Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some frequently asked questions that we are asked. If you have another question that is not on this list then please e-mail us at email@example.com or call 980-223-2779.
Questions in dark green are our most common questions!
Questions About Recherche Bernes
“Recherche” is a french word that means “rare, sought out, choice.” We choice that word very carefully because we didn’t just want to be average. Maybe our greatest strength is our constant pursuit for perfection. We are constantly learning, listening and growing as breeders and trainers. Our kennel is more “recherche” than it’s ever been because of this pursuit. The 2 main distinctives that sets us apart are the quality of our pups and the quality of our program. Please visit our About Us page for many more details.
Quality of our Dogs: Our adults are some of the healthiest in the world. We have chosen to import almost all of our dogs from Europe because of their greater genetic diversity and longer quality breeding practices. We spare no expense in getting the best pups with show titles and more importantly health clearances. Each of our adults have their clearances as recommended by the parent club. Most score in the top 20% of their breed and have more health clearances than recommended. Each of our pups even come with a very good and long 4-year warranty to protect your investment just in case.
Quality of our Program: Recherche Bernes believe that whatever we do, it should be done to the best of our ability. We have done everything in our power to make us the most professional, most detailed and most complete program in the world. The most obvious area is in our Puppy Training Institute. We have a staff of 20 high-quality team members that are former vet technicians, former kennel operators and current competitor dog trainers that enable us to have the healthiest and best puppies possible. We pay our employees well so they will stay with us and help us produce incredible pups.
We have over 20,000 square feet of professional, clean, AKC inspected and certified facilities. Our facilities are designed to allow us to produce healthy and well trained puppies. There is no expense that we haven’t spared to make our program better. We have a 4-acre lake built where we train our pups to swim. In every area imaginable, we strive to be the best.
We provide our clients with updates, videos, professional pictures and training information. We are always improving and with every litter, we get better and better. The detail of our website is a small representation of how professional we treat this calling. We love what we do and are so blessed to be able to do what we love to do.
We are very organized and really do listen to what our clients want. We are here to serve and provide the best family members to the best families in this country. Combine the quality of our pups with the quality of our program and you have a one-of-a-kind kennel….Recherche Bernes. To watch about what makes us unique click here:
We are located in Statesville, NC. At the bottom of every page is our email and phone number. Prior to visiting our property we do ask that you read through our entire FAQ page/Available Pups page and if everything looks good fill out our online Puppy Application. We will be happy to meet with you and give you directions to our home once we approve your application.
General Puppy Questions
Puppies go through a critical period of socialization between five and twelve weeks of age. During this period of time they mature very rapidly. If isolated from external stimuli and not exposed to the outside world, they can grow up to be fearful adult dogs. Litters of puppies raised in an isolated location such as a barn, a garage or a dog kennel often have little exposure to humans except those feeding them.
If puppies never leave their confined, isolated quarters where they have been raised, they may never experience any external stimuli such as automobiles, strangers, loud noises or children running and playing. If puppies are not socialized at an early enough age, it makes little difference if they have been raised by a breeder, a private family or in a vacant building; the outcome will usually be the same.
Puppies that receive little or no human handling between the ages of five and twelve weeks of age often remain fearful when exposed to new situations. Meeting their new family for the first time, the car ride to their new home, their first trip to the vet, and meeting children, strangers or other dogs for the first time can be extremely frightening for these puppies. How does Recherche Bernes get our puppies socialized so they grow up to be well-adjusted, adult dogs that are comfortable meeting strangers, children and other dogs? The key is to make sure our puppies get exposed to everything they may ever be exposed to during their lifetime, while they are very young.
Once again, the critical age of socialization is between five and twelve weeks of age. If not exposed to new situations during this critical period, your puppy may always be fearful when exposed to new things in the future. Recherche Bernes consistently have the puppies interact with strangers and our other adult dogs. They are not confined in a cage for 24 hours a day. They are raised in our home and handled consistently by us and by several people. Every puppy is accustomed to hair dryers, vacuum cleaners, automobiles, pianos and other loud noised by the time they leave Recherche Bernes.
No. There are 2 main reasons why this is not a worry. First, the Bernese Mountain Dog & Bernedoodles are some of the best in the world at bonding and being social. Many people say they are loyal but the truth is that they are loyal to the human race!
Secondly, is because one of our main pillars of the Puppy Training Institute is socialization. Each puppy is taken on field trips weekly. They are taken to be handled by children, men and women. They are put in many stressful situations and worked with professionally so they can adjust. We also have a large staff of people that work with the pups daily so they aren’t comfortable with only one person.
Puppy Health and Registration
Our Bernese yes but our Bernedoodles no (there is no registry for them). Our adults dogs are dual registered with the American Kennel Club and the Kennel Club of their country of origin. Information about the AKC can be found on their website.
