Why Is My Bernese Mountain Dog Lazy? Here’s Why

If you’re a proud owner of a Bernese Mountain Dog, you might have noticed that your majestic and powerful dog has moments of unexpected laziness. 

While these Italian mastiffs are renowned for their strength and vitality, there are times when they seem content to lounge around and take it easy. 

So, why is your Bernese Mountain Dog lazy?

We outline the reasons behind this to shed light on the surprising truth behind your Bernese Mountain Dog’s lazy demeanor.

Here’s what makes your Bernese Mountain Dog lazy

A Bernese Mountain Dog’s laziness can result from various factors, including boredom, old age, underlying health problems, climate conditions, and an inadequate diet. While not all instances of laziness are a cause for immediate concern, it’s essential to remain attentive to changes and contact your veterinarian for determination of the underlying cause.

It is also important to remember that every individual dog, regardless of breed, has its own personality and activity preferences.

Bernese Mountain Dog lazy

What is considered a lazy Bernese Mountain Dog?

A “lazy” Bernese Mountain Dog is one that displays a significant decrease in activity levels compared to what is typical for the breed. Bernese Mountain Dogs are generally known for their energetic and active nature, so any noticeable drop in their usual activity level might be considered “lazy” in this context.

Signs that indicate a Bernese Mountain Dog is being lazy include:

  • Lack of interest in play: A normally active Bernese Mountain Dog may lose interest in playing fetch, tug-of-war, or other interactive games.
  • Reduced exercise enthusiasm: They might show reluctance or disinterest in going for walks, runs, or engaging in regular exercise routines.
  • Excessive napping: While dogs do nap during the day, a notably increased amount of sleep and extended periods of rest can suggest laziness if it’s a change from their usual behavior.
  • Weight gain: A lazy Bernese Mountain Dog may be more prone to weight gain or obesity due to reduced physical activity.
  • Lethargy: If your Bernese Mountain Dog appears sluggish, unenthusiastic, or lacks the usual alertness, it could be a sign of laziness.

Laziness can sometimes be indicative of underlying health issues, so if you suspect your Bernese Mountain Dog has become excessively lazy or their behavior has changed significantly, it is important to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any medical concerns. 

Age can also affect a dog’s activity level, so it is important to consider their stage of life when assessing their energy levels.

Related: Why does my Bernese Mountain Dog sleep so much?

Factors Influencing Bernese Mountain Dog Laziness

There are several factors that can contribute to your Bernese Mountain Dog’s overall laziness. Understanding these factors can help you provide the best care for your beloved companion.

Reasons behind a Bernese Mountain Dog’s laziness include:


A lazy Bernese Mountain Dog can simply be bored. This intelligent and active dog thrives on mental and physical stimulation, and when they don’t receive enough of it, they may become lethargic. 

Boredom often accompanies a lack of physical activity. Bernese Mountain Dogs are known for their energy and strength, and they need regular exercise to expend their pent-up energy. 

Without adequate exercise, they may not have the physical fitness or stamina to engage in activities, which can lead to laziness.

When bored, a Bernese Mountain Dog may resort to destructive behaviors like chewing furniture or digging in the yard. These actions can be mistaken for laziness, but they are actually a result of pent-up energy and frustration.

Read more: Bernese Mountain Dog digging: Why they dig and how to stop it

Old age

Another factor that can influence a Bernese Mountain Dog’s level of laziness is their age and overall health. Just like humans, dogs tend to slow down as they age. Older Bernese Mountain Dogs may have less energy and require more rest. 

Additionally, certain health conditions such as arthritis or joint problems can make it difficult for your dog to engage in physical activity, leading to increased laziness. 

Cognitive decline, which is similar to dementia in humans, can affect older dogs. They may become disoriented, forgetful, or less responsive to stimuli, leading to a general lack of interest in their surroundings and activities.

Regular check-ups with your veterinarian can help identify any underlying health issues that may be contributing to your Bernese Mountain Dog’s lack of energy.

Underlying health problems

A lazy Bernese Mountain Dog can be due to underlying health problems. When a Bernese Mountain Dog is not feeling well due to an illness or medical condition, their energy levels and overall activity can decrease noticeably.

This can be due to pain and discomfort, as well as weakness brought about by the illness. When a Bernese Mountain Dog is experiencing these problems, they may lack energy and become disinterested in physical activities.


Laziness in a Bernese Mountain Dog can also be due to their diet. A Bernese Mountain Dog’s diet plays a critical role in their overall health and energy levels. 

The type and quality of food they consume can affect their activity level, and make them appear lazy. This is due to inadequate nutrition from their diet, feeding them inappropriate diet, and overfeeding which causes weight gain and obesity leading to a decrease in overall activity. 

An overweight Bernese Mountain Dog may appear lazier due to the added effort required to move.

The timing and frequency of meals can also influence your dog’s energy levels. If your Bernese Mountain Dog is not fed regularly or has irregular meal times, it can affect their metabolism and energy levels, potentially making them appear lethargic.


Climate can have a significant impact on a Bernese Mountain Dog’s activity level and may make them appear lazy, especially if they are exposed to extreme weather conditions.

Due to extreme heat, a Bernese Mountain Dog may become lethargic to conserve energy and avoid heat-related issues like heatstroke. They may prefer to rest in cooler, shaded areas to cool down.

