The earliest roots of the Berner Laufhund go as far back as the glory days of the Roman Empire.

Berner Laufhund

It was named after the major Swiss city of Bern and is one of the 4 officially recognized varieties of Schweizer Laufhund (Switzerland’s native group of Scenthounds).

The other three are the Bernese Hound, Bruno Jura Hound, and Lucernese Hound. Originally, there were 5 of them but the other one went extinct in 1909.

Alpine hunters used these powerful dogs to hunt preys for over 900 years because of their remarkable sense of smell, making it easier for them to discover the location of the prey.

This dog (commonly known as the Small Bernese Hound in America) was a very popular breed of the Swiss Hound Club during the 1930s. The standards for the remaining varieties were established in 1933.

Traits and Behavior

The Berner Laufhund is a nice and active breed, which is very suitable as a hunting dog rather than a companion dog.

This dog socializes with children very well and rarely causes problems with other dogs. The breed can, however, be difficult in the company of cats and other small animals. The dog breed is not quite easy to train, as it can be both stubborn and headstrong.

But a dog owner can eventually activate the Berner Laufhund with the right, friendly approach and extreme patience.

As a hunting dog, a Berner Laufhund is not suited to a life in an apartment. It is necessary to have the lawn be fenced because these dogs might run away.

Pet Care and Diseases

Berner Laufhund is not known to suffer any major hereditary diseases. Food allergies have been reported and may be prone to suffer from gastric torsion, a painful and sometimes fatal volvulus.

A volvulus is a bowel obstruction of a loop of the bowel whose nose has completely twisted around its site of mesenteric attachment.  Because of this, two smaller meals a day may be advisable instead of one large meal.

The hair on the Berner Laufhund does not require much care. To remove loose and dead hair, frequent combing is advised with a rubber brush. Also, always check for the ears in case there is a presence of infection.

This dog finds it very difficult to adapt to the cold climate so provide it with some protective clothing or blanket to keep it warm during winter. Also, they need continual physical training to maintain good health.


This breed of dog has a long and slender body with a deep chest, a straight back, curved ribs and a muscular neck. Its body is covered with a smooth, short, very fine and dense coat that usually comes in a combination of colors that include white, black, smoke, brown and orange.

It has long ears that drop low with its rounded tip almost reaching its chest area. Its weight can range anywhere between 34 pounds to 44 pounds while its height ranges from 18 inches to 23 inches. The Berner Laufhund is a very muscular and athletic dog, but at the same time, it carries a certain aura of elegance and finesse.

General Information

The breed is expected to live for 10-15 years. A litter may consist of 3-6 puppies. Small Bernese Hound and Berner Niederlaufhund are among its few other names.

Breed Club

Visit this dog club website dedicated to Berner Laufhunds. Click this link: http://www.laufhunden.nl/