If you are looking at the Bernese Mountain Dog breed, then naturally you are going to want to know how much they cost. What is the average price at which they will cost you upfront? What are some of the ongoing care and maintenance costs which you will need to pay? Having been interested in this breed, I undertook a lot of research. I would like to share this information with you here today.
So, how much does a Bernese mountain dog cost? The initial cost of a Bernese Mountain dog is anywhere in the range of $800 to $2000. Of course, this price is variable depending on the lineage, location, and age of the dog. Ongoing care costs include food (~$825 per year), Vet Expenses, Miscellaneous costs (Toys, Training), etc.
If you wish to pay less, you can consider adopting a Bernese mountain dog, of course.
Generally, these dogs up for adoption will already have had vaccinations and registrations and therefore there are fewer costs you will likely need to pay.
Either way. There are many reasons why you would want one!
The Bernese Mountain dog comes from Bern, Switzerland, and is one of the four mountain breeds from that region.
This breed was developed initially to drive cattle, protect the farm, and pull carts; however, the Bernese mountain dog has since become a loyal family dog due to its loving and gentle nature and companionship.
These are not aggressive dogs – quite the contrary!
Due to their larger size, feeding them is one of the ongoing costs which you will need to consider.
It goes without saying that is going to cost you more than it would if you opted for a smaller built breed.
With this in mind, let us now take a closer look at the average prices of this breed and some other costs you will need to consider.
Average Bernese Mountain Dog Prices
The average price for a Bernese Mountain dog puppy sold is $1,150. This is the average price from thousands of sales of this breed taken across America.
However, this price increases for dogs with superior ancestry.
For superior breeds, the cost can start at $2,500 and even go as high as $10,000, if not more.
With this information in mind, you may be wondering what you should be looking to pay.
You need to consider that experienced and ethical breeders will generally charge more. They will typically provide better care for the litter and are likely to invest more across the breeding process.
This includes medical care, ensuring that each puppy is ‘health certified’ along with regular testing.
A good breeder will also provide initial vaccinations and worming to the puppies of the litter.
Medical expenses can cost up to $100 per puppy, which will be factored into the price you pay to take ownership of them.
A stud fee, which the breeder requires to breed dogs, can cost anywhere from $500-$1000 – a price that will be reflected if you opt for a better breeder.
Beyond this, better breeders will be providing better food, maybe socializing the puppies from a young age, screening each dog, etc.
Knowing that a Bernese Mountain Dog can quickly become expensive, you may be contemplating going with a cheaper breeder. This is not necessarily the way to go.
For example, you will want to steer clear of ‘puppy mills’ or ‘backyard breeders’. While a puppy may be considerably cheaper, consider that the puppy may not have been born into this world ethically.
The puppies are unlikely to have received the attention they need, are unlikely to have been socialized, vaccinated/wormed, and be more susceptible to health issues later in life.
The lineage of the dog is not as carefully considered and managed. As such, the medical history is not known.
Breeding practices and knowledge will likely be inferior too.
All in all, it is best to go to a specialized breeder with a lot of experience and knowledge in breeding and raising the Bernese Mountain Dog.
While this is generally reflected in the price of the dog – it is worth it to ensure that from an ethical and moral standpoint the health of your dog is not compromised.
As previously mentioned, you could consider adopting a Bernese mountain dog, and it will cost you much less.
The price for adoption is on average between $350 to $550, and the price almost always includes vaccinations and registrations.
Not only are you saving money, but you are giving a home to a dog in need.
You will also be able to inquire about the history of the dog, previous owners and trace the lineage of the initial parents.
It must be stated that if you are adopting a dog, you try to find out as much as possible about their life, previous owners, and how they were bred, to begin with.
Cost Of Owning & Caring For A Bernese Mountain Dog
The initial cost of owning a Bernese mountain dog is quite expensive – then you have the ongoing maintenance costs to consider.
With this said, all dogs are expensive. You’ll be surprised by how much any/a particular breed can cost if you did decide to compare.
However, Bernese Mountain Dogs are a lovely loyal breed, making up for their costs through being such a wonderful companion.
Bear in mind that these dogs have one of the shortest average canine lifespans, they live around seven years on average.
Equally, this particular dog breed is considered large and requires a lot of food which can become pricey.
Let’s now look at the main costs of upkeeping a Bernese Mountain dog:
This dog breed weighs between 80 to 115 pounds but requires large meals to keep their energy levels up.
You must provide these dogs with high-quality dog food, and the cost is usually around $2 to $3 per pound.
