Thanks for stopping at our Web site for information about a Bernese Mountain Dog. To assist you, we have put together some information that should help you decide if the Bernese Mountain Dog breed is right for you, and if so, get you started in finding a responsible breeder.
Bernese Mountain Dogs have developed their wonderful qualities due to years of careful, selective breeding by dedicated, knowledgeable breeders. As the breed becomes more and more popular it is important to find a knowledgeable breeder that is continuing to maintain the qualities of the breed and is working to improve the health of the breed. The Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America has an excellent list of questions to ask breeders to help you decide on their credibility. Your relationship with a responsible breeder will last beyond the purchase of a puppy. They will be there to help you with questions and concerns you have as your puppy grows. They will also want to know of any unforeseen health problems that may occur in you dog’s life.
The first step is to become knowledgeable of the Bernese Mountain Dog. Read books on the breed and search the internet. Know the breed characteristics; will they fit into your home situation? Consider size, training needs, breed personality, health problems, grooming, cost of care and feeding. Be sure a Bernese Mountain Dog will fit into your life style. These are not farm dogs to be tied up to watch over the farm. They are the farmer's dogs and are used to accompany the farmer into the field or to the market. They are social animals that need continuous human companionship. Bernese Mountain Dogs need moderate daily exercise (more in cooler weather). They are not designed to chase balls/Frisbees for hours or jog several miles a day. They are working draft dogs and like to have a job to do. Their thick dark coats are not conducive to direct sunlight and warmer climates.
Once you are convinced that this breed is right for you. Start looking for a responsible breeder.
After the initial breeder contact has occurred and a potential puppy is available, ask to see the pedigree, get as much information as possible on the puppy’s ancestry. Ask to see the dam, and the sire if possible. Observe temperament, size, and general physical condition of the parents. Parents should have their hips and elbows x-rayed, clear of hip and elbow dysplasia by the Orthopedic Foundation of Animals (OFA) or the Institute for Genetic Disease Control in Animals (GDC) and be issued certification numbers. Don't accept an answer that both of the dog's parents had good hips so we did not need to check them. Or that they have never limped a day in there life; the dogs still could be dysplastic. There are other hereditary conditions that may exist in the puppies that can be tested for: VonWillebrands (a blood disease), PRA (an eye problem), and thyroid level.
Thoroughly understand all the terms of the sales contract offered by the breeder. Avoid contracts with strings attached such as breeding rights, or puppies back from a future breeding. Be sure you understand your obligation for neutering/spaying and required x-rays and tests in the future.
Do not be afraid to ask questions. Do not be in a hurry. If you truly want the right puppy, it may be a while before one is available.
This is a guideline to help new puppy owners to become more educated. It is not to be considered a complete list of things to do and it is not a guarantee that you will purchase a healthy puppy.