Bernese Mountain Dog Australian Shepherd Mix: gorgeous and intelligent (10 photos)
One of the crossbreeds that is definitely worth looking into if you are planning to adopt a new pup is Bernese Mountain Dog Australian Shepherd Mix. These two breeds (Bernese Mountain Dogs and Australian Shepherds) really seem to be made for each other. The mix that they produce is a gorgeous dog with excellent working qualities and outstanding intelligence. To make it even better, this mixed breed can also boast good health and is a breed that won’t give you much trouble health-wise. They are active, loyal, enthusiastic, and all-around lovable dogs.
But of course, like any other dog breed, this mix may have some downsides that may make it less than a perfect dog for you.
Let’s look into Bernese Mountain Dog Australian Shepherd Mix in more detail.
Bernese Mountain Dog Australian Shepherd Mix: origins
Bernese Mountain Dog Australian Shepherd Mix doesn’t exist as a separate breed: you won’t find it in AKC or any other breed registry. At this point, it’s only a cross breed between Bernese Mountain Dog and Australian Shepherd. If you want to learn more about Bernese Mountain Dog origins, I have a separate article about it here.
What about Australian Shepherd (Aussies) origins?
Despite its name, this breed actually doesn’t have much to do with Australia. It was developed as a breed in the United States during early 19th century. Genetically, Australian Shepherds are thought to be related to Shepherds and Collies from the Basque regions of Spain.
Those dogs, the early ancestors of Australian Shepherds, were brought to the United States in late 18th-early 19th century and were further developed mostly on cattle ranches as herding and stock dogs. After the World War, these dogs started to be more and more popular, somewhat going in step with the growing popularity of rodeo (both actual events and TV shows about it!)
Australian Shepherds, being highly trainable and intelligent, also became invaluable farm assets. They were used in herding and guarding cattle and sheep, protecting farm assets and even in rodeos!
While Aussies are still used extensively as farming dogs, they have become extremely popular as mainstream pets. With their outstanding intelligence and gorgeous looks it’s a surprise they are not more popular!
Berner Aussie Mix: appearance
Bernese Mountain Dog Australian Shepherd Mix is truly a stunning-looking dog. If you have spent any time on this site, you are probably very familiar with Bernese Mountain Dogs. This is a gorgeous large dog with characteristic tricolor markings, dignified posture, powerful musculature and luscious coat.
Aussies are also unique dogs when it comes to their looks. This is a medium-sized dog with beautiful proportions, tall and elongated body and long legs. It is well muscled and looks fit. Males are larger than females and generally are more muscly. Females are a little more on the graceful rather than muscly side than males but are still well-muscled and strong.
In terms of color and markings, Australian Shepherds can be pretty varied. The official colors according to Australian Shepherd standard include solid black, blue merle, solid liver (red) and liver merle. Every one of these colors can also have tan or white points and markings in any imaginable pattern on the dog’s body or head.
This gives you a pretty much infinite number of combinations of colors and patterns – every Australian Shepherd is unique in terms of color. You would never get bored looking at Australian Shepherd pictures!
When it comes to Bernese Mountain Dog Australian Shepherd Mix, it’s like mixing something good with something even better. I just can’t put it in any other words. As with all mixes, variations are always possible: the resulting pup can take some of the traits from the Bernese Mountain Dog and some from the Australian Shepherd.
But in general, this is a medium-to-large size dog with powerful musculature and thick coat. In terms of colors, a great number of variations is possible. While Bernese Mountain Dogs have a very defined and strict pattern that is always the same, Australian Shepherds are truly a feast for your eyes when it comes to colors of the coat. A Bernese Mountain Dog Australian Shepherd Mix will likely not have the typical Bernese Mountain Dog tricolor (although it’s possible!) but will have varied, rich (and sometimes haphazard) markings of the Australian Shepherd. Whatever color pattern it inherits, you can be sure it will be a stunning-looking dog.
Bernese Mountain Dog Australian Shepherd Mix: personality traits and working qualities
This is where the Bernese Mountain Dog Australian Shepherd Mix really shines. What else can you expect when you combine to wonderful working breeds, each of which are known for their intelligence, high trainability and selfless devotions to their owners.
You may have read my article on Bernese Mountain Dog temperament – if so, you are familiar with some of the Berner personality traits. These are highly intelligent dogs with extensive working/farming dog history. They were used as herding dogs for centuries, helping farmers to herd and guard their kettle and also pull carts with produce to and from the markets.
Berners were also used to guard homes, although that has never been their primary role. Berners are sociable, outgoing and almost completely non-aggressive (which was a great quality for a herding dog). They are very attached to their family and love nothing more than to be involved in the family activities, be it work or play.
All of these factors have made Bernese Mountain Dogs not only excellent farm dogs, but also wonderful modern-day pets.
Australian Shepherds are another wonderful breed with working history. This is a highly intelligent dog with well-developed herding and guarding instincts. They are perfect every day companions. Due to their intelligence and high trainability, they are also great working dogs. Apart from being intelligent, they are also highly motivated and enthusiastic about learning and working, which can’t be said about too many breeds.
