Bernedoodle: Bernese Mountain Dog Poodle Mix
Conceived in the early 2000s, the Bernedoodle is one of the youngest doodle dog breeds out there. Also known as a Bernepoo, Bernesedoodle, Bernesepoo, and Bernese mountain poo, these super easygoing dogs were bred to be calm and even-tempered. While Goldendoodles and Labradoodles are wonderful family pets, their high-energy temperament can make them a handful for more laid-back households.
- White Toy Poodle Dog
- Full Grown Chocolate Toy Poodle
- Full Grown Brown Toy Poodle Dogs
- Cafe Au Lait Standard Poodle Puppy
- Brindle Standard Poodle Puppy
- Silver Beige Standard Poodle
- Black Cairnoodle Puppies Breeder: Cairn Terrier and Poodle Mix
- Teacup Corgipoo Puppies Breeder: Corgi Poodle Mix
- Poogle Dog Breed: Beagle Poodle Mix
Enter the Bernedoodle, with the placid, loyal nature of its Bernese mountain dog mother and the intellect and low-shedding coat of its poodle father.
Bernedoodle Dog Breed Overview
- Bernedoodles are loyal, smart and utterly adorable. Due to differences in preferences of Bernedoodle breeders and the fact that the mother must always be a Bernese mountain dog, there’s significant variation within this mixed breed. Everything from their size, hypoallergenic potential, color, weight and demeanor can vary, but they always retain some characteristics from each parent.
- For example, a dog might inherit the curious, energetic nature from the poodle or be more stubborn and calm like the Bernedoodle parent. A hybrid breed’s temperament is inherently more challenging to predict, but a reputable breeder will carefully select the parents to try to encourage the best of both attributes from each parent breed. Smart, goofy and dedicated are just a few words that Bernedoodle owners regularly use to describe their beloved pets.
Bernedoodle Designer Breed History
Unlike many dogs on the designer breed registry, Bernedoodles have a well-known history. Originally developed by Bernedoodle breeder Sherry Rupke at SwissRidge Kennels, the first litter of two was born in 2003. In addition to poodles and Bernese mountain parent dogs of various sizes, Rupke has added the Australian Labradoodle to her lines, resulting in the Australian Bernedoodle. These dogs have more consistent litters and tend to be somewhat hypoallergenic, even with straight or wavy coats.
Below is a description of the parent breeds in a classic Bernedoodle’s lineage.
Bernese Mountain Dog Parent
- Born in the Swiss Alps, Bernese mountain dogs are gentle giants that originated as farm dogs. They’re one of four varieties of Swiss mountain dogs that feature the distinctive tricolor black, brown and white coat, along with Greater Swiss mountain dogs, Entlebucher and Appenzeller. Traditionally, they’d work as guards and pull carts for their employers.
- Where a dog like a golden retriever is bred to have a trusting, friendly temperament, Bernese dogs are reserved and suspicious of new people, making them slightly better guard dogs. Due to their history as herders and cart pullers, they might have a tendency to herd family members or other pets.
- Poodles are refined, elegant dogs with a unique appearance and smart mind that’s famous for being easy to train. Originally bred in Germany around the 15th century, they’re active and lively, with a passion for goofy games. Because of their intelligence, they require lots of stimulation and prefer to be with people rather than spending long periods of time alone.
- As working dogs, they were primarily duck hunters. And while we think of them as pompous show dogs, they’re extremely athletic, with a unique coat clip that was developed to optimize their productivity. They tend to favor one person and are very loyal and defensive of their owners. Poodles are one of the most popular choices for crossing purebred dogs because of their low- to no-shedding coat, which is more manageable than traditional dog fur.
Bernedoodle Personality Traits
- It’s important to note that there can be a lot of variation among Bernedoodles, even within litters. Generally speaking, while they’re undeniably docile and love to sleep, the Bernedoodle temperament is far from lazy. In fact, they’re sociable and outgoing and love nothing more than learning new tricks and playing with their family and toys. They’re receptive to training, have excellent manners and often retain something of a puppy-like character for several years.
