Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard cub (7 mos old) - Cape May County Zoo

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Breed of The Week: Bernese Mountain Dog

I first came across these beautiful dogs while an undergrad at the University of Delaware. A grad student friend had one. Since I was a fan of large, hairy dogs, I was instantly in love.

I've seen a number of them over the years. They aren't EXTREMELY common but have a loyal following due to their sweet temperament and good looks. However, they are large dogs that do require some coat care and have some health issues as well.  The AKC has some great info on the breed here.

Some issues we commonly see with this breed:

1. Bloat (GDV) - previously discussed here.
2. Hip & elbow dysplasia - this can be screened for by 
    breeders  but as with anything genetic, you cannot 100% 
    guarantee a dog in the line will not have it. 
3. Obesity - this problem is EASILY prevented by owners
4. BIG ONE - Cancer - this breed has an extremely HIGH
    incidence of cancer notably mast cell tumors and 
    histiocytosis or malignant histiocytic disease 
    This article  from the Bernese Mountain Dog Association
    discusses it further. This disease has hit dogs very young
    and is a truly dreaded thing among BMD owners.  Research
    is currently being done into the genetics behind this.

In any case, how can you resist this?

1 comment:

  1. My grandson has a Jack Russell mix. As soon as this little girl had all her shots, we began taking her to Bethlehem dog parks to socialize with the other dogs. Her biggest friends, in more ways than one, was Lula, a Bernese Mountain Dog. She loved to play and roll around with a dog 1/10th her size.

    I have seen several, and you are right. They are all very sweet dogs.