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Bernese Mountain Dog vs Golden Retriever – Which One is a Better Snuggle Partner?

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If you want a dog that will cuddle with you as much as you like, you cannot go wrong with either of these two dog breeds. The Bernese Mountain Dog and the Golden Retriever are two of the most affectionate large dogs. Both are fluffy, giving you a personal teddy bear. But if you have to choose one, let’s talk about the Bernese Mountain Dog vs Golden Retreiver comparison.

The big difference between the two is the size, with the Golden Retriever dog breed being a medium-sized dog. On the other hand, the Bernese Mountain Dog is larger and has even more fur you can use as a pillow.

Some people might say that the bigger the dog, the higher the bills and the more expensive is to maintain them. But let’s see.

History of the Breed

Whenever we talk about a comparison between two canines, we have to begin with their history. This will tell us what they were bred to, and help us understand their character.

Golden Retriever

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Let’s start with the Goldie, a dog that was developed in Scotland in the 19th century. The Golden Retriever is an “offspring” of Sir Dudley Marjoribanks, later Baron Tweedmouth, who crossed flat-coated retrievers with Tweed Water Spaniel dogs. His goal was to mix several British dog breeds to get an ideal bird dog.

This might surprise you, but the Golden was a hunting dog. This bird dog was used for hunting waterfowl. By mixing spaniels, setters, and the Newfoundland, we got the Golden Retriever we know today.

Their job was to retrieve game after the hunter killed it. But they were not supposed to harm the prey in any way. This is why to this day, Retrievers love water, and they can retrieve any toy without any harm.

Bernese Mountain Dog

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Now some people will tell you to get a Bernese Mountain dog because he can warm up your foot and has a beautiful coat. But what is the history of the breed?

This Swiss breed was developed as a working dog breed more than 2,000 years ago. The Romans were the ones to come up with the breed, using it for pulling carts and driving cattle to and/from their pastures. The Bernie also protected farms from predators.

Also called Berners, they are noted for their hardiness. Over the centuries, they were developed as an all-purpose farm dog breed. Many small Swiss farmers, who were too poor to own horses, used these dogs to transport fresh milk, cheese, and other products.

This might surprise you, but they were bred from crosses of Mastiffs and other guard-type breeds. Back in the day, they were guardian dogs. But nowadays, these dogs named after the Canton of Bern in Switzerland are family cuddly pets.

Bernese Mountain Dog vs Golden Retriever Appearance

When you compare two dogs, the first obvious difference is the appearance. There are rarely two breeds that look like each other. Maybe one exception is the Golden Retriever vs Labrador Retriever comparison, where they are basically the same, just one dog has a short coat, and the other long coat.

Now let’s talk about these two. Both of them are long-coated dogs with plenty of fluffy curly hair. The Berner is a large dog, but they are both medium-to-large size.

One obvious difference is the Golden Retriever is a slimmer and narrower-bodied dog. They have a single-colored coat, while the Bernese is tri-colored. Berners are also deeper-chested with a bigger head and wider shoulders.

You might think that the Bernese dog works out in the gym if you look at them side by side. The American Kennel Club has set a standard for both dogs.

When you look at the coat of the Bernese, it was carefully selected to protect the dog from the weather, keeping him warm and dry in the snow. They have heavier and a shorter coat compared to Golden Retriever, who was bred to be a water dog and hunt with their owners in heavy brush.

The Golden Retriever has a long and curly coat, but is less dense compared to the Berner.

Bernese Mountain Dog vs Golden Retriever Temperament

As we said in the beginning, these two dogs are amazing family pets. What sets them apart is the way they interact with others. Both are friendly and social, and they have pretty much the same temperament. If you want an active and playful dog, you can go with either of these two.

Between the two, the Bernese is affectionate, gentle, calm, and alert. This breed has retained some of its watchful and herding instincts. They are extremely loyal to their people and thrive when they are involved in all family activities. Berners might be aloof around strangers, but with early socialization, that can be handled.

Unlike Goldens, who have a slight prey drive, Bernese Mountain dogs will not run around and chase cats. They will happily snooze while you are around. They are happy as long as they are spending time with their family.

Of the two, the Golden Retriever is more energetic. This breed also has personality traits like affectionate, friendly, and loyal. They are easily trainable because of their willingness to please. Goldens were bred to listen to their humans, and they have retained that instinct to this day.

