Dog or Bitch? Bernese mountain dog. ADVICE NEEDED!

Puppy

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#1
Hi. I used to post on this forum a while back, and since then we have decided on getting a Bernese mountain dog. We have gone through the process of finding a good breeder etc, and on the weekend her bitch had 5 puppies. 1 girl and 4 boys.

We prefered to have a bitch over a dog because of what some other breeders had told us. They said for a first time owner it would be best to get a bitch because they are less likely to challange you etc, and because the BMD is such a big dog, it could be hard.

But the breeder has said that she may want to keep the bitch to give to her friend, who recently lost her dog.

We need to decide that if we cant have the bitch, would we be ok with the dog.

Please give any advice you can. Thanks.
 

SummerRiot

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#2
Did the breeder say which "pick" you were??

If you were first pick I dont think that she can do that to you without a fair warning.

Personally after getting a male Belgian.. I'm sure it would have been WAY easier with a female!! lol
 
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#3
Whatever you're more comfortable with is the right decision, even if you have to wait a while to get a puppy. If you're not entirely at ease with getting a male, it might undermine your confidence dealing with him.

Personally, I've always owned female dogs and I like them. Male dogs tend, in my experience with other people's dogs, to cross the line from affectionate to clingy and demanding. Two drawbacks of girls - heats (if they're intact) and the potential for nasty fights - two bitches who really don't like each other put the boys to shame.

Male or female, please handle the dog responsibly. My neighbors have a people-friendly but dog-aggressive Bernese bitch who is regularly walked by their 10-year-old boy, and I've seen him dragged across a street to go after another dog. They're nice dogs, from what I've seen of them, but they're still very big dogs, and very strong when they choose.
 

PFC1

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#4
I have a 3 year old BMD male. He is a TOTAL sweetheart. He does have a stubborn streak at times. Also, there were some sort of alpha like tendencies in the begining. But if you have your heart set on this breed, and you have done all the necessary research into what you are getting, I would not be afraid to get a male, as opposed to a female.

I say this assuming that you will do all that you can to learn to properly raise and train a dog, regardless of which sex or breed you get, including but not limited to: reading good training books, going to puppy class, going to obedience class (yes, they are different), reading this forum, etc. Bear in mind that puppy class and obedience class is for training YOU to train the dog. These classes do not train the dog for you.

It is true that the boys will be very big, and REALLY strong. But if you train and socialize early, you shouldn't have any serious problems. These dogs are known to be gentle giants, that can be very sensitive, so you should not be too stern with them. But by all means, don't let the little pup sleep in your bed unless you don't mind having a 140+ lb boy sharing your bed when he gets older. Same thing for getting on the furniture, putting their feet up on you and guests, pulling on the leash, chewing on your hands, or any other bad puppy habit. You have to work on this all while they are still young. If they grow up and you haven't been working on breaking their bad habits, look out. That's not to say that they have to be perfect by the time that they are 2 or even 3, but you definitely want them to understand what is expected well before then. It should only be a matter of refining what they know is expected.

I have often heard it said of the male BMDs that they tend to be much more affectionate than the females. Based on what I have seen, I have no reason to believe otherwise.
 

SummerRiot

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#5
Actually come to think of it, there were 3 Bernese males at Riots RallyO show competing in Advanced I believe. Each time ANY dog went near their kennel while they were in it, they tried to attack.
Poor Riot nearly wet his pants when we walked by lol I'd never seen him jump so high!

Now, I have met Bernese before and any one that I have met was extremely friendly and happy going, and wanting to see you.
Riot has met Bernese before in his conformation class and those dogs were very happy to see Riot AND me.

I also saw a few Bernese at Riots conformation show in Ottawa and none that I noticed were "dog aggresive".
Its definately all in how you train your dog. Socialize well at a YOUNG age with all types of scenarios.

Personally, I've always owned female dogs and I like them. Male dogs tend, in my experience with other people's dogs, to cross the line from affectionate to clingy and demanding. Two drawbacks of girls - heats (if they're intact) and the potential for nasty fights - two bitches who really don't like each other put the boys to shame.
I'll have to agree here. Both sexes have their drawn backs. When we had our show shelties - the males were the ones that tended to wander(intact males btw) Although never far, they still strayed further then the bitches. Our bitches never left our side - they also got into the nastiest fights I've seen lol (both were in heat, both were testing the other, never were they alone together again).
 

PFC1

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#6
casablanca1 said:
Male dogs tend, in my experience with other people's dogs, to cross the line from affectionate to clingy and demanding.
My male BMD is often very demanding-- he likes to demand treats, attention, going to the dog park, etc. Although he does sometimes just go off and lay by himself in another part of the house. But I personally love the affectionate side that comes with this.
 

PFC1

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#7
As far as individual BMDs being dog aggresive as mention by Riot and Casa, I don't doubt their observations. Any breed can have individuals with this quality. But I personally have never seen dog aggressive behavior from BMDs, and the BMD is not known for this type of behavior. I just mention this because I don't want you to get the impression from two individual posts that this is an issue with the breed. Neither Casa nor Riot have stated or even suggested that this breed is dog agressive, but I just wanted to explicitly mention this.

