When you look at the Bernese mountain dog you could be forgiven for thinking that the breed would be fairly lazy and laid back. The sheer size of the dog makes it look like it would rather lie down all day and just relax. However, the Bernese is actually a working breed and it does tend to have fairly high energy levels. In fact, as large breeds go the Bernese mountain dog is one of the most energetic and that could be to do with the fact that it was originally bred as a sheepdog.
Why the Bernese Has so Much Energy
The Bernese mountain dog has so much energy because it was bred to herd both cattle and sheep. It is one of four Switzerland sheepdogs and it had to be able to run after sheep and herd them throughout the day. It was only later on as the years passed that the breed was used for pulling carts and that it had to do more strenuous jobs. Even today the breed has a lot of energy and they can be somewhat boisterous until they are three to four years old. However, whilst the breed does have a lot of energy, it only has energy in short bursts. It is not the best endurance dog in the world and so whilst it can run quite fast, it cannot run for long periods of time. When keeping the Bernese mountain dog as a pet, it will need regular exercise. It lives happily indoors but because it is a working breed, it is happier when it is exercised outside. In particular the Bernese would make an excellent companion dog for a hiker. They love nothing more than spending time with their owners and being outdoors so a hiker's lifestyle would definitely suit the breed. It is important to remember that the Bernese does need gentle exercise however. If you do go hiking with the dog then ensure that you have regular breaks. Due to the fact that the breed's endurance is not particularly great, you should not take them too far. If you are going on a long hike then it is important to ensure that the dog does not run around too much and waste its energy. If that happens then you could end up with an exhausted dog half way around the hike and you may need to resort to carrying it back! Overall the Bernese mountain dog is energetic, but only in short bursts. It does need regular exercise and would not make a good apartment dog. So if you love walking and you do not go very far, then the Bernese would make an excellent companion dog.