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Discussion Starter #1
We took my boyfriend's dog to the dog park to help socialize her. She's slowly making progress, though she still snaps at other dogs when she gets overwhelmed.

Anyway, while there, there were TWO Bernese Mountain dogs! These guys are gorgeous!!!! And very friendly in a sweet kind of goofball way. What cool dogs.

I looked online, and it says they only live 7 years. Are they a heartbreak breed like Great Danes?

Does anyone have information about these guys?
 

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There are a lot of them up here. I think I could name 12 off the top of my head. They're big, happy dogs that seem to love everyone. From talking to the various owners (I am NOT an expert) they do seem to have a shorter lifespan. Owners also have to be pretty diligent about feeding them and not letting them get overweight. Many of the ones I've seen are barrels on legs.
 

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Most big dogs like that have problems.It's sad that a Great Dane has a seven year life span,while small dogs can live up to 22.I don't know about Bernese Mountain dogs,maybe they can live a tad more.Does the site say live or being active for seven years?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your reply!

Yeah, I just fell in love with them. Really, really cool dogs. I also just emailed a local breed club for them requesting information, and already have three replies.

Unfortunately, 7-9 years is usually the max life span. One person told me that when a Berner reaches 12, that is newsworthy in the club.

I also got information that cancer, bloat, and hip dysplasia are very, very common.

Despite these bad things, the people that have these dogs absolutely love them.
 

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An update on Bernese Mountain Dogs. The research I done said that that they declined from 11-12 years to 6-8 years over the last couple of years or so.The main reason for their age decline is that they are prone to cancer.The site had said that some had gotten cancer and died within 3 or 4 years old.Whether this is true or not,I don't know.I do know it's a heartbreak when you have to put one down because of cancer.If you want a Bernese Mountain Dog,do a lot of research of the breed,then determine if you want to get one or not.Remember,they said the AVERAGE life span.It doesn't mean that your dog with proper check ups will go at an early age.
 

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I have a friend who has a number of dogs reaching the 10 year mark, but she's had a horrible time getting passing hip scores on her youngest three bitches- they're borderline dysplastic. It seems to be a case of there always being SOMETHING.... I think she's getting out of the breed and into Spinoni, just because it's so frustrating.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
oh wow...

I think I'll stick to samoyeds. I don't think I can deal with a dog dying at 4 due to cancer, even if I go through all of the careful steps of going through a good breeder, paying out all of that money, feeding the best holistic foods I can afford and doing everything by the book. And, I know that not all of them will be that unlucky, but I just don't want to take that kind of risk.

Too bad. They're beautiful animals.
 

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The weird thing is for all the outrage about Pekes and Bulldogs as 'mutant examples of human excess', both pekes and bullies have significantly longer lifespans than BMDs and FCRs, yet it's very difficult to get people worked up about a problem that's not visible. I know Pekes who've lived into their 20s!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah, that is pretty strange. They're beautiful dogs, and they look so sturdy and robust. Just gentle giants...
 

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I looked into this breed while researching for our new puppy. From looking at this breed I found the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog which has it's own issues (specifically epilepsy) but has a longer life expectancy. They generally live 10-12 years and you can look for lines that do not have epilepsy in them, though of course even that isn't a guarantee.

The problem with the GSMD is that for some reason the bitches are very hard to get pregnant. In working with three breeders two had bitches not take and one had the bitch, very very sadly, not make it through her c-section and now the odds of the pups making it are very slim.

Due to that I started looking for another breed and found the Leonberger. The breeder I am working with has two litters due in about 2 weeks, so with a bit of luck my pup will be coming home in early June! They do not have the same life expectancy as the GSMD, more like 8-10 years but I found a breeder who breeds for health, then temperament, then comformation and has had very good luck with her lines.
 

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I've known several Bernese - one of them very well.

They have all been breathtakingly gorgeous, headstrong, powerful (cart-pullers) and playful. Owners say they'd rather have a Bernese for seven years than any other dog for 16.

Irish wolfhound owners say the same thing.

