While this crossbreed isn’t entirely popular yet, it can result in a very affectionate active dog that could be a great companion to many owners.
However, there are many things to be aware of before purchasing any Golden Retriever Bernese Mountain Dog mix puppies.
Designer Dog Controversy
As the Bernese Golden Retriever mix is a cross between two purebred breeds, it is known as a “designer dog.”
Designer dogs have come under scrutiny in recent years, with many devoted purebred fans asserting that mixed breeds are potentially less healthy than purebred dogs and that many designer dogs are bred by those only in it for the money without any care for the welfare of the litters.
However, according to a 2013 study that looked at over 27,000 dogs, purebreds were more at risk of inheriting certain genetic disorders in comparison to their crossbred counterparts.
Another study within the same year found that on average crossbred lifespans exceeded that of purebreds by 1.2 years.
This is suspected to be because of a concept known as hybrid vigor, where genetic diversity promotes better health within a dog.
Crossbred dogs are no less healthy than purebreds, provided that they are bred and raised well.
Take a look at our article here that explores more common misconceptions between purebreds and crossbreeds for more information.
Advocates of purebred dogs also state that the breeding of designer dogs is a more risky venture.
It may be harder to predict what traits and characteristics the puppy will pick up from its parents.
While this is a true statement, some owners love the aspect of randomness that comes from a crossbred puppy.
Potentially bad breeders are also a common concern.
Designer dog breeding is less regulated than purebred breeding practices.
Many believe there is a large chance of running into a bad breeder.
However, bad breeders still exist in the pedigree world too.
Regardless of whether you are buying a cross or a purebred, we always recommend you check the reputation of the breeder and the health of the parents before making any decisions.
Now let’s take a look at the origins of our topic today, the Bernese Mountain Dog Golden Retriever mix!
Origins of the Bernese Mountain Dog
The Bernese Mountain Dog hails from Switzerland, specifically a region known as Bern, hence their name.
Along with other mountain breeds, the Bernese Mountain Dog worked on farms by driving cattle and protecting stock from predators.
The breed reached America in 1926, when a Kansas farmer imported a pair as farm dogs.
From there they caught on and quickly became both a popular farm dog and a popular family pet.
Origins of the Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever was first bred by a man by the name of Dudley Marjoribanks, within the Scottish highlands.
He was attempting to breed an ideal gundog for use at his estate that was suited to both the rainy weather and the rugged terrain.
Eventually, he bred the Golden Retriever which we know and love today.
The breed was first seen at a dog show within Britain in 1908 and quickly became loved by the population for their utility and their friendly, obedient nature.
Bernese Mountain Dog x Golden Retriever = Bernese Mountain Dog Retriever Mix
The Bernese Mountain Dog Retriever Mix is a recent up and coming cross with unclear origins.
Bernese Golden Retriever puppies may take after a single parent or be a mix of both in any aspect, such as temperament, size, and coat.
Therefore, it is important to be knowledgeable about both parent breeds to have a clearer idea of what to expect.
Size, Height, and Weight of the Golden Bernese
Both the Bernese Mountain Dog and the Golden Retriever are rather large breeds.
The Bernese can reach heights of 25–28 inches if male, 23–26 inches if female.
On the other hand, the Golden Retriever’s average height is around 23–24 inches if male, 22–23 inches if female.
Due to this, you can count on the cross to be a large dog at around 22–28 inches tall.
However, the parent breeds do show a significant difference in weight.
The Bernese weighs in at around 80–115 pounds if male, 70–95 pounds if female.
The Golden Retriever is a much lighter dog, hitting around 65–75 pounds if male or 55–65 pounds if female.
Due to this difference, depending on which parent the Bernese cross Golden Retriever takes after, you may end up with a much heavier set dog.
Characteristics of the Bernese Mountain Dog Retriever Mix
Characteristics of the Bernese Mountain Dog
The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large stocky dog with a long wavy coat.
Their coat is tricolored: jet black, white, and rust.
