All About Our Puppies
At Spellbound Bernese, our puppies are bred with a lot of planning, forethought and a goal in mind. We usually keep a pup from any litter and use that next generation to continue our line. Now, on our 5th generation, we feel strongly that we're going in the right direction - only breeding dogs with the soundest of temperaments, excellent conformation and breed type, with a high level of intelligence and work ethic.
Our top priority is temperament! Nice dogs - dogs that are smart, sweet, confident, easy to train and easy to live with are what we strive to produce. Those are the character traits that we love about the beautiful Bernese. Our puppies are socialized with our family of dogs, people we know, selected friends' dogs, well-behaved children, neighbors, car rides, new sounds, vacuum cleaners, music, tv, normal household noises, different surfaces to walk on, toys to play with and climb on, under and in. We incorporate the SuperPuppy and Puppy Culture protocols into the pups' everyday lives. Early neurological stimulation is important to our puppies and their future lives. We feel these things make for a cool, calm and collected dog, one who recovers easily from being challenged, one that is not afraid of new experiences, one who seeks out adventure, one who thrives when trained, and who loves his or her family.
Puppy Culture adds to that, with some very specific developmental milestones as indicators. We add things when the puppies are ready, with specific timing and introduction of new objects, challenges, training...all with the end goal of your puppy being the best he can be! Click here to read more about WHY we raise our puppies this way.
Our puppy family's job is to continue that positive socialization - to follow our guidelines for exposure to new people, places and things; to provide opportunity for the puppy to safely explore, to meet new (safe) dogs, to play, to interact, to learn manners, to become an enjoyable member of their family.
This doesn't happen without effort. It only happens if you are committed to doing the work. Every minute invested in puppy training early on, pays back in a lifetime of reward! We feel so strongly that training is imperative for puppies, that it is in our puppy contract. It states clearly that you must attend a minimum of two sessions of positive group training classes. Of course, once everyone does the first session, their berner pup is usually the smartest in the class...so they want to continue attending anyway!
Our next priority is general overall health. We only breed dogs which are free of allergies, skin conditions, immune related issues, and other life altering disorders. It is no fun dealing with IBD or constant skin infections for you, or for the dog. I learned this personally with my own dog, a Chow Chow, several years ago. He was riddled with allergies...and although we found what was best for him to live comfortably, it was torture for years for both Dakin and for us!
If you've looked into this breed at all, you already know that longevity is an issue with Bernese. All reputable breeders are striving to increase that average life span. By selecting dogs that have pedigrees full of longer-lived dogs, introducing diversity when possible, using dogs that are free of known genetic problems, and dogs that do not *double up* on any one factor or fault; we can do the very best we can with the knowledge that we have - and hope for longer lived dogs! Participation in open registry databases (Bernergarde and OFA) is an important effort to sharing knowledge - good, bad or indifferent. Then we can all make better breeding decisions, and our puppy families benefit too!
If you are interested in a Spellbound Bernese puppy, send an email. Please understand that the demand for puppies and the amount of inquiries is insane since the beginning of the pandemic! If I do not respond immediately, be patient. If I do not respond within a week, reach out again.
Are You Sure You Want a Puppy?
Berner puppies are not for everyone, but everyone adores them - the Cute Factor is off the charts, and no one can resist the fluffy sweet face of a baby berner. Although Bernese Mountain Dogs are great dogs, they SHED, the are BIG, they can be PUSHY, they DEMAND HUMAN COMPANIONSHIP, they are MOUTHY & NIPPY as pups, they require POSITIVE TRAINING METHODS, and require early and consistent SOCIALIZATION!!! This all takes time and a commitment from their new family...be sure you are ready and willing to do so fully, or wait until there is a better time.
Training a Bernese forces us to do what is unnatural in human behaviour - we must see the good instead of focus on the negative. We must NOTICE a quiet, sitting, calm puppy...instead of reprimand a jumping, loud, naughty pup. We must NOTICE and respond with reward/praise when the right decision is made, vs. react/punish the incorrect one. We must manage a home, prevent accidents and be aware of dangers to a busy puppy.
It is wise to cast a wide net with Bernese Breeders, so that you increase your chances of getting a quality puppy. I recommend you make contact with the national and regional Bernese Mountain Dog Clubs - the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America, the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Northeastern Illinois, the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Southeast Wisconsin or in the northeast, the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Nashoba Valley.
Our next litter is spoken for. Go to www.bmdca.org for breeder referral list. Also, go to the regional breed clubs for their breeder referral lists.