The bernese mountain dog husky mix is a mixed breed with a Siberian husky parent and a bernese mountain dog as the other parent. This combination results in a very unique pooch that is large, friendly, protective, and affectionate.
Siberian huskies are currently the 12th most popular dog breed in the U.S. The bernese mountain dog is gaining in popularity as well, currently ranked 22nd.
Despite the popularity of these breeds, the bernese husky mix is relatively new and rare. Keep reading to learn all about this mix, including a quick summary of all of the key facts.
- Quick Profile
- Average Size
- Grooming Guide
- Exercise Needs
- In Summary
Before we get into the details of this magnificent mixed breed, we’ll take a quick look at the basic facts.
If you think this might be the right pooch for you, be sure to continue reading below.
- Other Names: Bernese Husky, Bernsky
- Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
- Average Height: 20-24 inches
- Average Weight: 50-100 lbs
- Coat appearance: Medium double coat, Black, White, Brown, Sable
- Eye Colour: Blue, brown, bi-color
- Activity Level: Medium
- Grooming Frequency: 1 to 2 times per week, daily when shedding
- Typical Temperament: Affectionate, friendly, intelligent, protective
- Daily Food Consumption: 2 to 2 1/2 cups per day
- New Owner Friendly: Can be difficult for new owners
- Suitable to live with children? Yes
- Suitable to live with other dogs? Yes
- Suitable to live with cats? If socialized with them early on
The appearance of a mixed breed pooch is difficult to determine because the puppies will inherit physical characteristics from both parent breeds.
Most bernese husky mixes will inherit the head and body of their husky parent, with a coat like the bernese mountain dog, like the one above.
To get a better understanding of their appearance, let’s look at the appearance of the parent breeds.
Siberian Husky Appearance
The Siberian husky is a medium to large pooch with graceful lines and an athletic body type.
They were originally bred by the Chucki people of Siberia to pull sleds across the Arctic.
They are slightly longer than they are tall. They have medium-sized erect ears, and a long bushy tail.
They have a medium-length muzzle and a slightly elongated head.
They have a medium-length, dense double coat. They are commonly bi-color, which means their coat has two colors, or tri-color, which has three colors.
Solid colored huskies do exist, but they are rare.
Coat colors include:
Bernese Mountain Dog Appearance
The bernese mountain dog is larger than a husky, with a stockier build. Like the husky, they were bred to work.
They were originally used by Swiss farmers to pull carts, drive cattle, and protect property.
They have a shorter muzzle, and medium sized ears that lay down.
Bernese mountain dogs have a dense double coat, which is longer than a husky coat.
They must be tri-color to meet the breed standard. Their coat typically has a black base, with areas of red, rust, and white.
A husky will weigh 35 to 60 pounds, and reach 20-24 inches tall. Bernese mountain dogs weigh 70 to 115 pounds and grow to 23-28 inches tall.
Bernese husky mixes are usually somewhere within this range.
They are typically the size of a husky or slightly larger, and smaller than the average bernese mountain dog. They will reach 20-24 inches tall, and weigh 50-100 pounds.
The bernese husky will typically have a coat similar to the bernese parent.
Both parent breeds have a dense, double coat, so their offspring will have a double coat as well.
Their coat is typically medium length, and slightly longer than a husky’s.
They can inherit the longer coat of a bernese mountain dog, but this is rare.
They will typically be bi-color or tri-color, with solid coats being rare for the breed.
Common coat colors are:
- Red or rust
These pooches typically inherit a husky style head, with a medium to long muzzle.
They will be stockier than a husky, resembling the bernese parent in this aspect.
They can also inherit the husky’s signature blue eyes, brown eyes, or bi-color eyes.
Bernese huskies do have a long double coat, so they need regular grooming.
However, they are easier to groom than many longer coated breeds.
Before we get into how to groom your bernese husky, let’s take a look at the tools you will need for the job.
- Wide tooth comb
- Undercoat rake
- Pin brush
- Dog shampoo
- Nail trimmers
- Ear cleaning solution
- Cotton balls
Grooming Your Bernese Husky’s Coat
You’ll need to brush your bernese husky’s coat at least 1 to 2 times per week, ideally more.
When they are shedding a lot, during the spring and fall when they blow their coats, you’ll need to brush them daily.
You can start by using a wide tooth comb to remove any tangles.
Then, use the undercoat rake to brush their undercoat, and remove any shed hair.
Next, use the pin brush to brush the top coat. This will remove any loose hairs, distribute oils in the coat, and remove any dirt.
You may need to trim the hair around their paws, ears, mouth, and their private areas to help them stay clean and neat.
If they inherit the coat length from their husky parent, this may not be necessary.
You can also skip this step, and take your pooch to a professional groomer every few months.
Huskies only require bathing once every 3 to 4 months.
They are excellent self groomers, and their bodies don’t produce a lot of oil.
Bernese mountain dogs can be bathed once every 1-3 months. This is a good rule of thumb for how often to bathe your bernese husky as well.
When bathing, you’ll need to use a shampoo designed for dogs. A doggie conditioner is recommended after shampooing.
Once they are bathed, you can use a hair dryer on low, or a doggie hair dryer to dry their long coat.
Huskies rarely need their nails clipped, but Bernese mountain dogs do.
