Bernese Mountain Dog Rescue and Adoption
One of the great ways to adopt your pup is to adopt one from Bernese Mountain Dog rescue. Thousands of dogs end up in rescue every year, and thousands die because they can’t find an owner. In this article you will read about:
Why do Bernese Mountain Dogs end up in Rescue
Bernese Mountain Dogs in regular state rescue organizations
Bernese Mountain Dog Shelters
Bernese Mountain Dog Rescue in Colorado
Bernese Mountain Dog Rescue in the UK
Bernese Mountain Dog Rescue in Canada
Bernese Mountain Dog Rescue in Australia
Wait, can Bernese Mountain Dogs even end up in rescue in the first place? And aren’t they quickly adopted so I don’t really have a chance?
Of course they can end up in rescue, and often do. And yes, you do have a chance to adopt a Bernese Mountain Dog from a rescue organization.
The Bernese are wonderful dogs, great companions and normally don’t give much trouble to their owners, provided they are well-socialized and well-raised. However, as with any breed, problems may arise and not all owners are up to the challenge.
It would be more honest to say that often people that have no business owning any dogs, let alone Bernese mountain dogs, adopt a puppy and get themselves into a situation that they can’t live with.
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The Bernese are highly intelligent and highly devoted dogs, craving close connection with their owners, moderate physical activity and most importantly, mental and physical stimulation in their lives. Humans have jobs, and many humans tend to underestimate how much time they spend at work and overestimate the amount of physical activity they get themselves and thus can provide to their dog.
Some issues aren’t even that bad. Sometimes it can be a temporary issue, such as a puppy that’s struggling with potty training, or displaying a bit too much of destructive behavior (aka chewing). Or it may be an unruly young adult Bernese that is testing the owner’s patience to see what’s allowed and what isn’t.
Were the owner to give their unruly pup a few months, they would probably “outgrow” the issue. But not everyone has patience and a desire to work on the problem.
Of course, some other, more difficult issues may arise. It can be a health issue that suddenly creeps up and requires an owner to invest time or money (or both!) into the pet’s treatment or rehabilitation. Or it may be persistent behavior problems stemming from faulty upbringing of the puppy or suboptimal situation in the household (lack of exercise, lack of space, hostile atmosphere etc).
Some dogs end up in shelter because their owners become unable to care for them due to the owner’s health or financial situation, change in the household (such as divorce) or a myriad other reasons.
And of course, some dogs just get lost and the owner never claims them for one reason or another.
Whatever the problem may be, quite a few Bernese Mountain dogs end up in rescue every year all over the world. Thankfully, there are enough people that care about dogs and Bernese Mountain dogs in particular. There are a number of shelters in almost every country, that focus exclusively on sheltering, rehabilitating and finding homes for Bernese Mountain Dogs. Further in this article you will find a list of such places and brief info about them.
If you are the owner of a Bernese Mountain Dog and you have found yourself in a situation where you can’t keep taking care of the dog, please use the list of Rescue Centers below to try and find a good shelter that could accept your dog and help rehome it. Each of the shelters I listed accepts the Bernese in need and most of them are very understanding about the owners needing to give up the dog. They will do everything in the power to make the process as painless for both you and the dog as possible.
If you have a local SPCA or other dog shelter organization, it is possible (although not very likely) that there will be a Bernese there waiting for a new owner. Call the shelter or visit. As always, be careful adopting a dog from a shelter.
You would be doing a great favor to the dog and to the society at large, but you need to know exactly why the dog is in shelter, and whether you will be able to handle any issues that may arise with the said dog. You don’t want to have more stress in your life than you can handle, and you definitely don’t want to have to return the dog to the shelter again. Don’t break your own heart, and, most importantly, theirs.
If you think you are up for a challenge, whatever that may be, adopting a dog from a shelter is truly saving the dog and can only be applauded. Especially if it’s an older dog as opposed to a puppy.
Another place to check out if you are looking for a Bernese pup/adult dog, is a specialized Bernese Mountain Dog rescue. Below I tried to summarize some info on such centers, mainly in the USA area.
