I have been an avid dog lover since high school. From taking dog-walking jobs in the summer and volunteering at the local dog shelter, this has been my passion.
My father didn’t share the same passion, which meant I couldn’t own one until I moved out. It was a long waiting period, but all that time was spent researching the best breed to have.
When the time finally came, I found the Bernese Mountain Dog attractive and bought me a Bernese as soon as I was able to.
How much does a Bernese Mountain Dog cost? Purchasing a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy could cost you anywhere between $800 and $2,000, which sets the median price at about $1,147.50. This is very much dependent on the location and the type of breeder. Bernese Mountain Dogs from healthy and reputable lineage are most expensive. They cost as much as $2,500, possibly rising to $7,000.
In this article, I will share with you the effort and resources that go into purchasing and owning a Bernese Mountain Dog. From purchasing cost to general health care, my experiences are sure to guide you not just through the searching process for a Bernese, but how to maneuver the early days.
The Average Cost of a Bernese Mountain Dog Puppy
How ready can you possibly be to purchase a Bernese Mountain Dog? Is your budget good enough? A Bernese Mountain Dog puppy costs nothing less than $1,500 from a good and responsible breeder and considerably lesser if gotten from irresponsible breeders.
Cheaper Bernese puppies can be found, but you should be extra cautious. A low priced puppy is often an indication of improper care and health. This doesn’t mean an overpriced Bernese puppy is of top quality as it is not out of place to meet breeders who place excessive value on their puppies.
Below I have listed the factors that play a huge role in determining the price of a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy. Not all factors might come into play, but a combination of two or more could greatly influence the price of a Bernese puppy.
- Bloodline: Historically, Bernese Mountain Dogs were known as watchdogs, and in times past, they were used as cattle herders. A Bernese from a lineage of good herders and watchers is an indication of good genes. This will definitely cost you a lot more than a Bernese with no illustrious ancestors.
- Breeder Reputation: There are different breeders, each with different methods of breeding a Bernese puppy. Their reputations vary in the canine world and play a huge part in the cost of a puppy. Reputable breeders who are known to adhere to and practice quality medical and nutritional care cost the most. Purchasing from them guarantees you quality and healthy puppies, but also the most expensive puppies.
- Kennel Club Papers: There are kennel clubs all over the country, some more reputable than others. These kennel clubs issue certification as a mark of quality. Certified Bernese Mountain Dog puppies will take more money from your budget as they cost more than uncertified puppies. Even uncertified puppies with certified parents will cost more too.
- Disease Testing: Bernese Mountain Dog, depending on the breeder, might have undergone several testing and medical check-up. This is to regularly ascertain the health status of the puppy. These tests cost money and not only help the breeder keep the puppy in good health but will also contribute to the cost of the puppy.
- Tail Docking and Dew Claw Removal: As a health measure, breeders perform tail docking and dewclaw removals on Bernese Mountain Dog puppies. Puppies on which these procedures have been performed will cost you more.
- Vaccines: The American Animal Hospital Association has put forth the recommendation that all puppies should be vaccinated by breeders before the sale. These vaccine shots are expensive and contribute to the cost of the puppy. An unvaccinated puppy does not cost as much as one that has been vaccinated.
Types of Bernese Mountain Dog Breeders: What Are Their Prices?
There are several types of breeders on the market. Each of these breeders differs in ways that are dependent on the practices they adopt and how they breed the dogs in their care.
Breeders take it upon themselves to ensure the quality of puppies in their care. There are three widely recognized types of breeders, and I have provided detailed information about each one below.
Puppy mills are facilities where dogs are bred on commercial levels. The main target for puppy mills is making a profit with little or no attention paid to the general health and welfare of the dogs in their care.
Dogs in puppy mills are known to be kept in poor and unhygienic conditions. Shelters are cramped as overpopulation is a common trend in puppy mills. This leaves little room for activities like exercises resulting in poor physical health.
Most times than not, the food and water provided to these dogs are not up to the required quantity and quality. They are often contaminated, which results in illness, poor health conditions, and malnutrition.
To keep business going, female dogs are constantly bred with little time offered for recovery between litters. They are only last a few years as a result and are often killed when they cannot meet up to demand.
For dogs in puppy mills, veterinary care is not guaranteed. General hygiene is poor and government control, regulation, and supervision are almost non-existent.
No one guarantees getting a dog from a puppy mill is a good long term decision. You run the risk of incurring further expenses as a result of poor health and terrible breeding. Although rates are cheap, I would personally advise you to stay away from puppy mills.
The average price of a Bernese Mountain Dog from a puppy mill: $500 – $1,000
Another category of breeders is the backyard breeder. The term backyard breeder is used to describe private dog owners who do not breed for profit and are not responsible breeders either.
