Why Is Bernese Mountain Dog Lifespan So Short?


Bernese Mountain Dogs are one of the most beloved dog breeds, known for their affectionate and gentle nature. However, it is well-known that their lifespan is relatively short, with an average of only 7 to 8 years. This is a major concern for their owners and breeders, who want to understand why this is and what can be done to increase their longevity.


One of the main reasons for the Bernese Mountain Dog’s short lifespan is genetics. As a large breed, they are more susceptible to certain health issues such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and cancer. In fact, cancer is the leading cause of death for Bernese Mountain Dogs, accounting for over half of all deaths in the breed.

Additionally, Bernese Mountain Dogs are prone to a specific type of cancer called histiocytic sarcoma. This cancer affects the immune system and can be particularly aggressive, making treatment difficult.

Environmental Factors

environmental factors also play a role in the lifespan of Bernese Mountain Dogs. These dogs are not well-suited to hot weather and are more comfortable in cooler climates. They are also more prone to heatstroke and other heat-related illnesses, which can be life-threatening.

Additionally, exposure to toxins and pollutants in the environment can also contribute to health issues in Bernese Mountain Dogs. This is especially true for dogs that live in urban or industrial areas.

Breeding Practices

Finally, breeding practices also play a role in the lifespan of Bernese Mountain Dogs. inbreeding and overbreeding can lead to genetic problems and health issues. Additionally, breeders that prioritize physical characteristics over health can exacerbate the breed’s susceptibility to certain health issues.

It is important for breeders to focus on breeding healthy dogs with a diverse genetic background. This can help to reduce the incidence of health issues in the breed and increase their lifespan.


The Bernese Mountain Dog‘s short lifespan is due to a combination of genetics, environmental factors, and breeding practices. while there is no guarantee that any dog will live a long and healthy life, it is important for owners and breeders to take steps to mitigate these factors and improve the breed’s overall health.

Some potential solutions include regular vet check-ups, providing a cool and comfortable environment, and selecting breeders that prioritize health over physical appearance. by working together, we can help to ensure that bernese mountain dogs live long, happy, and healthy lives.

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