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Do Bernese Mountain Dogs Shed a Lot? (Reasons & FAQs)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

bernese mountain dog puppy sitting outdoor

If there’s a dog breed that perfectly fits the description of a gentle giant, it’s the Bernese Mountain Dog. Known for its affectionate and eager-to-please personality, the Bernese Mountain Dog is one of the most sought-after breeds today.

It’s no surprise that it was among American Kennel Club’s 2021 most popular dog breeds list¹.

But do Bernese Mountain Dogs shed a lot? Yes, they do! Since they have a double fur coat, these dogs shed all year round, but the shedding intensifies during Spring and Fall.

Read on to learn more about this dog breed’s shedding and how to deal with it.

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What Type of Coat Does a Bernese Mountain Dog Have?

The Bernese Mountain Dog has a double fur coat, an outer coat, and an undercoat.

Both the outer and undercoat act as an insulator, regulating the animal’s body temperature based on the environmental temperatures. So, when it’s hot, the under and outer coat keep the dog cool, and when it’s cold, they keep it warm. The outer coat also protects the dog’s skin from insect bites and dirt and keeps its skin from getting dry.

How Often Do Bernese Mountain Dogs Shed?

Like other double-coated dog breeds, the Bernese Mountain Dog sheds its fur all year round. However, they shed more during the “shedding season,” which is during Spring and Fall.

So, during Spring, your Bernese Mountain pup will begin shedding its thick winter undercoat to pave the way for the lighter undercoat for the hot summer season. Then during Fall, it will shed its light summer undercoat to grow a thicker one in preparation for Winter.

bernese mountain dog
Image Credit: AnnCatrin Uppfeldt, Pixabay

Other Reasons Your Bernese Dog May Shed

Apart from normal shedding, there are other reasons your furry companion may be shedding excessively, most of which may be a cause for concern.

1. Stress and Anxiety

Since Bernese Mountain Dogs are super touchy-feely, always wanting to be by their owner’s side, they are more prone to separation anxiety¹. This may cause them to exhibit unusual behavior, such as excessive shedding.

When your Bernese Mountain pup experiences separation anxiety, they become stressed. And when a dog is stressed, its body releases epinephrine (otherwise known as adrenaline), which causes its fur to fall out.

2. Skin Problems

Another reason your Bernese Mountain Dog may be experiencing excessive shedding is skin-related problems. Skin issues like yeast infection, allergic dermatitis, and ringworms, among others, can cause it to scratch and lick itself excessively, leading to bald patches on its body.

3. Health Conditions

Health problems in dogs can also cause them to shed more than usual. Diseases such as Cushing’s, thyroid, and inflammatory bowel disease can cause your furry companion to experience excessive shedding.

4. Improper Diet

Not feeding your Bernese Mountain Dog a balanced diet can also cause them to shed excessively. Protein is one nutrient that should always be present in a dog’s diet, as amino acids are the building blocks of skin tissue.

a close up of bernese mountain dog
Image Credit: dagakla, Pixabay

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How to Manage Shedding in Bernese Dogs

The good news is there are several ways to manage your Bernese Mountain pup’s shedding. The following are some of them.

Brushing Its Fur Coat

One of the best ways to manage your Bernese Mountain Dog’s shedding is by regularly brushing its fur coat. Brushing helps remove all the shed fur before it falls out and gets all over the place (you don’t want that.)

But note that choosing the right brush for your dog’s fur is essential. A bristle brush is perfect for Bernese Mountain Dogs since they mostly have longer outer fur coats. You can also use a slicker brush just in case there are some mats and tangles in your pup’s fur coat.

A shedding tool is also an excellent choice for pulling out dead fur from your dog’s coat before it falls out.

Regular Bathing

Use deshedding dog shampoos and conditioners when bathing your pooch for the best results. In particular, go for bathing products that contain omega-3 fatty acids and moisturizers. These will hydrate your dog’s fur coat and skin, reducing shedding. They’ll also help loosen the shed fur, making it easy for it to fall out.

Ensure Your Dog Is Well Hydrated

Hydration plays a significant role in reducing shedding in dogs. Ensuring your dog drinks enough water regularly helps prevent its skin from drying out, which minimizes shedding.

Giving Your Dog Supplements

Besides a proper diet and ensuring your pooch is well-hydrated, consider giving supplements to minimize shedding. Supplements like omega-3 fatty acids help moisturize your pup’s skin, which in turn improves the state of its fur.

Bernese Mountain Dog
Image Credit: Othmar Sigrist, Pixabay

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Final Thoughts

The Bernese Mountain Dog is among the breeds that shed a little more than others. So, if you’re looking to get a Bernese Mountain Dog as a pet, be prepared to deal with its shedding.

However, it’s essential to keep an eye on how much fur your pooch is shedding. If you notice that the amount is a little bit too much, coupled with other signs like excessive scratching and licking, dry skin, and dandruff, it’s best to consult a veterinarian.

Featured Image Credit: Eve Photography, Shutterstock

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