This is a personal weblog based on my life with Bernese Mountain Dogs. The opinions expressed here represent my own and and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of any clubs, organizations or committees that I may be associated with. Please feel free to comment on any post, but profane, abusive or rude comments will not be tolerated - please be polite, even if you disagree.
All photos and posts in this blog are the property of the blog author and may not be used without direct consent.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


The Berner-Garde Foundation is a health database for Bernese Mountain Dogs and I don't think that there is another breed of dog that has anything quite like it. It is free for everyone and all Berner owners and breeders are encouraged to enter their dogs and any health and pedigree information they may have. The database is a great tool to research pedigrees and health statistics.  It is also very useful for breeders looking for breeding or stud dogs. As well, it is a great tool for puppy buyers to research breeders and health clearances.  The Berner-Garde is such a useful tool for everyone in the breed.  Unfortunately, it is still very under utilized.  Some breeders and owners are wonderful and enter all their dogs' information, from health clearances, titles, health issues and the cause of death in all their dogs. Other breeders do not enter any information at all. Much of the information in the database comes from breeders or owners who submit their own information.  Information also comes from public sources like OFA, show catalogues, and CERF.  

The Berner-garde is maintained by a group of volunteers who enter all submitted data.  I am a BG volunteer and I am currently working on a big project entering all the information from the CKC stud books and the CKC Foreign Dog Registry into the database. The stud book information has not been entered for a few years so I am playing catchup.  The stud books list all the CKC registered litters, their sire, dam and breeder information.  It is a long process looking up each registered dog to see if they are already in the database and then entering the dog and litter information if they are not there.  This project is going to take me months to finish and I will probably get done just in time for the 2014 stud book to be released. When I am done, every litter registered in Canada should be entered. 

This project is sometimes a bit discouraging as I look at the sheer numbers of litters being produced in a year by a few of the high volume breeders in the country.  Females are being bred starting at a year old and bred on every heat cycle for years. I also see so many breeding dogs in the stud books with no cross reference to any health clearances in OFA.  When I first started working on this project I asked the lady who heads up the BG if she ever gets complaints from people about their information being added, as some of the data I am entering may not present some breeders in a very good light. But then there are the breeders who make my job so easy. They enter all information about their dogs and every litter they breed. There are some really wonderful breeders out there who do all they can to share information and support the BG. It would be nice if all breeders were so open - it would certainly go a long way to helping the breed as a whole.  

If you are a Bernese owner and have not entered your dogs' information in Berner-garde, please consider doing so. It only takes a few minutes on the Berner-garde website and all information is valuable.  


  1. we've got a data base like this for Flatcoated retrievers, but same as yours it is a volunteer thing and the owners are responsible for updating their own dogs. Very few people remember to go there and even put in when their dog has passed away never mind how they passed away. I find it very interesting to go and look at siblings of dogs as well as litter mates etc, in our club you must be a member of the Am Flatcoat club to gain access however, good for you for updating yours!

    1. I had heard that the Flatcoat club has a database too. That is wonderful! The Bernese database has 100% open access and no one needs to be a member of any club to view or add data. There is a lot of education about the site and a bit of peer pressure among the responsible breeders to submit data, especially health clearances. it is so wonderful to have access to health and pedigree information all in one place.

  2. I do hope you realise that taking the information from OFA, KC, AKC etc is actually illegal & in breach if the Data Protection act. Just because the information is available does not mean you can take it & use it. The only people with the right to do this is the owners of the dog & information.
    It has nothing to do with whether breeders are open or not, there is no legal requirement that they enter their dogs information. The biggest problem with BG is the lack of security of the information, anyone can view & change the information & this is unacceptable.

    1. Thank you for your comments. You can email your concerns to the BG file manager. The email address is: filemanager at bernergarde.org