Filucy Bay Dogs
At this time, Filucy Bay has four Berners, three on the farms in Longbranch and one on Mercer Island near Seattle. Two of the dogs, Gunther and Umi, were rescued by Margaret from an ill planned backyard breeding scheme, one, Fridolin, was brought back from Germany by Clark and one, Roo, is from a mating between Fridolin and a girl, Jade.
Please note that all Filucy Bay dogs have all their health data posted on Berner Garde, even those we would not breed due to their health and/or genetic problems. We feel this is necessary for the future of the breed, especially for dogs with problems. The object is to allow breeders and adopters to make decisions based on fact and science to produce better, healthier Berners. We feel strongly about this and so we will not mate our dogs with dogs whose owners do not post all health data on Berner Garde. Even neutered and spayed dogs with health problems need to be in Berner-Garde perhaps even more than the perfect ones. With their health data known their health data will indicate breeding lines that have problems. And more importantly, how will the future adopter of a Berner know which breeder to trust? The book liner notes of Marlies Bugmann's book on the Bernese Mt Dog, The Dürrbächler Story, Between Success and Failure." says it thus,
"An eye-opener for new Bernese Mountain Dog owners; what many breeders don't tell you. The breed's ability to survive another 100 years may largely depend not on the breeders or the clubs but on the countless, anonymous puppy buyers looking for a pet, companion, a family friend, a dog with a difference, the Bernese Mountain Dog. These puppy buyers, you, have the power of choice, the choice to decide whether breeders who produce puppies en masse to satisfy their greed for a quick return for their efforts are allowed to continue this destructive practice. Lets give the Bernese Mountain Dog a good start to the new millennium."
Filucy Bay does its part by testing our dogs and publishing the results on Berner Garde and OFA. The rest is up to the person looking to adopt, whether they take the time to find a quality breeder or just buy the first puppy that is offered to them.
To find a quality breeder start with the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America, BMDCA, and also with your local affiliated BMD club. (In the Pacific Northwest that would be the Bernese Mt. Dog Club of Greater Seattle, BMDCGS.)
The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, OFA, evaluates canine xrays and health test results for health certifications. People looking for a puppy should go to the OFA website and select "Tests by Breed" to find out what tests should have been given to the sire and dam of a good litter of Berners puppies. Once you have identified the pertinent health tests then select "Search OFA Database", "Working Group," and "Bernese Mt. Dogs." At this point, you can use the AKC registration number (e.g. WS63437201) or the official registered name, both of which the breeder should be able to give you if they have nothing to hide. Whether or not you find the necessary information on the OFA site you should also look for it on the Berner Garde website. Berner Garde is a non-profit organization that was created by BMDCA to record all the important information of each Berner in existence. It is free to use and free to add information to so breeders have no excuse for not publishing their Berners' health data on Berner Garde.
Breeders who strive for healthy litters can send test results and x-rays to OFA for evaluation and/or publication on the OFA website. They have a choice of publishing these results on the OFA website or keeping them secret. Breeders can also publish these results and more on the international database of Bernese Mt Dogs, Berner-Garde. Filucy Bay strongly recommends that you select a breeder that publishes all their data on the OFA and Berner-Garde websites. Publishing on these sites is easy for the breeder to accomplish and costs them nothing. They only have to have to have the desire to be open about what it is that they are offering.
Finally, once you have adopted a Bernese Mt Dog, please find your dog on Berner-Garde or if the dog is not there then create an entry for your dog. Berner-Garde is free, no charge, to the user regardless of whether they are retrieving or entering data. The Berner-Garde staff will happy to help you find a pedigree or other information that will situate your dog into the tens of thousand of dogs in the database. Once your dog is in Berner-Garde upload useful health information, photos, and titles for your dog. Finally, at the end of a long friendship, upload the date and cause of death of your lost friend. If you do these thing you will be true to your buddy and true to the breed.
Below are the Berners that Filucy Bay has at this time. Click on the Berner's name to see the Berner-Garde data on each dog. Click the photo to see each dog's gallery.
It took me one year to get Gunther's confidence. His insecurity is not unheard of in the breed but must be avoided by breeders and first adopters alike. He was purchased mail order by a back yard breeder in Eastern Washington and then was rescued by Margaret under the most precarious of circumstances. Gunther also did not pass his OFA hip certification and at the age of 3 and 1/2 is already show signs of hip arthritis. Gunther's story of being sold mail order should be a precautionary tale for the future Berner adopter. Whoever agrees to send you a Berner without meeting you in person is probably not a good breeder.
We are very happy to have rescued Gunther and now that he knows us well, he and we are very happy together. He has a wild streak and so must be reminded occasionally not to bother the farm animals. Other than that he lives very well with us on the farm and we are happy to have him until he dies of old age. He has been neutered because we will not breed any Berner with personality or orthopedic problems.
For the better part of a year, Clark focused on Germany while looking for a boy from a completely new line to bring to the New World. Finally north of Munich in a little town called Nammering he found Fridolin. Clark has been running trial pedigree reports on Berner-Garde for Fridolin and many female Berners in North America and has yet to find one female that shares any significant ancestors in 10 generations. He is new blood in the New World. As far as we know he has no siblings and only one half sibling in North America.
His personality is friendly and outgoing and physically he's buff. His weakness in show is his curly tail but nobody is perfect. One other weakness is that he strives to be the center of attention but that is probably more due to his poor trainer than genetics.
Note to breeders looking for stud: The minimum requirements for using Fridolin for stud are 1.) AKC DNA Registry ID and 2.) Berner Garde health certification Gold Star. No applicants will be considered without those two certifications.
Umi was the girl that we rescued from the same backyard breeding scheme that had involved Gunther. Umi is not a show dog but she is physically sound and has the sweetest personality of the lot. When our baby girl Roo came from her breeder we put her in a crib with Umi and Umi immediately assumed the job of mother. She also is more diligent than the other dogs in chasing the deer out of the garden. She tries very hard to please and we humans are the focus of her world. Umi's sweet personality has caught the attention of our friends and neighbors. We plan to breed her but just for pets for those friends and neighbors who over time have become impressed with our boys and girls on the farm.
One other interesting detail about Umi, at least to us, is the fact that Umi is one of the last Berners in existence with a measurable influence of some of the original residents on the Longbranch farm, Bella's Albertine and Arno vom Grasburg.
Roo is a member of the first Filucy Bay litter in over 3 decades. The litter sire was our Fridolin and the dam was Sendache's Trouble with the Jade Monkey, (Jade.) Photos of Roo can be found on the Filucy Bay Litters page.
Roo is not timid. She was more than happy to be injected onto Margaret's 20 acre farm with two adult Berners and an ark full of animals that she had never seen before. She explores willingly but, occasionally decides that she is bit too exposed and runs home. In her Gallery, look at the video of her exploring the tree line on the pasture and suddenly realizing that she is a bit too far from home. It's quite cute.