FAQ’s

MBD FAQ’s -This document will be updated regularly

Q. How do we get on the waitlist?

https://massdoodles.com/how-can-i-join-the-waiting-list/

Q. We had a bad experience with a previous pet who didn’t like XYZ. We are concerned about this for our future puppy. What can you tell me about temperament and how MBD does things to make sure the puppies are appropriately socialized when they come home?

A.

https://massdoodles.com/health-and-temperament-of-f1-vs-f2-bernedoodles/

Q. How do I reserve a POL (pick of the litter)?

First email puppyinquiries@MAnernedoodles.com for the list of upcoming availability. In this list will also be the instructions and pricing for POL reservations. Once received, you’ll receive a confirmation email.

Q. What do Bernedoodles look like?

Bernedoodles come in many colors and patterns. Here is a link to some of the bernedoodles from MBD. https://massdoodles.com/what-do-bernedoodles-look-like/

Q. Where can I find a list of recommended items to buy for my puppy?

A. https://massdoodles.com/puppies/puppy-preparation-list/

Q. What is safeguard?

A. It’s an over the counter dewormer given in food once a day for 3-5 days. I recommend keeping this in your medicine cabinet at all times. If puppy/doggo comes down with a bout of diarrhea, it’s usually food related or they picked up a parasite somewhere in the last couple of days. Parasites are very common and easily treated.

Q. How often should I brush my puppy/dog?

Like people, doodles also have hair. When do people brush their hair? When it gets wet and at least once a day. This is when you should brush your puppy.

Q. How often should they be groomed?

A. Every 6-8 weeks beginning at 11-12 weeks old

Q. Where are the closest/best airports? Do you ship puppies? Do you have a nanny transport service available?

No, we do not ship puppies. Every puppy flying must fly with their new fur parent and not as cargo. It’s VERY dangerous for puppies to fly in cargo. Manchester, NH and Worcester, MA are closest but limited flights. Boston and providence RI are also good options.

We also offer flight nannies for an additional fee. The fee depends on the cost of the flight, duration, my employees hourly rate, and if overnight accommodations are needed.

Q. What is the Volhard aptitude test and what does it tell us about the puppies?

A. It’s important to take a moment to read about the Volhard test. It’s not a perfect test and these are puppies so they also won’t be perfect. The individual scores only count towards the total, not individually, which is why the test is scored as “mostly’s”. For example: If a puppy scores a 6 for social attraction, it *can* mean that they are antisocial but it can also mean the new environment they are being tested in took a few minutes to warm up to. Another example: If a puppy scores a 6 on retrieving, usually it’s because they would rather cuddle up in the testers lap then chase a paper ball. This is the case 99.9% of the time with bernedoodles because they’re very loyal. Here is a link to the test https://www.searchdogs.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Volhard-Puppy-Aptitude-Test.pdf

Q. Why do you sometimes skip a heat cycle with the mom’s and other times not? I’ve heard XYZ about good/ethical breeding practices…

A. Of course, our repro vet clears the mom’s before honeymooning and having a litter. They have 4 or 5 litters maximum in their lifetime before retiring. Some mom’s only have one litter if complications arise during or after pregnancy while others have 5 because they’ve never had any problems. If a mom has never had any problems during or after pregnancy amd she has not has she had any problems with milk production, we go for the pre pregnancy check up and, if all is well, then we proceed. We don’t skip a heat unless there is a reason because it increases the risk of Pyometra, an intrauterine infection that can lead to death of not caught early before the uterus closes (then the infection becomes trapped requiring emergency surgery to spay). The cervix is open when the mom’s are in season and after birth which is why the risk is higher during their heat cycle if they aren’t honeymooning. The moms also bounce back faster the younger they are and retire sooner. I hope this sheds some light on when we facilitate honeymoons and when we skip a cycle.