They have distinctive markings on the face that show off their dignified nature and floppy ears placed high up on the head.
The muzzle is straight, and they sport gentle, intelligent eyes.
Characteristics of the Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever has a powerful, sporty body.
Their distinctive golden coat has two layers: a dense, waterproof overcoat and a soft undercoat.
Their coat may be straight or wavy.
An intelligent gaze from dark brown eyes and a powerful, defined muzzle make up the retriever’s face.
They have short, floppy ears.
Characteristics of the Mix
As for the Bernese Mountain Dog Retriever Mix, puppies of this cross will likely acquire the defined, straight muzzle and intelligent gaze known for both breeds.
Their ears will be floppy, and they may end up with a coat that is either wavy or straight.
As for the color and markings on the coat, the Bernese Mountain Dog and Golden Retriever mix may take after either parent.
They could acquire the golden coat or the jet black of the Bernese.
It is hard to predict what markings may be present in Golden Bernese puppies, if any at all.
They could have the distinct colored patterns known for the Bernese, just parts of it, or they may just have a single color coat.
Temperament of the Bernese Mountain Dog Retriever Mix
The Bernese Mountain Dog has a reputation for being a calm, friendly, and affectionate dog.
Incredibly loyal and gentle, they make for good family pets and serve as lovely companions.
However, they tend to be rather aloof and wary of strangers.
As for the Golden Retriever, they are also friendly and loyal dogs that fit very well into a family.
Intelligent and outgoing, they are quite a playful and energetic breed.
A Bernese and Golden Retriever mix will likely exhibit these positive traits—if they are raised and trained correctly—due to both parent breeds having a similar personality and temperament.
Caring for Bernese Golden Mountain Dog Puppies and Adults
Mountain Golden Retrievers do well on high-quality dog food, but be careful not to overfeed them.
Obesity can be a real problem, so only give out treats in moderation, and take care over the dog’s diet.
Unfortunately, both parent breeds shed a significant amount, with multiple shedding seasons throughout the year.
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A Bernese Mountain Dog Retriever Mix puppy will be no different.
Therefore, regular brushing will be necessary.
Two or three times a week should be enough usually, although if it is shedding season, you will need to brush daily to get rid of the dead hairs.
We also recommend you keep an eye on your dog’s nails, trimming them down if they begin to get too long.
Dental health is just as important too, with regular teeth brushing recommended.
Health Issues of the Bernese Mountain Dog Retriever Mix
Sadly, both parent breeds are at risk for various health issues that could possibly be passed down to Golden Retriever Bernese Mountain Dog puppies.
Therefore, it’s important to be aware of health issues present in both breeds within the cross.
Bernese Mountain Dog Health Issues
The Bernese Mountain Dog is predisposed to developing epilepsy, as stated by a study taking place in 2008.
Results seemed to show that there was a genetic basis for the disease, meaning it could potentially be passed down.
They are also at risk of von Willebrand’s disease, an inherited bleeding disorder where the blood does not clot correctly, causing serious bleeding from what may be just a minor wound.
Golden Retriever Health Issues
Skin disorders such as bacterial folliculitis, furunculosis, and atopy have been shown to be prevalent within Golden Retrievers according to a survey that took place in 1987.
It’s possible that a Bernese Mountain Dog Retriever mix puppy may also suffer from these conditions if they take after the retriever parent.
Health Issues Found in Both Breeds
A condition that is prevalent in both breeds is hip and elbow dysplasia.
This is where the joints of either the hip or elbow do not develop correctly as your puppy grows, leading to painful arthritis.
Unfortunately, both parent breeds are also predisposed to developing various forms of cancers.
A study that took place in 2013 found that within the study group, 45.7% of Bernese Mountain Dogs died from cancer-related causes.
As for Golden Retrievers, this number was 38.8%.
Because these conditions affect both breeds, a Bernese Mountain and Golden Retriever mix is sadly at a higher risk of developing cancer and dysplasia.
Therefore, it is very important to keep this in mind before purchasing Bernese Mountain Golden Retriever puppies.
