. You should also limit their time outside during the hottest parts of the day and keep them indoors during extreme heatwaves.
According to The Berner Dog Blog, signs of heat exhaustion in Bernese Mountain dogs include excessive panting, drooling, and bright red gums. If left untreated, heat exhaustion can progress to heatstroke, which can be fatal. If you suspect your Berner is suffering from heat exhaustion or heatstroke, you should seek veterinary care immediately.
In summary, Bernese Mountain dogs are not suitable for hot climates due to their thick double coat and susceptibility to heat exhaustion and heatstroke. If you live in a hot climate and still want to own a Berner, it is essential to take extra precautions to keep them cool and comfortable.
Bernese Mountain Dogs have a relatively short lifespan compared to other breeds. According to a study, the median lifespan of Bernese Mountain Dogs is only 8.4 years, with females living slightly longer than males at 8.8 and 7.7 years, respectively. This is significantly shorter than the average lifespan of dogs, which is around 10-13 years.
One of the reasons why Bernese Mountain Dogs have a short lifespan is due to their size. They are a large breed, and larger breeds tend to have shorter lifespans than smaller breeds. Additionally, Bernese Mountain Dogs are prone to certain health issues, which can affect their lifespan.
Hip dysplasia is a common health issue in Bernese Mountain Dogs, which can cause mobility problems and pain. They are also prone to arthritis, cruciate ligament rupture, and other mobility issues. These health issues can significantly impact their quality of life and shorten their lifespan.
Moreover, Bernese Mountain Dogs have a genetic predisposition to certain cancers, such as histiocytic sarcoma, which can be fatal. They are also prone to bloat, a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention.
In summary, Bernese Mountain Dogs have a short lifespan due to their size, genetic predisposition to certain health issues, and susceptibility to certain cancers and bloat. Before deciding to get a Bernese Mountain Dog, it is important to consider their lifespan and the potential health issues they may face.
Large Size and Strength
Bernese Mountain Dogs are big dogs, standing at 24-28 inches at the shoulder and weighing anywhere from 70-120 pounds. This makes them one of the larger dog breeds, and their size can be a pro or a con depending on the owner’s preferences and living situation.
While their large size can make them great protectors and companions, it can also pose challenges for owners. For example, they may require more space to move around and exercise, which may not be feasible in smaller living spaces like apartments or condos. Additionally, their size can make them more difficult to transport, especially if they need to be taken to the vet or on long car rides.
Their strength is also something to consider. Bernese Mountain Dogs were originally bred as working dogs to pull carts and herd livestock. As a result, they have strong muscles and a sturdy build. While this can make them great for outdoor activities like hiking and running, it can also make them difficult to control if they become overly excited or aggressive.
Owners of Bernese Mountain Dogs should be prepared to invest time and effort into training and socializing their dogs from a young age to ensure that they are well-behaved and obedient. This may involve enrolling them in obedience classes or working with a professional trainer to develop good habits and behaviors.
Overall, the large size and strength of Bernese Mountain Dogs can be both a pro and a con, depending on the owner’s lifestyle and preferences. Potential owners should carefully consider these factors before deciding to bring a Bernese Mountain Dog into their home.
Prone to Separation Anxiety
Bernese Mountain Dogs are known for their loyalty and affection towards their owners. However, this also means that they are prone to separation anxiety when left alone for extended periods. This anxiety can manifest in various ways, such as excessive barking, destructive behavior, and even aggression.
One of the primary reasons for separation anxiety in Bernese Mountain Dogs is their strong attachment to their owners. They thrive on human interaction and can become distressed when left alone. This anxiety can be exacerbated if they are not adequately socialized or if they have had negative experiences in the past.
To prevent separation anxiety, it is crucial to gradually acclimate your Bernese Mountain Dog to being alone. Start by leaving them alone for short periods and gradually increasing the duration. Providing them with interactive toys and treats can also help keep them occupied and reduce their anxiety.
It is also essential to create a safe and comfortable environment for your Bernese Mountain Dog when you are away. This can include providing them with a cozy bed, access to water, and a designated area to play and relax.
In summary, Bernese Mountain Dogs are prone to separation anxiety due to their strong attachment to their owners. However, with proper training and a comfortable environment, this anxiety can be managed and minimized. It is crucial to consider this factor before bringing a Bernese Mountain Dog into your home, especially if you have a busy lifestyle or cannot provide them with adequate attention and care.
Expensive to Own
Owning a Bernese Mountain Dog can be a costly affair. The initial purchase price of a purebred Bernese Mountain Dog can range from $1,500 to $5,000. However, the cost of owning a Bernese Mountain Dog does not end there.
Bernese Mountain Dogs are prone to several health issues such as hip and elbow dysplasia, bloat, and cancer. These health issues can result in frequent visits to the vet and expensive medical bills. According to Bernese Mountain Dog Guide, the average annual medical expenses for a Bernese Mountain Dog can range from $1,000 to $2,000.
Bernese Mountain Dogs have long, thick coats that require regular grooming. Grooming expenses can include professional grooming services, grooming tools, and cleaning supplies. According to World of Dogz, the average annual grooming expenses for a Bernese Mountain Dog can range from $800 to $1,200.
Bernese Mountain Dogs are large dogs and require a significant amount of food. The cost of feeding a Bernese Mountain Dog can add up quickly. According to Hepper, the average annual food expenses for a Bernese Mountain Dog can range from $500 to $1,000.
In summary, owning a Bernese Mountain Dog can be expensive. The cost of purchasing a purebred Bernese Mountain Dog is just the beginning. The cost of medical expenses, grooming expenses, and food expenses can add up quickly. It is important to consider these costs before deciding to bring a Bernese Mountain Dog into your home.
