Are you looking for a furry partner that can weather through different living conditions? If so, you should consider getting yourself a Bernedoodle. It’s a mixed breed dog, so it has better health and a longer lifespan due to its diverse gene pool.
Before choosing the Bernedoodle dog breed, consider carefully if you’re ready to give it the lifestyle and nutrition it needs.
In this article, you’ll learn the following details about Bernedoodles:
- What Is a Bernedoodle?
- Breed Origin and History
- Bernedoodle Appearance
- Bernedoodle Personality and Temperament
- How Healthy Are Bernedoodles?
- How to Care for a Bernedoodle
- Fun Bernedoodle Facts
- Where Can You Get A Bernedoodle?
- The Bernedoodle dog breed is a mix between a Poodle and a Bernese Mountain Dog.
- It’s a good dog for people living in the countryside.
- Bernedoodles are great with children and other dogs.
- These dogs can be hypoallergenic, but make sure to ask the breeder if that’s what you’re after.
- They’re generally healthier and live longer than their parents.
- Bernedoodles need regular brushing at least two or three times a week.
- They cost between $2,000 and $5,000.
What Is a Bernedoodle?
These charming dogs are a mix between a Poodle and A Bernese Mountain Dog, so they have the very best features of both gene pools. They’re excellent companions that will join you on your adventures, but also chill with you during your peaceful lazy days.
This crossbreed is incredibly intelligent, playful, and loves cuddling with its humans. It has inherited its soft fur from Poodles and the Bernese mountain dogs’ beauty and gentleness. Such diverse qualities make them an ideal mix between calm and active.
Origin and History
Among the essential Bernedoodle facts is the breed’s relative youth. It first emerged in 2003 and has spread happiness ever since. For perspective, the ancestors of the oldest living dog breed, Akita Inu, date back to 8,000 B.C. The most responsible person for developing this breed is a Canadian dog breeder named Sherry Rupke. Her goal was to make a dog with a temperament similar to the Bernese Mountain Dog, but also one that has a longer lifespan.
Let’s take a brief look at the main breeds that make the Bernedoodle.
Bernese Mountain Dog
Native to Switzerland, and more precisely to the canton of Bern, the Bernese Mountain Dog is impressive in size, with a tricolor coat that’s soft, thick, and beautiful. It’s considered a working dog because of its role in herding cattle, but it can also do a great job as a watchdog or pulling carts.
This magnificent breed nearly went extinct during the 20th century when tools evolved, and farmers no longer needed help from dogs. Luckily, these fluffy pals were saved and recognized by the AKC. They’re now among the most popular breeds in the US.
These furry pals are intelligent, active, playful, and prefer the outdoors, just like Bernedoodle puppies. That’s the main reason why they’re a more suitable choice for people living in the countryside or near vast fields. Also, they’re not the best choice for first-time dog owners. Their high energy and grooming requirements can be a bit too much for an inexperienced hand.
Compared to Bernedoodles, Bernese Mountain Dogs have a shorter lifespan and often deal with many health issues, which is one more reason to choose their mixed offspring.
The key features of this breed are:
- Easy to train
- Extremely affectionate
- Safe and child-friendly
- Active, adventurous, and playful
- 6–10 years lifespan
- Sheds a lot
- Territorial but can tolerate other dogs
This breed has it all — intelligence, elegance, and cheerful disposition. Luckily, Bernese Poodle mixes inherit some of these traits.
The first Poodle records date back to 14th century Europe, and their country of origin is Germany. That’s when they became loyal companions to royalty. Later, these dogs moved on to establish their reputation as excellent hunting dogs, and they’re especially good at finding truffles.
Although the typical Poodle is large, they’ve been bred to medium and small sizes. Poodles are energetic and funny, which adds to their appeal and makes them great companions.
One of their most noticeable features is the charming curly fur which doesn’t shed too often and is inherited by the adult Bernedoodle. That said, it needs professional grooming to prevent matting and related health concerns.
