The Golden Mountain Dog, sometimes referred to as a Bernese Golden Mountain Dog, makes a wonderful companion. Easy going and laid back, this dog learns quickly and is highly trainable.
Given their energy level, these dogs need daily exercise. The more intense, the better! They’re also heavy shedders.
If you have space and don’t mind some fur, these dogs make excellent companions.
Where did the Golden Mountain Dog originate?
Given how recent the development of this breed is, its origins are unclear.
Since the 1990s, there has been a rise in what is known as “designer dogs,” or a cross between two purebreds. This is the intent of the Golden Mountain Dog.
To get a better understanding of this crossbreed’s origin, let’s look to its parent breeds.
Since this is not a purebred, Golden Mountain Dogs are not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). That said, they are recognized by quite a few other organizations:
- American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC)
- Designer Breed Registry (DBR)
- Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC)
- Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA)
- International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR)
Meet the Bernese Mountain Dog
Hailing from Switzerland, Bernese Mountain Dogs were bred to be farm dogs and watchdogs. They are a cross between farm dogs and the Molosser, a Mastiff-type dog.
Berners worked on farms driving cattle and hauled carts to the market.
Nowadays, Berners make excellent family dogs and provide wonderful companionship for people of all ages.
Meet the Golden Retriever
Bred in mid-18th century Scotland, Goldens were bred to hunt and retrieve small game, even through wet terrain. They eventually developed water-repellent coats and webbed feet for this very purpose.
Although they do less hunting now, Golden Retrievers remain extremely popular. Known for their intelligence and eagerness to please, this dog breed makes a great addition to any family.
How to spot a Golden Mountain Dog in the crowd
Since this is a “designer breed,” or a mixed breed dog, the appearance of a Bernese Golden Mountain Dog is difficult to predict.
Puppies will likely have a straight, defined muzzle with floppy ears with either a wavy or straight coat.
Puppies often have almond-shaped, brown eyes and a black nose. They’re tall with sturdy bodies, and they often boast long, fluffy tails (which wag often!). They also possess strong, long legs.
How big does the Golden Mountain Dog get?
These are big dogs that average around 24-26 inches tall and weigh anywhere from 80-120 pounds when full-grown.
Given these are large dogs with high levels of energy, Golden Mountain Dogs need space. They are not suited for apartment dwelling, and they would prefer a house with a large, fenced-in yard.
What is a Golden Mountain Dog’s coat like?
This breed’s coat will vary, but it is a function of its two parent breeds. Typically, the coat is medium-to-long, dense, rough, and straight.
The coat is often a combination of black, brown, and white, like the Bernese Mountain Dog. Sometimes, the coat is gold, like that of a Golden Retriever.
What is the Golden Mountain Dog’s temperament?
Golden Mountain Dogs are great family dogs with high activity levels. They have great trainability, are a working dog at heart, and are eager to please.
How is this dog breed with families?
Golden Mountain Dogs make exceptional family pets. Like its parent breeds, Golden Mountain Dogs love people of all ages. These dogs really are gentle giants.
That said, as with any dog, proper socialization is crucial. Expose your dog to kids and people of all ages from puppyhood. This will ensure your dog lives up to its reputation of loving all family members.
How friendly is the Golden Mountain Dog?
This breed is very easy going by nature. Their disposition is laid back, and they get along great with other dogs, cats, and all kinds of people.
That said, let’s take another moment to stress the importance of socialization. From a very young age, make sure your Golden Mountain puppy has social interaction with a variety of other dogs and animals.
Take him or her to the dog park, to friend’s houses, and any other situations involving dogs, cats, or strangers. Do this, and you will have a very friendly dog on your hands!
These dogs don’t have an ounce of aggression or danger in their body, though proper socialization is still a must.
They are also highly trainable and want to please you. Start training them early, exercise patience, and you will find they pick up on new tricks quickly.
Check out this Golden Mountain Dog as he enthusiastically greets his human!
How to care for your Golden Mountain Dog
Golden Mountain Dogs require consistent maintenance, both with grooming and with exercise.
They are also bred for colder climates and will struggle in hot weather, so if you live in a warmer climate, this may not be the dog for you.
What are the exercise requirements for this breed?
Golden Mountain Dogs, like their parent breeds, have a high energy level. Aim for an hour of exercise each day, and these can be as intense as you want.