A 30-pound bag will cost $55.
If your Bernese consumes five cups of dog food per day, a 30-pound bag will provide your dog with 24 days worth of food.
You will need around 15 bags of food a year, costing a total of $825.
Treats are essential, give this large dog breed a few treats a day in addition to their main diet and reward them for good behavior.
A bag of good quality treats usually costs between $5 to $10 and lasts a month.
Most dog breeds are prone to certain illnesses.
Sadly, cancer is a significant concern for the Bernese Mountain dog.
The most common types of cancers for this breed include mast cell tumor, lymphosarcoma, osteosarcoma, malignant histiocytosis, and fibrosarcoma.
Aside from cancer, other common health issues include arthritis, cruciate ligament rupture, and hip dysplasia.
Let’s look at the most common health issues for Bernese Mountain dogs and the cost to treat them:
- Elbow dysplasia – $1,500 to $4,000
- Hip dysplasia – $1,500 to $6,000
- Osteochondrosis – $2,000 to $4,000
- Aseptic meningitis -$1,500 to $4,000
Do not let these prices put you off getting a Bernese mountain dog; chances are your dog will be perfectly healthy and not require any expensive veterinary care.
It is, however, good to prepare for the worst possible outcome.
This is one of the standout reasons why it is so important to do your research and ensure you adopt a dog from a respected, noteworthy breeder.
There is so much more to caring for a dog than providing food and veterinary care.
Grooming, Training, Accessories, and Boarding are perhaps the most common.
Grooming is an essential part of dog ownership.
The Bernese Mountain dog has an impressive coat that requires frequent brushing to keep it looking smooth and silky. You must also bathe your dog frequently.
You can do both at home with a few simple supplies from Amazon (this Slicker Brush and Dog-Friendly Shampoo are the ones to buy for this breed).
However, when it comes to clipping their nails, you may prefer to make appointments with a professional dog groomer, nail trimming for your dog can cost $10 a session.
Training is crucial. Typically group lessons cost anywhere from $50 to $125 for 4 to 8 weeks of one-hour lessons.
Bernese dogs are compliant and eager to please their owners, so training should be a very straightforward process.
You must also consider the cost of accessories.
To begin with, your dog needs a collar, toys, food and water bowls, a bed, and a grooming brush.
You may feel inclined to run out and buy everything in your local pet store; there is no need to do this.
Begin buying some essential accessories, and over time find out what your dog likes and needs and make confident purchases based on this; it will save you money in the long run.
If you plan to travel on a holiday each year, then you will need to consider pet boarding costs (if you do not have a family member or neighbor who can look after the dog for the entire time you are away).
After veterinary care, boarding is the most expensive part of owning a dog. On average, it will cost anywhere between $100-$500 per week per dog.
Ongoing Cost Summary
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) surveyed to find out what the costs are of owning a dog.
The survey revealed that a small dog will cost you $1,314 in the first year, a medium dog $1,580, and a large dog $1,843 in your first year as a dog owner. So for a Bernese Mountain dog, we are looking at the latter.
Consider that this includes all required costs, including food, treats, veterinary care, toys, and vitamins.
While these costs are likely to come down somewhat in the following years (as you do not need to purchase everything over again), you can still expect to be paying around $1000-$1200 a year to keep a Bernese Mountain Dog.
Now that you know how much a Bernese Mountain Dog can cost, you may be even contemplating whether or not to get one at all!
Consider that these costs look a lot upfront, but a lot of them will be spread over the course of the dog’s life.
Getting good coverage in pet insurance can also keep any veterinary bills down.
Beyond this, do not forget that this is a very lovely breed of dog. They are gentle, loyal, loving, and sweet.
They are fantastic with children, love to play and get on with most people and other animals. This comes as a relief to anyone who has additional pets.
Training a Bernese mountain dog is known to be easy – they are eager to please in nature and are intelligent.
They do not require too much exercise, a daily walk should suffice and access to a decent-sized fenced yard or garden where they can stretch their legs as and when required.
Lastly, consider that a Bernese Mountain Dog requires a lot of attention. So much so that they are known to suffer from separation anxiety when their owners leave.
These dogs need companionship, and they do not enjoy being left alone for more than a couple of hours.
There is no doubt that you will fall in love with this dog, should you decide to get one.
While they may cost you, knowing what to expect upfront can help you plan in advance.
Knowing that most breeds of dogs, even the smaller ones, are equally expensive is just another reason to not let the upfront and ongoing costs put you off!
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.