Labernese Dog: A Comprehensive Guide to the Lovable Breed

The Labernese is a delightful and unique mixed breed dog, created by crossing a Labrador Retriever with a Bernese Mountain Dog. As a result of this combination, the Labernese inherits desirable traits from both of its parent breeds, such as its friendly and confident demeanor, intelligence, and trainability. This mix breed with a high shedding but manageable coat is well-suited for those who are looking for a loving, adaptable companion for various living situations.


In recent years, Labernese dogs have gained popularity due to their versatile abilities, which can be attributed to their working breed lineage. Combining the energy and sociability of the Labrador Retriever with the tender, good-natured disposition of the Bernese Mountain Dog, the Labernese boasts a well-rounded personality that appeals to families and individuals alike. Moreover, they tend to be relatively low-maintenance and adaptable, thriving in various climates and social settings.

Key Takeaways

  • The Labernese is a crossbreed between a Labrador Retriever and a Bernese Mountain Dog, resulting in a friendly, confident, and intelligent companion.
  • Their versatile abilities and well-rounded personalities make them suitable for families and individuals with various living situations.
  • Labernese dogs are generally low-maintenance, adaptable to different climates, and thrive in social settings.

History of the Labernese

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular and versatile dog breeds in the world. Originating from the province of Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada, these dogs were initially bred to retrieve game, particularly waterfowl. Labrador Retrievers are known for their intelligence, friendly nature, and strong swimming abilities. Their short, dense coats are designed to keep them warm and protect them from the harsh Canadian winters.

Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dogs hail from the Swiss Alps, where they were used as working dogs in farms, herding cattle, and pulling carts. These large dogs are known for their beautiful tri-colored coats and gentle temperament. They are smart, strong, and loyal, making them excellent companions and work partners.

Mira Foundation

The Labernese is a crossbreed between the Labrador Retriever and the Bernese Mountain Dog. This breed was created in the 1990s by the Mira Foundation in Canada, with the aim of producing an ideal service dog for people with disabilities, including the blind and visually impaired. The foundation sought to combine the intelligence and trainability of the Labrador Retriever with the strength and gentle nature of the Bernese Mountain Dog. As a result, the Labernese has become known for its temperament and ability to assist people with various tasks.

When it comes to physical characteristics, the Labernese usually stands between 21 and 27 inches tall and weighs between 55 and 115 pounds. This dog’s coat can be a mix of both its parent breeds, often resulting in a unique and striking appearance. Like its parents, the Labernese is a loyal, gentle, and intelligent dog, making it highly suitable for assistance and therapy work.

Appearance and Size

Coat and Colors

The Labernese is a delightful mix of two breeds – Labrador Retriever and Bernese Mountain Dog. As a result, their coat can have various colors, including black, yellow, white, and chocolate. Some Labernese dogs can also be tri-color, showcasing a mix of two or three shades. The diversity in their coat colors makes them visually appealing and unique.

Double Coat

Labernese dogs inherit a double coat from their parent breeds, which is both a blessing and a challenge. While the double coat provides insulation and protection, it also makes grooming somewhat demanding. Owners should pay special attention to maintaining the coat’s cleanliness and preventing matting.

When it comes to size, Labernese dogs can vary based on their parents’ traits. Generally, they stand between 21 to 27 inches tall and weigh 55 to 115 pounds. This makes the Labernese a large breed, suitable for families who have space for these gentle giants. The size of these dogs also means they need regular exercise and training to keep them happy and healthy.

Personality and Temperament

The Labernese, a mix between a Labrador Retriever and a Bernese Mountain Dog, is known for its friendly, social, and intelligent temperament. These large dogs are gentle and affectionate, making them excellent companions for families with children and other pets. In this section, we’ll explore their family compatibility, behavior with children and pets, and other aspects of their personality.

