Bernese Mountain Dogs are very loving companions who like to spend as much time as possible with their owners. They are particularly good with children in families and will protect the home by barking loudly at strange noise but do not tend to be a nuisance by barking unnecessarily.
Although Bernese need exercise for their general fitness and well being they do not tend to be hyper-active when mature. They enjoy their walks and gambles in open spaces for about an hour and while off the lead they are usually quite content to keep their owners in sight, never straying too far away. If sometimes they cannot have their daily exercise they will settle without trouble, if you can resist their disappointed looks. Up until 18 months old exercise should be gradually increased and great care taken of developing bones, no jumping or rough games etc.
When mature Bernese are big strong dogs and it is best to start training them to become well behaved citizens when young. There are many dog clubs which run courses for "K.C. Good Citizens" awards which are fun for you and the dog as well as a good opportunity to meet other new doggy friends. Socialisation and new experiences are an extremely important part of a dogs development and character.
Bernese are very hairy dogs who shed their coats once a year for the males and twice a year for the bitches. Their fur is very light and floats nicely onto quite high surfaces but does vacuum up easily. Their coats are easy to keep in good condition with regular grooming but while shedding they need extra attention to get rid of all the dead hair.
Bernese puppies are extremely cuddly, but they do grow very quickly and consequently need high quality food and lots of it while growing. A fully grown male can reach 70 cm. (27½ inches) to the shoulder and weigh up to 9 stone, but should be muscular rather than fat, they are a working breed and should be fit for their natural draught work.
The Bernese Mountain Dog makes a wonderful pet with a peaceable character, intelligence and faithfulness. You will find that most owners just can't stop at one and before long have two of these very special family friends and guardians.