Bernese Mountain Dog vs Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
7 to 10 years
Size:

Extra Large

Maintenance Level:

High

Shed Level:

High

Best For

Bernese Mountain Dogs are best for active homes with lots of opportunities for outdoor exercise and play. Berners thrive in cold climates but can do OK in warmer weather with lots of shade and AC....

Bernese Mountain Dogs are best for active homes with lots of opportunities for outdoor exercise and play. Berners thrive in cold climates but can do OK in warmer weather with lots of shade and AC. They're kid-friendly, though younger dogs may need supervision due to the breed's large size and weight.

Bernese Mountain Dog Temperament

Bernese Mountain Dogs have an affectionate temperament, making them great as a pet. Give your Berner lots of attention. This isn’t a dog who wants to be left alone in your yard outside. They might get bored and start barking at the birds to keep themselves entertained! Berners als...

Bernese Mountain Dogs have an affectionate temperament, making them great as a pet. Give your Berner lots of attention. This isn’t a dog who wants to be left alone in your yard outside. They might get bored and start barking at the birds to keep themselves entertained! Berners also love to explore, so take them with you on your adventures. And at the end of the day, they’ll love nothing more than to cuddle up with you, enjoying the quiet times as much as they enjoy playtime.

These dogs also are smart and eager to please. Bred to be working dogs, they thrive with structured games or sports. Although they’re not the high-energy type like a Border Collie or Jack Russell Terrier, they still need daily exercise to meet their energy level needs. They’ll love activities like carting, drafting, herding, agility sports or scent work.

Although the Bernese breed is a powerful, large dog, they’re also docile and sweet. They have a lot of patience and are known to be good with children. Like many dogs, however, they might be cautious or shy around strangers or in new situations. That’s why it’s so important to socialize them as puppies. Because they’re big, they might forget their own strength, especially when they’re younger than 3 or 4 years old and feeling extra playful. So, it’s good to keep an eye on younger Berners when they’re with kids and babies or smaller pets like cats. But overall, they’re really quite calm and sweet-tempered.

Bernese Mountain Dog Traits

Friendliness
Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Playfulness
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
8 to 11 years
Size:

Extra Large

Maintenance Level:

Medium

Shed Level:

Medium

Best For

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is best for experienced pet parents who can give them homes with a lot of space (translation: big backyards!) and will include them in every aspect of their active lives.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Temperament

You can think of Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, with their large size and endearingly social personalities, as big friendly giants. They generally love meeting new people and have outgoing personalities. That social tendency also means they don’t enjoy being left alone without their families for long and are ver...

You can think of Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, with their large size and endearingly social personalities, as big friendly giants. They generally love meeting new people and have outgoing personalities. That social tendency also means they don’t enjoy being left alone without their families for long and are very fond of snuggling.

One well-loved trait of this breed is their ability to bond strongly with their families. They particularly enjoy spending time with children, although parents need to be vigilant as Swissies can be very enthusiastic and forget their size when playing—toppling younger children in the process! Proper training and socialization will help them learn self-control and manners around smaller or more fragile members of your family.

They can get along well with cats as long as they’re properly introduced. Swissies have an impressive herding drive and a complimentary prey drive, so teaching puppies how to properly interact with other pets is on the list of life lessons for your new friend.

They can have a slight stubborn streak (like most of us, let’s be honest), which means they need patient and calm parents to balance them out. You’ll need to be confident in your abilities in guiding the pup to channel the dog’s powerful playfulness in the right direction using positive training techniques. Translation: Reward their good behavior with praise, toys and of course, treats. (It’s really all about the treats.)

Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs are watchdogs but not guard dogs. They’re rarely aggressive, and biting is not generally a problem. They may sound the alarm with plenty of deep, throaty barking when a stranger approaches your home, but most strangers will be greeted with friendliness once they cross the threshold. Swissies enjoy keeping an eye on the neighborhood and will tell you about anything out of the ordinary with a bark or two.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Traits

Friendliness
Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Playfulness
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents
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