Congratulations and Thank You for bringing home a Savvy Bernedoodle or Bernouvier puppy to have into your home, hearts and share a loving bond with for life & Thank You for taking the time to read this information. :) I am available throughout the life of your puppy, contact me for any questions and of course updates and fun stories as well!
Please take the time to friend me on my Facebook account “Savvy Bernedoodles & Bernouviers Owners” to share pictures of your pup as he/she grows and to stay in contact with other owners of Savvy pups! It is also a great way for me to stay in contact with you, while getting to see the babies that were born here!
Here is some basic information that may help you in preparation of bringing your pup home. This is my opinion, how I work with my own puppies and dogs in my home and many trainers and books all carry different information, please apply what works with you and your pup! I apologize for not having a list of books to share with you. I am a trial and error person and base a lot on individual personalities.
Your puppy has started with a grain free kibble diet that they naturally gravitate toward from the food bowl of their mom. Then they are transitioned to the same raw diet I feed my adults. After research and years of feeding my adults raw it became a matter of logic for me to feed it to my pups as well. The benefits for our litters are countless with some of the benefits being the pups gaining a healthy weight that aids in them accepting their vaccinations better, have better overall health and energy. I have noticed, and after feeding one litter half kibble and half raw for two weeks and comparing that the raw fed pups can naturally weight up to twice the weight as the kibble fed pups... so, your pup will come home fat and happy (from food) and each pup will round out their weight and taper off depending of the bred size they are.
When making the transition back to a kibble I do suggest keeping them on a grain free diet, as their digestive system has not had to combat the grains in many kibbles and it would really just give you more to clean up. The Puppy or Adult feeding is based on the size of the pup. Large breed crosses are fed Adult food so they grow at a more maintained rate and do not get the added calcium and fat that "puppy" food provides which can cause them to grow too fast and cause issues with growing pains and an overload of work to their joints.
Also, when making the transition to kibble a few things to note that are very normal when coming from a raw fed pup/dog are 1) they may not bathroom as often as expected the first few days home, this can be from the excitement and the transition to your home, but is most likely attributed to the fact that raw fed dogs absorb up to 95% of their food, while kibble fed pups absorb closer to 35%. Higher absorption creates less waste. 2) They will eat when they are hungry. Be patient and keep offering the food. Some pups transition better if chicken broth, pumpkin puree or tuna/chicken is added and gradually taken away. They are also encouraged to eat with the NuVet supplement added to their food as it has liver in it and it is what they are used to tasting from here. 3) They may drink more water than normal at first when back on a kibble diet because the raw diet provided natural moisture from the meat. Their bodies are transitioning the way they digest their food and kibble, being dehydrated ingredients, they will need more water intake to compensate for that.
Read the suggested serving size on the food you provide as well as start your preferred feeding schedule as soon as your pup gets home to you weather it be 2-3 times a day or free fed that they pick at through the day if the only dog in the house.
*If your puppy has soft stool upon coming home, as this can be common when changing environments, it is advised to give them a TBS of pumpkin puree &/or plain yogurt(plain, from your grocery store) in their food daily. The enzymes will help their gut, along with any added probiotic and the NuVet supplement. Giving rice is a filler that is not solving a problem and will upset their stomach more as they have not had to deal with grains before.
If they seem unsure or uninterested in food at first it may be due to their traveling and new environment, wet the food (you can also use a broth to moisten kibble) or add a little cottage cheese,plain yogurt,or small pieces of meat to entice them. If loose stool still persists consider getting a fecal exam from your Veterinarian, as puppies can catch any number of parasites or viruses at this age and it is best to solve the issue before it takes multiple rounds of medication to alleviate their symptoms and get back to enjoying your pup. *Please note: All of our puppies are given multiple rounds of dewormer as well as preventatively treated for Giardia prior to 8 weeks of age, due to the common occurrence of each in puppies. This information is included in the Health History paperwork that is sent home with them and can be shared with your veterinarian.
Your pup has been taught to use a doggie door to go outside to the bathroom. They have full access from when they are first opening their eyes and learning about their world, because watching what mom does and offering them to naturally gravitate to the door to not bathroom in "their home" provides them with easy bathroom training for you at home, weather it be with a dog door or bells on the door. If you will be working longer hours during the day please do not keep them in their crate, which will start a bad habit because they will need to relieve themselves... best to allow them a specific spot (I suggest a patch of turf with a puppy pad under it) and be persistent with them going outside when you are available and home. Of course having a doggie door to a secure backyard or small potty area is great, or you can train them to wait by the door with a bell. (Be sure you have their paw hit the bell before going out!)
Of course, weather conditions and the new environment may hinder/confuse their continued progress for a short time, but with persistence and giving them a word command with a specific spot to go they will catch on very quickly at your home with the base they already have from here. I suggest crate training them for the evenings and keeping it next to your bed so you can wake if they whine and need to go out, but do not let them play. Night time is to bathroom then back in crate. They are like babies, and may cry at you until they are used to this schedule, so please be consistent with it.
