New Bernedoodle Puppy Guide
Written by: Carrie Tippmann
Bringing home a new puppy is just about as exciting as it gets. Once you become the proud parents of a Bernedoodle puppy, life as you know it changes forever. Your home becomes filled with the highs of love and happiness that dogs provide. But those highs can also dip into lows of frustration and agitation if you are not properly prepared ahead of time to care for them. With the right supplies, a lot of consistency and a little patience, it’s fair to say Bernedoodle’s are easy to train. And very easy to fall in love with!
The Ride Home
Car rides home with your pup are oftentimes the first time they have left their mother’s side. Be prepared for accidents or overexcitement on the way home. Transferring the smell of a puppy’s mother onto a blanket can ease anxieties as you travel home with your new puppy and for the first few days following. Many people find that placing a blanket that was rubbed against the mother helps create a calming atmosphere in a puppy’s new home or crate.
Crates are a preferred sleeping space for Bernedoodles. First, like humans, dogs enjoy their own space for downtime. Second, crates keep puppies safe and protected while you are asleep or away from home. There may be times when it is necessary for them to be in a crate, such as for vet visits or for boarding reasons, so getting them accustomed to it right away is smart. Crates should be approximately 4” longer and taller than your puppy and there should be enough room for your puppy to stand up and turn around. Look for used small crates for smaller new puppies and then purchase a larger one as they grow. Or you can buy dividers that create a small space in a larger cage. Dogs are simple beings and do not require the glamorous comforts that we often do, so dog beds are optional inside crates. However, keep in mind new puppies are notorious for chewing, so do not hold high expectations for the durability of a dog pillow. Expect the unexpected when it comes to being left alone with any item.
Whether you adopt a micro Bernedoodle, mini Bernedoodle or standard Bernedoodle, all puppies usually begin with around a cup of food a day. Bowls should accommodate small amounts and then can be switched out for larger sized bowls accordingly. Automatic or timed dog feeders or leaving food out all day is not recommended for new puppies. It’s best for them to eat on a schedule versus grazing through the day. Choosing what brand of food to use is just about as personal of a decision as deciding brands for yourself. However, it is recommended to start them off eating whatever they are already accustomed to. Ask your breeder what type of puppy food they have been using. An immediate food switch can be hard on puppy’s digestive systems which can lead to undesirable messes. Transitioning from one brand to another should be done slowly by mixing in the old food brand with the new desired brand. Start with a less than a 50/50 mix and gradually up the amount of new food daily. Switching brands comfortably should take no more than 2 weeks.
Collar, Leash, and Identification
New puppies can be sneaky and quick. For those times when they are a step ahead of you, ID’s can help connect lost dogs back to their owner. Have their tags engraved with their name and a phone number where you can be reached and put on a properly fitting collar. Collars should fit snugly, but not too tight that it creates a choke. Leashes will be necessary for walks and training purposes. Bernedoodles respond best to positive reinforcement so simple leashes usually suffices for training.
Decide on a vet right away. Puppies require de-worming meds, checkups, and vaccines. Although most puppies receive their first and second set of vaccinations while with their mothers, vets will continue vaccinations every 3-4 weeks so appointments will need to be made as soon as they are in your care. Vets can recommend products for flea and tick control and can answer any questions about their overall health and care.
Decide upon a groomer. Depending upon their age, new puppies can usually wait awhile before their first grooming appointment. However, Bernedoodles will eventually need to be groomed every 8-12 weeks.to prevent matting. They will also require regular brushing and nail trimmings. There are endless options for shampoos and grooming products for you to decide upon. Natural dog shampoos generally are worth the cost and avoid skin sensitivities that may develop from grooming products.
As mentioned, crates, food, leashes, and collars will all need to be decided upon beforehand to begin training right away. And as also mentioned, Bernedoodles respond to positive reinforcement. So, treats are a good item to have on hand to motivate. Treats are a personal preference for your pup as well and you may have to try different types to find the one they enjoy best. If you are potty training indoors, make sure to have potty pads ready from the start. In whatever way you decide to potty train your puppy, expect accidents to happen. Have a pet urine stain and odor remover spray on hand when they do occur and remember to keep your cool. Training takes time and practice.
The very best thing to entertain your new puppy is you. However, new puppies instinctively chew, so buying teething or chew toys will help avoid frustrations of chewed up shoes, furniture, or other unwanted items. Remember that the beginning is where you can bond and build a relationship with your puppy. Toys are a great way to engage and play. Bernedoodles love attention and affection and thrive on pleasing their owners. The more engaged you are with them, the better your puppy will behave and obey.
The cost and preparation of a new Bernedoodle puppy may seem overwhelming at first. But they are investments that you cannot put a price tag on. The rewards of owning a Bernedoodle far outweigh any prep and work involved with them. Bernedoodles are simply the best!