Battle of the Big Dogs: Bernese Mountain Dog vs Saint Bernard

Bernese mountain dogs and saint bernards are both large dog breeds with similar temperaments and grooming needs. The Bernese mountain dog and saint bernard are two large dog breeds that share many similarities.

Both breeds are known for their gentle and friendly personalities, loyalty to their owners, and their need for daily grooming and exercise. However, they also have their distinct differences. While the Bernese mountain dog is more outgoing and energetic, Saint Bernard is more calm and laid-back.

Additionally, the Bernese mountain dog has a shorter coat and is more prone to certain health issues, while the saint bernard has a longer coat and is more prone to drooling. Overall, both breeds can make great pets for families who are willing to put in the time and effort to care for them properly.

Battle of the Big Dogs: Bernese Mountain Dog vs Saint Bernard



Bernese mountain dog and Saint Bernard, both belonging to the working group family, are prominent breeds in the canine world. Their impressive size and striking features often induce confusion among dog enthusiasts. In this blog post, we will help you identify the differences between the two breeds based on their appearance.

Size And Weight Comparison

Size and weight are the most noticeable differences between the two breeds. The height and weight of Bernese mountain dogs and saint bernards are as follows:

Bernese mountain dogs:

  • Height: 23-28 inches (58-71 cm)
  • Weight: 70-115 pounds (32-52 kg)

Saint bernards:

  • Height: 26-30 inches (66-76 cm)
  • Weight: 120-180 pounds (54-82 kg)

Hence, saint bernards are larger and heavier than Bernese mountain dogs.

Coat Types And Colors Of Both Breeds

Bernese mountain dogs and saint bernards are both double-coated breeds. The characteristics of their coat are:

Bernese mountain dogs:

  • Coat type: Long and thick with a shiny semi-rough outer coat and a woolly undercoat.
  • Coat colors: Black with white, rust, and tan markings.

Saint bernards:

  • Coat type: Short to long (depending on the weather) with a dense inner coat and a smooth outer coat.
  • Coat colors: Red with white markings or entirely white with red or black spots.

Despite being double-coated, the length, texture, and color of Bernese mountain dogs and Saint Bernards’ coat help distinguish between the two breeds.

Physical Differences In Facial Features And Body Structure

Bernese mountain dogs and saint Bernards have distinct facial features and body structures. Here are some unique traits that help in their differentiation:

Bernese mountain dogs:

  • Facial features: Round, expressive eyes, a black nose, and long hanging ears.
  • Body structure: Athletic and stocky built with a broad chest and muscular legs.

Saint bernards:

  • Facial features: Droopy eyes, a large nose, and soft, pendulous ears.
  • Body structure: Powerfully built with a massive head and broad, muscular shoulders.

These physical differences in facial features and body structure highlight the individuality of each breed.

While both breeds share some similarities, such as their gentle temperament and loyalty, subtle differences in their appearance make them unique. Understanding these differences is essential for those who are looking to bring home a furry companion.

Temperament And Personality

Bernese mountain dogs and saint bernards are both large, gentle, and friendly dogs, but they have varying temperaments and personalities that set them apart. Let’s take a detailed look at the key differences in their personalities.

See also  How to Treat Flea Allergy Dermatitis in Dogs at Home: Effective Home Remedies

Personality Traits Of Bernese Mountain Dogs And Saint Bernards

Bernese Mountain Dogs:

  • Bernese mountain dogs are known for their affectionate, loyal, and gentle nature.
  • They are calm and even-tempered dogs, making them well-suited for families with children.
  • They also tend to get along well with other animals and strangers.
  • Bernese mountain dogs are confident, intelligent, and independent animals, with an instinct to protect their loved ones.
  • They have a friendly disposition, making them perfect for cuddles with their humans.

