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  #1  
Old January 6th, 2010, 11:00 PM
Flicka Flicka is offline
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Smile Leonberger or Bernese, Which would you pick and why??

Hi All

I am new to this site, and looking for some guidence.
We are considering a new family member and I have narrowed it down to a Leonberger or Bernese Mountain dog. I have heard both are wonderful with kids, we have 3.
Can anyone share their experience with these breeds, or any other large breed that you love, and I'd love referrals to good breeders for both. ( you can send me a PM if it's not allowed to be posted on here) I live in Ontario, Canada.

Thanks!
Pics would be awesome too!
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Old January 6th, 2010, 11:07 PM
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We actually have a member with one of each. I'm sure she'll be on soon (I PM'd her a link to your thread ).

Welcome to the board, Flicka, and best of luck in your search.
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Old January 7th, 2010, 03:08 AM
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I don't know much about Leonbergers, but I know some about Berners. How heartbroken would you be if your dog only lived 5-6 yrs? 7-8 years at the most? And before they die they will most likely have a lot of problems with arthritis or other bone/joint problems, therefore vet bills will be high and they will need a lot of help. Those are the problems with Bernese Mountain Dogs. The breed tends to have huge problems with cancer and they're not very long lived. Not that they're not well tempered dogs, but most people don't want to see their dog die that soon.
We have a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, they're related (both sennenhund), but they're not as highly prone to the same health problems and they tend to be longer lived. Our breeder actually said she knows several people that got out of keeping dogs completely because they got into breeding or keeping Bernese Mountain dogs and could not take being heartbroken repeatedly when the dogs died young.
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Old January 7th, 2010, 06:03 AM
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I'd pick a Leonberger for sure, although I love BMD's they have to many health issues.
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Old January 7th, 2010, 06:31 AM
shirley1011 shirley1011 is offline
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I personally love Leonberger's..a friend of ours has one and he is such a big sweetheart.
We have a raw food retailer who breeds Leonbergers and it is always such a pleasure to see so many of these majestic creatures when I go there to get the tripe and offal.
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Old January 7th, 2010, 07:20 AM
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first off welcome to the board Flicka, Hope you enjoy your stay.

I have both a Leonberger and a BMD. they are both great beautiful breeds.

My BMD is 3 years old and my Leo is 1 1/2 years old. they are both great around people,kids,and other dogs when trained and socialized ( this is very very important). they both love's to play especially in the snow, and mud!!! in the summer not so much ( Archie loves the water. hope you don't mind hair in the house

yes they are prone to heath problem, with cancer and stomach/ digestive problem and because they are giant breeds you must be careful of hips and joints,bloat and hot spots :sad:
they do eat a lot

Bree my BMD is very active ( some are and some are not) and Archer who is the Leo can be a couch potato if not careful ( again some are and some are not)

It's a hard choice to decide on which one a BMD or a Leonberger visit a lot of breeders ( if that is the route you would like to go) and ask a lot of questions, For our Leo (Archie) we waited almost 2 years for him ( we wanted to be sure that this was the right choice).
For Bree we kinda jumped the gun and did not do ALL our research

But I wouldn't change a thing!!
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Old January 7th, 2010, 08:22 AM
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We had a deposit on a Greater Swiss Mountain dog, absolutely beautiful. It fell through though. Don't know the other breeds. Had a Mastiff once, high prey drive, had lots of issues.
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Old January 7th, 2010, 08:53 AM
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Thanks everyone for you reply's.

Breeze; Where did you get both of your dogs? I am in Ontario, and am having a hard time finding breeders. I don't mind a couple hrs. drive to visit breeders, but can't seem to find anything closer than 5-6 hrs! We are near Ottawa. Also, does your BMD have any health issues?

We currently have a Ragdoll cat " Flicka" who is soooo sweet and I think she would love to cuddle each of these breeds.
The health issues of the BMD is a huge concern for me, not only for their health, but also the costs of care. I am prepared to take on food, toys, and regular vet care, but not too kean on major health issues!

