Bernese Mountain Dogs are easy to love. They are truly gentle giants – a perfect combination of good looks, intelligence, gentleness, and affectionate behavior. Despite their giant size and strong body, they make perfect family pets and nanny dogs.
When preparing to get a new Bernese Mountain Dog puppy, most people make plenty of male vs. female comparisons, trying to determine which one would work better for them.
Dogs of both genders have their pros and cons, so it’s difficult to give a straightforward answer to which one is better. However, we should note at the very beginning that you should always look at the individual characteristics of a canine instead of gender.
In short, male Bernese Mountain Dogs tend to be more friendly and laid-back than females. They’re more eager to listen because they live to please their owners. On the other hand, females are a bit more stubborn, and they usually make better guard dogs.
Still, this is fairly individual, and you should be aware that every dog has its own personality. Also, socialization and obedience training is a must for both genders. Otherwise, bad behavior is inevitable.
Did you know that there is also a mini Bernese Mountain Dog? If you want to learn more, click here.
Male Vs. Female – Does It Matter?
Many dog lovers probably wonder if it even matters whether you get a male or female dog. In the end, picking the right dog breed should be the most important thing when it comes to dog-owning, right?
While the dog breed is the most important thing when it comes to picking the right dog for you (other than the pup’s individual personality, but this isn’t always easy to predict), there can be some importance in picking the right gender of dog.
This is especially true if you already have a dog at home. In fact, if this is the case, then looking at the gender of your new pet should be essential. Considering that both dogs are neutered or spayed, you should always pick dogs of the opposite gender. Otherwise, there might be conflict.
Two males and two females don’t get on well with one another. This is especially the case with two females. They can be so aggressive towards each other that they might attempt to kill one another.
Breaking up these fights can also be tricky. Two female dogs can become so enraged at one another that they might unintentionally hurt the owner that is trying to separate them and break up the fight.
While this won’t happen with every two females, it is the usual outcome. It’s better not to risk it.
Of course, if you’re planning on breeding your Bernese Mountain Dog, then you should also go for two unfixed dogs of the opposite gender.
As for the Bernese Mountain Dog price – the dog’s gender doesn’t matter that much.
Every Dog Has A Unique Personality
No matter the gender, every dog is unique. You shouldn’t take the male vs. female comparison as fact. Just because most canines of a certain gender act a certain way doesn’t mean all of them will.
Most of the dog’s behavior and nature come down to upbringing, socialization, and the genes that the pup inherits from his or her parents.
To get an idea of a dog’s personality, the best option would be to ask the breeder if you can meet the dog’s parents. While you might not be able to meet both of them, getting a glimpse of the mother might be enough to give you some clue of how your future pup might behave.
Both males and females can become aggressive if you haven’t trained them in time. Also, if they are the offspring of a dog used for fights, this aggression might be passed down in their genes. This is more important than a pup’s gender.
Keep in mind that crossbreeds, such as the Bernedoodle, have a different personality than their purebred parents. This is because of genes that come from the other parent’s breed. You cannot expect an F1B Bernedoodle to behave the same as a Bernese!
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s explore the differences between the male vs. female Bernese Mountain Dog!
Difference Between Male And Female Bernese Mountain Dogs
The Bernese Mountain Dog – also known as a Berner Sennenhund – is a large breed that belongs to one of the four Sennenhund-type dogs that came from the Swiss Alps. They are believed to have roots in the Roman Mastiffs, among many other working dog breeds.
This dog was initially kept as a draft animal in Switzerland, then as a herding dog, before settling as a house pet or watchdog. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the breed in 1912.
These dogs have a long tricolor coat that comes in black with a white chest and rust markings above their eyes, on the sides of the mouth, out around the chest, and on the front of the legs. This, combined with their floppy ears and loving face, makes this dog breed stand out from the others.
But, are there any differences when it comes to male vs. female? Everything you need to know can be seen in the table below.
|25–27.5 in||23–26 in|
|80–120 lbs||75–100 lbs|
|Affectionate, gentle, stubborn||Intelligent, stubborn, prone to mood swings|
|Easy to train||Easy to train, except when in heat|
|7-8 years (Lifespan)||7-8 years (Lifespan)|
Let’s dive deeper!
Bernese Mountain Dog Male Vs. Female Size
When it comes to height, male Bernese Mountain Dogs are overall taller and heavier than females. This is similar to most other dog breeds, as males are usually bigger than their female counterparts.
With Berners, you can easily see the difference in size straight away. Males are broader at the shoulders and more muscular. Opposite to that, females are quite a bit thinner. However, both are so big that they can grow in height until they are up to two years old.
According to the Bernese Mountain Dog growth chart, most males range between 25 and 27.5 inches in height, while females are somewhat smaller, reaching 23–26 inches.
As for weight, the difference is significantly larger as males can weigh around 80–120 pounds, while females rarely reach more than 100 pounds.
Keep in mind that no matter their gender, these are massive dogs. This means that some precautionary measures are required, especially if there are kids involved.
