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Be The Top Dog in the Family

Bernedoodles are a fast growing large breed and grow fast they do! At the moment you bring your puppy home you need to make sure that you meet all 4 pillars for a healthy, happy and stable dog. So what are these 4 pillars you may ask? Well simply they are: 1) physical exercise (we live by the motto that a good dog is a tired dog); 2) mental exercise (this includes puzzle games, barrier games, and obedience before they are allowed to do anything such as eat or come inside....this can be a matter of a few seconds or take meal times and do about 5-10 minutes worth of obedience training while the puppy is hungry and motivated); 3) appropriate love (give it while they are doing something that you like....and don't give it while they are doing something you don't want such as jumping up); and last but not least but probably most importantly....4) BE THE TOP DOG. IN THE FAMILY! Or more specifically provide structure and boundaries. All of the humans in the family should be looked upon by the puppy as the top dogs in the family. We want this because its a dog's nature to protect the herd if nobody else is going to. This can be very stressful for a puppy/dog to take on this role and it's NOT a role you want from you dog if you want a calm, well-mannered, and obedient dog. You MUST establish boundaries and what is appropriate behavior right as soon as the new puppies come home and be firm, and then show appropriate love. It's ok to play tug-o-war games (please see our Puppy Training Manual tab at the top of our home page and find Puppy Central and scroll down) and even wrestle but don't let guests do the same nor let guests play rough house or tug-o-war games until a mutual respect and bond has formed and the dog is at ease with this new person. If you're sheepish around your growing dog the dog will be your alpha and be alot more stressed over this position. Be the top dog, enjoy your dog, but be the top dog and make sure boundaries and structure are clear and firm. This will be a process of consistent training so be patient but also be diligent. Raising a puppy is not easy and it's a lot of hard work so make sure this is the best plan for you. Peace out!


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