The only dog I've ever had to apologize to (for hurting his feelings) was a Bernese. He was pouting over something I said to him when he would not get his wet self out of my driver's seat.
 

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We love BMD's at our house. We dogsit for a neighbor BMD for a few days every month. She is the sweetest, gentlest dog I have ever met. We have very small dogs and the BMD lets them sleep on her and walk all over her when they are playing.

The owner has told me about the health problems. But she has also told me that there are a few breeders whose dogs consistently live 10 years. They have had three dogs from the same breeder and the youngest one has died is 9 years of age. The other two have lived to 10. So it is possible. I'm sure the dogs were not the cheapest of the breed to purchase, but if you're serious about the breed. All Iknow is that her breeder is in Colorado. There is also a breeder in Nevada, Eur-AM that seems to have some long-lived BMD's.
 

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I think a few people have a Bernese on this Forum including me. My female is 9 months old. Some puppies of course are very active and mouthy as are some Bernese and I think just their big size when their puppies makes everything more intense:D Mine is super active! She has already tore a ligament in her hind leg so I'm assuming surgery down the road. The hips are always a worry and elbows. She needs very firm training but lots of praise and treats. I have never had a puppy that needs soooo much love and touching, she's very sensitive, her feelings get hurt real quick, and she's super stubborn! She starts training tonight and I hope she can control her excitement!:eek:
 

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My neighbor has a Berner male and I love that dog. His personality is similar to my Golden's, but his silliness is dialed down a tad. They both appear to believe the human population was put on earth to pet, admire, and baby-talk to them. Not an unreasonable assumption since the whole world seems to like big, fluffy dogs with killer smiles.
 

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We have several Bernese Mtn Dogs that come to the clinic. They're all super nice and definitely gorgeous dogs! We had one named Toby who they were going to show/breed, but he started to become a bit of a spaz so they recently got him neutered.

I think they're great. The clinic works pretty closely with our local humane society and my friend over there brought this lovely dog in with her for his RV yesterday. He looked physically like a pitbull (only my favorite!) but his coloring was EXACTLY that of a Bernese Mtn dog! He was the coolest dog! Jumped right in my lap too :)
 

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My SIL has 3 BMD's. That is her breed of choice and yes, they are prone to lots of health issues......but they are her love......I will be seeing them in 2 weeks for a CPE workshop and we love playing with them. We are about 5 hourts away, so it is a treat for us!.....Great dogs for sure!!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well...I talked to the BF and since the dog would be ours, I have to take his opinion into consideration.

After reading the 7 emails I received from members of the local breed club, we've decided to knock the Bernese off of our dog list. :(

It seems that though a few dogs may live to 10 years, but it is far more common to see a dog only live to 4 or 5 due to the cancer that is prevalent in the breed.

Plus, it appears as though they are not a healthy dog on top of what we're seeing with the cancer, and are also heavily prone to heart conditions and VanWillebrand's (sp?), which is a type of blood disorder. Many also become crippled at an early age from bone and joint issues.

This is not to say that any breed will be free of health problems, but I just don't think I can reasonably take the risk, as beautiful and cool as those dogs are.

If there is an upturn in the breed, I would definitely consider one in the future. For now, the samoyeds are still in the lead! ;)
 

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As someone already said look into the Leonberger.

Mine is 8 months old and huge, the leonberger is rare so it is still a very healthy giant breed because the bybs havent got to it.

A leonberger is the greatest joy you could ever know.

Jay
 

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Discussion Starter #20
As someone already said look into the Leonberger.

Mine is 8 months old and huge, the leonberger is rare so it is still a very healthy giant breed because the bybs havent got to it.

A leonberger is the greatest joy you could ever know.

Jay
I think Leos are pretty, but the BF isn't a big fan. And that's not exactly true about the health stuff...they are prone to several "big dog" diseases, at least per the national breed club website.

I do like that they are a tight lipped breed, and the puppies are the cutest things I've ever seen...right along with samoyeds, bernese mountain dogs and shar peis!!!
 
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