Bernese Mountain Dog vs St Bernard? Both Bernese Mountain dogs and St Bernards make great family pets. They are gentle, loyal, kind and steady. Although they have a lot in common, these beautiful dogs do have a few differences in terms of coat colors and patterns. One also has the potential of growing even larger than the other, despite them both being classed as giant breeds.
Bernese Mountain Dog vs St Bernard History
At first glance, these dogs bear a resemblance to one another in size and stature, but their histories and original purpose is strikingly different. The Bernese Mountain Dog originated in Switzerland, in the farmlands around the city of Bern. She was a farm dog. However, her job was not to herd flocks. Rather, her main role was to be a companion and protector to the farmer and the farmer’s family. It is also thought that these dogs pulled small carts at times too, given their size and strength.
The St. Bernard lived and worked with Monks that lived in a pass between Italy and Switzerland! These dogs’ history can be traced back to the late 1600s.
Initially these dogs resided in monasteries and hospices. However, due to dangers associated with making the trip through the pass, many travellers were in trouble. The monks would head out and look for people who needed to be rescued. The dogs would accompany the monks, in part due to their ability to sense impending avalanches.
Differences In Size
St Bernards stand anywhere between 26 and 30 inches at the shoulder, depending on gender, and can weigh up to 180 pounds. They are well-proportioned and powerful, with a large, blocky head that can often have a somber expression.
The Bernese mountain dog stands 23 to 27.5 inches at the shoulder depending on gender, and can weigh up to 115 pounds. They also stand tall and strong. However, they have the agility needed to work on the farm.
Bernese Mountain Dog vs St Bernards Coats
St Bernard dogs come in short and long-haired varieties. However, even the long-haired version does not have shaggy or curly hair; it is medium in length and either straight or wavy. They also have distinctive coloring. The chest, feet, tip of the tail and nose are white. The rest of the body has large patches of red/rust or yellow/brown color.
The Bernese Mountain Dog’s face is a little more refined than that of the St. Bernard, and the females have a distinctly feminine quality compared to the male dogs.
These dogs have a long coat, which is tri-color, black being the predominant color. The chest, feet and tip of the tail are white, with rust color between the white and black areas on their legs and face. The rust also forms a dot above the eyes, similar to that of a Doberman or Rottweiler.
Energy Level Comparison
Both these dogs are gentle and kind. However, there are some differences when it comes to activity levels.
The Bernese is known to be affectionate, patient and eager to please. Their calm nature makes them great therapy dogs. They are very easy to train due to their eagerness to please. While they are steady and patient, they still enjoy a good run around.
The St Bernard is also eager to please and calm in nature. They are known to have a natural affinity with children. Although, due to their size, it is still best to be careful that no accidental injuries are sustained while playing. They do not need a great deal of exercise and are largely happy to stick close to their family.
Similar Training Requirements
The training needs of these dogs are quite similar. While they are both calm and gentle, they are also both sizable. As such, training from a young age is an absolute must to ensure you are not overpowered if the dog becomes excited.
Thankfully, both breeds are eager to please their owners and will respond quickly to training. All in all, they are primed to get the most out of life. Particularly in the case of these large breeds, a fearful dog could be very hard to manage indeed.
If you would like some tips on where to start with the training your puppy or dog, you can find a wealth of resources here.