According to the ASCPA, backyard breeders are not deemed to be reputable. Most backyard breeders breed dogs for illegal reasons like for dog fights. Since they are not reputable breeders, the health conditions of dogs bred in a backyard system cannot be guaranteed.
Although the consensus is that backyard breeders are not knowledgeable enough to breed dogs, not all backyard breeders are irresponsible. I don’t breed dogs, but I have met backyard breeders who seek out professional help to ensure they are within ethical breeding practices.
A good take away from this is the love and attention these dogs get in a backyard system. As a result, most of these dogs are emotionally healthy. Most backyard breeders take their dogs out on walks and engage them in activities ensuring good physical health.
You likely want to get a dog from a backyard breeder and while you are at it, make sure it is someone you trust. Ask all the required questions to ensure you are getting quality. If possible, cultivate a relationship with the breeder during the breeding process and observe the breeding practice.
The average price of a Bernese Mountain Dog from a backyard breeder: $800 – $1,500
Responsible or Reputable Bernese Mountain Dog Breeders
Responsible breeders are the last category of breeders. They are the most intentional class of breeders. Responsible breeders are a highly skilled set of breeders who conduct breeding under the best practices possible.
Specific in the type of breed they attend to, a responsible breeder does not randomly pick breeds. They select the ones in line with their breeding objectives.
They pay utmost attention to their dogs, watching every bit of their improvement and taking immediate action when something seems to be off. Dogs bred by responsible breeders undergo regular testing and regular visits to the doctor. They are also properly and regularly vaccinated.
This type of breeder is very particular about the environment in which the dogs are raised, hence the presence of well-crafted cages and quality food. They are also knowledgeable about dogs and genetics.
They are active dog club members and collaborate widely with other club members to ensure improved methods of breeding are developed. Responsible breeders are quite selective when it comes to who they do business with.
They ensure that you can provide the best environment possible to cater to the dog. A larger number of them insist on having the option of the first refusal. In other words, they want to be the first to know if you become unable to take care of the dog and get an opportunity to buy it back.
Responsible breeders sell the most expensive dogs, but it will be money well spent considering the quality you will be getting. You are also certain to get regular guidance and advice from responsible breeders even after the sale.
This has led many to cheekily insinuate that responsible breeders do not really sell their dogs. If you must get a dog, do all you can to get a Bernese Mountain Dog from a responsible breeder.
The average price of a Bernese Mountain Dog from a reputable breeder: $1,500 – $3,000
Initial Costs of Bernese Mountain Dog Ownership
A Bernese Mountain Dog does not only incur a cost at the point of purchase but also after. From crates, collars, food and pen, adequate provision has to be made to ensure a proper environment is provided for the dog. These initial costs are mostly one-off purchases unless there is an emergency.
Depending on their size and the manner of activity they perform, Berneses require a considerable amount of food. This will cost about $2 to $3 every day. That should cost you an average of $75 a month. They also need a crate to stay and you will be paying for one.
There is also the matter of insurance and medical checks, testing, and vaccinations. An insurance policy from a reputable insurer costs about $50 with a monthly premium of $20. There is also the cost of vaccinations against diseases like meningitis and dysplasia, although they are not done regularly.
Dogs like toys and a Bernese Mountain Dog is no different. Leash and collars will also incur an additional cost. Not to mention, a dog bed and a pen. The table below does help to list out and give you a view of what your expenses would look like.
|Type of Expense||Cost|
|Quality dog Food||$75|
|Leash, Collar, Bowls and Other Gear||$55|
|Carpet Cleaner, Waste Bags, and Other Supplies||$50|
|Initial Veterinary Visit||$72|
|Deworming and Other Meds||$75|
My First Year Expenses Owning a Bernese Mountain Dog Puppy
Even though I have been an avid dog lover, nothing prepared me for the number of expenses I incurred in my first year. It could be that my passion covered the need for me to do more research and prepare adequately for life with an animal companion. That is not to say that I didn’t enjoy my first year as a proud dog owner.
The amount of food consumed meant I had to regularly dip into my purse at odd times of the month, and I quickly realized the need to increase my budget. I avoided club registrations although I was aware of a club in my town.
I didn’t have to purchase a pen since the local dog shelter where I volunteer was kind enough to offer me one for free. But I did get a dog license as required by county law.
