Alaskan Malamute Bernese Mix [Bernamute]: Full Profile

The Alaskan Malamute Bernese mix is a super rare and large cross between two dogs with a history of working hard and pulling heavy loads independently.

The result? A powerful and muscular dog that requires a lot of exercise and patience with obedience training.

These dogs are not for first-time owners but are very rewarding if you can meet their needs.

Stay tuned for a full rundown of this mix to learn everything there is to know.

Quick Overview Of The Malamute Bernese Mix

Before we jump into the main details, here’s a quick overview of the critical facts you need to know about the Malamute Bernese mix:

  • Other Names: Bernamute
  • Average Lifespan: 8 to 12 years
  • Average Height: 24 to 28 inches
  • Average Weight: 70 to 110+ lbs
  • Coat appearance: Long, double-coated, lots of colors possible, but white and black markings common
  • Grooming Frequency: Very frequent
  • Typical Temperament: Independent, Active, Loyal
  • Daily Food Consumption: High
  • New Owner Friendly: Difficult for new owners due to size, stubbornness, and exercise requirement
  • Suitable to live with children? Yes, but it requires socialization
  • Suitable to live with other dogs? Yes, but it requires socialization
  • Suitable to live with cats? Not suited due to size and prey drive, can be achieved with early socialization


Malamute Bernese mixes are large dogs with a long, thick double coat that ranges in color but is most often found with a base of black and white.

The eyes are always brown, with large paws, a solid, muscular build, and broad shoulders. The ears can be floppy like the Bernese Mountain dog or alert like the Malamute, and similarly, the tail will either be floppy like the Bernese or curled and fluffy like the Malamute.

Their facial expression is very friendly, and they are very welcoming and regal-looking dogs.

An Alaskan Malamute Bernese mix laid on some decking
A 50:50 Malamute/Bernese mix via Embark

There can be a lot of variation between individuals, so I’ve included as many examples as possible of pictures in this guide to give you a better idea of what you can expect.

Alaskan Malamute Appearance & Background

Alaskan Malamutes are one of the largest Spitz breeds, and their appearance shows it.

They have many characteristics of Spitz-type dogs, such as pointed ears, fluffy double coats, and a fluffy curled tail. They’re often mistaken for wolves, thanks to their looks.

Wooly Malamute

Malamutes have a super friendly expression, but they can be pretty intimidating to those unfamiliar with the breed. You’ll usually find Malamutes in a black-and-white coat, but there are a lot of other possible colors as well.

Malamutes have an extensive history as sledding dogs, specifically used to pull heavy loads.

Bernese Mountain Dog Appearance & Background

The Bernese Mountain dog has a regal appearance, with a classic black, rust, and white coat and a large, broad skull.

Bernese Mountain Dogs are one of four mountain dog breeds originating from Bern in Switzerland, and they were bred to be powerful dogs capable of hauling produce and guarding livestock.

A Bernese Mountain Dog up close

Like the Malamute, Bernese Mountain dogs are powerful and active dogs thanks to their working backgrounds, but they are gentle once at home with the family.

Average Size

Malamute Bernese mixes are very large dogs, easily exceeding 100 lbs and reaching up to 27 inches in height at the shoulder.

Some Malamutes, often referred to as ‘Giant Malamutes,’ can also grow much larger than a regular Malamute, which can cause this mix to be even larger than usual. However, these are not as healthy and not something that we advocate for.

Also, remember that alongside their large size comes a lot of power and a tendency to pull, so leash training will be necessary for this mix and retaining control while on leash.

Coat Appearance

The coat of the Malamute Bernese mix is medium to long in length, thick, and double-coated.

A double coat means that fur is split into two distinct layers: a short, dense, wooly undercoat and a longer guard layer that protects the coat and skin below.

Malamute Bernese mixes will shed year-round and even more when they seasonally shed during a process known as coat blowing.

Grooming Guide

Grooming is essential for the Malamute Bernese mix thanks to their thick, long double coats.

