6 Breeds of Dogs Similar to Bernese Mountain Dog (Photos)

Bernese Mountain Dogs are classic dogs that adapted well to the cold and were taken to Switzerland more than 2,000 years ago. These dogs love having a job to do and thrive when tasked with herding, laboring, or other tasks. Bernese Mountain Dogs enjoy pleasing their owners and have the capacity to remain good-natured while working.

Bernese Mountain Dogs are gentle giants and weigh around 115 pounds on average. These dogs are 28 inches tall and live for 10 years. This breed of dog is reliable and enjoys taking life easy.

dogs similar to Bernese Mountain Dog
6 Breeds of Dogs Similar to Bernese Mountain Dog

However, if you’re a first-time owner who’s been wanting to get your hands on a Bernese Mountain Dog, you’ll find that it’s quite challenging. 

Thankfully, many other dog breeds have similar characteristics and qualities. Most of these dog breeds are cousin mountain dogs that have evolved and adapted similarly to the Bernese Mountain Dog. Browse our top six breeds of dogs similar to Bernese Mountain Dog to see if any are right for you and your household.

Estrela Mountain Dog

The Estrela Mountain Dog is highly-intelligent and brave. This dog is adventurous and courageous in challenging situations. This dog breed has a similar facial structure to that of a Bernese Mountain Dog and behaves similarly.

Estrela Mountain dog gazing
Estrela Mountain dog close-up shot.

Estrela Mountain Dogs adore affection in the same way that Bernese Mountain Dogs do, and they will gladly spend their days playing with young children or running with one or two other family pets.

Estrela Mountain Dogs are about the same size as Bernese Mountain Dogs, growing to be about 29 inches tall and weighing as much as 132 pounds. Estrela Mountain Dogs are slightly larger than Bernese Mountain Dogs, although Estrela Mountain Dogs live a few years longer on average, for around 14 years.

Estrela Mountain Dogs usually have darker coat colors, ranging from dark brown to black. However, these dogs will have patches of white on the chest or underbelly, and their tails may have some light beige colors mingled with classic darker colors.

Estrela Mountain Dogs are ideal for cold weather conditions and places where their fur is put to good use by keeping them warm.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs are very reliable and faithful. These dogs are family-oriented and enjoy spending time with their families and young children. Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs resemble Bernese Mountain Dogs in many ways.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
Two Greater Swiss Mountain Dog walking at the park together.

This breed is affectionate and adoring and loves to play. Additionally, this dog has a coat with similar colors, although its hair is shorter than that of the Bernese Mountain Dog.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs can grow as tall as 29 inches and weigh up to 140 pounds. This breed also has a similar lifespan to the Bernese Mountain Dog at 11 years.

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog loves to play but will remain vigilant while running around and enjoying playtime. These dogs are also friendly and will likely have you introduce yourself to everyone they pass on the street. This dog breed is also very vocal and will use its voice to play or alert others of danger or upon your arrival home.

Saint Bernard

At first glance, you may confuse a Saint Bernard for a Bernese Mountain Dog. These two dogs look nearly identical but can vary on some key components. Saint Bernards are playful dogs who adore affection and will gladly spend their time rolling around the floor with young children in the household.

a giant saint bernard dogs
A giant Saint Bernard dog

Saint Bernards are also very inquisitive, and while they may not destroy things or make intentional messes, they may certainly get into places they shouldn’t. These dogs are charming and will slowly approach you for some head rubs, belly pats, and cuddles.

Saint Bernards have a coat with multiple distinct colors, including black, white, and beige. This dog breed runs on the larger side and can grow as tall as 30 inches. In some cases, a Saint Bernard may weigh as much as 180 pounds.

However, these gentle giants only live for around 10 years.

A Saint Bernard is similar to a Bernese Mountain Dog in size, stature, and life expectancy. However, Saint Bernards are less tolerant of other animals and prefer to be the only dog in the home.

Entlebucher Mountain Dog

Entlebucher Mountain Dogs have similar coat colors to Bernese Mountain Dogs, and these dogs love herding and having work to do. This dog breed is eager to please its owners and remains deeply loyal to its owners and loved ones. 

Entlebucher Mountain Dog
Entlebucher Mountain Dog sits with a white background.

Entlebucher Mountain Dogs are enthusiastic and grow to be about 21 inches tall. This dog breed also weighs up to 65 pounds. Although smaller than a Bernese Mountain Dog, Entlebucher Mountain Dogs have many of the same characteristics.

They have the same colors in their coats as Bernese Mountain Dogs and the same penchant for affection and love. These dogs will enjoy spending time with other dogs and their owners. But they may need plenty of time away from small children.

Entlebucher Mountain Dogs enjoy tasks and engaging their instincts, which can be tricky around young children.

Unlike Bernese Mountain Dogs, Entlebucher Mountain Dogs have short hair and only need grooming monthly. Entlebucher Mountain Dogs also have a high capacity for protectiveness and will spend their days looking out for danger and alerting their family if they sense anything amiss.


Hovawarts are alert dogs who have high intelligence and remain deeply loyal. Hovawarts can grow as tall as 28 inches and weigh up to 90 pounds. This breed can live up to 14 years, giving them a longer lifespan than the Bernese Mountain Dog.

blond Hovawart serious looks
A blond Hovawart serious looks.

Hovawarts adore their families, and an ideal day for them would include cuddling with their favorite family members on the couch. This dog breed will lay in your lap for hours if you let them. They may also play with young children in the home since they like running around – especially in large backyards.

This dog breed will also do well with other pets in the home and will likely seek them out for running around or playtime. Additionally, Hovawarts are some of the best guard dogs. This breed of dog enjoys protecting its home and family and will spend its whole day on high alert to ensure there are no dangers present.

Although constantly alert, Hovawarts are friendly and will introduce themselves to strangers if they don’t sense danger.

Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhounds are similar to many mountain dogs. This dog breed is calm but courageous and is never willing to back down from a challenge. These dogs are dedicated and will take their time to ensure a job or task is done right.

Irish Wolfhound stands
Irish Wolfhound standing on the grass.

Irish Wolfhounds grow to be about 32 inches tall and can weigh around 120 pounds. However, this dog breed only lives for around eight years. Comparatively, a Bernese Mountain Dog lives for about 10 years.

Although their lifespan is shorter than most, an Irish Wolfhound has plenty of love to give and will enjoy cuddling, playing with their owners, and alone time outside. However, Irish Wolfhounds enjoy observing and guarding the area the most. The dogs prefer to protect their families and will spend most of their time assessing for danger rather than playing with toys or running around.

Irish Wolfhounds are generally quiet and will only bark when something needs attention, so pay attention to your dog’s barking patterns because they may be trying to tell you something very important.

Final Thoughts

Bernese Mountain Dogs are stunning, gentle giants who love life to its fullest. These dogs enjoy spending quality time with their families and adore small children and other pets. The Bernese Mountain Dog has a deep love for family, friends, and affection.

They have been around for millennia and were only introduced to Switzerland by Roman soldiers around 2,000 years ago. Since then, this dog breed has won the hearts of millions.

It can be a challenge to find a Bernese Mountain Dog for adoption, but thankfully, there are plenty of similar dogs to this breed that can suit you and your family’s needs. Whether you want a Hovawart or an Estrela Mountain Dog, there is a dog breed that can give you the adoration, affection, and playful nature that Bernese Mountain Dogs are capable of giving.

Consider one of our best six breeds of dogs similar to Bernese Mountain Dog to give your family plenty of adventure, slow-paced affection, and all the cuddling you could ever imagine.