Bernedoodles are little companions who will stay friendly and loyal to you in the long run. These bundles of energy are always happy to learn and enthusiastic.
The Bernedoodle is a hybrid dog breed with Poodle and Bernese Mountain Dog parents. Its Poodle ancestry makes it goofy and clever, while its Bernese ancestry makes it loyal and calm.
On a general note, Bernedoodles tend to be affectionate and loving. However, it is essential to remember that each individual dog has its own traits. There is hardly any saying about which parent the Bernedoodle puppy will take after more as a hybrid breed.
Due to this characteristic uncertainty, you must figure out the best training practices and routines for your dog by yourself. We suggest you take a small vacation to train your puppy to give him full attention.
Bernedoodle Training Tips
When you are learning how to train a puppy, a few general tips outlining the breed’s general characteristics are always helpful. Therefore, this article is dedicated to establishing some Bernedoodle training ground rules to make training as smooth for both you and your dog.
Companionship – Train Them to Your Lifestyle
A Bernedoodle is a companion dog through and through.
Even though they are designer dogs, they are not meant to be trained for dog shows. Instead, they prefer being with you no matter what you’re doing.
If you’re into hiking, you can have your Bernedoodle accompany you. If you like partying, you can have your Bernedoodle accompany you. If you like lying around, you can have your Bernedoodle accompany you.
The breed is moderately active. Therefore, they can take on any activity you would want them to take on, as long as you give them enough rest.
Since a Bernedoodle will always want to accompany you, it is best to train them according to your schedule and lifestyle.
There’s no point in putting your dog through extensive social training if all you like to do is stay alone with your dog at home.
If you lead a super active lifestyle, we suggest you train your dog to be docile in the outdoor environment. However, if you like to stay at home, you can teach them basic household chores such as bringing a towel, etc.
Try not to put too many irrelevant commands in their minds because their goofy minds might end up getting confused. Only train with commands you’re going to use regularly – according to your lifestyle.
Train Them Early
Train them early to reap the fruits in the long run.
A blunder you shouldn’t make with a Bernedoodle puppy is to leave them as puppies and try to train them after a week. Bernedoodles tend to get too comfortable in their surroundings and, as quick learners, adapt to habits in no time.
Before getting a puppy, we suggest you plan a mini-vacation for the first week of your companionship. You can devote this first week to bond with your Bernedoodle puppy and training them diligently. Teach them a few obedience commands right when you get them.
When a puppy is given too much time to themselves before training, they pick up naturally bad habits and are generally crate trained. Therefore, they get stuck learning only the basic commands for most of their life.
However, if you train your puppy early, they will adopt a curious and adventurous mind. Therefore, they will learn how to do advanced tricks and abbey special commands in no time.
After all, a Bernedoodle is a companion dog and will adapt to the way you live. Therefore, if you live a train dedicated to active training, they will live that way too. However, if you get lazy with training, they will slack off in picking up commands.
Always Use Positive Reinforcements
Dogs are sensitive to your behavior – so tread carefully.
Something to be careful about – not only with Bernedoodles is how sensitive they can be towards your behavior. If you show them anger – they will either reciprocate it or feel stressed about your negative emotion.
Dogs – like humans – cannot learn and perform while they are under stress. Therefore, it is best to make them feel welcome during their training session.
Many dog trainers in the past used to punish dogs for not performing the desired command. However, doing that to a Bernedoodle can lead to anxiety and long-term bonding issues.
The best way to train a Bernedoodle is to use positive reinforcements.
Positive reinforcements are the act of awarding your dog for good behavior instead of punishing him for bad ones. This means, that if you’re potty training your Bernedoodle, it is best to give him treats or his favorite toys to play with when he goes to the right place.
Positive reinforcements allow the dog to create a stronger bond with you. Moreover, it allows the dog to be happy with his training sessions instead of dreading them.
Dogs get distracted easily, but they will not learn any complex commands unless they can focus.
Much like humans, dogs need to be idle to focus on the task at hand. Whether you want to teach your dog new commands or want them to stay quiet for a while, they cannot do it until they are focused.
The best way to teach your Bernedoodle to focus is to teach them the sit and stay command combination.
Once your dog knows how to sit on command, move a little away from him and continue commanding him to sit. Add the stay command and slowly increase the duration of each stay session.
When your dog knows how to stay until further notice, they will learn how to do nothing even when there might be some distractions around. Unless the dog learns not to do anything, he will never learn how to stay focused and learn new tricks.
Take Them Outdoors – Learn from Experiences
Outdoors is the perfect place for your dog to learn many visual cues and boost their sensory development.
When you take your dog outdoors, two things happen – they interact with the world around them other than you, and they get physical exercise.
When a dog gets to interact with a world other than you and your house, they learn several visual cues. Moreover, being outdoors with your dog is the perfect opportunity for you to gauge how he responds to other animals, strangers, and children.
Most Bernedoodles are likely to be friendly and docile with other animals and strangers. Therefore, you will not have to make them undergo extensive training. However, some might get aggressive and will need specialized training to be friendly.
Being outdoors also gives the dog the physical stimulation it needs to go about his day properly. If dogs have too much pent-up energy in them, they tend to develop destructive and aggressive behavior.
Give Them Mental Games to Play
Physical stimulation is important, but so is mental stimulation, which is why brain training for your dog is vital.
How well your dog is mentally stimulated makes a huge difference in how well he can be trained. However, the same is true too. The more mentally stimulated the dog, the more intelligence he is likely to develop. The more intelligent the dog, the easier it will be to train him.
Therefore, you need to throw mental challenges in your dog’s way while training them. Bernedoodles, in general, tend to be highly intelligent dogs – therefore, they like to be mentally stimulated and like to learn new things every other day.
