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Home >> Our Philosophies

HeadStart Program

In raising a litter we try to establish a foundation upon which the new family can build a relationship with their puppy. When the litter is one month old, we open our home to visitations. Our last litter topped out at 37 puppy visitors in one weekend. The puppies were exhausted but, happy! Before we place any pup in a home they are temperament tested by at least one other breeder or dog trainer. They are structurally evaluated and health checked for soundness by a veterinarian who is knowledgeable about the breed. Prior to leaving our home, they will have received their first set of shots and have been wormed. They will also learn different social skills such as: paper training to aid in housebreaking, grooming (teeth, toes and coat), crate training, riding in a vehicle, socialization with children and other animals (cats, dogs, horses, goats, etc.). Furthermore, each puppy will have received a great deal of what we believe to be appropriate social skills, motor functions and neurological stimuli. These efforts combined, give each puppy we sell a headstart into adjusting to a new home, family, and life.

Selection Process

We strongly believe it is our responsibility as dog breeders to choose our puppies new home with great care and concern. We always place puppies based upon professional evaluations and personal interactions with prospective puppy parents. This eliminates the use of the terms "pet" and "show" quality. Many breeders use these terms for pups that are most likely to fit or not fit the stereotypical "showdog". We choose pups for people on so many traits, qualities and characteristics of both the pup and the future family that it would be impossible to label them as pet vs. show quality. Besides, opinions on show qualities may be different from breeder to breeder. All puppies we sell are what we consider to be "quality" Bernese Mountain Dogs or they will not be sold. Some may develop to be show dogs or obedience dogs and others may have an aptitude for carting, tracking, or therapy work. Whatever the case, each and every puppy has their own uniqueness and innate qualities that makes them a Bernese Mountain Dog. It is our belief that you as a puppy buyer must contribute as much information as possible about your expectations, needs and desires. Likewise, you should expect your breeder to do the same, as well as, aid you in all aspects of responsible dog ownership.

The von der Ebnet Dogs

As far as our own dogs, you will see some diversity in sizes, type, personalities, and pedigrees. Beyond that all of our dogs are healthy and sound, with good movement, nice heads, and adoring temperaments. We also place a premium on intelligence since this breed is a working dog and we use them in that capacity. Our dogs are our family first. As a wildlife biologist Sean will often use one or two dogs to help pack food and equipment when he works in the mountains (their companionship is equally valuable). Next you will see them on the farm. Their chores at home are limited to guarding the house, hauling the weeds and grass, greeting visitors, and loving on us. Finally, you will see them competing in AKC competitions; breed ring, obedience, carting and agility (hopefully tracking and herding soon). You are always welcome to visit our home and dogs. It is advisable to meet, if possible, your breeder in person. We found it very helpful to spend time with the dogs of our breeder. It told us a great deal about the personality of both the breeder and the line of dogs in which we were investing. You will be able to see the mothers of the litters at our home. If the father is not near, photographs and video will be available.