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Showing posts with label swiss. Show all posts
Showing posts with label swiss. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Everything about your Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

Everything about your Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
  The Greater Swiss Mountain dog breed was developed to be an all-around working dog, herding cattle, pulling carts, and standing guard. These days, the Swissy enjoys life as a family pet, but because of his working heritage, he enjoys being busy. This powerful breed excels in all sorts of dog sports, from agility to weight pulling.

Overview
  Switzerland has four varieties of farm dogs, and the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, is the largest. On the farm, his jobs included guarding and herding livestock and pulling carts loaded with milk and cheeses. This is a giant breed, with males weighing in at 105 to 140 pounds and females at 85 to 110 pounds.
  These days, the Greater Swiss is primarily a family companion or show dog, beloved for his gentle, easygoing temperament. He has many good qualities, including an alert nature that makes him an excellent watchdog. But, like any breed, he’s not right for everyone. If you want a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, be prepared to do a lot of homework to find him and to put in plenty of effort training and socializing once you bring him home.
  Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs have a short, easy care coat. Weekly brushing — more often during shedding season — will help to keep loose hair under control. Clean the ears and trim the nails as needed, and bathe the Swissy when he’s dirty to keep his tricolor coat gleaming.
  While you might think of him as an outdoor dog, nothing could be farther from the truth. Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs love people and will pine without human companionship. They should have access to a securely fenced yard, but when the family is home the Swissy should be with them. It’s also important to remember that the Swissy does not tolerate heat well, so during hot weather he needs to stay in a cool, shady place with ready access to fresh water.

Highlights
  • Due to his large size, the Swissy is not suited for apartment or condo living. A home with a fenced yard is ideal.
  • The Swissy was bred to work and likes to have a job to do. Obedience training can give him the mental stimulation he needs, and is essential for handling a dog of this size.
  • Although he's generally good with kids, the Swissy is a large dog who can accidentally knock over a small child.
  • The Swissy is prone to overheating. Keep him inside in air conditioning or in front of fans when the weather's hot, and wait until it cools off to exercise him.
  • Some Swiss Mountain Dogs will chase small animals. To keep the neighbor's cat safe — as well as your dog — make sure the yard is securely fenced, and keep him on leash when you're out and about.
  • The Greater Swiss Moutain Dog was an all-around farm companion who drove livestock to pasture, pulled milk carts to the dairy, and acted as a watchdog. They usually hauled the heavy cans of milk in pairs, so it was common to see two of them hooked up to a cart.
  • The Swissy is a large dog with a tricolor coat, a gentle expression, dark-brown eyes, triangular-shaped drop ears, and a long tail.
Breed standards

AKC group: Working
UKC group: Guardian Dog
Average lifespan: 7 to 11 years
Average size: 85 to 140 pounds
Coat appearance: short, double coat
Coloration: tricolor (black, rust or tan, and white)
Hypoallergenic: No
Best Suited For: Families with children, active singles and seniors, houses with yards
Temperament: Easygoing, gentle, bold, alert
Comparable Breeds: Bernese Mountain Dog, Mastiff

History
  The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is considered one of Switzerland's oldest dog breeds. There are several theories as to the Swissy's origins. The most popular is that he's descended from large, Mastiff-like dogs that were brought to the Alps by invading Roman Legions.
  The Swissy's ancestors served as herding, guard, and draft dogs. At one time the Swissy is thought to have been one of the most popular breeds in Switzerland. By the 1900s however, their numbers dwindled, probably because their traditional jobs on Swiss farms were taken over by other dog breeds or machines.
  In 1908, a canine researcher named Albert Heim spotted two dogs at a Swiss Kennel Club jubilee, listed as "short-haired Bernese Mountain Dogs." Heim recognized the dogs as being large members of the Sennenhund type, a family of four breeds that includes the Swissy.
Heim lobbied to get the dogs recognized as a separate breed and, in 1909, the Swiss Kennel Club listed the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog  in the Swiss Stud Book.
  Since then, the breed's popularity has grown slowly, but steadily. In 1968 the first Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs were brought to the U.S., and soon after, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America formed. The Swissy was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1995, as a member of the Working Group.



Personality
  The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog was designed as a draft dog and was often referred to as “the poor man's horse.” They are serious dogs who still enjoy pulling carts and sleds, but have grown to be faithful family companions. They are fiercely loyal to their families and require constant companionship to be happy. Families with children may shy away from such a large dog, but the Swissy gets along well with kids of all ages. 
  Small children should be supervised, as they can easily get knocked down by an excited Swissy, but the dog never means to harm. They are alert watchdogs, letting everyone in a three-block radius know that a stranger is approaching, but they are not aggressive guard dogs and can be trusted to be polite to house guests, once properly introduced.

Health
  The average life span of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is 10 to 12 years. Breed health concerns may include bloat (gastric dilatation and volvulus), epilepsy, elbow dysplasia and hip dysplasia.

Care

  As it is a traditional working dog, this breed is fond of spending time outdoors, particularly in cold weather. It can survive outdoors in cool climates, but prefers to spend more time with its human family. The dog is also fond of pulling.
  A vigorous romp or a good, long walk is sufficient to fulfill its daily exercise requirements. Indoors, the dog requires a lot of space to stretch itself. Coat care in the form of brushing once a week is enough, but the frequency should be increased at times of shedding.

