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Please read "before" getting a Bernese Mountain Dog pup!, DeGrasso's Bernese Mountain Dog Litter/puppy Information, Diet, Raising Your Bernese Mountain Dog Puppy, Bernese Mountain Dog Breeding Philosophy,
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QUALITY DOGS COME FROM QUALITY BREEDERS-NOT PET STORES!

A puppies development period from birth to 6 months is the MOST CRITICAL time of its life. What he learns during this time will affect the rest of his life. Your breeder should ALWAYS be available for questions and work closely with you in these first critical months. I strongly suggest getting a copy of the Monks at New Skeete "The Art of Raising a Puppy"and "How To Be Your Dog's Best Friend" available at most book stores.

****TRAINING****

Teach your puppy basic house manners but not formal training until after teething--6 months.

Take pup out after waking up and eating every couple hours the first few days. Take the pup to the spot you want him to use. Use "hurry up", a lot of praise and your pup will be easily house trained.

Never hit puppy or chase when it does do something wrong. You are teaching the pup to run from you and/or become fear shy. Don't put the pup in a situation (such as chewing furniture) but provide safe teething toys.

Train with praise and rewards!

****EXERCISE****

FREE EXERCISE IN A FENCED IN YARD is best for a puppies proper bone growth. Walks on lead are fun and good training; however, a young dog will NOT develop properly without a lot of free self-exercise.

Collars should be light weight and never left on when the pup is alone. Light weight chain collars are my choice in lead training. Use a light weight leather or flexi lead--nylon will rip your hand.

****TEETHING****

Teething is the most critical time. Anything you teach the pup during teething will be relate to pain. No formal training is suggested until AFTER teething. Teething usually lasts until 4-5 months of age. Check pup's bite daily to see that baby teeth are coming out. If a baby tooth is not loose and you can see permanent tooth--take to vet to pull the tooth or the bite will not develop properly.

Do not give rawhide (can block intestines), any cooked bones that splinter, anything pup can swallow. The ideal chew toy is the marrow bones about 4-5" long available at the grocery store.

****CRATE TRAINING****

Always have a safe place for the puppy. Crate training is ideal. Puppies play hard but sleep long hours. A crate represents a den-like safe place. It also helps in house training. NEVER leave a collar on pup in crate or unsupervised---too dangerous.

Place your crate where pup can see you - beside your bed at night is ideal. This gives the feeling he is not alone. Dogs are pack and social animals.They do not do well in isolation. The metal folding crates are best. Your dog will use it the rest of it's life plus you can fold it up and take your pup with you on vacations. Remember-the crate is a training aid. Pups can not stay in it for extended periods of time.

***DIET****

Berners do not mature until 2 years old and final growth at 3 years of age. Slow growth is best. I do not recommend puppy food. If you use it, change by 4 months of age to a quality adult food. Most grocery store pet food do NOT have adequate nutritional value. They have poor protein (feathers, hoofs), cancer causing agents, dyes, ethoxoquin preservatives. My puppies are raised on holistic kibble like Merrick grain free and a fresh/raw diet-barfworld.com.

Feed according to the pups appearance and weight. It is better to keep a dog on the thin side. Have a safe place for the pup to eat quietly. Leave food down for 10 minutes then pick up until next feeding. DO NOT feed free choice. Always have fresh water available.

Check out my web site on my DIETsuggestions.

****HEALTH****

Most vets know dogs in general but you can't expect them to know everything about your breed. Follow your breeder's advice. They know through years of experience what is best for their breed. If your vet is uncooperative--find another one. A veterinarian who is also a breeder or has advanced studies in accupuncture, herbs, nutrition is ideal. When your pup turns 2 years old, you should follow up with OFA hip and elbow checks, CERF-eye checks and report the results to your breeder.

Puppy skin is extremely sensitive. Use natural soaps from a health food store such as Tee Tree Oil or even very diluted Joy. NEVER Flea dip,use flea shampoos, chemical/insectide sprays, advantage, front-line. There are safe and altenative way to protect you dog from fleas, ticks and mosquitos. it makes no sense to put poisons on your pets and then wonder why so many dogs die young from cancers. Dilute Avon Skin-So-Soft (one ounce with the rest water in a spray bottle) and spray on your dog and even yourself to repel insects.

****SOCIALIZE, SOCIALIZE, SOCIALIZE** **

Slowly introduce your pup to kids, babies, cats, dogs, loud noises- vacuums, hairdryers, FUN auto rides (shopping centers are great). Always go at the pup's pace. Never force or reinforce negative behavior. Common sense is your best guide.

You've made an investment and added a new family member. Take the time now for developing a wonderful life long companion. Call your breeder with ANY questions you have.

****GOOD LUCK!****

QUALITY DOGS COME FROM QUALITY BREEDERS-NOT PET STORES!

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