Poodles are among the easiest breeds to train, and they can an excellent choice if you have kids or other dogs. Bernedoodles inherit these personality traits and the famous Poodle intelligence, making them great for any family ready to care for them properly.
Here are the main Poodle features:
- Friendly and affectionate
- Good with children
- Playful, funny, and intelligent
- Easily trainable without much barking
- Friendly with dogs
- Doesn’t shed much but needs monthly grooming
- Has an average lifespan of 12–15 years
Now that we have a basic idea of the two breeds, we can understand the crossbreed better. Let’s get a full picture of this young and affectionate breed.
While most people consider the Bernedoodle a breed since it has two purebred parents, the AKC doesn’t recognize these mixed dogs. Still, many other organizations recognize these fluffy pals as an official breed, including:
- American Canine Hybrid Club
- International Designer Canine Registry
- Designer Breed Registry
- Designer Dogs Kennel Club
You’ll also find these mixed dogs in rescue centers and shelters that work mainly with Bernese Mountain Dogs and Poodles.
Because they are a mixed breed, Bernedoodles can come in a variety of colors. Most people prefer their tricolor coat which is very similar to its Bernese Mountain Dog parent. Besides this, they can also come in full black, black and white, black and brown, sable, merle, cream, or phantom colored.
To prevent Bernedoodle shedding, people usually opt for the more curly fur characteristics that Bernedoodles get from their Poodle parent. Sometimes the fur can end up being wavy or straight, and usually the straighter the coat, the more shedding there is, and the dog is considered less hypoallergenic.
Bernedoodles can also inherit a typical Bernese coat. That’s a thick and silky double coat well-suited to cold climates.
Your doodle’s appearance and temperament will depend a lot on the generation. So, let’s learn more about the differences between them.
Designer dogs have an established nomenclature that signifies the differences between generations. Here’s how that translates to Bernedoodles:
- F1 — These dogs have two purebred parents. They consistently get loose wavy coats that shed lightly.
- F1B — This is a backcross between a Poodle and an F1 Bernedoodle, so the mixed dog has more Poodle genes. That makes it among the most hypoallergenic generations with wavy to curly hair, but it doesn’t mean that your puppy will look or act more like a Poodle.
- F1BB — A mix between an F1B Bernedoodle and a purebred Poodle or Bernese Mountain Dog. Most breeders prefer this mix with a Poodle to reduce shedding as much as possible. Plus, your puppy has a higher chance of having a gorgeous curly coat.
- F2 — These dogs are a cross between two F1 Bernedoodles. It’s one of the most unpredictable generations, so most breeders avoid it.
- F2B — A mix between an F1B Bernedoodle and an F1 Bernedoodle. If you want a dog that’s a bit more like the Bernese but still sheds little, this is a good choice.
- F3 — The multigeneration Bernedoodle usually has two F1B Bernedoodle as parents. Its coat can be wavy or curly, and it’s generally hypoallergenic.
Overall, if you’re looking for a nonshedding mix, ask for an F1B, F1BB, or F2B generation.
Size and Weight
Their size depends mostly on their Poodle parent:
- Standard: 23–29 inches tall and weighs 70–90 pounds.
- Medium: 19–25 inches tall and weighs about 50–70 pounds
- Miniature: 18–22 inches tall and weighs 25–49 pounds
- Tiny/Teacup: 12–17 inches tall and weighs 10–24 pounds
Personality and Temperament
Curious, energetic, playful, and adorable, Bernedoodles have inherited the intelligence and loyalty of both parent breeds. Even though they aren’t as active as the Bernese Mountain Dog, they’re still adventurous and like accompanying humans on hikes. But the Bernedoodle personality is also affected by its poodle genes, so they have no trouble staying indoors and love a good cuddle. This breed is a great example why dogs are better than cats.
These dogs are ideal companions for people who like extra cuddles. But they’re also somewhat clingy and don’t respond well to being alone. So, if you have a busy schedule, you’ll have to make arrangements for your pup to keep them from getting anxious. Finding good toys for your pup is a must.
