Bernese Mountain dogs harbor a go-lucky attitude towards life, making them an interesting breed.
The Bernese are loyal, friendly, loving, and intelligent.
What more could you ask for in a pet?
Coming from a working breed, the Bernese Mountain dogs are hardworking.
You’ll find them getting goofy with the children when playing or exercising.
All said, you could be wondering if they shed lots.
Let’s find out.
Do Bernese Mountain dogs shed?
Yes, they shed throughout the year.
The Bernese shed more during spring and fall as they blow coats to adjust it to a favorable one, given the prevailing weather conditions.
The Bernese stunning physical appearance and long fur have already got you hooked.
Your only worry now remains knowing how much they shed.
This article looks into their shedding rate and how you can control it.
How Much Do the Bernese Mountain Dogs Shed?
The Bernese, as they are commonly referred to, are heavy shedders.
Bernese Mountain dogs are double-coated, and big in body size.
This means they have more fur within their large surface area in their top coat and undercoat.
Bernese Mountain dogs shed throughout the year, but the shedding worsens during spring and fall.
The shedding will increase approaching winter in readiness for the low temperatures to keep the dog warm, and as it gets warmer, it loses it, favoring a thinner one suitable for the summer.
During the weather changes, the Bernese lose the most hair.
If you want a house free from dog fur, you need to be proactive in helping the dog shed through grooming.
Bernese Mountain dogs hailed from the Alps, where they would assist the herders in their work; the dogs were accustomed to extreme weather patterns, hence the fluffiness.
The undercoat was meant to protect the dog from cold weather keeping the dog warm while the outer coat repulses external elements such as water and snow.
How to Control Shedding in Bernese Mountain Dogs
Don’t let their heavy shedding discourage you from owning this fantastic breed.
Apply these best practices, and you will be good to go:
A proper diet is critical for the dog’s overall health, including developing a healthy coat.
Dog coats harbor healthy oils, and to sustain them; you need to observe what you are feeding the dog.
Quality food will help saturate these oils keeping the coat well moisturized.
Dry skin will be itchy and uncomfortable for the dog, making it shed more than necessary.
When shopping for dog meals, evaluate the nutrients that make them up.
Go for meals with a high nutritional value and avoid junk.
Proteins and vitamins should make up a bigger portion of your dog meals.
Since you aim to control shedding, opt for meals that work on the coat, such as the fatty acids, specifically Omega 3 and 6.
Alternatively, add some coconut oil to the dog meals as this help improve the dog coat health keeping it moisturized.
Brushing is your one sure defense mechanism against your dog’s regular shedding.
Arm yourself with the right brushes and get to work every so often.
Since the Bernese Mountain dogs feature a double coat, you must have different brushes for the two coats.
A slicker brush will work well on the undercoat, while a metal comb is necessary for the long outer coat.
A pin brush is also an alternative for the undercoat, but you need to be skilled at removing the dead hair, mats and tangles on the coat.
A de-shedding tool is fine on the undercoat as it penetrates deeper, relieving the deeply entrenched dead fur on the undercoat.
The consistency with which you brush the dog determines your success at handling shedding.
For example, during the heavy shedding season, when the dog is blowing coat, you need to brush daily and thrice a week at normal times.
Bathing your Bernese Mountain dog shouldn’t be a regular activity.
Once per month is enough or even when you deem necessary, probably after a romp in the mud or heavy exercise in the dirt.
Regular bathing is not recommended as it could alter the saturation of the dogs’ skin oils.
When bathing your pooch, use the right shampoo meant for dogs.
Using human shampoo or low-quality products can dry out the skin, making it irritable and itchy, consequently aggravating the shedding.
Avoid the de-shedding bathing products unless the vet recommends them, as they contain some chemicals that could affect your dog.
It’s worse if your dog has been predisposed to allergic reactions in the past, the chemicals could trigger a reaction.
Go for supplements that specifically boost the dog’s skin health.
Supplements will hold the fur in place and reduce itchiness by keeping the dog’s coat well moisturized.
Let the vet recommend and approve your choice of supplements, as the wrong ones could have devastating effects on your dog.
What Makes My Bernese Mountain Dog Shed Excessively?
Your dog could sometimes shed too much and get you concerned.
Abnormal shedding will be characterized by patchy shedding, and it also happens suddenly at a high rate and in clumps.
The causes of the excessive shedding include:
- Skin infections
- New environment stress
- Deeper health issues
These could aggravate your dog’s tension and anxiety, making it shed more.
Frequently Asked Questions
At what age do Bernese Mountain dogs start shedding?
As early as a year, you’ll notice the Bernese Mountain puppy shed some hairs, after which they will lose the baby coat and adopt an adult one.
Shedding in the Berners becomes intense from age eight and aggravates as they age.
Older Bernese shed a lot more than younger dogs.
Are Bernese Mountain dogs hypoallergenic?
The Bernese Mountain dogs are not hypoallergenic, so they are not the best breeds for people allergic to animals.
Berners shed a lot; they also drool and have dander which could trigger an allergic reaction.
Bernese Mountain dogs are beautiful inside out.
Children adore them since they are easy to teach new games to the extent they could turn a bit goofy.
Shedding in dogs is a natural process.
All you need to do for the heavy shedders is get proactive in their grooming and feed them high-quality meals.
Don’t let the shedding make you miss out on such a wonderful dog breed.