Bernese Mountain Dog vs American Staghound - Breed Comparison

Bernese Mountain Dog vs American StaghoundBernese Mountain Dog is originated from Switzerland but American Staghound is originated from United States. Bernese Mountain Dog may grow 6 cm / 2 inches shorter than American Staghound. Bernese Mountain Dog may weigh 14 kg / 31 pounds more than American Staghound. Bernese Mountain Dog may live 6 years less than American Staghound. Bernese Mountain Dog may have more litter size than American Staghound. Bernese Mountain Dog requires Moderate maintenance. But American Staghound requires Low maintenance

Basic Information

Group:
Working dog
Hound dog
Origin:
Switzerland
United States
Height Male:
61 - 71 cm
24 - 28 inches
67 - 77 cm
26 - 31 inches
Height Female:
58 - 66 cm
22 - 26 inches
63 - 75 cm
24 - 30 inches
Weight Male:
35 - 55 kg
77 - 122 pounds
25 - 41 kg
55 - 91 pounds
Weight Female:
30 - 50 kg
66 - 111 pounds
22 - 39 kg
48 - 86 pounds
Life Span:
6 - 8 Years
12 - 14 Years
Litter Size:
5 - 15
3 - 5
Size:
Giant dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
Berner Sennenhund Bernese Cattle Dog - Berner, Bernese
AS
Colors Available:
Tri-Black,Rust,White
Any
Coat:
double, long, thick
Shag, Slick or Broken
Shedding:
Seasonal
Moderate
Temperament:
Affectionate, Docile, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Loving, Loyal, Playful, Quiet, Social, Stubborn, Sweet
Affectionate, Alert, Courageous, Energetic, Gentle, Intelligent, Loving, Stubborn
Grooming:
Moderate maintenance
Low maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Hard
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
No
No

History

bernese mountain dogThe Bernese Mountain Dog comes from the Swiss Alps and is one of four separate breeds called Sennenhund or “Alpine pasture dog”. The Name Bernese Mountain Dog indicates the area of Switzerland that the dogs come from – the canton of Bern. These groups of dogs accompanied the dairymen and herders and they were farm dogs. They pulled carts, delivered goods from village to village. The Bernese Mountain Dog was part of this group along with: Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Appenzeller,Entlebucher Mountain Dog and the Bernese Mountain Dog. It is probably true that the Bernese Mountain Dog has been a part of farm life in the Alps for over 2000 years.

In some regions of the Alps, these dogs were called Durrbachhund after a small town named Durrbah and are said to be rooted in the Molosser breeds. Tin 1902 the Swiss Kennel Club recognized the Bernese Mountain Dog as a separate breed and the first breed club was founded in 1907 in the region of Burgdorf. The first standard for the breed was written and separated the 4 dogs into their own breeds. The Molosser is an ancient breed whose versatility and travels made it expressly influential in the developing of Mastiff dogs like St. Bernards, Great Pyranees, Mastiffs and Swiss Mountain Dogs like the Bernese.

However at the end of the 19th century famers and shepherds began to import other breeds of working dogs, while at the same time automated modes of transportation began to replace the farm dogs. Under these circumstances the number of Bernese Mountain Dog began to decline and the breed faced potential extinction. A group of people were gathered together to save the Berner, including Franz Schertenleib and Albert Heim. Still today the Bernese are in short supply and because of the need and desire to increase the numbers, some breeding practices have not been as good as they should have been. However, today’s Berner is a great family dog and he still loves to work. He is good at carting, herding, search and rescue, watch dog, tracking, and competitive obedience.