I didn’t have much trouble getting it to engage in activities as I could take it to the shelter where I volunteer and have it mingle with the other dogs.
|Type of Expense||Cost|
|Bernese Mountain Dog Puppy||$1,800|
|Vaccines and Veterinary Visits||$736|
|Flea and Tick Meds||$212|
|Waste Bags, Pee Pads, Leash, Doggie Door, etc||$400|
Monthly Cost of Owning an Adult Bernese Mountain Dog
It is very vital you get the monthly expenses you might incur in the cause of your ownership. This will give you a foundation from which to create a budget. I have listed out several monthly expenses based on my own experiences.
This list might look slightly different from the ones above, and that is because some costs are not regular and therefore I have opted against adding them.
A key piece of advice I can give you from experience is to keep extra money for any eventualities. If possible, create an emergency kitty. It will save you a lot of trouble. I have also added the cost of a crate as I assume you may not be fortunate enough to be gifted one as I was.
|Type of Expense||Cost|
Lifetime Expenses of Owning a Bernese Mountain Dog
As part of equipping you with all the necessary information for making a financial decision, I have also decided to include possible lifetime expenses. You may not have purchased your Bernese dog from birth, but this will help you know how much money you might likely spend.
Bernese Mountain Dog has an average lifespan of 8 years. As earlier stated, it cost $165 monthly. That puts your expenses at $1,980 over 12 months and a total of $13,860 after seven years. With the first-year expenses at $4,750, expenses for 8 years amounts to $18,610.
Other Potential Expenses
There are expenses you can avoid without consequences. Although it is advisable to have them, you shouldn’t bother about them if your budget cannot cover them.
- Day Care or Pet Walking Services: Walking a dog is a recommended practice for ensuring their physical health. It should be done in your spare time and in the eventuality. If you cannot perform this task and cannot get any friends to help you out, there are pet walking services who charge a fee of about $10 per hour.
- Ear Cropping: Ear cropping not only helps to prevent diseases but also widely regarded in the canine world as a look-enhancing procedure. Only a professional can carry out this procedure and at a cost, but it is not compulsory to perform one on your dog. Cost range from $150 to $600
- Grooming: Bernese Mountain Dogs are famous for their silky smooth coat. They require frequent grooming, baths and brushing to keep them in shape. It is an activity you can perform at home if you have the time. They also need regular nail trimming, which you can also carry out at home. There is also the option of booking a session for both, which will cost you about $30 to $70.
- Kennel Club Registration: Club membership is, in most cases, just a status symbol. Your absence or presence will likely affect your dog’s well-being in the least way. Kennel club registrations cost money and at times require a monthly club contribution. Club registrations cost about $100 with a monthly fee of around $20.
- Tail Docking: Tail docking has been thought to prevent rabies, but overtime, vaccines have been developed, rendering it unnecessary. This has reduced tail docking to just a costume exercise to make the dog appear beautiful. It cost $20 to carry out this procedure.
Finding a Cheaper Bernese Mountain Dog
You may be wondering, is it possible to find a Bernese Mountain Dog at a lower price? The answer is yes, and I’m going to give you the options you can choose from. A cheap Bernese dog might even be closer to you than you think.
Rescue centers are known to have Bernese Mountain Dog in their care, and since they desire to get them off as quickly as possible to prevent overcrowding, they tend to sell on the cheap.
You can also choose to adopt a Bernese dog from a private owner willing to give up ownership of their dog. Most times, these sales are made as a matter of emergency, and the dogs are sold for cheap.
The internet also provides a window for you to connect with sellers across the world, especially Europe. There is a chance you will find a seller will offer you a Bernese Mountain Dog for a cheaper price than stated above.
How to Find Products That Work for Bernese Mountain Dog
In purchasing products for your Bernese dog, there is always the temptation to buy almost everything you see. This will cost you more money than you have to spend. To avoid this, ensure to find out the specific needs of your dog and tailor your shopping list to meet this need.
Finding the best food product for your Bernese Mountain Dog is extremely important in meeting up with its nutritional needs. It is okay to try out several products before making a decision, but if possible, this should be done with the guidance of a nutritional expert.
Dogs like to play with toys, and finding the right fit is necessary. Getting a gentle brush for grooming purposes is also important to prevent injuries and damages in your dog’s skin. Do your research before spending on any product.
My Final Thoughts
Now to my final thought. Why do you want to buy a dog? Why have you chosen the Bernese Mountain Dog? If your answers to these questions are not satisfactory, I will suggest you stall on purchasing one or choose another breed entirely. Dogs need to be with owners who purchased them with good intentions. They deserve to be loved and cared for.
Bernese Mountain Dog is adorable and sweet. Gentle in nature, they are perfectly great around kids. This is in spite of their huge size. I am excited you are getting an animal companion.
If you are a first time owner without any experience, do not hesitate to ask for help from fellow dog owners in your neighborhood; you need all the help you can get.