Thanks to a random youtube user, we were finally able to see Oscar’s appearance on televison. The segment had aired during the Westminster Kennel Club broadcast while I was at the show. I am very proud of how well Oscar looked on television.
During the segment, I was asked what’s the difference is between the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (Swissy) and Bernese Mountain Dog (Berner). I responded by saying that they are very similar in many ways but the Swissy is around 10 lbs. bigger with a haircut. If you look at the standard there are overlaps, as bigger Berners are being produced which overlap with smaller Swissies. Swissies are a touch more muscular, powerful with a little protector in them. But they both do drafting, carting, and sheep herding work. Berners have health issues such as cancer, but Swissies have been getting epilepsy problems, possibly a result of breeding issues. However, I believe that a sound bite is not the proper place for this information to be discussed. The personalities of each dog are different, so it is not right to generalize. Both the similarity and the confusion have been around for many years, as swissies were re-discovered at a dog show in 1908 when someone entered them into the show as odd Berners.
The answer I gave has produced some negative responses to include the following: we should get shot, we set the breed back 20 years, and now everyone will want a Swissy. The first response is unacceptable. In light of what happened with Sandy Hook and the possible intentional poisoning of Cruz, I believe this is very wrong as the website is about the pleasures of owning a dog. As to everyone wanting a swissy, what’s wrong with interest in the breed? Swissies cost around $2000-$2500 along with most breeders having a questionnaire and a long waitlist. It’s not like they will be flying off shelves during Black Friday! Lastly, having a dog should be a fun but constant learning experience including mentoring new people. New dog owners will be scared off by random swissy breeders and owners posting threatening messages to an audience of over 80,000 off a sound bite. As a question to all of Oscar’s fans, what do you think is the difference between a Swissy and Berner?