Bernese Mountain Dog and Shedding

by Sonya | Last Updated:   January 15, 2021
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Bernese Mountain Dogs are big, powerful dogs with a large frame. This fluffy dog has a striking tri-colored coat.

If you own a Bernese Mountain dog, you will see a huge amount of hair on your couch and floor. You might be wondering how much they shed?

With such a heavy double coat, it comes as no surprise that these dogs shed heavily, especially during the Spring and Fall. This heavy shedding season lasts for 2-4 weeks.

This shedding becomes excessive if your dog is not groomed regularly.

In this post we dive deeper into shedding for Bernese Mountain dogs and share some tips on how to prepare and handle this wonderful’s dog’s fur, so keep reading!

Bernese mountain dog shedding while laying in grass peeking head up

What Time Of Year Do Bernese Mountain Dogs Shed?

Bernese Mountain dogs shed all year with at least one heavy shed per year. New hair will grow out regularly to replace the old fur. When this happens, the old hair will fall off. 

Bernese Mountain dogs typically shed the most during the early spring and fall seasons.

Berner’s natural hair growth cycle adapts with varied seasons. The lifecycle of the hair on the Bernese Mountain dogs is not very long. The coat sheds out every day, and more in the shedding season when the Bernese Mountain dogs blow their coat.

Here you can see the shedding seasons for Bernese Mountain dogs:

  • During spring, Bernese Mountain dog changes to a summer coat. This is the time of heavy shedding.
  • During summer, these dogs maintain their coat. This is the period with the least shedding.
  • During fall, Bernese Mountain dog changes to a winter coat. This is the period of moderate shedding.
  • During winter, the coat is thicker and there is little shedding.

During the shedding season, you should be prepared to show a lot of patience. You will need to regularly brush and de-shed your Bernese in this period.

At What Age Do Bernese Mountain Dogs Start Shedding?

Shedding is natural and all dogs do so. This is due to the essential growth and regeneration of hair. 

Bernese Mountain dog sheds the puppy coat at the age of 7-9 months.

At this age, they will get rid of the old puppy coat to develop the adult double-layered coat.

Bernese Mountain Dogs Coat Length and Density

The Bernese Mountain dogs were bred to withstand harsh climates. Their thick coats help them to thrive in cold and harsh climates. These dogs have an elegant tri-coloured coat. A Berner has a thick double coat.

They have a longer outer coat that can be straight or slightly wavy. There is a woolly undercoat. 

Most of this dog’s body is covered with black hair with rich rust and bright white. There is a white marking on the chest, a white blaze between the eyes, and a white on the tip of the tail.

The Bernese Mountain dog puppies only have one layer of coat. All puppies start with one layer of coat and later develop double-layered coats.

Purebred berner sennenhund, taken outside during spring/summer time.

Reason for Bernese Mountain Dog Shedding 

Seasonal shedding is perfectly natural for Bernese Mountain dogs. It can be managed through daily grooming. However, if your Bernese Mountain dog has started excessive shedding, these could be the possible reasons:

Poor diets

The absence of a well-balanced diet can result in excessive shedding in Bernese Mountain dogs. If these dogs are not given a healthy diet with complete nutrition, their coat appears unhealthy and they may experience excessive shedding.

Stress

Excessive shedding in Bernese Mountain dogs may be a sign of stress. You may observe stress shedding in situations where your dog is uncomfortable.

Your dog might be anxious because of loud noises, a trip to a vet, a new home, puppy kindergarten, separation anxiety, or introducing new pets into your home.

Hormonal imbalance and pregnancy

Female Bernese Mountain dogs might shed a lot more if they are pregnant. Hormonal swings affect how your Bernese sheds and you might not be able to control.

Hormonal imbalance may occur due to pregnancy, recent spaying or neutering, or a female going into heat. 

Fleas and Mites

Your Berner might get irritated skin and fur loss if it has been bitten by a parasite. Fleas, ticks, or mites may also result in noticeably high shedding in Bernese Mountain dogs.

This makes their skin itchy and uncomfortable. You need to take your Berner to a vet immediately to get the parasites removed. 

Skin conditions:

Excessive shedding also links itself to the skin problems of the dog. A variety of skin conditions can affect hair loss in Bernese Mountain dogs. This also includes any bacterial or fungal infections.

If shedding is spotty and patchy, with rough or tender skin beneath, you should see a vet and consider a dog shampoo for dry and itchy skin.

Allergies:

Your Bernese Mountain dog’s fur could be falling out because of an allergic reaction. The allergy can be due to some specific food ingredient in kibble or canned food.

