OK so you have done your preliminary research and you are ready to find a puppy by contacting a breeder. Be prepared to ask a lot of questions and in turn you should be asked a lot of questions by the breeder or maybe even complete a puppy questionnaire. Are they interested in your family, your knowledge of the breed, your activities, and expectations? OR are they more interested in knowing how you plan to pay for the puppy? When you ask them about their dogs are they happy to share information about their dogs including their pedigree, their health clearances and overall health? OR do they respond with answers like “my dogs are healthy” “my dogs live a long time” “there is no cancer in my lines” “my dogs are pets and only show dogs get cancer or have hip dysplasia”. Does the breeder participate in health studies and submit their dog’s information to Berner Garde? Do they know what Berner Garde is? Is the breeder a member of the Regional or National breed club? If not, why not? Does the breeder have a puppy buying contract that includes a clause that states that they will take a puppy back during its lifetime, regardless of the reason? Is the breeder going to offer lifetime support and want to maintain contact with you for the life of the puppy? Does the breeder require you to come to their home and meet them prior to you buying a puppy? When you visit, are the dogs healthy and happy? Do you feel comfortable with the breeder, their dogs, and the environment that those puppies are going to be raised in? OR is the breeder unwilling to allow a visit without a valid reason (like puppies are too young for outside visitors)? If you feel uncomfortable with the answers you are receiving or what you see when you are visiting, then move on. Listen to your instincts as they will rarely be wrong.