If a Bernedoodle is not adequately mentally stimulated, he will become sad and aggressive.
The best way to mentally stimulate your Bernedoodle to keep his mind sharp enough for rigorous training is simple. You can get your dog to try a new command every three days. This will give them enough challenge to feel stimulated but not too much to overwhelm and distress them – which brings up the next ground rule.
Never Overwork Your Dog
There’s a difference between a well-trained and an over-trained dog.
Training can be very difficult for your dog to wrap his head around. Therefore, while continuous training sessions are vital, it is necessary to keep each session short.
Bernedoodles tend to get very excited about everything they do – especially if they have adopted more of their Poodle parent’s traits. Therefore, it is best to keep them happy about training for only 15-20 minutes a stretch and let them imbibe the commands you teach them.
An overworked dog will end up feeling too tired to obey the commands they have learned. Therefore, the best way to keep them from burning out is to teach consistently but gradually.
If you are teaching the basic sit command to your dog, make sure you only make a few repetitions in one go. Too many repetitions will make your dog resist the training and resent the next session.
Allow your dog at least two days to learn a command as simple as sit. Reinforce their training with the first few repetitions and slowly do away with the treats once they start to get the hang of the command – even if it takes a few days.
Let Your Dog Have Some Me-Time
Bernedoodles can get separation anxiety if not trained to be away from you at an early age.
Bernedoodles are companion dogs and love to spend all their time with their family. However, they are also very sensitive and need to learn how to be alone at an early age.
If your dog is used to being with you at all times as a puppy, not having you around for even a short duration can be a cause of significant distress and sadness for them.
When your puppy is only in his socializing stage, make sure you give him time to himself. Therefore, he will learn to feel comfortable in your absence.
The best way to do so is to let the puppy move around in your house while you stay out of their sight for a while. Begin with 10 minutes of solitude, and you can gradually increase the time to hours at a stretch.
This resonates with the ground rule of training your Bernedoodle in accordance with your lifestyle. Even though a Bernedoodle’s companionship is wonderful, you cannot let him accompany you wherever you go.
If you need to go out to work for most of the day, train your puppy to learn your schedule.
When you return home, make sure you spoil him with a lot of treats. This will let the dog understand that even if you leave them alone for a while, you will come back and shower him with love when you return.
Use the Leash Wisely
The leash is the first and last control you have over your dog.
The leash is the first and last control you have over your dog while you’re training him. Therefore, it is important to use it accurately.
Your dog will learn to associate the leash with training and walking, which should induce excitement in him. You must never use a leash to get strict or punish a dog. Otherwise, he will associate the leash with negativity.
Dogs tend to associate places and objects with emotions. Therefore, once they have associated the leash with negativity, they will never be happy to be on a leash even while training and walking.
Using a leash while training your dog is very important. This is especially true for Bernedoodles because even as intelligent dogs, they tend to be very distracted. If your dog is not on a leash while training, it will become difficult to keep him in one place.
You can start walking your dog on a leash and teach him to stay at your heel. Once you are confident enough that your dog will not run off towards distractions and will listen to you if you call him, you can try walking him without the leash as well.
However, the transformation from with to without a leash should be done very slowly and carefully. It is best to start the transformation within the confines of your home so that your dog will still be in reach if he runs off.
Allow Them to Stay Protective – But Not Over-Protective
Bernedoodles are very loyal. However, their loyalty can cause problems when not trained properly.
If your Bernedoodle has adopted more of his Bernese Mountain Dog’s traits, he is likely to be extremely loyal. However, mixed with Poodle traits, the dog might not have any chill.
If your dog is also aggressive in nature, he is likely to be too protective. This leads to them being suspicious of anyone who comes to your house. They might even have a tendency to bite. Therefore, you need to teach him the boundary between loyal and aggressively loyal.
Loyalty is an inept trait in Bernedoodles. Therefore, you have to focus on training him not to be aggressive to anyone in your house.
The answer is not to tie him up when someone visits – that will only make him more aggressive. You must make sure the dog is comfortable with people entering your house.
To do so, you can walk your dog on a leash to the door when guests arrive. Keep the leash tight enough for the dog’s jumping to get restricted. When your guest arrives, give the sit command and allow the guest to give him a treat – but only if the dog is sitting and not being aggressive.
Once the guest is inside, you can allow your dog to roam freely and give him treats whenever he is not aggressive. This will teach him to trust having strangers in the house in your presence.
Dogs can nib – but teach them not to bite.
In case your Bernedoodle tends to bite, you can do so by following the simple ‘ouch’ technique. As mentioned earlier, dogs are very receptive to your emotions. We will use that dog characteristic to our advantage.
You can allow your dog to nib on your hand. However, as soon as he puts a little pressure, say ‘ouch’ with a distressed expression in your voice. This will let your dog know that they hurt you by putting pressure with their jaws on your hand.
Eventually, with enough treats and repetitions, the dog will learn not to apply pressure to avoid causing pain.
Make sure your dog is well-adept to not apply pressure while nibbling. Once that is done, you can ask your family or friends trusted by your dog to follow the same command sequence. This way, the dog will eventually learn not to bite either you or any other human around him.
Every time your dog refrains from putting pressure while nibbling, award him with a treat. You will end up with a fierce dog who is not afraid to scare but will not cause harm unless he senses danger.
Bernedoodle is an interesting dog breed. With high intelligence, loyalty, and goofiness, they are extremely adorable. Their curiosity also makes them easy to train as long as you start training them as soon as you get them.
With the right blend of positive reinforcements, accurate tool usage, scheduling, and patience, you can train your Bernedoodle to be the best companion dog there is.
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