If you live in an apartment, you’re probably worried about your pup feeling like he’s stuck in a tiny prison cell. But Bernedoodles don’t see it like that.
Bernedoodles are quite capable of living in an apartment. Clashing with much of the information on this subject, Bernedoodles are one of the best breeds for apartment living. When trained and adjusted, you’ll find their personality and behavior are perfectly suited for smaller living areas.
In this article we’ll cover:
- A Bernedoodles’ space requirements
- The needed exercise depending on your specific dog’s age
- 7 Great tips for living with a Doodle in an apartment and keeping him safe while left alone.
Doesn’t Doodles Need A Lot Of Space?
People often assume that a Bernedoodles size makes it unfit for living in an apartment or a minor house. The logic of that is often something like – “But Bernedoodles are enormous dogs, and our apartment is tiny.”
This line of reasoning usually comes from the misconception that a Bernedoodle will be doing all of its exercises within the apartment.
But, if you give your Bernedoodle enough proper and daily exercise, they will usually do most of their exercising outside at the parks or on the sidewalks in your neighborhood, and not actually inside your apartment.
One thing to always consider about Bernedoodles:
Your Doodles’ favorite spot to be is always right beside you.
This indicates that it really doesn’t matter if you have a five hundred- or a five thousand-square-foot home, your best friend’s first thought will always be to stay as near you as possible.
Our Doodle, “Monty,” illustrates this concept perfectly.
We always ensure that our boy gets hit daily outdoor exercise but as soon as he’s indoors, he’ll be back right beside us as soon as possible.
When I’m working at my home office, he’s never more than six feet away from my desk.
If I have to move around in the house, It’s certain that he will notice me moving around, and be my escort wherever I’m going.
When he’s by himself or for some reason gets separated from any of us, he immediately complains and starts showing different signs of separation anxiety.
So don’t worry about the size of your apartment. Your Doodle certainly won’t.
- READ MORE: BEST FOOD FOR BERNEDOODLES
How Much Exercise Does a Bernedoodle Need?
Bernedoodles are highly active dogs and normally require quite a bit of exercise.
As the Bernedoodle is a mix of a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Poodle which are two breeds that are known to work tirelessly throughout the day and still have more than enough energy in the evenings to play with their owners’ children later, you should be ready to give them all the exercise they might need.
Like humans, when a dog doesn’t get the needed exercise, they will become sluggish, depressed, and agitated. They can also build up a fair amount of energy that can result in your entire home getting chewed up, and your valuables might end up destroyed.
That’s why you should make sure that you are giving your Bernedoodle a healthy dose of daily exercise so that their mind stays correctly stimulated, their muscles and heart stay strong, and their weight doesn’t skyrocket. Proper exercise will also give a relaxed and happy attitude when your dog is inside your apartment.
For around the first 3-4 months of their lives, a Bernedoodle doesn’t need any special kind of controlled exercise plan. Bernedoodle puppies will get all the physical activity their bodies need through the normal course of playing around each day.
From 3 Months and Up
Between the period of around 3 months old and before becoming fully grown, a dog should receive approximately 5 minutes of exercise per month of age.
This means that a 6-month-old Bernedoodle should get about a half-hour of walking and/or running each day. Equally, a 9-month-old Bernedoodle should get around 45 minutes of daily exercise.
When Fully Grown
From the time a Bernedoodle is considered fully developed and up to around 5 years of age, they should receive around 60-90 minutes of activity every single day. These times will of course depend on both the age and energy level of your specific dog.
When your dog starts going into its’ “senior years” (this is considered to be after around 7 years of age) the daily exercise needs will usually start to slow down a bit.
When is a Bernedoodle Fully Developed?
There isn’t really a definitive answer to this as every dog is different.
But Bernedoodles typically mature somewhere between 9 and 18 months. And they will usually reach their full height around 10 months old.
If your dog is neutered, expect that this will also affect its growth rate.
Neutering basically works by interrupting your dog’s sex hormone production, and these hormones work naturally to prevent a dog’s growth.
When the sex hormones of a dog are removed, the dog will continue to grow for a longer period than it would otherwise.
According to Dogtime.com, when a standard Bernedoodle reaches full adulthood, it will typically weigh around 70-90 pounds. Male Bernedoodles will stand between 23 and 29 inches tall at the shoulder (21 to 24 inches for females).
7 Tips for Raising a Bernedoodle In An Apartment
Raising a Bernedoodle in an apartment demands quite a lot of engagement and commitment.
Here are 7 tips for successfully raising your Bernedoodle in an apartment.
1. Ensure Dogs Are Even Allowed
The first thing is also very important.
Finally finding the perfect apartment, and then discovering that dogs aren’t allowed is heartbreaking.
So, ensure that the apartment complex allows dogs. Many apartments will normally charge a deposit for pets, but that is infinitely better than pets not being allowed at all.
Also, make sure that you check if your landlord’s pet policy has any restrictions regarding size or breed in general. A lot of areas won’t allow dogs that are over 30 pounds.
2. Spend A Lot Of Time With Your Bernedoodle Every Day
Bernedoodles are remarkably social and loving dogs and will not prosper in surroundings where they are either ignored or forgotten.
