A Solution: Outcross for Vitality
We are a group of Bernese Mountain Dog owners and breeders who have decided to step outside the box and seek an unconventional solution. Despite pressure from the dog community in general to conform, each of us believes that this hard and fast rule to keep each breed "pure" is hurting our dogs. All three of the VP founders have had Bernese Mountain Dogs for at least 30 years. Our larger group includes veterinarians, biologists, and professional dog behaviorists and trainers. We have all had our hearts broken numerous times due to the early deaths that plague this breed. Every one of us deeply loves and cherishes the Bernese Mountain Dog: the look, the temperament, the sweetness, and the unique personality. We are drawn to the breed beyond measure.
For years, this has been talked about quietly and carefully: what if the Bernese Mountain Dog was to be purposely bred out to another breed or breeds, specifically to increase health and vitality? Would this work? Granted, some have talked about breeding out to other breeds to help produce a better show dog. This is not our goal. Our primary goal is improved health while maintaining the essence of the breed.
We understand that not all will agree with the mission of the Bernese Mountain Dog Vitality Project. That is fine. The people who wish to continue breeding one purebred Bernese Mountain Dog to another obviously can continue to do that, what we are doing will not impact them. Truly, there should be no controversy. Our goals may differ, but our energy will be put toward this project rather than further discussion. Each Vitality Project litter will be carefully planned. Homes for pups will be carefully screened before placement, and each pup will be followed for life. The difference with the Vitality Project is that we will continuously select first and foremost for health and longevity.