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Anyone here have a Bernese Mtn Dog? - Page 2

post #31 of 33

I know that this is an old thread, but as I stumbled upon it on google. I wanted to clarify a few thing( being a Bernese owner).

   For one Bernese are not "working" dogs in the ways you describe them. They are NOT herders they are "working" they pull heavy thing ie. sleds, cars, people, camping gear.

Also for everyone who thinks that Bernese have short life spans. This is because we (humans) are to blame for this defect as since so many have been forced to imbred that there life span has decreased. When the Berners where first discovered as a breed their average life span was anywhere from 16-20 years.. All the imbreeding and human cultivation of this breed is what's to blame for the short life span of this breed.  I am not writing this for the OP but for anyone who might stumble upon a thread of mis-information like I have.. But yes they are the best dog you will ever own, cuddly, protective, not rough with kids, and they LOVE cat's and little kids.. Literally love... Pricey but always worth it with these dogs!!! 

post #32 of 33

I wouldn't be so quick to blame the short life span on inbreeding, all purebred dogs have been inbred at some point. In fact, line breeding and in some instances inbreeding, can be very beneficial to dog breeds. Bernese Mountain Dogs have a higher than normal instance of cancers than most purebred dogs, this is due to irresponsible breeding - breeding dogs that have high instances of cancer in their lines. It is difficult to breed some things out of a line without having to start all over, and from what I understand from Bernese breeders that I've talked to, it's nearly impossible to find a line that hasn't been affected by cancer at some point from which to start over with. They also have a rather high instance of musculoskeletal problems - arthritis, hip dysplasia, ligament tears - which many owners put their dogs to sleep over (up to 6%). 


As a breeder that uses line breeding, I'm a bit touchy when people blame line or inbreeding for problems with a breed when irresponsible breeding has "ruined" a breed. 

post #33 of 33

Most giant or larger breeds have a shorter lifespan due to many issues, Bones issues due to size, certain diseases, certain heart issues like cardiomyopathy, and diet also factors in. That being said, I ADORE Berners!! One of my neighbors had one several years back but they moved away to PA (probably because he needed ALOT of room to run!) My Shiloh used to play with their dog, and they were an even match, temperament wise and size wise as well. 


I think life on a farm would be great for the berner. Especially if you have a good snowfall! They do like to pull stuff, like children on a sled.


By "work" they mean physical and mental work. They like to use their minds, being highly intelligent. I have the same type of mental giant here, so I hide things around the house and yard for her to find. That and our daily runs keeps her happy and sleepy in the house. A tired dog, is a happy dog!

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