Living Conditions
  They will do okay in an apartment if sufficiently exercised. They prefer cool climates. A small yard is sufficient.

Trainability
  Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs are a challenge to train, even for experienced owners. They are willful and independent, and training should begin as early as possible. Once this dog hits adolescence, he will behave like a typical teenager, testing your boundaries whenever possible.
  Consistency and strong leadership is key, but a Swissy should never be treated harshly. Training should involve a lot of treats, as this is probably the only way to motivate this headstrong animal.

Exercise Requirements

  Although Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs require a good bit of exercise, they do not need to run for long periods of time like some other breeds. Several long walks will keep a Swissy happy. He will be even happier if he is allowed to carry a backpack or pull a wagon.
  The Swissy likes to feel that he is doing a job so incorporating work with fun will make your dog feel needed.

Grooming Needs
  Grooming the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is easy. Brush once or twice per week to keep shedding under control, though Spring and Fall will mean brushing several times per week. Bathe only as needed, which typically amounts to every four to six weeks.
  Check the dog's ears regularly for signs of irritation, infection, or wax buildup. Clean the ears with a cotton ball and a veterinarian-approved cleanser. Brushing teeth weekly (or more), can keep tartar from building up, promote gum health, and keep bad breath at bay. If the dog does not wear down his toenails naturally, trim the nails once per month. If they make a clicking sound on hard floors, they are too long.

Children And Other Pets

  The Swissy enjoys the attention and company of youngsters if he's given plenty of exposure to them beginning in puppyhood, and the kids are taught to treat the dog with care and respect. However, young children should never be left unsupervised with any dog. Even if the Swissy means well, this is a large, strong dog, and a Swissy can easily knock over a small child by accident.
  As with every breed, you should always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's eating or sleeping or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog, no matter how friendly, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
  The good-natured Swissy generally enjoys the company of other dogs and loves to play rough and rambunctious. This is especially true if he has been properly socialized with other dogs at an early age. As in any breed, dogs of the same sex who haven't been spayed or neutered may not tolerate each another.
  Swissy dogs vary in their prey drive: some will chase squirrels, cats, and other small animals, and some won't. As with any dog, you'll have a better shot at peace among the family pets if you expose your Swissy to other animals beginning at an early age, and are careful about the introductions.

Is the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog the Right Breed for you?

Low Maintenance: Infrequent grooming is required to maintain upkeep. No trimming or stripping needed.
Moderate Shedding: Routine brushing will help. Be prepared to vacuum often!
Difficult Training: The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog isn't deal for a first time dog owner. Patience and perseverance are required to adequately train it.
Fairly Active: It will need regular exercise to maintain its fitness. Trips to the dog park are a great idea.
Not Good for New Owners: This breed is best for those who have previous experience with dog ownership.
Good with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.

Did You Know?
  In Switzerland, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is known as the Grosser Schweizer Sennenhund, which means “large dog of the Alpine pastures.”


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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Everything about your Entlebucher Mountain Dog

Everything about your Entlebucher Mountain Dog
  The athletic and physical Entle makes an excellent family dog; he is known for his extreme devotion to his family. He is a great watchdog, as he is aloof with strangers and has a big bark for his size. Self-assured and determined, he is intelligent and thrives on being with his people.

Overview
  The Entlebucher, or Entle for short, is a Swiss herding breed related to the Appenzeller, the Bernese Mountain Dog, and the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog; of the four, he's the smallest.
  He's known for his intelligence, personable attitutude, agility, and loyalty. He's independent and self-confident, yet he bonds strongly to his person and is happiest spending the day at his family's side. He's got energy to burn, and needs an owner who can give him about an hour of vigorous exercise a day — if not herding flocks, then competing in dog sports like tracking, frisbee, or agility. Like other smart working dogs, he loves having jobs to do, so begin training this smart cookie early, teaching him to gather up dirty laundry, bring in the newspaper, fetch your slippers, or other useful tasks.
  The Entlebucher can be territorial and will bark to announce the presence of strangers or arrival of guests. He's aloof with people he doesn't know, and like any dog, he needs early socialization to learn how to behave around strangers and other dogs. He loves his kids but, because he also loves roughousing, he must learn to be gentle with little ones. He may try to "herd" his kids by nipping at their heels.

Other Quick Facts
  • There are two common pronunciations for Entlebucher: Ent’-lee-boo-ker or Entel-boo-ker. He is also known as the Entlebucher Sennenhund (which means dog of the Alpine herdsman) and Entlebucher Cattle Dog.
  • The Entlebucher is a medium-size dog with a compact but muscular body. Dark-brown eyes have an alert, attentive, friendly expression. Triangular ears, rounded at the tips, hang down, raising up slightly when the dog is alert. The tricolor coat is black with symmetrical white markings on the face, chest and feet and rich fawn to mahogany markings on the eyebrows and between the black and white markings.
Breed standards

AKC group: Herding
UKC group: Guardian Dog
Average lifespan: 11-15 years
Average size: 55-66 pounds
Coat appearance: double coat that consists of short, tight, harsh and glossy outer coat and a dense undercoat
Coloration:  black with symmetrical tan and white
Hypoallergenic: No
Best Suited For: Families with older children, active singles and seniors, houses with yards and farms/rural areas
Temperament: Devoted, loyal, intelligent, independent
Comparable Breeds: Appenzeller Sennenhunde, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

