Bernedoodles are a great choice of pet for many reasons. They are particularly suitable for any family with children, and they are both smart and loyal. These are all very useful traits for a family pet. That is all OK, but you may well be asking, “what the heck is a Bernedoodle?”
What is a Bernedoodle?
The alternative name for the Bernedoodle is, “The Bernese Mountain Poo,” which sounds kind of weird, so, we will stick with Bernedoodle. The Bernedoodle is a combination of Bernese Mountain Dog and Poodle. It seems to combine all the highlights of both breeds. Just like a Poodle, it is not going to shed hair all over your home. It is generally very smart. From the Bernese, it as taking the chilled out, loyal attitude that these dogs exhibit, although they can be a little stubborn on occasions.
The breeder who first dreamt up this cross was Sherry Rupke from the SwissRidge kennels, who had her first litter of Bernedoodles back in 2003. She has worked on this hybrid breed very successfully.
The Bernedoodle is a relative newcomer in the dog world, and already is showing signs that it is going to be very popular. A true Bernadoodle (designated F1) is a 50/50 mix of purebred Poodle and Bernese Mountain Dogs. Interestingly, these F1s grow up to be substantially healthier than either of the parent breeds. You can get Bernadoodles that have been mated with a Bernese Mountain Dog or a Poodle, and these dogs (designated F1b) are ideal for people with dog allergies because of the low rate of shedding.
Puppy Preparation – What To Do Before Your Puppy Arrives
It is always best to prepare in advance for when the new puppy arrives. The period of waiting while your new puppy is weaned is an exciting time, and it is helpful to focus on the preparations. There are many changes you may need to make to your home to accommodate this new family member, and just like when expecting a baby, there are many things to buy.
You will be amazed at the multitude of ways that your new Bernedoodle will find to cause mischief, so take a good look at every room it will have access to through the eyes of a puppy.
Choosing a Local Veterinarian
Do some research around your local area about what vets are available. Talk to other pet owners about their experience with their vet, and ask which one they would recommend. Word of mouth is by far the best way of ensuring you get a good vet. Once you have selected your preferred vet, check out surgery times, and contact information and file that away in case you need it urgently.
Gather All the Information From Your Breeder
At this stage, your breeder is the one person on earth who knows your puppy best. Make use of this information and get all the advice you can get.
Areas you might question the breeder about could include the following: general questions about the health of the puppy and its parents, feeding times and any routines they have, and Is your puppy socializing with the other members of the litter.
You should also:
- Ask for a diet sheet for when you take the puppy home
- Ask for contact information
- View Health certificates for the puppy and parents
- Brand of formula or food they are using
- Vaccinations and treatments received and when they are next due
These general inquiries will make it a lot easier for you to reduce the shock of being moved from its parents to its new home.
Your Bernedoodle Puppy Checklist
Here is a suggested shopping list of things you may need to buy before your puppy comes to its new home:
- Food and water bowls (suggest metal)
- The right size and type of crate – Recommended Crate
- Puppy food (best to follow the advice of breeder as to what they use at first)
- Dog Brush – A slicker brush is a must for puppies Recommended Brush
- Harness – Recommended Harness
- ID tag for the collar
- A dog bed – Recommended Bed
- Pet First Aid Kit
- Puppy treats
- Puppy toys
- Chewable toys
- Puppy gate (s) – Recommended Gate
- Cleaning materials for those little accidents
- Poop Scoops and Poop bags
- Waterproof matting – Recommended option
- Lots of paper towels
- Air freshener
Getting Your Home Ready
Thinking about the logistics of having this new member of the family living in your home is essential. Do not leave it until the Bernedoodle puppy arrives.
Think about where your new puppy is going to go potty. Your new Bernedoodle puppy must learn from the very beginning that this one place is OK to go potty, and that other places it is not OK. Postponing this training will lead to the puppy adopting bad habits.
I had a friend once who brought their puppy home in a wire cat box. They placed it down in the corner of the living room on a hard floor, and the puppy decided that this wire cage was the place to go pee and poo. They laughed about it at first and allowed this to continue thinking that the puppy would soon move on to somewhere more suitable. It didn’t and even when it got larger it ould squeeze into the tiny cage and go potty.
Recently they have managed to convince it to go outside next to the wire cage, which has been placed in the yard, but it is slow progress.
Now just like when you bring a new baby home, you are likely to have some disturbed nights at first. Your puppy is used to sleeping with the rest of the litter and not used to being alone. Leaving its parents and brother and sisters is a huge hurdle to overcome.
