Are Bernedoodles Chewers?

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bernedoodle chewing

So you decided on a Bernedoodle for your family. Congratulations! They are really good dogs and amazing companions that like nothing more than to spend time with their family – whether it is being active or cuddling. 

As you are preparing for your Bernedoodle moving in, you should make sure to get enough chew articles though, because as you will find out before long: They can be rather destructive!

Are Bernedoodles bad chewers?

Yes, they are. Like all Doodle breeds, Bernedoodles high an extremely high chewing desire. There is nothing you can do to change this – the best (and only!) way to handle your Bernedoodle’s chewing urge is to provide him with plenty of chew articles.

chews for bernedoodles

Chewing as a natural need

Chewing is a natural, inborn need for all dogs. How badly a dog chews will depend on their breed and age. Some breeds, especially lap dogs, have a less intense chewing desire than others.

Any kind of retrievers have a very high chewing urge. This includes Goldendoodles, Sheepadoodles, and – as a Poodle cross – also Bernedoodles. They were bred to work with their mouth. Any kind of chewing, retrieving or grabbing things feels inherently rewarding to them. This is a characteristic of your dog that you will not be able to change – just like his coat color!

The only way to handle the chewing desire is to provide plenty of chewing options for your pup.

Here you can read more about the origin of this behavior.

By satisfying your dog’s chewing desire, you not only stop unwanted destruction of furniture – but you can also improve his sleep habits and bad manners! Chewing serves as a way to release tension and pent-up energy, especially for puppies.

Chewing for adult Bernedoodles

Your Bernedoodle’s chewing desire will most likely not disappear once he leaves the puppy stage. Many Bernedoodles are heavy chewers for their whole life. Giving your dog enough to chew will be an integral part of your life with him – just like brushing or walking him.  He will likely not stop chewing any time soon.

Many owners make the mistake to think that once their dog has passed his first birthday, he is not a puppy anymore and chewing is no longer a problem. This is not true!

Your Bernedoodle will most likely not reduce his chewing much (if at all) at this age. When your dog is stressed or upset, chances are he will need to chew even more than usual. Chewing will also help you keep your adult dog calm after surgeries, such as when you neuter or spay your Bernedoodle.

Most dogs slow down on their chewing as they enter their senior years – before then, daily chewing is a must for Bernedooodles.

bernedoodle puppy

Are Bernedoodles destructive?

If you are not able to give your Bernedoodle enough chew items then yes – he will be very destructive. Bernedoodles are large dogs with powerful jaws. If they are bored, they will do some damage to your home.

From my own dog training clients, here is a list of some of the items I have seen Bernedoodles destroy:

  • an iPhone
  • several pairs of prescription glasses
  • rugs
  • backpack
  • down parka
  • quilt

Needless to say, the owners are upset and frustrated when this happens. It is absolutely crucial that you provide your Bernedoodle with plenty of chew items.

What should Bernedoodles chew?

In order to fully satisfy your Bernedoodle’s chewing desire, you should aim to provide him with at least 2 hours of daily chewing time. Sounds a lot? It is! And it’s also the only guaranteed way to prevent your pup from taking out his chewing urges on your home and belongings.

It is extremely important that you do not allow your Bernedoodle to tear up and ingest stuffed animals or rubber toys. This could lead to dangerous bowel obstruction, which can be fatal.

I highly recommend to get some kind of rubber chew toys that you can refill for your Bernedoodle. 

Preparing your Bernedoodle’s chew toys

You can fill your Bernedoodle’s chew toys with a wide range of foods. Here are some to try out:

  • Soaked kibble
  • Plain yoghurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Canned chicken
  • Pureed pumpkin
  • Peanut butter (just small amounts!)
  • Canned spray cheese

After filling your Bernedoodle’s chew toy, make sure to freeze it for several hours. 

Video Instructions for Filling your Bernedoodle’s Chew Toys

Here is a video of me filing chew toys for my own dogs. I recommend this to all my clients whose dogs have destructive tendencies. Try it out!

You can find a variety of great chew items for your dog made in the USA here: Soda Pup

Are Bernedoodles aggressive?

Bernedoodles are not aggressive. Their intense chewing desire can however be confused with aggression, especially if they take it out on their owner’s home and furniture, such as on doors, couches, book shelves or even walls.

Chewing like this can often be a sign of frustration and not enough outlets for the dog’s energy. This can over time lead to the dog developing other behavioral issues such as reactivity, separation anxiety or resource guarding.

You should always strive to fulfill your dog’s needs – this ranges from providing sufficient exercise over high-quality food and treats to socializing him and supplying him with plenty of chew materials and toys.

Aggression is at times confused with prey drive. Your Bernedoodle may stalk your cat or try to hunt squirrels. This is expected behavior for most dogs – not a worrisome sign of aggression, but something you can work on with training!