Are Bernedoodles Easy to Train? We Look at What It Takes

Training your new puppy has so many lifelong benefits and can have such a positive effect on the dog-owner relationship. There is nothing more rewarding than watching your puppy learn new things and begin responding to your commands. It makes walks and socializing so much more fun and can really strengthen the bond between you. Training your Bernedoodle from a young age opens the door to so many new experiences for everyone involved.

Bernedoodles are easy to train due to their intelligent nature which is reflective of the Poodle/Bernese crossbreed. They are quick to learn, energetic and keen to please. Female dogs can sometimes be easier to train than males, partly because they are not so easily distracted and can mature faster.

So much is involved in the training process and as a first-time dog owner, the information can be very overwhelming. Fear not though, you will feel much better equipped for bringing up a well behaved, well-respected dog (and indeed owner) after reading this article.

Why is Dog Training Important?

Leadership is central to any training you undertake with your dog – they learn to respect you and listen to you. This will become so important in all aspects of your dog’s life with you. Rules will be set, and your dog will grow to understand these rules and with consistent training, will follow the rules.

Dog training makes for a more content dog – mental stimulation is so important, particularly in the more intelligent breeds. It will lessen anxieties and lead to your dog being much better behaved in a larger group of dogs and when around people.

The Bernedoodle Temperament – What Traits does it Carry from its Lineage?

A well-bred Bernedoodle from a reputable breeder should have positive traits derived from both the Poodle and the Bernese Mountain Dog.

Poodles are very bright and can pick up commands and tricks very quickly due to their willingness to learn and please. They are energetic, to varying degrees depending on the size. Poodles are actually quite a misunderstood breed. Underneath their pretty curls, they are one of the easiest dog breeds to train because of their high intelligence levels and also their loyalty.

Bernese Mountain Dogs make fantastic working dogs due to their intelligent nature. They are hard-working, loyal and so keen to please. Although known for their high energy personalities, they can also be very obedient and calm when required. Bernese Mountain Dogs excel at events such as obedience, herding, and agility, and such events attribute positively to their lives.

Bernedoodles, therefore, can offer the qualities of both of their parents’ breeds and offer so much as a pet dog.

Training your Bernedoodle

When your Bernedoodle first comes home, you will find that they have already accomplished some skills which their parents or breeder will have taught them. If you are lucky this could include potty training.

The earlier you start the training the better because they hit so many developmental milestones in these early months and can soak up new skills efficiently.

Teaching them to walk well on a leash, be sociable, and behave around people are the important basics but house training is the most important skill to master first and foremost. Stick at teaching this before trying anything else otherwise you will overwhelm your dog.

After these skills have been mastered you can teach your Bernedoodle more specialized commands and skills such as sitting on command, waiting on command, giving a paw, standing up when asked, and teaching them to lie on their bed on command. Listening and obeying commands will lead to a well-mannered Bernedoodle.

Short video on one training command

Training Methods

A wide variety of training methods are used today, and we will explore these in detail. Finding the right method to suit your Bernedoodle is very important.

It is perhaps tempting to follow methods made popular by celebrities such as Cesar Millan, Nick White, or Victoria Stilwell but ultimately you need to pick a training method you are comfortable with and can see through all the way to the end.

There are a lot of different techniques out there but a lot of them have connections to others, just with different principles applied.

  • Traditional Training Techniques

This traditional theory is based on the belief that all dogs should respect their owners and others around them. Your dog should regard you as “top dog” in all situations. Unwanted behaviors while following this technique should be punished.

Food is not used as a reward in more traditional training methods.

Following this method owners believe it is important for the owner to be above the dog in the rankings and the dog being aware of this. Your dog not being allowed on the bed could be an example of this, to stop the possibility of resource guarding.

  • Modern Training Techniques

The theories here move away from traditional, and instead look closely at the dog’s behaviors which are key to then offering training methods. Many studies have been carried out in more recent times which look into the science behind these behaviors.

Positive reinforcement falls into this category and generally, punishment is avoided. Dogs involved in the forces have been trained using modern-day techniques very successfully.

In this technique, food and other rewards are readily used.

  • Balanced Training Techniques

This theory contains a combination of both traditional and modern techniques to form a more balanced approach to training. Following this theory, trainers believe in both positive reinforcement but also adopting forms of punishment. Some trainers start off as traditional based but in time and as more studies emerge, they begin moving into more modern ways of thinking and acting.

Puppy Training Classes – Are they Worth it?

Puppy training classes can be so beneficial in the early stages of socialization. It is recommended to begin classes when your puppy is around 7 to 8 weeks old. They should have received their first set of vaccines seven days prior to attending classes and should also have been dewormed. Of course, they should also be up to date with vaccines throughout these classes.

Puppy classes vary in price depending on what the course offers and location but prices can vary from $30 for a group session, up to $120 for a private training session. 

Dog Training Resources

There is an abundance of information out there about dog training and it can be very difficult picking the best methods for your Bernedoodle. As the first port of call, we suggest asking your breeder what method (if any) they follow or ask if they can recommend any good resources.

There are a variety of books featuring the Bernedoodle breed and there are chapters relating to training. YouTube is another great resource.

To begin training, especially when following positive reinforcement all you really need is some food or toys, and a stack of patience.

Toys can be used as positive reinforcement

What is Crate Training and is it Recommended?

Crate training is about providing your Bernedoodle with their own bed and their own safe space. There are so many benefits to this and gives your pooch a sense of belonging – who doesn’t like that?

Crates come in a variety of sizes to suit your breed and often owners use them from puppyhood to stop chewing or potty incidents while the pup is home alone. 

It can also provide reassurance for anxious dogs and dogs who like to feel protected. A crate can be one of the best investments in your dog’s life.

How To Stop Unwanted Dog Behavior

Puppies and older dogs will and do go through mischievous phases as they develop and grow. Like children, they will test boundaries from time to time and it is important to be equipped to deal with this.

First of all, get the basics right such as exercise, diet, socialization, and a good sleeping routine.  The best method for dealing with unwanted behavior is to apply a short sharp “no” as they are doing it. You should then encourage them to something more desirable.

Crate training can also be useful in dealing with unwanted behaviors as well.

Related Questions

Are Bernedoodles Easy to Potty Train?

Potty training can be the harder skill to master with your Bernedoodle, in part because they can be stubborn. Consistency and patience is the key here. It is so important to begin potty training right away – we cannot emphasize this enough. Bernedoodles sometimes wee in excitement and not because they feel the urge to go. This trait, which is inherited from the Poodle, can carry on throughout adulthood.

Are Bernedoodles Good Family Dogs?

Bernedoodles make fantastic family dogs due to their good nature and social character. They absolutely thrive around a larger family and are so happy in this sort of environment. Like all puppies, Bernedoodles can get over-excited which is why training is the link between puppy and family.