Any photos???
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Old January 7th, 2010, 09:09 AM
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There is a Leonberger breeder in my area, Whitby Ontario, I'm not sure of that exactly address, but I have seen some of the offspring around town, and they are absolutely georgous!!!

I was told by a BMD breeder that BMD's do have many health issues. Also while watching watching the westminster dog show they also are very vocal about the BMD's health issues.

Here's a site that may help http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/purebred.htm
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Old January 7th, 2010, 10:00 AM
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I use to have a Bernese cross and we had lots of health problems with him until he was pts a nine and a half due to bone cancer..He had OCD at 7 months and had to have surgery on his shoulder. He had many issues with allergies food and skin so creams and antibiotics for that. At 5 years of age he bloated but we caught it early and he had surgery to stop him getting torsion if it happened again. Then in the end he had bone cancer in his front foot, amputation was an option but at his age his hips were getting weak so it was a matter that he would have no quality of life and that is something I could not do to him.. He is buried up at our cottage where he loved to be....Would I get another BMD in a heartbeat they are special dog with a heart of gold, the next dog I get will be another Bernese..
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Old January 7th, 2010, 10:28 AM
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This is the same breeder I think Happycats...she is Heonview on Ashburn Rd. Brooklin..she has a wonderful supply of raw food, a herd of Alpacas and the most gorgeous Leonbergers..she went to Norway to get her last one...she is also president of the Leonberger Assoc. of Canada...lovely person
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Old January 7th, 2010, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shirley1011 View Post
This is the same breeder I think Happycats...she is Heonview on Ashburn Rd. Brooklin..she has a wonderful supply of raw food, a herd of Alpacas and the most gorgeous Leonbergers..she went to Norway to get her last one...she is also president of the Leonberger Assoc. of Canada...lovely person

Yeah that's the one!!! Her dogs are beautiful! I actually talked to the owner of one of her dogs, and she is very picky about who gets her dogs, and is insistant that the new owner feed raw or BARF diet as he called it( you should have seen DH face , as he had no idea what BARF was, and I only knew because of this place) lol
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Old January 7th, 2010, 12:54 PM
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I'm not sure where you are, but our Shiba Inu came from a Leonberger breeder (she breeds both - interesting combination). Her breeding practices are excellent and her Leonburgers are quite amazing! They get to be quite a bit larger than the Bernese.

http://www.lemaitrekennel.com/
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Old January 7th, 2010, 01:08 PM
shirley1011 shirley1011 is offline
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We are just east of Toronto....checked out your link...wow beautiful dogs!
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Old January 7th, 2010, 01:23 PM
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Lemaitre Kennels is near Vancouver, B.C.

I love Leonbergers! Gentle giants!
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  #16  
Old January 7th, 2010, 01:29 PM
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Thanks! I checked out their website, beautiful dogs!
I found a breeder near Mt Tremblant, only 2hrs away, does anyone have any experience with them?
I really want to be able to visit a few breeders, I am not rushing into this, we've had bad dog experiences in the past, and need to make sure that we pick a breed that has a wonderful temperment, that is priority for us!
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Old January 7th, 2010, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Flicka View Post
Thanks! I checked out their website, beautiful dogs!
I found a breeder near Mt Tremblant, only 2hrs away, does anyone have any experience with them?
I really want to be able to visit a few breeders, I am not rushing into this, we've had bad dog experiences in the past, and need to make sure that we pick a breed that has a wonderful temperment, that is priority for us!

If tempermant is so important, have you thought about a rescue?
With a rescue you will know for sure what their temperment is, as most rescues will be completely honest, as their goal is to find "forever" homes.

My dog is a rescue, and he has the most amazing temperment, GREAT with kids, all the kids friends, strangers,(but also knows if someone is a threat) great manners, amazingly obedient !!!
It's like they know where they came from and are forever trying to thank you for saving them and giving them home, and will do anything for you.