Take your dog to the dog park, on hikes, on a run, on bike rides; you name it. Golden Mountain Dogs can never get too much exercise.
How to groom your Golden Mountain Dog
These dogs are heavy shedders. This means you’ll want to brush your Golden Mountain Dog daily, no less than a few times per week.
Make sure you have a stainless steel pin brush, stainless steel comb, and a slicker brush on hand to groom your dog.
It is also important to consistently clean your Bernese Golden Mountain Dog’s ears. Further, make sure you trim nails and brush their teeth regularly. Do all this and your dog will be in tip-top shape!
What does this breed eat?
Your Golden Mountain Dog will need around 3-5 cups of high-quality dog food formulated for large dogs with medium-to-high activity levels.
It is important not to overfeed your dog, as that can cause weight gain. Spread your dog’s food across two daily meals, and don’t overdo it with treats!
Remember that nutrition needs change with age, from puppyhood into adulthood and again when your dog is a senior. Consult your vet for the dog food that will best meet your individual dog’s needs.
What health issues should I be aware of?
Bernese Golden Mountain Dogs suffer from hereditary health issues that are similar to that of their parent breeds. These are the health issues to be aware of:
Von Willebrand’s disease
Von Willebrand’s Disease occurs when a dog cannot correctly clot blood. This may sound familiar, as this condition can afflict humans as well.
An affected dog will suffer from nosebleeds, prolonged bleeding after surgery, bleeding gums, and bloody stools.
There is no cure for this yet, and any dog who has Von Willebrand’s Disease will likely need regular surgery to stop excessive bleeding.
Cancer is hugely pervasive in Bernese Mountain Dogs. Around half of all Berners will suffer from cancer, compared to 25% of all dogs more generally.
Thus, it is important to be on the lookout for this in your Golden Mountain Dog.
Signs include difficulty breathing, sores that do not heal, bleeding from body openings, among others.
Common in many large dogs, Golden Mountain Dogs are no exception. When a dog suffers from hip dysplasia, his or her thigh bone does not correctly fit into the hip joint. This leads to pain and sometimes lameness.
If you suspect your dog is afflicted with hip dysplasia, take him or her to the vet for X-rays. Note that not all dogs show visible signs of pain.
Bloat occurs when a dog’s stomach is “distended with gas or air and then twists.”
If your dog’s abdomen is distended (swollen, large) and he or she is “salivating excessively and retching without throwing up,” seek medical attention right away.
Unable to rid their body of excess air, dogs cannot properly get blood to their heart. This can result in death if not treated immediately.
Feed your dog smaller meals and encourage them to eat slowly to help prevent bloat.
Some other common health problems include:
- Heart problems
This breed typically lives anywhere from 9-15 years. Be on the lookout for the common health concerns previously mentioned, especially as your dog gets older.
What will the Golden Mountain Dog cost me?
These pups can be hard to come by if you’re looking to purchase a puppy. That said, on average, they cost $400 – $1500, depending on the location and reputability of the breeder.
Given the Bernese Mountain Dog has litter sizes of 5-7 on average, and the Golden Retriever can have litters from 4-12 puppies in size, Golden Mountain Dog litters will almost certainly fall between 4-12 puppies, too.
Golden Mountain Dog Breeders
You must do your due diligence and pick a responsible breeder who only breeds healthy dogs.
Look for a breeder who prioritizes proper socialization from a young age, has safe, clean facilities for their dogs, and vets all their dogs for any health issues.
Here are some breeders to start with:
If you’re unsure where to start, contact any of the organizations that recognize this breed. They can point you in the right direction.
Rescuing a Golden Mountain Dog
Given how new this breed is, it may be hard to find a breed dedicated exclusively to it. A great place to start is rescues who specialize in the parent breeds: Bernese Mountain Dogs and Golden Retrievers.
Here are a couple of rescues to consider:
Is the Golden Mountain Dog right for you?
This breed makes an excellent family dog with their easy-going personality. They’re easy to train and are intelligent.
These dogs require constant grooming and daily, arduous exercise given their high energy levels. If you live in an apartment, this may not be the breed for you.
If you’re ready for daily walks and hair around the house, this lovable dog will make a perfect companion.
Interested in this breed? Let us know!