Bernese Mountain Dog

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History:  

The breed was used as an all purpose farm dog for guarding property and to drive dairy cattle long distances from the farm to the alpine pastures. The type was originally called the Dürrbächler, for a small town (Dürrbach) where the large dogs were especially frequent. In the early 1900s, fanciers exhibited the few examples of the large dogs at Shows in Berne, and in 1907 a few breeders from the Burgdorf region founded the first breed Club, the Schweizerische Dürrbach-Klub, and wrote the first Standard which defined the dogs as a separate breed. By 1910, there were already 107 registered members of the breed. There is a photo of a working Bernese Mountain Dog, dated 1905 at the Fumee Fall rest area in Quinnesec, MI.

In the US, the Bernese Mountain Dog is growing in popularity, ranking in 32nd place by the American Kennel Club in 2013.

Color, Coat, and Grooming:

The Berner coat is gorgeous: a thick double coat with a longer outer coat and a wooly undercoat. Characteristically tricolored, the majority of the Berner’s body is covered with jet-black hair with rich rust and bright white. There’s usually a white marking on his chest that looks like an inverted cross, a white blaze between the eyes, and white on the tip of his tail.

The Berner is a shedder. He sheds moderately all year and heavily in the spring and fall. Brushing several times a week helps reduce the amount of hair around the house and keeps the coat clean and tangle-free. Bathing, every three months or so, will maintain his neat appearance.

Brushing teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup and the bacteria that lurk inside it. Daily brushing is even better if you want to prevent gum disease and bad breath.

Trim there nail about once a month if they don’t wear them down naturally. If you hear them clicking on the floor they are to long.

Height and Weight

Height at the withers is 25–27.5 in for males, while it is 23–26 in for females. Weight is 80–120 lb for males, while it is 75–100 lb for females.

Temperament:

The breed standard for the Bernese mountain dog states that dogs should not be “aggressive, anxious or distinctly shy”, but rather should be “good-natured”, “self-assured”, “placid towards strangers”, and “docile”. The temperament of individual dogs may vary, and not all examples of the breed have been bred carefully to follow the standard. All large breed dogs should be well socialized when they are puppies, and given regular training and activities throughout their lives.

Bernese are outdoor dogs at heart, though well-behaved in the house; they need activity and exercise, but do not have a great deal of endurance. They can move with amazing bursts of speed for their size when motivated. If they are sound (no problems with their hips, elbows, or other joints), they enjoy hiking and generally stick close to their people. Not being given the adequate amount of exercise may lead to barking and harassing in the Bernese.

Bernese mountain dogs are a breed that generally does well with children, as they are very affectionate. They are patient dogs that take well to children climbing over them. Though they have great energy, a Bernese will also be happy with a calm evening.

Health Problems:

Cancer is the leading cause of death for dogs in general, but Bernese Mountain Dogs have a much higher rate of fatal cancer than other breeds; in both U.S./Canada and UK surveys, nearly half of Bernese Mountain Dogs die of cancer, compared to about 27% of all dogs. Bernese Mountain Dogs are killed by a multitude of different types of cancer, including Malignant histiocytosis, mast cell tumer, lymphosarcoma, fibrosarcoma, osteosarcoma. A four-year-old Bernese with lymphoma named Dylan was one of the first dogs to receive chemotherapy at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, and it was successful.

Bernese Mountain Dogs also have an unusually high mortality due to musculoskeletal causes. Arthritis, hip dysplasia, and cruciate ligament rupture were reported as the cause of death in 6% of Bernese Mountain Dogs in the UK study; for comparison, mortality due to musculoskeletal ailments was reported to be less than 2% for pure-bred dogs in general.

Several inherited medical problems that a Bernese Mountain Dog may face are malignant histiocytosis, hypomyelinogenesis, progressive retinal atrophy, and possibly cataraacts and hypoadrenocorticism. The breed is also prone to histiocytic sarcoma, a cancer of the muscle tissue that is very aggressive, and hereditary eye diseases are common among larger dogs.