Q. Are they Hypoallergenic?

A. The unfurnished puppies may be low shedding and are also less maintenance in terms of grooming. The furnished puppies have the “doodle look” and are non-shedding. None are, however, hypoallergenic because people can be allergic to dog fur, dander and/or saliva. The doodle’s non-shedding trait is just one of three components of hypoallergenic but they are thought to be the best breed for people with allergies

Q. What methods of payment do you accept for the balance?

Payments accepted:

1. PayPal email is massdoodles@gmail.com (+3% fee)

2. Venmo is

@kimberly-clinton-4 (you’ll see the logo) and last 4 of cell 5567

3. Bank check

4. Cash

Q. What should I do if I can’t keep my puppy/dog at any time in his/her life?

Per your adoption contract, if at any time during your dogs life you are unable to keep him/her, no judgement. Life happens. Please arrange to return him/her to MBD so s/he can be rehomed with a pre screened family on the adult Bernedoodle waiting list. An MBD dog/puppy should never ever end up in a shelter or with a family that hasn’t been screened by MBD.

Q. What age should they be spayed/neutered?

Your adoption contract specifies by 6 months old. Puppies bounce back faster after surgery vs. older dogs. Further, smaller breeds like the mini’s and Micro’s can come into their 1st heat cycle between 6-7 months old. The heat cycle lasts a month for dogs and with puberty hormones comes adolescent behavior…

Q. When should my puppy start puppy training classes?

Your puppy will be about 95% covered against the Parvo virus one week following the 2bd distemper shot which is given at 10 weeks old. Until then, carry your puppy in public and no play dates or training until after one week after the 2nd distemper vaccination.

Q. When is my new puppy due for the next distemper vaccination? Does this cover the Parvo virus?

At 10 weeks and then 14 weeks old. Your health certificate will have these dates listed as well. The distemper takes another a week to start working so one week after the 2nd distemper vaccination, your puppy will be about 95% covered against the Parvo virus. Until then, carry your puppy in public and no play dates or training until after one week after the 2nd distemper vaccination.

Q. Are deposits/POL premiums refundable?

Unfortunately the deposits and POL premiums are non refundable as stated on the adoption application and deposit page of the website. We do this because if deposits/POL’s were refundable, we would have no way of knowing our fur babies having homes waiting for them when they are born.

Q. What if I change my mind about Foundations Training and decide not to send my puppy?

A. Foundations is non-refundable, however, you can use the funds towards training at anytime. It doesn’t have to be for foundations training. For example, when you go on vacation, you can have your puppy board and train with the funds you paid but decided not to use for foundations. It’s much better for your puppy/dog to train while boarding vs. a traditional boarding facility so s/he will come home having learned new things instead of being wound up from just boarding. Reservations for training are made once the puppies are born to ensure their spot in training.

Q. How do I order the NuJoint vitamin supplements for my puppy?

A. The ordering information for the NuJoint vitamins will be in the adoption contract/receipt. You’ll receive this via DocuSign the day before Gotcha/Puppy Pick day

Q. How much water should my puppy be drinking?

A. I just limit water 2 hours before bedtime but otherwise I allow as much water as they want because they can get dehydrated rather quickly at this age

Q. What should we expect on the ride home from Gotcha/Puppy Pick Day? Will my puppy be tired?

A. Motion sickness is fairly common for their first car ride and maybe a few more times but the best remedy is to keep taking them in the car (and have cleaning supplies or an old towel). I recommend having puppy on a lap, facing forward and feeling nice and safe with the person holding them.

Yes, the puppies will be tired on Gotcha Day due to all the stimulation beginning with an early breakfast around 5:30AM, baths at 6AM, all of the new fur family excitement, car ride, snow (neuro stim we give them daily prepares them for colder surfaces but it’s all new), new house, people, smells, etc. As long as they’re drinking water, eating, peeing and pooping then nothing to worry about. The following day, you’ll see the puppies you watched for 8 weeks on the camera 😍 Normal puppy behavior at this age is eat, poop and pee, play, pee, sleep, poop/pee, play, pee, eat, sleep, pee and poop, play and repeat!

