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Giving Up a Bernese Mountain Dog






Are you considering giving up a Bernese Mountain Dog? Please read all of the information below.


Available Foster Homes

BERNER Inc. is a small group of volunteers who foster dogs in our own homes. Most of us have dogs of our own, so our capacity to take dogs into our care is limited.

Contact the Breeder First

Responsible breeders will assist you in “re-homing” your dog and we are happy to help such breeders locate potential homes for the dog. If you have contacted your breeder and he/she has declined to assist you, please be prepared to tell us who the breeder is and supply us with their phone number. If you got your dog from a pet store, we would like to know the name and address.


Priority of Dogs in Need

We must give priority to dogs that are in jeopardy, which usually means dogs from pounds or shelters or dogs that have been abandoned at a vet’s office. Due to our limited foster care ability, we ask for your patience and cooperation. We need time to arrange for evaluation of your dog, to obtain all veterinary records and to locate a suitable foster home. It is unreasonable to call us and say that your dog needs to leave your home tomorrow or to call us two days before you leave on vacation. We endeavor to move the process along as quickly as possible – usually within 4 to 10 days.


Please do not think that turning your dog into a shelter gives it a better chance of coming into rescue. Shelters routinely euthanize dogs if over crowded or if the dog is deemed a poor placement prospect. Your best bet would be to contact us and keep your dog until a space opens up.


Medical Records

You may be required to pay a relinquishing fee to cover costs incurred by us if your dog:

  • Is not spayed or neutered

  • Is not up to date on vaccinations

  • Has no current medical records


We require copies of your dog’s vet records at the time of relinquishment. If you do not have them available, we will require your vets contact information so we can request them and you will have to call your clinic to let them know it is OK to release the dog’s records.


Temperament Evaluation

All dogs entering our adoption program must be evaluated by one of our representatives. We cannot accept a dog that shows aggressive behavior toward humans or has a history of biting. We do, however, recognize that each situation is unique and will be happy to discuss your dog’s behavior and help you determine what your options are.


If your dog is aggressive, it is your responsibility to find an appropriate trainer or behaviorist to help you with the problem, or have the dog euthanized yourself. It is not fair to your dog or to us, to ask us to do this for you, which is what will happen if your dog shows aggression after you relinquish it. It is not ethical, fair or humane to put our volunteers or the public in danger by not disclosing your dog’s potentially dangerous behavior. The “home in the country” where your aggressive dog will be happy and safe is a fantasy. Taking responsibility for your own dog’s training is his best chance at staying alive.


You will be required to sign a relinquishing contract which states that you are aware of any behavioral problems your dog has exhibited while in your possession.


We are happy to recommend trainers/behaviorists in your area to help you with your dog’s problems. Please contact us (new email address needed here) for more information.

All BERNER Inc. dogs are in foster care a minimum of 2 weeks (most average about 4-6 weeks) so we can thoroughly evaluate their behavior. We will not place a dog directly from an owner’s home.


Important Note

Should you decide to relinquish your dog to BERNER Inc., you will be required to sign a relinquishment agreement in which you give up the rights of ownership of your dog to the care of BERNER Inc. You will not have input as to whom/where your dog is fostered or adopted, trusting that we will make all decisions in your dog’s best interests. We can provide you with general updates on your dog’s well-being only. IF an adopter wishes to be in contact with you, we can pass along your information, with your permission, but it will be up to them to contact you.


If, after reading this entire page you still wish to give up your dog, please e-mail us or call 1-877-4BMDCNV (877-426-3268).


Thanks go to New England Border Collie Rescue for their assistance in preparing the content for this information.

Toll-free Rescue Hotline

To be used only regarding the relinquishing of a Berner:

1-877-4BMDCNV (1-877-426-3268)

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