Saint Bernards:

  • Saint Bernards, on the other hand, are known for their calm and patient nature.
  • They are friendly, good-natured, and sociable animals that love to be with their families.
  • Saint Bernards possess a strong watchdog instinct and are excellent protectors, but they tend to be independent thinkers.
  • They can be stubborn at times, but they are still gentle giants that love to please their humans.
  • Saint Bernards tend to be patient with children and have a higher tolerance for roughhousing than many other breeds.

Comparison Of Their Energy Levels And Exercise Needs

Bernese Mountain Dogs:

  • Bernese mountain dogs are strong and sturdy working dogs, but they don’t require strenuous workouts or activities.
  • They prefer long walks, hikes, and playing around the yard with their owners.
  • Bernese mountain dogs are not ideal for apartments as they require sufficient space to move around and play.

Saint Bernards:

  • Saint Bernards are also known for their lower energy levels and do not require excessive exercise.
  • They enjoy walks and light exercise and are usually content to lounge around the home with their owners.
  • Saint Bernards require sufficient space to move around and can become restless if confined to a small apartment.

Differences In Trainability And Behavior With Children And Strangers

Bernese Mountain Dogs:

  • Bernese mountain dogs are generally easier to train than saint bernards and are quite intelligent.
  • They are eager to please their owners, making them quick learners.
  • Bernese mountain dogs are excellent with children but may be wary of strangers, making them good watchdogs.

Saint Bernards:

  • Saint Bernards can be more stubborn and difficult to train than Bernese mountain dogs.
  • As they are independent animals, they may not be as eager to please their humans.
  • Overall, saint bernards are friendly with children and strangers, but they may be more protective of their loved ones.

Choosing between a Bernese mountain dog and a saint bernard can be a difficult decision as both breeds have unique personalities, energy levels, exercise needs, and trainability. It’s important to weigh these factors carefully and consider your lifestyle and living arrangements before making a decision.

Health And Wellness

Potential Health Issues Common To Both Breeds

Both Bernese mountain dogs and saint bernards are giant breeds that are prone to certain health issues. These may include:

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia: Both breeds are prone to this genetic condition that affects the joints, causing pain and difficulty in movement.
  • Bloat or gastric torsion: This is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the stomach fills with gas and twists on itself, cutting off blood supply to vital organs.
  • Obesity: These breeds are susceptible to obesity, which can lead to other health problems like joint pain and diabetes.
  • Eye issues: Both breeds can develop issues like cataracts or progressive retinal atrophy.
See also  Vip Products Dog Toy Silly Squeaker Liquor Bottle Bad Spaniels: The Ultimate Playtime Delight!

Lifespan Comparison

When it comes to the lifespan of Bernese mountain dogs vs. saint bernards, berners tend to have a slightly shorter life expectancy. Bernese mountain dogs typically live between 7-10 years, while saint bernards have a life expectancy of around 8-10 years.

Recommended Nutrition And Exercise Routines

Both Bernese mountain dogs and Saint Bernards require a healthy and balanced diet that is rich in nutrients. Feeding them high-quality dog food that is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level is essential. Owners should avoid overfeeding to prevent obesity and joint problems.

In terms of exercise, Bernese mountain dogs and Saint Bernards are not high-energy dogs, but they do require regular exercise to maintain their health. They enjoy moderate exercises like a daily walk or playtime in the yard and may enjoy hiking or swimming as well.

Following proper nutrition and exercise routines can significantly impact the health and wellness of Bernese mountain dogs and Saint Bernards. Owners should keep an eye out for any potential health issues and take their dogs to regular vet check-ups to ensure their longevity and well-being.

Choosing The Right Breed

Considerations For Choosing Between Bernese Mountain Dogs And Saint Bernards

Are you torn between getting a Bernese mountain dog or a saint bernard as your fur baby? Both breed the perfect pet for families and individuals who love large, docile pets. However, choosing the right breed requires you to consider various factors like cost, temperament, and compatibility with your lifestyle.

