Bernese Hound

Swiss Hound

The Bernese Hound is a superb hunting dog that is the undisputed delight of hunting families. He is very pleasant, easy to maintain and has an excellent character.

Height 45 to 50 cm
Weight 8 to 15 kg
Life expectancy 12 to 14 years
Home country Switzerland

Quick Overview of the Bernese Hound


  • Courageous and passionate
  • Lively and calm
  • Gentle and docile
  • Loves children


  • Rather elongated silhouette
  • Solid and powerful build
  • Narrow head
  • Long drooping ears


  • No particular pathology
  • Ears to be monitored
  • Long life expectancy

Temperament of the Bernese Hound

Courageous, passionate, lively, calm, gentle and rather docile, the Bernese Hound is kind to his family. He loves children and their presence and is very gentle even with the smallest and noisiest.

Even though he is very attached to his family, he gets bored as a companion dog and his work as a hunter is essential to him.

Very playful and affectionate, he still needs a good education. His sense of smell is innate and ideal for hunting. He is an excellent hunter but a bad guardian.

Specialized in hare hunting and possessing an extremely developed sense of smell, the Bernese Hound is a hunter at heart. Even if he has great qualities for company, he must be able to enjoy hunting episodes to be totally happy.

Breed Appearance

Bernese hound

The Bernese Hound is average size, solidly built and powerful, with a narrow, rather lean head that is well proportioned to his size. He has long, floppy ears that give him a rather friendly and sympathetic appearance. This superb dog is endowed with a noble and elegant appearance.


Between 45 and 50 cm (17.72 to 19.69 inches) for the male
Between 54 and 50 cm (21.26 to 19.69 inches) for the female


Between 8 and 15 kg (17.64 to 33.07 pounds) for the male
Between 8 and 15 kg (17.64 to 33.07 pounds) for the female


The color of his dress is generally tricolor. His white coat is predominantly marked with black patches accompanied by tan markings above the eyes, on cheeks and ears.


His short coat is generally smooth, hard and full.


The Bernese Hound weighs about 20 kg (28 pounds) when adult, whether male or female. His head has an elongated skull with a well defined stop. His dark eyes are medium size and slightly oval. His beautiful large drooping ears almost reach his nose. His large nose is black. His tail, carried horizontally, is not too long and can be curved slightly downwards or upwards.

According to the FCI breeds nomenclature, this breed belongs to group 6, section 1 and is #60

Tips About this breed

The Bernese Hound cannot live in the city and prefers the countryside by far. The city hunter who regularly visits the countryside can make his dog happy, but his need for space and exercise is great and must be met regularly.

This magnificent dog's character makes him compatible with all but his great need to exercise and unconditional love for hunting mean that he must benefit from both very often.

As he loves everyone, he is neither aggressive, nor guardian nor protective. He is not always instinctively obedient and must be given a firm and proper education.

Health of the Bernese Hound

No particular pathology affects this solid and robust dog. It is preferable to monitor his large and beautiful ears from time to time to ensure their health, but no other disease affects the breed.


A good brushing once in a while is enough.

History of this breed

As early as the 7th century, the breed was sought after first by Italian dog fanciers and then, by the French in the 18th century.

As he did not receive English blood, unlike other French hounds, a standard was established in 1882 for each of the varieties existing at that time.

The breed received its unique status in 1923 and the Swiss Basset Hound Club was founded around 1905, later becoming the Swiss Hound Club.

The Bernese Hound was created through methodical selection and cross-breeding, so that he could combine several qualities to become a specialized hunting dog. Hare hunting became his great specialty, although he excels at hunting other game.

A superb hunting dog, the Bernese Hound is also an excellent companion for everyone.

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