- They’re more inclined toward stranger-danger than other doodles, so early socialization of Bernedoodle puppies is required to keep them from getting anxious around friends and family. However, many pet owners prefer that their dog is less trusting and disinclined to approach unfamiliar people.
- Bernedoodles get very attached to their pet parents and require lots of attention and stimulation. As such, it’s better not to leave them on their own for extended periods. A trip to the shops or an appointment should be fine, but no more than a few hours at a time or the dog may get anxious and fearful. Separation anxiety can result in unwanted behaviors such as accidents, barking, chewing and hyperactivity.
- Of course, this devotion is what makes them such wonderful companions for dog lovers. Their love of attention is one of the best things about them, provided you’re in a position to give them the devotion they offer and need themselves.
There’s a Bernedoodle suited to every home, from a city apartment to a sprawling family home in the country. In general, a Bernedoodle’s size is determined by its poodle parent’s size and its generation. First-generation cross Bernedoodles are generally larger because their genes are 50% poodle and 50% Bernese mountain dog. Second-generation F2 and multigenerational Bernedoodles might be smaller when a larger percentage of poodle is added into the mix.
Standard Bernedoodles take longer to mature than mini Bernedoodles and tiny Bernedoodles, which take 12 months each. With a much larger size of 23 to 29 inches, they don’t reach full maturity until between 12 and 18 months. On average, standard Bernedoodles weigh approximately 70 to 90 pounds.
Due to the impressive size of Bernese mountain dogs and standard Bernedoodles, mini Bernedoodles aren’t actually that small. They’re a similar size to a medium-sized dog, measuring around 18 to 22 inches and weighing in at 25 to 50 pounds.
Tiny Bernedoodle or Toy Bernedoodle
Tiny Bernedoodles and toy Bernedoodles refer to the same tiny pup that’s usually akin to a miniature goldendoodle in size. They usually measure between 12 and 17 inches and weigh between 10 and 24 pounds. If you’re looking for an even tinier pup, why not check out our gorgeous cockapoo puppies?
The Bernedoodle is a beautiful dog with a luscious coat and a teddy bear-like aesthetic. It has some adorable quirks when it comes to appearance. For instance, a Bernedoodle puppy often has a pink nose that turns black once the dog is fully matured. They’re also well-suited to chilly winters due to their long shaggy fur and the presence of an undercoat. We’ll explore some more unique characteristics of this hybrid breed in the fun facts section.
Straight Coat vs Wavy Coat vs Curly Coat
- In addition to different sizes of Bernedoodles, there are also different coat types: straight, wavy and curly. The latter is the most popular for many people, whether they have a family with mild allergies or simply want to minimize the amount of fur that makes its way onto their furniture. Doodles with curly fur shed less than their wavy or straight counterparts, but they have more stringent grooming needs.
- Straight coats are the easiest to manage grooming-wise but tend to shed more than wavy or curly coats. Because of their relatively normal shedding, this type of doodle is the least common. Wavy-coated Bernedoodles fall somewhere in the middle.
Bernedoodles coats can display in any combination of black, brown and white. All black is common, as is black and white or black and brown. Sable is also an option, although it’s the most difficult to breed intentionally and therefore also the most expensive. In recent years, an even rarer gem has materialized: the merle Bernedoodle. These dogs have marbled grey coats with white and sometimes brown too.
Training Your Bernadoodle
Bernedoodles generally are good dogs that grow up to be well-behaved, social and friendly family members. However – as every dog – this doesn’t happen all by itself!
