If your homework suggests that the Bernese may be a good breed for you and your family, the next step in the process may be to start finding a Bernese Mountain Dog breeder. At this point your education is not yet complete, but you should be ready to start talking with the experts.

Finding the right breeder means finding someone in whom you have confidence, trust and faith. Different breeders have different approaches to promoting the welfare of the breed, so you should try to find someone whose ideas about raising dogs are similar to your own. You will find that for every two breeders you contact, you'll get three opinions on the right and wrong way to select a breeding pair, raise a pup, and place the puppies in a good home.

Once again, the best way to approach this phase in the process is to gather as much information as you can. Don't settle on the first breeder you find, even if they have pups available. In fact, the most experienced breeders generally have waiting lists for prospective owners, so take special caution if you find some one willing to offer you a puppy right away.

Your relationship with your breeder lasts far beyond the placement of a puppy in your home. You should be confident that your breeder is someone who will be there for you throughout the life of your BMD. This is particularly true for first-time owners, because no matter how much research you do, you will have important questions and concerns that no amount of outside homework can settle. Moreover, you will be entering into a contractual relationship with your breeder that may affect your ownership rights and obligations for years to come. If you can't trust your breeder, then you've chosen the wrong breeder!