Who can resist such a furry, teddy bear-like face?
Bernedoodles are a popular breed for dog lovers looking for a non-shedding, hypoallergenic pup. Before you bring home your new Bernedoodle, however, it’s important to learn how to crate train them. Crate training is crucial to your dog’s development and will make your life as a pet parent much more manageable.
You’ve probably already read up on the Bernedoodle breed and what to expect when you bring one home. But, in case you need a refresher, Bernedoodles are a cross between a Bernese mountain dog and a poodle. They typically weigh between 10-90 pounds and stand at 10-29 inches.
Bernedoodles are known to be goofy, clever, gentle, and loyal. They’re meant to be family dogs, best in a home with children. Their lifespan is 12 to 18 years, so you’ll have your loving companion for a long while.
Though many Bernedoodles are non-shedding, all Bernedoodles require some grooming. Their coat can be either wavy or curly and may be long or short. The amount of grooming your Bernedoodle will need depends on their coat type.
Like all dogs, Bernedoodles need regular exercise. They enjoy walks, hikes, and playing fetch. They’re also known to be good swimmers! The breed is absolutely perfect for people with active lifestyles.
Why Crate Train Your Bernedoodle?
Seeing dogs inside crates can be a bit sad. But, the truth is, dogs are den animals. They like to have a space that’s just their own where they can feel safe and secure. A crate can provide your Bernedoodle with just that. They will, however, need your help to get used to it. Crate training is fundamental for several reasons.
Easier Life for You and Your Bernedoodle
Dogs are den animals, but the crate can become their jail without training. Once your Bernedoodle is properly crate trained, they’ll see their crate as a happy, safe place. They’ll be excited to go in there on their own, making your life so much easier.
Crate training is also helpful when you travel with your Bernedoodle. If they’re used to being in their crate, they’ll be more relaxed and less stressed when they have to travel in one.
A Safe Space for Your Bernedoodle
If you have young children in the house, a crate can provide your Bernedoodle with a safe space to retreat to when they need a break from all the commotion. Crates are also essential for puppies. A puppy-proofed crate can keep your Bernedoodle safe and out of trouble when you can’t directly supervise them.
Works for All Ages and Breeds
Crate training isn’t just for puppies. Dogs of all ages and breeds can benefit from it. If you have an adult Bernedoodle, they can still learn to love their crate! And again, this helps both you and your dog. So, why not give it a try?
Steps on How To Crate Train a Bernedoodle
You’ll need to do crate training gradually. You can’t just put your Bernedoodle in their crate and expect them to be okay with it. It will take some time and patience to get them used to it. Here are some steps to help you get started:
Step 1: Decide Where To Place the Crate.
You’ll want to choose a spot that’s comfortable for your Bernedoodle and centrally located in your home. You don’t want them to feel isolated, but you also don’t want the crate to be in the way.
Step 2: Leave the Door Open.
After you’ve prepared and placed the crate, leave the door open so your Bernedoodle can explore it on their own. You don’t have to force them to go in. Just let them sniff around and get used to it at their own pace. They may be hesitant at first, but eventually, they’ll venture!
Step 3: Introduce Your Bernedoodle to the Crate.
Sit beside the crate and call your Bernedoodle over. When they get to you, give them a treat. Do this a few times until they associate the crate with something positive. When you think they’re ready, leave a treat by the crate’s door and encourage them to go in and get it. Don’t forget to sound excited and encouraging.
Step 4: Close the Door for a Minute or Two.
Once your Bernedoodle is comfortable going in and out of the crate on its own, it’s time to start closing the door. Start by closing it for just a minute or two while you’re still sitting by the crate. Then gradually increase the amount of time you leave them in there.
Step 5: Establish “Crate Time.”
Set aside some time each day for “crate time.” This is when your Bernedoodle will be in their crate, either alone or with you. You can use this time to play games, read a book, or just relax. The important thing is that your Bernedoodle associates the crate with good things. Also, have a command for when it’s time to go into the crate, like “Kennel up!”
Step 6: Crate Them When You Leave.
Practice crating your Bernedoodle when you leave the house, even if it’s just for a few minutes. This way, they’ll know that the crate is a safe place to be even when you’re not there. Just make sure you give them plenty of exercise before you leave, so they’re not too antsy in the crate.
Step 7: Let Them Sleep in Their Crate.
Once your Bernedoodle is crate trained, they can start sleeping in their crate at night. This may take some time to adjust to, but eventually, they’ll be just as comfortable in there as they are in their bed. Keep in mind that puppies can’t hold their bladder all night, so you’ll need to take them out for potty breaks regularly.
Tip and Tricks
Crate training your Bernedoodle doesn’t have to be a battle. Look at it as a bonding experience for the two of you! Here are some tips and tricks to make it easier for both of you:
Put Their Favorite Toys in the Crate.
To make the crate more inviting, put some of their favorite toys in there so they’ll have something to do while they’re in there. They’ll associate the crate with happy memories, too.
Create a Schedule.
Dogs love routines, so having a set schedule for crate time will help them feel more comfortable. They’ll be less likely to resist if they know when to expect it.
Be Patient and Consistent.
Training takes time, patience, and consistency, so don’t get discouraged if your Bernedoodle isn’t an expert overnight. And, don’t forget to take deep breaths whenever you feel yourself getting frustrated. Your Bernedoodle will sense your frustration, and it will only make the process harder.
Treats, Treats, Treats!
As always, positive reinforcement is key. Be sure to give your Bernedoodle plenty of treats when they do something right. This will make them more likely to cooperate with you.
Your Bernedoodle is a gentle giant companion. It may not seem like it right away when you first have them, but with time, patience, and proper training, your Bernedoodle will be the best dog you’ve ever had! The first few weeks may be a little rocky, but it’ll all be worth it once your furry friend is properly crate trained.
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