Based on his breed-specific characteristics, the Bernedoodle will require training focused on showing good manners even when excited. Most owners report that they especially have to invest time into:
- Working on their puppy’s mouthiness
- Training their puppy to not jump on people
- Leash walking training
- Training their puppy to not chew furniture
- Calm behavior around dogs and other pets (such as cats)
Your daily training does not need to take a long time or include countless repetitions – just a 3-minute training session in the morning, afternoon and evening will make a big difference in your Bernedoodle’s manners.
The Bernedoodle Breed and Family Life
- Bernedoodles are particularly well-suited to family life, even for first-time dog owners. They love being near people and are gentle and caring when it comes to small kids, but they also adore running around the backyard with older children and adults. If your family spends a lot of time away from home taking part in activities the dog can’t join in, a Bernedoodle might get separation anxiety.
- They’ll want to be involved in all the fun stuff you do and enjoy nothing more than being part of the pack. Because they bond so closely with their loved ones, they make excellent companions and protectors.
- While activity levels can vary depending on a variety of factors, Bernedoodles are generally considered to be moderately active. They love spending time outdoors running, walking and swimming, but they don’t require frequent intense activity. Miniature or toy doodles can be excellent apartment pets, but even these little guys will need at least one long walk per day and plenty of space to move around.
- While their parent dogs might have been workers, this breed’s characteristics have been selected to ensure they make loyal, loving companions. They’re highly adaptable and can shape themselves around your lifestyle provided they get the chance to let off enough steam throughout the course of the day.
- Because of their intelligence, mental stimulation is just as important as physical stimulation. As such, it’s a great idea to get them lots of interactive and puzzle toys to keep them from getting bored.
Diet and Nutrition
- The importance of a well-controlled, balanced diet can’t be overstated. The more you pay attention to your dog’s individual nutritional requirements, the less you’ll spend on vet bills and the longer your beloved pet will live. Dogs love to eat, and there’s always the temptation to give in to their pleading eyes and overfeed them, but this is a surefire recipe for health issues down the line. Feed your pet the best-quality food you can afford and be diligent about sticking to a regular routine with feeding.
- There are four main types of food: wet, kibble, cooked and raw. While raw and cooked dog food is gaining popularity, you should always consult with your veterinarian to ensure you’re providing a balanced meal.
- A combination of dry and wet is often the most healthful and practical choice. When used alone, kibble can lead to dental issues and wet food can lead to digestive issues. Be sure to give a standard Bernedoodle food for larger dogs and miniature and toy Bernedoodles food for smaller dogs.
How healthy are Bernedoodles?
A Bernese mountain doodle is a vibrant and healthy breed, but it’s still prone to inherit some potential health issues from its poodle and Bernese mountain dog sides. Like many larger dog breeds, hip and elbow dysplasia are possible. With these conditions, the hips and elbows weaken and become arthritic. Some of the other potential health issues Bernedoodles potentially face include:
- Heart disease
- Von Willebrand disease
- Sebaceous adenitis
- Progressive retinal atrophy
- Degenerative myelopathy
All reputable Bernedoodle breeders are dedicated to minimizing the health risk of the dogs they breed. At Pride & Prejudoodles, we have a health guarantee in place in the very unlikely instance a pup is born with a heritable disease. We ensure all parent dogs are tested and only accept those that have the lowest risk of developing genetic health conditions.
- Take bathing cues from how your dog smells, but generally Bernedoodles need a bath every four to eight weeks. Avoid overbathing as this can affect the balance of oils that keeps a doodle’s skin and coat moisturized and comfortable. Clean its eyes and ears once per week, and give its nails a trim every time you bathe your dog.
- Brushing it two to three times a week staves off mats and tangles, and a trip to the groomer every three to five months helps your Bernedoodle look and feel its best. Dogs love getting pampered almost as much as we do! You can use detangling spray on your doodle, but be sure to choose a brand that’s formulated for your specific dog breed.
- Avoid clipping your Bernedoodle’s coat until it’s between seven and nine months old. Doing it any earlier could result in its fur not growing properly for the rest of its life. Implementing a tooth-brushing routine keeps decay and cavities at bay and can help extend your pet’s lifespan.
