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ALL Photos on this website

are SageKeep Dogs bred or owned by Esther Wilson

unless otherwise specified.

Beware of Bernese Mtn Dog Breeder websites that steal photos of Berners from other breeders and then display those photos to falsely portray their kennel.


Many graphics used courtesy of Classique Graphics by Dawn Gabig














































About Microchips

Microchips are a primary way we can protect our animals' lives. The average microchip costs about $25 to have implanted by a Vet into your dog. This small investment can be the difference between your ever finding your lost dog - and the dog being euthanized because the shelter facility has no idea of to whom the dog belongs. It is important to note that shelters only keep animals a certain length of time before they're euthanized or shipped to a shelter that will eventually euthanize the dog.

The problem with microchips is the issue of product standardization.

The International Standard Organization (ISO) attempted to create a universal standard for Microchips used in livestock (like Berners). They came up with written code referred to as " 11784 ". Basically, this code sets fifteen (15) characters/digits as the standard for a microchip number. The frequency these chips are set to / read at is about 134.2 khz.  And " 11785 " is the code which sets the standards for the scanners that read the 11784 code microchips.


However, a different style microchip had already gained prominence in use that had ten (10) characters/digits and operated at the frequency of about 125khz. These chips are generally known as FECAVA chips (Federation of European Companion Animals and Veterinary Alliance - or something like that). So the ISO made an addendum called " 11784 Annex A " which incorporates FECAVA microchips and sets an additional standard that allows use of only ten (10) characters/digits and operates at frequency of about 125 khz.


The 11784 Annex A, basically, created a lot of confusion. But it allows for the FECAVA and AVID EuroChip to be universally accepted as an ISO standard microchip.

At this time, the main microchip providers in the USA are:


AVID http://www.avidplc.com/


Home Again http://www.homeagainid.com/


AVID microchips are purchased directly from AVID. Home Again microchips can be purchased through distributors like www.valleyvet.com, etc.


A Veterinary professional is the best choice for installation of a microchip. Correct installation is vital to keep the microchip from migrating and also to protect the animal's physical health.


After microchip has been installed, it should be registered with a national pet registry.


If a dog with a microchip has been received by a shelter, the shelter personnel will contact the national pet registries to try to find who has registered that dog. So, naturally, it is in your pet's best interest if you keep the microchip registration current on your contact information.



Discussion for Breeders


This is an excerpt from a post I gave to a Bernese Breeders chat group on Microchips:

AVID microchips use nine (9) digits and Home Again uses ten (10) digits. The universal code is to use ten (10) digits, although some microchip systems may use more digits than that. AVID also sells a 'EuroChip' which has ten (10) digits, the last digit always being 'A' for AVID.


AVID sells three scanners. One reads only the AVID mircochip (nine digits) and the other two scanners read universal chips (up to 16 digits, I think). So these scanners also read Home Again chips (ten digits). One of the universal scanners is said to be a bit more powerful than the other.


Home Again sells one scanner that reads universal numbers. They tell you that it reads up to 16 digits. But they don't tell you this fact: it doesn't read less than 10 digits. However, it will beep to tell you if there is a microchip present that it cannot read the numbers of. So Home Again scanners will tell you that an AVID chip is present, but cannot display that exact digit reading (because of the missing digit in the AVID chip). However, Home Again scanners can read (and display) the AVID EuroChip because this chip has that tenth digit.


As a breeder, when you buy a 'LOT' of microchips, that 'LOT' is registered to you as part of your purchase. This 'LOT' will incorporate all the microchip numbers you purchased and it is assigned a 'LOT NUMBER'. As a breeder, it is a great idea to keep record of this 'LOT' number in regards to that litter.


Ideally, after implant into a dog, each microchip will be registered by the dog's owner (and/or breeder) with a national tracking registry like AVID's PetTrac or Home Again Pet Recovery. Multiple contacts for one microchip are accepable on most registries.


If the microchip is registered with a national tracking registry, like PetTrac or Pet Recovery, then those persons listed will be contacted if that dog is found (i.e., by a shelter facility).


If the microchip is not registered with a national tracking registry, and the dog is recovered by...say, a shelter facility...there may be a delay of several days before you, the breeder (aka, the 'LOT' buyer), are contacted about the dog. This is because the registration of the 'LOT' is completely different from a microchip registry like PetTrac or Pet Recovery. The 'LOT' records are maintained by the microchip seller and not by the registry. Registries do not maintain 'LOT buyer' records. That information is kept only by the microchip seller. So the pet recovery registry has to contact the microchip seller and determine the LOT buyer's contact info. Again, this can take many days.


Whether as LOT buyer or as registry contact, you must notify (both places) when your address changes or they will be unable to contact you regarding a lost dog. So if you are a breeder and do not register your puppies with a registry, it is important to update your "LOT" information if you change your contact infomation.


Home Again Pet Recovery and AVID PetTrac charge a registry fee. However, there are national microchip registries that do not charge a fee, like http://k911.com/.


With AVID, when buying a 'LOT' of microchips, you can do a thing called 'PrePaid Registration' for half (1/2) price of normal registry fee. ($7 instead of $15 per registration). So you pay for this when you pay for your 'LOT' of microchips. Included with your microchips, you'll get individual forms for however many 'pre-paids' you bought. Then you just fill them out with the contact info and AVID microchip number and mail those forms to PetTrac.


With AVID, you have a choice to buy a thing called a "FriendChip" (LOT). Unless you buy a FriendChip package, your AVID microchip will not come with a collar ID tag. I believe Home Again always comes with a collar ID tag, but I'm not certain of this (can't remember as I don't use HA anymore).


When you buy your microchips (AVID or Home Again), they usually come with bar code labels on self-peel, adhesive paper. I microchip every puppy/dog and use these sticky bar-code labels to put on each one's file and also on the paperwork that goes home with the puppy buyer.


You can inject microchips yourself, if you know how. They're generally put into the muscle tissue in the area of the front right shoulder (so to speak - ask someone to actually show you hands on as I find this hard to explain). It needs to be placed such that it will not easily migrate. Microchip migration has historically been a problem, although the newer chips are much more resistant to migration than the chips made in prior years. If inserted correctly, today's microchips are not as likely to migrate.


Personally, I get someone well versed in implanting microchips into puppies - like a Vet Tech or my Vet. I may have these implants done at time of 8 week puppy evals, or another convenient time before puppy goes to its new home.


Some websites to visit for more info:


When buying a 'LOT' of AVID microchips, be certain that your 'LOT' is registered to the same account number you've been using. AVID personnel sometimes will assign you a new account number (not realizing you have an existing account already).


And if you buy several 'LOTS', having multiple account numbers can be a real problem - especially if you move.



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Last modified: 05/06/10