Lifespan:

Compared to breeds of similar size as well as purebred dogs in general, the Bernese is one of the short-lived dog breeds. The average life expectancy of a Bernese Mountain Dog is approximately 7 to 8 years. 

Exercise:

Berners are not suited to apartment or condo life. A home with a large, securely fenced yard is the best choice. Because the Berner is a working dog, he has plenty of energy. In addition to yard play, he needs a minimum of 30 minutes of vigorous exercise every day; three times that amount keeps this sturdy dog in top condition.

With his thick, handsome coat, the Berner is a natural fit for cold climates. He loves to play in the snow. Conversely, with his black coat and large size, he’s prone to heat stroke. Don’t allow him to exercise strenuously when it’s extremely hot; limit exercise to early mornings or evenings, when it’s cooler. Keep him cool during the heat of the day, either inside with fans or air-conditioning or outside in the shade.

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History:  

The Greyhound is an ancient breed that originated in the Middle East and North Africa and has won the admiration of many different cultures. Greyhounds have been mentioned by Greeks, depicted in art by Egyptians, praised by a Roman poet, and are the only breed of dog mentioned in the Bible.

Greyhounds found their way into Europe during the Dark Ages. They were so respected for their hunting prowess that the laws of the time protected royal game reserves by forbidding anyone living within 10 miles of the king’s forests from owning a Greyhound.

The Greyhound’s popularity continued to grow in England, thanks to the popularity of coursing (the sport of chasing prey) and racing. Spanish explorers and British colonists brought them to the Americas where they thrived as well, coursing jackrabbits and coyotes on the wide-open plains.

The Greyhound was one of the first breeds to appear in American dog shows, and the American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1885. The first official coursing race took place in 1886, and the National Coursing Association in the United States was founded in 1906. Greyhound racing took off and is popular today in many states, although it’s a controversial sport because so many dogs are abandoned, euthenized, or sold to laboratories if they don’t do well at the track.

Size:  The Greyhound is a sleek, athletic dog. There are two types, which vary somewhat in size: Racing Greyhounds are usually 25 to 29 inches tall, and show Greyhounds are slightly larger, at 26 to 30 inches in height. In both types, males typically weigh 65 to 85 pounds, females 50 to 65 pounds, with racing dogs tending toward the lower end of the scale.

Exercise: Greyhounds that are kept as pets should have regular opportunities to run free on open ground in a safe area, as well as daily long, brisk walks, where the dog is made to heel beside or behind the person holding the lead. In a dog’s mind the leader leads the way and that leader needs to be the human. Greyhounds love a regular routine.

Temperament:  The Greyhound is brave and devoted. Intelligent, laid-back, charming and loving, its character is often undervalued because of its reserved behavior toward strangers and even its master. Greyhounds are sensitive to the tone of one’s voice and will not listen if they sense that they are stronger minded than their owner, however they will also not respond well to harsh discipline. Owners need to be calm, yet possess an air of natural authority. Socialize well to prevent timidity. As a rule, they are gentle and even-tempered—both racing lines and show lines. Most Greyhounds have a definite prey drive. It is instinctive for these dogs to chase anything that moves quickly. They are extremely fast and some will kill cats and other domestic animals, although this is not the majority (only about 20% of ex-racers are too “keen” on chasing prey to ever be safe with small animals). About 10% are immediately okay due to low prey instinct, and the rest can be trained to leave cats and other small pets in the home alone. They seldom present difficulties with other dogs and are normally good with children, though they do not usually like roughhouse play, and would not be a good choice for young children who are looking for a playmate. Indoors, these dogs are calm and sociable to a point where they can even be considered lazy. They bond strongly with their own people, have tremendous stamina, and do not bark much. Show lines tend to be of a different body style than racing lines, and are often more angulated. Racing lines are bred for performance, but often a good by-product is that they are friendly, outgoing dogs that make wonderful pets when their racing days are over. Greyhounds are not particularly vigilant. Show lines tend to be a bit heavier and bred more for temperament than racing lines, which are bred for speed. However, racing lines also make wonderful pets. There are hundreds of adoption groups all over North America, Europe and Australia to place these gentle, loving dogs when they retire. Retired racing Greyhounds are not usually difficult tohousebreak. They are already crate trained from the track, so it doesn’t take them long to learn that they are not to “go” in the house. The Greyhound needs an even-tempered, gentle but firm loving owner who knows how to consistently communicate the rules of the home. A Greyhound that knows his place in his pack and what is expected of him is a happy Greyhound.