Need for Regular Exercise
Physical Activity Requirements
Bernese Mountain Dogs are energetic and require daily exercise to stay mentally and physically stimulated. They are large breeds that require ample space to roam and play. If you live in a small apartment or lack a spacious backyard, this breed may not be the best fit for you.
A Bernese Mountain Dog needs at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. This can include walks, hikes, or playing in a fenced yard. However, it is important to note that exercise should not be too strenuous, especially for puppies. Due to the structure of their skeleton, Bernese Mountain Dogs can be prone to digestive problems and bloating if they are exercised too soon after they have been fed a meal. These digestive problems can cause air to build up in their stomach, causing discomfort.
In addition to physical exercise, Bernese Mountain Dogs also require mental stimulation. This can include training sessions, interactive toys, and puzzles. Mental stimulation helps keep them engaged and prevents boredom, which can lead to destructive behavior.
It is important to meet the exercise and mental stimulation needs of a Bernese Mountain Dog to ensure their overall health and wellbeing. If you are unable to provide adequate exercise and mental stimulation, it may be best to consider a different breed.
Training a Bernese Mountain Dog can be a challenging task. While they are intelligent, they can also be stubborn and independent, which can make training a bit more difficult. Consistent training and firm leadership are necessary to ensure they become well-behaved members of your family.
One of the most significant challenges of training a Bernese Mountain Dog is dealing with their behavioral issues. Berners are known to be stubborn and independent, which can make them difficult to train. They also have a tendency to become destructive if they are not trained properly. This can include chewing on furniture, digging holes in the yard, and even barking excessively.
To prevent these behavioral issues, it is important to start training your Bernese Mountain Dog at an early age. Consistency is key, and you should establish clear rules and boundaries from the beginning. Positive reinforcement techniques can also be effective in training your Berner, as they respond well to praise and rewards.
It is also important to provide your Bernese Mountain Dog with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. Berners are an active breed, and they need plenty of opportunities to burn off their excess energy. This can include daily walks, runs, or even hikes. Mental stimulation can also be provided through training exercises, puzzle toys, and interactive play.
Overall, training a Bernese Mountain Dog can be a challenging task, but with patience, consistency, and plenty of exercise and stimulation, it is possible to train your Berner to be a well-behaved and obedient companion.
While Bernese Mountain Dogs are undoubtedly beautiful and loyal companions, they are not the right breed for everyone. Potential owners should carefully consider the pros and cons before bringing one of these dogs into their home.
One of the biggest drawbacks of owning a Bernese Mountain Dog is their shedding. These dogs have long, thick coats that require regular grooming and shed significantly throughout the year. Additionally, they are prone to certain health issues, such as hip dysplasia and cancer, which can be expensive to treat.
Bernese Mountain Dogs are also large and require a lot of space and exercise. They are not well-suited for apartment living and need a fenced-in yard to run and play. Furthermore, they are known for their neediness and may become anxious or destructive if left alone for long periods of time.
On the other hand, Bernese Mountain Dogs are incredibly affectionate and make great family pets. They are gentle with children and other animals and are eager to please their owners. However, potential owners should carefully consider their lifestyle and ability to meet the needs of this breed before making a decision.
In summary, while Bernese Mountain Dogs can make wonderful companions, they are not the right breed for everyone. Prospective owners should weigh the pros and cons carefully and make an informed decision before bringing one of these dogs into their home.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the cons of owning a Bernese Mountain Dog?
Bernese Mountain Dogs are known for their sweet and gentle nature, but they come with their fair share of challenges. One of the biggest cons of owning a Bernese Mountain Dog is their size. They are a large breed, weighing between 70-120 pounds, and require a lot of space to move around. They also have a thick coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling.
Do Bernese Mountain Dogs shed excessively?
Yes, Bernese Mountain Dogs do shed quite a bit. They have a thick double coat that sheds heavily twice a year. Regular brushing can help manage the shedding, but it is still a significant amount of hair to deal with.
Are Bernese Mountain Dogs prone to health issues?
Unfortunately, Bernese Mountain Dogs are prone to a variety of health issues. They are at risk for developing hip and elbow dysplasia, bloat, and cancer. They also have a shorter lifespan compared to other breeds, with an average life expectancy of around 8 years.
What is the average lifespan of a Bernese Mountain Dog?
The average lifespan of a Bernese Mountain Dog is around 8 years. Female dogs tend to live slightly longer than males.
Are Bernese Mountain Dogs good for apartment living?
Due to their large size and exercise needs, Bernese Mountain Dogs are not well-suited for apartment living. They require a lot of space to move around and regular exercise to stay healthy and happy.
What is the cost of owning a Bernese Mountain Dog?
The cost of owning a Bernese Mountain Dog can vary depending on several factors, such as the breeder, location, and medical expenses. On average, a Bernese Mountain Dog can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000. However, the cost of medical care for this breed can be higher due to their susceptibility to health issues.
What is the difference between a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Swiss Mountain Dog?
Bernese Mountain Dogs and Swiss Mountain Dogs are two different breeds, although they are often confused due to their similar names and appearances. Bernese Mountain Dogs come from Switzerland and are known for their tri-colored coat, while Swiss Mountain Dogs are a group of four breeds that originated in Switzerland.
How much exercise does a Bernese Mountain Dog need?
Bernese Mountain Dogs require moderate exercise to stay healthy and happy. They enjoy walks, hikes, and other outdoor activities, but they are not as high-energy as some other breeds. A daily walk and some playtime in the yard should be enough to meet their exercise needs.