Moscow Water Dog vs Bernese Mountain Dog - Breed Comparison

Moscow Water Dog is originated from Russia but Bernese Mountain Dog is originated from Switzerland. Both Moscow Water Dog and Bernese Mountain Dog are having almost same height. Both Moscow Water Dog and Bernese Mountain Dog are of same weight. Moscow Water Dog may live 4 years more than Bernese Mountain Dog. Moscow Water Dog may have less litter size than Bernese Mountain Dog. Both Moscow Water Dog and Bernese Mountain Dog requires Moderate maintenance.

Basic Information

Group:
Working dog
Working dog
Origin:
Russia
Switzerland
Height Male:
66 - 76 cm
25 - 30 inches
61 - 71 cm
24 - 28 inches
Height Female:
64 - 74 cm
25 - 30 inches
58 - 66 cm
22 - 26 inches
Weight Male:
45 - 55 kg
99 - 122 pounds
35 - 55 kg
77 - 122 pounds
Weight Female:
40 - 50 kg
88 - 111 pounds
30 - 50 kg
66 - 111 pounds
Life Span:
8 - 12 Years
6 - 8 Years
Litter Size:
5 - 12
5 - 15
Size:
Giant dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
Moscow River Dog, Московский Водолаз, Moscow Vodolaz, Moskovsky Vodolaz, • Russian Newfoundland,Moscow Diver, Vodolaz, Moscow Retriever,
Berner Sennenhund Bernese Cattle Dog - Berner, Bernese
Colors Available:
dark brown to black, black
Tri-Black,Rust,White
Coat:
double coat
double, long, thick
Shedding:
Moderate
Seasonal
Temperament:
Aggressive, Alert, Courageous, Intelligent
Affectionate, Docile, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Loving, Loyal, Playful, Quiet, Social, Stubborn, Sweet
Grooming:
Moderate maintenance
Moderate maintenance
Trainability:
Moderate
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
No
No

History

The Moscow Water Dog was developed in the Soviet Union around the same time as other classic Soviet dogs. The Moscow Watchdog and the Black Russian Terrier are a couple of these other dogs. The Water Dog came from crossing the Caucasian Oytcharka with the Newfoundland. The breed is known by many names including the Vodolaz which means “diver of deep Water”. The Moscow Water Dog was only bred in the Russian state’s Red Star Kennels as working dogs for the military.

Following the second World War, most of the working dogs had been destroyed during the war. Not enough dogs could be imported to begin a breeding program for any working breed. So, the Soviet Red Star Kennels began to create several working breeds. Included in this group with the Moscow Water Dog, were the Moscow Newfoundland, the Moscow Great Dane, the Black Russian Terrier, and the Brudasty Hound.

The only really successful breed coming from this program is the Russian Black Terrier. All the rest are either extinct or found only in Russia today. The Moscow Water Dog was supposed to be a life saver/water rescue dog, but the dogs they developed were too aggressive, and the program was scrapped. It seemed that the cross had bred a dog that had too much of the working water dog traits and not enough of the rescue dog traits. The military breeders tried to pass the dogs off as a Russian Newfoundland and sell it to the non-military.

These non-military owners of the few “Russian Newfoundland”, did not try to change the dogs through breeding. Instead over time they bred the Russian Newfoundland with pure bred Newfoundlands almost eliminating the “Russian” portion of the breed. By the early 1980’s the stock had been so diluted with the pure Newfoundland that the Russian Newfoundland was basically extinct.

The Red Army kennel had other breeds with some of the genes of this breed in their lines. This included the Brudasty Hound, the Moscow Great Dane, the Caucasian Oycharka, the Moscow Watchdog and the Russian Black Terrier. The Russian Navy was unhappy with the situation and never again let the army developed the Navy’s waterdog.

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

The Moscow Water Dog was intelligent, vigilant, an excellent swimmer, and great in artic waters. However, he was too aggressive and instead of saving the swimmer, they would attack them. The Moscow Water Dog is a tall, balanced and powerful dog. They have a wide muzzle and a square head like the Newfoundland. Their eyes are dark and small while the ears are triangular. The nose and lips are black. He has webbed feet of course and a hanging tail.

The coat on the Moscow Water Dog was of course waterproof and double. The top coat is very dense, straight and soft. It is usually a dark brown with some black and white.

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

Because the breed was around for such a short period there is not a lot of documentation or information regarding genetic or propensity health issues. There are however a few issues that just his heritage and Newfoundland blood would lend itself to.

  • Tendency toward obesity. Do not free feed.
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia – could lead to arthritis.
  • Bloat or gastric torsion – could be fatal.
  • Cardiovascular issues.
  • Addison’s Disease
  • Hypothyroidism

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

Feeding the puppy

Required high quality food made specifically for large or giant puppies. Feed 3-4 times a day a total of 21/2 -3 cups.

Feeding the adult

Required high quality food made for large or giant dog breeds. Feed twice a day a total of 2 cups.

Games and Exercises

The Moscow Water Dog did not need a high level of exercise, but they did have a lot of stamina. They loved to swim. Not overly active – more of a couch potato.

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

yes

Special talents

Swimming and stamina

Adaptability

Yes but needed some land. Better in countryside.

Learning ability

This is an intelligent dog, but he could not be trained out of his aggressiveness.

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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