How to Improve your Bernedoodle Confidence?
Bernedoodles are extremely popular family pet dogs that are known to be friendly, loyal, and intelligent. But is there such as thing as a shy Bernedoodle?
Well, there is! And if your pup is a shrinking violet, you’ll want to know how to improve your Bernedoodle’s confidence.
Read this guide to find out!
Temperament And Genetics
At first glance, you might assume that every beautiful, bouncy Bernedoodle is a confident, outgoing creature, full of sass and fun.
However, there are two common types of Bernedoodle:
- Happy, tolerant, bouncy, loyal, and even-tempered
- Skittish, reserved, nervous, and lacking in confidence
All dogs’ temperaments have a large genetic component. So, whatever breed of dog you own, your furry friend’s temperament will be heavily influenced by that of his parents. For that reason, be sure to meet your puppy’s parents before parting with your cash, and always buy from a reputable breeder.
If you have a shy Bernedoodle, here are some tips to help improve your dog’s confidence.
Crate Train Your Bernedoodle
Most dogs view their crate as a safe, comfy, secure place to chill out when they need some alone time. Therefore, crate training can be a very effective way of improving your dog’s confidence.
Bernedoodles can be large dogs, so choose from one of the larger-sized crates that are available on the market. Squeezing your dog into a crate that’s too small for him will only make your pet feel even less confident!
Ideally, your dog should be able to stand upright, sit down, turn around, and stretch out flat without any part of his body touching the crate roof or sides.
Remove Anxiety Triggers
Even in the safe environment of your home, there can exist certain anxiety triggers that make your dog feel afraid and damage his confidence. If you can remove those triggers, you can help your dog feel less concerned and worried.
For example, many dogs are frightened of vacuum cleaners. Start by asking someone else to take the dog out for a walk while you vacuum around your home. Leave the “dead” vacuum cleaner out so that the dog can sniff it, and then put the machine away.
Next time, try vacuuming while the dog is outside in your backyard, ideally with someone he trusts.
Establish A Regular Routine
Dogs of all breeds thrive on a routine!
If your Bernedoodle knows when it’s dinner time, playtime, and bedtime, he will be much less worried and stressed because his day contains no uncertainty. A nervous dog will be much calmer and more settled if he knows when he’s going to be left alone and when his human family will be around.
Socialize Your Dog
Dogs that lack confidence tend not to cope well when exposed to typical socialization situations. So, taking your shy Bernedoodle to a busy park or for a walk down a street could simply stress your dog out and make him even timider. That means you’ll have to think carefully about how to socialize your pup and maybe try a different method.
We’ve had some success with the following strategy:
- Have a friend sit in the same room as your timid Bernedoodle. The person can drop a treat on the floor every so often for your dog to take.
- Your dog’s new buddy should not speak to him or attempt to interact with your pet in any way, other than occasionally dropping a treat on the floor.
- When your Doodle trusts his buddy, have the person stand up and sit down again a few times, ignoring the dog all the time.
- If all goes well, introduce a few other friends and repeat the exercise so that the dog learns that he doesn’t need to fear strangers.
- Now, ask each of those “buddies” to take your dog for a short walk on his leash.
Sometimes, dogs lack confidence if they don’t understand what’s required of them. So, it’s logical to expect your dog to feel more confident if he knows exactly what you want him to do. The easiest way to achieve that is to teach your Bernedoodle a few basic commands, such as “Sit,” “Stay,” and “Come.”
Always be patient and kind when training any dog, especially one that lacks confidence. Use positive reinforcement training methods, and never lose your temper or become cross when your dog gets it wrong or doesn’t catch on right away. Keep the sessions fun and short, and use treats and toys to reward your pet.
You can start holding the training sessions indoors in a familiar environment where your dog feels comfortable. Once your Bernedoodle grows in confidence, try taking him outside into your backyard, then to a park where there are more distractions. We recommend that you keep your dog leashed when training him somewhere unfamiliar in case your pup runs away.
Take Directed Walks
Despite their large size, some Bernedoodles can be terrified of other dogs. Even the greetings that you see most other dogs using, such as nose-to-tail, play-posturing, and sniffing nose-to-nose, can be absolutely petrifying for a nervous dog that lacks confidence. That’s where the direct walking method comes in.
- Ask a friend with a calm, well-socialized dog to join you for a walk with your Bernedoodle.
- Keep the dogs leashed.
- Be sure to keep the other dog at your pup’s “worry radius,” where your dog shows no signs of anxiety. Walk briskly and don’t permit the dogs to touch or sniff each other.
- Every few minutes, stop walking and have the dogs sit quietly around 15 feet apart. Reward the dogs and move on.
- Over time, begin to reduce the distance between the dogs, still without allowing them to touch each other. Introduce more dogs to the group until your dog is completely at ease in their company.
Basically, the directed walking method shows your shy dog that walking with another dog can be fun and safe.
Some dogs will always be nervous and timid, but you can make your Berndoodle feel happier by following the simple tips outlined in this guide.
Establish a regular routine for your dog, provide your pet with a large crate where he can relax in comfort and feel safe and secure, and take the time to train your dog using positive reinforcement training methods. Eventually, you should have a confident, well-adjusted pet that loves his life as much as you love him.