Bernese Mountain Dog and St. Bernard Mix A Complete Guide

Bernese Mountain Dog and St. Bernard Mix

The Bernese Mountain Dog and Saint Bernard breeds are both proud representations of working dog breeds with long histories of guarding and rescuing.

Their work is as equally important as their family, making them loyal family dogs with higher energy levels for work or play.

When you cross the Bernese Mountain Dog and Saint Bernard breeds, you get a large dog that may be imposing but in reality is very loving, patient, and protective.

With proper training, they will learn to not take advantage of their size keeping small children and your countertop foods safe.

Continue reading to learn more about Bernese Mountain Dogs, Saint Bernards, and their offspring. When you finish reading this article, you should understand more about these breeds and their behaviors.

St. Bernard, Bernese Mountain Dog, and the St. Bernese Comparison Table

  St. Bernard St. Bernese Bernese Mountain Dog
Height 26-30 inches 26-32 inches 23-28 inches
Weight 120-180 pounds 110-170 pounds 70-115 pounds
Life Expectancy 8-10 years 6-10 years 7-10 years
Colors Brindle and white Brown and white Mahogany and white Orange and white Red and white Rust and white White and brown White and orange White and red White and brown White and black White and fawn Creme and brown Black, rust, and white Black, tan, and white
Coat Type Double coated short and long-haired varieties Double coat with medium length Double coat with medium length
Affection levels Very loving Very loving Very loving
Shedding Level Moderate shedding High shedding levels Sheds quite a bit
Temperament Moderately playful Very protective Moderately playful Pretty protective Pretty playful Average protectiveness
Health Issues Hip dysplasia Elbow dysplasia Bloat Cardiac problems Eye problems Spinal diseases Hip dysplasia Elbow dysplasia Bloat Cancer Eye problems Thyroid issues von Willebrand’s disease Hip dysplasia Elbow dysplasia Bloat Blood disorders Cancers Retinal atrophy
Trainability Average trainability Pretty easy to train Pretty easy to train
Exercise Fair amount of exercise Fair amount of exercise Fair amount of exercise
Friendliness to People Open to strangers Open to strangers Pretty open to strangers
Friendliness to Dogs Friendly with other dogs Friendly with other dogs Very friendly with other dogs
Drooling Levels Very drooly Very drooly Average drooling
Mental Stimulation Average levels of mental stimulation Average levels of mental stimulation Average levels of mental stimulation
Barking Level Barks to alert only Average barking Average barking
St. Bernard, Bernese Mountain Dog, and the St. Bernese Comparison Table

About St. Bernard Dogs

About St. Bernard Dogs
St. Bernard Dog

Saint Bernards are gentle giants that originate from the Swiss Alps. While they are not very popular according to American Kennel Club registrations, they are a world-famous and beloved breed known for being “nanny dogs” that keep a caring eye out for children, as well as rescue dogs.

These enormous dogs are usually at least 26 inches in height when measured and can easily weigh over 120 pounds. Their big head with a short muzzle, darkened eyes, and furrowed brow are easily recognizable.

These dogs do well with jobs and have been used in alpine rescues because of their intelligence when properly socialized and trained. It is even estimated that over three centuries of rescue operations, St. Bernard dogs are responsible for over 2000 lives saved. 

While the long-haired variety is more iconic of the breed today, all St. Bernard dogs were short-haired before 1830.

The change came about when monks were convinced to breed St. Bernards with longer-haired dogs during 2 years of frigid weather and a fast shrinking population problem for St. Bernards.

About Bernese Mountain Dogs

About Bernese Mountain Dogs
Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dogs are large dogs, easily weighing over 100 pounds and standing up to 28 inches tall. They have medium-length fur coats with adorable floppy ears. 

The original purpose of Bernese Mountain Dogs was to be used as draft dogs, which were made to pull carts and sleds.

They were used to pull milk carts most often, but have also been used for herding, guarding, and were used a lot on farms for various purposes. 

Because of their history, they enjoy having a task and can get bored without something to do. They enjoy exercise but can get easily overheated due to their fur, so it is best to find a way to keep them cool while exercising. 

For a while, these dogs almost risked extinction. Since they were usually single dogs on a farm, they did not have many chances to breed, and no one made much effort to breed them until they were almost lost.

One professor made efforts to breed the dogs to avoid them fading from history and managed to bring them back up to healthy, safe levels. 

About St. Bernese Dog Mix

St. Bernese is a relatively rare cross of St. Bernard and Bernese Mountain dog breeds. They inherit their size from both breeds and can be even larger by a small margin – this means that they are not suitable for apartments and other small, enclosed living spaces. They can be up to 32 inches tall and 170 pounds. 

It is thought that this mixed breed originated around the 1990s, though the specifics aren’t known. 

What is the Temperament of the St. Bernese?

St. Bernese are loving, calm dogs. They are very affectionate and enjoy spending time with their owner or family. They are very smart and protective, making them easy to train, as long as they aren’t being stubborn. 

The St. Bernese is also very affectionate to children and is great with them despite their large size. 

These dogs may need positive reinforcement during training to get past their stubbornness. They can also be very goofy at times and are a sight to watch as they grow and explore. 

What Are Major Health Issues of St. Bernese?

The two-parent dogs, St. Bernard and the Bernese Mountain Dog are fairly healthy breeds, except for the common health issues that come with large dogs. 

However, in their offspring, there are a few major health concerns. These include regular issues such as bloat, cancer, and hip dysplasia. 

The St. Bernese can also have spinal issues, due to their size and weight. One of the scariest issues is Von Willebrand’s disease.

This is a disorder that occurs in dogs and reduces or prevents blood clotting. This means if they cut themselves, or undergo surgery, they have the potential to bleed out before their body properly clots. 

This can be terrifying to learn later on, and when it is too late to do something about the disease. It is a good idea, if you find yourself with this mixed breed, to go and get them tested early on, so you and the vet can work together to prevent issues that come with this disease. 


St. Bernese are gentle and loving dogs, but they can be a handful due to their sheer size. They also can be stubborn, which means you must have patience when training them.

You won’t have to worry about their temperament or size around children, as they are careful and protective and will never hurt a child, especially one in their own family. 

Their health issues can be a stressful part of raising this dog. Though they have good temperaments, due to their health and sheer size, it is recommended that beginners in the dog world not get a St. Bernese as they can be a lot to handle.