Your dog might be allergic to something in the environment. This may include a household cleaner, a dog shampoo, tick spray, or a dog bed.

Poor grooming

Bernese Mountain dogs need regular brushing and bathing to keep their coat healthy. Poor grooming results in excessive shedding. If you are not brushing your Berner regularly, this may lead to excessive shedding. The use of incorrect brushes may damage their coat.

Too much or very few bathings can cause Bernese Mountain dogs to shed their coats. Using the wrong shampoo can also contribute to shedding. 

How do I stop my Bernese mountain dog from shedding? 

Bernese Mountain dogs shed all year with at least one heavy shed per year. It also depends upon the climate in which they live and how much coat they have. Let’s have a look at ways to stop excessive shedding in Berners:

Regular brushing

To keep your Bernese Mountain dog’s coat healthy, it needs to be brushed regularly. The brushing will assist in keeping the coat clean and tangle-free. 

Regular brushing will also save you from loose hair flying around your house. Make brushing a positive experience for your dog, filled with praise and rewards.

Bathing

Periodic bathing, not more than once a month, will maintain their neat appearance. Giving them the occasional bath can help to loosen their dead fur. 

If and when you bath them, make sure your dog is completely dry before you brush them out. Wet dog hair, especially long hair, can get tangled and pull. Look for a high-quality and mild canine shampoo.

De-shedding tool

You can use a descending tool for removing loose dog hair from your dog. This will reduce the amount of dog hair flying about your home. 

Dog Brush

Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Dog Brush

  • Hertzko’s Slicker Brush gently removes Loose Hair and eliminates Tangles, Knots, Dander and trapped Dirt
  • The bristles are FINE bent wires designed to penetrate DEEP into the coat and is really able to groom the undercoat well without scratching your pet’s skin!

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Healthy diet

Bernese Mountain dogs should be fed a healthy and well-balanced diet. Your dog should get proper nutrition along with vitamins and minerals. You must ensure that your Berner gets a balance of Protein and Essential Fatty Acids. 

If you notice excessive shedding, try including fish oil and Omega 3 into your Berner’s diet. This will promote stronger hair follicles and will keep your dog’s coat in a good condition.

Fatty acid supplement

During the shedding season, you can add a natural fatty acid supplement to your dog’s daily food.

Annual vet visit

Take your Bernese Mountain dog to the vet regularly. This will ensure that skin diseases are prevented.

Pet Parent Tip: You must ensure that your Berner’s food is appropriate for the dog’s age range. By following these suggestions above, you will be able to control your Bernese Mountain Dog shedding.

Tools to reduce Bernese Mountain Dog shedding

You need the right grooming tools at home to help maintain your Bernese Mountain dog’s shedding. Here’s a list of equipment and tools that can be used for grooming your Berners:

  • A medium-size pin brush will lift-up loose hair and remove debris from your dog’s coat.
  • Wire slicker brush for use on puppies 
  • Long-toothed steel comb with fine and coarse teeth
  • Grooming rake for removing shedding hair
  • Cordless electric dog clippers
  • Grooming scissors for tidying up the coat
  • You also need to invest in a pet hair vacuum cleaner. They are specifically created to collect pet hair.
  • De-shedding gloves will work great on puppies. They let you have full control of what you are doing.

Are Bernese Mountain Dogs Hypoallergenic?

The hypoallergenic dogs are more compatible with allergic people and are usually non-shedding breeds. Although no dog is truly hypoallergenic some breeds tend to shed less and don’t cause many allergic reactions. 

Bernese Mountain Dogs are heavy shedders and are not considered hypoallergenic dogs.

If you are allergic to dog hair, then Bernese Mountain Dogs are not the right breed for you. 

Continue Reading:

  1. Mini Bernese Mountain Dog Breed Guide
  2. Do Cocker Spaniel’s Shed?
  3. How Much Do Huskies Shed?

Final thoughts

Bernese Mountain Dogs have striking beauty along with gentle and affectionate nature. They are always eager to please their human companions. These big dogs are loyal, intelligent, and energetic but not exhausting.

Bernese Mountain Dogs have a high shedding potential. So, if you are intolerant of dog hair in your house, then this breed is not for you.  

However, if you are not allergic to dog hair and are ready to keep up with the maintenance, Bernese Mountain Dogs make incredible pets for families.

Sonya is a software engineer by day and recently earned her MBA degree, but she also loves spending her free time writing about her favourite passion, dogs! Click here to read more.