Family Compatibility

Labernese dogs are highly compatible with families, as they are devoted and loyal companions. They enjoy being around their human family members and thrive on social interaction. Due to their gentle and friendly nature, they are well-suited to families with children and pets. They are adaptable and can adjust to different family dynamics, making them a versatile addition to any home. However, it’s worth noting that the Labernese doesn’t enjoy being left alone for long periods, so they do best in households where someone is around most of the time.

Behavior with Children

The Labernese is an excellent choice for families with children due to its gentle and patient temperament. They are often affectionate with kids, be it playing games or taking part in more relaxed activities. Their naturally social nature allows them to form strong bonds with children, establishing a trusting and loving relationship. However, as with any large breed, it’s essential to supervise interactions between the dog and small children to prevent unintentional injuries.

Behavior with Pets

In general, Labernese dogs get along well with other pets, including other dogs and cats. They are typically friendly and social creatures, and their gentle nature extends to their interactions with other animals. Early socialization and introduction to other pets can further improve their behavior, making them good companions for households with multiple pets. It’s essential to monitor their interactions with other animals, especially during initial encounters, to ensure a harmonious coexistence.

Training and Exercise

Labernese dogs are known to be intelligent and trainable, making them suitable for various types of training and activities. As a mix of Labrador Retriever and Bernese Mountain Dog, these dogs usually have an energetic and active disposition, which requires regular exercise to channel their energy properly.

Guide Dog Training

Labernese dogs can be trained as guide dogs for people with vision impairments due to their intelligence, steady temperament, and desire to help their owners. These dogs benefit from early socialization and extensive training to acquire the necessary skills to work as guide dogs.

Agility Training

In addition to serving as guide dogs, Labernese dogs also excel in agility training, thanks to their energetic nature and drive to please their owners. This type of training involves teaching your dog to navigate obstacles such as jumps, tunnels, and weave poles. Agility training not only provides mental and physical stimulation but also helps strengthen the bond between the dog and owner.

Positive Reinforcement

When training a Labernese, it is crucial to use positive reinforcement techniques. These dogs respond well to rewards, praise, and affection, which motivates them to learn new commands quickly. To prevent separation anxiety, gradually accustom your Labernese to being alone by leaving them for short periods and rewarding them for remaining calm during your absence.

Regular exercise is essential for Labernese dogs to maintain a healthy body and mind. Some activities they may enjoy include:

  • Fetch: Engaging in games like fetch helps burn off excess energy and satisfies their innate retrieving instincts.
  • Long walks: Taking your Labernese on long walks not only improves their physical health but also provides mental stimulation through exposure to new sights and smells.
  • Playtime: Playing with your Labernese daily strengthens the bond between you and your dog, reinforces positive behaviors, and helps tire out energetic dogs.

Remember to monitor your Labernese’s activity levels to ensure they receive adequate exercise while avoiding overexertion. By providing consistent training, exercise, and a loving environment, your Labernese will develop into a well-behaved and happy companion.

Grooming and Care

Caring for a Labernese dog requires consistent grooming and attention to their coat, shedding, and brushing needs.


Labernese dogs are known to be moderate to heavy shedders, as both Labrador Retrievers and Bernese Mountain Dogs have double coats. Double-coated dogs tend to blow their coats seasonally, which means that you can expect an increase in shedding during the spring and fall. Keeping up with grooming practices can help you manage the shedding and maintain a healthy coat for your Labernese.


To keep your Labernese’s coat in good condition, regular brushing is essential. Aim to brush your dog at least twice a week, using a de-shedding tool or slicker brush to remove loose hairs, prevent matting, and distribute natural oils throughout the coat. This will help maintain the coat’s health, reduce shedding, and keep your home cleaner.

In addition to brushing, regular bathing is also important for the overall maintenance of your Labernese’s coat. Aim to bathe your dog every 6-8 weeks, depending on their activity level and coat condition. Use a gentle, dog-specific shampoo to avoid irritation and help maintain your dog’s natural coat oils.

When grooming your Labernese, make sure to also pay attention to their other care needs, such as trimming their nails and cleaning their ears. Regularly checking and caring for these areas can help prevent infections and discomfort.

