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Mini Bernese Mountain Dog Breed Info: Pictures, Temperament & Traits

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 18, 2024 by Dogster Team

Mini Bernese Mountain Dog Breed Info: Pictures, Temperament & Traits

So, what do you get when you cross a full-sized Berner and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel? You get the same impressive appearance and delightful personality of the full-sized Bernese Mountain Dog in a much smaller version.

Although the newer version of the Bernese Mountain Dog may not be officially recognized, it is gaining in popularity among lovers of the larger breed. The smaller version is in demand among those who love the breed but may be intimidated or unable to accommodate a larger dog. If you are one of these Berner lovers, keep reading to learn more about the Mini Bernese Mountain Dog.

Breed Overview

Height:

12–15 inches

Weight:

10–25 lbs

Lifespan:

10–15 years

Colors:

Tri-colored

Suitable for:

Families with children and other pets

Temperament:

Independent, loyal, friendly, eager to please, highly intelligent

The Mini Bernese Mountain Dog is not an officially recognized breed. The smaller version of the Berner was developed in the early 2000s when breeders crossbred it with the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. While the breed has shorter legs and a smaller body structure than a full-sized Berner, their double coat and facial features remain the same.

Like the full-sized breed, they are independent, eager to please, and a loyal companion. They are an excellent breed for families with children and other pets.

Mini Bernese Mountain Dog Breed Characteristics

Energy
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High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Trainability
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Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Health
+
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Lifespan
+
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Sociability
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Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Mini Bernese Mountain Dog Puppies

Getting a puppy is always an exciting experience, but it can be hard to know the puppy’s temperament due to the mix of the breeds.

Since Berners are calm and relaxed, they tend to be less anxious than the Cavalier King. While both breeds love spending time with their people, Berners are more comfortable with being left alone for periods. With the mixed breed, there is always the risk of your pup experiencing separation anxiety when left alone, and it will need to be trained to manage the situation. Otherwise, you may not be able to go anywhere without it.

Unfortunately, you will not know until you bring your pup home if it has co-dependency issues. In fact, many puppies will experience separation anxiety while they are young but will hopefully outgrow the fear of being away from you.

With the personality differences of the Berner and the Cavalier, you can end up with a calm, laid-back Berner or a high-energy pet that tends to be a bit needy. Either way, the Mini Berner will cuddle up and love to spend time with you. In fact, if you do not give it enough of your time, you risk having a frustrated dog that begins to destroy your property or urinate in your home.

Mini Bernese Mountain Dog Parent Breeds
Image Credit: Left – SubertT, Shutterstock | Right – Courtney-Mihaka, Unsplash

Temperament & Intelligence of the Mini Bernese Mountain Dog

While the Mini Bernese is remarkably similar in appearance and personality to the larger-sized Berner, there may be some variations. You may find some differences in things like size, temperament, and health issues due to some inherited traits from both the Berner and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Are These Dogs Good for Families?

Luckily, both the Berners and the Spaniels are wonderful breeds, so the resulting mixes have great personalities and make wonderful pets. Both breeds are intelligent and affectionate dogs that like to socialize and spend time with their families.

Since Berners were bred to be calm and laid back amongst the cattle, they have excellent impulse control. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a bit more energetic and excitable, however. So, the character traits of your Berner can vary from a high-energy dog like the Cavalier King to a calm and relaxed canine like the Berner.

Both the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and the Bernese Mountain Dogs are intelligent breeds that are eager to please, sociable, and affectionate. They are family oriented and love to spend time with their people. They are an excellent choice for homes that have children or like to have company over for cookouts.

The Mini Berners are easy to train and do best with positive reinforcement like treat training.

Do Mini Bernese Mountain Dogs Get Along With Other Pets?

The prey drive of your Mini Bernese Mountain Dog will depend on if it inherits its personality from the Berner or the Cavalier. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniels will chase anything that moves (even a stray piece of paper) while the Berner could care less and will ignore the birds and chipmunks in the bushes.

The Mini Bernese Mountain Dog is a friendly and outgoing dog that will get along well with other pets, provided they understand that other pets are part of the family and not something to prey on.