Buyers receive a copy of their limited registration AKC paperwork when they pick up their puppy. The final copy will be mailed to the buyer after we receive proof of spay/neuter. Each of our Bernese have had their DNA Profile completed with the AKC. This may be seen on each individual dogs webpage.
Each of our Bernese have had their hips & elbows checked by the OFA/ PennHip or the BVA (British Veterinary Association). They also have been checked for eyes by a canine ophthalmologist and their heart by a veterinarian and have been cleared with the OFA. Lastly, they will also all have Von Willebrand disease examination and OFA clearance to breed.. For individual information please see their individual web pages. Our Poodles have slightly different standards. The Poodle Club of America recommends hip, eyes, heart, patella & Von Willebrand disease. Most of our dogs have all their minimum clearances plus many more recommended such as DM and many more.
What we put into our dogs is as important as what we put in ourselves. For this reason, Recherche Bernes have taken seriously what puppy food is the best for our puppies. We do not feed our pups food that can be bought from Wal-mart. We feed our puppies the highest rated dog food according to DogFoodAnalysis.com which is TLC Whole Life Puppy Food. In fact, we like it so much, we extend you warranty from 1 year to 4 years if you use TLC along with NuVet & NuJoint.
Please take the time to read why we chose TLC over all the other dog foods by clicking HERE.
Each puppy is then dewormed at every other week starting at 2 weeks old. As a precaution, each puppy is treated with prescription Marquis for coccidiosis and panacur for giardia. Each pup is also given a bordetella (kennel cough) vaccine which is good for 1 year of age. They are also all microchipped.
Puppy Academy pups are given 2 sets of parvovirus shots (Neo Par) as well as 2 shots of vaccine for coronavirus, distemper, parainfluenza, adenovirus type 2 (and hepatitis). Canine College pups will be given final sets of puppy shots and rabies vaccine. Each pup past Canine College pups will be given a monthly dosage of flea medicine and heartworm preventative medicine.
Each of our puppies come with a warranty that requires you to have your puppy checked by a vet within 72 hours after picking up your puppy. Your vet will need to check for any communicable diseases during that period. Your vet will also recommend a time to get follow-up “puppy shots” if you picked up your puppy at 12 weeks of age. Most vets recommend puppies to be revaccinated every 2-4 weeks until 16 weeks old.
NuVet is a powerful antioxidant that gives a tremendous boost to the immune system to prevent skin and coat problems, and creates a defense against over fifty major diseases, including hip and elbow dysplasia, and extending the life span of your dog. Please take time and CLICK HERE to read about NuVet.
We provide up to a 4 Year Health Warranty with TLC/NuVet/NuJoint usage. Don’t just focus on the length of a breeders warranty. Read through the details. We have a very fair and “friendly” warranty. Most warranties are almost no warranties. Our warranty really does protect your investment and it’s longer than most breeders. Details about what is covered, what is not covered, and how it is covered can be found on our Warranty Page.
Because we highly recommend TLC dog food, NuVet vitamins, NuJoint, we will quadruple your warranty from 1 year to 4 years if you use these products with autoshipping. Dysplasia and other health defects is not only about genetics. It has as much to do with diet and proper antioxidants as anything else.
NuVet/NuJoint makes it easy for the breeder to track those who continue to use their product and thereby allowing us to reward them by extending their warranty. To order NuVet/NuJoint click HERE. TLC just click HERE.
Puppy Training Questions
We have an extensive training program each and every pup is enrolled in called Puppy Training Institute. To read about all of our various programs starting with Puppy Academy (training till 12 weeks of age) to our Doggy Double Doctorate program (training till 8 months of age) please click HERE. We focus on 4 pillars in our training program….Outside Training (leash, car, etc…), House Training (potty training, chew training, etc…), Obedience Training (sit, stay, lay, come, place, etc…) and Socialization Training (strangers, noises, etc…). As your pups mature and grows emotionally and intellectually we build on all 4 pillars. The longer you can afford to keep your pup in training, not just financially but emotionally, the better and better behaved and trained your pup will be.
Recherche Bernes pride themselves by giving our clients the tools necessary to continue training your pup. We give you an individual “Report Card” that scores your pup based on their strengths & weaknesses. We provide you with detailed emails and blogs so you can continue effectively training your pup at home. We also provide you with several videos of your pup in training. We give you a final “go home” training video where our professional trainers go through everything your pup has learned and gives you advice on how to keep training your pup. Lastly, we provide you with a lifetime of support. We will do everything we can to answer any questions you have and help you with any issues that come up. We don’t stop answering our phones and emails once you get your puppy home. Our professional trainers are also available for support as well.
Yes. Recherche Bernes has a very successful training program called “Puppy Training Institute.” Recherche Bernes has trained over 700 pups in the past decade and are experts in training and socializing each puppy. In addition, Recherche Bernes has multiple professional trainers working full time with us.