Golden Retrievers are true family dogs that enjoy being close to their people. Their personality is naturally outgoing and eager to please. Some personalities may vary, but you will hardly find a more sociable dog than the Golden Retriever. They are born to mingle and see everyone as their new best friend.

Combine that friendly demeanor with their moderate weight, and you have the ideal family dog. This puppy can go fetch the ball all day long. As long as there is someone to throw him the ball, he will be happy.

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Which One is Better as a First Dog?

Of the two, we can say that the Golden Retriever might be a better option for a first dog. There is a reason why the Golden Retriever puppy is among the most popular breeds, right after the French Bulldog and Labrador Retriever.

The thing with the Bernese breed is that it is a powerful and large dog. While they are sweet and docile, they might look intimidating when you go out in public. They need a patient owner that will socialize them the right way. Bernese dogs are sweet, friendly, and social. But they are a bit larger and fluffier.

The Golden Retriever is the ideal first dog option. They are loyal, friendly, gentle, and trainable, all the traits that novice owners might look for in a dog.

Bernese Mountain Dog vs Golden Retriever Training

As we said before, of the two, the Golden Retriever canine is easier to train. This popular dog breed is eager to please its owners. They enjoy interacting with their family. Goldens are the favorite breed of families and new owners.

They are smart and naturally intuitive, and their friendly nature makes them amazing for interacting with others. You can easily socialize a Golden Retriever and train him to do anything you want. Plus, they are extremely food motivated. Goldens will do anything for a treat. You can lure them into any behavior you want. And the more you reward them, the more they will perform.

That is not to say that the Bernese Mountain Dog will not listen to you. They are also highly intelligent dogs. Thanks to their herding and working dog history, they want to work, train, and learn. But Bernese Mountain dogs can be a bit stubborn at times.

With Goldens, the biggest challenge is getting your dog to listen to you when there are other people around. They are overly friendly and will cuddle with anyone before they listen to your commands.

Exercise Needs

While both breeds are energetic and active, there is a difference. Most Golden Retrievers need between 60 and 90 minutes of physical exercise and mental stimulation per day to feel content and then enjoy sleeping around the home.

These dogs love to be outdoors. They enjoy activities like hiking, running, swimming, and playing games. Here is a fun fact. Expect your Golden to use the smallest water surface to try to swim.

Bernese Mountain dogs are a bit calmer. Because of their larger size, they do not have the endurance and stamina of the Golden Retriever. They need between 45 and 60 minutes of physical exercise per day.

So, if you look at the Bernese Mountain Dog vs Golden Retriever exercise comparison, the former needs more.

Health Issues

This is one area where the Bernese Mountain dog might be the better option. This might surprise you, but the popular dog breed Golden Retriever is one of the least healthy breeds.

Goldens are prone to so many health issues, it is just unfair to the favorite breed of owners around the world. Any Golden owner will tell you, visits at the vet office are standard. This breed suffers from hip dysplasia, ear issues and allergies, skin allergies, arthritis, cancer, cataracts, and more.

On the other hand, Bernese Mountain dogs are healthier. While they are bigger, they do tend to live more and have a healthier life.

Speaking of the two, Goldens live between 10 and 12 years, while Bernese Mountain dogs live between 8 and 12 years.

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If you hate shedding, then consider another canine. These two are heavy shedders. They have a double coat, and plenty of fluff between. They shed heavily during blowout seasons, once in the spring and once in the fall.

But they also share in between. You will have plenty of hair around the house if you decide to adopt or buy any of these two breeds.

Grooming can be a challenge because you need to brush them at least two times per week. And during blowout season, you might need to up that to three or four times.

Price Difference

Many factors influence the price of a certain dog breed. One of them is popularity. Between the two, the Golden Retriever is the more popular dog breed. And of course, health issues, breeding history, breeder, location, and more.

Generally speaking, a Golden Retriever will cost you between $1,000 and $3,000. On the other hand, you can get a Bernese Mountain dog for slightly less.

Which One Should You Get?

We cannot give you a simple answer. Both breeds have their upsides and downsides. Of the two, the Golden Retriever is the easier to train and more sociable. The Golden is also slightly smaller in size. But on the other hand, the Bernese Mountain dog is healthier and cheaper.

What we can say is that no matter which you choose, your family will love the pet addition. They make wonderful family companions.

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