Dogs that are created by crossing two distinct pedigree dogs are called Mixed Breeds or Designer Dogs. It is a general belief that pedigree dogs are purebred dogs and are better than mixed breeds. Many feel that non-pedigree dogs are just not capable enough to be added to the list of other dogs. But this so-called list has been made by us humans themselves. These so-called purebred dogs were not naturally created.
They were themselves a designer dog sometime in the past.
Are Mixed Breeds Healthy?
Despite the popular belief that only purebreds are healthy, the reality is not so. Mixed breeds are healthy! This is because of something called the hybrid vigor. According to the Institute of Canine Biology purebreds are said to have chances of health disputes and also chances in having a shorter life span. The health of a dog depends on a lot of factors like the genes, the environment it was brought up in, etc. The fact is that by creating mixed breeds, the gene pool increases which in turn enhances the vitality and health of the dog. The people who breed these dogs should have health tested the parent dogs for their genetic faults if any and given them the proper care which they require. If so then definitely a very healthy mixed breed will be developed.
Here we are going to talk about the Labernese Dog which is a combination of two such purebreds the Labradors and Bernese Dog.
History of Labrador
This is originally a Canadian Dog and was called the St.John’s Dog after the capital city of Newfoundland from where they originated. In the 1700s there were bred as the fisherman’s companion.
They were used by the fisherman for retrieving nets, lines, and fish. During the 1800s some English sportsmen who were visiting Newfoundland liked these dogs so much that they decided to take them back home to England. There in England, there were used mainly for hunting and were called Labradors.
By the end of 1800, this breed was lost in Canada due to some changes in the breeding laws. But by then the Labradors had become extremely popular in England. In 1903 the English Kennel Club recognized the Labrador and in 1917 by the American Kennel Club. Today the Labradors are used in various fields like the military, police, therapy, for people with special needs, detective work, etc. These dogs are very popular in many countries mainly for his sweet nature, loyalty, and high energy.
Labradors are highly intelligent, easy to train, and are always ready to please their owners. He is very active, loves to play, and being a friendly social dog attracts a lot of attention wherever he goes.
The Labradors are the only breed to claim the most popular breed title at the American Kennel Club for the past ten years.
History of Bernese Dog
The Bernese Dog is a very old dog and comes from the Swiss Alps. It is believed that the ancestors of these Bernese dogs were brought to the Swiss thousands of years ago by the invading Romans. It gets its name from Bern the capital city of Swiss. Here in the mountains, he was used to helping out in the vast alpine farms. He was also a guard and farm dog and for pulling carts.
By the end of the 19th century, most of the Swiss people had moved out of agriculture and so did not find the need for a dog to herd their cattle.
But some good hearts felt the need to preserve their native dog and so a club was formed to prevent these dogs from being lost. It was only after the first World War that these dogs were imported to England and America. They were recognized by the American Kennel Club only in 1937.
Today the Bernese Dog is also known as the Berner dog. He is a very intelligent dog, gentle, affectionate, and very tolerant.
He is a total family dog and just loves the company of his owners. Being a very large dog he requires a lot of early training and socialization as only then he can manage with his dominant size. He takes time to behave maturely when compared to other dogs.
His origin coming from the cold Swiss Alps he can thrive very well in cold weather. They are very imposing but not threatening and always maintain a very aloof dignity with strangers.
History of Labernese
Two popular working breeds the Labrador and the Bernese dogs have joined forces to create a new breed the Labernese which is very irresistible. For all dogs whether it is a purebred or crossbreed, the health of the dog depends mainly on the genetic makeup and the environment in which they were brought up. The purpose of cross-breeding the Labrador and the Bernese was to create a near-perfect dog to help the blind and disabled. This breed was developed by The Mira Foundation, a Canadian guide dog training center in the 1990s. The foundation got its name from the Labrador Mirabelle who was one of the first dogs trained by its founder Eric St-Pierre.
Eric cross-bred the easy-going strong Labradors and the loyal, clever Bernese dogs intending to create a specific breed to be used only for assistance. The foundation uses a very strict breeding standard so that they only develop dogs with the right constitution to take care of the blind.
The appearance of the Labernese
The exact appearance of each of the Labernese is very difficult to predict. The male Labernese dogs could be anywhere between 24 to 28 inches in height whereas the female could be between 22 to 26 inches. The weight of a male could be generally between 65-110 pounds and a female between 55 to 95 pounds. This is a very wide range but well this is what your Labernese could be owing to its parents’ height and weight. The Labernese dogs have a double coat which is dominantly black but you could also see shades of white, rust, or tan. They could be either solid or a mix of these two or three colors. The coat’s length is medium and mostly dense and a little wavy in texture. The Labernese shed their coat a lot so it requires a lot of brushing sessions.
