Where To Look...

If your homework suggests that the Bernese may be a good breed for you and your family, the next step in the process may be to start finding a Bernese Mountain Dog breeder. At this point your education is not yet complete, but you should be ready to start talking with the experts.

Finding the right breeder means finding someone in whom you have confidence, trust and faith. Different breeders have different approaches to promoting the welfare of the breed, so you should try to find someone whose ideas about raising dogs are similar to your own. You will find that for every two breeders you contact, you'll get three opinions on the right and wrong way to select a breeding pair, raise a pup, and place the puppies in a good home.

Once again, the best way to approach this phase in the process is to gather as much information as you can. Don't settle on the first breeder you find, even if they have pups available. In fact, the most experienced breeders generally have waiting lists for prospective owners, so take special caution if you find some one willing to offer you a puppy right away. Your relationship with your breeder lasts far beyond the placement of a puppy in your home. You should be confident that your breeder is someone who will be there for you throughout the life of your BMD. This is particularly true for first-time owners, because no matter how much research you do, you will have important questions and concerns that no amount of outside homework can settle.   

Moreover, you will be entering into a contractual relationship with your breeder that may affect your ownership rights and obligations for years to come. If you can't trust your breeder, then you've chosen the wrong breeder!

The following is a list of suggestions for how to find breeders using resources available on the Internet:


Breed Clubs


Probably the best approach to finding contact information for breeders is to contact the Bernese Mountain Dog breed clubs closest to your area. Many local clubs have information about members who have, or who plan to have, puppies available for sale. Because the local clubs often have mandatory ethics codes for breeders included on their referral list, you are more likely to find an experienced, knowledgeable breeder through the local clubs. The clubs may also sponsor shows, draft tests, obedience trials or social events where you can meet breeders and their dogs. Be sure to ask which events are open to non-members. If you cannot find the address for a breed club in your area, or if there is no local club, then contact one of the National breed clubs for assistance. Remember just because someone is listed as a Breeder that does not always mean they are a good breeder, DO YOUR HOMEWOK.


Some Final Advice


Don't be discouraged by waiting lists. The breed is rare, and demand is greater than the supply of quality puppies. Finding the right breeder should be far more important than finding an available puppy. You can always use the time to learn more about the breeder and the breed. And, when you finally bring home your little bundle of Berner love, it will be all the more special because you took the time to make the right decision.


Rescue Dogs


Finally, if you are willing or able to adopt an older Bernese, considering opening your home and hearts to a Berner rescue dog, all too often, these lost or abandoned dogs urgently need a loving family to share their lives. Please contact one of the national or local rescue coordinators if this might be an option for you.


Remember: No pet shops. No puppy mills or unknown sellers. No newspaper ads unless you thoroughly investigate the situation.


When in doubt, get some advice before proceeding. Be smart!


A Breeder? Why a Breeder?


 Fact: If you ever see a Bernese Mountain Dog in a pet store, it is the result of theft, fraud, cruelty or stupidity of the last owner.


Pure bred dogs do not belong in pet stores, which often fail to provide for the basic needs of their "inventory." If you've purchased family pets from a pet store in the past, its time to change your thinking.

Unfortunately, there are puppy mills that breed Bernese Mountain Dogs, and the problem will only get worse as the breed's popularity increases. Always visit the breeder to be sure that you are buying from a reputable person who truly cares for their animals. Also, you'll avoid getting scammed by "breeder representatives" who pretend to act on behalf of breeders, but more likely work for pet stores or puppy mills. It is very uncommon for breeders to advertise available puppies in the newspaper, primarily because the demand for their pups always exceeds the supply. Most breeders have waiting lists, meaning there is almost never the need to advertise an available dog. Sometimes, but rarely, a buyer will back out and the breeder will seek to quickly place the pup. But don't count on it. Its more likely that the ad was placed by a pet store, puppy mill or con artist. Fact: There are only two places to responsibly get a Bernese Mountain Dog -- from a reputable breeder or from a rescue program.

Period .. end of story.


What's So Great About a Good Breeder?


They specialize in the breed and know its strengths and weaknesses they research and strive to avoid genetic defects and diseases they will offer advice and information whenever you need them they take the time to properly care for and socialize their puppies they can help you get started in conformation, obedience, carting, etc. they put the welfare of the pups first--many lose money on a typical litter, they produce Bernese because they love the breed and want to make it better.