The Bernese Mountain Dog is one of my favorite breeds. But I was wondering how much exercise they need to make sure I can provide it. Some people say Berners are playful and have a lot of energy, while others claim they are lazy. Thus, it’s not clear how much exercise they should get.
In general, a Bernese Mountain Dog requires a bare minimum of 30 minutes of exercise per day. But you should ideally aim for between 60 and 90 minutes. How much exercise a Berner needs will mainly depend on the dog’s age, health, fitness, and energy level.
It should include daily walks, other physical activity, and mental stimulation. Not enough and too much exercise can both be bad for your dog. That’s why it’s essential to know your Bernese Mountain Dog requirements and limits. Keep reading to find them!
Do Berneses Need Lots Of Exercise?
Bernese Mountain Dogs don’t need lots of exercise. Since they can be lazy and lack stamina, they will be OK with little activity. However, Berners love to play outdoors, have a lot of energy, and used to be working dogs. Therefore, they will be more fit, healthy, and happy with a great deal of exercise.
What Can Influence Your Bernese Mountain Dog’s Exercise Needs?
There’s a huge difference between 30 minutes and 90 minutes of exercise per day. Although it’s a general recommendation for Bernese Mountain Dogs, each dog is different. Some will need more or less exercise than others, even if they are from the same breed. Here’s why!
As a dog ages, he will change and evolve. So do his exercise needs. Between 60 and 90 minutes per day is ideal for adult Bernese Mountain Dogs. Puppies and seniors will generally require less exercise.
How Much Exercise Does A Bernese Mountain Dog Puppy Need?
A puppy generally needs around 5 minutes of exercise for each month of age, up to twice a day. So a 4-month-old Bernese Mountain Dog puppy will need between 20 and 40 minutes of exercise per day, divided into two sessions. It should include moderate and low-impact physical activity such as walking and puppy playtime.
Young pups don’t have a lot of stamina and are fragile. That’s why exercise sessions should be short and gentle at that age. Too much or intense physical activity can be harmful to puppies. It might cause them injuries, joint issues, or other problems down the road.
How Much Exercise Does A Senior Bernese Mountain Dog Need?
An older dog will need less exercise. Past a certain age, your Bernese Mountain Dog will gradually lose stamina, strength, and energy. So he won’t need and be able to handle as much physical activity as he used to. Between 30 and 60 minutes of exercise per day should be enough for a senior Bernese Mountain Dog.
Health is another factor that can influence how much exercise a dog needs. 30 minutes is a minimum for practically all Bernese Mountain Dogs. But the general recommendation of 60 to 90 minutes only applies to healthy dogs of this breed.
If your dog has any special condition or health problem, he might need less than that. For example, canine hip or elbow dysplasia can cause a decrease in activity and tolerance to exercise. A sick or recovering dog will also need more rest than usual.
Therefore, you should visit your vet for a health check. Some conditions and problems are difficult to notice, but a professional can spot most of them with a routine medical examination. It allows you to make sure your Bernese Mountain Dog is healthy and ready to exercise.
Fitness & Energy Levels
Closely related to health, the physical condition is also important to consider. Some Bernese Mountain dogs are more fit than others and therefore need more exercise to be satisfied. The more stamina, endurance, and strength a dog have, the longer it will take to tire him out.
For example, an overweight dog might need between 30 and 60 minutes of exercise per day, while an active and athletic dog will probably require closer to 90 minutes. So the shape of your Bernese Mountain Dog can influence his requirements and tolerance regarding physical activity.
Even if it often comes with good fitness, energy is another element that will come into play. It’s your dog’s fuel. The more it has, the longer it will take to burn it off. So the more energetic a Bernese Mountain Dog is, the more exercise he should get.
Other Things To Consider
Besides breed, age, health, fitness, and energy, there are many other things to keep in mind when exercising your dog. External factors and motivation might also influence how much is appropriate and safe to do. So here are two more factors to consider.
Some external elements might also affect how much your dog should exercise. The temperature is an excellent example. Bernese Mountain Dogs don’t tolerate hot weather very well. So they will be tired more quickly in such conditions and prone to heat sickness.
That’s why you should be even more careful not to exercise your dog too much when it’s hot. On the other hand, Bernese Mountain Dogs are resistant to cold. Therefore, they can play, run, and exercise in snowy and chilly temperatures.
Desire To Exercise
How much your dog wants to exercise is another thing that might help you understand his needs. Dogs will usually have the desire to move and play until they are tired or satisfied. So you can exercise your Bernese Mountain Dog as long as he wants to, and it’s safe for him.
When a dog doesn’t want to exercise, there’s a reason behind it. He may have already had enough or another problem. Injuries, health conditions, and many other things can influence your dog’s desire to exercise.
On the other hand, some dogs are lazy and will always seem like they have no desire to exercise. Thus, if your Bernese Mountain Dog doesn’t want to exercise, it doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t need to.
What Type Of Exercise Does A Bernese Mountain Dog Need?
Dogs need different forms of exercise to stay fit, healthy, and happy. I divided it into three categories: walking, physical activity, and mental stimulation. Each of them is essential for your Bernese Mountain Dog’s well-being. So here’s more information about those types of exercise.
Daily walks are a great source of moderate physical activity. It also allows your dog to go for potty breaks, take some fresh air, and socialize. So walking is essential, but how much should a Bernese Mountain Dog walk?
In general, a Bernese Mountain Dog should walk at least twice a day for a total of around 30 minutes. So walking your dog two times per day for 15 minutes would be ideal. On the other hand, most Bernese Mountain Dogs can probably walk up to 10 miles a day.
Besides walking, there are many other ways to keep your dog physically active. Anything stimulating the body, muscle, or cardiovascular system counts as exercise. 20 minutes of daily physical activity should allow your Bernese Mountain Dog to spend his energy and stay in good shape.
However, be careful with too much or too intense exercise. Bernese Mountain Dogs don’t have much stamina and are prone to overheating. Therefore, too much physical activity might be harmful to your dog.
As working dogs, Bernese Mountain Dogs are very intelligent and like to have a job to do. So you also need to stimulate their mind, not just their body. Mental exercise is as important as physical activity.
Training, brain games, challenging toys, and anything that engages their brain in a significant way can do the job. 10 minutes of mental stimulation per day should be enough for most Bernese Mountain Dogs.
Bernese Mountain Dog Exercise Ideas
Now that you know the main types of exercise your dog needs, let’s dive into concrete examples. There are many ways to keep a Bernese Mountain Dog active physically and mentally. So here are some ideas you should consider to exercise your dog!
- Short-Distance Running
- Free Playtime With Other Dogs
- Tug Of War
- Cart Pulling
- Dog Agility
- Puzzle Toys
- Nose Games
Last Thoughts About Exercising Your Bernese Mountain Dog!
Finally, a healthy adult Bernese Mountain Dog needs around 1 hour of exercise per day. It should ideally be divided into 30 minutes of walking, 20 minutes of other physical activity, and 10 minutes of mental stimulation.
Depending on your dog’s age, health, fitness, and other conditions, he might require less or more than that. For example, puppies generally need 5 to 10 minutes of daily exercise, while senior dogs require less and less as they get older.
Now it’s time to figure out how much exercise your Bernese Mountain Dog and take action. Keeping your dog active is your responsibility. But with all the information above, I’m sure you have everything you need to make it happen.
Let’s Exercise That Bernese Mountain Dog!