BMDCGTC Rescue committee
Coleen Carroll
Lisa Fosdick
Nancy Mayer
John Somheil


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Rescue: Frequently Asked Questions.

Where do most of the Berners requiring rescue come from?
Most BMDs requiring rehoming come from owners who are no longer able to care for them because of changing life circumstances or issues with the dog's health or behavior. The majority of reasons dogs are in need of rescue could have been anticipated and avoided, e.g., family members prone to allergies, breed health and temperament issues, maintenance costs, grooming requirements, exercise needs, etc. Responsible pet ownership requires an honest and factual assessment of whether a specific breed breed is right for you. Not all breeds fit all lifestyles.

How do adult Berners adapt to their new homes and families?
Adult Bernese are very loyal to their humans yet do surprisingly well in new homes. The bonding time can take a while but generally they begin to settle into the routine within a month. We strive to make sure that the right dog goes to the right home and with the correct expectations for the care and nurturing each dog will need.

I don't have time/energy for a puppy. Is an adult rescue/rehome dog a better choice for me?
Not necessarily. Many rescue BMDs have little or no training and/or behavior issues that require the same amount of vigilance that a puppy requires. In general, the careful supervision needed for a smooth transition is less for an adult rescue dog but it is still necessary. Adults require the same amount of planning and care that a pup does. Your new adult dog will need to learn the rules of your home. This is best accomplished in the beginning with good supervision and containment. An unsupervised adult dog that does not know the rules of the house can do much more damage than a pup. Lots of early guidance and positive feedback will help your dog adjust quickly.

How long is your waiting list?
We keep a list of potential adopters. The dogs are not placed on a first-come, first-served basis, but rather as a best match to an adoptive home that will be the best place for the dog. We have lots of potential adopters and with so few dogs a year, the wait can be long.

Can I get a puppy through rescue?
It is not likely.

Can I use this dog for breeding?
No. All Berners placed through the BMDCGTC rescue program are spayed or neutered prior to release to the adoptive home.

Is there a guarantee?
Sorry, no. We collect whatever information on the dog that we can and pass all of it on to the potential adopters so that they can make an informed decision. But no one can foretell the future. If the adoption does not work out, you are required to surrender the dog back to the BMDCGTC rescue program.

I've heard that Berners are one-person dogs. How well do they adjust to their new owners?
Surprisingly well. Even ones from good homes that were surrendered to us have re-attached to their new families. It takes love and patience for all of them to overcome whatever baggage they have. So far, they have all done well.

Do your rescue dogs ever come with AKC registration papers?
Sometimes we get papers on surrendered Berners and gladly pass them on to adopters. It is helpful for health history. If the new owner wants to participate in AKC events, they can apply for an ILP number for the dog. The dog is then allowed to join in all AKC events other than Conformation like any registered dog.

I want to get on your adopter list, what do I do now?
You can fill out an application here.