FIC (federation of international canines)
CKC (continental kennel club)
APR (America's Pet Registry) the most popular of the puppymill registries.
The puppy mill industry often uses these registries to combat the challenges the AKC placed before them by instituting the frequently used sires program. These acronyms are remarkably similar to the recognized registries, FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale) and CKC (Canadian Kennel Club). It is possible that imported puppies will be touted to be registered with the FIC. PLEASE beware of these puppy mill registries.
Over the last few years, the Bernese breed has increasingly found its way into the hands of exploiters, who sell dogs without regard to what happens to them after the sale. Bernese are now being offered at public auctions, events whose patrons are puppy farmers and puppy mills. Our breed community also is seeing an increase in breeding using bitches who were sold with limited registrations as unsuitable breeding stock, and selling the pups as unregistered. Please reat this alert, so you can avoid becoming a victim of these exploiters.
THE PUBLIC IS DISCOURAGED FROM BUYING DOGS FROM THESE SOURCES :
puppy farmer: A person who breeds dogs for profit, as commercial livestock, without effort applied to improving the breed.
puppy mills: Commercial dog breeding operations, which may or may not keep dogs in humane conditions, but who are focused on producing as many dogs as possible, at as high a profit margin as possible, without concerted effort toward turning out a quality product.
dog broker: A person who acts as a middleman in the transaction of dog to buyer. He may buy the dog and resell it at a profit or may receive a commission.
dog auction: Run exactly like livestock auctions, where high bidder takes the animal home.
Dogs bred and sold by "puppy farmers" are often sold by brokerages and at auctions, or through pet stores. Such producers do not know where their pups wind up, and subsequently cannot follow up on the progeny of their programs. A puppy farmer's breeding decisions are based on factors unrelated to familial genetics, because they can not know the genetics without tracking the progeny of their programs. The public is discouraged from buying dogs through brokers or other persons in such cases where they will have no contact with their pup's breeder.
The owners and breeders of dogs imported and sold by dog brokers usually have no contact with the dogs' breeders, nor information on a dog's familial background. Therefore they can not make informed decisions whether or not the dogs they offer for sale are from families possessing the qualities you might value. Statements like "he's from champion lines," are not meaningful, for all champions, if bred to poorly matched mates, produce mediocre and poor quality dogs. Adequate research of families of dogs requires a concentrated effort accompanied by study of pedigrees and the many varying characteristics possessed by dogs represented in those pedigrees. Identify breeders who possess the knowledge and commitment required to make sound breeding decisions that insure the future welfare of individual dogs and of the breed as a whole.
There are people selling Bernese from parents that were sold to them as non-breeding quality stock. Sometimes they sell them for the same price that you can get a dog from a more conscientious breeder, but without any documentation on the dog's family history of health, or any follow-up services after the sale. The reason a breeder designates a dog as non-breeding stock is that, in the breeder's assessment, the dog is LACKING in the characteristics and qualities necessary to justify its use in a breeding program.
THINGS TO BEWARE OF:
ALL imported dogs MUST be registered by the importer to be registered with the AKC. Do NOT be victimized by exploitive importers. REQUIRE AKC registration BEFORE spending money on any imported dog. The dog may not be purebred if it is not registered with the AKC.
Beware of prices over $1,500 - $2000.00 and check out such breeders carefully to make sure you're getting more for your money than just a dog. A well bred pup from a reputable breeder in today's market typically costs $1500.00 - $2000.00. These prices reflect that parents of the pup have undergone genetic testing and received clearances for common health issues such as hip and elbow dysplasia, and other heritable health conditions. Don't get ripped off by an exploiter who knows nothing about his dogs' backgrounds, or someone who is price gouging.
Beware of anyone willing to sell you a breeding stock animal without first making sure you will be committed to becoming a responsible breeder and you are prepared to assume lifetime involvement with and responsibility for any offspring produced by your dog.
Do not send money to anyone without seeing information on the parents and their families including some sort of documentation that the dogs are AKC registered.
Do not send money before developing an understanding of who is selling the pups and what priorities and value system the breeder of the pup ascribes to.
Do not send money as a deposit before you've seen a sales contract. Conscientious breeders use sales contracts and want to keep track of ALL the dogs we produced to document how progeny from our programs fare through life. It's through this info that breeders can make informed breeding decisions.
Beware of imports that may be offered to you. Imports can be great dogs, but it is likely in the current market you'll be getting the culls from depressed countries. The broker/importers are often purchasing these dogs for as little as $100.00 per pup. The pups are often shipped, several to a small carrier, and can arrive sickly, malnourished and without a caring person at this end of their journey. The broker/importer has little or no useful knowledge about the breed or the families of dogs used to produce the pups. Instead an exploiter who will mark up the price to at or above an amount for pups sold by reputable caring breeders is just waiting to sell these puppies to naive buyers who become their victims. The brokers who receive these imports care nothing for where the pups came from, and care nothing about who gets them or what the new owners end up doing with the dogs. Do not become a ripped off vicitm of a dog exploiter.
IDENTIFYING RESPONSIBLE BREEDERS:
Responsible Breeders do not sell dogs to brokers or through agents, pet stores or brokers, or to persons unknown to the breeder of the dog.
Responsible breeders provide copies of American Kennel Club or Canadian Kennel Club registration certificates for all sires and dams of pups offered for sale BEFORE the exchange of money. This is to assure that the parents were registered with the AKC as breeding potential animals and that they are purebred. Make sure you are getting a purebred dog by requiring proof that the parents of the dog are registered with the AKC on full privilege registrations, or that the dog, itself, if imported, is registered with the AKC before you pay for it. If an imported dog is to be registered with the AKC, this must be done by the importer.
There is a document developed by BMDCA member, Ann Milligan, to assist anyone hoping to own a BMD or anyone with an interest in maintaining credible standards in ownership or production of BMDs. Feel free to copy it and distribute it widely, and use the information covered in it as a guideline for identifying responsible BMD management practices. The document can be viewed at: http://www.bmd.org/BMDCA/pubed/conscientious.html and is titled Things Conscientious Breeders Do. Your review of and compliance with items in this document will serve our breed well and help in our work to address future exploitation of our breed by profiteers who have little interest in the breed's welfare.
Also see: For Berner Puppy Shoppers - http://www.bmdinfo.org/tl/Bernese_Puppy_Shoppers.php
About Conscientious Breeders - http://www.bmdinfo.org/bernerpedia/Bernese_Breeders-Info_for_Berner_Puppy_Buyers.php