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Bernese Mountain Dogs - Breed Information & Education for Puppy Buyers, Owners and Breeders

The Real Costs of a Bernese Mountain Dog Puppy

Linda Seaver's pup CourageCosts to a Breeder:

► Elbow & Hip x-rays $150 - $450+

► CERF (eye test) $35

► Heart test $40 - $300

► von Willebrand's test $99

► Degenerative Myelopathy test $65

► DNA profiling $40

► Championship $500 - $3000

► Cost per litter $1500 - $5000+

► Planning a breeding and raising litters includes many other real costs, and costs in time and emotional efforts. Cost to raise pups kept for potential breeding that didn't measure up to that breeder's standards, fees paid for stud service, transportation costs to and from dog shows, vet clinics, training classes, gear - including crates, gaits, whelping boxes, and even long distance phone charges and cleaning supplies add up quickly. For conscientious breeders, money is not made on puppies. You'd wonder why a person would spend so much time and invest so much money in breeding Bernese Mountain Dogs. Conscientious breeders do it to try to produce better and healthier Berner puppies.

Costs of Genetic Diseases:*

► Hip Dysplasia (one hip) $1000-$4000 for diagnosis and surgery

► Elbow Dysplasia(one elbow) $1000-$4000 for diagnosis and surgery

► Entropion $1000-$2000 for surgery to correct eyelid problem (can lead to blindness if left uncorrected, sometimes takes multiple surgeries)

► Sub-aortic Stenosis $800 for diagnosis

► $3500 or more for heart surgery

► von Willebrand's $65 for blood test prior to surgery,

► $100 for transfusion if vWD positive

*(which reputable breeders work to minimize - ask us how!)

► ► ► Total: Purchase price + $1260 to $11,855 for a healthy wellbred pup for just the first year.
As much as an additional $14,465 for all of the genetic based problems.
(It would be very unusual to have all of these problems, one or two do occur in one dog with some frequency).

Normal First Year Costs For owners

► Food $200 - $1200

Veterinary care:

► Checkups and vaccines $150 - 250Laura Mendez pup

► Fleas, heartworm preventives $80

► Neuter/spay $80 - $250

► Oh no, he's limping! $25 - $800

► Egad, he ate my panty hose! $25 - $2500

► He's scratching! $25 - $500

► License, AKC, local, microchip $50

► Obedience class $75

Supplies: $150 - $500

► Dog bowls, leash, collars, unused dog bed, baby gate, etc

► Toys (trust me) $50 - $500

► Replacement for chewed rug/chair/etc $?

► New vacuum $150 - ?

► Better air conditioning/more servicing $?

► Fencing $200-$5000

► New car for big dogs $?

► New house with bigger yard $?

The Real Costs of a Puppy
The initial cost involved in obtaining a Bernese depends on from whom or where you buy your dog. Toby Erlichman's Nora

► Prices for Bernese Mountain Dog puppies range from around one thousand upwards to several thousand dollars. In today's market expect to pay $1500.00 - $2000.00 for a well-bred pup.
DON'T FALL FOR SLICK SALES PITCHES or GET RIPPED OFF BY PROFITEERS or PET STORES that charge puppy buyers the same price for Berner pups as conscientious breeders! Price is not necessarily a reflection of quality nor does it reflect the upfront and ongoing services offered by the breeder you might think are essential at the time of purchase or those you could potentially desire later.

► Purchase cost is only a small portion of what it will cost you to maintain your dog from day to day. Think about how much disposable income you have to spend on dog food. Add costs for training classes and routine veterinary care. Does the disposable income you plan to use for your dog affect other things you might want to do with your family or children, like vacations or providing your child with unique enrichment activities?

► Would it be important to you in determining that you could afford to care for a Berner if your dog developed a catastrophic illness or was affected by an inherited condition that required a lifetime of medications or an expensive medical procedure? Some medications and dietary supplements for a dog of size can run into several thousand dollars a year. If a special diet was indicated for your dog due to allergies or a medical condition that affected the kind of food the dog could tolerate ask yourself - is that extra expense doable?

► When considering costs, ask yourself whether the breeder of your dog has done everything possible to provide you with a pup that has the best chance of living a life free from debilitating illness. Then ask yourself how you will handle unplanned for expenses that might come up in relationship to owning a Bernese, because that possibility exists. Pet insurance might be worth looking into.