They’ll require a quick daily brush with a dog comb and more intense grooming sessions a few times per week to target both layers of their coat.

The details for that can be found below:

  • The grooming process starts with a slicker brush designed to target the undercoat and remove loose hairs.
  • After that, use a dematter comb, gently removing stubborn tangles with a serrated edge.
  • A gentle undercoat rake is then used to target the undercoat further and remove any remaining loose hairs.
  • Lastly, a general grooming comb removes any loose hair or matted areas.

The above process may need to be repeated daily if they are blowing coat, which is obviously quite time-consuming.


Although you might expect these dogs to require frequent bathing, just like the grooming process, they actually benefit from less frequent bathing as the double coat is designed to keep itself clean.

This means the Malamute Bernese mix should only be bathed once every 2 to 4 months as needed, for example, if the coat starts to smell or is visibly dirty.

Temperament Of The Malamute Bernese Mix

No dog guide would be complete without taking a deep dive into temperament, and you could argue it’s even more important with a mixed breed.

Let’s see what you can expect from a Malamute Bernese mix…

Stubborn & Independent

Alaskan Malamutes are known for being stubborn, and this shouldn’t come as a surprise if you have any experience with Spitz-type breeds.

Bernese Mountain Dogs can also be very stubborn, which comes from their independent nature as livestock guardians who work alone for long periods.

This means that the Malamute Bernese mix is likely to be stubborn and independent, making obedience training difficult and getting them to listen to you at the best of times.


Despite their stubbornness, both parent breeds are highly intelligent, which will also get passed onto the Malamute Bernese mix.

Don’t expect them to always listen to you, but you can expect them to understand what you’re saying!

Affectionate And Loyal With The Family

Although these dogs can be very independent and stubborn at times, they’re incredibly affectionate and loyal to family members and form a close bond with the people they spend a lot of time with.

Once they’ve had their daily exercise, they’ll want nothing more than to sit on the sofa and relax with you all night; it’s just getting to that point, which can be challenging.

Very Active & Strong

Both the Malamute and Bernese Mountain Dog come from working backgrounds where they were required to pull heavy loads.

These days, many are bred as companion dogs, but they still have a lot of power and energy.

They’ll need around 2 hours of exercise per day, and ideally, spend some time doing exercise that allows them to pull, rather than letting them pull you around on the leash.

You can use a simple sled for this and attach some weight; this is a great way to tire them out and mimic their natural tendency to pull!

Prey Drive

Malamute Bernese mixes do tend to have a higher prey drive than most dogs, which can cause problems in several areas of daily life.

Firstly, they’ll need to be raised with other cats or small dogs from a young age to live alongside them successfully. Another issue is that during walks, they will need to be kept on a leash in unsecured areas, as there will be little chance of recall if they spot a small animal and decide to chase after it.

Is The Malamute Bernese Mix A Good Family Dog?

Malamute Bernese mixes are great for active families as long as you consider their temperament and size.

They can be great with children and babies but don’t forget that they’re huge dogs, so you’ll have to supervise them at all times. They’re also not great with other small dogs or cats unless raised together from a young age, which is another thing to keep in mind.

With the right home, they’re incredible dogs that will reward you with endless affection and loyalty.

How Much Do They Cost?

The average prices of each parent breed can be found below:

  • Alaskan Malamutes cost between $1,500 and $3,000 on average
  • Bernese Mountain Dogs cost anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 on average

Keep in mind that it’s incredibly rare to come across this mix, so you’re much more likely to find them in a shelter or dog rescue.

In Summary

There you have it.

Malamute Bernese mixes are super interesting dogs that require lots of work, but they’re perfect for the right owners who are active and able to be patient with them.

If you’re interested in learning about more Alaskan Malamute mixes, you can check out some of our recent articles below:

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About The Author

Caitlin is the owner and lead writer for The Malamute Mom. She has over 10 years of experience with Alaskan Malamutes and Huskies. She is currently working on getting her PhD in materials science but continues to write for The Malamute Mom in her spare time.

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