Be Prepared for a Berner Pup's arrival

Before the puppy is ready to come into your home, there are some things you can do to prepare. Please take the time to 'puppy proof' your home. Puppies are curious and can get into all sorts of mischief, much the same as human toddlers.

        ► Inside the home - Use baby gates to block open doorways for rooms that the puppy will not be permitted access on a regular basis. Wiring is a favorite puppy target; so when possible tape or tack electrical cords 2 feet above floor level. Books, magazines, laundry, trash bins should also be placed above floor level unless you plan to watch what your pup is up to every minute. 
Happens frequently - dish towel gone missing!!!! Berner puppies are notorious for eating inappropriate things like dishtowels, socks, underwear, string or soft toys. Once injested cloth can cause serious damage to the stomach and intestines. Some dogs will eat these things and they will pass through their system a day or several days later. If you find that an object is missing and your dog does not want to eat, has thrown up or seems to be in any kind of digestive distress, she may need to see a vet. A training tip: Some pups play a chase game with objects and some will gulp things down. By chasing you encourage the dog's game to continue. Instead, try using another acceptable toy or treat to get your pup to give up his object for yours by offering to play your game with your super fun toy. Most dogs just want their owner's attention and will readily change gears to get it.

        ► Drop offs inside and outside - A dog's vision does not allow for good depth perception. Dogs are not able to judge vertical distances well. Check for any areas indoors and outdoors that might cause a fall, such as open stairways or landings or open decks with drop-offs. Young puppies may not have developed a good sense of how to navigate stairs and may jump from landings. You will need to have an awareness of your new puppy's familiarity with walking up and down stairs. Providing guidance to the pup to teach him to calmly & safely navigate stairs is advised. Many Berner owners use baby gates to limit puppy's access to stairs for the first 6 months.

        ► Inside/outside - Please place any hazardous chemicals, garden fertilizers, insecticides, cleaning substances, antifreeze, glues, paints or other poisonous chemicals up off the ground at least 4' - 5' or put them away in a closed secure cabinet.

        ► Outside - Yard decorations such as cocoa bean mulch and some indoor and outdoor plants can be hazardous. Qualified nurserymen can advise you on which of your plants are pet friendly. Rashes, vomiting, diarrhea, and even convulsions and death are symptoms of poisoning. 

        ► Keep this information and your emergency animal hospital number handy - post on 'fridge' or in address book! 

        ► Fencing - Check for any small holes in and at the base of outdoor fences and repair them so your puppy can't get under or through the fence. Puppies can easily get their heads stuck in small openings, so make sure holes or gaps are completely covered.

        ► Water hazards - Pools should be fenced. Generally speaking, most young Berner pups do not have good swimming skills. If your property allows access to a natural body of water with depth be aware Berner pups can fall in, whether water is liquid or partially frozen. Make sure that if puppy (or adult) has access to walk on frozen ponds, creeks or lakes that the ice is thick enough to hold his weight.