Should I Shave My Bernese Mountain Dog's Coat In The Summer?


9 Answers

Yun Wan Profile
Yun Wan answered
For no reason whatsoever should you shave off your dog's coat, unless it is a veterinary emergency. Not only are you putting the animal under unnecessary stress, you may also catch the skin and cause damage to the dog, especially if you do not have the right tools to perform the job. It is really not recommended by most educated breeders to shave a Bernese Mountain dog. As they normally have pretty thick coats you will endanger them by risking the dog suffering things such as sunburn and overheating. Their fur is specially designed to insulate them, keep them warm and provide the dog with an extra layer during the cold winter months.
Do not be tempted in any way to shave off its fur, even though it may be sweating and panting, as these behaviours are natural -  so do not be alarmed! Make sure you get your dog to run round and ensure the coat is doing its own job. The majority of gyms and canine therapy centers will have a lap pool, swimming instruction and physical therapists that will introduce your dog to water and develop their skills. You should brush the dog daily if possible or at least twice a week to maintain a healthy coat and make sure the dog does not get any fleas or ticks.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I would like to point out that the swiss mountains are actually warm during the summer, and that BMD's, like most dogs, need their outer coat to not get sunburnt.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
It is absolutely not recommended by most knowledgeable breeders
to shave a Bernese Mountain dog. You run the risk of sunburn and overheating.
Their fur is designed to keep them insulated-meaning warm in the winter and
protected in the summer. It is tempting to clip their hair when it gets warm  but not advisable. Our Berneses have learned how to swim and get most of
their exercise that way in the summer months. Not all Berners will take to the
water on their own but most dog gyms and canine therapy centers will have a lap
pool, swimming instruction and physical therapists who will safely and gently
introduce your pup to water and build up his or her skills. Our girl
Bernese adores the water now. She rushes headlong into any swimming hole and
swims laps around the edge. There are also cooling mats which you can us in a
crate or dog bed.
Berner Vet Profile
Berner Vet answered
Please do NOT shave your Bernese Mountain Dog in the summer. We tend to anthropomorphize with our dogs and assume that since we would be happier with less on, so would our dogs!  Dogs do not dissipate heat through the skin the same way we do (they don't even have appreciable numbers of sweat glands in their skin, while we have tons) but by panting. That thick undercoat actually protects them from the heat. Shaving only makes you feel better, not them
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Don't be ridiculous!! If you are going to shave the coat of a Bernese for the summer months then you should have purchased a breed with a short coat!! ALL dogs get warmer in the summer months and it is important not to leave them in hot places such as cars or conservatories. They will find somewhere cool to lie i.e.under a bush and frequently in the summer I leave a soaked cooled towel out for her to lie on. Take your dog out early morning or late evening for excercise on hot days and do ensure there is always cool, clean drinking water. Available at all times. I also give my Bernese ice cubes to play with on hot days. Over time, you will seriously ruin the natural quality of your dog's coat if you keep shaving it. If you cannot afford air conditioning then purchase some fans- your dog will love them !!
Jacquelyn Mathis Profile
The Bernese coat is slightly rough in outline, but not at all harsh in texture. The undercoat is fairly dense; the coat is quite dirt and weather resistant.

A good brushing every week is sufficient to keep it in fine shape, except when the undercoat is being shed; then daily combing is in order for the duration of the moult.

Bernese Mountain Dogs shed year-round, and drifts of fur are to be expected. There is no mention of needing to shave them in this article. I suppose, if you really want to help out the dog if you are in a very hot climate you could, but they have coats that are supposed to be warm in the winter, and cool in the summer.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered

You can shave your dog, the whole thing about the fur insulating them in the summer is a myth.  Think about it how many times has your dog laid on the floor in the summer panting on even the not so hot days. We have been shaving our Bernese x for 6 years without any ill effect, this is  only done once a year and only past the point in the year where they do not need their coat for warmth. 

He is more energetic, he is not constantly panting. He can play fetch for more than one throw. But remember they can get sunburned more easily that is something that you must be careful about.  We do this in April and by the end of September his full coat is back in and he is ready to bury himself in the snow again for winter.  He loves snow.

This is ok'd by our vet, as long as he is healthy and his hair grows back in glossy. But BEWARE very important, your dogs coat will not be the same as before, is not bad but it could come back slightly coarser or in our case curly.  If you have a show dog don't shave it.

But above all check with your vet, each dog is individual and some dogs can become stressed with shaving, it is a long process for  such a large dog.

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I agree with Jxrae. After much debate, my wife and I shaved our Berner this week. The difference is profound. She is so much more frisky and does not seem to get overheated at all. Even in our air-conditioned home, our Berner would never lie on anything but a cold floor because of the coat. Now she lies comfortably in her dog bed without the panting. She eagerly goes outside to run around even if it is warm. She does look like a Swissie-mini though. I would highly recommend a very close summer cut for Berners who live in the southeast, southwest and even the midwest where it can just get scorching.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I honest to goodness would have him shaved. We have ours shaved every summer & just had him shaved yesterday as a matter of fact. He is SO much happier and cooler than if he were just in his winter coat. Bernese MOUNTAIN dogs are made to live in cold climates, such as mountains. So when we put them in climates that get warm or hot, we need to do the best we can to make them comfortable. I would definitely recommend getting him shaved. Plus, they look so adorable shaved and I hardly ever even notice his hair growing back, until I look at him one day and think, WOW YOUR HAIR'S GROWN BACK! =) (Our Bernese is 2 years old)

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