those dogs. Th e average age of a BMD is seven years. Some have lived well beyond ten. Sadly, as a breed highly susceptible to cancer, some dogs die at a much younger age. Th e BMDCA has developed a wonder- ful resource for puppy buyers with www. Bernergarde.org, a not-for-pro fi t, volunteer database available to the public for research- ing pedigrees and breeders. Th ere are thirty regional clubs throughout the US made up of dedicated Bernese Mtn. Dog owners, rich with knowledge about the breed. Th e highlights of our Standard empha- size these points: large, sturdy, balanced, tri-colored and good tempered. All of these are inherent in the breed. New owners will quickly learn that the last characteristic is what steals their hearts. Did the message come across that this breed wants a strong relationship with its owner? Th e Bernese Mountain Dog lives to please.
BIO Mary Alice bought
her first BMD in 1959. She has trained and shown many BMDs to multiple titles, including the first Bernese Moun-
tain Dog to earn an AKC title and the first BMD AKC Champion Utility Dog. Under the kennel name Shepherd’s Patch, she has bred 15 litters and has owned several stud dogs. She remains active in obedience, tracking, draft work and conformation. Mary Alice Eschweiler was the breed’s first recipient of the Gaines Good Sports- manship Award which later became the BMDCA Outstanding Service Award. She was a member of the Bernese Moun- tain Dog Club of America (BMDCA) Standard Revision Committee in 1980 and 1990. She is also a BMDCA draft test judge and is approved by the Ameri- can Kennel Club to judge BMDs, Alaskan Malamutes and Junior Showmanship. In 2001 and 2006, Mary Alice was honored to judge the regular classes at the BMD- CA National Specialty. She has judged conformation internationally. She currently serves as chair of the BMD- CA Judge’s Education Committee and is an AKC Delegate for the Waukesha KC. 4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& " 6(645 t
of two years. Because this is a breed that likes to eat, they respond quickly to training methods which use food as a reward! Th ey are truly wonderful tracking dogs and some have been used in search and rescue e ff orts. Th eir gentle nature also makes them great as therapy dogs. Some puppies tend to be sensitive and need to be exposed to di ff erent life circumstances. A good breeder will have done much of this prior to sending pups to their new homes. Th e best physical exercise for a pup is to let them exercise at their own pace. Care should be taken that puppies not be stressed in their exercise. Th e coat is one that is easily kept. It must be said that they do shed copious amounts when they do shed. Th e female will shed in relationship to her cycle, or twice a year. A male will shed his coat nor- mally about once a year. Daily brushing
is necessary at these times. Matting may occur under the ears or on the belly if the dog is not brushed. People whose wardrobe or carpets are primarily white will want to consider changing their fashion. Th ose interested in being owned by a Bernese Mountain Dog should carefully research the breeder. Th is is a breed which has come a long way in improving its ortho- pedics, speci fi cally hip and elbow dysplasia, but certainly there are still cases. Other health issues include cancer and allergies. Good breeders test for eye disease, von Willdebrands, heart conditions, degenera- tive myelopathy as well as orthopedic issues. In buying a dog, do not consider that a less expensive dog is a good buy simply because it has good markings. Consider fi rst the health of the dog, the health of the dogs in the pedigree, and the temperament of
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