Q. How many meals should my puppy eat until at least 12 weeks old?

A. They will be eating 3 meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) when they come hime. They aren’t the type of breed to overeat so they can eat as much as they want at each feeding. Leave the bowl down for 10-15 mins with refills then pick up the bowl. Once they’re fully house trained, I recommend free feeding unless you have human toddlers who would also like to eat puppy kibble (I did! 😂). If your puppy throws up yellow slimy stuff, that’s stomach bile and it means they’re very hungry.

Q. Is there anything we should know about puppies when it comes to winter weather?

A. Yes, they have baby soft feet and it can get very cold out. I recommend a puppy jacket/sweater depending on the weather. Generally, Bernedoodles LOVE the cold weather and snow. However, puppies at 8 weeks old are like human toddlers. They don’t know their getting too cold until you tell them or that the water is too cold to go in. Limit their paws exposure directly to the snow unless you’re going to try booties. A puppy or dog shivering from cold is never ever a good thing so be sure to dry them off. Puppies can’t regulate their body temperature until they’re 6 weeks old so still fragile at 8 weeks old.

Q. Can our new puppy go on the couch or bed?

A. Yes! However, like a toddler, they won’t know how to jump off a couch, they will face plant. They also won’t know how to climb stairs but they will learn quickly! Going down takes longer to learn. We recommend supervising them until they can do these things confidentiality.

Q. How do you get the clumps of frozen snow out of their hair?

A. A standard kitchen whisk is great for getting clumps of snow out of their fur and between the pads on their paws. Best snow stuck in dog hair hack I’ve seen

Q. When and How do I get my puppy?

A. When you will have your puppy depends onHow many puppies each mom has, which we will know one week before her due date

How many families defer (happens fairly often) Then, Gotcha Day (aka puppy pick day) occurs when the puppies turn 8 weeks old. Gotcha Day is a live event (barring any global pandemics!) and takes place at my home. Every family will have an appointment in the order of the puppy pick. You will meet all of the puppies available and have an hour to decide which one is best for you! After you choose, you will either take your puppy home with you at that time or, if you’ve signed up for Foundations Training, your puppy will stay for 1 week of training. In this case, your puppy pick up date would be at the final training session with the trainers.

Q. What is the best way to reach you after the deposit has been placed?

Please add this email to your contacts at MBDcustomer@MAbernedoodles.com Emily and I will answer questions and help direct you to the information you’re looking for! This email is dedicated only to customers on the waitlist.

Q. How do I join the private FaceBook group for MBD families?

If you’re on Facebook, you can request to join the private group called “I own dog from Massachusetts Bernedoodles”. Here you will find a wonderful community of MBD families to coordinate playgroups with, ask questions to and enjoy Bernedoodle fur babies with!

Q. Are the puppies microchipped?

They’re not microchipped. I leave it up to the customers to decide because there was a large study that linked the internal microchips to an increased chance of auto immune disease in dogs.

Q. Why don’t the puppies get a bath until 6 weeks old? They look dirty sometimes from the puppy smoothies and just from being puppies

Puppies can’t regulate their body temperature until they’re six weeks old and hypothermia is the #1 cause of death for puppies under six old. We are very careful to make sure they are never wet until they can regulate their body temperature.

Q. Why don’t the puppies go outside prior to coming home at 8 weeks old?

Puppies can’t regulate their body temperature until they’re six weeks old and hypothermia is the #1 cause of death for puppies under six old. Even at 7-8 weeks old, they are far too little to have outside for any significant period of time. A shivering puppy or dog is very bad and must be tended to immediately. When they turn 6 weeks old, they are old enough to get their 1st distemper vaccinations. This vaccine takes a week to start working bringing them to 7 weeks. Parasites are common and found in most yards from bunny and deer droppings. Puppies will eat the droppings and/or step in them, later ingesting the droppings from cleaning/licking their paws. We prefer to send our puppies home without parasites and therefore choose not to expose them to the ground outside. They are, however, exposed to various surfaces within the nursery and through the early neurological stimulation exercises.