A schedule and knowing they can count on you as their Owner/Boss/Alpha is extremely important , especially the first part of their life in knowing their place and part of the family. All new homes are set up differently, so find what works best for you and your pup and family (dog door, bell on door, smaller confined spaces until they “earn”’ more space with no accidents and going back if they have a mistake). These are all ways I teach my pups here in our home and everything with persistence works!
Be mindful of slick stairs, jumping off of beds, walks or runs that are too long or intense too fast, ect, during the bigger and earlier growth spurts as their joints are more susceptible to injury.
I administer a first vaccine between the ages of 8-12 weeks of age, depending on the size of the pup, which consists of Parvo Virus and Distemper. Your puppy’s Health History will come home with her/him that can be taken directly to your Veterinarian for their records.
Continued puppy socialization is important while still young and just being separated from their littermates. If there are other dogs or puppies that you know they are up to date and current on their own vaccinations and healthy it is ideal to set up such “play dates”. DO NOT take your puppy on walks, dog parks, pet stores, or as a rule of thumb anywhere other dogs may have walked that you don’t know, until ALL of their puppy vaccinations are complete, usually around 4 months. This time with you at home is ideal as they are learning your cues and rules, you can practice walking on leash/harness around the house so they are already comfortable with you and visa versa for when you head outdoors.
Continue getting required puppy vaccinations (3 or 4 sets depending on vet) 3-4 weeks apart with rabies at the conclusion. Heart worm medicine, Flea and Tick meds need to be administered based on the needs of your location. Your puppy has not had any of these due to not knowing what is required and I do not like to overload their immature system with too much at such a young age.
There are a few options to get your baby home to you... 1) You can fly to pick up/fly with pup in cabin while making a trip out of it or an in-out flight same day and bring your pup in cabin back home on your return flight. There is a fee for in cabin pets to ride with you and that depends on the airline. (typically $75-$125 in addition to your flight costs). I usually meet you at the airport at the departures area so there is an easy check in for you, or you can pick up at my home if you have a rental car.
2) If you are close enough and want to drive to pick up your pup, you are welcome to with a scheduled date/time.
3) Your puppy can be flown home to the closest international airport to you and you pick them up. I fly my pups with United PetSafe unless there is another airline with a better flight path. The cost for flying your pup home to you is $400 which includes air fare, crate, health certificate to fly and vet visit. I do not use a third party to drop off my pups, I am the one to check them in and approve the flights. All three ways are safe for your baby... I would never endanger one of my pups as they are making their way home and any form of travel usually puts them right to sleep, the hum of the car & plane and the "baby" overstimulation of it all. We discuss and determined travel when you have chosen your puppy. *Your pup is NOT put in with luggage! They travel in an air and temperature regulated, live animal cargo area which only applies to select planes via United. Other airlines are only used with ideal weather so your pup is not too hot or cold as they may not regulate temperature.
CRATES, COLLAR/HARNESS & BRUSHES
You do not have to purchase a crate before your pup comes home if he/she is flying home to you. That crate they fly in can be used until or if they grow out of it. The size of the crate you purchase will depend on a couple things: are you planning on using it only for potty & puppy training while young? If so, you can get away with a smaller one and replace it with a dog bed in the later months after they have earned their trust around the house or you have an alternative room they have access to while you are away. Do you want to have a consistent crate they can go to and call their own for their life? Then I would suggest getting one to accommodate their adult size. A wire kennel that you can set up in a specific spot that has an additional crate sizer so you can only allow enough room for them to stand, turn and lay back down as they grow and are training and can be opened up when they are older and trained to go to when they need to be out of your hair or when you are away from home. This will be based on your training methods and structure you implement for your dog.
I also suggest, while potty training to line the crate with a towel or small blanket that you can pull out, wash and replace as necessary. A big fluffy bed will only make it harder to clean and give them the opportunity to show you just how sharp those puppy teeth are and possibly ingest some cotton/stuffing.
I always use a harness for young puppies, this way while you can’t take them out on walks around the neighborhood until vaccinations are done, it will give you the opportunity to practice walking around your home without tugging on their neck. After the points of largest growth invest in a more permanent, larger collar. Martingale collars or rounded leather collars are wonderful because as your dog’s hair grows it won’t get tighter and cause matting, it has an adjustable section that will accommodate for sitting comfortably on their necks, not getting tangled while getting tighter when going on walks and keeping them near you. Find what works best with the hair length you like to keep on your dog. The fluff of their hair can be deceiving so make sure there is still room (general of two fingers under collar) but that it cannot be tugged up over their head if they pull back.
The only two brushes I have ever needed to have on hand to keep up with brushing my dogs’ hair when it gets longer is a long metal comb, in case there are any matts starting or areas that need more deep attention (behind ears, collar area, hind quarters) and a flat bristle/slicker brush, that is pokey, which is a great over the top brush out and eases into the deeper comb brushing. Your groomer may suggest other brushing or grooming aids for the length of hair and amount of wave on your pup.
Your puppy has been microchipped & you will receive a card with your puppy’s microchip number and easy, free registration information. Please do this as soon as possible. You can register your puppy's Microchip for free at: www.found.org/start. This puts their Microchip information into the national database. You can register how you choose.
I look forward to all the pictures, updates and stories of your puppy in their new home! Thank you for sharing your excitement with me!