a friend is thinking about getting a bernese mountain dog, and he asked me for any info i may have. is there anything i should make him aware of, and what are berners heath problems (things he should ask the breeder about?) thanks, eskie
Berners are a beautiful breed, but unfortunately very short lived. How short? Insanely short IMHO. According to the BMD health survey on the website, http://www.bmdca.org/health/health_report.htm an intact male average age at death was a hair under 5 years. Neutered males live on average to be around 7.74 years. Females are a little longer lived, averaging 8.4 yers for spayed females and 5.6 years for unspayed females.
Cancer in particular plagues the breed, it's the number one cause of death (well outside of old age..) They're also sensitive to anesthesia, can have haert issues, have problems with canine hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia (In fact, if your friend is really interested in a bmd, tell them to INSIST that their dogs be OFAed with cert numbers and everything). 12% of the dogs surveyed had hip dysplasia to some extent, and 16% had elbow dysplasia.
BMDs to me are beautiful and wonderfully tempered dogs, that just happen to be plagued with a multitude of health problems. WHich is a shame. I'm a huge fan of the breed in general, but I don't think that I could deal with having a dog that I could buy at a puppy now with Caitlin that has such a large chance of never living past her 9th birthday (she'll be 4 on May 23rd).
Be aware that Bernese Mountain Dogs do shed alot since they have big coats. And also in hot weather u can let them out, but maybe not for a long time. Since they have a thick coat they can get hot easily., but on the other hand they love kids and other people and are sociable with dogs if trained at a young age.There also good for protection and no-one can see it in the dark!HA, HA! Well hope u find what your looking for.
***Edited By: dogfancy on 5/19/2005 12:15:53 PM*** Reason: i messed up on some words.
they're a double coated breed. Twice a year they'll shed pretty bad, and they may shed all year around too. They don't have an intimidating amount of hair to me, their hair amount seems to be similar to that of a golden retriever.
My vet has two bernese mountain dogs. One is older and one is an 8 month old puppy. She made mention of some breed specific problems, but I don't know what they are. I'll be taking my girls for suture removal on Saturday, I'll see if I can get a few answers for you.
minniyar. is that really true? About the life span? I have a dog I got from the local humane soc and they told me he was rottie/husky mix. But when I took him to the vets he said he looks like a BMD/mix. He is now 4 years old and I'm hoping that the vet is wrong.
i sent him the berner club homepage and also the specific links for the health concers, and mentioned pretty much what minni said...abotu a dog and young kids, i'd hate to leap into it with a dog i knew wouldnt be around long. as tough as it would be, it would be even more so on a kid. so who knows.....
Well, my vet said basically the same thing as Minniyar. Hip and elbow displaysia (sp?), eyes, and one particular type of cancer (sorry, can't remember the long name). So tell your friend to look for or request OFA's and CERF's.