Bernese Mountain Dog Husky Mix – smart and independent
Bernese Mountain Dog Husky mix is one of the more unique Bernese Mountain Dog mixes. Huskies have become extremely popular even in the warmest of climates, and Husky mixes are popping up everywhere. What kind of dog is Bernese Mountain Dog Husky mix and why it might make sense to look into them if you are thinking of adopting a new pup?
Just like other mixes, Bernese Mountain Dog Husky Mix doesn’t exist as its own breed – only as a crossbreed. It is a fairly young one too: traditionally, Huskies and Bernese Mountain Dogs have never been geographically close. You can read more about Bernese Mountain Dog origins in this article. But what about Huskies?
You probably know it’s a dog from somewhere up North, but where exactly are they from and how did they come to be?
Siberian Husky, as it may be clear from the name, takes its roots from the lands that comprise modern-time Siberia. About 9000 years ago native tribes which mostly survived by hunting and fishing, bred the ancestors of Siberian Huskies as their hunting and fishing partners. The dogs would also used to pull sleds, which is still practiced today.
In the 17th-18th century, Russians started partnering and bartering with the native tribes and sometimes bought their dogs. This is how Siberian Huskies spread from the native tribes into the larger Russia, and then, in the beginning of the 20th century, all the way to the USA.
Over the centuries, these dogs became popular not just for their supreme skills in harness pulling. They are intelligent, hardworking, funny, sociable and outgoing dogs. And of course, if you have ever seen even one Husky, you know they are hard not to fall in love with.
Like any mixed breed, when it comes to their appearance, Bernese Mountain Dog Husky mix can take after both of the parent breeds. Bernese Mountain Dogs are large dogs. A Berner male can grow up to 70 cm (27.5”) tall and weigh anywhere from 30kg to 40kg (66-88lb). A female can reach an average of 50-66cm (19.6 -26”) and weigh 22 to 30 kg (48.5-66lb). It’s a muscular, powerful dog with thick luscious coat, always tricolored with characteristic Berner markings. You can read more about Bernese Mountain Dog size, weight and looks in this article.
Siberian Huskies are smaller than Berners. They can grow up to 21-23.5 inches (males) and 20-22 inches (female). Average Siberian Husky weight can reach 45-60 pounds (for males) and 35-50 pounds (for females). Make no mistake, this is still a large dog, just a bit smaller than Berners.
With Bernese Mountain Dog Husky mix you can expect the size and weight that’s a bit closer to Husky rather than Berner, although it may vary from litter to litter. In terms of their head structure, they tend to inherit more of a Husky looks: a longer, narrower and pointier face and nose, and often bright blue Husky eyes. Unlike Husky, who has shorter coats (albeit still very thick), a Bernese Mountain Dog Husky mix may have longer coats that remind more of a Bernese Mountain Dog.
Color-wise, Bernese Mountain Dogs are famous for their typical tri-color markings. When it comes to Huskies, there is a wider variety of coat colors and patterns. There are mostly black or solid black Huskies (over 75% of their coat color is black). There are solid white Huskies, which is quite rare. Black and white Huskies are more common: this is where about 50% of coat is white and 50% is black. Normally the black is on top of the body with white chest, belly and paws. We have probably all seen Huskies with this type of coat color.
Another common color is gray. Silver-colored Huskies are a little lighter than gray ones. A pretty unique color is copper, also known as chocolate. These are quite rare. Red, or liver color is even more rare. Some other colors are sable and saddle. A Husky can even be black and tan, like a German Shepherd, although this is not a traditional look.
When it comes to Bernese Mountain Dog Husky mix, all those colors can mix with traditional Bernese Mountain Dog markings and come out in any colors and combinations. It really depends on the Husky parent, as Berners have standard markings from dog to dog.
In terms of coat quality, these dogs tend to have longer, thicker coats than their Husky parents.
As a mix, Bernese Mountain Dog Husky mix will likely inherit character traits from both of the parent breeds. What can you expect from a mix of Bernese Mountain Dog and a Husky? Let’s see.
If you have read my article on Bernese Mountain Dog temperament, you probably know what to expect from a Berner in terms of personality. These large goofy-lookng dogs are devoted family members, social and outgoing, always up for any family activity you can come up with. They are also enthusiastic when it comes to training and working, although they can be a little stubborn.
What traits can your dog inherit from their Husky parent? Huskies are calm, stable-minded and confident dogs. At the same time, they do have an enthusiastic and active personality. They tend to thrive in more active environments, where they can move a lot and preferably do the job they evolved doing – working in the harness. Of course, this isn’t always possible, but they still do need an active household to thrive in.
