BPO Breeding Forum > Breeding Questions & Information

Please help


Sorry if I have this in the wrong board. Wasn't sure where to post it.
I have been researching different breeders (Bernese Mountain Dogs) for what seems like forever now. There are just so many out there I just can't decide who is a good breeder and who isn't. I do want to get into showing, but am not sure if will work out. I don't want to pay an extra cost to have a show pup and then not be able to. (why do some breeders make a higher price for a show pup??) Plus, if I was to be able to show and the dog did very well and was very healthy, I wouldn't even mind starting my own breeding.
Maybe I am being too picky, but I really don't consider that a bad thing. If I do get into showing, I want a breeder who shows and can help me out. Even if it is just by email since I don't live very close to really anyone. At least having contact with the breeder and discussing things would be great.
I also want to find a breeder who has the same mentality as myself in the ways of breeding. I think a dog should have a hip/elbow rating of excellent or good to be bred. I know other breeders don't feel this way. And also have clear eyes, heart and of VW. Am I wrong to expect all this?
I would love some thoughts and help. I think I am getting myself more and more confused the longer it takes me. I feel like I have contacted almost every Berner breeder in the world. lol.

People Whisperer:
Do you mean you couldn't find any single breeder who tests her dogs for all the genetic problems, shows them and willing to mentor?
I know a lot of well established breeders are very hesitant about selling show pups to a person new to the breed. That's is why there is always a co-ownership. That way if the pup doesn't turn the way it should, the breeder will sign ownership over to you and the dog will be spayed/neutered.
Also, it is very common to sell show pups for more (I disagree though as you never know for sure how the dog will look, esp considering the care it will receive) because breeders what to have some kind of record that shows that they breed quality dogs and quality dogs are NOT cheap  :-\

Hi Juliets - I am happy to hear you are interested in my breed and working to do your homework - always refreshing to hear.  I have been in Berners for a long time, am a member of the national club and my local club, as well as Berner Rescue for Southern California.  I have plenty that I can share on the breed, getting started, and breeders if you're interested.

I can't speak for other breeds, but I can speak for the Bernese community in the U.S. and Canada - and can offer this:  NO reputable breeder charges more for a show dog and I can repeat NOT ONE SINGLE ONE that I could point you to.  The fact is, the best breeders in this breed are trying to breed for the betterment of the breed and many, for top titles - because they do all of the health testing (including hips, elbows, thyroid, eyes and often heart and shoulders as well) which becomes costly, they sell each pup, male or female, show quality or not, for the same price believing they are all worth the same (and aren't they?).  If this doesn't sound like the people you have been speaking to, then you are likely not yet finding the good breeders.

Because these breeders often have wait lists, I am not familiar with any of them giving the top pick or two to a first time buyer - BUT if you were to go to shows, show commitment to learning and seeking mentoring, it is possible if a relationship is established.  Depending on your reasons for wanting to breed, they may or may not want to mentor and work with you.

Bernese Breed Stewards are a great way for referrals - in this breed, the breed stewards know who is having puppies in the next 6 months and who already has them on the ground. They further know pedigrees and dogs firsthand (and very experienced in the breed) and have signed a contract and code of ethics to only refer to those breeders who are complying with the Bernese Code of Ethics for breeding.  The stewards are listed by state on the BMDCA website, but you can contact absolutely any one of them regardless of location.  I highly recommend you contact those stewards who are NOT breeders themselves (and therefore have nothing to gain) and they will be willing to educate on what to look for and breeders to contact.  Feel free to contact me for specific recommendation s on stewards and breeders.

Here are some red flags however to watch out for:  If any of these exist, I would encourage you to walk away:

--They charge a deposit (no reputable breeder in this breed charges money up front and does not need to - its not about the money)

--They charge more for females or show pups (this should be obvious but again, is not about the betterment of the breed)

--They do not do all of the health testing on all dogs - you should be able to review the certifications on both parents, their parents and all of their siblings.

--They are not involved in any breed activities, such as showing, drafting, etc. and as a result do not have any mentors in the community.  All good breeders get their start from other good breeders.

--As a result of the above, they breed exclusively their own dogs.  They have one male they breed to all of their females, regardless of strengths and weaknesses.  The best breeders go outside their own, at least occasionally to find the best mate for their dog, who will best complement their dog.

--They sell directly over the internet, having never met you, and will ship the puppy to you (I don't know a single breeder, over 20 who will do this and the BMDCA does not condone it).  Making initial contact with a breeder over the internet is perfercly appropriate, but they should then be working to get to know you by phone, interviewing you at length, and usually expect you to come and pick up the puppy in person.  I have always flown to pick up my Berners firsthand.

--Another great sign is they show pics of dogs on their website with horrible structure and conformation, but only show the dog from the front, or sitting in a "sloppy sit" position - never properly positioned to see the full structure. They are breeding dogs of poor type but don't know it.

--Use OFFA.org and bernergarde.or g to research pedigrees and health certifications .  The Berner resource makes it very easy to see the backyard breeders and mills.

--Always ask the weight and height of the parents - a good first start at assessing whether the dogs even meet the breed type.  If the male is 80 lbs., walk away because this is not a breeder selecting for proper breed traits and the proper amount of "bone". Eyes should not be round, heads should not be domed, ears should not be set low, the tail should not be "gay" set and look like an Akita arched over the back etc.

A few easy tips: 

When reviewing pedigrees, look for a dog called ARTUR Z LOUCCKE KOTLINY - one of the, if not THE most overbred puppymill dogs and thought to be the backbone of the mill auction business in the U.S. (his owner is THE broker who is credited with establishing the breed in mills and petstores by importing the first dogs from eastern european countries without health certification standards and registries such as Hungary and Russia).  This dog's owner was the focus of the BMDCA and the Newf Club of America's rescue and legislative efforts for several years.

Look for dogs originating from Hungary or Russia as a result - not a good sign.

Is this fitting what you have found?

I agree with the majority of information regarding breeders and information given to a person doing research.  However, regarding Artur Z Louccke Kotliny, he may have been overbred and I don't agree with that philosophy, but know a small breeder and reputable breeder that has had his line with her female, and has produced the most MAGNIFICENT BERNESE boys that you could ever hope for!  I have a boy with his line and my boy is OUTSTANDING showing the ORIGINAL Bernese look.  If you are a breeder, than you know it is highly imperative to breed bloodlines knowing the look of each bloodline and what you hope to produce.  That is the same rules with any animals, not only dogs.  I've seen Artur's lines with other females where I wouldn't pay $100 for a pup because of the female used and I've seen a couple of other breedings that at MAGNIFICENT and one could only hope to see a Bernie as glorious.  So with that being said, I don't adhere to the breeding Artur went through with his owner, however, in the same respect, there are some phenomenal Bernese with the original-look of the Bernies because of Artur Z Louccke Kotliny.  Guess you should have done more research!!


[0] Message Index

Go to full version