I'm sure many on this board will agree, as most have rescues too, and some are involved in rescue
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Old January 7th, 2010, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Flicka View Post
Thanks! I checked out their website, beautiful dogs!
I found a breeder near Mt Tremblant, only 2hrs away, does anyone have any experience with them?
I really want to be able to visit a few breeders, I am not rushing into this, we've had bad dog experiences in the past, and need to make sure that we pick a breed that has a wonderful temperment, that is priority for us!
Bree does have a lot of health issues mostly digestive ones, like I said did not do ALL the research I should have before we got her, but there are a lot of friends I have that does not have any problems with their BMD's. ( in all breeds their is no ganentee that there will not be health issues)
Bree is a small Berner she weights about 80lbs

yup that's the one Archer is from, she is in mt tremblant.and they do get to be big beasts. Arch is now 120lbs as of last month ( have to weigh him again)
I also know of 2 in the ontario area. Ginger Archie's sister lives in the ontario area ( would have to check out the exact location.
here is a pic of Arch

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and here is Bree

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Old January 7th, 2010, 02:26 PM
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may I ask how old are you children?? human that is
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Old January 7th, 2010, 02:27 PM
Flicka Flicka is offline
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Bree does have a lot of health issues mostly digestive ones, like I said did not do ALL the research I should have before we got her, but there are a lot of friends I have that does not have any problems with their BMD's. ( in all breeds their is no ganentee that there will not be health issues)
Bree is a small Berner she weights about 80lbs

yup that's the one Archer is from, she is in mt tremblant.and they do get to be big beasts. Arch is now 120lbs as of last month ( have to weigh him again)
I also know of 2 in the ontario area. Ginger Archie's sister lives in the ontario area ( would have to check out the exact location.
here is a pic of Arch

Attachment 61212

and here is Bree

Attachment 61213


OMG!!!!! Breeze, you have my dream pups! They are soooo beautiful!!!! Thanks for the pics, love them I sent the breeder in Tremblant an email to inquire more, hoping to hear back soon, maybe take a ride up. Did you visit many times before making you decision? Did you have a preference male or female with Archie? I think females stay alittle smaller, so that might be a consideration.

Happy cats; We have had 2 rescues in the past, and neither worked out. They weren't from shelters, but through word of mouth. One had been so badly abused that he did not survive, and One even attacked a child in our neighbourhood, it was horrific! We are very cautious now, and still tramatized by that incident. We adored that dog, and he was wonderful with our children, we never saw it coming. We were heart broken It has taken a long time to get to where we might be ready for another dog.
So, we want a pure bred that we can train and have a good temperment history. I did look into rescue, but find with large dogs they are hesitant to give them to a family with 3 children, unless they have been raised with children. I have been looking at the purebred rescue sites too!
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Old January 7th, 2010, 02:29 PM
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may I ask how old are you children?? human that is
Our children are 6, 8 and 14. I'm guessing from your photo that you have children, have you ever had any problems with either breed around kids?
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Old January 7th, 2010, 02:33 PM
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OMG!!!!! Breeze, you have my dream pups! They are soooo beautiful!!!! Thanks for the pics, love them I sent the breeder in Tremblant an email to inquire more, hoping to hear back soon, maybe take a ride up. Did you visit many times before making you decision? Did you have a preference male or female with Archie? I think females stay alittle smaller, so that might be a consideration.

yes we did, we wanted to be sure that this was the right kind of breed for us ( plus when we went up the first time I could not get enough of them. the kisses and cuddles, well lets just say I wanted to take ALL of them home with us) We visited almost every second weekend then when the pups were born we went up every weekend!!
We wanted a male and a calm temperment cause of Bree we thought it would be best.
yes the females are a bit smaller. Ginger his sister I think is about 100lbs last time I saw her.
Lucie also told us what would be good for us size and temperament wise
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Old January 7th, 2010, 02:35 PM
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Our children are 6, 8 and 14. I'm guessing from your photo that you have children, have you ever had any problems with either breed around kids?
my boys are much older now.. when we got Bree my youngest was 17. ( the boys were not really around to much)
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Old January 7th, 2010, 02:52 PM
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Beautiful dogs Breeze I really miss my big boy...Don't get me wrong I love Tucker to bits but he is only 65lbs and not a snuggle bunny like our 120lb berner cross was...
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Old January 7th, 2010, 02:58 PM
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Beautiful dogs Breeze I really miss my big boy...Don't get me wrong I love Tucker to bits but he is only 65lbs and not a snuggle bunny like our 120lb berner cross was...
I understand

here is another picture of them to show you the size difference that we took in Oct.