Q. Can we Visit?

Visiting? Yes, I absolutely encourage visits! Even if you decide to go elsewhere, it’s super important to see the environment. Covid has, however, made it more challenging to accommodate every request. I have found that it’s best for everyone (safety and time management wise) to first determine if I will have what you are looking for in the time frame you’d like. Once we establish that, I do then I ask for the adoption form to be filled out so I can review and (in most cases) approve. I also ask for the deposit as well, however, if after visiting you decide to go in a different direction then I’ll refund your deposit in full. The deposit is made via the PayPal button on my website so it’s secure in terms of a refund if you decide to go elsewhere. I have to do the visits this way because I get so so many requests and for safety reasons. It’s managing my time by prioritizing those willing to at least make a temporary deposit and also because I can’t just have anyone/everyone in my home given some people are just crazy. It’s well known among breeders that people will come visit just to stake out the place with the intent of stealing puppies! This is where the very young puppies under 8 weeks old on Craigslist come from. I hope you understand. However, the deposit would also hold the spot you pick in the meantime, until your visit takes place. The next available dates for a visit are ____________ (Gotcha dates only). What I can do prior to a deposit is give you access to the live puppy Cam so you can see the environment!

Q. Do you have any puppies available now?

No, I’m sorry I don’t. 99% of the time, available (available within 3 months or now) come from the Amish puppy mills either directly or indirectly through the breeders who do business with them. They buy these puppies from the puppy mills for $600/pup if they buy in bulk. Then they sell them as “home raised”. I know because I’ve been approached several times. Unfortunately it’s become somewhat of a common practice with unethical breeders now. Having readily available puppies is a big red flag. The exception (other 1%) is when a puppy gets returned because the family didn’t realize a puppy would be so much work to crate & house train. With reputable breeders, there will be a wait of 6-12 months. Please see this link for more information about puppy mills and the treatment of the parent dogs. https://massdoodles.com/beware-of-puppy-mills/

Q. Néw to being multiple dog owners? How do we introduce our new puppy to their new fur sibling(s)? When introducing a new dog to their sibling do you suggest introducing at a neutral site? We were going to bring our current 11yr dog with us at pickup day but decided against it. She has anxiety and has turned into a grumpy old lady- lol! We were thinking of introducing them at the in-laws then bribing them home together in the car. Any ideas?

Your older dog will automaticity be the alpha because she’s bigger. The puppy will need to be protected if your older dog has any pain related to being an old lady because puppy will just want to play. I would recommend Introducing them at your house in the yard vs. stressing out the older dog with a car ride. You want her to be comfortable. Treats for good behavior towards the puppy. Teach puppy not to jump on her by using sit command and then a treat in front of the other dog so she learns to sit instead of jumping on her. Same goes for people and jumping. Never bring your new puppy to a dog friendly place to introduce your dogs. This is due to Parvo, an often deadly virus they aren’t fully vaccinated against until 3.5 months old.

Q. What kind of food is my puppy eating?

American Journey Salmon and Rice formula (grains are super important for dogs and puppies!)

Q. What is Foundations Training?

Foundations Training is a board and train program that I offer and begins on Puppy Pick day and ends 1 week later. What will your puppy learn at Foundations? The focus of Foundations Training is to set a strong foundation for a lifetime of successful training. It focuses on crate training which accelerates house training, socialization and learning through muscle memory to sit or lay down next to your feet any time you are out for a walk and stop walking. For example, to cross a street or talk to a neighbor. Instead of pulling you ahead, jumping on another person or pulling back out of their collar, s/he will look to you for direction. S/he will know to go to the bathroom outside and will have a signal to tell you they need to go outside. This drastically excellorates house training! They will also do fun things such as going on a field trip to Home Depot or to the park as part of their initial socialization. The idea is to expose them to 100 new faces per day (sunglasses, hats, beards, kids of all ages, wheelchairs, Covid masks, etc) until they’re 16 weeks old which is when the neural-pathways for socialization become concrete. The more new experiences, new people and new dogs, the better! The crate training is started at foundations and continues at home with you. Keeping in mind that the goals for this training are crate training, house training (as much as a puppy that age can be-small bladders), socialization, learning through muscle memory that their default position is to sit or lay down when on a leash and when you stop walking and, finally, setting the foundation for the puppy that the humans are the ones in charge – the alphas. Why is this important? Because the neural pathways for socialization close at 16 weeks for all puppies. The goal is to complete the crate/house/foundations work and get your puppy out into the world with you as soon as they are ready and without cutting corners on their training. Here is the link to the website description for more info. https://massdoodles.com/foundations-training/