History 
  All of the Swiss mountain dogs, including the Entlebucher, descend from mastiff-type dogs brought by the Romans more than 2,000 years ago. The dogs that became the Entlebucher was used to herd cattle to and from mountain pastures.
  The dogs were first called Entlebucherhund in 1889. They were little known and generally considered the same breed as the Appenzell Cattle dog until 1913. That year, four of the dogs were exhibited at a Swiss dog show. Based on the judges’ reports, they were classified in the Swiss Canine Stud Book as a fourth Mountain and Cattle Dog breed. Even so, it wasn’t until 1927 that a standard was written for them, after the founding of the Swiss Club of Entlebuch Cattle Dogs in 1926. 
  The breed developed slowly but was eventually recognized for his lively, tireless nature and excellent qualities as both a working and family dog. The American Kennel Club recognized the Entlebucher in 2011

Temperament
  Entlebucher Mountain Dogs are intelligent and very quick to learn new things. They are agile, active dogs by nature which means they enjoy being given things to do. In their native Switzerland, the Entlebucher is still used as a herding dog and are highly prized because they are so reliable and biddable by nature.
  They form extremely strong bonds with their owners whether in a working or home environment and are known to become totally devoted to their families and children. They are very people-oriented by nature and enjoy nothing more than being included in a household although they form the strongest bond with the person who usually feeds and takes care of them.
  Being so smart and so active, the Entlebucher thrives in a country environment and with people who live active, outdoor lives. They are a very good choice as a family pet in homes where one person is usually around when everyone else is out of the house. They are highly trainable and love nothing more than to learn new things. Entlebuchers excel at all sorts of canine sports which includes activities like agility and flyball.
  They are not the best choice for first time owners, because the Entlebucher needs to be trained and handled by someone who is familiar with the breed or similar type of active, intelligent working dog. Without the right amount of daily exercise and mental stimulation, an Entlebucher would quickly become bored and find new ways to amuse themselves which could result in them becoming wilful and unruly making them a lot harder to handle.
  If left to their own devices for long periods of time, the Entlebucher can also suffer from separation anxiety which could lead to a dog becoming destructive around the house. These hard working dogs are never happier than when they are being given something to do that occupies their minds. 

Health Problems
  Because the foundation stock of Entlebuchers was so small, these dogs are known to suffer from several hereditary ailments such as hip dysplasia, hemolytic anemia and progressive retinal atrophy.

Care
  As with any other breed, Entlebuchers need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. They also need to be given regular daily exercise to ensure they remain fit and healthy. On top of this, dogs need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives.

Living Conditions
  The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is not recommended for apartment life.

Trainability
  The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is highly intelligent and therefore in the right hands and environment they are easy to train. They revel in learning new things and are very quick to pick up on things. However, this means they quickly learn both the good and the bad, which is why their socialisation and training has to start early. It also has to be consistent throughout their lives because these active dogs like nothing more than knowing their place in the pack and who they can look to for direction and guidance.
  They excel at many canine sports which includes activities like flyball and agility because they adore the one-to-one attention they are given during a training session and remain highly focused when they take part in any competitions. Entlebuchers are always keen and alert, but they do not answer well to any sort of harsh correction or heavy handed training methods which would not achieve any sort of good results with these highly intelligent and voice sensitive dogs. An Entlebucher needs to know what is expected of them to be truly well rounded dogs.



Exercise Requirements
  Bred to herd cattle across the Swiss Alps for days on end, Entlebuchers have a virtually inexhaustible amount of energy. Therefore it is important that they be provided with at least an hour of vigorous exercise each day. It is also beneficial for these dogs to have a meaningful task to which they can devote themselves to.

Grooming
  The Entlebucher has a short, thick, double coat. The coat is easy to care for, but it sheds. Brush the dog weekly with a rubber curry brush to remove dead hair. The Entle sheds a little more heavily in spring, so you may need to brush a little more often for a few weeks until he has lost all of his winter coat.
  The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually once a month. Brush the teeth frequently for good overall health and fresh breath. Check the ears weekly for dirt, redness or a bad odor that can indicate an infection. If the ears look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball dampened with a gentle ear cleaner recommended by your veterinarian.

Children and Other Pets
  Entlebuchers are known to be friendly, devoted dogs by nature and they love nothing more than to be part of a family. As such they are generally very good around children although they can play a little rough at times which means any interaction between younger children should always be well supervised by an adult to make sure things don't get too boisterous.
  If they have grown up with a family cat in a household, they usually get on well with them although they will think nothing of chasing off a neighbour's cat whenever they can. If well socialised from a young enough age, the Entlebucher generally gets on well with other dogs and smaller pets as long as they were introduced when a dog was younger. Care always has to be taken when they are around any small animals they don't already know just in case.

Is the Entlebucher Mountain Dog the Right Breed for you?
Low Maintenance: Infrequent grooming is required to maintain upkeep. Little to no trimming or stripping needed.
Moderate Shedding: Routine brushing will help. Be prepared to vacuum often!
Difficult Training: The Entlebucher Mountain Dog isn't deal for a first time dog owner. Patience and perseverance are required to adequately train it.
Very Active: It will need daily exercise to maintain its shape. Committed and active owners will enjoy performing fitness activities with this breed.
Not Good for New Owners: This breed is best for those who have previous experience with dog ownership.
Good with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.