The Bernese Mountain Dog came to the US after World War I and was imported to Britain in the 1930’s. The AKC accepted the Berner as a new Working-Class breed in 1937. It was not until 1968 that the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America was formed. In 1981, the AKC accepted the club as a member and in 1990 they (AKC) adopted the standard used today to judge the Bernese Mountain Dog.

american staghoundThe American Staghound is hunting dog and type of sighthound that is not recognized as a separate breed. They have historically been bred to hunt coyotes and then other game. Even though they are not considered a separate breed some of their breeding lines have existed much longer than some officially recognized breeds. The American Staghound is a cross between the Greyhound and the Scottish Deerhound. There was probably some Borzoi mixed in as well. The Staghound is believed to have traveled with General Custer across the American West. The breed is a long-legged running dog with the speed of a Greyhound, the sighting ability of sight hounds and more endurance than any running breed. They are incredible athletes with amazing agility and have been bred to course game – coyotes mostly – and therefore are bred with a very intense prey drive. In the past they chased stags and deer and today they chase coyotes and hare. Coyotes are much faster than wolves and fight just as hard. The American Staghound is the only breed fast enough to track down the coyote. However, the breed is not recognized by the AKC. Hunting with an American Staghound today is not very different from hunting with them in medieval times. Strict breeding practices and the non-commercialization of the breed has led to the almost perfect preservation of this hunting breed. They have not changed very much over the centuries. They have been breeding Staghound to Staghound since the early 1800’s. At times very, good hunting dogs from Greyhound and Deerhound stock are added to the mix. For hundreds of years now the closed breeding has led to what might be the finest coyote chasing sighthound possible.

Description

bernese mountain dog puppyThe Bernese Mountain Dog is a large, lovable clown. He has a heavy build with a tri color- mostly black – coat. He should have a white chest and rust coloring on the front of his legs, the sides of his mouth, and above his eyes. His eyes should be dark and blue eyes are a disqualification. His coat is silky, thick and long. He has medium sized triangle shaped ears and a scissors bite. He has round toes and strong, straight legs, He is well suited to cold weather. His skull is broad and flat, his muzzle is straight and strong, his nose must be black, and he does not usually drool.

He is an imposing sight, but he is also as non-aggressive as any breed. He is strong, intelligent, and agile. He should have his dew claws removed. This breed should be self-assured, yet good natured and calm. He is welcoming to strangers and loyal to his people. He needs his people.

american staghound puppyWhen you look at the American Staghound you can clearly see the Scottish Deerhound and the Greyhound lines. They have strong running muscles in their long legs and deep chest. He is of course a sight hound, so his vision is acute. His running endurance is second to none. It is this endurance in running all day that makes the American Staghound difference from the Scottish Deerhound and the Greyhound. Yes, both the Deerhound are greyhound are great runners, but the American Staghound runs just as fast with an endurance level ten times that of the other hounds. His heavy bones structure and thick skin are also different from the other racing fast sight hounds.

Health Problems

bernese mountain dog dogEven though it is well known that cancer is the leading cause of dog deaths across the globe, the Bernese Mountain Dog is particularly prone to die of cancer. Half of all Berners compared with 27% of all dogs, die from cancer. The Berner’s life span is also shorter than most dogs his size. IT is also not just one cancer that attacks the Bernese Mountain Dog but rather at least 6 or more including mast cell, osteosarcoma, malignant histiocytosis, fibrosarcoma, and lymphosarcoma. They can also suffer from PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), hypoadrenocorticism, cataracts and histiocytic sarcoma. Another issue that plaques the Berner more than other breeds is musculoskeletal issues that cause mortality. This can include issues such as cruciate ligament rupture, arthritis and hip dysplasia. These types of aliments cause death in 6% of the breed while they are usually the cause of mortality in only 2% of all other dogs.

american staghound dogThe American Staghound has been bred so consistently within the breed and true that they exhibit very few health problems. All running dogs are susceptible to joint issues, but the Staghound has less than most. Two issues they do face more often are a problem with anesthesia if they ever need it and the propensity to be vulnerable to bloat. Since they are a centuries old hybrid there are no real health issues born of genetics.

