The Mission of Berner Garde is to ensure all Bernese Mountain Dogs (BMD) have a long and healthy lifespan of twelve to fourteen years. To accomplish this goal the incidence of several serious inherited diseases must be decreased and, over time, eliminated. It is the hope of all who know and love a Berner that the work of BGF will lead not only to an understanding of genetic disease(s)in an individual dog, but also in the BMD breed as a whole.
Learn more about the Berner-Garde Foundation here.
Over the past 18 years, a lot of money was raised to support Dr. Breen's research on histiocytic sarcoma. NCSU and Dr. Breen have announced that they have a new test for the identification of canine histiocytic malignacy.
It seems everyone has a different opinion about veggies in a dog’s diet. So we turned to renowned Australian veterinarian Dr Ian Billinghurst for the answer.
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To make informed decisions about improvements in the longevity of a breed, the genetic robust- ness of a stud dog, or the prospects for a healthy puppy from a particular litter/breeding, researchers, breeders, and prospective puppy buyers need good information. Today’s Berner owners, breeders and researchers are fortunate because in 1995 a group of progressive individuals established The Berner-Garde Foundation, including its informational resource, the database. This concept of a centralized, computerized informational resource containing breed health data was well ahead of its time and has progressed beyond its initial vision to become the model for many other breeds.
Importantly, The Berner-Garde database offers value to many different groups. For prospective puppy buyers, it offers a way to evaluate the health of ancestors and relatives of a litter from which one may be purchasing a puppy. Such information is important in assessing the likelihood of various health problems associated with a particular breeding and the puppies coming from it. If breeders and past puppy owners have been conscientious about inputting health information regularly on their dogs (both good and bad information), the database offers a puppy buyer one of the better and more comprehensive resources for making litter/puppy health predictions and puppy buying decisions. In addition to standard health certifications (OFA, CERF, etc.) found in other databases, the BGF database contains disease diagnoses, pedigrees, titles earned, breeder, owner and other health-related information. For the breeder, the database serves as a valuable tool for investigating the health and reproductive history of prospective stud dogs and their offspring.
Like many things of value, good information is not free. It takes investment—in this case, it takes an army of dedicated Berner owners and a bevy of honest breeders who conscientiously and regularly provide data about the health of their dogs. It’s easy to think that breeders and show dog owners bear the major responsibility in this effort. That assumption would be wrong. The majority of dogs produced by Bernese Mountain Dog breeders are pets (not show dogs), hence the average pet owner plays a critical role in the creation and maintenance of this informational resource. Indeed, one might say, pet owners are the largest and single most important group of potential contributors to such breed health databases. All groups are important from the perspective of the knowledge that we gain. For example, rescue dogs make up another important subset in that they can provide information that can help us determine the long-term effects on dogs of rescue stress, multiple placements or less than optimal beginnings.