The Bernedoodle is a cross between a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Poodle. Bernedoodles tend to have a moderate activity level and do very well with children which is why they are excellent family dogs. Daily walking, play and interaction is important. Their natural gait is a slow trot, so walking a Bernedoodle should be very easy for most people. Bernedoodles are extremely smart, loyal and good in nature but they can be wary of strangers which is why it is important to socialize them as early in their life as possible! If you begin socializing and training early and use positive reinforcement techniques such as praise, play, and food rewards, you will be rewarded with a wonderful companion. MOST people that I hear complain about their dogs behavior issues have not worked on training there puppy at all or very little, you need to be able to commit time into your puppy in order for it to turn out how you would like. You will thank yourself later by working with them at a young age!!
What is the Bernedoodles Temperament like?
The temperament of the Bernedoodle is both affectionate and playful. They interact extremely well with children and generally love to spend lots of time with their family. Because Bernedoodles enjoy their family, they do not do well left alone for long periods of time. They make great family dogs, because they are friendly and easy to socialize. A lot of the intelligence gets passed to the puppies from their poodle parent which allows the Bernedoodle to work as a therapy dog with the proper training. Bernedoodles can be stubborn and head strong at times (thanks to their Bernese Parent), therefore it is very important that you start your puppy with socialization and training early. Use a clear, strong voice with a kind, positive tone to train your Bernedoodle. They are very intelligent with a nature that is eager-to-please which makes it easier for them to be trained. It will most likely take a few repeats of your instruction but these puppies are usually quick to comply with commands. ALWAYS reward good behavior with treats and LOTS of praise and encouragement. Bernedoodles can be extra-sensative to your tone and mood so do not be harsh as this can scare them into shying away from you.
What color and size do Bernedoodles come in?
Bernedoodles come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. We breed Mini, Moyen and Standard Bernedoodles currently, we classify Mini Bernedoodles as anything under 50 lbs, Moyens are 50-60 lbs., and Standard Aussiedoodles are typically between 60-100 pounds. They come in a variety of colors, including: the most common Tri-Color as well as Phantom, Sable, Merle, Merle Tricolor, Merle Phantom, Black, Black and White, we currently only breed the F1 generation so the colors we can get are limited. As the puppies have more poodle in them (F1b generation and further out) we can get other colors such as brown based, reds, brindles, etc. Bernedoodles have a typical life span of 12-15 years which is much longer than their Bernese Mountain Dog parents (thanks to the poodle), which is one of the reasons the Bernedoodle is highly sought after. The smaller the dog, the longer the lifespan of the dog (typically), so Mini Bernedoodles may possibly have a longer lifespan than Standard Bernedoodles.
A Couple Puppy Raising Tips:
1. Crate Train!! No matter how much they complain early on, it's their safe place when you can't watch them and they need to be home alone. Always take off the collar though, to prevent choking, cover the crate and put a filled kong or other safe treat in the crate with them to make it a positive place to go. NEVER use the crate for punishment or time out. If you feed your puppy early and take water away 2-3 hours before their last potty break they should be able to sleep or go for 6 hours in a crate. All dogs are different though and some mature slower. We start all the puppies on crate training while they are still with us at around 6-7 weeks. They usually go home able to be in a crate for close to 4-6 hours each night (depending on puppy). When starting to crate train, make sure you get a crate with a divider so you can reduce the space in the crate, a puppy will not go potty where it sleeps, unless it absolutely has to! If you make the crate big, they will go potty in a corner and sleep in the rest of it.
2. House breaking... In the beginning make sure you take them out often and watch for cues as to when they have to go potty. Bells on the door work great, every time you take them out to go potty have them tap the bells on the door before going out. When you take them out, its not play time, tell them to potty/do their business or whatever phrase you want. When they go, give them lots of praise and a small treat! Also, don't give them free range over the whole house until they are potty trained in part of the house, the kitchen or anywhere where there is hard floor works great (especially if there are accidents). All the puppies should be doggy door trained when they leave here, very rarely do we have puppies that go potty in the kennel at the time they leave at 8 weeks- they all go outside. This helps with house training and them knowing where they need to go potty. They are started on the doggy door at around 4-6 weeks of age and know how to use it fully by the time they leave. Zak George on YouTube has some great videos to watch on house training and puppy training in general!
3. Nipping: All puppies nip and explore with their mouth. If they nip you, you want to use a sharp YIPE (like their litter-mates would do if they were bit too hard), then say "easy" or "no bite" and give them an appropriate toy. If they continue to nibble or bite on your skin, a loud NO and then get up and walk away, all play and attention should stop, but not too long- you don't want to break the spirit, only the habit. If you are having trouble with making this work, gently put your hand around their muzzle and squeeze gently until they whine. They will most likely retaliate and try to nip again, at this time do the same but just a little harder, continue to do so until they realize it isn't a game and you are serious. This is what the mother would do, by putting her mouth over the puppies mouth and gently squeezing.
4. Socialization: When your puppy first comes home, try to introduce them to 100 new people in their first 10 days at home. Sounds crazy but not really, its just 10 a day. I would take them to canine friendly stores or stand outside the store... you want your puppy touched, held, and fussed over by any stranger you can round up. Then... puppy socialization, true you can't have them around other dogs until fully vaccinated at 16 weeks, but you can bring them around family and friends dogs you know to be vaccinated. These two things will get your puppy used to people and other dogs right away!!
5. Exposure: You will want to expose your puppy to a lot of noises- pans falling on the floor, vacuum, blender, motorcycles, cars, etc. In addition things you may encounter while on walks such as bikes, skateboards, strollers, people in wheelchairs, walkers, canes, etc. They take their cues from us, if we are ok with what's around us, they will learn to be as well. We play a CD while the puppies are still with us with various sounds on it- fireworks, vacuum, baby crying, car, horns honking, etc. in hopes that it gets the puppies used to these noises and they aren't as scared of them when they go to their new homes.
6. Last but not least: A tired dog is a good dog!! If they are properly stimulated, fed, and watered, they're happy to relax and be wherever you are and doing whatever you are doing. But, most importantly, IGNORE the bad and REWARD the good! Dogs really want to please us, that is their most important job! If they are told positively what is expected of them, they will do just that! Train your puppy before it trains you!!