If you’re wondering about the different labels attached to Bernedoodles, such as F1, F2 etc, we’ve compiled a handy guide to help you. Keep in mind that doodles with more poodle genetics will have a lower shedding coat, while pups with more Bernese mountain dog genes have straighter fur that’s more prone to shed. First-generation doodles benefit from the most hybrid vigor.
Let’s break down the differences between each generation:
- F1 Bernedoodle: A first generation (which is what the 1 in F1 stands for) doodle is a 50%-50% cross of a purebred mountain dog and a poodle. While this is the standard, there’s a lot of variation among F1s when it comes to coat type and color. They benefit strongly from hybrid vigor, which means there’s a good chance of them living a long, healthy life free from illness.
- F1B Bernedoodle: An F1B is 75% poodle and 25% Bernese mountain dog, where the “B” stands for backcross. so the dogs are a cross between a purebred poodle or mountain dog and an F1 Bernedoodle. Breeders usually choose a poodle for this cross because the coat is likely to be lower shedding. In fact, this is usually the most hypoallergenic generation of Bernedoodle.
- F1BB Bernedoodle: This type of doodle is 87.5% poodle, making it the least shedding first-generation Bernedoodle. They usually have very curly coats and require lots of brushing.
- F2 Bernedoodle: Like an F1, this is a genetic mix of 50% poodle and 50% Bernese mountain dog, with two F1 Bernedoodle parents. These dogs are most likely to have a coat that sheds like a regular dog breed.
- F3 Multigeneration Bernedoodle: This type of doodle is usually a mixture of F1B and F1B or F2 and F2, although there can be many other iterations. These guys tend to have strong poodle genetics but also have the least hybrid vigor of the different generations.
Fun Bernedoodle Facts
Bringing a Bernedoodle companion into your home will lift your spirits and add a new dimension of joy and magic. We’ve covered all the important stuff about this goofy dog breed; now let’s take a look at some fun facts:
- Don’t worry if your Bernedoodle’s coat fades over time; this is down to genetics. What starts out as a black-haired puppy might grow into a gray adult Bernedoodle.
- Poodles are known for being aloof, but they’re also famous for how easy it is to train them. Bernese mountain dogs, on the other hand, can be quite stubborn! Depending on your individual pup, they might go either way. Luckily, adult dogs grow out of this trait.
- A standard Bernedoodle can be quite expensive to groom because of its size.
- Have you ever seen a dog sploot before? It’s adorable, and Bernedoodles are renowned for displaying this adorable seated posture.
- Bernedoodles are highly sensitive, a trait they’ve inherited from their Bernese mountain dog parent. While all dogs tend to respond better to positive reinforcement, these dogs can be particularly affected by punishment, harsh words or even your tone of voice. It should go without saying, but always be patient and gentle with your dog and they’ll reciprocate in kind.
- Bernedoodles are very vocal dogs that seem to use different sounds to get across different messages. This doesn’t mean they’re noisy or bark too much — both traits that can be managed by early training — but they love to communicate.
How much is a Bernedoodle Puppy?
- Like for all designer breeds, prices for Bernedoodle puppies can vary wildly. You should expect to pay upwards of $1,500 for your puppy – with prices going as high as $5,000 for certain colors and patterns.
- This is a huge investment, but with an average lifespan of 12-15 years you will have a wonderful companion by your side for a long time.
- Many owners are repeat Bernedoodle buyers – they fall in love with the breed and cannot imagine ever owning a different breed. The outgoing, social, happy-go-lucky nature of the Bernedoodle is captivating and makes for amazing companions – whether on an adventure or just relaxing at home.
Why are Bernedoodles so expensive?
- A lot of thought, effort and time goes into breeding healthy puppies with great temperaments. A responsible Bernedoodle breeder will always make sure to check the parents for any genetic conditions that could be passed on as well as to extensively evaluate their temperament.
