My wife and I had a female Bernese Mountain Dog [...]
Like all other breeders of integrity, our goal is to preserve this breed and retain all of the qualities it was produced for. When breeding a litter, our checklist looks something like this:
#1 Breed for temperament. This is the core of who the Bernese Mountain Dog is. They need to be trustworthy and intelligent. The breed is known for being intuitive, loyal, and gentle. Each dog is individual and personalities vary, but the basic temperament of the dog should be consistent.
#2 Breed for structure. This dog is meant to WORK. We want dogs that can perform what they were bred to do. Although we appreciate the beautiful dog that can adorn our couches and lawns, they are a working dog. This breed should be able to live a full life without the handicaps of early arthritis, dyspepsia, etc. Our goal is to produce dogs that do not live their life in pain.
#3 Breed for health. If we have a dog that connects to our hearts the way they are supposed to, can share our lives both inside the home and outside, then we want to keep them as part of the family as long as we possibly can.
#4 Breed for Type. There is no question that the first impression a Bernese Mountain Dog has on anyone is their beauty; Their striking markings, large presence, and glossy coats. If all of the ground work has been laid, then this is the finishing touch…we want our dogs to look like the breed that they are. This is the reason for our kennel name: When you hold any breed into the sun, and can only see their silhouette, and if you are able to identify the breed…THEN, you have “type.”