Meet the Animals

Giants Unleashed: Comparing Bernese Mountain Dogs and Great Pyrenees

Title: Bernese Mountain Dogs vs. Great Pyrenees: Unveiling the Canine GiantsHave you ever wondered about the differences and similarities between Bernese Mountain Dogs and Great Pyrenees?

These impressive breeds are often mistaken for one another, but they have distinct characteristics that set them apart. In this article, we will delve into the various aspects that differentiate these noble giants and explore the common traits that make them exceptional companions.

From size and temperament to coat color and energy levels, get ready to be enlightened about these majestic canines.

Differences between Bernese Mountain Dogs and Great Pyrenees


Size matters, and when it comes to Bernese Mountain Dogs and Great Pyrenees, they certainly make an impressive statement with their towering frames. Bernese Mountain Dogs generally stand at a height of 23 to 28 inches at the shoulder, while Great Pyrenees are even larger, reaching heights between 25 to 32 inches.

In terms of weight, Bernese Mountain Dogs typically range from 80 to 115 pounds, whereas Great Pyrenees can weigh anywhere from 85 to a whopping 160 pounds.

Coat Color

Coat color is another key distinguishing factor between these two breeds. Bernese Mountain Dogs flaunt a striking tri-color coat, with a base of jet black fur adorned with rust and white markings.

Great Pyrenees, on the other hand, are known for their elegant white coats that sometimes exhibit delicate tinges of tan or gray. These distinct coat colors add to the visual allure of these magnificent dogs.


When considering a furry companion, lifespan is a significant aspect to bear in mind. Bernese Mountain Dogs tend to have a relatively shorter lifespan, averaging between 6 to 8 years.

On the contrary, Great Pyrenees have a longer lifespan, typically living between 10 to 12 years. However, proper nutrition, healthcare, and exercise can greatly influence and potentially expand their lifespans.


Temperaments play a crucial role in determining a dog’s suitability for your lifestyle and home environment. Bernese Mountain Dogs are renowned for their friendly and gentle nature, making them excellent family pets.

They thrive on social interaction and enjoy the company of humans and other animals alike. In contrast, Great Pyrenees are known for their alertness and protective instincts.

Due to their background as livestock guardians, they may exhibit more reserved behaviors towards strangers and have a natural inclination to guard their territory.

Energy Level

If you desire an active and energetic canine companion, the Bernese Mountain Dog might be a perfect match. They have a moderate energy level, which means they enjoy regular exercise but also appreciate downtime with their loved ones.

On the other hand, Great Pyrenees have a more laid-back nature and are considered to have a lower energy level. Although they require regular exercise to maintain their physical well-being, Great Pyrenees are typically more mellow companions.


Both Bernese Mountain Dogs and Great Pyrenees are intelligent breeds, but their trainability can vary. Bernese Mountain Dogs generally possess a strong desire to please their owners, making them relatively easy to train.

They are quick learners and can excel in obedience training and various dog sports. Great Pyrenees, while intelligent, have an independent streak and may require consistent and patient training techniques.

Early socialization and positive reinforcement are key in successfully training these majestic guardians.

Shedding Level

If fur-free furniture is your dream, shedding levels are an important consideration. Bernese Mountain Dogs have a moderately high shedding level, especially during seasonal coat changes.

Regular brushing helps to minimize loose hair and maintain their coat’s health. In contrast, Great Pyrenees have a substantial shedding level, especially during shedding seasons.

Their long, thick double coats require diligent grooming to prevent matting and maintain cleanliness.

Similarities between Bernese Mountain Dogs and Great Pyrenees

Coat Type

Although Bernese Mountain Dogs and Great Pyrenees have distinct coat colors, they share a common coat type the double coat. A double coat consists of a dense, insulating undercoat along with a longer outercoat that provides protection from the elements.

This coat type equips both breeds for the cold climates they originated from and gives them a regal appearance.

Affectionate and Smart Traits

Despite their differences, both Bernese Mountain Dogs and Great Pyrenees possess endearing traits that make them beloved companions. Their affectionate nature creates strong bonds with their families, making them loyal and devoted pets.

Additionally, their intelligence enables them to understand and respond to commands, allowing for engaging training sessions and enriching mental stimulation.

Livestock Guarding Background

While both breeds have distinct roles as family pets, they also share a history as livestock guardians. Bernese Mountain Dogs were originally bred to assist farmers in Switzerland, primarily as draft and drover dogs.

Great Pyrenees have an ancient lineage as guardians of sheep herds in the mountains of France and Spain. This shared background highlights their protective instincts and ability to thrive as working dogs.


By delving into the differences and similarities between Bernese Mountain Dogs and Great Pyrenees, we discovered fascinating aspects that set these breeds apart. From size and temperament to coat color and energy levels, each breed possesses its own unique characteristics that make them exceptional companions in different ways.

Despite their differences, both breeds share common traits such as a double coat, affectionate nature, and working backgrounds. Whether you yearn for a gentle and friendly giant or a steadfast guardian, these majestic canines offer an abundance of love and loyalty to enhance your life.

In conclusion, exploring the differences and similarities between Bernese Mountain Dogs and Great Pyrenees sheds light on the unique traits that define these noble breeds. From size and temperament to coat color and energy levels, each characteristic contributes to the distinct nature of these majestic canines.

However, despite their disparities, both breeds share traits such as a double coat, affectionate nature, and working backgrounds. Whether you’re drawn to the gentle and friendly nature of the Bernese Mountain Dog or the vigilant and protective instincts of the Great Pyrenees, these magnificent companions offer an abundance of love and loyalty.

Understanding these differences and similarities can help potential owners select the best match for their lifestyle and home environment. So, whether you choose the regal Bernese or the steadfast Great Pyrenees, rest assured that you will have a remarkable and devoted companion by your side.

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