Before you consider purchasing any puppy, determine if the breed you are choosing fits your life style, family situation, activity level and overall expectations. Talk with breeders and attend dog shows to ensure the dog that will be part of your family for many years is right for you. Choosing a puppy that will integrate well into your family is the best way to guarantee a rewarding experience.
Bernese Mountain Dogs were originally used as general farm dogs in Switzerland. They served farmers as cattle drovers, watchdogs, draft dogs and playmates for the children. They have retained the characteristics of being very loyal and affectionate with their family while also being a versatile working dog.
Bernese are striking in appearance with a long shining black coat and the characteristic markings of a white blaze, chest, feet and tail tip with reddish brown on the eyebrows, cheeks and between the white and black on the legs. They require a moderate amount of grooming to stay at their best, especially a good brushing a couple of times a week. And they definitely do shed so if you don’t like hair all over your house, this may not be your breed.
They are large dogs with heights generally between 23 and 27 inches at the shoulder and weight between and 80 and 110 pounds. Males are larger than females. For their size, they are surprisingly agile. Though they don’t need an extensive amount of exercise, they do need a moderate amount of both physical and mental stimulation to keep them truly happy. They love nothing more than doing things with their family and are good with children.
Unfortunately, the breed has a number of health problems so when inquiring about a puppy, it is good to get health information about other dogs in the pedigree. The average life span is around 8 to 10 years but life spans can vary depending on health.
If you are looking for a puppy, go to the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America web site for more information about the breed or help with breeder referral. Arizona also has a Bernese Mountain Dog rescue organization that may have dogs available for adoption.
Check out the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America Breeder Referral online website here: https://www.bmdca.org/find-a-berner
You can purchase a Bernese puppy from any number of places: a reputable breeder, a "hobby" breeder (sometimes called a backyard breeder), a broker, a pet shop, an online puppy mill or online broker, or directly from a puppy mill. The odds are that you might end up with a healthy puppy from any one of them, but the odds are greatly increased if you choose one over the others. The question is: "Do you feel lucky?"
Read the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America position on crossing breeding here: https://www.bmdca.org/club/mixedbreed.php
Why should I care about any of this? I just want a family dog. Well, it's just as critical that a family dog be healthy and of good temperament as a "show dog," maybe even more so. After all, you are sharing your home with this dog. He or she will live among and be loved by your children. You do not want a dog who needs orthopedic surgery at age two or is fearful or aggressive with friends and family. This may be what is in your family's future if you don't do a little homework before purchasing that puppy you just saw on a website or in a store.