The dynamite Bernedoodle dog breed is famous for its striking coat and strong body. These ultra-cute teddy bear dogs also have a strong jaw, and a sparkling set of teeth.
But do Bernedoodles put their chompers to work? Will Bernedoodles chew everything, and are Bernedoodles destructive?
Are Bernedoodles Chewers
The answer is yes, Bernedoodles are often chewers. Both adult and puppy Bernedoodles are known to be chewers, and chew up lots of different items.
Because Bernedoodles are very smart however, it can be possible to identify the cause of the Bernedoodle chewing and redirect the behaviour. It just takes a little patience!
Bernedoodles have a strong set of teeth and are incredibly intelligent. They also have a tendency to be a little strong willed and even stubborn. If a situation arises where a Bernedoodle develops a liking for chewing – it can be difficult to get them to stop.
At what age will Bernedoodles chew?
Bernedoodles are most likely to chew when they are a puppy. Specially around the time of teething. A Bernedoodle will have 28 puppy teeth that will fall out and be replaced with 42 adult dog teeth. During the teething time we need to be particularly careful about how much our Bernedoodle chews.
Puppies that are teething are known to enjoy marathon chew sessions, and engage in fairly destructive chewing behaviours.
The typical age for a Bernedoodle to lose its puppy teeth (and likely develop a fondness for chewing) is around 4-6 month of age. Most puppy teeth are completely gone by the 7 month mark. If any baby teeth have NOT fallen out by then – it can be what is known as a retained tooth.
The baby tooth will stay there and can trap food and risks fracturing. Ouch! Many Bernedoodle owners who notice a retained puppy tooth have their Veterinarian extract the tooth to prevent problems.
Tips for reducing destructive Bernedoodle chewing during teething
- It can be difficult (almost impossible) to eliminate chewing during Bernedoodle puppy teething.
- The puppy is young – and the process is uncomfortable!
- Giving a dog some appropriately sized frozen carrot, or an IceCube to chew on is a great solution
- A frozen treat (like a Kong treat packed Kong-tail cocktail!) is another great soothing tactic
- A chew toy that will not be shredded by the sometimes razor sharp Bernedoodle puppy teeth is also a good idea. A Kong or heavy duty chew is better than a rope toy or cheap chewing stick.
Are Adult Bernedoodles Chewers?
Yes, adult Bernedoodles are sometimes known for a fair tendency to chew things.
All dogs chew, and much the time there are simple things we can do to stop the problem from becoming significant. Dogs use their mouths as a way to explore the world. They sniff, they lick, and they chew.
The key to stopping an adult Bernedoodle from chewing everything is to correctly identify which causes are the trigger of the chew.
The most common core reasons that a Bernedoodle will chew are
- They are quite simply bored
- They are hungry
- They are scared
- There is separation anxiety
- They want attention
- They were not taught as a puppy what is okay to chew and what chewing is bad
There are two extra chewing reasons to consider too – chewing as an expression of a medical problem, and chewing just because.
Chewing due to a medical condition
Sometimes a dog will chew to distract itself from pain or discomfort. The medical condition could manifest with sore teeth (like gum disease or some kidney conditions) or it could be a whole body illness. Dogs can chew aggressively when they feel unwell. They are trying to distract themselves!
This is why any rapid onset of chewing behaviour that is very intense and has no other obvious cause – needs a trip to the Veterinarian. Better to be safe than sorry.
Another issue can arise when a Bernedoodle chews ITSELF. Excessive paw licking or paw chewing is due to a very specific set of issues. Learn all about excessive paw licking and chewing of the Bernedoodle breed.
A bored Bernedoodle will chew
Bernedoodles are both intelligent and also energetic. Sure some Bernedoodles like to lounge around and many sleep a great deal – but there will be bursts of activity from these dogs.
It is important to exercise both the body AND mind of a Bernedoodle to help reduce the risk of them engaging in destructive behaviours.
Problem barking in Bernedoodles is also commonly caused by the same situation. Too much extra mental or physical energy converting into furniture and clothing torn to shreds.
Reducing the excess energy that a Bernedoodle can have can be as simple as increasing the amount of walking/active play time by 10-15 minutes per day. Go up in small increment (even as little as 5 minutes) until you see a reduction in the destructive chewing behavior.
The other tack to consider is that of entailing enriching (and tiring) the mind of your Bernedoodle. These dogs are whip smart and have plenty of mental energy. Giving them a challenge, puzzle or interaction helps tire them out.
Simple brain games (like a muffin tin game or scent work) can burn a great deal of mental energy. The more tired the dog, the happier the dog and the less likely that destructive chewing will occur.