We are not just breeders but trainers of Bernese Mountain Dogs and Bernedoodles. Because of this every one of our pups goes through bare minimum Puppy Academy which is training till 12 weeks of age. We can allow a pup to go home earlier but there is no discount. We have a staff of professional trainers and if you look to purchase from Recherche Bernes, you want pups to have at least a basic amount of training. Any earlier than 12 weeks is unreliable for producing pups that will keep their training.
Questions About Our Process
Puppies are picked in order of deposits received. We do not require our buyers to select their puppy until they are 6 weeks old. This gives the puppies time to develop physically and emotionally. Every puppy from birth is marked with a separate colored collar so that we can observe and note the personalities of each puppy as they are growing. By 6 weeks of age, they have enough of a distinct personality to share with the buyers.
Though we have never had a “bad” puppy in a litter there are still distinct personality traits that some buyers desire. We give personality descriptions and distinctions of each puppy using our own scoring system that we called the “Recherche Score.” We have trained hundreds of puppies. With our extensive experience, we have found that there are 3 distinct differences in every puppy. We score each puppy on a scoring system numbering 1-10. The 3 distinct areas are Independence, Activity & Confidence.
The Independence score gives puppies a score based on how independent and dependent they are. A dependent puppy always wants to be around you at all times. An independent puppy doesn’t. There’s are pros and cons to both and we score each puppy based on how independent/dependent they are.
The Activity score scores a puppy based on how active they are. The two extremes are a very shy puppy and a very hyper puppy. Your puppy is scored based on where they fall.
The last score is a Confidence score. The higher the number the more confident the pup is. The lower the less confident. A pup with a low number tends to be shy and timid. The positive is that they are normally submissive, not dominant and not stubborn. A very confident pup is fearless and normally is much easier to train. They are fearless of the training and usually excel much farther than a shy dog. They do tend to be more strong-willed, more dominant and stubborn. They are prone to get into things and can definitely be a handful if they are very outgoing and confident.
Once we accumulate the “Recherche Score”, we give the results to the first pick of the males and first pick of the females. Once they make their choice we go down the line based on which buyer placed their deposit first. Pictures and/or videos are posted of the litter at 1 day old and every other week until puppy pickup on our Available Pups page.
YES! This is a very commonly asked question that is asked of breeders. The answers that are given by other breeders quite frankly are shocking. Many breeders refuse for you to visit their kennel until the pups are 6 weeks old. By that time the buyer has already committed emotionally and financially to that breeder. Recherche Bernes understands that parvo and other diseases are a very serious threat.
On the other hand, simple precautions can be made to eliminate the threat. We ask that if you choose to visit Recherche Bernes please do not visit another kennel before hand. Also, please try to stay away from any unfamiliar dog just in case they have any diseases. Many breeders hide behind trying to protect their dogs from hiding their facilities. American Kennel Club recommends that you find a breeder who has nothing to hide and is actually desirous of meeting with you.
Recherche Bernes simply ask that first read through our entire FAQ page and if you agree with everything fill out our online Puppy Application. If everything looks good then we will make an appointment to meet with you.
Most of our pups are able to hold the restroom during the ride home. Sometimes though the stress of traveling in a car can lead to an accident. For this reason we do recommend you come prepared. I hate for you have your puppy make a mess and not be prepared the entire way home. It’s not pleasant for you or the pup. Some things to bring “just in case” are garbage bags, bath towels, paper towels, Febreeze, and enough water for a “mini-bath.” You don’t need to have a travel crate as they can travel on the back seat just fine with some towels or bedding. Again, this is just precautionary but if you need them you will be glad you have it.
It is our policy that if you can no longer care for your puppy because of a move, because of financial difficulties or any other reason then you must return you pup to Recherche Bernes or get permission to give your pup away.. We want always to make sure our pups go to quality homes. This goes for the entire life of the animal. We will either find a good home for your pup or care for him/her ourselves.
Pups purchased from Recherche Bernes should never be sent to an animal shelter, a rescue or given to someone else without written permission of Recherche Bernes.
Our prices are based on the quality of the pup available and the amount of training you request for your pup. If you are looking for an untrained puppy or an inexpensive puppy than you are looking in the wrong place. Our bare minimum training program requires 250 hours of professional training. That’s an enormous amount of training we spend on each pup. That’s why we have such a large staff to accommodate the training we promise. Puppy Academy pups (12 weeks old) prices vary based on availability and quality. We post the prices of our pups on their individual pages above their pictures so you know exactly what they cost. Please know that the prices are up to 10x’s what you may expect if you are looking for an untrained pup without our pedigrees. So depending on how much training you request will determine the price of our pups. Remember, you are not just buying a healthy and beautiful pup…you are buying a family member and a fully trained one at that.
