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Pet Insurance for Bernese Mountain Dogs

Find out all about Bernese Mountain Dogs and their common health conditions, and then compare pet insurance options from some of Australia’s leading insurers.

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, updated on September 15th, 2023       

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Price range

$2,500–$3,500

Height

64cm - 74cm

Weight

36kg - 55kg

Personality

Gentle, affectionate, good-natured

Coat length

Long, thick

Exercise needs

High

Kid-friendly?

Yes

Life expectancy

7 - 11 years

Bernese Mountain Dog

Overview

The Bernese Mountain Dog (also known as the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog) originates from the Swiss Alps in Switzerland, where they were used as alpine herders and farm dogs as early as the late 1700s. They were officially recognised as a breed in 1912. They are a majestic and gentle giant known for their striking tri-colour coat and friendly demeanour. One of the largest dog breeds in the world, a male Bernese called Brutus was measured to weigh over 108kg and stood over 96cm tall in 2011. They have a very thick, long coat that requires regular grooming so they are a high-maintenance dog.

Bernese Mountain Dogs are affectionate, loyal, and great with families. However, due to their massive size and weight, they should always be supervised around smaller children as they can be boisterous. They are intelligent, but can be a bit stubborn, requiring consistent training and firm supervision. They thrive in active homes with ample space to roam outside, and are not suitable for small backyards or suburban gardens. They require highly active fit owners who can provide the exercise and socialisation these large, affectionate dogs crave. 

Common diseases and conditions of Bernese Mountain Dogs

Hip Dysplasia: This is a common orthopaedic condition affecting the joint's development. It can lead to discomfort and mobility issues. Responsible breeding practices and regular veterinary check-ups are essential to prevent and manage this condition. 

Elbow Dysplasia: Another common orthopaedic condition that affects the elbow joints and can lead to lameness and mobility issues.    

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (Bloat): A serious condition where the stomach twists, potentially causing a life-threatening emergency. 

Breed-specific issues:  

The body size and thick coats of Bernese Mountain Dogs make them quite sensitive to heat, so they should always be protected from hot weather and given plenty of cool water and shade. Their gentle nature makes them prone to separation anxiety when left alone for long periods, so they prefer constant company. 

How much does pet insurance cost for a Bernese Mountain Dog?

Most Australians can expect to pay between $20 and $60 a month for pet insurance. There are many factors that can influence the cost of pet insurance for your Bernese Mountain Dog, including the following:

  • Age: The older your dog is, the more pet insurance is likely to cost. This is because senior dogs tend to have more physical health conditions and illnesses due to age, and so present a higher insurance risk.    
  • Type of insurance you choose:  There are three basic types of pet insurance available in Australia; accident-only, accident and illness, and comprehensive insurance. An accident-only policy is the cheapest type of insurance available, with comprehensive coverage costing the most.  
  • The policy annual limit: Each pet insurance policy has an annual limit, which is the maximum amount that will be paid out on the policy in one financial year. Annual limits range from around $10,000 up to $25,000 or more.   
  • Sub-limits: In addition to an annual limit, there may also be sub-limits that apply to the policy, for example, a $300 sub limit for consultation fees, or a $5,000 limit for cruciate ligament conditions.   
  • Benefit percentage: Pet insurance does not cover 100% of the cost of your vet bill. Instead, it may pay a percentage of the total bill. This can range from 50% for cheaper policies, up to 90% for the best policies available.   
  • Excess amount: This is the amount you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket each time you make a claim on your policy. Some pet insurance policies do not come with an excess amount, whilst others do.  
  • Any add-ons you choose: It’s possible to add on more cover options to a basic policy, such as emergency boarding fees, routine care and dental care. These add-ons extend the scope of your pet insurance, but do increase the overall cost of the policy.  
  • Discounts: some insurers offer discounts of between 5% and 15% if you have multiple pets insured together, if you pay your premium annually, or if you bundle your pet insurance with other forms of insurance with the same company.

Types of pet insurance you can choose from

Why compare pet insurance with Savvy?

Common questions about Bernese Mountain Dogs

Are Bernese Mountain Dogs known to bark a lot?

Bernese Mountain Dogs are not typically known to be excessive barkers, although they will bark if left alone for too long. While they may bark to alert their owners to something unusual, they are not considered one of the most vocal dog breeds. However, when they do bark they have a very loud deep voice that can be heard from a long distance away, which is why they are not suitable for suburban or apartment living.  

Are Bernese Mountain Dogs known to shed a lot of hair?

Yes, they do shed quite a bit of hair. They have a thick, double coat that sheds seasonally, so very regular grooming and brushing are necessary to manage their beautiful coats and keep them shining and healthy.  

Do Bernese Mountain Dogs drool a lot?

Bernese Mountain Dogs are not known for excessive drooling. Some individuals may drool occasionally, but it's not a common characteristic of the breed. 

Do Bernese Mountain Dogs make good watchdogs?

Bernese Mountain Dogs are usually friendly and affectionate, which may not make them the best watchdogs in terms of guarding property. They tend to be more welcoming and sociable with strangers. However, their sheer size and loud voice may act as a strong deterrent to any intruder who may not realise they are friendly-natured dogs who will not attack strangers.  

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Bernese Mountain Dog

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