Make sure that you’re able and willing to set time aside every day for regular potty breaks, and not only physical but also mental exercise. If your apartment is located on one of the upper floors, expect to take a lot of trips downstairs for walks and bathroom breaks in the future.
3. Acclimate Your Dog to Its’ Environment
New apartments can be scary places for a dog.
A lot of apartment buildings are also to the noise of street traffic, the next-door neighbors, and any nearby industrial areas.
Living in an apartment also means there are strangers, bicycles, noisy kids, and other dogs, all just on the other side of your front door.
Thinking that your Bernedoodle will naturally be pleased with all of these new elements is a mistake. Gradually introducing a dog to the different sights and sounds of living in an apartment is highly advisable.
4. Potty Training Takes Time
A puppy obviously demands more guidance and supervision than fully grown dogs when it comes to potty training.
Training a Bernedoodle puppy requires frequent trips outside, and if your apartment is located on one of the higher floors, this can end up being quite the exercise regime for you also.
For the responsible dog owner, this means hitting 10.000 steps a day with several trips up and downstairs will be a piece of cake.
Another possibility to consider is a Pet Loo from PetSafe.
This is a great way to help train your dog until he’s able to control himself for longer periods between potty trips.
Be patient with your pup during this crucial time, and you should also understand that accidents can and will happen.
The PetSafe Pet Loo is one of our favorite “Pee pads” by far. We’ve tried several cheaper alternatives, but most of them have been almost impossible to clean, and a lot less durable, and having to replace them when they break will quickly get a lot more expensive than buying the best possible option the first time around.
5. Consider Your Neighbors
Be respectful of those people you meet in the hallway and with whom you share a wall.
If you have a dog that’s aggressive towards children and strangers, it will create a miserable living conditions for not only you but also your fellow apartment residents.
Furthermore, regular and excessive barking won’t exactly put you on the Christmas card list with your neighbors.
Ensure that you invest the needed time early on to properly train your dog not to bark. You can ask at your local vet or pet store if there’s any behavioral training in the area they can recommend. Many local pet stores even offer their own weekly training classes.
6. Maintain Regular Vet Appointments
It is very important that your dog is up to date on all his vaccinations and parasite preventions – particularly if you living in an area with other people.
If your apartment complex is set up like most are, it will usually have either outdoor or indoor shared common areas.
What this indicates is that your dog will surely come in contact with a lot of other people, children, and pets.
Ensuring routine veterinarian appointments, and keeping up with your dogs’ vaccinations and medications for parasites will secure both the health of your dog and also that of your neighbors.
And if someone suddenly accuses your dog of biting, you will be comforted by knowing you have documented proof of all of the vaccinations your dog has received.
7. Ensure Your Bernedoodle is Safe and Content While You’re Away
As with most Bernedoodle owners, you most likely have a full-time job to think about, and while retaining your Bernedoodle in an apartment during your working hours demands some thoughtfulness, it is absolutely manageable.
Make Sure You Wear Them Out Before Leaving
If your Bernedoodle gets a healthy share of exercise before you leave them, this will put them in a relaxed and calm state for most of the time you’re separated.
Get A Comfortable and Secure Crate
Most Bernedoodles don’t like wandering around the apartment by themselves.
Bernedoodles are commonly known for their separation anxiety. A size-appropriate crate that is both comfortable and durable will give your pup a familiar and safe environment throughout their alone time.
Crate-training a dog as early as possible will help condition them to a daily routine and will help to prevent problems with their behavior down the line.
Place the crate in a room that your dog feels familiar in, and provide them with a comfortable bed to lay on when inside their crate. Make sure that you never leave your dog alone outside during the day.
My favorite crate is by far the MidWest iCrate.
Keep Your Dog Occupied and Stimulated
Different toys inside the crate will make sure they don’t get bored. Be sure that you add water and also some familiar blankets to the crate.
Phone a friend or Hire a Professional
With a Bernedoodle puppy, you shouldn’t crate them for more than 4 hours at a time. If you force a dog to hold its urine or feces for extended periods, there’s a very high risk that they can get infections in the urinary tract.
If it’s possible in any way, try to arrange for a family member or friend/neighbor to check in on them and let them outside even for just 15 minutes during the day.
If you have some spare income, you could also consider hiring someone to look out for your dog.
But seeing as most of us Doodle owners probably can’t afford to put their pup in a doggie day-care as those tend to be quite costly, paying a dog-walker is usually a lot more affordable.
If your budget doesn’t have room for a dog walker, perhaps you can convince a friend or one of your neighbors to work out a system where you trade favors.
Can Bernedoodles Live In An Apartment
So can Bernedoodles live in an apartment?
To own a happy and healthy Bernedoodle, it really doesn’t matter if you live in a 6000 sq foot mansion or a 600 sq foot apartment, as it isn’t really about how exactly much space they have to roam.
The question should actually be more focused on just how much time you’ll have to spend with your dog once they move into your home.
If you’re able to regularly play and exercise with your dog on both a mental and physical level, then Bernedoodles are more than excellent at living in an apartment.
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