One of the first things you might notice about the Bernese Mountain Dog is its size. They are a large breed dog that was originally bred as a cross between Mastiffs and guard dogs. Not only that, but their thick coats allow them to thrive in harshly cold climates such as the Swiss Alps.
Bernese Mountain Dogs also possess incredible strength. This is because they were bred to help around the farm, and they are able to pull about 10 times their own body weight. These sturdy pooches have beautiful spirits and some make great companions.
People often want to know if Bernese mountain dogs shed because of their beautiful coats. Owners should be aware that they require sufficient exercise to be happy.
Their coats also require the proper care and attention. If you live in a small space the shedding may prove to be an issue. But with the right knowledge, you would be able to care for this special breed.
Do Bernese Mountain Dogs Shed A Lot?
The short answer? Yes! Bernese Mountain dogs do shed a lot. Actually, the Bernese Mountain Dog is on the list of top 21 dogs that shed the most, according to the AKC.
Meaning they shed more than 10% of all the other dog breeds around. Remember that they were specially bred to withstand extremely cold temperatures, so they have particularly thick coats.
In fact, Bernese Mountain Dogs are a double-coated breed, so they have long thick topcoats as well as an undercoat.
The undercoat basically consists of short fur that has a wool-like texture, but the top coats consist of long hair which has the effect of creating the fluffy appearance we have come to love.
The undercoat helps protect them from the heat and cold, and the topcoat helps repel dirt and wick away moisture.
This beautiful fluffy fur comes at a high cost because of all the shedding. There are practices for dog owners that must be carried out regularly, to reduce the shedding of a Bernese Mountain Dog.
Regular grooming with the proper tools can not only reduce shedding but also help your dog have a better appearance and improve his health.
Bernese Mountain Dog Shedding Frequency
Bernese Mountain dog shedding occurs all year round, but they are known to shed more at certain periods of the year. They tend to shed more during the spring and fall.
Their fur is more noticeable than other dog breeds because of its color and because their hair is longer. As double-coated breeds, they start to shed their undercoats in order to gain thicker or thinner coats, based on the temperature.
To reduce the amount of shedding should brush your dog daily using a deshedding brush to be able to access the underlying coat.
The undercoat will grow in the weeks before the winter months. Bernese Mountain dogs will usually shed the most throughout early spring and late fall.
The Main Reasons Bernese Mountain Dogs Shed
The Bernese mountain dog is a special dog breed and there are many reasons why they would shed excessively. These reasons have to do with their daily lifestyle as well as genetic factors and transformations that may affect them. They are as follows:
Poor diets: Always remember to select some food that is high in fatty acids and good nutrients. Your dog must be given food that is mainly based on meat as opposed to corn.
Stress: Do everything you can to ensure that your dog is not subjected to a stressful environment with too much constant human traffic. Dogs will begin shedding much more than usual when they are being stressed or if they are feeling anxiety. It would be quite cruel to keep dogs in an open office with new people coming and going constantly.
During pregnancy: This is somewhat related to the levels of stress mentioned above but also has to do with the hormonal changes experienced during pregnancy.
Pregnancy is stressful and the female dogs will shed a lot more if they are pregnant. So, you should not be alarmed if you notice your dog shedding intensifies during this time.
Fleas & Mites: Your dog might start scratching itself if he has been bitten by a parasite. He might also get irritated skin so you would need to take the dog to a vet as soon as possible to get the parasites removed. You might also have to treat him for infections.
The season change: Bernese Mountain Dogs shed their fur to suit the changes in climate as they are double-coated and can adapt.
How To Manage Your Bernese Mountain Dog Shedding
To manage the shedding of your Bernese Mountain Dog, one of the best things you can do is use proper deshedding tools like brushes. By doing this you would be able to keep your dog’s shedding in a controlled area.
Since we know that he will shed his fur, it is best to do so on your terms by implementing daily brushing at a location that is convenient to you.
Many people tend to do this outside or in areas where clean-up is easy so that the rest of the house is not littered with fur. This is especially important since many are allergic.
