Bernese mountain dogs are fluffy and loyal tri-colored companions. Unfortunately, many of these beautiful dogs have to be rescued and put for adoption every year. Check out the best place to go in your region for Bernese mountain dog rescues.
We will preface this article by saying that it is relatively hard to adopt a Bernese Mountain Dog. Not many owners surrender these dogs due to their easy going temperament and gentle nature. However, many of these dogs are still rescued and adopted out every year. Our list will help you find the best Bernese Mountain Dog rescues.
Quick Facts about Bernese Mountain Dogs:
- Originated in Switzerland
- Thick fur coats
- Sheds a lot of hair
- Requires regular grooming (i.e. brushing)
- Highly intelligent, but really easygoing
- Fiercely loyal to their owners
- More “watchdog” than “guard dog”
- Prone to cancers and hip, elbow, and eye problems
- Average life expectancy is 7-10+ years
Why Are Bernese Mountain Dogs Rescued and put up for adoption?
Bernese Mountain Dogs can be surrendered and put up for adoption for a variety of reasons. They can have behavioral or physical problems that become too much for the owner to handle (i.e. barking). Sometimes owners have to make the difficult choice to rehome their Bernese Mountain Dog because their living conditions change, or they’re no longer equipped to take care of their dog. For instance, many apartment complexes will now allow a Bernese Mountain Dog because they are considered too large of an animal.
In addition, sometimes a deceased owner no longer has any immediate family to care of a Bernese Mountain Dog so they get put up for adoption. Lastly, dogs are quite expensive, especially large dogs like the Bernese Mountain Dog. You need to be buy dog beds, dog food, and pay veterinary costs which could be thousands per year. If you’re in a difficult financial situation, it may be best not to adopt a Bernese mountain Dog.
14 Best Bernese Mountain Dog Rescues in the United States
All the Bernese mountain dog rescue agencies on this list are recognized by the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America (BMDCA). Here are the best Bernese Mountain Dog rescues in the United States.
1. Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Alaska (Alaska)
This club has meetings and activities throughout the year for both Bernese Mountain Dog owners and enthusiasts alike. They also have an active Bernese Mountain Dog rescue program for re-homing and adopting. To get information about how to adopt one of their rescues, you must contact one of their board members.
We like this Bernese Mountain Dog rescue because they are committed to well-being of the Berner dog breed. For whatever reasons, if you need to surrender your Bernese Mountain Dog, they will take your dog and not judge you. They are located in Alaska.
2. Arizona Bernese Mountain Dog Rescue (Arizona)
While BMDCA can’t recognize this non-profit organization, it is backed by the Grand Canyon State Bernese Mountain Dog Club that has recognition of that caliber. This program helps Bernese Mountain Dog rescues find “forever homes.” Each dog is spayed and neutered in their care. Learn more about this organization here.
The Arizona Bernese Mountain Dog Rescue is unique because they 501(c)3 non-profit organization that actually provides a shelter, treatment, and care for any Bernese Mountain Dogs that need to be rehomed. If you want to adopt or rehome one of these dogs, you can also email them at ABMDRescue@gmail.com.
3. Heartland Bernese Mountain Dog Club (Multiple States)
This club services the Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, and Oklahoma areas to help transport, rehabilitate, foster, and adopt Bernese Mountain Dogs to find the best match and care for them. To learn more about how to rescue a dog from this regional club, you must contact their Rescue Chair.
Most of their Bernese Mountain Dogs that get surrendered are over two years old and already an adult. There dogs come from all walks of life including being abandoned, surrendered, are a stray, or need to be rehomed. They only specialize in the Bernese Mountain Dog, so if you’re looking to rescue or adopt then you can contact this organization.
4. NorCal Bernese Mountain Dog Rescue (California)
This program is dedicated to bringing safety, stability, and love to Bernese Mountain Dogs. This non-profit is affiliated with the Sierra West Bernese Mountain Dog Club, which is recognized by the BMDCA. This program only places within their geographical location because prospective families must pass a home visit before completing the adoption. To find out more, click here.
5. Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Southern California (California)
As with most places on this list, adoption is not on a first-come, first-serve basis. These programs take time to get to know the animal and the prospective owners to make sure a correct match is made. To apply for a rescue dog, you must complete the adoption application and submit it to the Rescue Chair.
The applications are not fulfilled on a first come first serve basis. Instead, these Bernese Mountain Dog are adopted out based on the right fit for the family and dog.
