Getting a Bernese Mountain Dog or "Great Bernese" Puppy
Here at Goat Milk Stuff, we have large dogs to guard and protect our farm. We also raise two types of puppies. The first type of puppy we raise is Bernese Mountain Dog Puppies. These puppies are registerable with the AKC. They usually weigh 80 - 110 pounds and have an average lifespan of 6-8 years.
We also raise "Great Bernese" Puppies. These puppies are a cross between the Great Pyrenees and the Bernese Mountain Dog. They are not a recognized nor registered AKC breed. They usually weigh 70 - 110 pounds and have an average lifespan of 10-12 years.
Your Puppy's Foundation
All of our puppies (no matter the breed) are bred and raised the same way. Our goal is to only breed puppies with incredible temperaments, healthy and well-conformed bodies, and good work ethics. While we don't have much pedigree history on our dogs (yet), we do everything to shape the temperaments of our puppies.
And temperament is what is most important to us. When we ask people what they are looking for in the puppy they get from us, we repeatedly hear these words - friendly, trainable, gentle, loving, affectionate, protective, smart, and loyal. A lot of that is ingrained in their genetics, but a huge part of that comes from working with the puppies from the moment they are born.
Our puppies are all well socialized. They are exposed to a wide variety of animals (dogs, cats, goats, chickens, rabbits, sheep) and people of all ages. We also make sure to expose them to men and boys, as many older dogs can have difficulty with men.
Our puppies experience a wide variety of sounds such as vacuum cleaners, music, hammering, television, lawn mowers, trucks, sirens, alarms, and other loud noises. We had 3 of our puppies at our farm over the Fourth of July weekend. At 8 weeks old, they didn't flinch when fireworks were going off. Occasionally they'd look toward the sound out of curiosity, but they were not bothered by the loud noises in the least.
The puppies are also given different surfaces to walk on such as carpet, shavings, grass, wood, concrete, and others. And of course, they enjoy a variety of toys that they play and interact with.
We also teach our puppies how to problem solve so they learn how to not be frustrated. They are taught how to go around objects to find their food and how to cross something a bit scary to reach what they want.
We use "Puppy Culture's" Protocol of Early Neurological Stimulation with the puppies from Day 3-16. This protocol is fascinating and the results are impressive. If you're interested you can learn more about Early Neurological Stimulation.
We put a lot of effort into our puppies because we want them to:
- Be healthy
- Not be overwhelmed by new experiences
- Be trustworthy
- Be lovable and loving
- Be trainable
We do not raise show dogs. Our dogs are bred and raised to be valuable members of the family (not at all implying that show dogs aren't). Whether your puppy is living with you in your home or working on your farm with your livestock, these are dogs that are meant to face the challenges of daily living and thrive. They are meant to be a joy and a delight for you.
Your Puppy Joining Your Family
We give each of our puppies the best possible start in life. But it's up to you to continue that training with constant positive reinforcement of the behavior you wish to see in your puppy.
Your puppy will go home with the following:
- A record of all their up-to-date shots
- A blanket that has spent time with mom and siblings
- A collar and leash
- Several toys
- A bag of food
- A bar of our goat milk soap for pets
Puppies are matched to their new family once they turn 6 weeks of age. You can schedule a play date to meet your puppy at 6 weeks if desired. If you already have dogs or livestock, we require new shoes or shoe coverings and that you be healthy to protect the health of the puppies.
Our puppies are available to go to their new homes after turning 8 weeks old. Please see the Terms of Sale for information if you are delayed in picking up your puppy before 9 weeks.
Sharing Your Puppy's Journey
We are incredibly committed to capturing, documenting, and sharing your puppy's life with you. We do puppy pictures once a week and post them on the website. We also offer a daily Facebook Live video that chronicles your puppy's progress.
Once your puppy leaves our farm to join you, we have a Private Facebook Group for you to share photos of your puppy as they grow. You will be able to see photos of your puppy's litter mates if they are posted.
This commitment to chronicling your puppy's early life takes a lot of time. But we feel it is important for you to see how your puppy is growing and so that you can begin to bond with your puppy.
While it may be hard to determine a puppy's full character from photos and videos, it can help you to start to identify which puppy may be best matched to your family.
Your Puppy's Transportation
We recommend picking up your puppy here at the farm in Scottsburg, Indiana. If possible, driving with two people is preferred so that one person is available to hold and comfort your puppy. Leaving the only home she's ever known can be traumatizing for your puppy and being there to comfort her will begin the bonding process. She'll know that you're there to meet her needs.