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Old January 7th, 2010, 03:03 PM
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yes we did, we wanted to be sure that this was the right kind of breed for us ( plus when we went up the first time I could not get enough of them. the kisses and cuddles, well lets just say I wanted to take ALL of them home with us) We visited almost every second weekend then when the pups were born we went up every weekend!!
We wanted a male and a calm temperment cause of Bree we thought it would be best.
yes the females are a bit smaller. Ginger his sister I think is about 100lbs last time I saw her.
Lucie also told us what would be good for us size and temperament wise
Do you live very far? We are close to Ottawa.
I am hoping that the breeder we pick will be able to do the same, pick the sex and temperment for us, they see them everyday from the time they are born
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Old January 7th, 2010, 03:09 PM
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Do you live very far? We are close to Ottawa.
I am hoping that the breeder we pick will be able to do the same, pick the sex and temperment for us, they see them everyday from the time they are born

we live 2 hours away from her ( breeder), (west island of Montreal) we are about 2 hours away from Ottawa
we keep in contact with her the breeder

where abouts in ottawa??

we picked the sex cause we thought it was best for Bree.
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Old January 7th, 2010, 03:27 PM
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i was on the same path

and i ended up allowing the DH to choose... so we ended up with a Pyr.
I attached a pic with our friends boxer in there too. Luna is kind of leaning so she's a little taller than noted.
Our BMD is 120 lbs.. Came from a Breeder near Orangeville. Monty is a big dog who is all love and is healthly as the horse he resembles. I have been to the Leo breeder in whitby (i live in the t-dot.. but am originally from the shwa) and have always wanted a Leo....
When we discussed a second dog, i wanted the leo.. but the DH pleaded for the Pyr... hence Luna! She is a tiny Pyr (70lbs soaking wet) and acts a little like a northern breed at times (reminds me of a husky i once knew), but she takes her yard duties and protecting her brother and kitties from all things very seriously.
We decided on a female also cause of the DH. i think Monty would have been fine with another male. He's a lover, not a fighter.
Monty was easy to train compared to stubborn Luna... i'd imagine that the Leo would be more like the Berner in temperment rather than a Pyr? They are both fantastic around kids.. Luna is so gentle and sweet. She has been with wee babies to teens. We don't have kids (4 four leggeds is enough ) but we have strived to socialize and expose them both. Monty forgets how massive he is sometimes and needs reminding as he likes to sit on peoples laps. Literally.

Breeze has BEEEOUTIFUL puppers... i always love the pics and it reminds me so much of my fur-filled life (except i have more white fur in mine )
Your house will be covered in fur.... and your face in slobbery kisses but it is well worth it!
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Old January 7th, 2010, 03:39 PM
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Archie is still growing he will until about 3 years of age so will his fur, the males do not get their lion main until about that time. He forgets how big he is around little kids but is still very gentle with kisses while when he is with adults he knows he can be a little bit more rougher.
Leo's do not do well with harsh commands or negative ones, but you still need to let them know you are the boss other wise they will run your house. that is why training is a must!! and ALL family members must be on the same page.

nails and brushing must be kept up especialy their tails behind their ears and their back of their legs.

Bree is quit active and hyper so we have to be careful around little kids, mostly she just want the hugs they are willing to give. she ( and this is not all Berners) needs a more strict struture but that is Bree my friends Berner does fine with the commands like a leo.
her nails and coat have to be kept up also.
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Old January 7th, 2010, 04:59 PM
Flicka Flicka is offline
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Our old dog Chopper was great around our kids, but did knock our daughter down a few stairs ( by accident, not knowing how big he was!) No injuries though
How much does your Leo shed? I can handle hair, but how much are we talking here????? I think by nature Leo's are quieter than BMD, of coarse there are no guarentees

Kwilli Great pick!!!!!!
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