The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large dog breed, one of the four breeds of Sennenhund-type dogs from the Swiss Alps. This breed was used as an all-purpose farm dog for guarding property and driving dairy cattle long distances from the farm to the alpine pastures.

The Bernese is one of the shortest-lived dog breeds, compared both to other breeds of a similar size and to purebred dogs in general. The average life expectancy of a Bernese Mountain Dog is approximately 7 to 8 years. Cancer is the leading cause of death for dogs in general, but Bernese Mountain Dogs have a much higher rate of fatal cancer than other breeds; in both U.S./Canada and UK surveys, nearly half of these dogs die of cancer, compared to about 27% of all dogs.

The average life expectancy of other dogs is as follows;

Appenzeller Sennenhund 12-14 years. Greater Swiss Mountain Dog 10–11 years.

St. Bernard 8–10 years.

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