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Tell me about Bernese Mountain Dogs

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

  
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Ra

Veteran Watchdog
 
 
Barked: Sat Aug 18, '12 12:42pm PST 
Miyu, that's adorable... laugh out loud I wonder if there are dogs out there named Sit. Maybe Sitka. shock

(Sorry about hijacking the thread Onyx!) How are Bernese prey drive/behavior toward small animals like birds or small dogs? Do they enjoy the company of other dogs to romp with or whatnot?

Edited by author Sat Aug 18, '12 12:42pm PST

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Bosley

Will Work For- Food
 
 
Barked: Sat Aug 18, '12 4:22pm PST 
Kityra,
In general, Bernese have low prey drive and they are gentle with small animals. Many do not even have the desire to chase toys or play fetch. My girl does have a higher than normal for the breed prey drive and she will chase rabbits, cats and gophers but is always gentle with small dogs, puppies and kids. Most Bernese like to romp and play with other dogs but there are a few that are indifferent to other dogs.

Yes, seizures do occur in the breed but it is fairly far down the list of health issues. Since it is a recessive trait, it can pop up unexpectedly, but this is not an issue that occurs frequently enough to be a major breed concern.
Red Berners are also very rare. Since a red coat is a major fault in the breed, the genes for red have virtually been eliminated, although they do pop up from time to time. There are also a couple questionable breeders using red dogs to breed in order to sell "rare" pups.
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Bosley

Will Work For- Food
 
 
Barked: Sat Aug 18, '12 4:25pm PST 
Oops! Double Post.

Edited by author Sat Aug 18, '12 4:26pm PST

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Chloe

Honey Bear
 
 
Barked: Tue Aug 21, '12 5:46pm PST 
Does anyone know why they are so short-lived? Has there been research done on it, or efforts to breed for a longer life-span? 8yrs is such a short life expectancy!
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Maggie

im a squeaker
 
 
Barked: Tue Aug 21, '12 6:16pm PST 
My friend owns/loves/shows BMD, she has 5 right now and they are wonderful. They have had BMD's for years and some have lived well over 8 years (the one they recently lost was just 11 yrs). I know other people with BMD's who have lived a much shorter life (the one died from cancer at only 5 yrs old). It all depends on genes and environment I think. Before you purchase one, make sure it is from a good breeder and you might want to look up the parents on http://bernergarde.org/DB/Main.html

Benergarde has health info and genetic info on all the dogs entered, usually you can see what tests have been preformed (CERF, etc) and what the results were. You can also see the pedigree and look up what the dogs have died from.
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Bosley

Will Work For- Food
 
 
Barked: Tue Aug 21, '12 6:46pm PST 
Chloe,

Cancer is what has drastically shortened the lifespan of Berners. They have a couple heritable forms of cancer, with the most devastating being hystiocytic sarcoma. HS is rare in the general dog population, but it is estimated that about 25% of Bernese get this cancer (higher for those with a parent who had it). This is a very aggressive cancer that often strikes dogs at their prime. Mast Cell cancer and Lymphoma are also common in the breed.

The Bernegarde is a wonder database but unfortunately, many breeders, and even fewer owners keep their dogs' information up-to-date. It is a useful tool but when breeders and owners do not list the AOD or COD or health issues of their dogs it leaves the pedigree/dog researcher to guess a bit. It also is a mostly North American used tool and few European or overseas breeders enter any information so that really leaves a lot of room for assumption when so many of our Berners are imported or are from imported lines.
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