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Do Bernese Mountain Dogs Bark a Lot? The Answer is Surprising!

Melissa Gunter

By Melissa Gunter

Bernese mountain dog
Image Credit: david muscroft, Shutterstock

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a beautiful breed hailing from Switzerland. While they were originally bred to pull carts, herd cattle, and guard homes these faithful and loving dogs have made their way into our homes and become parts of our families. For those who are considering sharing their lives with one of these amazing dogs, you may be curious, especially given their background, if the Bernese Mountain dog barks a lot.

Unfortunately, it’s a bit difficult to provide a straight answer to that question. Yes, the Bernese Mountain dog will bark, if they need to. Does this mean they bark a lot? No, not really. Let’s learn a bit more about this dog breed, why they bark, and how to control one that goes over the top with the noise.

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A Bit About the Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a working-class breed from the canton of Bern in Switzerland. These large, sturdy dogs were originally bred to help herd cattle, guard homes, protect livestock, and pull heavy carts. These dogs have great personalities and are considered very calm and intelligent. Like other working dogs, they are full of energy and love having tasks to keep them occupied. Still, their mild temperament makes them ideal pets for first-time dog owners, if they have the energy to keep up with this breed.

Like any breed, the Bernie is notorious for a few things. Drooling is one of them. As large dogs with big jowls, they are known to drool quite a bit. They are also heavy shedders due to their long, thick coats. The other thing synonymous with this dog breed is the myth that all they do is bark. As we’ve already mentioned, however, that isn’t true for all Bernies.

Bernese Mountain Dog outdoors
Image Credit: Andy Lyell, Unsplash

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Why Do Bernese Mountain Dogs Bark

We’ve all encountered a dog that will bark for no apparent reason. That isn’t the case with the Bernese Mountain Dog. If this breed is barking, something has caused it. Let’s take a look at a few of the reasons why your Bernie may be barking so you can better understand your pet.

Alerting You of Potential Danger

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a working dog. One of its jobs is to be a guard dog and trust us, they take their job seriously. Bernies are easy to train and very protective. They are also obedient and always on alert. If your Bernie hears something outside or detects danger for the family, its bark is also its alert system. When your Bernie is barking a lot and seems to be detecting something not quite right, take the time to investigate.

They Get Bored

As we said, Bernies have lots of energy. They aren’t fans of simply lying around doing nothing. If they aren’t burning off that energy they may bark a lot in hopes of letting you know. You’ll notice this kind of bark due to its repetitiveness. Try to keep your Bernie happy and healthy by providing them with lots of toys and activities.

bernese mountain dog on the brown couch
Image Credit: Kristesoro, Shutterstock

Your Bernie Wants Your Attention

A Bernese Mountain Dog may be big and sturdy, but they aren’t fans of being left alone or ignored. When your Bernie feels you haven’t paid them enough attention throughout the day, they may bark to let you know and try to engage you. Normally, this type of barking will have other signs that will tell you what’s going on, like a wagging tail and a direct stare.


Just like us, our Bernies get excited when they see their family or friends. If you’ve been away for a bit, expect your Bernie to bark when you come home. The same can be said for visitors. If someone stops by, whether your Bernie knows them or not, the dog is going to bark. It’s their way of showing excitement about the situation.


Yes, Bernese Mountain Dogs are large and brave, but that doesn’t mean they can’t experience fear. Whether it’s something happening in the home they don’t understand, strange noises, or even a trip to the vet, barking with growls and a dipped tail show that your Bernie is fearful of what’s happening.

bernese mountain dog puppy with owner outdoor
Image Credit: Oleg Mitkevych, Shutterstock

Separation Anxiety

Barks and howls often come from a Bernie when they are left alone for long periods without proper separation training. While this is most common in younger Bernies, that doesn’t mean older ones won’t do it when they realize you’re preparing to leave for the day.

Health Issues

Unfortunately, our pets can’t tell us when something is wrong. Or can they? If a Bernese Mountain Dog is barking a lot, and you are unable to determine the reason, they may be sick or in pain. If this is the case, a trip to the veterinarian will help find the underlying cause so your pooch can get healthy again.

Can I Stop My Bernese Mountain Dog from Barking?

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a vocal breed, but if the barking is becoming too much there are a few things you can do to try to calm things down. Remember, as with any dog breed, proper training and socialization are key to eliminating many issues you may face while raising your pet. If you aren’t sure of your training skills, there are professionals out there who will be willing to assist you. As always, however, do not yell or be aggressive with your Bernie. This type of behavior can destroy the trust your dog has in you.

Here are some ways to reduce barking in Bernese Mountain Dogs:

  • Determine what is triggering your Bernie’s barking
  • Try to eliminate the triggers or desensitize your Bernie to them
  • Teach your Bernie the quiet command
  • Reward your Bernie when it does well
  • Consider socializing your Bernie or utilizing socialization classes
bernese mountain dog sitting near the edge of the hill
Image Credit: Jumpstory

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Final Thoughts on Bernese Mountain Dogs and Barking

While the Bernese Mountain Dog is a vocal breed, not every Bernie is going to be an excessive barker. These dogs bark for a reason, and once you pinpoint that reason, you can work toward teaching your Bernie to not be so reactive. Just remember, the main reason a Bernese Mountain Dog barks is either to protect you or to spend more time with you. What better way to show how much they love you?

Feeatured Image Credit: david muscroft, Shutterstock

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