You and the puppy will get better sleep at night if at first, you let the puppy sleep in a cage at the side of the bed. They will be reassured by being close to you (the substitute parent). Inside the cage place a simple waterproof mat and a comforter (an old teeshirt or something that has your smell or that of the breeder).
Your new puppy is going to be curious and wanting to look around the whole house. It’s a great adventure and if it can get somewhere, it will. We were fortunate when we brought our puppy home as we had open plan stairs and looking through the steps at the floor below scared him.
He had a real fear of heights; even if we held him close to an upstairs window, he would turn away rather than looking down. So climbing the stairs was an issue and he never built up the courage to climb past the first couple of steps until he was about ten months, when suddenly he bounded up the stairs at speed.
Placing child gates around the house will make life so much easier and allow you to confine the puppy to designated rooms. It will enable them less chance of creating mischief and ensures they remain safe.
Your house is full of potential hazards. Log trailing cables running across the floor will be something that your puppy will take great delight in trying to chew. A bottle of bleach standing beside the toilet will be a challenge. Your puppy will see just about anything as something he can play with and chew. Keep hazards out of his reach.
Indoor rubbish bins, especially in the kitchen, are a source of great wonder for your puppy. All those interesting food smells coming from inside, and all that stuff to play with. If your puppy gets the opportunity, he will find a way of tipping it over so he can access the goodies inside.
Similarly, when he gets access to the yard, he will also take great delight in the challenge of accessing your garbage.
You will find it much easier if you use the baby gates to seal off one room or a playpen to seal off a small area of the house. In that living space, you can place his water and food bowls, some toys, and somewhere to lay.
Your Bernedoodle Owner’s Guide
Potty Training Problems
Accept it; there are going to be “Little accidents” around the house with your new puppy. The absolute worst thing you can do when these situations occur is to shout and scare the dog or smack it. All that will achieve is to make the dog scared of you, which will slow down future training. The dog is not doing it to annoy you; he genuinely has not worked out what your master plan is and where the potty area is.
When your puppy makes a mistake, then bring him outside to the chosen area and say a phrase like “Go Potty.” Use that same phrase every time you bring him there. Then if you see him about to go anywhere else, call out “Go Potty,” and in time, he will eventually work out that when you say that he should go to that place. Bernedoodles are clever dogs, and he should learn this faster than some other breeds.
Choosing the Correct Diet
When you first bring your Berndoodle back from the breeders, hopefully, you will have supplies of the same food that he is already used to eating. Over time, f you wish, you can slowly move him over to alternative puppy food, but during this transition period, keep s many things the same as when he was at the breeder’s.
When you first get the puppy, his stomach is only just adjusting to solid foods, so make sure that you are feeding him puppy food (specially designed for sensitive stomachs). Do not just buy and dog food.
Keeping your dog confined to a designated part of the house or in a playpen is in his own interest. You are protecting his safety. The area within the playpen or designated area should be free of things that your puppy can choke on, or harm himself with. The confinement is also very much in your interest because you know that when you are out of sight, he is not doing any damage around the house, or finding ways to break out. Choose somewhere that has hard floors, so that if there are ay accidents, it is easier to clean up.
Now whether you think so or not, there will be times when your Bernedoodle is going to have to be left alone. It happens. In this case, it is essential to confine your dog to his designated area – the puppy haven, for his safety. He will be familiar with this area and less frightened than less familiar parts of the house.
Let your dog feel good about the designated area. Do not make your Bernedoodle think it is a punishment. Instead, make him believe that it is a playground that contains his favorite toys and foods—a place where he likes to go.
Comforters will contain your scent on an old unwashed shirt or something along those lines. They feel calm when they have the comforter; These should be in the puppy-haven if you have to go out and leave them. They should also be in the cage when they are put there to sleep. The presence of the comforter should make these places feel safe.
Bringing your Bernedoodle home will be the biggest event of your puppy’s life and certainly the scariest that it will have experienced in its short life. Taken away from their parents and siblings, they are suddenly all alone and unsure of what is happening.
By making the right preparations, you can make this transition easier for your Bernedoodle. Do it right, and they will switch that famous Bernese Mountain Dog loyalty to you and form a lifelong relationship.
You have made an excellent choice in selecting a Bernedoodle. A little patience and thought for the first few weeks will be an investment that is repaid for many years by your dog as he grows.
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