The Bernese Mountain dog is indeed a big dog. And most people will argue that apartment living isn’t suitable for big dogs due to the fact that apartments lack enough space. So can you really look after a Bernese Mountain dog if you don’t own a house with a big yard?
For starters, let’s get something straight. The Bernese originates from the Swiss Alps and as its name suggests, it really is a mountain dog. It was bred for farm keeping and not for apartment living. Its physique and fur coat are ideal for outdoor alpine environment.
This breed reaches up to 120lbs in weight and 28 inches in height. It is indeed a large dog, which is as tall as the popular Labrador Retriever, only heavier. Big dogs and apartment living don’t go hand in hand, especially canines like the Bernese Mountain. They are destined to reside in the outdoors and to have lots of free space where they can roam freely, run, explore and exercise. Of course, you can look after any dog breed in an apartment as long as you take it outside as often as needed. But is it truly worth it to put such limitations on the puppy?
Throughout the years these dogs have been used for pulling sleighs and carts. They can’t be watchdogs due to their shyness and fear of abandonment, but they do love working on a farm. The Bernese Mountain adores open spaces, running, playing and pleasing its owner. As such, it needs to be taken for longer walks at least a couple of times a day. It also needs to socialize with other people and animals, otherwise it cannot overcome its shyness and reserved temper.
So, is the Bernese Mountain dog suitable for apartment living against all odds? It’s not, but if you really want to own a Bernie and you can’t afford a house with a yard, there are ways to make it work.
You must exercise the pup on daily basis and you need to be persistent with the training. Bernese Mountain dogs are susceptible to training, although they mature much slower than other breeds, and that makes the training process harder for them. They are prone to suffering from a number of health related issues, such as hip and joint diseases. This means they can’t use the stairs, especially while they’re growing up.
Their thick long-haired coats are suited for cold weather, so they may find it hard residing in a warm apartment. Furthermore, their fear of abandonment may cause them to become destructive when left alone. Lastly, while they don’t require a lot of brushing, they do shed significant amounts of hair.
So, let’s sum it up. If you’re looking for a big dog for an apartment, the Bernie isn’t for you. Their health problems, attachment based issues, thick fur coats and need of exercise aren’t suited for apartment living. Raising a Bernie in an apartment is not impossible, but it will do harm to the pup. Bernese Mountain dogs are best raised in a yard where the weather is mild to cold all year long.