You’ve done your research.
You’ve found a reputable Bernese Mountain Dog breeder.
And you’re ready to choose the perfect puppy.
So I sat down with my good friend and breeder Angela Evans, an AKC Breeder of Merit, and got the lowdown.
This is Part 1 of a 3-part series I’ll publish over the next couple of weeks.
Here’s our conversation:
The video series:
- Part 1: What type of dog is right for you? (4 mins, 24 sec)
- Part 2: The importance of temperament (2 mins, 33 sec)
- Part 3: What to expect in a contract and when a pup should go home with the new family (3 mins, 14 sec)
Need even more help?
Need help on what to look for in a breeder? Read the BernerWise Guide to Buying a Bernese Mountain Dog Puppy.
Transcript of How to Pick a Bernese Mountain Dog Puppy, Video Part 1
Eileen: I’m Eileen Blass from Bernerwise.com. I’m here today with Angela Evans. Angie breeds Bernese Mountain dogs and I’m proud to say that one of my dogs was bred by her. I wanted to talk to Angie today about how to choose the right puppy. We’re not talking about buying a dog for the show ring. This is about choosing a pet. There’s a lot of temptation to choose the most perfectly marked puppy, but there’s more to puppy buying than good looks. So how does a buyer make the right decision?
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Angela: I think the buyer first has to ask himself what does he want of the dog and what type of situation will the dog be in. If it’s an active family and they have a nice big property and they have plenty of time, they can look for little bit of a more active dog. Contrary to popular belief, Bernese Mountain dogs are active dogs. You are purchasing a farm dog, not with the same energy level as a Border Collie which was used for herding sheep, but you are purchasing a farm dog that spent hundreds of years being outside, following the farmer around, helping him tend to his cows and being busy watching the property. We’re not talking about necessarily a couch potato, even though there are a few Bernese that are couch potatoes. You have to first ask yourself if this type of a dog would work with your lifestyle, and then I would refer to the breeder as to which puppy in the litter is calmer or more active, and not necessarily choose the one because I like the looks.
Eileen: What would you advise a family maybe with young children or maybe there’s somebody elderly in the family. You have seen these puppies since they were born. You know their personalities. What kind of advice can you give the buyer?
Angela: Well first I would ask the family if they truly have the time to spend with a puppy. Good adult dogs don’t come out good adult dogs. They are made good adult dogs. It takes a lot of time and effort, and I think a lot of times families are not necessarily considering the amount of time this is going to take. So, my first question to a family is always “do you really have the time to dedicate to training this puppy and turning this puppy into a good adult dog.” Unfortunately, Bernese Mountain dogs have become a very popular breed and we see a lot of them in rescue. Families see a picture and they think they’re going to bring this lovely puppy home, and when they get home after the cuteness wears off, then we have obnoxious dogs that are untrained. So, that’s my first question, “are you able to?” If they can prove to me that yes they are able to raise a puppy and they’ve done this before and they have the time, then I look for, generally speaking, a quieter puppy for a family with very young children.
Eileen: How does a buyer know the puppy is physically healthy? What should they look for?
Angela: When they go to the breeder and they look at the litter, the puppies shouldn’t look lethargic. Sometimes when you show up at the breeder’s house, and this is happened to me, people will come, and the puppies have eaten, roughhoused with each other, and then they’re asleep. But a sleepy puppy is different than a skinny, lethargic looking puppy that just doesn’t look right. The buyer should also expect to get from the breeder, at the time of pickup, a certification from a licensed veterinarian that the puppy has been checked out for health, and they should expect that from the breeder. If the breeder is not willing to provide certification, I would maybe move on to another breeder.
Oh how I miss my Berners .
I want to have them again in my life but I’m so afraid of losing them young . it may seem dramatic but it hurts to see others with theirs so young and string , so young and sick .. I am searching for the right breeder and a new Berner . one day….
Sarah P says
Thank you for the video! We are first time Berner owners and our breeder was terrific in matching us with the right pup. After some discussion we went with the more subdued female and I think it was the right choice. She’s just over a year old now and is certainly not a couch potato. She loves long walks and romping in our yard (sort of trying to help with whatever we’re doing). I find that continuing with more training classes – puppy class, etc… has been a tremendous help in keeping her engaged while helping her humans gain better skills at handling the breed.
Eileen Blass says
Sounds like you guys are fabulous owners. The bond just gets stronger with consistent training and I agree that it’s a great help…for the dogs and for us humans 🙂 Keep up the good work with your girl.
Jaynie Perry says
How do you find a “reputable breeder” . Our Bear is now ten years old. When we got him I thought I did everything right. I went to http://www.bmdca.org and found one in my state. I asked about testing of hips and elbows. We met with the breeder when puppies where 5 weeks old. We picked up Bear at 8 weeks old. Well not only we get the wrong puppy but this puppy had major problems. He had sever hip and elbow dysplasia. I really believe the breeder knew he wasn’t right and gave us him. There is so much more to this story but I find it very frustrating when you think you did everything right and basically the breeder screwed us. We love Bear and wouldn’t trade him for the world but I know the breeder must have known she gave us the wrong puppy!
Thank you and Angela for doing this. So important! Looking forward to the next two parts!