Here is a list of 35 indoor dog games and activities that you could consider to help train the brain (and tire) your active Bernedoodle.
Chewing due to hunger
Sometimes a Bernedoodle will get hungry and chew. It will chew things that are not food, it will chew… pretty much anything it can get its hands on!
Given that perhaps 50% of dogs in the USA are overweight or obese, it does snot make sense to give unrestricted access to food to our Bernedoodles.
We need to control the total daily intake of calories. Pet obesity carries significant health risks with it.
A simple way around is to use a slow feeder, or freeze a stuffed Kong. Our favourite dry kibble slow feeder is below, or you could check out out list of the best stuffed frozen Kong recipes to drive your dog bonkers with excitement.
- SLOWS DOWN EATING UP TO 10X: Outward Hound uniquely designed Fun Feeder dog bowls feature meal-lengthening ridges to help slow down your dog’s eating time by 10X!
- AIDS IN PROPER DIGESTION: Common issues that arise in fasting eating dogs include bloating, regurgitation and canine obesity. Our Fun Feeder Slo Bowls both challenge and engage your dog during mealtime while helping reduce overeating behavior.
- MADE WITH NON-SLIP BASE AND FOOD SAFE MATERIALS: Outward Hound's Fun Feeder Slo Bowl, slow feeder dog bowls are made to hold in both fun and food as your dog forages through the fun patterns with its non-slip base. Bowls are BPA, PVC, and phthalate free.
- DIET DIVERSITY: With 3 different sizes and 5 styles you can mix and match your dog bowls to fit your pup's personality! Fun Feeder Slo Bowls are great for dry, wet, or raw food diets.
- CLEANING MADE EASY: Fun Feeder dog bowls are top rack dishwasher safe. Less work for you means more pup playtime after!
Why Puppy Proofing Matters (even with an adult Bernedoodle)
While the Bernedoodle is one the one doing all the chewing – it really is our responsibility to take ownership and stop it.
Simple reducing the types of things a dog will chew and destroy in its environment is a no brainer.
- Bernedoodle chews towels? Don’t let it have access to towels.
- Bernedoodle chew cords (!) Very dangerous, cover them with tape or a heavy mat
- Bernedoodle chews socks? Put the washing away!
I know this is very simple and sounds condescending – but we just gotta live simple and clean around a Bernedoodle. We can’t really blame our beautiful tri-colour bears if they do take advantage of stuff we left lying around knowingly.
How to Stop a Bernedoodle chewing Furniture or Carpet
If your Bernedoodle chewing rugs, furniture or other items that you can’t remove from their reach – you need to look toothed solutions.
When you are home – we use short sharp LOUD noises to reprimand chewing in these areas.
AH! UH UH!
Don’t use “No” or “BAD DOG” – the Bernedoodle needs to be startled by a noise and not have that noise sound even remotely similar to an existing command.
The problem is… we are not always home.
When we are away from home the only options we have are to isolate the Bernedoodle from the item they are destroying – OR coat it in a distasteful solution that makes them want to chew less.
Some people use a vinegar or lemon juice solution – but many owners find their Bernedoodle develops almost a fondness for the taste. Not ideal!
A bitter apple spray (like Grannick’s solution below) is a classic solution that is safe for most leather, wood and fabric. The majority of dogs will be less enthusiastic or even stop chewing completely when encountering the sour taste of bitter apple spray.
- Grannick's Bitter Apple is a taste deterrent
- training aid for dogs
- Discourages fur biting
- discourages hair chewing
- discourages hot spots
To remain effective the solution must be reapplied though – so active monitoring and trying other tactics to reduce Bernedoodle chewing are super important. You can’t rely on jus this natural deterrent.
Why We Can’t Scold a Bernedoodle for Chewing if We Were Not Present
One of the trickiest parts of stopping a Bernedoodle from chewing – is that Bernedoodles have a relatively short memory span. Sure they might recognise their own mothers instinctively, or remember an old owner after years – but their day to day memory works differently that humans.
If you scold or reprimand a Bernedoodle hours after the incident of chewing – there is next to no chance they will be able to connect the punishment with the chewing. It is just confusing!
Resist the urge to scold a dog after the fact. Be firm when catching the Bernedoodle in the act – but later on any such action will just confuse and frighten your dog.
Bernedoodle Chewing Conclusions
Yes Bernedoodles will likely chew. Both as puppies (due to teething and not knowing any better) and as adults (due to boredom, hunger, or anxiety).
Whatever the cause of our Bernedoodles chewing – it is our responsibility to address and modify the environment. No matter how naughty they may seem, it is the responsibility of the owner to take control and redefine the situation.