Tips for Raising a Bernese Mountain Dog Puppy

August 19, 2021
Posted in blog
August 19, 2021 Bryan Striegler

Tips for Raising a Bernese Mountain Dog Puppy

Berner puppy looking at dishes

It’s been over 3 months since we got our new Bernese Mountain Dog puppy, Ellie. If you’ve ever had a puppy, you know that it takes a lot of effort and can be very overwhelming. She definitely has acted like a puppy, but things are really starting to smooth out. I thought I would share some of the issues we’ve had raising puppies in the past and some tips for Raising a Bernese Mountain Dog.

Tips for Raising a Bernese Mountain Dog Puppies

1. Puppies like to chew

Puppies will cause a lot of messes and problems, but most of those can be cleaned up easily. The most frustrating thing, though, is when they destroy something because that can’t be fixed.

Finn-with-dog-toy

Puppies will chew on things. Hopefully, you can get them to chew on the right things. There are abundance of chew toys out there. There are hard toys, soft toys, squeaky toys, bouncy toys, and all types of bones. It will take some experimenting to find out what your puppy likes, but once you find the right thing, you can avoid lots of problems.

It’s also important to take steps to protect things. First off, make sure to keep an eye on your puppy. He or she can’t get in trouble if you are nearby. Second, keep things picked up or keep your puppy away from your expensive items.

2. Potty Training Your Bernese Puppy

From my experience, Bernese Mountain Dogs are really smart and learn quickly. Finn was using a dog door in a few weeks without any real training. It was a little harder with Ellie, but still, she figured things out after about a month.

Bernese puppy looking out door

There are a few different things you can do to speed up potty training your Bernese puppy. Just like with chewing, you will need to be around for those first few weeks. If you are having issues, make a schedule. Take your puppy outside every 30 minutes. This way, you are less likely to have accidents and they learn to go outside.

Not everyone has that kind of time, though. If you can’t take them outside every 30 minutes, do your best to keep an eye on him or her. Potty training works well if you can catch your puppy right before or as it happens. You can use the word potty, so they make that connection as it happens.

Some people use other methods, but I haven’t had much experience with them. I’ve heard of people using pee pads, but to me, that seems like you are teaching your puppy to pee inside. I’ve heard of others using a bell. You put a bell by the door, and the puppy learns to ring it to tell you to open the door.

3. Sleeping at Night

Just like babies, puppies will keep you up those first few weeks. It might be he or she needs to go to the bathroom or isn’t used to the new situation. Either way, a crying puppy can really make sleeping difficult.

Bernese puppy under bed

There are a few different ways you can go about it. One, you can let your new puppy sleep with you. For many people, this isn’t a big deal, but others don’t like dogs on the bed. It is one of those things you could start with your puppy on the bed, and move him or her when they start sleeping through the night.

Another option is to give them a place to sleep that is relatively isolated, so they can’t get into trouble. If you have a crate, your puppy can sleep in it when you are gone and at night. Eventually, he or she will learn to love it.

4. Basic Commands

Dogs need to learn basic commands like sit, stay, and come. The sooner you start training your new Bernese puppy, the better. Like I mentioned earlier, they are very smart, so they should be able to pick up things quickly.

Bernese mountain dog looking at bananas

There are different methods for training. For Finn, we took him to classes and have a shock collar that we can use. Most of the time, we don’t put the collar on him anymore and he listens. Others like using rewards instead of punishment. So far, this is what we have been using with Ellie. She is obsessed with food, so she tends to listen when there is food involved.

Whatever method you use, the biggest thing is being consistent. Do and say the same things over and over again. Eventually, your puppy will make the connection between what you are saying and what you want to happen.

5. Other Puppy Problems

Over the years of raising puppies, I’ve found that each puppy is different and will have different issues. Some puppies were worse with chewing and nipping at the kids. Others really liked marking the house. With Ellie, our biggest issue has been her food aggression. She isn’t mean, but she cares so much about food and will steal it from anyone.

Berner puppy looking at dishes

Most of these problems can be dealt with like the others. It will take time and effort and the earlier you start dealing with the problem, the better. Use similar training methods to the basic commands and you should be able to change your puppy’s behavior.

Getting Past the Puppy Stage

The puppy stage is fun but it can be very challenging. Sometimes I find myself pulling my hair out, but your puppy will grow up and learn. He or she will grow out of some of the puppy things and calm down.

adult Berner playing with Berner puppy

Don’t fret if things don’t go perfectly. Treat your puppy with love and do the best you can. In the end, your puppy isn’t going to be perfect, but you’ll have built a bond with them that goes way beyond any puppy issues.