best bernese mountain dog shampoo

6 Best Dog Shampoos And Conditioners For Bernese Mountain Dogs

Bernese Mountain Dogs are known for being one of the most loyal and hardy kinds of canine in the world. They’re a low maintenance breed that can take almost anything that life throws at it, but it does suffer from some common skin and coat related issues that need proper care and attention from one of the best shampoos for Bernese Mountain Dogs on the market.

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4-Legger Dog Shampoo

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Earthbath Dog Shampoo

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Buddy Wash Dog Shampoo

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Today we’re going to be looking at the Bernese Mountain Dog and the kinds of requirements it has in the grooming and bathing department. We’ll be sharing a few handy hints and tips, and we’ll be providing answers to questions about the breed that we have been sent by our readers over the years.

The most important (and useful) part of this article is the Bernese Mountain Dog shampoo review section. We’ve done a huge amount of completely impartial research into the best products on the market that meet the needs of the breed. We’ll be recommending 6 excellent options, all of which are more than worthy of your consideration.

Let’s get started.

Popular Types Of Bernese Mountain Dog Shampoos

Let’s start this article off by looking at the kinds of shampoo you should be looking out for when shopping around.

Sensitive Skin Shampoos

Bernese Mountain Dogs are known to suffer from skin issues at a slightly higher rate than normal (compared to other breeds). It’s not a chronic problem, but it’s something you need to be aware of (and trying to mitigate).

The Bernese Mountain Dog isn’t alone in suffering from skin issues. Redness, itchiness, irritation, and soreness are common complaints that dogs of all shapes and sizes suffer from. As such, you’re almost spoilt for choice when you’re in the market for a doggy skin care shampoo.

We always prefer natural products in the majority of situations. Compounds like aloe vera and green tea extracts work their magic on the skin of dogs in the exact same way that they do for us humans. They’re effective, they’re powerful, and they’re usually reasonably cheap.

Chemical based skin care shampoos are usually recommended in more serious situations. These products are essentially medicated shampoos (some of which require a prescription from your vet) that outperform natural products. They’re designed to treat serious issues that need serious treatment, and unless your pooch is suffering badly, they’re usually overkill.

The biggest problem that you’re going to have when shopping around for a skin care shampoo is finding a brand that you can trust. Low-quality brands can put a small amount of aloe vera in their product and still claim that they help your dog’s skin in their marketing materials – despite it doing almost nothing at all. Check the reputation of the brand you’re buying from before committing to a purchase, and try and find out the quantity of active skin care ingredients in the bottle.

Remember: This is long and boring work, but it’s essential if you want to ensure you’re providing your pooch with the care and protection that they need. We’ve done this for you later on in the article in our review section – if you pick any of the products there then you can rest assured that your dog is in good hands.

Shedding Control Shampoos

Bernese Mountain Dogs are a reasonably large breed that has a thick double coat. They’re technically moderate shedders, but the length and color of their hair makes them feel much more like a heavy shedding breed.

Shedding control shampoos are designed to nourish and enrich your dog’s hair to try and encourage it to stay attached to their body for longer than it otherwise would. They can be surprisingly effective (when you pick a good product) and the difference they make is usually noticeable if you’re switching from a normal shampoo.

However, shedding control shampoos are not a substitute for a good grooming routine. Unless you’re breaking out the brushes on a regular basis, you’re going to be finding hair everywhere – regardless of which shampoo you use.

Your Bernese Mountain Dog will also shed heavily during their two main blowing seasons each year. This happens firstly around spring where they get rid of their thicker warmer winter coat and a lighter summer coat comes through. The same thing happens in the winter, the summer coat falls out and the winter coat starts to grow in.

When your dog is going through a blowing season, there’s nothing you can do to mitigate the amount of hair that’s going to be shed. Your dog’s body needs to get rid of it, and one way or another it’s going to fall out. No shampoo in the world can help with this, and you’re going to have to groom your pooch regularly during these periods to maintain a home that’s reasonably clean.

Soothing Shampoos

Bernese Mountain Dogs don’t usually like being bathed. They’re fine with playing in muddy water and swimming in rivers, but the second you put them in the tub they have a change of heart towards getting wet.

There’s not a lot you can do to make your pooch happy about bathing, but shampoo manufacturers are at least trying to solve the issue. There are a range of products on the market right now that use scented infusions to try and calm your pooch down during bath time in an aromatherapy style treatment. There’s no scientific research to suggest they work (as far as we know), but in our personal experience (and in anecdotal reviews) they do seem to make a small amount of difference.

It’s important that you set your expectations properly with soothing shampoo products, they’re not suddenly going to make your pooch enjoy bathing. However, we’re confident that you’ll notice the difference they make (providing you pick a high-quality product).