Brushing is a great way to remove your dog’s fur before he can shed in places that you would not like him to. The fur of a Bernese mountain dog is particularly noticeable and difficult to deal with because the strands of their fur are longer than most breeds out of there.
Brushing is also a great time to bond with your dog as they tend to enjoy it quite a lot. Your dog will look forward to this special time with you and his mood will be improved. He will also have healthier fur and it will give his coat a beautiful shine.
Shampoo & Bathing
A good anti-itch shampoo is a great idea for your Bernese Mountain Dog especially if he is shedding more than usual. What this does, is limit the amount of hair that inevitably ends up all over your house.
You should give your Bernese Mountain Dog regular baths with a good shampoo to protect him from complications that come along with fleas and ticks.
Many people find once per week to be a safe and reasonable frequency. But make sure the shampoo is not too harsh because it could affect the beauty of his coat.
Frequent baths are important for all dogs, but for a double-coated breed like the Bernese Mountain dog, regular baths are critical in order to manage dirt, loose hair, dander, fleas, and an unpleasant pet smell.
This consistent routine is what will ultimately allow you to maintain control of what can seem like endless amounts of shedding.
High-quality food that contains only the best ingredients is what you should be serving your dog on a daily basis. To ensure that he has healthy skin and a beautiful coat it is a good practice to give him foods that would facilitate this.
Healthy skin results in a healthy coat because the danders that are forming and the shedding would be at a minimum.
Your Bernese Mountain Dog requires food high in protein and other essential vitamins and minerals that can satisfy his nutritional needs.
Remember to avoid cheap low-quality foods that do not provide the required nutrients that your dog needs. Also, note that a Bernese mountain dog is a breed that loves to remain active and he would need a diet that will make him strong and healthy.
You should also do your best to give your Bernese Mountain Dog additional supplements that may not be largely available in the food that you provide.
You should give him Omega supplements and fatty acid supplements because they are useful when it comes to the skin and fur of your dog. It keeps the dander forming to a minimum and also reduces shedding.
It is important to make sure that these Omega supplements come from wild fish because fish is proven to be very healthy for the skin and coat.
Bernese Mountain Dog Coats
The Bernese Mountain Dog coat is stunning and comprises a thick double coat that takes the form of a longer outer coat and a wooly undercoat. They are known for their tricolored coat.
Most of a Berner’s fur is jet-black hair with rich rust and bright white. There’s usually a white blaze between the eyes and a white on the tip of the tail and a white patch on the chest that favors an inverted cross.
Bernese Mountain Dogs have an abundance of shedding, not just because their fur is thick and long, but also because this is a large breed dog.
They average about 80 to 110 lbs, so there is more fur to go around. If proper care is not taken they could make your living space quite uncomfortable because of the amount of fur that they shed.
What Is The Difference Between Shedding And Fur Loss?
All dogs shed their fur at varying degrees. This is a natural occurrence and no cause for concern. A dog that sheds is a healthy dog as he is simply renewing his coat as the climate changes.
It should be expected that your dog will shed his hair throughout the year. But they usually shed excessively when they are getting rid of their winter coats. This is perfectly normal.
On the other hand, fur loss is a signal that your Bernese Mountain Dog has an underlying condition that needs to be addressed immediately.
This may very well be a sign of ill health and usually occurs out of nowhere and in large amounts. The underlying conditions may be because of a hormonal imbalance, fungal infections, improper diet, or reaction to a harmful environment.
Do Spayed & Neutered Bernese Mountain Dogs Shed Less
When your dog is shedding too much, this may be because they have recently been spayed or neutered. Shedding usually happens because of the hormonal imbalances associated with those procedures.
Many dog breeds shed excessive fur after giving birth or when they have just been spayed or neutered.
When female dogs are pregnant or nursing, they have also been known to shed excessive amounts of hair. When this occurs you should consider providing greater amounts of omega-3 fatty acid to their diet.
