Why Do Bernese Mountain Dogs Die So Young

Bernese Mountain Dog life spanThe average Bernese Mountain Dog lifespan is a mere 8 years.

This said, large or giant breeds do have a shorter average lifespan (around eight to 12 years) than smaller breeds (10 to 15 years).

So although the Bernese Mountain Dog falls at the bottom of the former range, not making double figures is not a total surprise.

Why is Bernese mountain dog life span so short? The Bernese mountain dog’s short life expectancy is mostly due to their high cancer risk. Around half of all Berners succumb to cancer, which is much higher than the incidence of death in so many other breeds of dogs.

Why does the Bernese Mountain Dog Have Such a Short Lifespan?

The biggest factor in the short lifespan of the Bernese Mountain Dog is their high rate of cancer. Around half of all Berners die from cancer, which is a significantly higher rate than most other dog breeds. On average, fewer than one out of every four dogs die from cancer.

Another reason for the short Bernese Mountain Dog lifespan is that they are very prone to hip dysplasia, arthritis, cruciate ligament rupture, and other mobility problems that can cause pain and difficulty walking. As a Bernese Mountain Dog’s pain levels increase and ease of walking decreases, owners are forced to euthanize their Berner due to their low quality of life.

Bernese Mountain Dogs may also die from kidney problems, heart disease, bloat, or other health problems.

What is the Bernese Mountain Dog Lifespan?

While the American Kennel Club says that the lifespan of the Bernese Mountain Dog is 7-10 years, most sources put their lifespan at more like 6-8 years. A Swiss study put the median life expectancy of Bernese Mountain Dogs in Switzerland at 8.4 years. A Danish study found the average life expectancy of Bernese Mountain Dogs to be only 7.1 years.

No matter how you slice it, the lifespan of the Bernese Mountain Dog is significantly shorter than the average lifespan of all dog breeds combined, around 10-12 years. While large and giant breed dogs tend to have shorter lifespans than small dogs, Berners have potentially the shortest lifespan of any dog breed.

#3: Good Preventative Healthcare

Don’t overlook the important role that regular vaccination and parasite control plays.

These prevent avoidable early death from conditions such as parvovirus, heartworm or the disabling effects of tick-borne diseases.


What do Bernese mountain dogs usually die from?

With pedigree dogs such as the Bernese, the large, quickly-grown breeds can have more issues related to their bones and mobility. However, the main reason for this breed’s shorter lifespan is that they are prone to cancer.

Can a Bernese live 10 years?

Medical problems

Bernese Mountain Dogs are killed by many types of cancer, including malignant histiocytosis, mast cell tumor, lymphosarcoma, fibrosarcoma, and osteosarcoma.

What is the average lifespan for a Bernese Mountain Dog?

The average Bernese Mountain dog lives between 7 and 10 years. Some may ask why these dogs have such short lifespans, and part of the answer is that they are big dogs. The larger the dog, the shorter lifespan they are expected to have.