Did You Know?
  The Entlebucher is one of four farm dogs native to Switzerland. He takes his name from the Entlebuch valley where he originated.
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Friday, August 7, 2015

Everything about your Bernese Mountain Dog

Everything about your Bernese Mountain Dog
  The Bernese Mountain Dog is a striking. tri-colored, large dog. He is sturdy and balanced. He is intelligent, strong and agile enough to do the draft and droving work for which he was used in the mountainous regions of his origin. Male dogs appear masculine, while bitches are distinctly feminine.
  The Bernese Mountain Dog, called in German the Berner Sennenhund, is a large-sized breed of dog, one of the four breeds of Sennenhund-type dogs from the Swiss Alps. The name Sennenhund is derived from the German Senne and Hund, as they accompanied the alpine herders and dairymen called Senn. Berner  refers to the area of the breed’s origin, in the canton of Bern in Switzerland. This mountain dog was originally kept as a general farm dog. Large Sennenhunde in the past were also used as draft animals, pulling carts. The breed was officially established in 1907. In 1937, the American Kennel Club recognized it as a member of the Working Group.

Overview
  This good-looking Swiss farm dog takes his name from the canton of Bern, where he likely originated. Berners helped farmers by pulling carts, driving livestock to fields or market, and serving as watchdogs. These days, the Berner is primarily a family companion or show dog, beloved for his calm and patient temperament. If you want a Bernese Mountain Dog, be prepared to do your due diligence to find him and put in plenty of effort training and socializing him once you bring him home.
  This is a large breed. A Bernese puppy certainly looks snuggly and manageable, but he will quickly reach his adult weight of 70 to 120 pounds, more or less .
The Berner, as he’s nicknamed, has moderate exercise needs. In general, plan to give him a walk of at least a half hour daily, plus several shorter trips outdoors throughout the day.   Bernese are individuals, so the amount of exercise they desire can vary.
 To keep your Bernese Mountain Dog’s mind and body active and healthy, involve him in dog sports. Depending on the individual dog’s build and temperament, Bernese can excel in activities such as agility, drafting , herding, obedience, rally, or tracking. Organized sports not your thing? Take your Bernese hiking. He can carry his own water and treats in a canine backpack. Bernese also make excellent therapy dogs, having a gentle, mellow temperament as well as being the perfect height for standing at a bedside and being petted.

  Though you might think of him as an outdoor dog, nothing could be further from the truth. Bernese Mountain Dogs love their people, especially children, and will pine without human companionship. They should certainly have access to a securely fenced yard, but when the family is home, the Bernese should be with them.

Highlights 
  • Berners have numerous health problems due to their small genetic foundation, and perhaps due to other reasons yet undiscovered. Currently, the life span of a Bernese Mountain Dog is comparatively short, about six to eight years.
  • Because of the Berner's popularity, some people have bred dogs of lesser quality in order to sell the puppies to unsuspecting buyers. Be especially careful about importing dogs from foreign countries that have few laws governing kennel conditions. Often these dogs are bought at auction and little is known about their health history.
  • Veterinary care can be costly because of the health problems in the breed.
  • Berners shed profusely, especially in the spring and fall. If shedding drives you crazy, this may not be the right breed for you.
  • The Berner likes to be with his family. He's likely to develop annoying behavior problems, such as barking, digging, or chewing, if he's isolated from people and their activities.
  • When Berners are mature, they are large dogs who like to have a job to do. For those reasons, it's wise — and fun — to begin obedience training early.
  • Although they're very gentle with children, Berners sometimes accidentally knock over a small child or toddler.
  • To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.
Other Quick Facts
  • Most Bernese are considered to have a dry mouth, meaning they don’t drool, but that’s not true of all of them. A Bernese with tight, or close-fitting, lips is less likely to drool than one with loose or hanging lips.
  • The Bernese Mountain Dog’s tricolor coat is thick and moderately long with straight or slightly wavy hair. The coat sheds heavily.
  • Berners are sensitive to heat and humidity. If outdoors, they need access to plenty of shade and fresh water.
  • Comparable Breeds: Saint Bernard, Appenzeller Sennenhunde

History
  The Bernese Mountain Dog comes from Switzerland and is one of four tri-colored varieties of Swiss mountain dogs, which also include the Appenzeller Sennenhund, the Entlebucher Sennenhund and the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. The long coat of the Bernese Mountain Dog distinguishes it from its close relatives. It was bred to be a draft dog, a watchdog and an all-around farm dog. It is thought to have descended centuries ago from crosses between mastiff-type dogs and native flock-guarding dogs in the valleys of the Swiss Alps, before becoming popular with modern breed fanciers. One of its main historical tasks was to transport fresh milk, cheese and other produce for small farmers who were too poor or otherwise unable to own draft horses to pull carts containing their wares.
  Until the late nineteenth century, due to a lack of concerted breeding efforts, this breed was all but forgotten except by rural inhabitants of the Berne area of Switzerland. Starting in 1892, a Swiss innkeeper, and shortly thereafter a college professor from Zurich, scoured the countryside in an attempt to find good specimens of the breed. After much searching, they finally were able to find quality dogs, thus starting the rehabilitation of the breed. A breed specialty club was founded in Switzerland in 1907, and the Bernese Mountain Dog thereafter became sought as show dogs and companions, in addition to continuing their working roles as “beasts of burden” on market days.
  The breed was first brought to the United States in 1926 and achieved recognition by the American Kennel Club in 1937. The parent club was formed in 1968  and became an AKC member club in 1981.



