Berner Size and Growth

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by LunaBaby, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. LunaBaby

    LunaBaby New Member

    Hello everyone!

    I'm hoping to get some insight into the size of my girl. Luna will be 8 months old next week, but I'm a little concerned about her size. She was 50 lbs when we weighed her last week, and I've read that the 8 month mark is when they typically reach adult size, even though they put on more weight and fill out. She's very short as well even though I haven't measured, so it's not just her weight that worries me. We started her in a training class last week and the trainer was calling her a "toy Berner" because she's so tiny! Maybe that is making me paranoid, but I was wondering if anyone saw major growth spurt in their Berners after 8 months? According to the vet she is very healthy and it has nothing to do with her eating or nutrition but I have never seen a Berner so small I'm just curious if she will continue growing or be forever tiny :confused:
  2. LunaBaby

    LunaBaby New Member

    Thanks, Lynn. Believe it or not I do know how to use google :p haha. I've actually read this several times (I've looked at it for each age range she's in at the time) and numerous other online articles about Bernese puppy growth. I've also read the threads in this forum posted a couple years ago charting puppy size and discussing growth.

    Luna is quite lower than the ranges mentioned in the above article and any of the other posts and is noticably smaller than others her age we've seen in person. When we took her to daycare at 4 months old there was another female there who was born on the exact same day, coincidentally, but that Berner was twice the size of Luna so the girls working thought Luna was part Border Collie.

    I guess I was looking more for personal experiences from real owners and not just an article with average ranges and expectations.

    Thanks again!
  3. lynn1959

    lynn1959 New Member

    Are her sire or dam big or small do you know ?
    It may be genetic.
  4. josullivan

    josullivan New Member

    Hey there,

    I have an eight month old Berner, Hugo, who's on the small side as well. I've been worried just as you have and have contacted the breeder to see how the rest of the pups from his litter have been doing and they all seem to be larger, including the runt of the litter. He's roughly 70-75 lbs and tends to get some of the same comments about being a mini Bernese, too! The vet has told me he's perfectly healthy and of course I wouldn't change him but curious if you've received anymore information on Luna? I've been told numerous times they grow until two or three years, so we've still high hopes for him!

    Glad I'm not the only one who's curious with this issue!
  5. CharlieBern

    CharlieBern New Member

    If there aren't any underlying issues, having a small Berner comes down to genetics. There will be some variance in every litter. Females do reach adult size quicker than males, but your girl may very well gain another 20-30lbs. Our first Berner (Charlie) was under 80lbs at 18 months. His bone mass was less than adequate for a large breed, and I'm fairly certain he would have encountered orthopedic issues if he hadn't passed away so young. Our current Berner (Forrest) is 70lbs at 7 months and comes from a better line.

    I always encourage people who are interested in the breed to do their research beforehand. Finding a responsible breeder who wants to improve the breed is so important. Chances are Luna is just a small Berner....keep taking great care of her! :) The vast majority of people don't know anything about Berners, so take the critics/clueless with a grain of salt.
  6. BernerRescue

    BernerRescue New Member

    Sounds like she is not to the breed standard and simply small.

    If you are getting "toy" berner comments then it likely speaks to her not having any bone or structure and thus small.

    This is breeding and has nothing to do with anything you are doing.

    Where I live, we get small, no bone Berners and can usually tell they come from the eastern block countries (hungary, slovakia) where the original imports were grossly undersized.

    Where is your dog from? How big are the parents? And do the parents have scrawny legs? This is your best indicator.
  7. LunaBaby

    LunaBaby New Member

    Awesome, thanks for the comments everyone! Sorry it took me so long to get on here and read them all!

    Luna is 9 months old now and has only gained ~5lbs since my last post. It sounds like she is just on the smaller side. We got her from a breeder in Nebraska and all the other pups and parents are in the normal range for size, but definitely closer to the small side than the large side so it could just be that she got the short end of the stick in the genetics! She's really healthy and hasn't had any problems, and with how much energy/excitement she has I'm starting to think I'm lucky she's not any bigger!
    Cheryl likes this.
  8. FHesser

    FHesser New Member

    Thanks for all the information you all wrote. We were wondering about our 7 month old's height and weight and she seems to be doing just fine. 24 inches tall at the withers and 58 pounds. Just gangly and awkward....which seems to be normal for this breed from what I've read. Very easy to train. Listens well. She's a good hiker and just learned to easily cross water. Although we live in northern Montana, it's been an unusually hot summer and she does seem to over heat easily when playing. I think she'll be much happier when Fall and winter come.
  9. Vin63

    Vin63 New Member

    Just curious about the smallest Berners the folks here have seen, or known of. Our most recent rescue is tiny, most likely from malnutrition from her previous owner. She's ~21 inches tall and 55 lbs right now. Best guess-timate is she is around 2 years old. We lovingly refer to her as the munchkin.
  10. marycaldell

    marycaldell New Member

    MBD-Size does

    Our Berner seems small too. At 1 1/2 years Tori was 72 pounds and doesn't appear to be putting on much weight these last few months. We, ourselves, joke that she is our minibern. Her dad was 105 pounds and her mom was 95 pounds so we really thought she would be huge. Tori is healthy, has lots of energy and we love our minibern!
  11. Prospector

    Prospector New Member

    Another small berner owner here.

    Ours came from Montreal where she was 'Farm Bred' I saw both parents, and they appeared to be healthy adults of normal size and behaviour. Our Bernie is not!

    I find it interesting that another owner in this thread identified her dog as 'hyper' - something we were surprised by with our dog. We are now going on our 4th year with Bernie, and she is maybe 70 lbs.