Q. How do I sign up and pay for Foundations Training?

The cost is $1500 and you can sign up via PayPal to massdoodles@gmail.com or via the deposit page of the website by increasing the quantity (set to 1) to three =$1500

Q. When are the puppies getting their final vet check up? Is there a time frame on our end when we’re supposed to have them checked?

They had their well puppy checks at 6 weeks old. The health certificates will have their vaccination date, deworming dates and next appointment dates listed. You’ll just bring this with you to your veterinarian and they will take it from there. The health certificates will be emailed to you by Dr. J after you’ve chosen your puppy. She will of course review their health certificates with you during the zoom (or live) puppy picks.

Q. What are parasites? What other info should I know about them?

Intestinal parasites are a part of life for dogs. They live in the soil, and dogs pick them up on their feet and then ingest them when grooming themselves. In healthy adult dogs, intestinal parasites may not even cause any symptoms at all except for possible occasional flare-ups. Healthy dogs may also carry parasites in dormant cyst forms for years. Encysted parasites do not cause any symptoms and they are not contagious, but they also are not affected by the drugs that would kill them in their active form, so they can remain present for a very long time, only becoming active when some change occurs, such as an illness (or pregnancy). Transmission of intestinal parasites from dogs to humans generally isn’t a major concern, for the same reason picking up parasites from the environment generally isn’t a major concern for humans living in developed countries—basic sanitation and hygiene. The only way to really prevent intestinal parasites in dogs is to keep them in a sterile indoor environment, and that is not what we want for our dogs at MBD. We want them to be able to play in big, grassy outdoor yards, and to go on adventures off our premises. Even if the dogs were kept in a sterile environment, dormant parasites can re-emerge at any time, and are especially likely to do so in pregnant and lactating mothers. Our adult dogs are dewormed regularly, and all the puppies and moms follow a standard deworming schedule that is based on the life cycles of the most common parasites puppies get from their mothers. Sometimes (but not always), puppies get additional deworming treatments, either because they had symptoms of intestinal parasites (like diarrhea or vomiting), or because either they or another litter in the nursery at the same time had a fecal test that was positive for some kind of intestinal parasite. All of our puppies have at least one fecal test before they are sent home. If they test positive for anything, they receive the appropriate treatment.There are different types of fecal parasite tests, and different types of positive results. The types of tests that have been around the longest are fecal smears or fecal flotations. In these types of tests, a technician is basically using a microscope to check for physical evidence of parasites in a fecal sample—cysts, eggs, or parts of the actual parasite. If these tests are positive, it means that there is an active infection, and that it is in a contagious stage, so hygiene is particularly important at this time. If these tests are negative, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there is no active infection—it just means that there is no parasite that is currently shedding (contagious) at the time the sample was collected. A newer type of test checks for parasite antigens in the fecal sample. Antigen testing is particularly useful for parasites that are difficult to detect in fecal smears due to their very small size, such as giardia. The antigen is a unique substance that is produced by a particular parasite. If the test detects a parasite antigen in the fecal sample, it means that the parasite has been present at some point relatively recently. We know that the antigen can remain present for some amount of time after the actual infection has been cleared, but unfortunately we don’t know how long, partly because of how common these parasites are and how difficult they can be to get rid of. In the case of giardia, studies have found giardia antigen in fecal samples collected more than 30 days after dogs completed their treatment for giardia. Researchers are unsure, however, whether this was antigen still present from the infection that was cleared a month earlier, if the dogs had been re-infected in the meantime, or if the infections were incompletely cleared to begin with. What all of this means is that if you have a fecal smear or flotation come back positive for eggs, cysts, or actual parasites, the puppy definitely has an active infection and should receive the appropriate treatment, regardless of symptoms. If the puppy has symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting but has a negative fecal smear, it is still possible that the cause is an intestinal parasite, and a second test might be warranted, but there are also many other possible causes. If the puppy has a positive antigen test, has already undergone treatment, and is not symptomatic, additional treatment is probably not warranted. If the puppy is symptomatic, a precautionary second round of treatment is probably a good idea, but it’s important to keep in mind that there may not actually be an active parasitic infection, and the cause of the symptoms may be something else. We make every effort to ensure that all our puppies are healthy and free of any parasites when they go home, but since parasites are present in all the places dogs like best and they can enter dormant forms in which they are undetectable and unresponsive to treatment, we cannot absolutely guarantee that the puppies are not carrying any intestinal parasites. As soon as the puppy leaves the nursery to go home, it has a chance of picking up a parasite any time it goes outside. Just remember that basic hygiene prevents humans from getting parasites from either the environment or their pets, and that while symptomatic parasitic infections should certainly be treated, otherwise healthy dogs have little to worry about from intestinal parasites.