Temperament
  The breed standard for the Bernese mountain dog states that dogs should not be “aggressive, anxious or distinctly shy”, but rather should be “good-natured”, “self-assured”, “placid towards strangers”, and “docile”. The temperament of individual dogs may vary, and not all examples of the breed have been bred carefully to follow the standard. All large breed dogs should be well socialized when they are puppies, and given regular training and activities throughout their lives.
  Bernese are outdoor dogs at heart, though well-behaved in the house; they need activity and exercise, but do not have a great deal of endurance. They can move with amazing bursts of speed for their size when motivated. If they are sound (no problems with their hips, elbows, or other joints), they enjoy hiking and generally stick close to their people. Not being given the adequate amount of exercise may lead to barking and harassing in the Bernese.
  Bernese mountain dogs are a breed that generally does well with children, as they are very affectionate. They are patient dogs that take well to children climbing over them. Though they have great energy, a Bernese will also be happy with a calm evening.
Bernese work well with other pets and around strangers.

Health
  The Bernese Mountain Dog is occasionally prone to health problems like von Willebrand's Disease (vWD), hypomyelination, allergies, hypothyroidism, hepatocerebellar degeneration and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). The minor diseases that the dog is likely to suffer from are cataract, sub-aortic stenosis (SAS), entropion, and ectropion. The more serious ailments affecting this breed include canine hip dysplasia (CHD), elbow dysplsia, gastric torsion, and mast cell tumor. A lot of care should be taken to prevent heat stroke.
  DNA, cardiac, hip, eye, and elbow tests are advised for the Bernese Mountain Dog, which has an average lifespan of 6 to 9 years.

Activities
  The Bernese's calm temperament makes them a natural for pulling small carts or wagons, a task they originally performed in Switzerland. With proper training they enjoy giving children rides in a cart or participating in a parade, such as the Conway, New Hampshire holiday parade. The Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America offers drafting trials open to all breeds; dogs can earn eight different titles — four as individual dogs and four brace titles, in which two dogs work one cart together. Regional Bernese clubs often offer carting workshops
  On July 1, 2010, the Bernese Mountain Dog became eligible to compete in AKC Herding Events. Herding instincts and trainability can be measured at noncompetitive herding tests. Berners exhibiting basic herding instincts can be trained to compete in herding trials.

Living Conditions
  Bernese Mountain Dogs are not recommended for apartment life. They are relatively inactive indoors and will do best with at least a large, fenced-in yard. Because of their thick coats they are sensitive to the heat and would much rather be in cold temperatures.

Care 
  Berners are not suited to apartment or condo life. A home with a large, securely fenced yard is the best choice. Because the Berner is a working dog, he has plenty of energy. In addition to yard play, he needs a minimum of 30 minutes of vigorous exercise every day; three times that amount keeps this sturdy dog in top condition.
  With his thick, handsome coat, the Berner is a natural fit for cold climates. He loves to play in the snow. Conversely, with his black coat and large size, he's prone to heat stroke. Don't allow him to exercise strenuously when it's extremely hot; limit exercise to early mornings or evenings, when it's cooler. Keep him cool during the heat of the day, either inside with fans or air-conditioning or outside in the shade.
  You'll need to take special care if you're raising a Berner puppy. Like many large-breed dogs, Berners grow rapidly between the ages of four and seven months, making them susceptible to bone disorders and injury. They do well on a high-quality, low-calorie diet that keeps them from growing too fast.
  Additionally, don't let the Berner puppy run and play on hard surfaces , jump excessively, or pull heavy loads until he's at least two years old and his joints are fully formed. Normal play on grass is fine, and so are puppy agility classes, with their one-inch jumps.

Grooming Needs
  Berners shed year round, with the heaviest shedding coming during the changes in season. Brushing at least once a week – more in spring and fall – will help keep the coat neat and will reduce the amount of hair that hits the floor or furniture. Depending on the dog's activity level and desire to romp in the dirt, they only require a bath once every couple of months.
   Their ears can can trap bacteria, dirt, and liquid so weekly cleanings with a veterinarian-recommended cleanser can help prevent painful ear infections. Weekly brushing of the teeth is also recommended to reduce tartar and bad breath. Active Berners will naturally wear their toenails down to a good length, but some do not. The general rule is if the dog's nails click on a hard floor, they are too long. Monthly trimming may be required.

Is this breed right for you?
  Calling all farmers, acreage owners and great outdoor enthusiasts: This breed thrives on open land, room to roam and work to pick up. Implied in this breed's name, the Bernese Mountain Dog was bred with a thick coat to sustain him in cold weather and a strong, muscular frame for hours of work and climbing. This people-oriented breed absolutely loves being around its human counterparts and protecting the little ones while they play. Although the Bernese Mountain Dog is low-maintenance in terms of grooming, you may opt to brush that thick coat regularly to control its constant shedding.