6. Bernese Mountain Dogs of the Rockies (Colorado and surrounding states)
This organization has placed dogs throughout the Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana areas, although they can branch out to Utah and New Mexico as well. If you want to adopt from them, they’ll keep your application on file for six months before it must be updated again. Before adoption, all Berners from this rescue are spayed and neutered. Find out more information here.
According to their website, on average they are able to place 20 dogs per year. This is a relatively high volume for Bernese Mountain Dogs so if you’re looking to rescue or adopt you should reach out this organization.
7. Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Nashoba Valley (East Coast)
This Bernese Mountain Dog club serves the New England area (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont). This organization will let you adopt from out-of-state. However, you have to make the drive to pick up your dog, as they will not “ship” the dog to you. Find out if you’re qualified to adopt from this non-profit here.
In order to apply, you simply need to fill out the application and wait. They will contact you once one of their Bernese Mountain Dogs are available for adoption. Like most Bernese Mountain Dog rescues, they tend to have a lot more applicants than they do dogs to adopt.
8. Chattahoochee Valley Bernese Mountain Dog Club (Georgia and Surrounding States)
Most events this club hosts take place in the Georgia area, but can expand into Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee. They do not have a set adoption fee, as the rate for each dog varies. On average, this organization places about 10 dogs a year which is a relatively high volume for Bernese Mountain Dogs. Find out more about their purebred rescue efforts here.
9. Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Northeastern Illinois (Illinois)
This organization serves the Northern Illinois and Chicago area with no out-of-state adoptions. Prospective owners must have a fenced-in backyard, participate in crate training, and attend formal obedience training. They also require a home visit to ensure the applicant is a good fit for a Berner rescue. Check out their other requirements here.
Generally, there Bernese Mountain Dogs come from the local animal shelter when they are determined to be mostly purebred BMDs. In addition, sometime their dogs come from puppy mills, pet stores, backyard breeders, or even internet purchases. Most of the dogs are bought by people who aren’t adequately able to care for their dog and only want a cute puppy.
10. Heart of Michigan Bernese Mountain Dog Rescue (Michigan)
This rescue program is backed by The Heart of Michigan Bernese Mountain Dog Club, a recognized BMDCA club. This organization makes sure prospective adopters know the added cost and time-dedication it takes to own a Berner. Learn more here!
There is a pretty lengthy application form, but they want to make sure perspective dog owners are going to be able to care for the lifetime of their adopted Bernese Mountain Dog. They don’t want to see their dogs end up back in the shelter, but they want to see them living a happy and healthy life.
11. Bernese Mountain Dog Club of the Greater Twin Cities (Minnesota)
Although they don’t have a strict fence policy, this program strongly discourages people from using “invisible” fencing with Bernese Mountain Dogs. Most of the time, they avoid the pain to chase whatever they’re after! If you’re in the Minnesota area, click here to find out more.
12. Blue Ridge Bernese Mountain Dog Club (North Carolina)
This program is dedicated to helping people find loving rehomes for their Bernese Mountain Dogs. They foster their rescues with other club members. There is no kenneling or living outside for these Berners. If you’re in the North Carolina area, find out more about this program here.
13. Mason Dixon Bernese Mountain Dog Club (All States)
All dogs that come from this rescue program are spayed and neutered. This adoption process also requires a home visit and everyone in the family to meet the prospective dog. If you don’t want to adopt, you can also foster. Find out more about this program here.
They will take Bernese Mountain Dogs from all over the United States and contact members to foster these dogs until they can get them adopted. They are a very caring organization and love the Berner breed.
14. Lone Star Bernese Mountain Dog Club and Rescue (Texas)
This program mainly places dogs in the Texas area but can branch out into Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. Like most other rescue programs, the dogs are spayed and neutered before being placed in their adoptive home. Click here to find out more about this organization!
If you want to adopt a Bernese Mountain Dog but don’t know where to start, check out any of the links provided. These organizations are happy to inform you about these beautiful dogs and make sure you’re as good a fit in their lives as they are in yours.
Conclusion for Best Bernese Mountain Dog Rescues
We hope that you enjoyed our list of the best Bernese Mountain Dog Rescues where you can hopefully try to adopt or rescue one of these beautiful dogs. Typically, adopted Bernese Mountain Dogs tend to be adults and they may have had a not so great past. Make sure that you are able to financial care for these dogs and have enough free time to adequately exercise them. Best of luck finding one of these dogs.
Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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