Are They Friendly?
Yes, and they’re an excellent choice if you live with children or other dogs. A Bernedoodle puppy is calm and adaptable, which makes it a great family dog breed. Unlike Bernese Mountain Dogs, they don’t get territorial in the presence of fellow canines.
Are They Trainable?
Their higher intelligence makes them easy to train. But they’re also very playful, just like Poodles. That’s why you need to make sure their training routine is diverse and suitable to their personality.
Start training sessions early to nurture the curiosity of your Bernedoodle adult and always use positive reinforcement. Also, try to train your pet outdoors. That’s how your puppy can get some extra exercise and get used to the world and its visual and sensory stimulations. Clicker training also work well with this breed.
Size-Based Personality Differences
While there are many similarities between all sizes, there are also some differences:
- Standard and Medium-Sized: More relaxed and docile. They’re loyal, playful, and love running around.
- Miniature and Toy-Sized: Get more easily stressed and bark a lot. With their high energy and playfulness, make sure you keep them engaged.
Overall, the Bernedoodle temperament is great, making it a supportive and happy pet.
Lifespan & Common Health Issues
Bernedoodles are generally healthy dogs when compared to both of their parents. Their typical lifespan ranges between 12 and 18 years. Compared to the Bernese Mountain Dog, this breed has much lower instances of cancer and a much higher life span. Most of the time, genetically inherited diseases are more common due to inbreeding, and cross-bred dogs are much more resistant.
That said, there are some health conditions these dogs can have, and those are:
- Orthopedic diseases. Mostly hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia, which are diseases that affect the joints and make walking much harder for your pup.
- Skin issues. The Bernedoodle dogs have thick coats and if it’s not properly groomed, these dogs are more likely to pick at their skin and cause hot spots.
- Eye problems. Some eye conditions like progressive retinal atrophy are sometimes possible because of their inherited genes.
Other diseases worth mentioning are cancer, epilepsy, heart disease, Von Willebrand disease, degenerative myelopathy, macrothrombocytopenia, and a few others.
It is important to mention that these diseases are very rare and the breeders do everything to minimize the risk of them ever developing. That said, it is still important to do regular vet checkups after you adopt a Bernedoodle to keep track of their health and nutrition.
How to Provide Proper Care for This Breed
Your dog depends entirely on you for its well-being. That’s why you should know all the basics before bringing them home. While caring for this breed is relatively simple, we suggest you follow the tips below.
They are best suited for colder climates due to their heavy fur. It keeps them well protected against chilly wind and low temperatures, so they remain happy and comfortable.
In contrast, it’s more difficult for them to tolerate hotter climates. If you live in a warmer region, give your furry friend water showers and keep them cool inside the house. Also, you can get your Bernedoodle to the grooming salon and give them a summer cut during the hotter days.
How much you should feed your dog depends heavily on their age and size. The standard and the medium Bernedoodles need more food, but they’re also prone to overeating, and the mini and toy sizes do well with small breed dog food. It’s best to monitor their diet and consult a vet for more specific dietary recommendations and any special supplements they might need because of their size.
The best part about a Bernedoodle dog is its poodle-like fur, which doesn’t shed a lot. While this makes cleaning the house more manageable, it also presents a grooming challenge.
Given the curly fur, it won’t be easy to brush and detangle your animal companion without proper training. You should aim to brush their fur at least two to three times a week to prevent painful matting. In order to keep their beautiful coat as perfect as it can be it’s best to take your pup to a professional groomer at least every three to five months for optimal results.
Depending on the genetic makeup, a Bernese Mountain Doodle can have straighter fur, which sheds more but is also easier to groom. Tell your preferences to the breeder, so they can advise you on the dog that suits you best.
This breed is generally considered to be moderately active. They don’t need a lot of activity, but they still need the usual daily walks to burn off their energy. They are very adaptable and will fit your lifestyle perfectly, as long as you provide them with a little bit of exercise throughout the day.