Health:  Prone to bloat. It is better to feed them 2 or 3 small meals rather than one large one. They are sensitive to drugs, including insecticides. They are also prone to hypothyroidism, Osteosarcoma, and Anesthesia Sensitivity.

Description: The Greyhound is a tall, slender dog. The head is long and narrow, wide between the ears, with a long tapering muzzle. There is no stop. The small rose ears are held back and folded, and are semi-perked when they are excited. The eyes are dark in color. The slightly arched neck is long. The legs are long with the front legs being perfectly straight. The chest is wide and deep. The long tail tapers with a slight upward curve. The short, fine coat comes in all colors. 

Coat, color, and Grooming: 

Greyhounds have a short, smooth coat that’s easy to care for. Despite their name, they can be any color, including fawn, black, red, blue, gray, or white. They can also be various shades of brindle, a striped pattern that gives them the look of having just streaked across the African savanna, or white with at least one other color, known as particolor.

Despite their short coat, Greyhounds shed. Brush them daily to keep shedding at a manageable level. Your Greyhound will love being massaged with a rubber curry brush, also known as a hound mitt. Use a dry dog shampoo when you bathe him to keep his coat clean and smelling great.

Keep ears clean and free of debris with a moist cotton ball. Never insert anything into the ear canal; just clean around the outer ear.

This breed’s teeth need the most dedicated care. Greyhounds tend to have poor dental health, so regular brushing is a must if you want them to have sweet breath and no ugly tartar buildup.

Trim his nails once or twice a month if your dog doesn’t wear them down naturally to prevent painful tears and other problems. If you can hear them clicking on the floor, they’re too long. Dog toenails have blood vessels in them, and if you cut too far you can cause bleeding — and your dog may not cooperate the next time he sees the nail clippers come out. So, if you’re not experienced trimming dog nails, ask a vet or groomer for pointers.

His ears should be checked weekly for redness or a bad odor, which can indicate an infection. When you check your dog’s ears, wipe them out with a cotton ball dampened with gentle, pH-balanced ear cleaner to help prevent infections. Don’t insert anything into the ear canal; just clean the outer ear.

Begin accustoming your Greyhound to being brushed and examined when he’s a puppy. Handle his paws frequently — dogs are touchy about their feet — and look inside his mouth. Make grooming a positive experience filled with praise and rewards, and you’ll lay the groundwork for easy veterinary exams and other handling when he’s an adult.

As you groom, check for sores, rashes, or signs of infection such as redness, tenderness, or inflammation on the skin, in the nose, mouth, and eyes, and on the feet. Eyes should be clear, with no redness or discharge. Your careful weekly exam will help you spot potential health problems early.

Lifespan: About 10-12 years.

Neapolitan Mastiff

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History:  The Neapolitan Mastiff is an estate guard dog from Italy. The breed traces its roots to the dogs of war used by the Roman Army. The breed then existed on estates and farms across Italy for the past two millennia, known as the “big dog of the little man” — the extraordinary dog of the ordinary man.The Neapolitan Mastiff is an estate guard dog from Italy. The breed traces its roots to the dogs of war used by the Roman Army. The breed then existed on estates and farms across Italy for the past two millennia, known as the “big dog of the little man” — the extraordinary dog of the ordinary man.

Over the centuries, breeders of the Mastino in the Neapolitan area of southern Italy focused on breeding guards for the homes and estate. They created a breed that retained the giant size, heavy, loose skin, and dewlap. This was an animal, which was a stay-at-home type, and was good with the family. It was bred to detect unwanted intruders and to deter them from the property under their care. Indeed, many say that the Neapolitan Mastiff’s unique type was developed purposely as an alarmingly ugly dog whose looks alone were enough to deter any intruder.