Also our program is extremely intensive. The average Puppy Academy puppy gets 250 hours of professional training. Canine College adds another 100-125 hours of professional training to that and our Doggy Double Doctorate pups average over 850 hours of professional training (all training done by professional trainers!)!
That does include potty-training, complete obedience training, leash training, stair training, car training , crate training and more. All of our pups includes microchipping, multiple dewormings, puppy shots, health examination, NuVet Starter Kit, Puppy Training Packet, Training Report Card, Training Videos, 4 Year Health Warranty and a lifetime of support.
To learn more details about what we do in Puppy Training please click HERE!
We are very flexible with when you get your pup. We always highly encourage you to make sure not to have a lot of chaos right when you get your pup. You want the first few days to be very calm and relaxed with a very consistent schedule. This will help your pup adjust to your home and learn the routine. The potty training will transfer much easier if there isn’t a lot of change in the first couple of weeks. The date of your pup’s graduation is flexible. If that date doesn’t work than you let us know when you want your pups (Monday-Saturday) and we’ll do it. If it’s between training programs than we simply pro-rate the price difference (after a 3 day grace period). You can watch a video on us answering this question below:
Here are the 3 options of getting your pup:
- Pick up– obviously the least expensive option is for you to come here and pick up your puppy in person. We would love to meet with you and be able to go over our puppy packet in person and have our obedience trainer go through a training session with you. We live in Statesville, NC which is about 1 hour north of Charlotte International Airport. We are also about 10 minutes from a very large private airport called “Statesville Regional Airport.” We have pick-ups available Monday-Saturday from 9 am -2 pm. Typically pick-ups are around 45-90 minutes long and gives us plenty of time to go through everything.
- Shipment– because of the uniqueness of our program, we sell our pups all over the country. It is sometimes impossible or impractical to come and pick-up your pup in person. Because of this we have a LOT of experience shipping pups with United Airlines, Delta and American Airlines. There has been some bad press about this but we have shipped over 400 pups to us and from us since 2005 and have had no serious issues and only a very few minor issues. It’s very safe and affordable. We do all the work and book the flight for you. You simply let us know the nearest major airport. We will buy the travel crate, get the health certificate and book the flight. We then charge you the cost which runs between $700-$850 depending on the size of your pup/crate when you ship. The puppy packet is attached to the crate so you get all of your pup’s paperwork, shot records, report card, etc… when you pick up your pup at the cargo facility with the airway bill number provided. The worst thing that happens is a pup pottying in their crate. They are scared but not as badly as you think. Almost all of our pups were shipped in from Europe which is well over a 24-hour total travel time. Flying anywhere in the US is nothing for our older, crate trained pups. If we believed it was traumatizing or dangerous we would never risk our pups or provide this option. The only issues we run into is temperature issues so if it’s very hot or very cold than we have only United as an option.
- Delivery– this is one of our most growing and popular options. This is where we either drive or fly your pup directly to you and hand off your puppy to your home. There are 2 delivery options:
- Trainer Delivery- this is where we have your pup’s professional obedience trainer deliver your pup to you. Our trainer would go through the puppy packet in detail and then go through a training session with you and answer any question you may have. This is the most expensive option because not only is there the cost of the delivery put we lose our trainer for the time it takes to go to you and come home. We have to have our trainers work that much harder to make up the training the pups lose. Cost is dependent on where you live but ranges from $1500-$5500.
- Driver Delivery- this is where we employ a very responsible driver to deliver your pup directly to your home. They are responsible and very safe drivers. Currently every one of our drivers are in the ministry full time or just retired. This is an opportunity for them to make some money on the side as they seek to serve God and provide for their family. Because they don’t work in our kennel they won’t be able to answer any questions, go through the puppy packet or go through a training session. They will just deliver your pup to your home. Cost is much less though and runs only $0.89/mile there and back. For example, if you live 1000 miles round trip the cost would be $890.
1. Read through this FAQ page- We have designed this page to be as informative as possible. Even if you choose not to go with us we believe reading through every question and every answer will help you in your search for the right breeder and Bernese Mountain Dog or Bernedoodle. Also, review our Available Pups page (Click HERE) to see what pups are available right now. We keep our website updated almost every day so if you see a pup on there you can almost guarantee he/she is available.
2. Fill out our online Puppy Application (CLICK HERE)- BEWARE of any buyer that won’t ask you questions except how to pay for your dog.
3. If approved place your deposit- Notice that Recherche Bernes does not have a BUY NOW button. If you see this on a breeders webpage RUN AWAY! Not caring who purchases their puppies is not something you should support. After we receive your Puppy Application, we will review it carefully. Typically we will get back with you within 24-48 hours. If you are approved then we will give you the directions to place your deposit with. We have a merchant account and are SSL certified making our website secure for accepting American Express, Discover, Master Card or Visa. We can also accept Paypal, cashier’s check or wire transfer.