Children And Other Pets 
  The Berner is an excellent family pet, and he's usually gentle and affectionate with children who are kind and careful with animals. Being so large, he can inadvertently bump or knock over very young or small children.
  As with every breed, you should always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's eating or sleeping or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog, no matter how friendly, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
The Berner gets along with other pets well, though the greater the size difference, the more supervision and training required to keep everyone safe.

Did You Know?
  He’s not a Bernice Mountain Dog or a Burmese Mountain Dog. He takes his name from the Swiss canton of Bern, where he was a valued farm dog who excelled at pulling carts, driving livestock to fields or market, and serving as watchdogs.

Notable Bernese Mountain Dogs
  • Hercules is Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's dog that he brought home from the Emmental region of Switzerland during a 2006 weeklong trip to discover his family's roots in the country.
  • Sasha was a Bernese Mountain Dog that followed a goat off of a cliff and managed to survive the fall as well as three days on an ice shelf waiting for rescue.
  • A Bernese Mountain Dog character named Shep was voiced by Carl Reiner in the 2003 movie Good Boy!
  • The characters Bryan (Andrew Rannells) and David (Justin Bartha) in the 2012 TV series The New Normal own a Bernese Mountain Dog named "Smelly".
  • Hola, the titular dog in Martin Kihn's memoir Bad Dog: A Love Story, is a Bernese Mountain Dog.
  • Ohly was a Bernese Mountain Dog who achieved notoriety in Canada after disappearing and then being found on Mount Seymour in a dangerous area known as "Suicide Gulley." Members of North Shore Rescue, a local mountain rescue team, tracked, located and rescued Ohly.
  • Benson was a Bernese Mountain Dog who features in the memoir, The Boy Who Got A Bernese Mountain Dog by Brook Ardon. Benson had a great temperament the breed is famous for, he lived near the beach in New Zealand.
  • Quincey von Wiesmadern, has appeared in various videos with Hansi Hinterseer, an Austrian singer, entertainer and former member of the Austrian Ski Team.
  • Hannah is the real-life inspiration for the protagonist of children's books such as A Beach Day for Hannah and A Snow Day for Hannah by Linda Petrie Bunch.
  • Argus and Fiona were two Bernese mountain dogs that were shot and killed when they entered a neighbor's yard. The neighbor who shot the dogs admits that he was overreacting.A Pennsylvania state law states that humans are free to kill animals attacking domestic animals. The man feared a possible attack on his sheep, who were in their fenced off grazing area. Attacks on a neighbor's farm had taken place and resulted in the death of several animals sometime the previous year, although the type of dog who ruthlessly attacked those animals was not a Bernese. However, since no attack was in progress at the time of the shooting, the shooter was charged with two counts of cruelty to animals and one count of recklessly endangering another person, the latter a result of there being a house within the possible line of fire. There were no residents at home at the time of the shooting. On September 11, 2013, the shooter was convicted on two counts of animal cruelty. He faces up to five years in jail for each count.
  • Nico (2015) a recently adopted Bernese mountain dog became a hero when he saved two people who were being swept out into the ocean by a California rip current.
A dream day in the life of a Bernese Mountain Dog
  Rising early and taking in the cool brisk mountain air before heading to work on the farm starts the day off just right for the Bernese Mountain Dog. Pulling anything from kids to livestock, you'll often see this breed smiling with a cart in tow. Just be aware not to push his limits; due to his size the Bernese Mountain Dog is prone to hip and joint issues. A great companion and watchdog, a Berner's perfect day wouldn't be complete without love and hugs from his human family.

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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Everything about your Saint Bernard

Everything about your Saint Bernard
  The imposing Saint Bernard is powerful and proportionately tall. It is strong and well-muscled — necessary qualities in a dog that must trek through deep snow for miles. Its coat comes in two types: smooth, in which the short hair is very dense and tough, and long, in which the medium-length hair is straight to slightly wavy. Its expression should appear intelligent. 
  The calm, easy going Saint Bernard is gentle and patient around children, although it is not particularly playful. It is devoted to it`s family and is willing to please, although at its own pace. It can be stubborn.

Overview
  No, the Saint Bernard never wore a miniature brandy keg around his neck. The image was merely the product of artistic license taken by Edwin Landseer, who painted a portrait of the breed while visiting Switzerland in 1819. The public loved it, and the brandy keg remains a symbol of the breed to this day.
  It’s true, though, that monks at the hospice of Saint Bernard, high in the Swiss Alps, used the dogs to seek out and rescue lost travelers. These days, the Saint is primarily a family companion or show dog, beloved for his calm and patient temperament. The Saint Bernard has many good qualities, but  he may also have health and temperament issues. If you want the calm, protective dog of legend, be prepared to do a lot of homework to find him and put in plenty of effort training and socializing him once you bring him home.
  The Saint Bernard is a member of the Mastiff family, as evidenced by his huge head and tall, powerful body. He is gentle, but his size alone is enough to deter many would-be intruders or assailants. He is only moderately active, making him suited to homes with small yards. He drools and is sensitive to heat, so he must live in air-conditioned comfort in hot climates.
  This is a giant breed. A 25-pound Saint Bernard puppy certainly looks manageable, but he will eventually weigh 120 to 180 or more pounds. His huge size is often what attracts people to him, but the tradeoff is a heartbreakingly short life span of approximately 7 to 10 years. And if you reach your home by stairs and should ever need to haul him up and down, you might be in trouble. If none of that fazes you, a Saint Bernard may well be your dog.
Contrary to his size, the Saint Bernard’s food and exercise needs are modest. He doesn’t eat more than any other large breed dog, and he will be satisfied with a couple of short walks daily. Like any dog, Saint puppies are inveterate chewers and because of their size can do more damage than puppies of other breeds. They are prone to ingesting items such as socks and dish towels, resulting in veterinary visits or even surgery for intestinal blockages.
  Though you might think of him as an outdoor dog, the Saint Bernard loves his people and will pine without human companionship. They are also prone to heatstroke and should never be left outdoors for a long time in hot weather. Saints should have access to a securely fenced yard, but when the family is home, the dog should be with them indoors.

