How To Groom A Bernese Mountain Dog (9-Step Guide)

Want to learn how to groom your Bernese Mountain Dog?

You’ve come to the right place!

This breed’s double coat is a crucial part of how they regulate their temperature and it when shaven too short may never grow back correctly.

Which could impact the dog for the rest of their life.

image of Groomer with Bernese Mountain Dog

You can certainly trim the excess feathering without negatively impacting them if you don’t get into their full coat.

If you’re ever unsure it’s always best to take them to a professional groomer that’s experienced in working with double-coated breeds.

In this guide, you will learn:

  • Supplies that are best for grooming this dog
  • What to be careful of when grooming a Bernese mountain dog
  • How regular you’ll need to groom

And much more!

What's In This Guide?

      What Do You Need To Know About Grooming A Bernese Mountain Dog?

      The Bernese mounting dog does well in cold climates thanks to its heritage from the mountains of Switzerland.

      Their moderate energy level and affectionate nature make them moderately easy to groom, especially for such a large breed.

      Introducing this breed to grooming sessions early make the process easier on everyone when they’re fully grown. 

      You do not want to be struggling with a powerful breed like this when they are fully grown.

      Grooming the coat 

      This dog has a thick double coat that acts as an insulation barrier between its body and the outside elements. 

      Like all double-coated dogs, they’ll blow the coat “meaning shed” twice a year typically in the spring and fall.

      While brushing you’ll want to look out for tangles that particularly develop under their ears that can quickly become matted.

      Brush with a long tooth comb first and then move onto a slicker brush as this helps to smooth and shine the outer coat.

      Always brush in a front-to-back pattern and then a top-to-the-bottom pattern and always go over ears with a rag to ensure they are fully dry when done.

      How Often Should You Groom A Bernese Mountain Dog

      Brushing your dog every day during shedding season and every couple of days the rest of the year is required.

      Depending on the activity level of your dog you may not have to tri their nails more than twice a year. I always suggest getting them used to the nail clippers or a type of nail trimming tool from early to get them used to it from a pup.

      Trimming their coat and de-shedding can be done every 2 to 3 months of the year. However, during shedding season (fall and spring), you can groom monthly.

      Ear cleaning should be done once a month, but if you have a dog with an infection then once per week is required.

      Supplies You’ll Need To Groom A Bernese Mountain Dog

      image of lady brushing Bernese mountain dog with slicker brush

      How to Groom A Bernese Mountain Dog (9-Simple steps)

      Groom your Bernese Mountain Dog using the following steps:

      1. Gather All Your Tools
      2. Use A Brush To Remove All Shed Hair
      3. Clip His Toenails
      4. Trim Paw Pads
      5. Trim hock hair (back of legs)
      6. Trim ears
      7. Bath time
      8. Blow-Dry
      9. Clean the ears

      Step 1: Gather Your Tools

      Prepare all your tools for easy access throughout the grooming session. Take your pup and position him on the grooming table or on the floor.

      Wherever you plan to groom him, make sure he is calm and not full of energy.

      Step 2: Use A Brush To Remove All Shed Hair

      Rake through your Bernese Mountain Dog using a de-shedding rake. Go through the undercoat and the topcoat.

      Use a spray bottle to give the coat a tiny mist of water all over to make it easier to brush through.

      Use a pin brush to remove any tangles. If you have a pair of scissors on hand, go ahead and snip off any annoying matts that refuse to become untangled.

      Step 3: Clip Toenails

      A dog’s nails should not exceed the pads of its paws, so if you notice this it’s time to cut.

      The pink part of the nail consist of living tissue that doesn’t extend to the tip but helps to make the length you should cut to.

      Take nail clippers for dogs and clip to a few millimeters longer than the pinkish area on the nail. Cut quickly to avoid your dog getting nervous and have an assistant hold your dog if need be.

      Repeat this for all the rest of the nails.

      Step 4: Trim Paw Pads

      Take scissors and cut off all the overgrown hair on his paw pads. Cut along the line of the pad for the most natural look.

      Separate his paw pads to weed out any long hair in between. Cut all the excess hair off by following the shape of the foot.

      Step 5: Trim hock hair (back of the leg)

      Use a comb to fluff out hock hair. Take a slicker and brush all the hook hair to one side.

      Follow the line of the hook and cut all excess hair hanging over the side that you brushed the hair to.

      Now brush to the other side and cut again following the same process.

      Next, brush up and out so the hair is pointing straight backward from the hock and cut along the line of the hock removing any excess hair.

      Step 6: trim Ears

      Gather your thinning shears and metal comb.

      Begin with combing out the outer ears, lift the ear and then comb underneath in a downwards direction.

      Make sure there are no mats.

      Use the thinning shears to cut off all the extra hair left hanging over the flap of the ear. Do this by cutting upwards and following the line of the ear leather.

      Lift the ear, then trim with shears pointing down to the bottom of the ear leather and remove all excess hair.

      Comb back out and remove any excess hair still hanging over the ear leather.

      Next, comb the hair on the outer ear up (opposite to the direction of growth) to fluff up hair, then use thinning shears to loosely cut excess hair.

      Your end result should look neat and flat with defined edges of the ear leather.

      Step 7: Time for a bath

      Take your Bernese Mountain Dog and position them in the bath. Spray down with water and apply hypoallergenic shampoo that’s Ph balanced for dogs.

      Take your time doing this, making sure you get every part of the body. Start with the underbelly, back, legs, head, and tail.

      Rinse them off. Next, apply the conditioner and do the same thing. Use a towel to dry off.

      Step 8: Blow-Dry

      Use medium heat and strong air on a blow dryer for dogs or one with low volume and dry off fur completely.

      Once the body is dry, turn the setting to low and set the air to the most gentle setting.

      Direct this at his face at a distance that feels comfortable to him. The purpose is to get the fur on his face completely dry, as well.

      Step 9: Clean the ears

      Gently pull the ear away from the head, just to open up those canals in there.

      Pour the ear solution directly into the center of the ear until the ear cancel is filled up all the way until you can visually see the fluid.

      As it’s now full, gently massage around the ear to loosen any debris sitting in the ear canal.

      You’ll often hear a squishing sound when you do this. Let your dog shake out the excess and use the towel to protect yourself from the splashback.

      Now go in with the cotton swab and remove any debris from the areas you can see of the ear only.

      Depending the amount of debris in the ear will determine how many times you should give the ear using the swabs.

      Final Thoughts On Grooming A Bernese Mountain Dog

      This breed is particularly great with grooming and should be brushed down every few days including a sanitary trim every 2 months.

      Brush out before bathing, clip toenails, trim paw pads, and optionally trim body hair lightly but not enough to affect the undercoat. trim the hock, trim ears, wash down then towel dry and you’re done.

      Use lots of treats and make grooming a fun experience as the last thing you want to do is wrestle a big breed like this.

      Jennifer Cosculluela

      Jennifer Cosculluela

      Jennifer Cosculluela graduated magna cum laude in Marketing from the State University of New York’s F.I.T and was a Presidential Scholar, specializing in Shakespearean Studies. She also has an AB Psychology Degree from De La Salle University Bacolod and when not writing, loves to spend time with her daughter Margarita and bake cookies and lasagna for her loving husband Sebastian.

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      Jennifer Cosculluela

      Jennifer Cosculluela

      Jennifer Cosculluela graduated magna cum laude in Marketing from the State University of New York’s F.I.T and was a Presidential Scholar, specializing in Shakespearean Studies. She also has an AB Psychology Degree from De La Salle University Bacolod and when not writing, loves to spend time with her daughter Margarita and bake cookies and lasagna for her loving husband Sebastian.

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