English Mastiff vs Bernese Mountain Dog - Breed Comparison

English Mastiff vs Bernese Mountain DogEnglish Mastiff is originated from United Kingdom but Bernese Mountain Dog is originated from Switzerland. Both English Mastiff and Bernese Mountain Dog are having almost same height. English Mastiff may weigh 58 kg / 128 pounds more than Bernese Mountain Dog. English Mastiff may live 4 years more than Bernese Mountain Dog. English Mastiff may have less litter size than Bernese Mountain Dog. English Mastiff requires Low maintenance. But Bernese Mountain Dog requires Moderate maintenance

Basic Information

Group:
Molosser dogs
Working dog
Origin:
United Kingdom
Switzerland
Height Male:
74 - 76 cm
29 - 30 inches
61 - 71 cm
24 - 28 inches
Height Female:
70 - 73 cm
27 - 29 inches
58 - 66 cm
22 - 26 inches
Weight Male:
68 - 113 kg
149 - 250 pounds
35 - 55 kg
77 - 122 pounds
Weight Female:
54 - 84 kg
119 - 186 pounds
30 - 50 kg
66 - 111 pounds
Life Span:
7 - 12 Years
6 - 8 Years
Litter Size:
5 - 10
5 - 15
Size:
Giant dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
Mastiff Old English Mastiff
Berner Sennenhund Bernese Cattle Dog - Berner, Bernese
Colors Available:
silver-fawn, apricot-fawn, or dark fawn-brindle, fawn
Tri-Black,Rust,White
Coat:
fine, smooth
double, long, thick
Shedding:
Moderate
Seasonal
Temperament:
Courageous, Docile, Friendly, Independent, Loyal, Protective, Quiet, Stubborn
Affectionate, Docile, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Loving, Loyal, Playful, Quiet, Social, Stubborn, Sweet
Grooming:
Low maintenance
Moderate maintenance
Trainability:
Moderate
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
No
No

History

english mastiffThroughout most of history there have been images created by people of very large, sturdy dogs that they shared their space with. The English Mastiff can trace some part of her ancestry to these same dogs. This breed is thought to have come from the stock of ancient breeds such as the Alpine Mastiff, Pugnaces Britanniae and Alaunt. The Mastiff in general has then become a main descendent of many other breeds of dogs since the 1880’s. The images of these types of dogs goes back to the 5th and 6th century.

There is no genetic evidence linking these dogs to the modern Mastiffs and the English Mastiff, but the resemblance is obvious. There is anecdotal evidence that these Mastiff type dogs were exported from England – the English Mastiff – to Greece to hunt game but were also used as war dogs by the Celts. The Alaunt was probably used the Normans and bred by the Alans. Writings and images throughout these times depicted a dog that looked very much like today’s English Mastiff. Some speculate that the English Mastiff came to the United States of the Mayflower.

There was a decline in the English Mastiff in its homeland in the 1800’s following the Cruelty to Animals Act of 1835 which prohibited owners and trainers from baiting animals. Then in the 19th century, prior to the first World War, systematic breeding programs began with J.W. Thompson. His first English Mastiff was a female named Dorah. Dorah’s ancestors included dogs from Thompson’s Grandfather. Captain John Garnier of the Royal Engineers also had dogs that contributed to the development of the English Mastiff.

During this time some breeders got away from pure type and began to breed for other factors. In the late 1800’s, Edgar Hanbury and Mark Hanbury Beaufoy began restoring the breed to its original soundness. One of their dogs was exported to the US were breeding to soundness continued until the First World War reduced the number of English Mastiffs around the world. By the time the war ended there were no English Mastiffs outside of England.

There was a dog in Canada named Beowulf and direct descendent of imports from Britain, who came to the States after the war and began to re-establish the breed on this continent and registered with the American Kennel Club. Yet as of 1945, the contribution from North

Breeding was stopped again for World War II and started again after the war. Many of these puppies died of distemper. Only one female had pups that were able to grow up into adults. North America sent dogs to England at this time and all of the Mastiffs from that time, could be traced back to Nydia and the 14 North American Mastiffs. Since then the breed has been restored slowly in Europe, North America and everywhere in the world.

The English Mastiff is known by his massive head with a black mask and comes in a wide variety of colors. He is also known as a gentle giant because of his personality and the love he has for his people.

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.

Description

english mastiff puppyThe English Mastiff is a giant dog with a broad head and body. In terms of mass it is the worlds largest dog, just a little bigger that the Saint Bernard. The Great Dane and the Irish Wolfhound are 6 inches taller but do not carry the weight and bulk of the Mastiff. Mostly square in his body and his head with a massive chest and wide set forelegs. The head is square and very large. No matter the color of the coat, the face should have a black mask like the St. Bernard. His eyes and nose are also dark.

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.

Health Problems

english mastiff dogBeing a massive dog can take its toll on the body’s development and that is certainly true of the English Mastiff. A lot of running is not recommended in the early life of the dog – preferable for the first two years. This could damage the joint’s growth plates and cause him a lot of problems in later years. Too much exercise in this massive dog can hurt him but so can, not enough exercise.

Some of the health issues other than this that the English Mastiff is prone to include:

  1. Calluses –
  2. On their paws. Must be taken care of before infection sets in.
  3. Arthritis

A large dog like the English Mastiff is always prone to pain from arthritic joints. See your vet about pain medication.

Hygroma

A spot under the skin that is swollen and filled with fluid. Can be treated. It is not an infection or contagious.

Hip Dysplasia

Can result in lameness and arthritis.

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.

Caring The Pet

english mastiff puppiesThis is an enormous dog that grows quickly. It is important to feed them properly as they grow. If he doesn’t get what he needs as a puppy you will not be able to make it up to him later on.

Feeding the puppy

The English Mastiff puppy needs good nutrition for growing properly.

From 12-16 weeks of age feed him 3-4 cups a day of a high protein, high quality dry food. Break this up into 3-4 meals.

From 4 -6 months of age feed him 8-10 cups a day of a high protein, high quality dry food. Break this up into 2-3 meals.

From 6-18 months of age feed him 8-12 cups a day of a high protein, high quality, dry food. Break this up into 2-3 meals.

Feeding the adult

The English Mastiff is still growing from a year to 18 months. Starting at 18 months feed him 10-12 cups a day of high protein, high quality dry food. Break this up into 2 meals.

As your Mastiff ages, cut down on the protein and feed a dry food appropriate for his age.

Points for Good Health

The English Mastiff is a very large dog that should not be allowed to get obese since he is prone to dysplasia. He needs protein throughout puppyhood and until he is about 8-10.

Games and Exercises

This is a couch potato if you let him be. Make sure he gets at least one long walk per day or he will tend to gain weight. Play with them off leash about an hour every day.

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.

Characteristics

Children friendliness

english mastiff dogsThe English Mastiff is very happy to play with children. You willl need to be careful with small children as he does not know his size and is likely to sit on them.

Special talents

This lovable giant is noble and loyal. He will protect his family and he will be courageous about it.

Adaptability

This is a big dog but he doesnt live outside. You need a big yard and perhaps a big house. He may not adapt to an apartment.

Learning ability

The English Mastiff is smart and certainly trainable. He can be independent and stubborn at times but he has the ability to learn.

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.

Comparison with other breeds

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