Making sure these conditions have never affected the parent dogs via medical history and evaluations can help lessen the chance that they will appear within a puppy.
Exercising and Training Your Golden Bernese Dog
Both the Bernese Mountain Dog and the Golden Retriever are very energetic dogs who require a lot of daily exercise to be happy.
Therefore, a Bernese Mountain Dog Retriever Mix will most likely also require a high amount of exercise.
A long daily walk peppered with some opportunities to up the tempo, such as joining you on a jog or playing fetch, is perfect.
Both parent breeds are also very easy to train, so it is likely that the Golden Mountain cross will be too.
They will take well to patient, reward-based training.
We also recommend that your puppy takes part in socialization training from a young age.
This can help stop undesirable traits from forming.
The Ideal Home for the Bernese Mountain Dog Golden Retriever Mix
The Golden Retriever Bernese Mountain mix is very energetic and needs lots of daily exercise.
A home with a secure, sizable yard can be a great place for them to run around and play.
Their friendly and eager to please temperament make for a great family dog, provided that they have been raised well and trained accordingly.
They prove to be gentle with children and do well with other pets within the home.
Again, they must have been socialized correctly.
The cross is rather high maintenance in both exercise and grooming.
Potential owners must be sure they can put in the time to care for them correctly.
It’s possible this breed may suffer from separation anxiety, especially if they haven’t been trained out of it when young.
Therefore, the Bernese x Golden Retriever thrives in a home where there is usually someone around to keep them company.
Finding and Purchasing Golden Mountain Puppies
If you decide to look into purchasing a Bernese Mountain Dog Retriever Mix puppy, there are multiple things you must consider.
As this cross isn’t very popular as of right now, it may be tough to find a breeder.
Looking online and through local avenues such as newspapers can help you to track one down.
What to Do When You Find a Breeder
When you do find a potential puppy, it’s important to check the health of the parent dogs.
If they are happy and well, this is a sign of good health for the puppy too.
Ask to meet the parent dogs, and make sure they do not show any signs of pain or distress.
You should also ask if both parent breeds have recently passed the following medical evaluations:
- hip evaluation
- elbow evaluation
- ophthalmologist evaluation
- cardiac exam
The Bernese Mountain Dog in particular will also require passing a Von Willebrand’s Disease DNA Test.
Ask to see proof.
Is the Bernese Mountain Dog Retriever Mix Right for Me?
The Golden Bernese Mountain Dog mix can make for a great family dog.
They must have been raised and trained well, though.
However, they are a large dog with heavy exercise and grooming requirements.
Potential owners must be prepared to be able to put in the time necessary to care for this breed.
Due to their energy levels, they may fit owners who are the outdoorsy type.
Families who can always keep them active and provide the company they need are best for the Bernese Mountain Golden Retriever mix.
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Bellumori, TP, et al, Prevalence of inherited disorders among mixed-breed and purebred dogs: 27254 cases (1995-2010) Journal of the American Veterinary Association, 2013
O’Neill, DG, et al, Longevity and mortality of owned dogs in England The Veterinary Journal, 2013
American Kennel Club
Kathmann, I, et al, Clinical and genetic investigations of idiopathic epilepsy in the Bernese mountain dog Journal of Small Animal Practice, 2008
Podadera, JM, et al, Canine Elbow Dysplasia ANZ Nuclear Medicine, 2010
Paster, ER, et al, Estimates of prevalence of hip dysplasia in Golden Retrievers and Rottweilers and the influence of bias on published prevalence figures Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 2005
Malm, S, et al, Genetic variation and genetic trends in hip and elbow dysplasia in Swedish Rottweiler and Bernese Mountain Dog Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics, 2008
Dobson, JM, Breed-Predispositions to Cancer in Pedigree Dogs ISRN Veterinary Science, 2013
Arnold, S, et al, Von Willebrand factor concentrations in blood plasma of Bernese mountain dogs Schweiz Arch Tierheilkd, 1997