You can take them running, walking, swimming, or playing fetch in the dog park. The Bernedoodle also enjoys socializing so you should try and meet them with some other pups in the area. This breed is also pretty intelligent, so including some interactive puzzle toys to stimulate them is a great choice.
More Care Tips
There are a few other things to know before you decide on getting this pup. Here’s what else you need to keep in mind if you’re bringing home this playful pal:
- A standard or a medium Bernedoodle is better for bigger houses with ample playing areas nearby. In contrast, a miniature or a toy Bernedoodle will be just as happy in an apartment.
- Bathing and nail care are also an important part of grooming and ensure a happy and good-looking pupper.
- They’re sensitive to human emotions, which makes them excellent service dogs.
- Your dog will be friendlier if you introduce them to more humans and dogs early on.
- It’s an intelligent breed, but know they can also be very stubborn from time to time.
- They love chewing, which is why you’ll be wise to keep shoes and bags where your puppy can’t reach them. Get an indestructible dog toy instead.
Fun Bernedoodle Facts
Besides the above characteristics mentioned above, here’s what else you need to know.
- The first Bernedoodle breeder, Mrs. Rupke, developed this mix because of her mother’s allergies.
- While they’re comfortable indoors, they do crave adventure, so it’s best to keep them active. If you’re worried about your dog wandering off, you could get a dog GPS tracker.
- They don’t shed a lot, making them great if you’re allergic.
- They’re very social, so you can expect a response when you talk to them.
- No one can tell you what color combination their fur will take on as they grow older. It’s always a surprise.
- The most popular Bernedoodle on Instagram is Benji, with over 130k followers.
Where Can You Get A Bernedoodle?
There are a few options that you can choose. Firstly, you can adopt a Bernedoodle. Visit your local animal shelter and see if you can find any grown up Bernedoodles that need a home. You can also contact some rescue groups and ask them if they have come across any Bernedoodles that you can adopt. Sites like IDOG Rescue and Rehome, Doodle Rock Rescue, and Pet Finder are only a few good places you can start looking for your new best friend.
If you want a newborn puppy, there is the option of buying one from a reputable breeder. This means that the person who breeds the dogs can offer you all the important information you need, has all the documents needed, and takes care of the pups humanely before selling them. Avoid going to puppy mills at all costs. You can try breeders like:
The Bernedoodle price varies from $2,000 to $5,000, depending on the breeder and the pedigree.
Why a Bernedoodle Might Not Be the Right Dog for You
Think twice before you rush into buying a lovely teddy bear Bernedoodle. Here are a few tell-tale signs that you won’t be a good match:
- You love hot weather. Bernedoodles don’t handle the heat well, so you’ll constantly struggle to keep them cool.
- You work long hours. These dogs need a lot of attention. So, unless you work from home or have family members that can look after your dog, this might not be the best breed for your lifestyle.
- You hate barking. Bernedoodles are very comfortable with expressing their opinion by barking loudly or whining. If you don’t want to hear your dog bark every time someone passes near your house, look for a different breed.
- You don’t have time for regular grooming. Even if your Standard Bernedoodle doesn’t shed, it still needs regular maintenance like brushing and trimming. If you can’t do that or can’t pay for a professional groomer to do it for you, your dog’s coat will be neglected, resulting in various skin and health issues.
Big breeds require lots of space and care, so be ready to provide all that and more if you get one of these puppies.
Is Bernedoodle the Right Dog for You?
To sum up, the Bernedoodle is among the friendliest, most affectionate breeds. They make fantastic companions and are great with children and animals.
What’s more, these four-legged friends are relatively adaptable. They’re healthier, have longer life spans than their parents, and come in all sizes. Besides, you’ll appreciate their intelligence, trainability, and the fact that they don’t shed excessively. In short, they’re the perfect furry friends.
If you’re interested in more laid-back puppies, check out our article about calm dog breeds. The more informed you are, the better chance you have of finding the best animal companion for your lifestyle.