A Bernese Mountain dog will usually do well with a nutritionally balanced, premium dry dog food. Be sure to select a dog food that is appropriately formulated to suit your dog’s size, age, and level of activity.
To avoid overeating and unhealthy weight gain, it is suggested to stick to a feeding schedule, rather than free feeding. Meal portions should also be made appropriately for their age and activity level.
Make sure that there is always plenty of clean drinking water available for them to stay properly hydrated.
Bernese Mountain Dogs have a thick, dark double coat that is not difficult to keep well groomed, but that does require regular care.
Brushing twice or more per week will do a good job of keeping their coats free of any debris and loose hairs, though more frequent brushing will become necessary during shedding season. Mats and tangles in their coats can be cleared with a metal comb.
It will be important to regularly trim their nails in order to avoid injury and to keep them comfortable as they move around. Check their nails every 4-6 weeks and trim them when needed.
Check their ears each week for any dirt or waxy buildup. Wipe the ears with either a damp cloth or a dog ear cleaning solution to help avoid ear infections.
Brushing their teeth regularly will greatly decrease their risk of tooth and gum issues from forming. Be sure to brush their teeth several times per week, if not daily.
Though the Bernese Mountain Dog has excellent stamina and strength, they only require a moderate amount of exercise each day. At least a half an hour of some form of workout every day is suggested.
These dogs prefer to be outside, and will always be happy to accompany their owners on hikes and other outdoor activities. Backyard play is another great way to give them the one on one time they crave, as well as the workout they need.
For those days when these options may not be available, one or two walks around the block will do a good job of letting them burn some energy, allowing them to be content to curl up with their families for the rest of the day.
Be sure to use a leash or a lead whenever your BMD is not in a secure area, such as a well fenced yard or indoors.
Being such large dogs, obedience training and early socialization are understandably important, but these dogs tend to be gentle giants and respond quite well to training.
Bernese Mountain Dogs are typically eager to please, and will do well with obedience training so long as their owners are consistent and gentle in handling. Positive reinforcement will always have better results than any harsh treatment with these dogs.
Keep training sessions light and playful, and use them as a way to continue building a strong bond of trust with your BMD. The greater this bond, and the more fun they can have with training, the more eager they will be to participate and do well.