Description:  The Neapolitan Mastiff is a serious, powerful dog. The body of this massive, rather rectangular looking dog has abundant, hanging wrinkles and folds on the head and a very large dewlap. The wide, flat head is large in comparison to the rest of the body. The muzzle is 1/3 the length of the head and is as broad as it is long with a well-defined stop. The large nose has well-open nostrils and a color that coordinates with the coat. The teeth meet in a scissors, pincer or slight undershot bite. The deep-set eyes are almost covered by the dropping upper lids and come in amber to brown, depending on the coat color. Puppies begin life with blue eyes, which later darken. The ears may be cropped or left natural. Many owners opt out of docking and cropping, preferring the natural look, as it is painful for the dog. The tail is carried straight up and curves over the back. In dogs that are shown in the AKC front dewclaws are not removed. The round feet are large with well-arched toes. The straight, dense, short coat comes in gray, blue, black, chocolate, mahogany and tawny, sometimes with brindle and white markings. A little white is permitted on the chest and toes. No white should be on the face. Chocolate dogs are rare.

Size:  Heights: Males 26-30 inches Females 24 – 28 inches

Weight: Up to 165 pounds but the largest male Neapolitans may be nearly 200 pounds.

Grooming:  This breed is easy to groom. Remove loose, dead hair with a rubber brush. This breed is an average shedder.

Health:  Prone to cherry eye, hip dysplasia, bloat, pano-ostiosis (joint pain from growth can occur at 4-18 months and usually goes away on its own). Pups are usually born via caesarian section.

Lifespan:  Like most giant breeds, the Neapolitan Mastiff has a relatively short life expectancy. UK breed club surveys puts the average at 7 years, with 1 in 6 living to 9 years or more.

Exercise:  Adult Neapolitan Mastiffs need a great deal of exercise. They should be taken on daily, long walks at least twice a day. While out on the walk the dog must be made to heel beside or behind the person holding the lead, as in a dog’s mind the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human. Teach your dog to enter and exit all door and gateways after the human.

Temperament:  The Neapolitan Mastiff is not a breed for everyone. This breed looks a bit intimidating, but is actually affectionate, calm, peaceful and loving. They enjoy family and friends. This breed is a heavy drooler, particularly in hot weather or after getting a drink. Males may drool more than females. They are very keen to their owners’ commands. Intelligent, very protective, courageous, serious and mild-mannered. Generally quiet, they tend to only bark when necessary. They can be reserved with strangers; socialize them well with people, places, sounds and animals. These dogs are usually very loving with children, provided the children know how to display leadership skills. A Neo can get along well with non-canine petsif raised with them from puppyhood and/or properly socialized. Obedience training is very important. Teach them to heel on a lead and to go in and out door and gateways after the humans. This breed needs a dominant owner who understands and is capable of controlling them properly. They will be easiest if this is established when the dog is still a puppy, but it is still possible to communicate with an adult Neo that the human is in charge. Children should be taught how to be pack leaders. Socialize this breed while they are young. This is a natural guard dog and protection training is not necessary. You cannot breed out the guard in the dog, no matter how submissive they become. If they sense there is a threat to the home they will react unless the owner is there and tells them everything is OK. Be sure you are consistent in approach and do not keep repeating commands the dog has failed to obey. If they are not listening, try a different approach, making sure you are in a confident state of mind. Neos will not listen to meek owners. These are not dogs for beginners, but it is an exaggeration to describe them as difficult in their association with others. A calm handler with natural leadership will achieve the best results. With comprehensive training and an experienced, dominant owner, the Neapolitan Mastiff can be a wonderful family pet. This breed has a high pain tolerance. Neos that do not have a firm, confident, consistent owner who provides them with daily pack walks to release mental and physical exercise will become willfulover-protective and dog aggressive. When correcting this dog, the owner’s correction must match the dog’s level of intensity, and the timing of the correction must be precise.

http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/neapolitan-mastiff/detail/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neapolitan_Mastiff

http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/neapolitanmastiff.htm