Health and Lifespan

Labernese dogs, being a mix between a Labrador Retriever and a Bernese Mountain dog, can inherit health problems from either side of their lineage. However, these dogs generally enjoy a lifespan of around 10 to 14 years, which is an average lifespan for a large-sized dog. In general, they are quite healthy dogs, but there are a few common health issues faced by the breed.

Common Health Issues

  • Hip Dysplasia & Elbow Dysplasia: These genetic conditions are common in many large dog breeds, including the Labernese. It is important to have your dog tested and screened for these issues, as they can lead to arthritis and reduced mobility.
  • Bloat: Also known as gastric torsion, this life-threatening condition occurs when the dog’s stomach fills with gas and twists on itself. Keeping a consistent feeding schedule and avoiding exercise right after meals can help prevent bloat.
  • Cancer: Labernese dogs can be more prone to certain types of cancers, such as lymphoma and mast cell tumors. Early detection and treatment are key to managing these conditions.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): This is an inherited eye condition that can cause blindness in dogs. Regular eye exams can help ensure that issues like PRA are caught early, allowing for appropriate care and treatment.
  • Heart Conditions: Labernese dogs can be prone to heart issues such as dilated cardiomyopathy and arrhythmias. Regular vet check-ups can help catch these issues early so they can be managed appropriately.
  • Ear Infections: Due to their floppy ears, Labernese dogs are more prone to ear infections. Regular ear cleanings and check-ups can help prevent these infections.

Caring for a Labernese

  • Regular Vet Visits: Timely vet visits for vaccinations, worming, and general check-ups are crucial for maintaining good health in your Labernese.
  • Exercise: Labernese dogs require daily exercise for their physical and mental well-being. Moderate-length walks or playing sessions are recommended, along with engaging them in mentally stimulating activities.
  • Diet: A well-balanced, age-appropriate diet is essential for maintaining your Labernese’s health. Avoid overfeeding and always provide fresh water.
  • Grooming: Regular brushing helps in keeping the Labernese’s coat clean, healthy, and free of tangles. This will also help in controlling shedding.
  • Oral Care: Dental care is important for preventing issues like periodontal disease. Brush your Labernese’s teeth regularly with canine-specific toothpaste and provide dental chews.
  • Socialization and Training: Early socialization and consistent training help Labernese dogs learn good behavior and adapt well to various environments. Positive reinforcement methods work best for training this breed.

Adopting a Labernese

Choosing a Breeder

When deciding to add a Labernese to your family, it’s important to research and select a reputable breeder. A responsible breeder will prioritize the health and temperament of their puppies, whether they are mixed breeds or purebred dogs. Speak with various breeders, visit their facilities, and inquire about the puppy’s lineage, health issues, and appearance. Additionally, discuss the Labernese breed characteristics such as their intelligence, size, and coat colors. Keep in mind that the cost of a Labernese puppy may vary, but the focus should be on the well-being of the puppies and not just the pricing.

Adopting from a Shelter

If you’re considering adopting a Labernese from a shelter, it’s a great opportunity to provide a loving home to a dog in need. Shelters often have both purebred and mixed breed dogs available, including Labernese puppies and adults. Adopting from a shelter can also be a more cost-effective option. When visiting a shelter, inquire about the dog’s history, temperament, and any known health issues. Be prepared to accommodate space requirements, as Labernese dogs are large breed and will need ample room to thrive.

Whether adopted from a breeder or a shelter, Labernese dogs are known for their friendly and social disposition, making them excellent family pets. These dogs are loyal, intelligent, and can adapt well to various environments, including apartments if given sufficient exercise. They can also be suitable companions for individuals with disabilities or those who require a service or therapy dog. However, be aware of Labernese health concerns, such as hip dysplasia and eye problems, and provide regular veterinary care to ensure your pet lives a long, healthy life. Keep in mind that climate can also impact your dog’s wellbeing, as Labernese dogs might experience discomfort in extreme heat or cold due to their thick coats. Overall, adopting a Labernese requires commitment and care to provide a nurturing home for these wonderful dogs.