Q. What is a puppy mill? How do know how to spot one so I can stay away from them?

A. https://massdoodles.com/beware-of-puppy-mills/

Q. We understand the need to have zoom puppy picks due to covid which is based on numerous factors with everyone’s safety as the primary factor. Are you planning to have our Gotcha Day virtually over zoom or will it be a live Gotcha Day? 

A. As of right now, we are planning on having a live puppy pick/Gotcha day!! Hopefully the trend continues to stay positive and we can continue to have them in person! Yay! Thank you for acknowledging the numerous factors we must take into consideration and for your understanding when we are/were not able to have them live. Your safety and the safety of he MBD Dream Team is my top priority on Gotcha Day. Compliance with state and or local guidelines is also paramount. 

Q. What should we expect on Gotcha Day while Covid-19 is still around?

A. A week prior to Gotcha day, you will be notified with more specifics. Here is how we do it Covid style… Everyone receives an appointment time in the birth announcement email. You will be asked to wait for the folks before you to leave prior to entering the driveway. We will have an announcement board where you will be able to see the puppy picks as they happen so you’ll be able to follow along in real time! When it’s your turn, you’ll see a message that says “ok ____, it’s your turn!”.  We sanitize every surface between families/persons. Face masks are required according to CDC guidelines. You will have your temperature taken at the door. If anyone has a fever, we will proceed with a zoom puppy pick. Shoes off (to prevent parasites and other things like parvo from entering), wash hands, disposable gloves provided to everyone and proceed to see the puppies! All paperwork is sent electronically to minimize contact. 

Q. When will I receive the adoption contract? 
A. A day or two before Gotcha Day 

Q. I received my electronic contract the day before Gotcha Day but I don’t see your signature. Don’t you need to sign it? 

A. Yes, absolutely! What happens is I fill out the basic info using DocuSign or a similar app and place the fields. Then, you fill out your info and balance/payment information. Next, puppy pick day takes place! 🥰 The balance is resolved and and puppy goes either home or to training. Then the operations manager goes through the paperwork/documentation, files it accordingly and I sign the contracts (usually at the end of Gotcha Day or the next day depending on how late the day went). This part is boring but here’s “the why” ..If I signed the contracts before they went home or to training then, technically speaking, I would be boarding your puppies for a short period of time. That would make MBD a commercial business (boarding other people’s dogs/puppies) which MBD is not zoned for. 

Q. Which vaccinations do you recommend or not?

A. Unless you live near a swamp or hike a lot around water, no need for lepto. I don’t recommend the Lyme vaccination because it was pulled for humans due to Lyme related side effects. I recommend 3-4 distempers depending on your vets recommendation, kennel cough and rabies (but given alone, not with any other vaccinations)

More coming soon!