Having a pet is an experience that brings joy to many families. In 2021 – 2022, the APPA (American Pet Products Association) conducted a National Pet Owners Survey, which reported that 70% (over 90 million) of U.S. families own pets. One dog that’s often suggested as a good choice for a family pet is the Bernese Mountain Dog. Here is some information, plus some pros and cons about owning Bernese Mountain Dogs.

These attractive “gentle giants” are one of four breeds of Swiss mountain dogs that have black and tan colors with white markings. They can grow as large as 65 kg at their highest weight. Their beautiful, thick coats need lots of care and grooming. Owners of Bernese Mountain Dogs can expect these dogs to live for only 6 to 8 years, on average.

Pro: Calm and Patient Disposition

Bernese Mountain Dogs are calm and patient, even with active children who enjoy being rowdy. If your kids enjoy rough-and-tumble games, their exuberance won’t send these dogs into a frenzy. When the kids become active and begin climbing onto the dog’s back to play “horsie,” your Bernese won’t get upset. Bernese Mountain Dogs are an excellent choice for older children, too, as they will readily participate in backyard sports and enjoy walks around the neighborhood.

Pro: Loyal and Protective Nature

Once a Bernese Mountain Dog recognizes your family as its new family, they will vigorously protect every family member. Their reputation precedes them as good guard dogs. Although these dogs are not aggressive, they are strong and loyal enough to protect your children. They won’t back down when they see your family members being threatened.

Pro: Active and Easy to Train

Bernese Mountain Dogs desire to please their owners, so when the owner takes part in training them, that instinct kicks in, and they can be easily trained. Because of their calm nature, training Bernese Mountain Dogs is best done with positive reinforcement rather than harsh measures. If you need help with training, an internet search may help you find the right trainer. According to Finances Online, almost half of Google’s two trillion yearly searches are also looking for similar local businesses.

Con: They are Expensive to Own

Bernese Mountain Dogs are expensive to buy and to own. According to blogger TryFi, buying a Bernese puppy would cost an average of $2,000 to $11,000. Their size results in a very large continuous need for quality pet food, which will be costly. Because of their inherent health issues, these dogs also need regular veterinarian visits, which adds to your expenses.

Con: Multiple Health Issues

The large size of Bernese Mountain Dogs leaves them prone to a condition called hip dysplasia. This condition will cause the dogs problems with walking. They may also develop spinal myelopathy, which may lead to paralysis. In addition, these dogs are at risk of cancer.

Con: They Shed A Lot of Fur

Although their double coat of fur is part of their majestic appearance, it can also cause them to shed excessive amounts of hair – especially during hot weather. A bagless vacuum is the preferable appliance to use for fur cleanup. Your dog must be brushed weekly, and its nails must be trimmed regularly. They need monthly baths and to have their ears and teeth regularly cleaned.

A Bernese Mountain Dog can be a great addition to your family – as long as you are forewarned about the challenges they will present. Their size makes them more suited to homes with large properties for them to get their exercise. According to RubyHome, about 35% of U.S. households are rented. If you’re among the remaining 2/3 majority of householders, a Bernese Mountain Dog may be the right pet for you.