These are virtually non-aggressive dogs: aggression has been affectively bred out of them over centuries of working side by side with humans. This is why Husky, just like Bernese Mountain Dogs, are not the best at guarding. They especially won’t be good “personal” guards, although they will definitely be cautious about any strangers coming onto their territory. Just don’t expect you Husky, or your Bernese Mountain Dog Husky mix, to be your personal guard and to actively fight other dogs for you. This is more of a German Shepherd type thing.
The unique thing about Huskies is their independence of thinking. This isn’t a dog that you can train to do every trick you want from them (like, for example, you would with a German Shepherd.) Huskies have been working independently for centuries. Working in the harness, they evolved to make their own decisions. It was dogs that made decisions about where exactly to cross a river as they had a better sense of ice thickness and thus safety of the whole pack including humans.
This is why it was left up to the dogs to make decisions like this. To this day, Huskies are fairly independent thinkers. You need to take that into account with Bernese Mountain Dog Husky mix that can inherit that kind of personality both from their Husky parent as well as their Bernese Mountain Dog parent. This is actually an excellent quality for a working dog, just don’t expect this pup to follow your commands thoughtlessly like some other breeds would. This is not a Golden Retriever. (You can read about Bernese Mountain Dog Golden Retriever mix here.)
However, independent thinking doesn’t mean you can’t train your Bernese Mountain Dog Husky mix. In fact, training is critical. It will help you and your dog learn to communicate with each other and will show your dog that you are the leader and that you expect a certain level of obedience from your pup.
Bernese Mountain Dog Husky mix, a “child” of two highly sociable, outgoing and people-oriented breeds, will inherit this warm, disposition towards people. This is a dog that deeply loves their family and needs to spend time with them. They are not good outdoors dogs. If you are planning to keep your dog outside in a dog house or on a chain (please don’t!), this cross-breed is not for you!
This mix is a great dog to have around children. Bernese Mountain Dogs don’t have much of a hunting/prey instinct and as such are very safe around small animals and children. When it comes to Husky, they definitely have more hunting instinct than Berners, but they are very smart and know what is prey and what isn’t. (Besides, it’s the Huskies that lived with Northern natives that used to hunt their own food, just like wolves. Modern-day Huskies hardly have any chances to hunt, nor do they have need to do it.) These large dogs are gracious and careful, and also quite patient – they will not hurt a child in play, even if playing gets rough.
With training, one thing is certain: training is necessary. Especially when you have a large, powerful dog like Bernese Mountain Dog Husky mix. But what methods and strategies of training would work with this dog?
As I already mentioned, both Huskies and Berners are very individualistic, independent and confident dogs. They love their owners and strive to please them, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into thoughtless obedience, especially in terms of training and following the commands. This dog will need to understand why it is asked to do something, and have their own motivation to do it. I don’t recommend working on the same command again and again in hopes that your pup will start following it every time. This is not for the lack of intelligence. They certainly understand what you want from them. But they don’t necessarily see the reason why they should do it.
Again, this is a highly intelligent, working dog that evolved learning to see the situation they are in and make strategic, important decisions. You can’t just train a dog like that to lie down/bark on command without any reason. They’ll do it once or twice, but if you keep demanding from them to do something that they don’t see any point in doing, they will start wondering what is wrong with you. The best way to train this dog is in play, so that both of you have fun.
Bernese Mountain Dog Husky mix: energy levels
How much exercise will your dog need?
To answer that, we need to remember that both Berners and Huskies have been bred and developed as active, working dogs that spent most of their time helping out their owners. It was farm work and herding cattle for Berners, and harness work (pulling sled) for Huskies. Physical work and high levels of activity is pretty much in these dogs’ genetics.
You can expect that the mix of the two breeds will also be a dog that thrives in an active environment. This will be a great dog for a family that loves spending their time outside and regularly engages in outdoor activities. It can be hiking, biking, playing in the park, swimming – anything you can come up with. Your Berner Husky mix will happily partake in anything active and make everything even more fun. A walk once a day could suffice if that’s all you can offer, but it won’t be an ideal situation for this dog.
If they don’t get enough exercise, this dog may get frustrated and bored, which can make them destructive or even aggressive. Ever seen those memes with Huskies destroying sofas or even walls of the houses they are confined in? If you are more of a “house” person, someone who isn’t actively engaging in regular outdoor activities, you might want to reconsider adopting this mixed breed and look into a different dog.
Other Bernese Mountain Dog Mixes: