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, someone that dedicated to the betterment of the breed and the welfare of their dogs first and foremost.
Finding the right breeder means finding someone in whom you have confidence, trust and faith. Different breeders have different approaches to breeding dogs, housing, caring for puppies, feeding and nutrition for their dogs and why they are breeding dogs. 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 someone willing to offer you a puppy right away or advertise several litters available on their website. 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. 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!
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 HOMEWORK.
Don't be discouraged by waiting lists, the demand is greater than the supply for quality puppies from a reputable breeder. 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 so special because you took the time to make the right decision.
If you are willing or able to adopt an older Bernese, occasionally Breeders have an older puppy or dog available. Consider 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 with. Please contact one of the national or local rescue coordinators if this might be an option for you.
Most import do not buy a puppy from a pet shop, you are supporting the greedy people that breed dogs simply to make money, the dogs have a horrific life of hell living in a puppy mill, the only way to stop these puppy farmers is to not support them. 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, it is time to change your thinking.
Unfortunately, there are puppy mills that breed Bernese Mountain Dogs and there are more and more back yard breeders cropping up every day, 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 millers. If you see litters of puppies for sale on Face Book or one the internet, ads on used Victoria, Kijiji or in the local newspaper this is a huge red flag, they are generally from back yard breeders and puppy farmers,....responsible breeders do not sell their puppies this way.
Recently unethical people have been breeding Bernese to other breeds to create a “designer dog”, they are selling the puppies for unreasonable and ridiculous prices, they are breeding to make as much money off the dogs as they can, breeding them over and over until they are no longer any use to them and then try to dump them into the club’s rescue. There is no evidence that a mixed breed dog is any healthier or lives longer than a pure-bred dog, in fact it is just the opposite. Many of these dogs have temperament and health issues and their coats are one big mat, many of the dogs end up being euthanized because the owners cannot deal the problems and they do not have the support of a breeder. These dogs are simply mixed breed puppies and there are thousands of x bred puppies in the pound looking for homes, if you are not interested in a pure-bred dog please adopt one of these dogs in the pound that desperately need a loving home. You will rarely find a pure-bred dog in the pound as the majority of responsible breeders take care of all the dogs they produce.
A good breeder specializes in their breed, they are passionate about their dogs, dedicated and knowledgeable about the breed. They know their dog’s strengths and weaknesses, they research pedigrees and strive to avoid genetic defects and diseases. They are active if the breed clubs, rescue, public education and conformation shows. They will offer advice and information whenever you need them. They take the time to properly care for and socialize their puppies, they are raised in their home, checked by a veterinarian, vaccinated, micro-chipped and wormed. They always put the welfare of theirs dogs and puppies first and foremost, they produce Bernese because they love the breed and want only the very best for the future of the breed. Do your homework and remember it will be worth the wait finding the right breeder and the right puppy for your family.