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Bernese Mountain Dogs (“Berners”) are one of the 150+ breeds currently recognized by the American Kennel Club. Named for the Canton of Bern, they are working dogs with origins in the farm areas of Switzerland. Historically, Berners were general purpose farm dogs. Their large, hardy frames and calm-natured, people-oriented temperaments made them ideal companions and watchdogs for the farmer. They were also used to pull carts and to accompany cows for short distances to pasture. While Bernese Mountain Dogs are wonderful creatures with a long list of attributes, not all Berners exemplify the best the breed has to offer. This is not a breed for everyone, and every dog possesses individual strengths and weaknesses. Before you decide to make a Berner part of your family, thoroughly research the breed, talk to reputable breeders and knowledgeable owners, including members of the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of the Rockies, and get to know some of the dogs themselves.
The Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America (BMDCA) has a wealth of information about Bernese Mountain Dogs on their website bmdca.org. We suggest that you start by reading the BMD Info Series: The Breed Standard for the Bernese Mountain Dog is the official description of the physical characteristics and temperament of the breed.
Finding a Puppy
In addition to the resources for education about the breed listed above, the BMD Club of South East Wisconsin publishes an excellent Puppy Buyer's Guide, available with this link as a PDF.
- The BMDCA Breed Stewards program is a network of BMDCA members who are experienced breeders and owners and have volunteered to make themselves available to talk with you, answer your questions, and assist you in your search for a breeder and a puppy.
Locally, our Public Education Coordinator for BMDCR maintains a list of Bernese Mountain Dog breeders in the Rocky Mountain region who may have, or are planning litters, and also meet certain requirements.