Home: (828) 349-6006 (Please call between 10am & 6pm Eastern)
Questionnaire for Prospective Adoptive Parents
City, State, Zip:
Name & phone of nearest relative not living with you:
The following questions are designed to get to know you better, but more importantly, they are designed to enable us, as your breeder, to educate you where needed or requested. We cannot do this without knowing your level of knowledge, experience, or areas of interest. Therefore, please fill out each of the following questions to the best of your ability. A little extra time spent here will help in your pup’s selection and transition to the new home.
It is important that you know we will want to meet you in person. No puppy will leave us without us having met their new family. We would like you to come to visit us before the time puppies are expected to leave our home if at all possible, and we may ask to visit your home or send a friend to visit you to see where our puppy will live.
Please list the names, ages, occupations of ALL the people living in your home. Also, please list any with special needs or disabilites:
Is there anyone home fulltime during the day? If you all work/school away from home all day, stop now unless you have a great plan for the puppy.
If no, what will you do with the puppy while you are away?
On average, How many hours a day will the puppy be alone?
How many Pets do you currently have and why do you want another? How will you introduce the new puppy to your current pets?
How many dogs do you currently co-own with friends or other breeders?
List the types, breeds, ages, sexes of the pets that you currently own and if they are spayed or neutered. Also, where do you feed and house these pets? How do you provide water for these pets?
If we don't have the sex you prefer, are you willing to take the other? If not, why?
Do you have a fenced yard? How tall is it at the lowest point? Is there year round shade?
Do you live in a house, apartment or condo? Do you rent or own? How long have your lived at your present address?
Have you ever bred dogs? What breeds? How many litters? When was the last litter?
Are you willing to spay after one heat cycle or neuter after 18 months? If not, why?
Have you contacted other breeders? Who? Are you on a list? Who's list? As a courtesy I will contact them or ask that you do, to let them know we are talking.
If you have never owned a Berner bfore, how long have you been looking and how did you first learn about the breed? Have you met one in person or known one? If so who owned it?
How long have you been looking for a BMD?
If you have owned a Berner before, who did you purchase it from? What health problems did you deal with? Why is that Berner no longer with you?
What breeds and sexes of other dogs have you had in the past? How long long were they with you? What health problems did you deal with? Why are they no longer around?
Do you have outside access directly from your yard into the house? To what room? Do you have a dog door?
Have you ever raised a puppy before? How old was the puppy when you brought it home? How did you housebreak that puppy?
Have you ever crate trained? Are you willing to invest in a crate large enough for an adult BMD and crate train this puppy?
Have you ever attended obedience classes or puppy classes with a dog; how many and were they helpful? Are you willing to go to puppy classes between 12 and 24 weeks and obedience between 6 months and 12 months?
This is REALLY important. Please give us a good explanation of the training you've received. We also need to know the names of your trainers and their contact information. I would like to understand your approach to training and discipline. This is a large breed that goes through the crazy young puppy stage. If handled incorrectly, Bernese Mountain Dogs can be "broken" emotionally, or become wild and undisciplined, or ruined to new experiences. If you have not had any training, we would like to understand that you are willing to get some training for you and your puppy. This does not mean sending it off for two weeks for training. I will not accept that. A great start is to begin reading, talk with trainers, sit in on classes long before your pup comes to you.
What dog foods have you used? How often do you feed daily? Do you ever feed table scraps?
Are you aware of the new vaccination protocols calling for vaccinations less often? If so, please explain your understanding of them. If not, are you willing to learn more about them and follow their recommendations (not all vets are willing to accept the new protocols-those vets need to be fired)?
How will you discipline your puppy if it misbehaves? Is hole digging a problem for you? How would you stop the digging? What if the puppy chews your new shoes?
How will you deal with the large amount of shedding you will likely experience with your Berner
(when asked if they shed we answer,,,once a year. It lasts 365 days)?
Do you have children or grandchildren? Will they be allowed to play with the puppy unsupervised? Will they have responsibilities relating to the care of the puppy? What will those responsibilities be?
Are lifestyle changes expected in the next 18 months? Please include things like job changes, plans to move, or pregnancies. Are there any known health issues in your family that could impact your future with the puppy? Please explain.
How are you planning on protecting your puppy from heat in the hot weather (Berners are cold weather dogs and additionally, can’t handle direct sunlight for much time at all)? Will the puppy have access to air conditioning or a cool basement when you are gone?
Do you know the licensing requirement, vaccine requirements and limit on number of pets for your area? What are they?
What are your plans for socializing the puppy? What types of activities will you take part in with your pup? What hobbies/activities do you and your family take part in?
How do you plan to exercize the puppy?
What arrangements will you make for your puppy when you go on vacation? How often do you travel?
Please list all the vehicles you own. Do you own a boat or RV? Will the pup have access to a pool or lake? BMDs are often bad swimmers!
Are you willing to have hip and elbow X-rays done at 24 months if asked to? They can run $250 to $500 in cost.
Please give us name, address and phone number information about vets you have worked with. Is your current vet open to listen to you about medical issues, diet and vaccine protocols?
Are you familiar with OFA, Penn-Hip and CERF and can you read their certificates and printouts? Are you familiar with Berner-Garde?
Have you ever sold a puppy or kitten to a pet shop, broker or to someone in another country? Would you do that in the future? Why?
Will you need help learning how to groom your pup?
Please take the time to ask us any questions you may have. It is our responsibility as breeders to help and educate you as best we can. We want you to feel free to call us anytime about any puppy related subject throughout your pup's lifetime:
To get a printout of the questions and your answers, screen print this page before clicking on the submit button. It will be a messy prinout, though. If the submit is successful, I can forward the formatted results to you if you'd like. Just ask!
Please, no PO Boxes. We need to know where you live
We do not sell puppies to homes where all adults work outside the home.
Potential show homes have to prove their commitment to our breeding program, and to our dogs. There are heavy requirements placed on our potential show homes. No breeding and/or show puppies will be sold to families we have not known for years, or whose reputation we do not know.
IF you are under the age of 30 and do not own your home, do NOT go any farther. I am sorry, but I have had too many bad experiences, to even consider you. Those who have come before you have ruined this opportunity for you.
This is REALLY important. Please give us a good explanation of the training you've received. I also need to know the names of your trainers and their contact information. I would like to understand your approach to training and discipline. This is a large breed that goes through the crazy young puppy stage and if handled incorrectly, Bernese Mountain Dogs can be "broken" emotioally, or become wild, and ruined to new experiences. If you have not had any training, I would like to understand that you are willing to get some training for you and your puppy. This does not mean sending it off for two weeks for training. I will not accept that.
DO NOT FILL THIS QUESTIONNAIRE OUT UNLESS IT IS ASSOCIATED WITH A CURRENT PREGNANCY ANNOUNCEMENT! We do not keep a list.