Caring The Pet

Feeding

bernese mountain dog puppiesAs with any large purebred dog, the Bernese Mountain Dog needs high quality food that will provide hi with nutrition and keep him from becoming overweight if fed properly. He is however a very large dog with a very large appetite. Watch his calorie intake. It’s ok to use treats if you fit them into the overall calorie intake for the day. Feed him smaller meals twice a day.

Health issues

As previously mentioned the breed has quite a few health challenges to deal with, cancer being the number one issue. The small genetic line is one of, if not the main, culprit in this high mortality rate and short life span of the Bernese Mountain Dog. In addition to the conditions mentioned above, they are also susceptible to bloat (stomach inversion). In addition, they face the conditions mentioned previously and should be tested for dysplasia of the hip and elbow, Von Willebrand’s Disease, Cardiac testing and an eye or ophthalmologist exam.

Exercise and games

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a gentle giant. They have a calm happy demeanor and they love to work. In fact, they need to work. They love children and will quickly give them cart rides. They compete in carting competitions and herding events sponsored by the AKC. They need exercise but not an extreme amount or intense type. A half-hour a day is enough for them. They love long walks or hiking. They are great companions for backpacking or camping. They are also good at tracking, rally, obedience, and agility.

Feeding

american staghound puppiesIt is important that you don’t ever over feed you American Staghound as they are thin and bred to run. Even though they are heavier boned than their closest relatives, they are still very susceptible to obesity if overfed. The adult AS should be fed about 4-6 cups of dry food every day in at least 2 meals but 3 of more would be better. This will prevent bloat.

Health issues

As previously mentioned there are no genetic issues with the health of the American Staghound. Bred for one reason and one reason alone for many centuries has led to this healthy state. Also, as stated previously they can have issues with bloat and anesthesia. The issue with anesthesia comes from the fact that the American Staghound has very little body fat to muscle ration. The issue with bloat or torsion can be avoided with many smaller meals and not running your Staghound right after they eat a large meal.

Exercise and games

Of course, the American Staghound loves to run and if you are not going to hunt with her, you will have to find another source of vigorous physical activity. Every day from puppyhood on the AS must be stimulated mentally and physically in order to grow and mature correctly. He must have a home where the freedom to run is an everyday experience, not a dog park once a week. If you ride bikes, race walk or run on a daily basis this might be the dog for you. They obviously excel at games like lure coursing and can be good at agility.

Characteristics

bernese mountain dog dogsWhen reading the AKC standard for the Bernese Mountain Dog you will find that the breed is good natured and self-assured. They are not aggressive, shy or anxious. These are gentle, loving dogs. At the same time, they should be socialized to all kinds of animals, people and children when they are puppies. They are happy outside but need to live in the house with their people. They need exercise and play, and because they are so large, they need this outside. But when it comes to cuddling and sleeping they need to be indoors.

They love children though you should be careful with small children because of the Berner’s size and their not being aware of their size at times. They are extremely loyal to their people and want to be with people. They are intelligent, and they want to please their people. At the same time, they are sensitive. They do not respond well to punishment or harshness. They are imposing but they are lovers at heart.

american staghound dogsThis dog was bred to run fast and long after something it sees. They are not considered hyperactive but won’t live well in a confined space such as an apartment or condo. You will need a single-family house with a large yard. Though they are affectionate, family dogs, they are not cut out to be guard dogs. They are not especially protective or territorial, though they may bark at what they can see in the distance. They are calm in their homes if exercised enough and great with children. They are often gentle and loving. They are pack oriented and accept other dogs, but they are not welcoming toward cats or other prey sized animals. Be careful with the AS around small children as he might knock them down or see them as prey as well. They consider anything smaller that runs to be prey. When chasing prey, they are not only fast and enduring, they are tenacious and courageous. Remember that this is a breed that has been bred true in order to hunt and only in order to hunt. Their hunting instincts will override almost any other. Over the centuries only the best hunters were allowed to be bred so that only the best hunters would be born.

Comparison with other breeds

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