The Breeder's List
How to Identify a Reputable Breeder
A reputable breeder will generally be affiliated with a breed club such as the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Ontario (BMDCO).
It is unusual for reputable breeders to advertise in newspapers or through “puppies for sale” websites. Reputable breeders generally have a strong demand for their puppies and would never sell puppies through brokers or pet stores. The websites may contain flashy ads, but that isn't an indication of ethical behaviour nor does it indicate membership with the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC).
Reputable breeders want to know if you'll be able to provide a good home. This means they'll want to meet and get to know you before they'll commit to you. In addition, they will try to match you with a pup that fits your life style and situation. For example, if there's already a male dog in the house it would be normal to suggest a female as they'll integrate better.
They'll be realistic about what it means to have a Bernese Mountain Dog and won't try to romanticize it in order to make the sale (puppies don't come house broken and their chewing can be destructive).
Reputable breeders will be working to breed dogs that are of sound temperament and health. No breeder has bred the perfect dog or have been able to rid the breed of all of its issues but they should give you the feeling that they're trying. Proof of the parents' clearances indicating the parents are free of hip and elbow dysplasia will likely be provided and you should be able to meet some relatives of a perspective pup.
Reputable breeders only sell CKC or AKC registered dogs and include a sales contract. The content of the sales agreements can vary but typically include clauses of guarantee and spay/neuter, non-breeding language. In addition, most dogs are sold with CKC non-breeding papers.
It is unusual for reputable breeders to ask for a down payment. A breeder will want you to come back because you really want one of their puppies and not because you're worried about losing a deposit. Once they've done all they can to breed a healthy puppy their priority will be on finding that pup a good home.
Keep in mind that adding a dog to your family is a significant commitment and shouldn't be taken lightly. It's worth taking the time to do your homework to identify a good breeder because the pup you bring home will become a member of your family for (hopefully) the duration of his life.
Please note breeders don't always have puppies available and hence some wait time isn't unusual.
The following breeders are members in good standing of the Club, have signed the Club's Code of Ethics and can answer your questions about the breed. It is the buyer's responsibility to research and determine the breeder's reliability. The Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Ontario in no way endorses or makes any recommendation of any name on this list.
Falcon Lake REG'D
Gelbachler Farm REG'D
Patricia Anne Willis
Alison Gowan & Barbara Gowan
Kumnc Kennels (PERM) REG'D
Gary & Bobbi Barnes
Conception Bay, NL