Additionally, you should also pay a visit to your veterinarian to ensure that her health is optimal.
Do Bernese Mountain Dogs Puppies Shed More Than Adult Dogs
All Bernese Mountain Dog puppies begin life with just one layer of quotes even though they will eventually develop a double coat. So they will only have one layer of hair until they got rid of their puppy coats.
This usually takes a few weeks so you should be prepared because during this de-shedding Process you will see a lot of fur. You need to exercise patience. You will need to de-shed the dog daily in this period.
With a Bernese Mountain Dog, clean-up becomes relatively tedious especially in comparison to other dogs. Puppies have been known to shed more fur than their adult counterparts because they are still growing.
Are Bernese Mountain Dogs Hypoallergenic
The short answer is a resounding “No”! According to a list of American Kennel Club, Bernese Mountain Dogs are not a hypoallergenic dog breed because they come with a double-layer coat on their body that shed moderately.
They also have a lot of dander, which are dead skin cells that are good for dogs to shed but not good for people who have animal allergies. Danders are the most common allergens that appear in a dog coat.
Many people want a truly hypoallergenic dog but one such dog does not exist. It is true however, that’s some dog breeds are easier to deal with than others. Bernese Mountain Dogs produce large amounts of allergens especially in comparison to other dog breeds.
Hair or dog fur is only part of what triggers a person’s allergies. Allergies are actually triggered by a dog’s saliva, urine, and dander in addition to his fur.
Do Bernese Mountain Dogs Smell
All dogs smell and many of them have a particularly bad order. Bernese Mountain Dogs usually create a bad smell because of their thick coats. To reduce this you need to give him regular baths so that the scent will be diminished.
Implement this method in addition to regular brushing so that the fur will not clump together and the smell will be tolerable. This is especially important if you live in a small apartment or house as the scent will be persistent throughout this enclosed space.
Do Bernese Mountain Dogs Shed More Than Golden Retrievers?
There is a vast difference between Bernese Mountain Dogs and Golden Retrievers. The Golden Retrievers are medium-sized dogs that have great personalities.
The Bernese Mountain Dog is very large and has even more fur than the Golden Retriever. Therefore, they will definitely shed more.
There are both good family dogs and shed like crazy so they need to be brushed every day and take regular baths. If you live in a warm climate the Bernese Mountain Dog will have a harder time as they were bred for colder climates.
Bernese Mountain Dog Shedding FAQs
What Time Of The Year Do They Shed The Most
Especially in the spring and fall, you will find that Berners shed a lot. If shedding is not amenable to you, then you should do your best to reduce shedding by implementing regular grooming practices. This will prove beneficial to both you and your dog.
The Bernese Mountain Dog has a beautiful coat but this beauty has a price. They shed moderately all year and most intensely before winter.
Dog parents can reduce the amount of hair around the house by keeping the coat clean and tangle-free. Periodic bathing will maintain their neat appearance.
How Bad Is Bernese Shedding To Deal With
In comparison to other dog breeds, Bernese Mountain Dogs shed a great deal. Mainly because their fur is long and thick.
With proper grooming, you can mitigate the effects of the shedding because you can brush them and groom them in spaces where clean-up is easy or a designated space.
How To Brush Your Bernese Mountain Dog At Home
The first thing you should do is comb the coat with a curry brush. This brush is meant for the top layer of the coat. Do your best to straighten the hairs and get rid of any tangles and knots in the fur. Do this thoroughly and then use the de-shedding brush.
The deshedding brush has long teeth that go deeper into the coat in order to access the undercoat. To reduce the amount of shedding, remove the fluffy old hair in the undercoat with this brush.
Do not brush too much because this could be detrimental to your dog.
If you notice that your Bernese Mountain Dog is shedding excessively you should first look at the possible reason for this shedding.
You need to ask yourself if this is seasonal shedding or actual fur loss. The normal amount of shedding should be of no concern, but abrupt and extensive shedding should be monitored closely. In those cases, or whenever you are unsure, you should pay a visit to your vet.