The Bernese Mountain Dog
So, is a Berner right for me?
Berners are gorgeous, happy, wonderful dogs,
and its no surprise that at first glance,
many people decide that a Bernese Mountain Dog
is what they want. However, there are a few VERY IMPORTANT things to consider.
Bernese Mountain Dogs are NOT outdoor, backyard, kennel dogs. You need to be prepared and happy to share your home, your couch, your bed, and your heart with these dogs. Berners are FAMILY dogs, and have a deep need to be a member of your family.
Bernese Mountain Dogs have short life spans, and can potentially have severe health problems, despite all the effort being put forward to breed wisely for genetic health. You need to be prepared to care for your Berner, and be willing and able to seek any veterinary care needed over the years of your dog's life. We choose to have Berners because every day we have with them is a gift, and our family is better and happier because we have these gentle giants in our lives.
Berners DO shed, and they are not “hypoallergenic”. They are fluffy, soft, and furry. If you can’t handle dog fur, a Berner is not for you. They need to be brushed and have their nails trimmed. Bathing isn’t a common occurrence at our house, but brushing happens quite regularly.
Not all breeders are the same. There are many very nice people who love their dogs and this breed, us included. However, find out what they are doing to help breed for the HEALTH of this beautiful breed. Ask what health clearances their dogs have - look for dogs with OFA or PennHip certificates on hips, elbows, heart, and eyes. Find out as much history of their dogs’ genetics as you can. Doing the health clearances costs a pretty penny, but isn't it worth it to give our dogs the best (and healthiest) possible future? Make an educated choice when finding a puppy, so that your puppy can be with your family as long as possible!
"Why should I care about a dog's clearances - I am getting a pet, not a show dog!"
A dog's health clearances can give you very important informtion about the dog's health, the dog's genetics, as well as the commitment that a breeder has to bettering the breed. As a buyer, this should be one of your TOP priorities in looking for a Bernese Mountain Dog who will join your family.
Currently, Bernese Mountain Dogs, as a breed, have shorter life spans and many health problems. Due to the popularity of this breed, and limited dogs, some people bred dogs with health troubles, passing on negative genetic troubles down through their lines. Sadly, this still continues. People who use their dogs as income don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on these clearances for each dog they have. Some people don't realize the importance of these clearances, and breed their dog without understanding the impact they can have on our precious breed.
The only way to change this is to ask your breeder about any breed-related health clearances, and make sure to find a puppy from healthy dogs. Don't assume that an "experienced" breeder is a good breeder, or that someone who doesn't mass-produce puppies is a "backyard breeder". Ask questions, get to know them and their breeding practices. If buyers demand dogs who have good results from health testing, then breeders will need to be responsible in order to be successful.
Healthy dogs produce the best chances for healthy puppies. There is never a 100% guarantee, but good genetics makes a healthy future much more probable. A healthy dog will be part of your family for longer, cost less in veterinarian care, and enjoy a higher quality of life.
Whether you buy one of our Happy Berner puppies, or a puppy from someone else, please learn about the recommended health clearances for your dog's breed to find the best puppy for your family.
Our dogs deserve the best homes, and the best homes deserve healthy dogs!
The Bernese Mountain Dog Site
Meet The Breed by the AKC
OFFA: Health Clearance Info & Registry
Canine Eye Registration Foundation
PennHip Genetic Hip Testing info