You can also try to locate an animal transporting company which may cost less since they transport more than one. We do not recommend this because nobody is typically available to comfort your puppy. But it may be an option to investigate.
If you cannot drive to the farm, the preferred method is for you to fly to our farm and fly back with your puppy under the seat in front of you. That reduces the puppy's time in transport and is usually less expensive than paying somebody to transport the puppy for you. We have had a few puppies transport like this with great success.
Your Commitments to Your Puppy
We pre-screen our prospective new puppy owners to make sure you understand what you are committing to. Both Bernese Mountain Dog puppies and Great Bernese puppies are large animals, weighing between 70 and 120 pounds. They shed a lot and need to be brushed regularly (daily is not necessary) or they will get lots of mats. They eat a lot of food and they need daily exercise. Please remember that they do not stay puppies forever and you are committing to not only raising them right, but raising them for the entirety of their lives.
When purchasing one of our puppies, you are agreeing to keep us informed of your puppy's progress and health for the duration of his or her life. We will send out a yearly questionnaire with a request for updated photos and health information. This is a very simple questionnaire and should take less than 5 minutes to fill out. The purpose of this is to help us become better breeders.
Purchasing a puppy should be a commitment for the lifetime of your puppy. When purchasing one of our puppies, you are also committing to the following:
- Spaying/neutering your puppy before 2 years of age.
- Keeping your puppy up to date on all his/her vaccines.
- Micro-chipping your puppy for their safety.
- Training your puppy for all basic commands.
- Socializing your puppy and exposing him/her to all appropriate situations such as people, car trips, various sights and sounds.
- Feeding your puppy sufficiently with an appropriate and healthy food of your choice.
If you disagree with any of these commitments, please discuss them with us before joining the Puppy Wait List
We do not require that you attend puppy classes and work with a trainer. But we strongly, strongly recommend it. Your puppy will become a large dog. And your enjoyment of the relationship with your adult dog will depend a lot on how well your dog is trained. A dog that listens to you and obeys you is a joy to live with.
Despite our best intentions, sometimes life does happen. If at any time you are unable to continue caring for your puppy/adult dog, you agree to contact us to talk about returning your dog to us with no monetary compensation.
Your Puppy's Cost
Our Great Bernese puppies are $2500 each. There may be an extra charge for black/white or tri-color Great Bernese puppies.
Our Bernese Mountain Dogs are $2500 each with no AKC registration or breeding rights. They are $2700 with AKC registration. We are not offering breeding rights at this time until Beckett and Castle complete their OFA and genetic testing. If you would like breeding rights, please reach out to me.
These costs reflect all the time, food, vet work, socialization, and care that is put into our adult dogs and into our puppies.
Almost all of our puppies go to the people on our Puppy Waiting List. We rarely have puppies available that aren't already spoken for. You can learn more about upcoming litters on our Future Puppies (Breeding Plans) page.
Reserving Your Puppy
If you are interested in one of our puppies, please contact us and share with us your questions.
Once all of your questions are answered, and if you want to get one of our puppies, please send us an email about yourself. Include what you are looking for in a puppy. Is this for your home? farm? Will the puppy be raised with children? with other dogs? Please provide as many details as possible. Also include whether you have a preference on a male or female puppy and which breed you are most interested in.
We don't have a formal application process, but we will not place any of our puppies in a home where we don't think the puppy will succeed. If you are approved for a puppy, there is a nonrefundable fee of $500 to join the Puppy Wait List and to reserve your place in line.
This nonrefundable fee is to secure your place on our Puppy Wait List. It will be applied to the cost of your puppy.
The fee is transferable to a different litter or even a different breed when requested in writing. It is not refundable if you choose to not get a puppy.
The balance on your puppy is due at 6 weeks of age. See the Terms of Sale for all payment details.
Puppies are matched in the order families are added to the Wait List for the respective breed. Puppies are matched at 6 weeks of age after the puppies' vet visit to make sure there are no underlying health issues.
If you have committed to getting a puppy from a litter, and back out of getting that puppy after the puppies are 4 weeks old, your waitlist fee is forfeit and you need to reapply and pay the waitlist fee again to rejoin the waitlist.
You may change your mind on a specific litter before the puppy is 4 weeks old and maintain your place on the waitlist.
Dogs are a wonderful part of life. But they are a commitment and it takes an effort to produce dogs that are a joy to live with. We'd love to be able to provide you with one of the best dogs you've ever owned!