Consider the following points when picking between the two breeds:

Temperament And Needs

  • Bernese mountain dogs are known for being a little more active and playful than saint bernards that often tend to be calmer.
  • Bernese mountain dogs are sociable animals that love human company and they often suffer separation anxiety. On the other hand, saint bernards can be quite independent and can handle a little alone time better.
  • Berners are perfect for active individuals and families that like to take their dogs on long walks, and hikes and like to involve them in outdoor activities.
  • Saint Bernards, in contrast, is better suited for families that like to stay indoors and relax. They enjoy occasional walks in the park but can be couch potatoes.

Finding A Reputable Breeder

  • When looking for a dog breeder, it’s important to find a reputable breeder to ensure your pup is healthy and happy.
  • Bernese mountain dog breeders should have no more than four litters in a year, have their breeding dogs’ hips and elbows tested, and carry out genetic testing for diseases common to the breed, such as von Willebrand disease.
  • Saint Bernard breeders should be members of recognized breed clubs and should do annual health checks that include hips, elbows, and heart tests.

Cost Of Owning Each Breed

  • The cost of owning a Bernese mountain dog and a saint bernard varies depending on the breeder, location, and age. On average, both breeds cost between $1,000 and $2,500 for a puppy.
  • The high cost of owning a Berner is due to its shorter lifespan and potential health conditions. These dogs are prone to cancer, hip and elbow dysplasia, and heart diseases, which can be expensive to treat.
  • Saint Bernards, on the other hand, are prone to health issues like bloat, and hip and elbow dysplasia and need regular grooming due to their huge size.
See also  Do Dogs Need Flea And Tick Medicine Every Month : Essential Guide for Pet Owners

Now that you know more about Bernese mountain dogs and Saint Bernards, choosing the right breed for you should be an easier decision. Consider your lifestyle, the breed’s temperament, and needs, and always ensure you buy a puppy from a trustworthy and ethical breeder.

FAQ On Bernese Mountain Dog Vs Saint Bernard

What Is The Average Size Comparison Between Bernese Mountain Dog And Saint Bernard?

Bernese mountain dogs are slightly smaller than Saint Bernards. With a height of 23 to 27. 5 inches and a weight of 70 to 115 pounds. In contrast, saint bernards can reach a height of 30 to 35 inches and weigh 130 to 180 pounds.

What Are The Differences Between The Two Breeds In Terms Of Temperament?

Bernese mountain dogs are more active and outgoing. They enjoy being around their human family and love to play with children. Saint Bernards are calm and mellow dogs. They enjoy their alone time and are content with being in the company of their humans.

Which Breed Requires More Grooming?

Both breeds have a thick double coat that sheds heavily. However, Bernese mountain dogs require more grooming than saint bernards. Their coat is longer and requires daily brushing to avoid matting. Saint Bernards need to be brushed 2 to 3 times a week.

Which Breed Is More Suitable For Families With Children?

Both breeds can be great with children. Bernese mountain dogs are more playful and active, making them great companions for kids. Saint Bernards are calmer and more laid-back, which can be perfect for families who prefer a quieter home environment.

Are Bernese Mountain Dogs And Saint Bernards Prone To Any Health Issues?

Both breeds are prone to certain health issues, including hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and bloat. Bernese mountain dogs are also prone to cancer. It’s important to have regular checkups with a veterinarian to monitor their health and catch any issues early.


After analyzing the characteristics, temperament, and history of the Bernese mountain dog and the saint bernard, it is clear that both breeds have their strengths and weaknesses. If you are looking for a family-friendly and affectionate companion, the Bernese mountain dog may be the better choice.

However, if you require a larger dog for guarding or search-and-rescue purposes, the saint bernard may be the way to go. It is important to consider your lifestyle, living situation, and individual preferences when deciding between these two breeds.

Ultimately, both the Bernese mountain dog and saint bernard are lovable and loyal dogs that can make excellent pets for the right owner. Whichever breed you choose, providing proper care, training, and attention will result in a happy and fulfilled furry friend.