Note: Our overall recommendation is a soothing shampoo, and it’s one of the best on the market right now. If it’s something you think your pooch would benefit from, then we strongly recommend you check it out.

3 Tips On Maintaining The Perfect Bernese Mountain Dog Coat

In this section, we’re going to talk about a few ways you improve your current grooming routine and make the entire experience quicker and more pleasurable for you and your pooch.

Groom Them At Least Twice A Week

At a minimum, you should be grooming a Bernese Mountain Dog at least twice a week. If you leave it longer than this between grooming sessions you’re going to allow the inevitable matting and tangling that occurs in your dog’s coat to get out of control. It’s much harder to groom your pooch when you leave it more than a few days in-between grooming sessions, and while it might feel like you’re saving time with infrequent grooming – it’s actually more work.

Additionally, with the reasonably heavy shedding of the breed, you’re going to be creating more household cleaning by infrequently grooming your pooch. Grooming removes loads of loose hair that would otherwise fall out and be scattered around your home.

Ideally, you will groom your pooch once every 2 days, it’s the most efficient way to get the job done. The grooming sessions become much faster this way, and you can get the job completed from start to finish in 10 minutes (including clean up).

Groom Them From A Young Age

If you follow our advice in the tip above, you and your pooch are going to be grooming on a regular basis. As you can imagine, this job is going to be much easier if they enjoy being groomed. Trying to brush an excitable pooch that doesn’t want to be brushed is a huge pain, and you should be doing everything you can to ensure that they cooperate.

The best way to do this is to get them used to the idea of grooming from a very young age. You should be grooming your pooch from the first day you get them home as a young pup. Start grooming with your hand first and reward them for good behavior (i.e staying still). Then when that becomes easy, introduce the grooming brush and reward them when they let you touch their feet and tail without causing a fuss.

Overall Best Shampoo for Bernese Mountain Dogs

Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner

It’s now time for us to take a look at some specific products that we think are perfect for the Bernese Mountain Dog. We’re going to talk about several shampoos that we think are worthy of special mentions in a moment, but we think that the best Bernese Mountain Dog shampoo on the market right now is the Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner, by Buddy Wash.

If you don’t already know, Buddy Wash is one of the most respected brands in the dog shampoo industry. They use high-grade cosmetic ingredients to make quality natural shampoos that don’t break the bank.

This is a soap-free, alcohol-free shampoo that uses the natural power of coconut (that combines with other compounds) to deodorize and sanitize your pooch exceptionally well. The high-quality nature of the formula allows you to easily generate a thick luxurious lather, which is something other natural, non-soap based shampoos can struggle with.

The conditioner in this product is exceptional, and again it’s all natural. The combination of ingredients (like sage and chamomile) work tirelessly to nourish your dog’s coat from root to tip. There’s a nice amount of aloe vera and green tea extract in the formula too which will ensure your dog’s skin is kept in great condition (while promoting the recovery of any skin issues that do manage to rear their head).

As we mentioned earlier, this is a soothing shampoo that has infusions of lavender and mint to keep your pooch calmer in the tub. We’re not claiming that this stuff will transform your dog’s bathing experience from something they hate into something that they look forward to – but we’d be surprised if you didn’t notice the difference it makes.

The best bit about this stuff is the price, it’s only around $7 for a 16oz bottle. That’s exceptional value for money in our opinion considering the kind of performance this product provides.

It’s a great shampoo from a great brand, and it’s more than worthy of your consideration.

4-Legger Organic, Hypo-Allergenic, Lemongrass & Aloe Dog Shampoo

Runner Up – There was fierce competition for the top spot above, and in a close second place, we’re recommending the Organic, Hypo-Allergenic, Lemongrass & Aloe Dog Shampoo by 4-Legger.

4-Legger is well known in the industry for creating some of the highest quality products on the market. Like all of their shampoos, this stuff is vegan, cruelty-free, soap-free, alcohol-free, and it’s made in an environmentally friendly manner. The USDA looked at this product and gave it a rating of “Organic to exceptional standards” – which is astonishing considering we’re talking about shampoo for dogs here.

The lemongrass in the formula is one of the best natural cleaning compounds on the planet. It will kill bacteria and fungal spores easily, and it has pest repellent properties that will make your pooch seem like a less attractive host for fleas and ticks. Again, it generates a nice thick lather that allows complete coverage, and it’s a concentrated formula – so you need to use less product per bathing session.

The conditioner in this stuff is awesome too. It provides complete nourishment from root to tip, and it’ll give your pooch a glossy sheen that’s immediately noticeable. Again, there’s a nice amount of aloe vera in the formula to take care of the sensitive skin of the Bernese Mountain Dog, and it’ll soothe and protect your dog from the moment it’s applied.

