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Your source for Bernese Mountain Dog breeder referral and rescue in the Rocky Mountain region.

Cabot

I'm Phil Shaffer. I've been doing breeder referral and rescue for my regional Bernese Mountain Dog club for over 30 years. This site is dedicated to helping you find a Berner - either from a reputable, competent breeder or a responsible rescue group. Please contact me directly for assistance.

pshaffer@bmd.org
303-351-1365  (cell)


Breeder Referral

Litter Research Requests

Before you purchase a pup or make a deposit you should research the specific litter you are considering for health testing. I can do this for you for free. Looking at the health certifications in the pedigree is the easiest and most objective way I know to identify reputable breeders. The necessary health tests are specified by the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) and the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America (BMDCA). There are six primary tests (hips, elbows, eyes, heart, DM-A & DM-B) plus three elective tests of which at least one should be completed (vWD, autoimmune thyroiditis, HS).

Email your request with the following information to pshaffer@bmd.org  I'll reply with a two generation summary of the publicly available health certifications plus help on interpreting the results.

Breeder List

I can also email you a list of breeders whose previous litters have shown a history of good breeding. In a few cases I will note their breeding plans or if they have pups available. However, in most cases you will need to contact them directly. If I know a litter is available or planned I will already have researched it. You should always research any litter you are considering. 

Send an email to pshaffer@bmd.org to request the list.

Meeting Breeders in Person

Dog events, like shows and draft tests, are an excellent way to meet a better level of breeder in person - even if you are looking for a pet.  Lesser quality breeders rarely do anything with their dogs except breed.

To find dog shows and other AKC dog events use the AKC event finder web page: https://webapps.akc.org/event-search/#/search 

The 'Premium List' gives general information. The 'Judging Program' has the schedule which tells you when and in what ring each breed will be shown. This is published about a week before the show. so you can know when to arrive. When you go to an event, plan on spending about one or two hours there.  About an hour before the ring time many of the exhibitors will be in the grooming area getting their dogs ready.  This is a good place to wander around, introduce yourself, and ask about breeding plans. You can speak with people ringside while the dogs are being shown, but sometimes they might be too busy. Bring something to write with. You can also buy a catalog which will have the names of all the exhibitors, the dog's names, and the dog's breeder.

Drafting (cart pulling) is very popular with Bernese, and it's one way good breeders keep the original working temperament alive in the breed.  There is a calendar of draft test events here: www.bmdca.org/draft  At a draft test you can go roughly anytime between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm.


Rescue

The rescue groups below either specialize in Berners or have good experience with them. I have worked directly with all of them and they are reputable. If you're looking for a rescue Berner I recommend you fill out an application with all of them.