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7 Dog Breeds That Look Like Bernese Mountain Dog

7 Dog Breeds That Look Like Bernese Mountain Dog

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A Bernese mountain dog (BMD) or Berner dog is an admirable canine along with the club of affectionate, sturdy, and loyal pets that people cannot get enough of.

Whether you are an ardent hiker and camper or just a pet lover, this breed is poised to add tremendous joy and company to your life.

She may have been popular in the Swiss Alps only but these days, she is beloved worldwide.

With an easy-going temperament and a faithful/loyal attitude, who wouldn’t fall in love with her?

However, more dog breeds have similar characteristics as the Bernese mountain dog.

They don’t only have BMD’s looks but also come with their own individual traits that make them great pets.

To keep you updated with this amazing dog breed, here is a quick overview of top 6 Bernese Mountain Dog similar breeds (or dogs that are similar to the Bernese mountain dog).

Because I will be mentioning the term Sennenhund throughout the article, let’s begin by shedding more light on the meaning.

Sennenhund Dog Breeds

Sennenhund dog breeds or Sennenhund-type dogs encompass four dog breeds that originated from the Swiss Alps. They include:

  • Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
  • Appenzeller Sennenhund
  • Entlebucher Mountain Dog
  • Bernese Mountain Dog

They are believed to have descended from the Molosser dogs (breeds of dogs from Ancient Greece) that Romans brought to Switzerland in the first century B.C.

The name Sennenhund is derived from the words “Senne” (which means alpine pasture in German) and “hund” (dog in German). The dogs are called so because they accompanied alpine herders called Senn.

All the Sennenhund-type dogs are often categorized as mountain dogs breeds and share a reasonable amount of attributes among themselves as well as with other mountain dog breeds across the globe.

The first dog breeds that look like Bernese mountain dog are, therefore, the three Sennenhund breeds.

Let’s see how each Sennenhund-type dog and other similar breeds compare with the BMD…

1. Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

The first Sennenhund, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, is a robust and sturdy mountain pooch with the same coat colors as the Bernese mountain dog.

The coat is mostly silky black with white and brown patches while the eyes are brown almond.

She stands at a height of 24-29 inches and weighs about 140 pounds.

Bred to pull sleds and act as a daft dog, this pup is alert, agile, and reliable.

As a pet, she is good-natured, devoted, protective, self-confident, and fearless.

2. Appenzeller Sennenhund

Despite weighing only 70 pounds, the Appenzeller Sennenhund looks like the BMD in more ways than one.

For one, they are both mountain dog breeds that make great hiking and camping buddies.

They also have great senses of smell, agile bodies, long feet, and courageous spirits to survive in the wild.

When not going for a hiking excursion, you can count on your Appenzeller Sennenhund to be an excellent watchdog or simply just a pet.

She is energetic, lively, reliable, self-assured, and fearless.

3. Entlebucher Mountain Dog

The Entlebucher is the last family of the four sennenhund-type doggies with looks to die for.

If you love the Bernese mountain dog but want an even smaller version of her than the Appenzeller, this one will make you happy.

With the same coat type and colors, you know she is a beauty to behold.

She only measures 55-66 pounds vis a vis BMD’s 70-115 pounds.

Entlebuchers make great pets and guard dogs at home.

They bring a lot to the table including agility, loyalty, devotion, selfishness, confidence, and independence.

4. Hovawart

One of the oldest German guard dogs, the Hovawart is another canine that has a striking resemblance with the Berner dog.

The breed originated at about 1210 AD with its main purpose being to guard homes, farms, and institutions.

Members of the breed weigh 55-90 pounds, making them lighter than BMDs. Height-wise, both breeds average 25 inches at the shoulder.

 Perhaps the most notable difference between them is that Hovawarts don’t have white marks on the chest and other areas as is the case with Berner Sennenhunds.

When it comes to temperament, the Hovawart is devoted, watchful, tempered, outright, reserved, and active.

She is also incredibly easy to train compared to many breeds out there.

Plus, her grooming needs are much lower than her counterparts including the Bernese mountain dog.

5. Estrela Mountain Dog

Also referred to as Cao da Serra de Estrela, this is another breed that you can easily confuse with the Bernese mountain dog.

The two dog breeds have almost the same size and weight though the Estrela Mountain Dog is larger.

The Estrela Mountain Dog typically weigh 75-130 pounds and stands at 24-30 inches while BMD weighs 70-115 and stands at 23-28 inches.

In terms of appearance, Estrela Mountain Dog usually feature darker coats which ranges from fawn to yellow to gray and bridle. There can also be white and black markings throughout the coat.

Estrela Mountain Dogs also feature large and long necks and fairly short and thick necks with small, floppy ears.

Originating from Portugal, Estrela Mountain Dogs are intelligent, responds well to training, and are very protective towards their human families.

Unlike BMD which is a working dog, Estrela Mountain Dogs were bred to be herding dogs.

Finally, Estrela Mountain Dogs tends to outlive BMD with the former having a life expectancy of 11-15 years and latter 6-10 years.

6. Beauceron

The Beauceron, also known as the French short-haired shepherd or Berger de Beauce, is a delightful working dog originating from France.

This large dog is as smart as a border collie—just much larger in size. She is rugged, muscular, and massive yet amazingly graceful, and balanced all-around.

After hundreds of years of herding cattle and sheep, the Beauceron has developed some of the most amazing protection skills. She is an affectionate and loyal protector of the home.

The breed has a close resemblance to the Bernese mountain dog in both weight and height.

The BMD is slightly larger but they both fall in the same range.

 Beauceron’s coat is short, dense, and rough and bears black and tan almost like that of the Berger dog.

7. St. Bernard

Like the Bernese mountain dog, St. Bernard is a fascinating mountain breed with some of the most amazing physical features.

She looks like her cousin the BMD in that they both have long and dense coats of fur to protect them from the chilly weather.

Their faces also have similar features and one may take time telling one from another by looking at the face.

Both dogs are handsome with big paws, square noses, and strong muscular bodies.

St. Bernard is just bigger—much bigger than the Bernese mountain dog.

She weighs anywhere from 120-180 pounds in contrast to BMD’s 70-115 pounds.

Swiss Kiss and Other Distinctive Attributes of the Bernese Mountain Dog

One of the distinctive features that you can also use to quickly distinguish BMD from other look-alike breeds include the famous Swiss kiss, coat color, and size.

A perfectly marked BMD tends to give an impression of a white horseshoe shape around the nose and features a Swiss kiss when viewed from the front.

Also referred to as Swiss cross, a Swiss kiss is a white marking just behind the neck of a BMDbut may also be part of the neck. (A full white ring doesn’t meet the type standard).

Like other Sennenhunds, BMD also features distinctive tricolored coat, which can be either be black/rust/white or black/tan/white. Breed standards disqualify distinctly curly coats, wry mouth, and wall eye.

Their heads are broad with small, v-shaped dropping ears.

In terms of height, they stand at 23-27.5 inches and weigh around 65-120 lb. Like most dogs, females are slightly smaller than their male counterparts.

Closing Thoughts

There’s no denying that the Bernese mountain dog is a remarkable dog.

Her popularity is rising by the day among dog lovers.

Along with her, other breeds that have close resemblances are moving up the popularity ladder as well.

All the Bernese mountain dog similar breeds we’ve listed here are worthy, enchanting, and truly awesome – especially for people that live in cold areas.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4