[edit: Where I said, "I don't want you to get the impression," I should have said, "I don't want the reader to get the impression." I knew Riot understood the point I was making, and I didn't mean to mistakenly suggest that she might not.]
 
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SummerRiot

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#8
PFC1 -

Competely understood. I literally grew up at dog shows - my parents were both dog show addicts. We had show Shelties in the house at all times with new litters, new bitches coming in to be bred etc etc etc..
When we went to shows I was put in the puppy pen, I never had a play pen as a child lol
Out of all of those years, NEVER have I seen an aggresive Berner, EVER.
At Riots show was the VERY first time I had seen an aggresive one. I had to do a double take because I couldn't believe it was a BMD!!
I think it was more a possesion thing then anything though. B/c he was working with his owner off leash in a crowd of dogs and people and never attemped(from what I saw) to be aggresive towards another dog that walked by him. It was only when he was in his kennel. (which was a fabric one.. lol we were a little nervous about that part lol)
He could have had territorial issues as well..
 
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Dobiegurl

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#9
I prefer males just because they are clingy (never without Chico behind me) but independent as well. There really, to me, isn't a big difference between raising a female vs. a male. They are both dogs, both have the same pack mentality and both can be stubborn and dominant, it all depends on the dog itself. I noticed that females where more agressive, but thats my opinion.

Tell the breeder what qualities you want in a dog (female or male) and let him/her lead you to the right puppy. In Ven's litter the breeder kept the girl, Nima, because she was dominant and perfect for the type of work they were bred for. She is going to bea handful because of her temperament and probably going to be more work than any of the other puppies. That is a pure example as to why you shouldn't limit yourself to male or female. The breeder said that she would NOT keep a female but she did because of her temperament. It all depends on the actual dog.
 

PFC1

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#10
Dobiegurl said:
I prefer males just because they are clingy (never without Chico behind me) but independent as well. There really, to me, isn't a big difference between raising a female vs. a male. They are both dogs, both have the same pack mentality and both can be stubborn and dominant, it all depends on the dog itself. I noticed that females where more agressive, but thats my opinion.

Tell the breeder what qualities you want in a dog (female or male) and let him/her lead you to the right puppy. In Ven's litter the breeder kept the girl, Nima, because she was dominant and perfect for the type of work they were bred for. She is going to bea handful because of her temperament and probably going to be more work than any of the other puppies. That is a pure example as to why you shouldn't limit yourself to male or female. The breeder said that she would NOT keep a female but she did because of her temperament. It all depends on the actual dog.
I agree with everything said here, but the original poster is correct to consider the issue of the puppy's sex. With the BMD in particular, you are talking about a large breed. The males are generally larger and stronger than the females. And let me tell you from personal experience, the males are STRONG. So that is something that should be considered.
 

cowgurl6254

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#11
Hmm...my only experience has been with shelties, but with mine it seems to go the opposite way! My female is very stubborn and clingy, while my males have always been very sweet and laidback. I think a lot of it just depends on the individual. If I have to dogs who are fixed, a lot of the time I don't see any personality differences at all.
 

DanL

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#12
My brother in laws brother (what does that make him to me?) and his family got a BMD from a pet store- bad choice I know, but they did it anyway. She is the SWEETEST dog! Very well behaved, not aggressive at all, a complete love bug.
 

Roxy's CD

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#13
I think regardless of breed/sex, if you get a puppy, go to school with it, love it, be stern when needed and all around are truly involved with it's upbringing you should be fine.

If you teach it how to behave properly on a leash before it's fully grown you shouldn't have any problems right.

In my personal opinion, I prefer females. I like girlies with a bit of an edge and males seem to be as everyone's said very clingy.
 
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Dobiegurl

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PFC1 said:
I agree with everything said here, but the original poster is correct to consider the issue of the puppy's sex. With the BMD in particular, you are talking about a large breed. The males are generally larger and stronger than the females. And let me tell you from personal experience, the males are STRONG. So that is something that should be considered.

I understand the dogs size as being an issue. But ANY dog male or female should be trained not to use their power to get what they want. Its a matter of control and if you start training at the appropriate time when the pup is still young, you probably won't encouter any issues where the dog uses strength to challenge you.

My dobie is a big boy, VERY strong. He NEVER uses his strength as a weapon or acts out of control because I started training when he was small enough to control. I don't care how big a dog is, a person MUST have control over it, and if someone feels they cannot control a big dog then they shouldn't have a big dog. What if the person ends up with an overgrown female? Or a stubborn one? I go for personality and if I want a dog that is calm and laid back then that is what I look for when pickng a puppy.

I've seen women (5'2 100 lbs) walking 150lbs mastiffs. But they have control over that dog, and I am willing to bet that that dog has the potential to drag that lady across town if he wanted to, but was trained to act in a civilized matter. It has to do with controlling your dog, not the strength that your dog pocesses.

I've seen 100lb labs as service animals walk camly next a person in a wheelchair. It is very crucial that they are taught manners because they couls easily hurt their owners.
 

~Tucker&Me~

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#16
I have always found males to be less clingy, and more laidback as well. And females can be SO horrible to each other.
And as Dobiegurl says, strength shouldn't be a huge issue if you properly train your dog.

~Tucker
 

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