Are Bernese Mountain Dogs Lazy & How Much Exercise Do They Need?

Potential owners often fall in love with certain traits of a breed or their appearance. However, they tend to overlook if that breed is a good fit for their lifestyle.

Couch potato-type of owners who prefer a laid-back lifestyle definitely won’t enjoy having a highly energetic dog who never stops moving.

Vice-versa, active owners who enjoy physical activities may quickly get bored if their dog just wants to lie around all day.

For prospective owners of Bernese Mountain Dogs, previous research is very important.

This will ensure that the dog and the owner won’t end up in a situation that suits neither of them.

Berners, due to their history and origins, have a reputation as hard-working and tenacious dogs.

However, this doesn’t mean that they’re always up for all kinds of activities.

Below, you’ll learn are Bernese Mountain Dogs lazy and how much and what kind of exercise they need.


Are Bernese Mountain Dogs Lazy?

While they enjoy roaming around and are rather playful, especially in the snow, Bernese Mountain Dogs can be described as a low-energy breed.

So, they’re not completely inactive, but can be called a bit lazy especially compared to other working breeds.

This is mainly due to their temperament which is rather mellow, easygoing, and steady-tempered.

Berners are very devoted to their humans and love to spend time with them. Preferably, inside the house, cooped up and snuggled on the couch or dog bed.

Their energy levels particularly drop during hot days which is typical for most mountain breeds.

Furthermore, their desire to be active also depends on their age.

While young, Bernese Mountain Dogs are much more energetic and eager to engage in various activities, at around the age of 3, they start to become more mellow and satisfied with spending most of their day resting inside.

How Much Exercise Do Bernese Mountain Dogs Need?

The fact that Berners are not very active doesn’t mean that they don’t need any exercise.

Furthermore, the lack of exercise can be dangerous for them.

It can lead to them being overweight and obese which can cause even more serious health problems.

They are farm dogs by origin and a certain level of activity is crucial to them staying fit, both mentally and physically.

Potential owners shouldn’t be concerned that exercising their Berners will take too much time.

This breed only needs moderate exercise to stay happy and healthy. However, they should get at least half an hour of activity on daily basis.

Although they love to be inside the house, Bernese Mountain Dogs will gladly join you for a long walk or a hike.

After all, they were developed in the mountain area where they covered large distances daily.

Most likely, your Berner won’t enjoy jogging or running.

How to Exercise a Lazy Bernese Mountain Dog?

Like with all breeds that are a bit on the lazy side, getting Bernese Mountain Dogs to do enough exercise can sometimes be a challenge.

Still, to keep them healthy, some exercise is necessary. Daily walks should be mandatory.

In addition, you’ll need to organize some activities that will keep them mentally stimulated and prevent them from becoming bored and destructive.

Below are some tips that will help you organize exercise for your Berners that will be fun for both your dog and you.


Daily walks will help keep the optimal level of fitness of both you and your Berner.

It’s also very useful as the dog will encounter all sorts of mental stimulation while walking by your side.

The outdoors provides various stimuli that will keep them engaged.

While half an hour a day should be a minimum, you should keep an eye on how your dog is getting on and adjust the length of walks accordingly.

If you notice that your dog is struggling, it’s probably best that you quit the walk and return home.

Sometimes, it’s good to split the walks into two 15-20 minutes parts.

Just remember to keep them on schedule as dogs build their daily routines around these events.

Pulling Carts

The biggest quality of Berners as working dogs is not their endurance but their power.

They will particularly enjoy pulling a cart or a sled.

Putting kids in a cart and having a Berner pull them will provide excellent exercise and loads of fun for everyone.

If you’re lucky enough to live in a place with lots of snow, your BMD will enjoy this activity even more.

Bernese Mountain Dogs have been known to be able to pull 10 times their weight. However, you shouldn’t stretch them too far. Try to keep the load relatively light.

Playtime with Other Dogs

Bernese Mountain Dogs are very friendly towards other animals and are always up to for some fun time with other dogs.

It’s up to you to provide them an opportunity to play with other dogs by taking them to dog parks or hanging out with friends who also own dogs.

The dogs don’t even have to be of the same breed. Besides valuable exercise, this will provide your Berner with mental stimulation and help them develop social skills.

Tug of War

Berners just love this game and they could play for hours.

They will be having so much fun that they won’t even realize how much exercise they’re getting.

You can use ropes specifically designed for this game, but your Bernese Mountain Dog will be happy to pull on almost anything – old sock, shoe, or their favorite toy.

Remember to keep things light and if you feel that the dog is getting a bit aggressive, call it quits.

Backyard Obstacle Course

As I said, Berners love to be challenged.

If you have a backyard large enough, consider building a small obstacle course for your dog.

It doesn’t have to be a state-of-the-art agility course, you can easily build a decent one with items you’ll find at your home.

Tasks such as tunnels, weave, or hurdle jumps will provide loads of fun for your Berner.

At the same time, they will deliver a decent amount of exercise and an opportunity to work out all muscle groups.


While activities with your dog are a lot of fun, they can sometimes be a bit exhausting.

Not every owner is capable of keeping up with some of the high-energy breeds,

Some of them prefer to sit on the couch and just enjoy downtime with their four-legged friend.

Bernese Mountain Dogs are perfect for owners who fall somewhere in the middle of these two owner types.

Berners are perfectly happy spending the day inside resting and sleeping.

Still, they have certain exercise requirements that will take their owners outside for at least some time every day.

This, coupled with their gentle and friendly personality makes them one of the most desired family dogs.

Authored By

Madeline Wright

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