The only problem with this product is the price, it’s $15 for a bottle of the same size as our overall recommendation (which works out at about twice the price). The additional performance this stuff provides is unquestionable – it’s a better product. However, we realize it’s not going to be a viable option for everyone due to how much it costs – and as such, it’s our runner up.

That being said, if you can afford the $15 this product costs – then you’re not going to regret it. It’s a premium product, with a premium price tag, that delivers premium performance.

Nature’s Miracle Supreme Odor Control Natural Puppy Shampoo & Conditioner

Best Bernese Mountain Dog Puppy Shampoo – Puppy Bernese Mountain Dogs need more care and attention than their adult counterparts, and as such we recommend the excellent Supreme Odor Control Natural Puppy Shampoo & Conditioner by Nature’s Miracle.

This is a gentle shampoo that will clean and cleanse your pooch with enough power to combat the messy lifestyle of a puppy. The conditioner in the product is reasonable, and while it’s not as powerful as adult shampoos – it’s still going to give your dog’s coat a lovely shine and prevent tangling and matting.

The main selling point for us with this product is the fact that it’s a tearless formula. You want to ensure that your dog has pleasant memories of bathing when they’re a puppy – because they’re going to set their attitude towards the tub for the rest of your dog’s life. Getting soap in the eyes is as painful for a pooch as it is for us humans, and avoiding it entirely with a tearless shampoo like this is a very, very good idea.

3 More Top Rated Dog Shampoos For Bernese Mountain Dogs

To conclude this review section we’re going to quickly mention 3 other products that caught our eye during our research. They’re all great options that are worth adding to your shortlist.

Earthbath Shed Control Green Tea & Awapuhi Dog & Cat Shampoo

This is one of our favorite natural deshedding shampoos on the market right now. Earthbath is a highly reputable brand, and while their products are a little on the pricy side – the quality they provide is unbeatable.

The cleaning power of this product is exceptional, and it’ll deodorize your pooch with ease. However, it’s the performance of the deshedding compounds in the conditioner that we love – it can easily go toe to toe with any other shampoo on the market in the shedding department.

FURminator DeShedding Ultra Premium Shampoo For Dogs

This product is a much more affordable deshedding shampoo, and at around $5 for a 16oz bottle, it’s one of the cheapest products on the market that we’re comfortable recommending. It’s a budget pick, so you have to set your expectations a little lower than the products above – but for the price you’re paying, it’s exceptional value for money.

The cleaners and cleansers in this product will do a more than acceptable job of deodorization and sanitization, and the deshedding properties of the shampoo are unbeatable at this price point. If you’re on a budget and have a pooch that’s leaving hair all over the place –  then this is the product for you.

Douxo Chlorhexidine PS Dog & Cat Shampoo

This is a medicated shampoo that should only be used in certain circumstances. However, if your Bernese Mountain Dog is suffering from the skin issues that the breed is known for (and if they’re reasonably severe) then this shampoo is something you should be checking out.

It’s a chemical based product that is one of the strongest medicated skin care shampoos on the market that you can get over the counter without a prescription. If you use this shampoo and your dog’s skin issues don’t clear up then we recommend a trip to the vet to check that the symptoms are not part of a more serious issue.

6 Tips On Bathing Your Bernese Mountain Dog

In this section, we’re going to tell you how to use the product you pick from the list above in the best possible way. The tips below are going to make bathing sessions easier, quicker, and more pleasurable for both you and your pooch.

Groom Them Before Bathing

Grooming your pooch before bathing them seems like a waste of time, but that’s simply not the case. As you may know, when matted hair gets wet it becomes really hard to untangle – which takes more time, and causes your pooch more discomfort. If you break out the brush before bathing your pooch, you’re saving yourself a whole heap of hassle.

Just because you groom your dog before bathing doesn’t mean you can skip the post bathing grooming session. However, because you did some of the work before your pooch got in the tub – it’s going to be a much smaller and easier job.

Run The Bath Ahead Of Time

A nice little tip that will reduce the overall stress levels of your pooch when it comes to bath time is to run the water before you call your dog over. If you make your pooch patiently sit and wait for the tub to fill you’re giving them the chance to relive all the soapy nightmares that they have experienced in previous bathing sessions. It’s an unpleasant situation for them, and the sound of the rushing water and the smell of the shampoo will cause huge amounts of anxiety.

Remove all of this discomfort from your dog’s life by ensuring you’ve got the tub full enough before calling them over. When they arrive, they’re in for a nasty surprise, but it’s no worse than the surprise they’d get if you make them wait for the tub to fill. When they arrive, pick them up and put them in the tub immediately – it’s like ripping off a band-aid, the shock isn’t great, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s the best course of action.