Living Environment and Special Considerations

Suitable Living Space

Labernese dogs are known for their friendly and social nature, making them great companions for families. Due to their size, ranging from 65 to 105 pounds, they require plenty of living space. A large house with a fenced yard would be ideal for a Labernese, as they love to explore and play outdoors. However, these dogs can adapt to apartment living, provided that they receive sufficient exercise and mental stimulation. Remember that adequate space is essential for their comfort and happiness.

Climate Considerations

The Labernese inherits traits from the Labrador Retriever and Bernese Mountain Dog breeds. Due to their thick coats, they can tolerate cold climates quite well. In fact, they may enjoy playing in the snow. However, they are less suited for intense heat. In warmer climates, it’s important to ensure that the Labernese has access to shade and cool water, as well as air-conditioned spaces when possible. Regular grooming will also help keep their coat in good condition and make them more comfortable in hot weather.

Guard Dog Potential

While Labernese dogs may not have the most imposing presence, their size alone can be a deterrent to intruders. Their natural friendly and eager-to-please temperament means they are not typically aggressive, making them better suited as companions than guard dogs. However, they are still highly intelligent and can be trained to exhibit some guard dog behaviors if needed, such as barking when strangers approach the property. Additionally, their versatility allows them to excel in various activities, including service and guide dog roles.


The Labernese, a wonderful mix of the Labrador Retriever and Bernese Mountain Dog, proves to be a versatile and loving companion. Their admirable traits, which include intelligence, loyalty, and an affectionate nature, make them an ideal choice for families and individuals alike.

Known for their larger size compared to purebred Labrador Retrievers, the Labernese can make a lasting and memorable presence in any home. Despite their high shedding, their coat is manageable with regular grooming and upkeep.

Adaptable to a variety of environments, these dogs enjoy physical activities, making regular exercise an important aspect of keeping their health in check. To ensure their longevity, be attentive to genetic health issues commonly present in their parent breeds.

In the end, the Labernese offers a unique balance of qualities that make them excellent companions and workers. Those considering this mix breed can be confident in their decision, knowing these gentle giants will add joy, laughter, and lasting memories to any family.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the temperament of Labernese dogs?

Labernese dogs are generally friendly, social, and eager to please. They are highly intelligent and trainable, which makes them suitable for many types of activities and tasks. Despite their size, they often retain the affectionate nature of their parent breeds, making them loving companions for families.

What is the average lifespan of a Labernese?

The average lifespan for a Labernese dog is 10 to 12 years. Like any breed, their lifespan depends on factors such as genetics, diet, and exercise. Regular checkups and preventive health care can help ensure a longer and healthier life for a Labernese.

How much do Labernese puppies typically cost?

The cost of Labernese puppies can vary depending on the breeder, location, and availability. Generally, the price range of Labernese puppies is around $1,000 to $2,500. It is essential to research reputable breeders and consider adoption as a more affordable and ethical option.

What is the size of a fully-grown Labernese?

A fully grown Labernese is a large-sized dog, weighing between 55 to 115 pounds and standing 23 to 28 inches tall at the shoulder. Their size is influenced by the genetics of their parent breeds, as well as factors such as diet and exercise.

Are Labernese dogs good family pets?

Labernese dogs make excellent family pets due to their friendly nature and high trainability. They are good with children and other pets, making them excellent companions for families of different sizes. However, due to their size and energy levels, they do best in homes with plenty of space and where they receive regular exercise and mental stimulation.

Where can I find Labernese dogs for adoption?

To adopt a Labernese dog, you can start by checking local shelters and rescue organizations, or searching for Labernese-specific rescues online. Social media groups, forums, and word-of-mouth can also help in finding Labernese dogs in need of a forever home. Adopting a dog is a rewarding experience and provides a loving home for an animal in need.

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