Highlights
  • A Saint Bernard is a giant-size breed and although they are generally quiet inside, they are not best suited to apartments. They need space to move or just to stretch out in.
  • If you consider yourself a neat freak, then the Saint Bernard is not the breed for you. They drool and their paws track in their fair share of mud. They are heavy shedders and shed, or blow, their coat twice a year.
  • Saint Bernards generally take longer to mature mentally. This leaves you with a very big puppy for several years.
  • Although Saint Bernards make wonderful family pets, they are not recommended for homes with young children, as they can unintentionally knock over and hurt small children.
  • Originally bred to withstand the cold temperatures of the Alps, the Saint Bernard does not do well in heat.
  • Saint Bernards are not known for barking without cause.
  • Saint Bernards are a short-lived breed, usually only 8 to 10 years.
  • The Saint Bernard should not live outdoors away from his family. All dogs do better when they are in the house with the family they love, and the Saint Bernard is no exception. Although their coats and build make them an obvious choice for outdoor living, their temperament and inability to cope with heat makes it a poor decision.
  • Thanks to the popularity of movies such as Beethoven, which features a large Saint Bernard, many irresponsible breeders and puppy mills produce these gentle giants. To make sure you get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.
Other Quick Facts

  • The Saint Bernard drools. Don’t believe a breeder who claims to produce “dry-mouth” Saints.
  • Saint Bernards excel at dog sports such as drafting, weight-pulling, and obedience trials.
  • The Saint Bernard’s coat can be long or short and ranges from deep brown to red brownish-yellow with white markings.
  • Comparable Breeds: Newfoundland, Great Pyrenees
History
  The Saint Bernard probably has its roots in the Roman Molossian dogs, but it wasn't until between 1660 and 1670 that the breed developed into the magnificent dog responsible for saving so many lives. Around this time, the first of these large dogs arrived at the St. Bernard Hospice, a refuge for travelers crossing between Switzerland and Italy. 
  The Saint Bernards originally came to help pull carts and turn spits and may have also functioned as watchdogs or companions, but the monks soon found them invaluable pathfinders through the deep snow. The dogs were adept at locating lost travelers. When a dog found a person, it would lick the person's face and lie beside him, thus reviving and warming the person. The dogs continued to serve in this invaluable role for three centuries, saving over 2,000 lives. 
  The most famous of all Saint Bernards was Barry, who was credited with saving 40 lives. Before Barry's death, the dogs were known by several names, including hospice dogs, but by the time he died he was of such fame that the dogs were called Barryhund in his honor. In the early 1800s many of the dogs were lost to severe weather, disease and inbreeding. Some of the remaining dogs were crossed with Newfoundlands in 1830. 
  As a result, the first long-coated dogs of Saint Bernard type appeared. Although it seemed that long hair would help a dog in the cold snow, in fact it hindered them as the ice clung to the coat. Thus, these long-haired dogs were not kept for rescue work. The first Saints came to England around 1810 and were referred to by many different names, among them sacred dog. By 1865, the name Saint Bernard was in common use, and it became the official name in 1880. 
  Around this time, the breed caught the eye of American fanciers. By 1900, the Saint Bernard was extremely popular. Although it has since vacillated in popularity, it is always one of the most popular giant breeds.
  "St. Bernard" wasn't in widespread use until the middle of the 19th century. The dogs were called "Saint Dogs", "Noble Steeds", "Alpenmastiff", or "Barry Dogs" before that time.

Personality
  True to their heritage as hospice dogs, Saints are friendly and welcoming. They have a steady, benevolent temperament and are kind and careful with children. They love attention but aren't as demanding of it as some breeds.
  Because of their large size, it's important to begin training Saints at an early age, while they're still easily manageable. They're intelligent and willing to please but sometimes stubborn. They should never be aggressive unless it's in defense of a family member.
  Like every dog, Saint Bernards need early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Saint Bernard puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.

Health
  The very fast growth rate and the weight of a St. Bernard can lead to very serious deterioration of the bones if the dog does not get proper food and exercise. Many dogs are genetically affected by hip dysplasia or elbow dysplasia. Osteosarcoma  has been shown to be hereditary in the breed.They are susceptible to eye disorders called entropion and ectropion, in which the eyelid turns in or out. The breed standard indicates that this is a major fault. The breed is also susceptible to epilepsy and seizures, a heart disease called dilated cardiomyopathy, and eczema.
  US and UK breed clubs put the average lifespan for a St. Bernard at 8–10 years.A 2003 Danish breed survey  puts the median lifespan at 9.5 years while a UK breed survey in 2004  puts the median lifespan at 7 years. In the UK survey about one in five lived to >10 years with the longest lived dog at 12 years and 9 months.