In Aussies, high intelligence goes hand in hand with their characteristic stubbornness. They are not necessarily stubborn in terms their interaction with people. It’s just that they always have their own opinion about any situation, and if there is something they want, they will find a way to get it.
If there’s a fence that separates your Aussie from something interesting, you may be sure the Aussie will find a way to get over it (or under it, or through it. Sometimes it seems they know how to teleport…). If you are hiding something in your house, your Aussie will find it. If you want your Australian Shepherd to follow a certain rule in the house – they will. At least when you are around. When you are not around … well, let’s just say you might want to install a pet camera to find out what your Aussie is up to when you are not around 🙂
Bernese Mountain Dogs are also somewhat self-directed and stubborn. These are just traits that evolved naturally in such working breeds as Aussies and Berners and that have served them well in their “careers”. You have to have some stubbornness and confidence dealing with large cattle and sheep!
When it comes to Bernese Mountain Dog Australian Shepherd Mix, you may very well expect a dog that’s loyal and devoted to you, but still has its own opinion about everything and will confidently pursue their own goals. This is why training is so important: it will help you teach your pup to mind your commands and obey the rules of your house. You don’t want to raise a little dictator, no matter how much you love them.
Another thing to keep in mind about both Berners and Aussies (and your Bernese Mountain Dog Australian Shepherd Mix), is that they love staying busy. They aren’t busy in the way some small dogs are “busy”. They won’t go nuts and shred your sofa just because you left them alone for an hour.
But they do like having things to do. Especially if its actual work. Being a farm dog is in their blood and working with herds is probably what would make any Berner or Aussie the happiest dog on the planet. Same can be said about Bernese Mountain Dog Australian Shepherd Mix. However, even if you are not a farmer, you can still keep your Berner Aussie Mix happy by providing adequate exercise for both their body and their mind.
This includes regular walking – both everyday short walks and longer, quality-time walks out on the trails if you have access to nature. Taking them to a dog park is always a great idea too. Adequate amount of exercise will keep your dog healthy and happy. Apart from exercise, you can get into some advanced training with your dog, or more active things like agility, Frisbee, dog coursing and other sports. Aussies love playing fetch!
You can also take your Aussie Berner Mix with you if you happen to be a cyclist or just like riding your bike on the trails. It’s a great exercise idea, although you do need to teach your pup how to safely “bike” with you. They need to know not to run in front of the bike or pull you to the side, both of which can make this activity dangerous for you and your dog.
Another thing to keep in mind is that excessive running can be unhealthy or even dangerous for younger puppies – even though Aussie Berners are very fit dogs. Start your biking routine with short, slow rides and slowly go up from there as your dog’s strength and endurance grows. If you do it carefully, taking your Aussie Berner pup for bike rides can end up being a wonderful way for them to expend their energy, enjoy the sites and get some great mental and physical stimulation as they try to keep up with you.
Swimming is another activity your Bernese Mountain Dog Australian Shepherd Mix will love. They are excellent swimmers and are usually very enthusiastic about water. If your pup is not familiar with swimming yet, throw a ball in the water and see how fast they get the hang of the things! Although, most likely, you will discover that your Aussie Berner mix just tries to jump into any body of water they see without you having to encourage it. Swimming can provide excellent opportunities for full-body training and can be very good for your dog’s mental and physical health. Do I need to say it might also be really good for your own health?
What activities you do with your dog are really only limited by your imagination. You can even get your pup into herding classes! Of course a lot depends on your own interests and the amount of free time you have to invest in your dog. You just don’t want to adopt this dog if all you do is chill out with Netflix. They are an active dog that needs mental and physical stimulation!
Bernese Mountain Dog Australian Shepherd Mix: is this cross-breed right for you?
Although Bernese Mountain Dog Australian Shepherd Mixes make excellent family pets in most cases, they are not a dog for just anyone, unlike some smaller breeds without working genetics. This is a confident, powerful, large dog that evolved as a working dog and needs to have a certain “frame” to their existence.
They need to have a strong, confident owner so they can feel comfortable following their lead. If your Berner-Aussie mix doesn’t trust you as their leader, they will try to become a leader instead. They are confident enough dog that they can “discipline” large cattle such as cows and bulls to keep them in line (or in the herd!). You don’t want a dog like that to start disciplining you, and they will if they don’t feel that you are confident enough to be their leader. That’s just not what you want.
Becoming a confident dog owner means learning about dog psychology in general and your dog psychology in particular. It means investing enough time into training and fixing any character flaws your pup may have, or learning to correct any issues they may be having. If you want an easy, hands-off dog, this is probably not a good cross-breed for you.
On the other hand, if you are up for the challenge, if you are an experienced dog owner or simply an active person who loves spending time outdoors actually doing things and you need a buddy to share in the fun, a Bernese Mountain Dog Australian Shepherd Mix might just be right for you. They are gorgeous, lovable, extremely intelligent and wonderful beings that will steal your heart and soul (and maybe a few of your snacks!) and will be a precious part of your family.