Similarly, very cold weather can also affect a Bernese Mountain Dog’s activity level. This dog breed has short fur, which provides less insulation against the cold. When it’s frigid outside, they may be less willing to engage in outdoor activities and may seek warmth indoors.

Rain, storms, or adverse weather conditions can deter a Bernese Mountain Dog from going outside and being active. They may opt to stay indoors and rest until the weather improves.

Ways to reduce laziness of your Bernese Mountain Dog

Reducing laziness in your Bernese Mountain Dog involves a combination of addressing physical, mental, and environmental factors. 

By following these tips and incorporating them into your Bernese Mountain Dog’s daily routine, you can help combat their inclination towards laziness and promote a more active and fulfilling lifestyle.

Here are ways to help increase their activity levels and prevent them from becoming lazy:

Regular exercise 

Establishing a regular exercise routine is essential for keeping your Bernese Mountain Dog active and healthy. 

The Bernese Mountain Dog requires daily exercise to prevent weight gain and maintain their overall well-being. 

Aim for at least 30 to 60 minutes of exercise each day, which can include activities such as brisk walks, jogging, hiking, or playing fetch.

It is important to note that Bernese Mountain Dogs should be exercised appropriately depending on their age, so it is important to avoid overexertion or intense exercise that can strain their joints. Gradually increase the intensity and duration of their exercise as they grow.

Mental stimulation

In addition to physical exercise, mental stimulation is vital for preventing boredom and laziness in Bernese Mountain Dogs. 

These intelligent dogs thrive on mental challenges, so incorporating activities that engage their mind can help keep them active and stimulated.

Consider introducing puzzle toys, interactive games, or obedience training sessions into their daily routine. 

These activities not only provide mental stimulation but also strengthen the bond between you and your Bernese Mountain Dog.

Engaging their problem-solving skills and offering rewards for their efforts will keep their minds sharp and their bodies active.

Proper nutrition

Proper nutrition plays a significant role in encouraging activity in Bernese Mountain Dogs. A balanced diet that meets their specific nutritional needs will provide them with the energy required for an active lifestyle. 

Consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate diet for your Bernese Mountain Dog based on factors such as age, weight, and activity level.

Avoid overfeeding your Bernese Mountain Dog, as excessive weight can exacerbate their natural tendency towards laziness. 

Maintain a healthy weight through portion control and choose a high-quality dog food that supports their muscle and joint health.

Consistent routine

Establish a daily routine that includes regular feeding times, exercise sessions, and playtime. Bernese Mountain Dogs thrive on consistency.

Regular checkups

Ensure your Bernese Mountain Dog receives regular veterinary checkups to identify and address any underlying health issues that might contribute to laziness.

Is laziness all that bad? Should you worry?

Not all instances of laziness in a Bernese Mountain Dog is a cause for alarm. However, it is important to be vigilant and monitor your dog’s behavior regularly. If you notice significant or prolonged changes in their activity levels, mood, or overall health, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian.

It is important to consider various factors and context when assessing whether your dog’s laziness is a problem or not. This includes their age, health, climate, diet, lifestyle changes, or boredom.

When to Seek Professional Help

Seeking veterinary help for your Bernese Mountain Dog is important in various situations to ensure their health and well-being. 

Signs that indicate that you should see a veterinarian immediately include:

Sudden or severe lethargy: If your Bernese Mountain Dog becomes suddenly and excessively lazy or lethargic, it could be a sign of a medical problem. Sudden changes in behavior or energy levels should be evaluated by a veterinarian.

Signs of pain: Dogs may hide pain, but signs like limping, reluctance to move, vocalization, or aggression when touched in specific areas can indicate discomfort or pain.

Loss of appetite: A significant decrease in appetite or refusal to eat for more than 24 hours can indicate an underlying health issue. It’s important to address this promptly to prevent further complications.

Vomiting or diarrhea: Occasional vomiting or diarrhea may not be alarming, but if these symptoms persist for more than 24 hours, are severe, or are accompanied by other concerning signs like seizures, lethargy, dehydration, or blood in the stool, consult your veterinarian.

Difficult breathing: Labored breathing, panting excessively, or any signs of respiratory distress should be treated as an emergency, as they could indicate serious issues like heart problems or lung disease.

Injuries or trauma: If your Bernese Mountain Dog sustains any injuries or trauma, such as being hit by a car, involved in a fight with another dog, or experiences a fall, seek immediate veterinary attention.

Changes in behavior: Any unexplained changes in behavior, such as aggression, anxiety, or obsessive behaviors, should be discussed with a vet. Behavioral changes can sometimes be related to underlying medical conditions.

Chronic health conditions: If your Bernese Mountain Dog has a known chronic health condition, such as hip dysplasia, allergies, or heart disease, regular veterinary checkups are essential to manage their condition effectively.

Takeaway: Lazy Bernese Mountain Dog

A Bernese Mountain Dog’s laziness can result from various factors. While not all instances of laziness are a cause for immediate concern, be attentive to changes in your dog’s behavior and activity levels.

Consulting your veterinarian is the best course of action to ensure your Bernese Mountain Dog’s health. Prompt veterinary attention can help keep your Bernese Mountain Dog active and thriving.

Remember, every Bernese Mountain Dog is unique, and their activity level may vary. While some may be more energetic than others, it’s important to know your dog’s individual personality and provide them with the care and attention they need.

If you notice any significant changes in their activity level or have concerns about their health, don’t hesitate to consult with a veterinarian or dog behaviorist for professional guidance.