Red Barn Bernese
My 25 Years of Breeding Journey
How it all began...
I have bred dogs for 25 years, I grew up with my Grandma being a big part of my life. She was a hog/ cattle farmer that had a love for all animals. On her hog farm she raised Norwegian Elk Hounds, A wonderful large gentle breed. I really think I am a lot like her.
I started breeding my own dogs as a senior in High School, I really have a love for dogs. We are a pretty close family, I live on the same road that I grew up on, with my grandparents farm and my Dads farm just a little down the road.
I started off breeding Rottweilers, on a very small scale. With two females I had a few litters and loved the beauty of the breed. When both females passed a way I wanted a fresh start with a new breed. I started researching and found the Bernese Mt Dogs, luckily there was a local breeder with a few available. I started with my first female named Layla. So smart, very gentle and just not a care in the world. I was hooked, more so than ever before. I kept my breeding program on a small scale, I was young and working my way through Cosmetology School.
Breeding has changed so much over the years with availability of genetic testing and now color genetics. The more I learned about genetics the more research it took to keep breeding good solid clear lines of Bernese.
Several years later the doodles craze hit. I put it off for awhile but then started to see how important non shedding dogs are to a lot of families for many different reasons. Still today I learn something new with every litter. I truly enjoy every aspect of breeding from learning about new genetic testing to training the puppies. I try to set myself new goals all the time to meet with litters.
I absolutely love and want both positive and negative feedback from families so I can see what changes I need to do to improve my program any way I can. Over the years I have been able to improve on everything from the basics of whelping box’s to giving the puppies their own large outdoor playground. I try to put a lot back into my program and spoiling our dogs.
"I am very lucky to have several acres for lots of room. None of our dogs are in kennels they are definitely a part of our family and daily routine."
I really think raising the puppies with my children has taught them a lot. They understand the amount of work a litter takes and are very involved. They listen to me talk to families on the phone answering all kinds of questions.
And quite possibly the hardest part of breeding is losing a puppy or adult dog. Explaining the circle of life and letting them feel and learn to deal with their emotions. I have to say I have been very blessed with wonderful families and built great friendships with people all around the country.
Our Red Barn
A story behind the name
Red Barn Bernese came from us living in a red barn :) I truly thought it was original, but there are several others.
Our youngest son has several types of congenital heart disease. With his diagnoses we decided to build a new home with plenty of indoor play space for him. At the time the doctors thought he may need to spend a lot of time inside.
I remember telling Jon that I wanted our barn to be big enough that Ty could ride a bike if he wanted. So now 9 years later our boys, Mak, Ty and puppies have a wonderful indoor play ground. Ty is doing better than we could have ever dreamed and the barn home is great in every way.