There could be rust markings found over each eye, on the cheeks, either side of the chest, or on each leg. White color patches are found on the muzzle, chest, and feet. Their eyes are mostly dark, almond-shaped with a very friendly expression. The nose is also black and ears are mostly triangular which are set high on the head. This breed has very strong legs and is well built with a strong chest.
The temperament of the Labernese
The Labernese is an affectionate, intelligent gentle giant. They are always eager to please their family. There is nothing more for them than being around their families. It is because of this nature that they find it very difficult when left alone and they could suffer from separation anxiety. They are well-built dogs with lots of energy, so they need a lot of workouts daily to burn off this energy.
They are good-natured and quite patient. They love playing with kids but if your child is very small you will have to monitor them because his big size can topple down your child.
The Labernese always alert their owners when an intruder approaches them and so are good guard dogs. But sometimes due to their friendly nature, they are unlikely to be aggressive to strangers. As they are easy to train they are the most suitable dogs for first-time owners.
Exercise and Training
By nature, the Labernese are very active dogs and are the happiest if they are given lots of exercise to do be it in the park, in the mountains, or in water. As he is easy to train it is always better to start training them at an early age. Studies have shown that only positive methods should be used during training. Harsh and rude methods will only make him adamant and stubborn and he will not go on with his training. If the best results are to be got from the training a friendly approach is required. If you need a well-behaved dog then you need to find the time to train and exercise him daily. A study carried out in 2014 shows that those dogs which were exercised well are the happiest. They showed fewer signs of anxiety, aggression, and fear towards humans than the dogs who were not exercised well.
They enjoy swimming so an occasional trip to the beach and some games of balls or frisbees would do good for him. They are good at dog sports and will do well in agility. As they are large dogs they would not like living in an apartment because of space issues. A house with a fenced yard would be ideal.
Since Labernese dog is a big dog early training on the leash is important so that he does not pull you away. Always try to be firm and consistent during training and exercise sessions. Do not forget to praise and reward him often. With the right approach to training, he will not require repetition from other dogs.
Feeding of Labernese Dog
As Labernese are large dogs an ideal diet should be formulated to meet up with his high energy levels. A healthy diet should be strictly followed as overeating can cause obesity and other weight connected health problems especially if proper exercises are not followed.
Like all other normal dogs, the diet of a Labernese should be changed from puppyhood to adulthood and this change will continue right to their senior age. Always take your vet’s advice on the diet of your pet as there are far too many variations among each dog like weight, health, and energy.
The health of Labernese Dog
The life expectancy of a Labernese dog could be about 8 to 12.5 years. Labernese dogs could suffer from a lot of genetic diseases. This could be reduced by proper health testing. The relatively common ailments with big dogs will also affect the Labernese dogs.
- Hip and elbow dysplasia where their joints don’t develop properly
- Bloating which is a potentially risky disease for big dogs
- Exercise-induced collapse
- Von Willebrand’s disease – in this the dog suffers from bleeding disorders and sometimes this could be discovered only after your dog suffers from trauma or undergoes any surgery
- Eye problems like Progressive Retinal Atrophy or Centronuclear Myopathy
- Cancer – this breed stands a huge risk to cancer especially histiocytic sarcoma which could sometimes occur at the age of six years.
- Heart problems
Pros and Cons of buying a Labernese
Whichever breed you buy there are always going to be some pros and cons to buying it. Nothing comes picture perfect.
- Forms very strong bonding with their owners and their families.
- Fit in very well with active families
- Generally, they are caring
- Friendly towards children and other animals
- Easy to train
- Very loyal and intelligent
- Wary around strangers
- Cannot guarantee the qualities before buying one just like all other mixed breeds
- Some serious health conditions
- Require a lot of grooming
- Prone to separation anxiety if left alone
If you love Labradors and Bernese then for sure you will just love the Labernese dogs as well but it all depends on your lifestyle.
It is better to observe them as puppies at your breeder’s place or any rescue organization as it will offer you an insight into the kind of environment that would be required for a Labernese.
Being a crossbreed he will show characteristics of both his parents. Sometimes he maybe like a Labrador requiring a lot of daily exercises. They would love outdoor family hiking and lengthy games of fetch. While sometimes they would be like the Bernese enjoying nature walks. They would be less athletic and would be just content to spend time with you as your companion at your home.
We have to provide our dog with proper nutrition, care, attention, and regular visits to the vet to ensure he leads a healthy life. A healthy dog will be a happy dog. After all, dogs are social animals who want to be with their pack and you as their leader.