Check You Haven’t Forgotten Anything

If you have to leave your pooch in the tub unattended while you run to another room to grab something that you’ve forgotten, then there’s a good chance that they’re going to go rogue and try to escape. Picture a soaking wet Bernese Mountain Dog running around your home shaking water all over the place – it’s obviously a less than ideal situation.

Make a point of double checking that you have everything you need to complete the bathing session before calling your pooch over.

Put A Towel Down

Bernese Mountain Dogs are designed for running around the fields, mountains, and rivers of Switzerland – they’re not great on artificial surfaces. Like most dogs, their paws will struggle to maintain grip on the smooth slippery ceramic or plastic of your tub (especially when it’s coated in a layer of warm soapy water).

Your pooch isn’t going to be slipping and sliding around in the tub, they’re capable of maintaining their balance – but it requires concentration. This is one of the main stress factors that contribute to a dog’s dislike of bathing, and it’s also one of the easiest to solve.

Simply put a towel down in the bottom of the tub before bathing and you’ll provide a huge amount of additional grip. This is more than sufficient for your pooch to remain stable without thinking about it, and if they could talk, they’d thank you for it.

Rinse Them Well

The sensitive skin of the Bernese Mountain Dog needs special care and attention. One of the main ways that owners directly cause skin problems is by failing to remove all of the shampoo after applying it.

Even the gentlest shampoos on the market are designed to be completely removed by the time the bathing session is over. Leaving the smallest amount of product on your pooch can cause redness, irritation, itchiness, and general discomfort.

When you’re rinsing your pooch, make sure that you’re deliberate about the way you conduct the process.

You should always go from top to bottom, and work your way backward from tip to tail while stroking downwards the whole time. When you rinse your pooch like this, the chances of you accidentally missing a spot drop dramatically. You should also give them a second lighter rinse after you’ve conducted the first one – do this in the same way (but a little less intense) to ensure that every last drop of shampoo has been removed.

Protect Your Pipes

The huge amount of hair that falls off a Bernese Mountain Dog when they’re in the tub is nothing short of astonishing. The long thick hairs of the breed can cause serious issues for your plumbing system if they manage to get into your pipes – and unless you’re protecting them somehow, blockages are guaranteed sooner or later.

To solve this there’s a super simple (and super cheap) solution – good old household steel wool.

Put a piece of this stuff in the plug hole when you start bathing them and it’ll catch almost all the hair that would otherwise make its way down into your pipes. You can easily remove the hair at the end of each bathing session, or you can use a new piece of wool.

You’re going to be shocked by how much hair this simple bathing hack catches.

FAQ Regarding Bathing a Bernese Mountain Dog

In this final section of the article, we’re going to talk about 2 frequently asked questions that our readers send us about bathing the Bernese Mountain Dog.

How Often Do I Need To Bathe A Bernese Mountain Dog?

One of the best things about this breed is the fact that they need bathing very infrequently. They’re known to self-clean on occasion (in a similar way to a cat) and they’re a low odor breed that isn’t going to stink like “dog” quickly. Most people bathe their dog around once every 8 to 12 weeks on average. The amount of bathing required will depend on your pooch and how dirty their lifestyle is, but it’s usually somewhere within this range.

At most you can bathe your pooch on a weekly basis, doing it more than this will strip the essential oils they need to maintain a healthy coat and can cause skin issues. To be honest, if your pooch is smelling up the place enough to warrant a bathing session every week or two then you should be looking for external factors that are causing them to generate a stink so quickly – it’s not normal.

How Can I Stop My Dog From Shaking After Bathing?

There is absolutely nothing you can do to stop a Bernese Mountain Dog from shaking themselves dry after a bathing session. Dogs have an uncontrollable urge to shake that has been sown into their DNA over countless generations. They know you’re not going to be happy about getting a face full of water – but they can’t control it.

You can temporarily halt the shaking process by grabbing your dog’s snout. The shaking action starts from the head and then works its way down the body. By preventing the head from moving you’re stopping the process in its tracks. However, the urge will not go away, and the second you let go the shaking is going to start.

The best way to deal with this shaking is to simply prepare for it. Get a towel in your hand the moment you turn the water off and throw it over your dog’s back. Don’t try and hold it in place, instead take cover and wait for your dog to do its thing.

When the shaking has finished, get a second dry towel and continue with your normal drying process.


So there you have it, that’s everything you need to know about bathing a Bernese Mountain Dog. We hope that you’ve learned a thing or two about cleaning and grooming your pooch today. If you incorporate some (or all) of the tips we’ve mentioned into your bathing routine we’re sure you and your pooch are going to have a more “enjoyable” time in the tub together.

We strongly recommend you check out the products that we have recommended in the review section today. They honestly represent the best shampoos for Bernese Mountain Dogs on the market right now, and they are all winners to have been mentioned in this article.

Any of them are more than worthy of your consideration.

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