CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR NEW BERNER PUPPY!
For your convenience, we have compiled a list of answers to FAQ's for your reference.
- DEWCLAWS: Berners have dewclaws on both front and hind legs. Some pups have double dewclaws, where a second digit is present along side the first. We remove all dewclaws present before each pup turns 5 days old. While every effort is made to ensure complete amputation of each digit, we do not guarantee regrowth will not occur. Dewclaws regrowing is not uncommon. Optional surgery to remove regrown dewclaw(s) is available through your vet and can generally be done, at your request, during the spay/neuter surgery.
- FEEDING: Your puppy is used to having kibble and fresh water free choice from the time they get up in the morning until they go to bed. If you choose to feed your puppy on a schedule (could be easier for house training) they will need 3 – 4 feedings a day until they can handle a bigger meal. Then you can slowly decrease the number of feedings, while increasing the amount per feeding as they get older/bigger. Avoid food bolting (gulping or wolfing down their meal) as this can lead to bloat. (Hint: Adding water to and/or soaking the food can slow bolting behavior.)
- FOOD: Your puppy is eating Iams Minichunks dry kibble. (Not Large Breed formula, not Puppy formula, etc.) It will be best for you to have this food on hand when you bring your puppy home. It is recommended to make any dietary changes very slowly. Puppy foods are generally not recommended as the high protein causes the puppies to grow too fast, which can lend to joint issues.
- GROOMING: For dogs with fuller coats (like Whisky) we use a shedding rake. For dogs with a smooth, less full coat, we use an inexpensive hair brush.
- PAPERWORK: Your puppy will come with their AKC registration paperwork and vaccination information when you pick them up. PLEASE DO NOT LOSE THIS PAPERWORK! All paperwork and packaging is original and is not replaceable.
- PARASITES: Parasites happen – all dogs have them in their system – and stress, like the stress of going to a new home and/or feed changes and/or schedule changes, can cause their immune system to weaken giving parasites the opportunity to thrive. If your puppy experiences watery/bloody diarrhea they need to be seen by a vet. We have started your pup on their worming program and schedule. Re-infestation happens - it is up to you to continue a worming schedule/plan with your pup.
- POTTY TRAINING: We highly recommend crate training.
- STERILIZATION: Current recommendations for large breed dogs is to wait until 12-24 months of age to spay or castrate. There are as many opinions on this topic as people, and you will find research to support or disprove each. Please seek the advice of your vet. Points to consider for female dogs: the longer you wait, the more heat cycles she will have. With each cycle be prepared to deal with bloody discharge, odors, licking, possible behavioral changes (more needy/less needy, 'humping' other animals, etc.), keeping separate from intact male dogs. Points to consider for male dogs: the longer you wait, they may be more prone to territory marking - inside and outside, possible behavioral changes, 'humping' other animals, etc. They will also need to be kept separate from intact female dogs you don't intend to breed. Every dog is different and may or may not display some or any of these behaviors as nature intended. Each family needs to make decisions based on their own preferences, circumstances, and in conjunction with advice from their vet.
- TRAINING: Socialize! Socialize! Socialize! Expose them to everything and everyone. From day one, do not accept behavior you do not wish to deal with when they are bigger - training starts the moment you bring your pup home. Hyper-vigilance and consistency are your friend!
- TOYS: Your puppy has been playing with full sized tennis balls and LARGE rawhide retriever rolls (Brand name: Cadet – can be found on Amazon or sometimes Costco.) Choose products made in the USA, when possible, and avoid products that come from China - there have been many recalls due to severe reactions and deaths from chemicals/toxins found in products from this area. Please do your research!
- VACCINATIONS: Puppy vaccines are given in a series of three. Your puppy will have its first vaccine. Vaccine #2 is due approximately 4 weeks after the first and #3 is due approximately 4 weeks after the second. The first rabies vaccination is typically given at or after 6 months of age.
- WORMING: Your puppy has been wormed at least twice – emails with specific details go out to owners at the time of worming. They have also received sulfadimethoxine in their water to treat for coccidia.
- We generally use Nemex-2 for the first worming and is usually given around 3 weeks of age.
- We generally use Bayer Quad Wormer for the second worming and is usually given two weeks after the first worming.
The information contained here is given as a courtesy; it in no way replaces advice from a licensed veterinarian.