Bernese Mountain dog


                           Beliefs versus Reality

I decided to add this page to address expectations versus reality when it comes to choosing a dog and what their life expectancy, health, and other issues mean.

I post on  my website, for the world to see, a request that you RESEARCH the Bernese Mountain dog or any dog before contacting us about reserving a puppy.  So many people say that they have done just that when they contact us when in fact they have not.  I cannot stress enough that you need to educate yourself on issues that affect large breed dogs which include the Bernese Mountain Dog (BMD).  I want to make this as clear as I possibly can to anyone who is thinking of adding a BMD to their family, Do your research!  Folks, please ask questions, then research the answers. Here are a few things I want everyone to know so that you are prepared to own a BMD.

* BMD's are prone to cancer

BMD's are just like every other large breed dog.  There is not a breeder out there that I am aware of that can say they have not had instances of cancer in their breeding programs, included us at Water Oak Farm.  Cancer is always at the forefront of our worries.  Our instances have been low but they are still there.  Every  BREEDER will at some point have an issue with cancer. If a breeder tells you they have never had a pup come up with cancer...FIND ANOTHER BREEDER!!! 

*Health testing on the parents does NOT mean your puppy will not have an issue. 

It simply means your breeder has done the health testing on the adults to make sure they are healthy and clear of the diseases that were tested for. For example...If the puppy's parents were tested on their hips and came back with a GOOD rating it DOES NOT mean your pup will have good hips.  You can breed two dogs together with bad hips and a puppy have good hips and visa versa. Things like hips, elbows, patellar, heart, eyes..ect.. are all up to nature when it comes to the puppy. We test the adult to hopefully reduce instances of resulting issues but it by no means eliminates the possibility of an issue.

*Some health testing is able to include or exclude your puppy from the disease or a least tell you the probability of your puppy developing a disease.

Examples of testing that can show you the chances of your pup developing a disease are vWD, DM-SOD1- A, DM- SOD1- BThese tests can tell you if the parents are Clear, Carriers or Affected. 

*The parent's size and weights are not necessarily the size and weight your puppy will reach or exceed.

You can use your puppy's parents as a loose guide to the size and weight your pup may achieve or even exceed. However, some pups do not reach their parent's size weights. 

No matter which breeder you choose or the breed of dog you choose please understand that no dog is perfect.  There is not a breed or breeder out there that is perfect. Realistically every breeder will at some point have some sort of behavioral issue, training issue or health issue come up in their breeding program.  Good breeders strive to genetically reduce the number of occurrences but as with humans, you cannot prevent everything.   Mother nature is fickle at best and we are all subject to her whims.

NOTE-Before you decide to reserve a pup, Please be sure to thoroughly research the BMD (Bernese Mountain Dog), talk to your vet, and check out everything you can about the health, history, and traits of any breed of dog you plan to take home. Every breed of dog has unique personalities, health risks, and requirements. Berners are large breed dogs who do require daily exercise, good nutrition, clean water, regular vet checkups, and should be taught at the minimum basic commands. Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have about the BMD breed, training, feeding, health issues and grooming requirements. We want our families to be happy with our babies and are always happy to answer questions.