You’ve just gotten your new puppy and you couldn’t be more excited. They are goofy and sweet and playful and just a bundle of fun. You’ve got on your rose colored glasses and anything they do is adorable! It is an exciting time for everyone, but now is the time to lock in your training routine or their adorable antics will turn into potentially big problems if your little bundle of fun has grown into a large, adult dog with bad habits.
The day your puppy comes home is the day to start training and establishing good habits. Bernese and Bernedoodle puppies are eager to please, and learn fast if you are willing to work with them. Before they come home, do some research and make decisions about what commands you want them to learn, whether or not you want them to be crate trained, potty training plans, and leash training techniques. Begin your training right away. Consistency is key.
No matter which area of training you are working on, positive reinforcement will be your greatest asset. The desire to please comes from both parents. Your puppy wants nothing more than to make you happy and whenever they do something correctly, make sure they know. Attention, excitement, praise and treats will help your dog to associate good behavior with their favorite reward.
The biggest thing you are trying to avoid is an adult dog that pulls and yanks on the end of their leash. As you’re starting out, baby steps are important. You can choose to start with a harness rather than a collar so you won’t pull on your puppy’s neck when mistakes are made. Go for little walks around your yard or the sidewalk in front of your house, whatever you have available. Your main goal for leash walking is to be able to have your dog walking by your side with a loose leash. So as you are training, keep the leash short, around arms length to get them used to where they need to be. Positive reinforcement comes in to play here as well. Make sure your pup knows when they’re doing well!
For more on leash training, click here.
We all know the basic commands- come, sit, stay, heel, and down. For your dog’s safety and your own mental well being you’ll want to start with these early. Just like any young child, your puppy has a short attention span. Keep your training sessions short, fun, and always end them on a high note. Ten to fifteen minutes several times a day will be plenty in the beginning and sticking to one command at a time will keep them from getting overloaded with information. Once your puppy knows the basics you can start to move on to the more experienced and fun tricks!
For more on “sit”, “wait”, and “come” click here.
Unfortunately potty training won’t happen overnight. Starting early can help expedite the process, but it is important to be aware that accidents will happen. Start with figuring out a consistent feeding schedule. This will help your puppy establish a consistent and predictable potty schedule. On top of that there are key times when your puppy may need to go to the bathroom so try and accommodate your puppy as best you can- first thing in the morning, after play and exercise, before being put into his crate, after being released from his crate, and just before bedtime. Decide on a positive command that you want your puppy to associate with a successful potty trip. “Go potty” or “bathroom” are good options. Supervise your puppy as much as possible and keep any eye out for any signs that your puppy may need to go out such as whining, sniffing, circling or scratching at the door. By recognizing the signs, you can help avoid accidents and focus on positive reinforcement and, gradually, your puppy will start to figure out how to communicate when they need to go out.
Montana Bernese Mountain Dog and Bernedoodle Breeders
© 2023 Montana Berners – Breeders of Exceptional Bernese Mountain Dogs and Bernedoodles in Montana.