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Things to Know When Owning a Mini Bernese Mountain Dog

Food & Diet Requirements

A healthy and balanced diet is important for all your pets. It is important not only for their well-being but it is essential for their overall health.

First, you want to provide a diet that is appropriate for your pet’s size, age, and activity level. The food should contain meat protein as its main ingredient, not wheat or corn.

In addition, you want to be sure the ingredients include fats like coconut or fish oil.

It is also recommended that you clean its water bowl daily and always keep fresh water available. We also recommend that you discuss your dog’s diet, health issues, and exercise routine with your vet.

Exercise

The Mini Bernese Mountain Dog is an excellent choice for individuals and families that can provide the canine with some playtime, an occasional hike in the woods, and a daily walk for exercise. They need to be physically and mentally stimulated even though they are not highly active dogs. The breed is known to have stamina and requires moderate exercise to keep them healthy and happy.

This breed may not do well in an apartment setting. It will do best in homes with a fenced yard to run and play. It will enjoy playing fetch, swimming, and an occasional jog or hike.

It is important to mention that the double coat on this breed will make it hard to withstand extreme temperatures, and they should have access to shade and water, especially on hot summer days.

The Mini Berner can also be mentally stimulated with interactive toys and treat puzzles. Do not overdo the treats, however. Mini Berners tend to easily become overweight

Training

Since the Mini Berners will do their best being trained with positive reinforcement. They are highly intelligent and eager to please, so using praise and treats tends to make the training an easy success.

It is important to begin training your pup at an early age to prevent negative behaviors when they become adult dogs. They can be stubborn at times, so they need consistency and patience along with rewards.

You will also want to get your pup socialized when it is a pup to help it become well-adjusted and confident.

Grooming ✂️

The Mini Berner will require weekly brushings and regular grooming to keep them cool in the heat and to prevent their coat from becoming matted. If your Mini inherits a double coat, it will require one or two brushings per week and more often in the spring and fall when it is blowing its coat.

In addition to brushing your Berner, it will need regular ear cleaning, teeth brushing, and nail trimming. While doing regular grooming like cleaning their ears and brushing their teeth, you should check your canine for tooth decay, ear infections, and wax buildup.

Exposing your pet to a regular grooming routine at an early age will help to minimize the stress of the process and make it a positive experience. And remember, grooming is not only about keeping your canine clean and fresh, but it also prevents skin infections and irritation.

Health and Conditions

While the lifespan of any breed is dependent on things like diet and genetics, you can expect the Mini Bernese Mountain Dog to live between 12 to 15 years. Both parents will determine their overall health, but they are a healthy breed.

The Mini Bernese Mountain Dog can inherit health conditions from both the Berner and the Cavalier lineage.

Minor Conditions

Male vs Female

The female Mini Berners are smaller than the male Berner and will mature faster, which means they will learn commands and train quicker than the male. The males, however, are not as moody as the females. They are not as stubborn and more reliable and laid back than the females.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Mini Bernese Mountain Dog

1. This designer breed is not recognized by the AKC.

Despite the fact that the Mini Bernese Mountain Dog’s parent breeds are recognized by the American Kennel Club, this mixed breed is not. But this is to be expected from most designer breeds.


2. Be prepared for fluff!

Mini Bernese Mountain Dogs, like other double-coated dogs, go through a shedding process called “blowing coat”. During the process, your Mini Berner will shed large tufts of fur for two to three weeks during the spring and fall. During this time, prepare to increase your vacuuming sessions.


3. Mini Bernese Mountain Dogs only come in tri-color.

While the King Cavalier Spaniels come in solid, bi-colored, or tri-colored patterns, the Mini Bernese Mountain Dogs only come in tri-colored patterns.

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Conclusion

Like the full-sized version, the Mini Bernese Mountain Dog is a highly intelligent, loyal breed that would make an excellent pet for energetic individuals and active families. They get along well with others and are great with children. So, if you are one of those people that love Berners but cannot accommodate their generous size, this may be the best option for you. The breed will give you the same love, enjoyment, and excessive shedding, only in a smaller package.


Featured Image Credit: Left – Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (BIGANDT.COM, Shutterstock); Right – Bernese Mountain Dog (Hebi B., Pixabay)

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