You can expect your bernese husky to need their nails clipped about once a month.
It’s best to use scissor type nail clippers, or a nail grinder for this.
Huskies don’t require regular ear cleaning, because their ears are erect. Bernese pooches, on the other hand, do.
Start by inspecting your pooch’s ears. If you see dirt or debris, it’s time to clean them.
If the ear is inflamed or there’s a foul smell, you’ll need to visit the vet to check for an ear infection.
Use a cotton ball to clean the portions of the ear you can reach easily.
Then, squirt ear cleaning solution into the ear canal.
Allow this to sit for about 30 seconds, and then use a cotton ball to wipe away the solution and any dislodged debris.
Both parent breeds are friendly and social, so you can expect your bernese husky to be very social.
These pooches need plenty of time with their family, and should socialize with other people and other animals as well.
They are very friendly and affectionate. They love to cuddle. They are lively but easy going.
They are typically easy to please, and happy just to be around their family.
They often inherit a desire and ability to escape from their husky parent.
They may enjoy wandering, so you’ll need to be sure they have a secure fenced in area to play in.
They are excellent with children. They are very patient and gentle with kids, and love giving and receiving affection from them.
They are also typically protective of “their” children.
They get their protective nature from their bernese parent. They are not aggressive, but they can be a bit standoffish with strangers.
They make great watch dogs, because they will alert you if a stranger is nearby.
The bernese husky gets a double dose of attention-seeking, inheriting it from both parent breeds. You can’t leave them alone for long periods of time.
They will become bored, lonely, and potentially even depressed.
They will find all sorts of ways to get your attention, from vocalizing to performing tricks for you.
It’s also common for them to use their nose or paws to show you they want to be petted.
They do have a desire to please their owner, but they can have a stubborn streak as well.
They can be difficult for new dog owners, because they need a strong and confident alpha, or leader.
You’ll need to be calm, confident, and consistent when training them and setting boundaries. They respond well to positive reinforcement.
Negative training or punishment will simply bring out their stubborn side, and lock you into a battle for control.
Both parent breeds are relatively healthy, but they are at risk of a few health issues.
Mixed breeds are often considered healthier than pure breed pooches, because they have greater genetic diversity.
However, they are at a higher risk of some issues, particularly issues that are common in both parent breeds.
These health issues include:
- Joint problems
- Eye Conditions
Both parent breeds are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, which causes their joints to not form correctly.
They can also develop arthritis, particularly as they age.
Joint problems cause pain, which may be worse early in the morning, or after a period of rest.
You may notice difficulty moving, limping, or whining with movement.
Bernese huskies are also prone to hypothyroidism.
The thyroid is responsible for metabolism. Hypothyroidism means that the thyroid is underactive.
This can lead to lethargy, unexplained weight gain, and skin and coat problems.
Bernese huskies are prone to a few different eye disorders, like their parent breeds.
One of these is progressive retinal atrophy, or PRA. This causes the eyes to stop functioning, leading to blindness. This typically occurs in puppies at age 2-3 months and adults between 3 and 9 years.
They are also at an increased risk of cataracts.
Cataracts cause a film to form over the eye, which impairs their vision.
This typically happens in senior pooches, and it can lead to a complete loss of vision.
Unfortunately, these pooches are also prone to certain types of cancer.
Bernese mountain dogs have a higher risk of lymphoma and histiocytosis.
Huskies are at a higher risk of tumors, including basal cell tumors, sebaceous gland tumors, and anal gland tumors.
Bernese huskies are at a risk of any of these cancers because of their genetics.
Any dog can develop bloat – medically referred to as Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus – but medium to large breeds are at an increased risk of the condition.
Bloat often occurs when the stomach can’t release the gas from digestion. As food digests, gas and pressure increase.
If not treated, this pressure can cause the stomach to twist, which is often fatal.
The signs of bloat include retching or gagging without productive vomiting, bloating, heavy panting, and severe stomach pain.
Bloat needs to be treated immediately because the condition can be fatal within hours of symptoms starting.
Both parent breeds are more likely to develop allergies than most breeds.
They can be allergic to food, including dairy, beef, chicken, eggs, soy, and wheat.
They can also have environmental or skin allergies. These include dust, grass, and mold.
Allergies can cause skin rashes, itching, skin lesions, and a runny nose.
The Bernese mountain husky mix typically needs about 1 hour of exercise each day.
However, this can vary based on which parent they take after in this area.
Bernese mountain dogs need 30 minutes to 1 hour of exercise each day, while huskies need 2 hours of exercise daily.
You can provide exercise for them by taking them on walks, jogs, and playing games like fetch.
They also enjoy agility courses, so you can set up an obstacle course in your yard for them to enjoy.
In addition to physical exercise, these intelligent pooches need plenty of mental stimulation.
Without it, they will become bored, which can lead to behavioral issues and destructive tendencies.
You can provide mental exercise by teaching them new tricks or commands, playing games like hide and seek, and giving them puzzle toys.
The bernese husky is an incredibly loyal, affectionate, and happy dog that thrives with lots of attention and activity.
They are excellent dogs for families, because they are great with kids, and love all members of their family.
Their protective nature can give you an added sense of security as well.
With proper training, regular grooming, playtime, and lots of cuddles, they quickly become an integral part of your family.