General Information

Dog NameSmall Bernese Hound
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Breed ForHunting
Country of OriginSwitzerland

Physical And Size



Intelligent Rank
Affection Level
Social Needs
Watchdog Ability


Prey DriveYes
Fighting DogYes


Stranger FriendlyHigh
Child FriendlyHigh
Cat FriendlyHigh
Dog FriendlyHigh
Office FriendlyHigh
Apartment FriendlyHigh
Senior Citizens FriendlyHigh
Service DogHigh
Search and Rescue DogHigh
Biting PotentialHigh

The Small Bernese Hound, also known as Berner Niederlaufhund is one of the four smallest scent hounds. The medium-sized dog was bred to hunt as the hunters were impressed by their hunting power. In addition, they have strong smelling power used in shooting sports.

Apart from hunting, they are active, intelligent, and loyal which are perfect for active families, hunters, and experienced dog owners. Their protective nature makes them stand up for their loved ones in difficult situations. Also, they make an excellent watchdog for your family.

Origin and History

The Small Bernese Hound is said to have existed since the 9th century as there are some paintings as evidence. However, they had leaner bodies than now in the painting. The breeds were under Swiss Alpine due to hunters’ scent and hunting skills.

Small Bernese Pros and Cons

In addition, these breeds were smaller and short-legged around the 18th century. Later they bred with small Swiss Laufhund to make the size smaller and suitable for hunting.

Behavior Traits of Small Bernese Hound

Small Bernese Hound is a happy, loving, and strong hunting breed that is well suited for a family home. It has a dominant behavior due to a strong hunting instinct and needs a strong leader.

Small Bernese facts

Also, they aren’t suitable for apartment owners or homes with small yards. They do well in the wide space area where they can run and train freely. In addition, early socialization is a must so they won’t have personality traits growing up. Socialization also won’t let dogs develop destructive behavior at home.

Two Small Bernese Hounds sitting on the couch.
Image Source: Instagram

Always use positive reinforcement while training as it builds strong bonds and maintains trust and respect. In addition, a dog becomes less aggressive and helps to avoid anxiety or depression. Remember not to use physical punishment and harsh words as it might backfire.

Is Small Bernese Hound Easy To Train?

The Bernese Hound is an intelligent dog that soaks up any command or training session easily. However, they need an experienced trainer as it’s difficult for first-time owners during training. They can be stubborn at times which makes little hard for most trainers.

This breed needs a strong leader that has firm and consistent during a training session. They respond well to positive reinforcement and perform well. Start training at an early age and develop good behavior from starting.

Small Bernese Hound waiting for their treat.
Image Source: Instagram

Is Small Bernese Hound Good With Children?

As a friendly breed, the Small Bernese Hound does well with children and is generally good with them. They make fine playmates that go for hours in the playground or backyard with kids. Moreover, they are also friendly with other pets however supervisor is a must. As a scent dog, some don’t like small pets like guinea pigs, rabbits, ferrets, and others. Teach your dog to behave around kids as they can get aggressive and the same goes for your children as well.

What Health Issues Do Small Bernese Hound Suffer From?

Patellar Luxation: It’s a condition where the luxating patella is dislocated or out of place from its original location. You may notice dog skipping their steps while walking. They can show symptoms like limping, weak legs, swelling, and others. So, consult your vet for proper treatment as some might need surgery.

Skin Allergies: Skin allergies are a common thing a dog might go through. However, in Small Bernese Hound’s case, they can be more prone to get allergies. It can result in scratching, skin infection, licking, and so on. This lifelong condition needs well care and needs to look after more often.

Facts About Small Bernese Hound

  • In 1905 the Small Bernese Hound became a part of Swiss Niederlauifhund Club (SNLC).
  • In 1930s they became popular and became greatest hunting dog in the world by many enthusiasts.
  • Due to their low number, they are known as rare breed because they are only found in small areas.

Color Patterns of Small Bernese Hound

  • Pied

Size of Small Bernese Hound

Height: The average height of a male Small Bernese Hound is 13-18 inches while female stands around 12-17 inches.

Weight: The average weight of Small Bernese Hound is 18-33 lbs

Which Dog Breed Are They Similar To?

  • Bruno Jura Hound
  • Schweizer Laufhund

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