The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large attractive dog that has a sturdy and strong overall appearance. The second largest of the Sunnerhunds, it stands 58 to 70 centimetres at the withers and weighs 70 to 120 pounds. It has a similarity with the Golden Retriever, but heavier and stockier. It has a strong head with a flat skull, straight muzzle, strong jaws with a perfect scissor bite, and a strong muscular neck. It has dark brown, almond-shaped eyes and medium-size triangle ears. The breed’s body is compact, finished off with a bushy tail that reaches just below the hock.
What makes the Berner an eye catcher is its gleaming gorgeous coat. Its glistening jet-black colour is paired with a rich reddish-brown marking over the eyes, cheeks, chest and legs. Giving it a distinguished appearance is a nice white blaze and white marking on the chest. The coat is long, soft and silky, which is slightly wavy but not curly. It has moderate to high grooming needs because of heavy shedding and susceptibility for mats and tangles. Although the Bernese Mountain Dog does not need to be trimmed or clipped often, it needs frequent bathing especially if it spends a lot of time outdoors, and lots of brushing to retain their natural sheen. It sheds all year and heavier during spring and autumn, so more brushing should be done.
Pay specific attention to its ears, which are prone to bacteria build up and yeast infection. Also keep its nails short – clicking on a hard floor means they need trimming. Brush its teeth at least two times a week to maintain healthy teeth and gums.