Public Education Alert...

the help of all BMD fanciers is requested


I want to alert BMD fanciers to some changing needs in public education and solicit your help and the help of your cohorts who may not be reading this.

Definition of terms -

*puppy farmer: person who breeds dogs as commercial livestock without effort applied to improving the breed

*dog broker: person who acts as a middleman in the transaction of dog to buyer. He may buy the dog and resell it at a profit or may receive a commission

*puppy mills: commercial dog breeding operations which may or may not keep dogs in humane conditions but who are focused on producing as many dogs as possible at as high a profit margin as possible without concerted effort toward turning out a quality product

*dog auction: run exactly like livestock auctions where high bidder takes the animal home

 An ongoing investigation of dog brokering, dog auctions, US puppy mill activity and importing by brokers reveals that we are facing a new challenge in our breed. There is an increase of activity in puppy farmers' including Bernese in their inventories of brood animals. We are seeing an increase also in smaller (one dog owners) using bitches who were sold with limited registrations using these bitches for breeding and selling the pups as unregistered. There's also an increase in activity of brokers to import dogs without their owners having contact with the dogs' breeders. And most recently, there will be an upcoming auction at which brokers seek to sell Bernese to puppy farmers, setting up future suppliers for brokerages and auction business.

 There are many levels at which these challenges may be addressed. Public education is one of them. These things need to be shared WIDELY by our breed fancy.... as in....tell everyone you come into contact with including breeders, buyers, owners to spread the word in the communities of America. We MUST use the public's influence in our effort to diminish the numbers of Bernese in exploitive breeding situations and the best way to alert the public is through our spreading the word far and wide.

There is a new document which has been prepared by Ann Milligan which appears in the shared files of this e-group under my name and also at my website. It will appear at the BMDCA's website shortly. Feel free to copy it and distribute it widely. The document can be viewed here and is titled Things Conscientious Breeders Do.

 The puppy mill industry has set up several registries to combat the challenges the AKC placed before them by instituting the frequently used sires program. Included are these registries ;

- FIC (federation of international canines)

- CKC (continental kennel club) not the Canadian Kennel Club

These acronyms are remarkably similar to the legitimate registries, FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale) and CKC (Canadian Kennel Club). It is possible that imported puppies will be touted to be registered with the FIC. PLEASE pass word along to the public to beware of these puppy mill registries.

 We need to get the word out RESPONSIBLE BREEDERS PROVIDE COPIES OF American Kennel Club or Canadian Kennel Club REGISTRATION CERTIFICATES FOR ALL SIRES AND DAMS of pups offered for sale. This is to assure that the parents were registered with the AKC as breeding potential animals and that they are purebred

 Included in BMDCA public education materials from now on will be found these items:

1) Responsible breeders will provide a copy of an AKC registration certificate for the sire and dam of any pup offered for sale.

a) registration certificates indicating "limited" registration indicate that the animal was sold as a non-breeding animal by its breeder.

b) registration of puppies by foreign parents may or may not be possible.  Assurance of purebred status is questionable until the foreign pedigree of an import has undergone the scrutiny of the American Kennel Club. If an imported dog is to be registered with the AKC, the importer must do this. Make sure you're getting a purebred dog by requiring proof that the parents of the dog are registered with the AKC on full privilege registrations or that the dog, itself, if imported, is registered with the AKC.

2) Responsible breeders do not sell dogs to brokers or through agents or brokers to persons unknown to the breeder of the dog. The public is discouraged from buying dogs through brokers in such cases where they will have no contact with their pup's breeder.

 Your review of and compliance with items in this document will serve our breed well and help in our work to address future exploitation of our breed by profiteers who have little interest in the breed's welfare. 

 The responsibility for the protection of the breed is ours. There is no challenge nor threat to our breed's welfare that we can not address successfully if we act as a unified group of breed enthusiasts focused on providing needed services to all Bernese Mountain Dogs and their people.