Bernese News 4th May 2019


Julie Ann Wright informs me that there is a change of judge for the Special Award Champion Class at the Central BMD Club Open Show which takes place on Sunday 19th May at the usual venue, Overseal Village Hall. The judge for that class will now be breed specialist Karen Bird (Cullumbern).
Postal entries for the show close on Monday.
Links for the schedule and entry form can be found on the Club website



Club Chairman George Wilson emailed to tell me that all details about the forthcoming Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Scotland 2019 Kelso Weekend is now available to view on the Club website and the Booking Forms, Schedule and Entry Forms can all be downloaded from there.
The website can be found at www.bmdcos.



The May 2019 edition of the Kennel Club Journal is to hand and confirms four Championship Show judging appointments:

2020 Manchester - Irene McManus
2020 Midland Counties - June Miles (Jaybiem)
2021 Three Counties - Russell Jones
2021 South Wales - Trish Barr


At WELKS Championship Show 2019 all-rounder Fran Kaye awarded CCs to Bernese for the first time and she had drawn 71 entries with 19 absentees across the 20 classes.

For comparison WELKS 2018 had 94 entries with 23 absentees for breed specialist judge Janet Riseborough (Moonbach).

Winning his second CC plus Best of Breed was Julie Baldwin's Meadowpark First Class For Fortonpark, a 3/12 year old who is a son of Ch Meadowpark Vertigo JW x Meadowpark One Lover and was bred by Carole Hartley-Mair and the late Bernice Mair. Julie also took home the Reserve Bitch ticket with her Fortonpark Designer Record who is by Ch Guiness Record From Christofland To Fortonpark (Imp Cze) x Fortonpark Dutch Design and is 4 1/2 years old.

June Miles' homebred Jaybiem Modus Operandi was awarded the Reserve Dog CC. Not yet 13 months old, he is sired by Shirdees Leathal Weapon x Save Dallas Kiss For Jaybiem.

In Bitches it was a 14th CC for Di and Mike Atherton's Ch Athersbern Peronelle Blush who is just short of her 7th birthday and a homebred daughter of Ch Monalou Dutch Courage x Athersbern Affinity.

Best Puppy went to Julie Ann Wright & Dave Kirk's new French import Objet D Art Du Hameau De Baika Avec Roesilbern. 7 months old, she was bred by Stephane Leymarie & Christine Lebeau and is sired by Leonardo 11 Twinas Du Haras De La Vergne x Ira Del Rey De Asturias Du Hameau De Baika.

There was also a Best Special Beginners Award at this show and that went to Annie New's 2 1/2 year old Meadowpark Just Dreamy who was bred by Carole and Bernice and is by Ch Meadowpark Vertigo JW x Ch Meadowpark Just A Dream. Congratulations.


Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) is known to occur in Bernese and more owners and breeders are becoming aware of the condition and the tests now available. Some of you may know Denise Stammers who owned Chester who was affected by this debilitating condition and Denise is keen to share her experience and dispel some of the myths.

Denise wrote;
"As far as I’m aware and I’ve checked this again... there is NO TEST that can pinpoint and confirm DM in a dog as yet. The blood test obtains the same DNA as the swab test and gives an indicator of the whether that dog is at risk, clear or carrier of the affected gene. That could be from the general (all breeds SOD1/A) or the Bernese mutated gene (SOD1B) or in the test from Laboklin we used (Exon 1 Bernese) or Exon 2 (all breeds) Even if one comes back as affected or at risk you still can’t assume that your dog has DM!! A DM affected/at risk dog is equally capable of developing other problems and not have DM. It is as the test result states - it’s a risk - not a diagnosis.

"Everything else needs to be taken into account and tests done to rule other things out.
For example Spondylosis can be painless and in particular if there are no bone spurs causing pain then this can present itself as symptomatic of DM. There’s no doubt about it that DM could be over diagnosed by people jumping on the DM bandwagon but taking into consideration ALL other tests and ruling each one out step by step can give a definitive answer. NOT A DEFINITE diagnosis.