BFW RESCUE INC
BFW Rescue is a nonprofit Bernese Mountain Dog rescue organization working from coast to coast. Their goal is to find every Bernese pup who lost a home – a new family. They always have at least a few dogs that are looking for prospective new owners, featured on their website. You can read about their success stories on their blog. Their head office is located in South Carolina.
Rescue Me – Bernese Mountain Dog page
If you are in Seattle area, you can check out Seattle Purebred Dogs Rescue association. They also have a special page devoted to the Bernese.
If you are in Massachusetts, you are also in luck. Check out or visit the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Nashoba Valley. They have a lot of information helpful for the potential adopters, and if you adopt through them, you are likely to receive further support as a new owner of a Berner!
For the dwellers of sunny California, there is NORCAL BERNESE MOUNTAIN DOG RESCUE. They provide fostering and rehoming services to the Bernese in need and unforeseen circumstances. With them, you can foster a Bernese Mountain Dog as well as adopt one. In fact, fostering a dog could give you a realistic glimpse into what caring for a Bernese may involve.
You would also get support and guidance from the shelter. They don’t generally have a large number of dogs available, as, fortunately for the dogs, there are always a large number of adopters waiting for a dog. However, it never hurts to ask, does it?
For Berner lovers in Colorado, Bernese Mountain Dogs in the Rockies is dedicated to helping pure bred Bernese find new homes. They serve the states of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Montana, and you are most likely to receive a dog if you live in one of these states.
Their adoption fee is $300, which helps cover some of the substantial costs they spend on helping the dogs. BMDRC checks all their dogs for health issues and puts a lot of effort into rehabilitating their dogs before placing them into new homes.
For my British readers, check out Bernese Rescue and Rehoming. This is a really great rescue taking in Bernese Mountain dogs in any state of health, any temperament, of any age and with any history. Any dog they get has a chance of finding a wonderful home.
They particularly focus on dogs from less than perfect breeders, who generally do not accept their puppies back when issues arise (as they generally do with less than perfect breeding). This rescue shelter is open 365 days a year for both potential adopters as well as people that have to give up a dog. They are located in Wiltshire, in South West England.
Another British Rescue organization involved in helping Berners is BERNESE WELFARE UK, located in Sudbury, Suffolk. This is a shelter/charity established in 1986. Their main goal is to help Bernese owners who, for any reason, can not care for their Bernese.
They are extremely approachable and non-judgemental as a shelter. They do want to chat o their potential adopters and ask some questions that can help a potential adopter clarify whether they are really ready to adopt a Bernese and successfully care for it till the rest of their lives (be it the owner’s or the dog’s!).
For fellow Canadians,there are a few good Rescue societies in our beautiful country.
North Peace Bernese Mountain Dog Rescue is a great place to start. They accept dogs needing homes across the country and rehabilitate the dogs for a while before the pups go into adoption so as to prepare the dog in the best way possible and also find out as much as possible about the dog. They are very approachable and will have a special person to work with you during your adoption process.
Another Canadian organization helping shelter the Bernese in need is the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Canada. They are actively involved in rescuing the Bernese Mountain Dogs needing new homes. They act across Canada, with representatives in Ontario and Quebec.
If you are down under in Aussie land, there are a few Bernese Mountain Dog Rescue clubs there. There is Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Victoria – an organization that accepts Berners from homes that cannot continue taking care of their Berner. They also encourage you to address your breeder first, as many breeders have many interested people waiting for an older Berner to adopt. So the breeder may very well be happy to take your Berner back in a sad situation where your circumstances change and you need to give your dog up.
This is one of the best options for you and your dog. It will minimize the time waiting for a new potential owner for you (and the effort of finding one). It also guarantees that the person that adopts your Berner will be a good owner. Your breeder will make sure of that, as they won’t give your dog to a less than perfect new home. If you are the potential new owner, it makes sense to connect with the Club members and perhaps to become a member so that you can be in line for a Berner needing anew home.
If you are in Western Australia, there is the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Western Australia. This Club supports and helps Bernese Mountain Dog owners who may have encountered an issue with their dog and their care. They also accept Berners that can’t be taken care of by their owners and work hard on placing the rescued Berners into the best new homes possible. Placement of their dogs happens only after a thorough health check of the dog. This is also a great organization to connect with if you wish to rescue a Bernese Mountain Dog.