Berns are usually gentle dogs, and they won’t commonly use their strength against anybody. However, they can still hurt kids or small animals by accidentally knocking them down.
Even puppies that are around six months old already weigh around 40 pounds, so you can see how heavy they are.
However, don’t expect to see the full difference in size in these dogs until they are 18–24 months old. Only once they are fully grown can you truly determine their height and weight.
Spaying Vs. Neutering
Unless you plan on breeding your dog, many veterinarians would advise you to spay or neuter your dog. This not only prevents unwanted puppies but can also help your dog live longer.
‘Fixing’ your dog has many benefits. It keeps your dog’s hormones in balance, and it also saves them from reproductive cancers. It can even help you keep your dogs from running away!
Still, there are some differences when it comes to spaying and neutering. Here’s what they are:
Spayed Female Bernese Mountain Dog
One of the biggest issues with unaltered female dogs is that they are prone to mood swings due to their estrous cycle. This can lead to a huge attitude and behavioral problem, which is something no dog owner wants!
A female Berner can be too much to handle when in heat. To prevent this, it would be wise to spay her as soon as possible – which is usually around six months of age.
Spaying will keep your female dog from having unwanted pregnancies, but there is so much more to it than that. A female dog in heat can become quite aggressive, so she can become a danger to other dogs in your household.
Also, heat tends to come with a bloody discharge, which can be a real mess that needs to be cleaned. You might also want to get her doggy diapers or pads.
A female dog will attract male dogs when in heat, so you should keep her in a well-fenced yard.
Also, a female dog will never enter menopause. This means she’ll be able to produce puppies all life long. This is not something that’s nice to deal with when you don’t want a bunch of new dogs.
However, you have to keep in mind that the spaying process is much more expensive than neutering a male. The healing process is more lengthy, as well, and your pup will need extra care at this time. All of this is something you need to consider before making a final decision.
Neutering A Male Bernese Mountain Dog
Unneutered male dogs will always mark their territory by urinating on things, which can be extremely unpleasant to deal with. This type of urine smells much worse than ordinary pee, and everyone can tell you own a dog from a mile away!
Also, male dogs will love humping things. With a large dog such as a Berner, this habit won’t be cute to anyone. He’ll attempt to hump his favorite toy, pillow, or even your neighbor’s leg. This can force you to never want to take your dog out in public again!
Neutering can help dogs get rid of this habit – but only if you do it as early as possible. If you neuter a male when he is already an adult, he will show little to no changes in his behavior.
Also, an unaltered male dog can be more aggressive than a neutered one. He might attack other males, especially if there is a female in heat nearby.
Not to mention that a dog that isn’t neutered can run away when they sense a female in heat. This is the main cause of many lost dogs. All of this can be prevented if you neuter your dog in time.
Neutering is fairly cheap compared to spaying, and the recovery process is much faster. However, it can still end up being quite costly, depending on your location.
What interests most people when it comes to male vs. female Bernese Mountain dogs is whether behavioral differences exist. Believe it or not – male and female dogs tend to behave differently.
Below are some of the main traits of male and then female Berners.
Male Bernese Mountain Dog
When you get a young Berner, you might notice that they behave similarly to a teenager. They might try to be independent and stubborn and can refuse to do what you want them to do. If not in the mood, you won’t interest them, which can be tough when you want to train them.
But once they grow up, you will be able to see their true personalities shine through. These are caring and affectionate dogs, although a bit stubborn.
However, don’t be harsh with them, even when they aren’t on their best behavior. Despite his size, a male Bernese Mountain dog is a sensitive creature. They should understand the changes in your tone, and this should be enough to control them.
Unfortunately, the Bernese Mountain dog breed can be aggressive towards other dogs, so early socialization is key for your male pup. You can prevent this by teaching them that new people and animals are friends.
Also, make sure to teach your male Berner that you are the alpha dog. This way, you’ll have the authority for every other task you plan to put in front of them.
Female Bernese Mountain Dog
If you’re worried because male Berners can express aggression towards other dogs – well, females can be even worse.
Males tend to be barkers. They’ll try to look tough, but you’ll rarely have to deal with any actual conflict. With females, however, you can expect some dangerous fights. In fact, female Berners can go for the kill, especially unaltered ones, when they see another female of the same breed.
Fortunately, females can be a lot easier to control as you can train them faster. They’ll mature faster than males, and they are usually more intelligent. However, they can also be very stubborn and have a mind of their own.
This independence can especially be noticed twice a year when they go in heat. This is when they are prone to mood swings, and they can behave in unexpected ways. This also includes being restless at night, even if they don’t normally act like that.
Of course, all behavioral flaws can be fixed with proper obedience training and socialization – not to mention a lot of love. If you do so, every Bernese Mountain Dog can become an amazing family dog!
Male Vs. Female: Which One Is Easier To Train?
No matter the dog breed you choose, you should want to get a dog that’s easy to train. Otherwise, you might end up with a canine that is trouble for both you and your neighbors.
Most people believe that females are easier to train because they mature faster. While this is generally true, not all dog breeds are the same.
