Dogs are born as a pack, and this pack mentality doesn’t leave them when they join their forever home. When you think about it this way, it’s hardly surprising that some dogs get lonely and don’t fare well being left alone too long. Doodles are no different and Bernedoodles are intelligent, active, and sociable so you may have to deal with some separation anxiety issues. Let’s look at this topic and whether you can leave your Bernedoodle home alone without any problems.
Bernedoodles along with many other dog breeds can and do suffer from separation anxiety. This doesn’t mean you can’t leave your dog alone – you can. You can support your dog from day one with these issues including crate training and positive reinforcement.
Let’s look into Bernedoodles a little more and show how you can still have a life outside your home. Separation anxiety doesn’t mean your dog can’t be left alone, you might just need to practice the process first, starting with short periods alone.
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These dogs are very much bred as companion dogs so you can expect some fiercely loyal behavior from them. They may exhibit Velcro Dog habits which we have discussed in our Why Does My Labradoodle Follow Me Everywhere article. They want to be by your side as you are fun and their safe space. They love the attention of their human family and are happiest when others are around.
They are an active breed in both mind and body, so they need regular stimulation to keep them fit and well. They are often described as affectionately goofy in their attitude to life and just love lots of socialization.
Can Bernedoodles Be Left Alone?
We know Bernedoodles can suffer from separation anxiety, but this does not mean you shouldn’t consider one. Quite the opposite in fact. Can you offer them lots of love? Regular walks? Socialization? Respect and friendship? Then a Bernedoodle may be just the companion for you. There are steps you can take if your dog exhibits signs of separation anxiety when alone. These are the kinds of behavior you can expect from a Bernedoodle with separation anxiety:
- Crying, whining, howling, or barking
- Destructive habits such as chewing
- Pacing in the room/home
- Drooling or panting
- Trying to escape
- Coprophagia (This is when a dog eats its own feces, you can read more about this in our article why does my Cockapoo eat poop.)
All of the above behaviors may well point to an unhappy Bernedoodle. This is especially true if these behaviors only present themselves when they are left alone. You may not be aware of some of these behaviors (eg barking, whining, or pacing) but if it’s fairly constant you are sure to hear from your neighbor!
Helping Dogs Overcome Separation Anxiety
Once you know your dog is struggling with being left alone there are plenty of things you can implement to support your pooch. Here are some of the ways you can try to help:
- Crate Training – Perhaps one of the most important aspects of puppy training. Crates can be so important when bringing up a dog as it gives them their own safe space, somewhere they come to love and regard as theirs. They don’t need to be crated day in and day out, let’s face it that’s no life for a dog. But if they have their own space that they feel safe in then this can make all the difference for anxious dogs.
- Positive Reinforcement – If your dog begins to associate your return with positive rewards then they may learn that being on their own isn’t a bad thing. Being offered a treat as you walk in the door will lead them to see they are being rewarded for being home alone. In time they associate being left alone with good things. Sometimes working it the other way can help too – offer a reward as you are leaving, this way your dog associates your departure with a positive outcome.
- Your clothing – Leave a piece of your clothing out for them on their bed, this can help comfort an anxious dog. They have a great sense of smell so will seek comfort from this until you are home.
- White Noise/TV/Radio in the Background – Sometimes some background noise can help anxious dogs as the noise will offer them a distraction.
- Calming Medication – If your dog suffers badly with separation anxiety then you may need vet advice and perhaps some medication to help with this.
- The Importance of Exercise – A well-exercised dog usually means they will be more content indoors when you leave as they are more likely to be relaxed and sleep. A dog that isn’t exercised and is then left alone is likely to become agitated, bored, and destructive.
Getting It Right from The Start
Like with most things puppy related it is important to start as you mean to go on – set boundaries, introduce training, and get them used to being alone. This needs to be built up gradually over time so that eventually they can be left while you and the family are working. Start by getting into a consistent routine, yes dogs like a good routine!
Before going out make sure your Bernedoodle has had a walk, or some exercise in the garden and they have tended to their toileting needs. Start with just going out for half an hour to an hour, you could leave your dog in a crate for this length of time. Gradually increase this time you go out over time and then it will be less of a shock to them and will become part of their routine too.
It’s important to say at this point that if you know you are going to be away from your home for long periods during the day then think of the practicalities of committing to a dog. You might want to consider a daily dog walker in this instance so you can go to work happy in the knowledge your dog will have some company to break up their day.
Do Bernedoodles Bark A Lot?
Bernedoodles have quite an impressive bark but they rarely feel the need to use it due to their laid back manner. Being cooped up indoors with lack of exercise could mean your Bernedoodle will bark more.