Irish Wolfhound vs Bernese Mountain Dog - Breed Comparison

Irish Wolfhound vs Bernese Mountain DogIrish Wolfhound is originated from Ireland but Bernese Mountain Dog is originated from Switzerland. Irish Wolfhound may grow 15 cm / 6 inches higher than Bernese Mountain Dog. Both Irish Wolfhound and Bernese Mountain Dog are having almost same weight. Both Irish Wolfhound and Bernese Mountain Dog has almost same life span. Irish Wolfhound may have less litter size than Bernese Mountain Dog. Both Irish Wolfhound and Bernese Mountain Dog requires Moderate maintenance.

Basic Information

Group:
Hound dog
Working dog
Origin:
Ireland
Switzerland
Height Male:
81 - 86 cm
31 - 34 inches
61 - 71 cm
24 - 28 inches
Height Female:
81 - 86 cm
31 - 34 inches
58 - 66 cm
22 - 26 inches
Weight Male:
48 - 54 kg
105 - 120 pounds
35 - 55 kg
77 - 122 pounds
Weight Female:
48 - 54 kg
105 - 120 pounds
30 - 50 kg
66 - 111 pounds
Life Span:
6 - 10 Years
6 - 8 Years
Litter Size:
3 - 4
5 - 15
Size:
Giant dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
None
Berner Sennenhund Bernese Cattle Dog - Berner, Bernese
Colors Available:
red, black or brindle, grey, white, Fawn
Tri-Black,Rust,White
Coat:
Medium length, straight to wavy and wiry
double, long, thick
Shedding:
Moderate
Seasonal
Temperament:
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Docile, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Quiet, Responsive, Social, Sweet, Territorial
Affectionate, Docile, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Loving, Loyal, Playful, Quiet, Social, Stubborn, Sweet
Grooming:
Moderate maintenance
Moderate maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
No

History

irish wolfhoundIt is believed that the Irish Wolfhound is an ancient breed and that it was brought to Ireland as early as 7000 BC.

These dogs were bred as hunting dogs as well as guard dogs. There was a time when these huge canines were only allowed to be owned by the nobility. The breed died out somewhat, but Scotsman Captain George Augustus Graham made efforts to restore the breed’s numbers.

Captain Graham devoted his life to making sure the Irish Wolfhound’s numbers were built up, and the breeding program included Great Danes, Borzois, English Mastiffs and Scottish Deerhounds.

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

irish wolfhound puppyThe tallest of the sighthounds, the Irish Wolfhound looks like a large Greyhound, only he has a rough, wiry type of coat.

He is also gracefully built and known as a gentle giant. The double coat which can be fawn, red, white, grey, black or brindle is straight to wavy.

He stands at about 81 to 86cm and weighs roughly 48 to 54kg. This is one of the few dog breeds that you can’t really call social. He loves his own human family, and becomes unhappy and ‘down-in-the-dumps’ when separated from his family members for too long. He is a quiet dog who tends to be somewhat introverted and reserved, while being highly intelligent.

He will require being trained and socialized to make him obedient as he is an independent dog. He takes his role as family protector seriously and even though he is quiet, he is ready to take on anyone who threatens his property.

Temperament:

The Irish Wolfhound is a gentle, quiet, soft-natured, easy-going dog and even though it is such a large dog, it doesn’t throw it’s weight around but is calm and patient around the elderly and children in the home. It can tend to be aggressive with animals he isn’t familiar with.

He is an intelligent dog, but even so he may be quite resistant to training as he is strong-willed and determined to have his own way. These dogs need to be trained and socialized otherwise they just do their own thing.

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

irish wolfhound dogOne wonders why breeders seem so bent on breeding such large dogs when they have health issues and they don't live particularly long. Not only do they cost a fortune to feed, but large dogs like this are more prone to illnesses and won’t live as long as small dog breeds. This big dog can live up to 10 years of age or so.

For starters, just because he is a deep chested dog, bloat or gastric torsion can be a threat. Other illnesses to look out for are dilated cardiomyopathy and bone cancer.

Dilated Cardiomyopathy:

This is a disease of the heart muscle where the enlarged heart won’t function properly. The upper- and lower chambers of the heart are enlarged and the heart isn’t able to pump blood out properly. When the heart’s ventricle doesn’t pump enough blood into the lungs, fluid accumulates in the lungs and this ultimately leads to congestive heart failure.

Older dogs battle more with this heart disease and it is also more common in some dog breeds of which the Irish Wolfhound is one. Your dog will have shortness of breath, coughing and abdominal distension. He will need to get to the vet for medical tests.

Bone Cancer:

Bone cancer can strike any dog, but you’ll find in more commonly with larger dog breeds. It can spread quickly and the long term prognosis isn’t good. It’s not easy to pick the disease up and it can mean joint pain for your pet and even lameness.

Your dog will be tired too. Your vet will do X-rays and other tests, but unfortunately the prognosis isn’t usually good. Big-dog breeders should take this into consideration.

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

Exercise:

irish wolfhound puppiesThis isn’t a particularly energetic dog and he can tend to become lazy. Don’t allow this as becoming unfit and overweight can be very bad for such large dog. Being so large already puts stress on the dog’s body, and the dog is already susceptible to cardiac and skeletal problems. Allowing him to become lazy and overweight will be a death sentence for this large dog. It is imperative to make sure you take him on walks and play games with him.

Grooming:

The coat of your dog is thick and medium length and he will require being brushed at least twice a week. You may want to also trim the longer hair you find around his face and legs.

When it comes to his ears, you can moisten some cotton wool and wipe the inside of his ears to remove dirt and excess wax. Remember not to probe too deeply to avoid damaging the ear. If you’re uncertain how to do this, your vet can explain to you how its done.

Check his teeth regularly as dental disease can affect other areas of the body too. Don’t allow his nails to get too long as they can cause paw problems and the nails can hook onto things and cause injury.

Diet:

Because this is a giant breed, the puppy will grow for a long time. Speak to your vet about how to ensure you feed your puppy in such a way that he doesn’t grow too quickly.

If you feed your dog a commercially manufactured food, make sure its one of the top quality brands. Include home-made cooked food such as chicken, rice and vegetables into his kibble from time to time, and also try to feed him some raw meat occasionally.

Fresh, cool water must be available to your Irish Wolfhound around the clock.

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

irish wolfhound dogsThe most notable aspect of the Irish Wolfhound is his amazing height. The legs are long, the body narrow. He is gentle and easy-going but because he is a sighthound he loves to give chase after animals.

He is capable of living in the city or countryside, but your home will need to cater to his size. He isn’t particularly energetic, enjoying a quiet life but he will absolutely need to be exercised.

Provide your gentle giant with everything needed to make him content, and you’ll have a faithful, loving friend for about 10 years.

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.

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