You can purchase a Bernese puppy from any number of places: a reputable breeder, a "hobby" breeder, sometimes called a back yard breeder, a broker, a pet shop, an online puppy mill or online broker, or directly from a puppy mill. The odds are that you might end up with a healthy puppy from any one of them, but the odds are greatly increased if you choose one over others. The question is: "Do I feel lucky?"
Why should I care about any of this? I just want a family dog. Well, it's just as critical that a family dog be healthy and of good temperament as a "show dog," maybe even more so. After all, you are sharing your home with this dog. He or she will live among and be loved by your children. You do not want a dog who needs orthopedic surgery at age two or is fearful or aggressive with friends and family. This may be what is in your family's future if you don't do a little homework before purchasing that cute puppy you just saw on a web site or in a store.