With Berners, it is true that females mature faster than males. By the time you’ve fully trained your female dog, the male will still only be thinking about playing (and, occasionally, humping things).
Also, females are more intelligent than male Bernese Mountain Dogs. They’ll learn new tricks faster and will usually be more obedient. This allows you to train them from a very young age.
Unfortunately, females are rather dominant and love to be independent. Also, they can refuse to learn if they feel like a new skill or command isn’t convenient for them.
The worst thing is that when a female dog is in heat, training her will be impossible. At the same time, it’ll seem as if she has forgotten everything she learned. She’ll behave how she wants, and your commands won’t bother her. This can be disheartening to many first-time dog owners.
Despite all of this, females are still easier to train than males, and you’ll likely train them much faster. Males have a short attention span, and they are easily distracted. It can be extremely challenging for them to focus on just one thing. This can make training much more difficult.
Males are very playful, and they mature later in life. Also, they have higher energy levels, so they can appear quite hyperactive. All of this can be an obstacle when it comes to training.
Male Vs. Female: Which One Is More Affectionate?
Both genders love people. They are one of the best dogs if you’re looking for a pet that will love you with all its heart. However, even some differences in affection between males and females exist.
In short – a male Bernese Mountain Dog lives to please you, while a female Bernese Mountain Dog lives for you to please her. This is the difference in their relationship with their owners.
A male Bern will always crave your attention, while a female can get into a mood when she wants to be left alone. This doesn’t mean she won’t want your attention – she’ll just choose when she wants to cuddle with you and when she’ll want to be left alone.
At the same time, a male might be clingier. He’ll want to be on your lap and sleep in your bed, while a female will usually want to be left alone. She’ll appreciate her private space, and she won’t always be willing to share it.
This different way of showing affection can be seen in many dog breeds, but the reason behind it isn’t truly known. Some people speculate that females are saving all of their love and affection for their puppies, but there isn’t any scientific proof behind this.
Do Male Or Female Dogs Live Longer?
Photo from: @roosevelt_theberner
Unfortunately, the Bernese Mountain Dog has some of the shortest life expectancies of all dog breeds. Their average lifespan is between 7 and 8 years, which is way shorter compared to most dogs of their size that can live up to 11 years.
While we won’t go too much into the reasons behind such a short lifespan, you should know that some differences between males and females exist – although they’re very minimal.
On average, neutered female dogs will live a bit longer than males, but unaltered females will live significantly shorter than males. Neutering males doesn’t have much impact on their lifespan.
However, this difference is so minimal it’s hardly worth taking into consideration.
Unfortunately, the Bernese Mountain Dog breed is prone to some severe health problems. Both males and females have equal chances of getting most of these conditions, and the only way to prevent them is to get your dog from a reputable Bernese Mountain Dog breeder.
Avoid pet stores at all costs! While they might be a great place to find high-quality dog food or toys, they are not the place for purchasing puppies. They usually get their dogs from puppy mills, and this usually isn’t a place where dog health is important.
If you’re uncertain where to find a dog breeder who conducts all the necessary health screenings, you could always contact the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America. They will likely point you in the right direction.
Some of the conditions these dogs are prone to include:
• Hip dysplasia
• Elbow dysplasia
• Progressive retinal atrophy
• Von Willebrand’s disease
Even a Berner who is just one year old can develop some of these dangerous health issues. It’s important to never skip regular vet visits, especially if you want your pup to live a long and healthy life.
Things To Consider
There are a few things to consider before you make a final decision on whether you should get a male or female purebred Berner.
This includes how much time you have to dedicate to training your pup, what size fits you better, if you want your dog to participate in dog shows, and most importantly, if you already have a pet, what gender it is.
Here are the most important features to think about when choosing male vs. female Bernese Mountain Dog:
• Unaltered females can be quite moody, but this can be changed by spaying them.
• Male Berners aren’t prone to seasonal mood swings. They will always behave the same as they don’t have a heat cycle.
• Females tend to mind their own business and might not be interested in things, which is usually a good thing.
• Males are more likely to chase after other animals or a female in heat, so they are more likely to get lost.
• Females are more aggressive than males, and they can be more destructive if you don’t train them properly. They’re more likely to break things or dig holes – and to get into a fight,
• Males are prone to some undesirable behaviors, such as peeing on things and humping.
Of course, it all comes down to a dog’s personality. Dogs can behave in all sorts of ways, regardless of their gender, and surprises are always possible. One thing that is certain is that a healthy environment makes a perfect dog.
Are Male Or Female Bernese Dogs Better?
After reading all of this, you still might have one question: ‘Male vs. female Bernese Mountain Dog – which one is better?’
There is no way of proving which dog will turn out to be better. Both genders have their good and bad sides, and that is without mentioning that there are exceptions to every rule, especially when it comes to behavior.
The decision of which is the better gender is entirely subjective. This depends on your own preferences, abilities, existing pets, and experience.
Whatever your choice, with Berners, you can’t go wrong. They are loveable and caring dogs that will make every day better. With just a bit of tough love and care, every dog of this breed can become an amazing pet, so follow your heart.