The Bernese Mountain dog is a large, beautiful breed of a dog and has a lot to offer for the right family and owners. This is a breed that was bred to be a farm dog, and not just a dog who spends his time tied up on the farm, but one who actually works. This dog has a high work ethic and likes to be busy with a job to do. People who are interested in this breed, should not purchase one without knowing all about the breed because this breed is certainly not for everyone. The breed has a lot of positive qualities, however, it has its drawbacks that can mean that it may not be a good fit for you and your family. This dog requires a lot of attention from its owner. It is highly sociable and wants to be around you all time. This means, if you just want a dog to keep in the backyard to live independently, this is not the dog for you. It is also intolerant to too much heat and direct sunlight on its long, thick fur and cannot handle playing ball, Frisbee or going jogging with you for long periods. Although they are active in a sense, they are not overly athletic, nor do they make for great jogging companions. If you are planning to purchase a Bernese Mountain dog, here are seven questions you should ask Bernese Mountain dog breeders before you take a puppy home.
1. The Pedigree
One of the first questions you need to ask the breeder is to see the puppy’s pedigree. You will want to learn all you can about the puppy’s lineage to be sure that it is coming from a healthy, pedigree ancestry. You will want to review the ancestry for both sides of the puppy’s parents; the mother’s side and the father’s side. If you have any questions regarding the ancestry, don’t be afraid to ask the breeder to explain. Any breeder who is proud of their Bernese Mountain dog’s ancestry, will be happy to explain and answer questions.
2. View the parents
You should ask the breeder to show you the dam and the sire, if it is possible to produce the sire for you. When the breeder brings them out, you should observe both parents’ temperament, their size and their overall general health and wellbeing. Take not of how well their coats have been maintained, how they walk; if they seem to have any hip conditions or limps. AKC registered parents should have their hips and elbows examined and x-rayed in order to be cleared of hip and elbow dysplasia. These records are supposed to be sent to a nd kept by the Orthopedic Foundation of Animals (OFA), or the Institute for Genetic Disease Control in Animals (GDC). Certification numbers are to be kept on file and if the breeder tries to tell potential buyers that the parents had good hips and did not need examinations, this is not a qualified breeder.
3. Ask breeder about the responsibilities of spaying/neutering
You need to know what your responsibility is when it comes to spaying and neutering your puppy. Your breeder should explain the obligations and responsibilities when it comes to the procedure along with breeding rights. If a breeder tries to tell you that you cannot breed your Bernese Mountain dog, or if you do, one or more of the future puppies must be given to your breeder, you do not want to sign this contract and should seek out a different breeder.
Before you leave the breeder’s home with your new puppy, make sure you fully understand how to feed your dog. Different breeds have different nutrition requirements and knowing what your Bernese Mountain dog puppy eats, how often he eats, when to change to adult dog food and other nutritional requirements, is important. If you plan to change dog food brands when you take your new puppy home, get instructions on how to make the change over so as not to disrupt your puppy’s digestive system.
5. How to train a Bernese Mountain dog puppy
Different breeds have different training strengths and weaknesses and your breeder should be able to describe in detail, the best ways to train your Bernese Mountain dog puppy. Ask your breeder the best methods for housebreaking, leash training, and socializing your new puppy. They should be able to give you tips on how to raise a well-behaved, Bernese Mountain dog.
6. What’s next for your puppy’s health?
Your breeder should go over all of your puppy’s health records to the date of the sale and provide you with copies of all the shots and check-ups he has had. Ask your breeder to go over his health records and explain what steps are needed next, that will be your responsibility in order to keep your puppy on the right path for good health.
7. Sales contract
You should go over your sales contract in detail, with your breeder. They should be able to explain everything about the contract so that you understand it from the beginning to end. Ask your breeder to explain what is your responsibility in getting your puppy registered with the AKC and how you get copies of the registration. If you have any doubts about the sales contract, or they do not explain everything so that you understand, you should consider a different breeder. A reputable breeder should not avoid explaining anything to do with the sale of one of their puppies.