Care
  The daily exercise requirements of the Saint Bernard are met with short runs and moderate walks. The dog is best when raised outdoors, keeping it away from smooth surfaces. Oversized puppies, which are brought up indoors, are susceptible to hip problems.
The Saint Bernard is not tolerant of heat; in fact, it loves cold weather. It does best when given access to the yard and the house. The coat requires weekly brushing and more frequently during shedding season. In addition, many St. Bernards have a tendency to drool.

Living Conditions
The Saint Bernard will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. These dogs are relatively inactive indoors and a small yard is sufficient. They can live outdoors, but would much rather be with their family. They have a low tolerance for hot weather, warm rooms and cars. Can wheeze and snore.

Exercise
A long walk each day is needed to keep the Saint Bernard in good mental and physical condition. Puppies should not have too much exercise at one time until their bones are well formed and strong. Short walks and brief play sessions are best until the dog is about two years old.

Grooming
  Saint Bernards come in two coat types: shorthaired and longhaired. The shorthaired Saint has a dense, smooth coat. His longhaired brother has a medium-length coat that is slightly wavy. Either coat type can be white with red or red with white.
  Both varieties shed heavily in spring and fall and need weekly brushing year-round to keep loose hair under control. It’s probably a good idea to brush a longhaired Saint a couple of times a week.
  Clean the ears and trim the nails as needed, and bathe the Saint when he’s dirty. You’ll want to wipe his mouth after your Saint eats or drinks — before he shakes his head and slings water, drool, or food debris everywhere. Brush his teeth with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath.

Children and other pets
  Saints are, well, saintly around kids. Patient and gentle, they step carefully around them and will put up with a lot. That doesn't mean they should have to, though. Supervise interactions between young children and Saints to make sure there's no ear- or tail-pulling, biting, or climbing on or knocking over on the part of either party.
  Always teach children how to approach and touch dogs and never to approach any dog while he's sleeping or eating or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog, no matter how trustworthy or well trained, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
Saints can also get along well with other pets, especially if they're introduced to them in puppyhood. Supervise them around smaller dogs and cats just to make sure they don't accidentally step or lie on them.

Record size
  An 1895 New York Times report mentions a St. Bernard named Major F. measuring 8 feet 6 inches (2.59 m) in length, who, if the claims are true, would be the longest dog in history.Another St. Bernard named Benedictine V Schwarzwald Hof (Pierson, Michigan - USA) also reached 315 lb (143 kg), which earned a place in the 1981 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records.

Famous St. Bernards
  • Bamse, a Norwegian dog honoured for exploits during World War II memorial statue in Montrose, Scotland where he died in 1944
  • Barry, famous Alpine rescue dog
  • Bernie, mascot of the Colorado Avalanche
  • Bernie "Saint" Bernard, mascot of the Siena Saints
  • Bernie, mascot of the Northampton Saints
  • Gumbo, team mascot for the New Orleans Saints
  • Porthos, J.M. Barrie's dog
  • Schnorbitz, on-stage partner of British comedian Bernie Winters during his later career
  • Schotzie & Schotzie "02", beloved pets and mascots of Cincinnati Reds' owner Marge Schott
  • Scipio Saint Bernard of Orville Wright
  • Shirley Temple and a St. Bernard friend
  • Wallace , mascot of The Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary's)
  • Båtsman, a St. Bernard in Astrid Lindgren's story Vi på Saltkråkan
  • Beethoven. The 1992 comedy film Beethoven features a large, friendly but troublesome St. Bernard and, in later sequels, his mate and their brood of unruly pups. According to the producers of the sequel Beethoven's 2nd, the St. Bernards used in the film grew so fast during filming that over 100 St. Bernard puppies were cast to portray the sequel's four puppies  and a mother St. Bernard named Missy.
  • Bolivar a/k/a Bornworthy and Bernie, Donald Duck's non-anthropomorphic pet, and Bolivar's son, Behemoth
  • Buck, from Jack London's novel, The Call of the Wild, is described as half St. Bernard and half "Scotch shepherd dog", but was rendered as full St. Bernard in at least one of the six movie versions.
  • Cujo, a dog who contracts rabies and becomes crazed, terrorizing the residents of the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine from the 1981 Stephen King novel Cujo and the 1983 film of the same name.
  • George, from the 1971 movie George! and its 1972–74 spinoff television series.
  • Nana, in the Disney and Columbia Pictures Peter Pan movies 
  • Neil, the martini-slurping St. Bernard of George and Marion Kerby in the 1950s television series Topper. 
Legends
  The famous Barry found a small boy in the snow and persuaded the boy to climb on his back, and then carried the boy to safety.
  A St Bernard named Major is often credited with being the dog that helped save Manchester United, currently one of the world's largest football clubs, from financial ruin. The legend goes that in 1902 when the club owed sizable debts, the then captain Harry Stafford was showing off his prized St Bernard at a fund-raiser for the club when he was approached by a wealthy brewery owner, J.H.Davis, who enquired to buy the dog. Harry Stafford refused the offer but managed to convince him to buy the club thus saving Manchester United from going bankrupt.

Did You Know?
  It’s true that the Saint Bernard was a savior to stranded travelers in the Swiss Alps, but he never wore a brandy keg around his neck.
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