most important aspect of breeding is full disclosure of
all information necessary to determine that the mating will
result in improvement relative to the Breed Standard and
Experienced breeders will tell you that there is no such
thing as a perfect dog. Even a Best of Show Winner can be
critiqued on a number of imperfections. Each dog is a mix
of attributes, some perfect, some less so, which add up
to an overall evaluation. How do you arrive at that evaluation?
there were a computer program, it would include all the
attributes of the breed standard, assign an importance factor
to each, and grade the dog on each of those variables to
develop a calculated evaluation.
there is no computer program, so the next best assessment
is from show judges. Having seen thousands of Bernese Mountain
Dogs, they have an experienced sense of how to add up a
dog's attributes to arrive at an expert evaluation.
we believe in tapping into as much experience and advisory
as possible. We are connected to a wealth of expertise through
our membership in the American Kennel Club, the Bernese
Mountain Dog Club of America, the Bernese
Mountain Dog Club of the Greater Twin Cities, the Heart of Michigan Bernese Mountain Dog Club and the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of the Finger
Lakes in upstate New York. In addition, we have access to
resources through our partnerships with experienced breeders
in Minnesota, Upstate New York, Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky, and Ontario, Canada.
More information about our dogs can be found on BernerGarde.org (BG). This is the world's largest database for Bernese Mountain Dogs and is free to use. My information can be found under the "people" tab and my ID is: 20700. On BernerGarde you can see the dogs that we own, our Berners that are at the Rainbow Bridge with their ages of death and cause. You can see the health clearances for my dogs, see their pedigrees and any health issues known in those dogs. I am a huge supporter of BernerGarde and spend hours researching for the right stud dog for my girls. I research not only the stud dog, their grandparents, half siblings, etc. to learn as much as I can about the prospective stud dog and the health and longevity behind them. As they say, "Knowledge is Power" and I believe that the new puppy buyers should have as much knowledge on their prospective puppy's background as he breeder does. This knowledge helps and favors the buyer from getting a puppy from puppy mills, backyard breeders and non-reputable individuals.
Our puppies are raised in our home with our family and the rest of our Berners. They are well socialized and experience a variety of visual and hearing stimulations. They are born to Berner parents that have passed their health clearances: OFA certified hip and elbow X-rays, board certified cardiologist heart exam, board certified vet ophthalmologist eye exam, DM (spinal issues) testing and carefully matching of the mom Bberner to the prospective stud dog. I consider myself a preservation breeder, always looking to do the best for my Berners and our puppies.
Our Berner girls typically deliver via C-Section with a reproductive vet. We want mom and the puppies welll taken care if during the birthing process. When the puppies are brought home, we use essential oils with the puppies. Frankincense is diffused for the first week for inner spiritual calmness. As they get older, on days when the puppies might be a little fussy, I diffuse Lavender oil for outer calmness and this has worked very well.
Care for our momma Berner begins much before he breding ever takes place. Our Berners arefed high quality grain free dog foods, along with fruits and vegetables and nutritonal supplements. After our momma has been bred, we continue to feed her as we did prior to breeding, but now add spinach, kale, canteloupe, squash and sweet potatoes.
Two weeks before the puppies are born, we take momma Berner in for a "nomograph" blood test. Blood is sent to the University of Wisconsin and it is checked for the momma Berners antibodies and will tell us when it is the most appropriate time to vaccinate puppies. We do not believe in the typical 6 weeks and then 8 weeks vaccinations. We want the puppies t hang onto th mother's antibodis as long as possible. Giving vaccinations too early can mean that your puppy is actually less protected than waiting until the appropriate time.
As a way of saying "Thank You" to our puppy owners for all the hardwork they put into their Berners, we offer a rebate program. I have not come across any other breeders that do this. I rebate back to my puppy owners $100.00 for each AKC title that your Berner earns. This title can be for anything from conformation (showing), obedience competition, rally, dock diving, cacnine good citizen, barn hunting, tricks, etc. Berners are a working dog and as such, they are happiest when they are working and fel they have a job to do. I also believe this promotes a tighter bond between the owner and their Berne We normally place our puppies at about 10 weeks of age, but arrangements can be made for placement as soon as 8 weeks, although they may not have been vacinnated by then, due to the nomograph results. The puppies do have their typical vet check prior to going to their new homes. With regard to puppy immunizations, we believe that less is more whenit comes to raising our dogs and puppies. We follow Dr Jean Dodd's protocol for vaccinations and after the 2nd vaccination, we wait a couple of weeks and then do a blood test called a titer. This checks for the antibodies of protection against parvo and distemper. MOST times puppies do not ned any more of these vaccinations. We will continue to titer test our dogs through the rest of their lives and only vaccinate if the titers show that vaccinations are needed. If the puppy/dog has the antibodies, it does not make sense to put more into their systems as Berners have very sensitive immune systems. For the rabies vaccination, most cities require the vaccination at 16-20 weeks. I HIGHLY encourage holding off until 24 weeks of ag, again due to their immune systems. I don't believe in overtaxing their immune system at all. Therefore, when we have our dogs and puppies vaccinated they get one injection,wait a couple of weeks and then get the next one. I do not believe in 4-way or 5-way combinations. Likewise, I do not encourage having a microchip placed in the puppies at the same appointment when they are getting a vaccination. I realize this means more trips to the vet, but I feel it is worth it, fr the sake of the puppy. I do not believe in the Lepto vaccination. Too many Berners have become very sick from te Lepto injection. I do realize that there may be some areas where people live that the Lepto vaccine may be wise to give, basd on information from your vet. If you livee in one of those areas, I would recommend detoxing your puppy after the Lepto vaccination.
Puppies are raised inour home, in the living/dining area. Everyone in ur family participates including our adult Berners. They enjoy watching over the puppies andchecking in on them. We start bio-sensory activities from day 3 through day 16. I believe this makes for a calmer Bernr and ones that are easy going and tend to rebound quickly from things that could be upsetting and unsettling such as thunder and lightening, fireworks,etc. When puppies are rady to graduate fro the whelping box, they move to a big area in our kitchen or dining room complete with toys, an activity center, things to climb on an under and some other fun things for difference experiences. This is just a brief overview of our puppy raising. r.
It's never too early to initiate a dialog. We look forward to
hearing from you.