""I want to share how we came to the “conclusion” of Chester’s presumptive diagnosis. Chester started dragging his feet and we could hear his nails scraping on the ground and at the same time this was happening he started struggling to stand from a lying down position. We visited our vet for months where we were putting it down to inflammation, possible start of arthritis and at this point we didn’t know if the struggle was because of pain. So he was given anti-inflammatories. We gave him supplements etc. During this time gradually his walk changed slightly - with swaying. So we then had X-rays done and nothing of significance showed up, just minimal wear and tear and NO painful arthritis. He then started knuckling right under with his back legs and paws and he would walk and even run - playing, and one back leg would go as if he’d fallen down a hole! He was 8 years old and then as these things go on you think - old(ish) age/going off their back legs etc., but we went back to the vet and between us decided on the MRI Scan, it was at this point that DM was mentioned as a possibility and at the time it seemed to be filtering through to our GB Club members about DM after the testing at the Garden Party in 2015. I knew nothing about it at that time - I had a little chat about it with a lady doing testing (but only on breeders dogs) and bought a badge!! FGS - I bought a badge!! (and donated to the cause) - I had no idea what was to come! "SO - we’d had the X-rays! We went to a referral centre. We saw a neurologist. We had the MRI!! We had the Spinal Tap!! We had all reflexes checked and thorough examination by a neurologist. X-rays - nothing of significance. MRI - no herniated discs, no disc disease, no spondylosis, no spondylitis, no fusing, nothing at all to see with regards to spine. SPINAL TAP - nothing, no spinal cord disease, no brain disease, no meningitis, nothing of significance. The neurologist at Wear Referrals said - after all examinations and all of the tests we’ve undertaken that Chester presents as a dog with Degenerative Myelopathy. He said DM CANNOT be diagnosed officially until death whereby a post mortem and samples of the spinal cord/myelin sheath and lesions if present are examined under microscope, but he was satisfied with all tests undertaken that he was “symptomatic of DM” He told us exactly how this would progress and Chester did go down the path of exactly how the neurologist said he would. He told us it was painless - that he would literally have no feeling and the paralysis would gradually move from back legs/rear end up to the centre and front. He was a different dog from his front end to his back end! The front - the brightest most switched on dog ever! The back end just died basically and he had no idea why when he was trying to move. In his head he could do it all. At the same time that we got this “diagnosis” from the neurologist I had ordered a swab test which I did and sent off.

"In May 2016 sitting in my caravan at the Spring Garden Party I got the email through to say he was “affected”. I knew but it was another moment of utter sadness and devastation. He was CLEAR of the Bernese Mutated gene - Exon 1 (SOD1b) but AFFECTED on ALL BREEDS Exon 2 (SOD1/a) and some of the rest you all know by Chester’s Facebook page. However, no one knows how hard it is to deal with behind closed doors and the heartache DM brings with it.

"So please don’t assume anyone is trying to just get a DM tag - they might well be symptomatic of DM as Chester was, and might’ve done all tests and ruled everything else out but at the same time encourage as much testing as possible to get the answers - not just a blood test - as that cannot confirm what is going on. It’s just one indicator out of many.

"Thanks for reading if you got this far. It was hard to write but one last thing which I keep saying. Just please test before breeding and breed according to the DM results and I personally point no fingers, let me make that plain. He was born 12 years ago. Now we have the resources readily available I think we should use them.

"We had a great dog, he was the VERY VERY BEST and I wouldn’t change a thing. We were thankful to have him in our lives."



9th BIRMINGHAM DOG CHAMPIONSHIP SHOW at Staffordshire County Showground, Weston Road, Stafford, ST18 OBD. Judge; Terry Munro. Contact or Mrs J Griffiths Tel; 01694 751326.

12th BMD CLUB OF GREAT BRITAIN SPRING GARDEN PARTY at Priors Marston Sports Club, Priors Marston, Warks. Contact or Club Secretary Karen Bird Tel; 01793 845445.

18th SCOTTISH KENNEL CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP SHOW at Highland Showground, Ingliston, Edinburgh. Judge; Agnes Wilson (Ursine). Contact; or
Beth Harrison Tel; 0131 665 3920.

19th CENTRAL BMD CLUB OPEN SHOW & COMPANION DOG SHOW at Overseal Village Hall, Woodville Rd, Overseal, South Derbyshire. DE12 6LU. Judge; Leena Pawlyszyn (Matera). Contact; or Club secretary; Pat Myers Tel 01427 810794.

25th BATH CANINE SOCIETY CHAMPIONSDHIP SHOW at Three Shires Field, Bannerdown, Bath BA1 8EG. Judge; Sue Hewart-Chambers. Contact; or
Mr L Cox Tel; 01278 760210.

26th WHISTLEY WOOFERS BERNESE & ALL BREED FUN DOG SHOW at 'Denbrae', Pimlico, near Syresham, NN13 5TN(located just off A43 between Silverstone and Brackley, Northants). Held in aid of Bernese Welfare UK (rescue and rehoming) EVERYONE IS WELCOME. Contact; Tim Williams and Margaret Bailey 01280 81455 or 07957 185813.



Jude Simonds

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