    Some challenges we have with a small Berner...

    - Hyper, hyper, hyper. If the doorbell rings or the neighbours are in their yard, she is like a firecracker, darting everywhere and bombing around the house/yard like a ping-pong ball.
    - Food, food, food. She eats about 3 cups of dry food a day and all the table scraps, but is always looking for more food. She will eat until she pukes, then eat more. She is always hungry. I am considering the raw diet for her.
    - Judgments all over. When we go to the dog park or even just out in the neighbourhood, a lot of people seem to think I am abusing her or starving her. We really aren't. I get a lot of comments about how skinny she is and what we should be doing. I appreciate the concern folks have, but it gets old after a while.
    - Insecurity. Bernie has always been a great watchdog, chasing off critters as big as coyotes and as small as raccoons and skunks, but when people she doesn't know come around the house, she can get very nervous and snappy. Especially women. I don't know why she is this way. Lately she has been much better, but last summer we were wondering if we were going to have to rehome her or something. With our own family she is fine, but my wife is very much her second-favorite, behind me. I don't know if this is related to Bernie's size or just her character.

    About a year ago we moved from a country acreage to the city, and that has been rough for Bernie. Some of this stuff may be related to that change (we can't leave her outside or she barks at the neighbours through the fence). But she has always been small, and we have always wondered if there was some poodle mixed in her - the breeder also bred poodles.

    One thing we noticed is that her snout is narrower than most other Berners we see out there. Are other small Berner owners noticing narrow, longish snouts compared to the wide, blunt ones on larger dogs?
  12. LunaBaby

    LunaBaby New Member

    Luna is so hyper!! She's only 10 months old but she does a lot of the same things with regards to the doorbell and darting around the yard when people are around. I'm hoping it's just a puppy thing but I guess we'll see. She also has a VERY narrow snout compared to larger Berners that look boxier in the head. Our Berners sound very similar!
  13. Kelly Anne

    Kelly Anne New Member

    also worried

    It may be nothing, but I have a 5 1\2 month old female Daisy, she looked totally normal but a month ago she lost her cute puppy coat and got a silky thin coat a little thicker row down her spine but the rest of her is short hair her ears are wavy kinky fur, her legs are long and thin and her tail is black and thin well starting to get longer hair. Her weight is normal, 50 lbs I guess what I'm asking is this normal? Is her look right for a female purebred Bernese? Too me she looks awkward almost! When will she fill out and have long hair?
  14. FHesser

    FHesser New Member

    Growth and hair

    Heidi is now a year old and full size (compared to her parents). I haven't weighed her in a couple of months...but she was 79 pounds then and is taller and thicker now.
    Her hair is long and silky on her ears....but the rest is curly. She's turned into a GREAT hiker....but is still reluctant to "load up" into the car or backseat of the truck and itsn't enthusiastic about crossing water. She LOVES snow though and frolics in it endlessly when we hike.
    She is not hyper at all. In fact, she's too mellow and a little fearful of new situations. She has been to two obedience classes and that helped a lot with her comfort level in new situations. Just got her AKC Canine Good Citizenship award.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
  15. konabeardog

    konabeardog New Member

    Interestingly enough Kona is on the small side as well, as well as all of her littermates (a litter of about 6 I believe?). Last time we all checked in each pup was ranging from 60-84lbs and they are all 2.5years old at this point, so full grown for sure. I too was expecting a bigger dog as her dad was 115 and mom was 110, but Kona is a solid dog and a great hiking buddy so I'm not too upset! :D
  16. Hunter2013

    Hunter2013 New Member

    Our Berner is on the small side as well. He is 1 year, and 87 pounds as of last week. We keep him small on purpose those (don't worry I am not starving him) But we keep him small because he has hip problems.
  17. Cleo

    Cleo Guest

    I hope my husband does not see this post, he may want to trade. ;) He is afraid she will be over 100. But I don't think so, her Mom was slender.

    I am sure your girl is lovely.

    I think they reach their height at 1 year, but she will probably fill out in width and girth.

    Cleo likes steak, carrots and potatoes. She also likes chicken and brown rice. She is almost 16 weeks and 40 pounds. For training treats she like sharp cheddar cheese squares and bacon. For breakfast she likes scrambled eggs and cheese. All of this with her normal almost 4 cups kibble per day. Sometimes I worry about over feeding her, but she looks fine. And she wants what she wants.

    We go for a long walk at 6:00 AM and another at around 8:00 PM. As long as she is exercising during the cool part of the day... she sleeps good and appears energetic. She does not want to go out when it is hot or raining.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2015
  18. LuvmyBerner

    LuvmyBerner New Member

    Hi...What did the dam/stud look like..Were they average/small/large? Also..what was she like in comparison to her littler mates? Dogs are like people..there are many things that you need to take into account when looking at size..what is her "bone" like? Everyone thinks my girl (1 YR) is a boy as she is so big..she is almost twice the size of her 3 yr old half sister. as long as she is healthy with good appetite/energy and coat..I wouldn't worry. Your pup will continue to grow some and "fill out"...they don't stop at 8 months..
  19. SMCarrier

    SMCarrier New Member

    I have a super small berner girl too. She is six months old today and only 36 lbs. She is 20" tall. She is not malnourished at all and never has been. She was the runt at birth and just has been tiny every since. I get the mini-berner reference also when people meet her. She is perfect healthy and proportioned just on a "mini" scale. Nice to hear others have little berners. Was getting worried there for a while. I know she will grow more as she has a lot of loose skin but I don't expect her to be very large.

Share This Page