- Raising puppies properly also requires a lot of time and resources. They need high-quality food, a lot of interaction and socialization, toys, vet visits etc. … a responsible breeder will let the puppies go to their forever homes only after being checked by a vet, microchipped and dewormed.
- Even if a Bernedoodle puppy might seem expensive to you – the breeders most likely did not get rich from breeding dogs. It is a passion for them!
Which Health Issues Come From Each Parent?
Finally, let’s take a look at the potential health defects that are common with parent breeds. First-generation hybrids are thought to be fittest, although doodles with a high percentage of poodle and smaller doodles are also thought to benefit from longer life expectancies.
Bernese Mountain DogBernese mountain dogs have a high incidence of cancer, which is why their lifespan is relatively short compared to poodles and Bernedoodles. Poodles are at a very low risk for the disease, which protects Bernedoodles. Other common health concerns of mountain dogs include:
- Von Willebrand’s disease
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Heart disease
PoodlePoodles are some of the healthiest, longest-living dog breeds in the world. However, they do struggle with the following conditions:
- Thyroid problems
- Hip dysplasia
- Immune disorders
- Tracheal collapse
- Skin and eye issues
Does Training Impact Lifespan?
- Yes! Bernedoodles are highly intelligent dogs, and the best way to keep an intelligent dog happy and entertained is by training it. It’s a type of mental exercise and prevents your pet from getting depressed or lethargic.
- Training helps your Bernedoodle understand boundaries, know what to expect from you and please you as much as possible. Dogs are pack animals that have an inherent desire to impress their owners and make them happy. If you train your dog thoroughly and consistently, it’ll know how to delight you and will experience significantly less stress than an untrained or poorly trained doodle.
How Does Environment Affect Lifespan?
- Environment plays a crucial role in the life expectancy of your doodle. Generally speaking, the more active and stimulated your dog is, the longer it lives. Lots of fresh air, walks and movement promote good health, while long periods of sleeping and lethargy can negatively impact it.
- Larger Bernedoodles are more prone to being sedentary than toys or miniatures, so it’s crucial you encourage a busy lifestyle with lots of exercise and playtime. The sensitivity of this breed can also impact its health, so be sure to give your dog lots of love and attention, and do your best to keep the atmosphere at home happy or positive.
Is Nutrition Important for Longevity?
- Standard Bernedoodles consume 1400 to 1800 calories per day, depending on their size and weight. A miniature requires 800 to 1400 per day, and a toy Bernedoodle eats just 500 to 900 calories per day.
- Not enough calories and they won’t be able to enjoy the active lifestyle that contributes to good health and longevity. Too many calories and they risk getting overweight or obese, which can lead to a multitude of diseases and negatively impact your dog’s joints. It’s important you pay close attention to everything your doodle eats and manage its weight carefully to prolong its life.
Lifespan and Generations
The genetics of the different generations of Bernedoodle vary significantly and can have an impact on life expectancy. A responsible breeder continually chooses the healthiest specimens to cross the next generation, which can also lead to an increase in lifespan.
Below is an explanation of the different generations of Bernedoodles’ life expectancies.
F1An F1 doodle is essentially a standard, 50%/50% cross between a purebred Bernese mountain dog and a standard poodle. They inherit the traits of both but lean more towards the poodle lifespan and frequently exceed it.
F1BF1B is a cross between an F1 Bernedoodle and a first-generation poodle or mountain dog, but breeders usually choose a poodle for the low-shedding coat. As such, these dogs are often 75% poodle and the other 25% is an F1, which already has an increased lifespan compared to the parent breeds.
F2The F2 has two F1 Bernedoodles as its parents, which means it’s 50% and 50% like an F1, but with more dilution. While certain characteristics such as coat length and color can be more predictable with second- and third-generation doodles, health isn’t. Some of these hybrids lose a little vigor, while others retain it and live longer. Often, smaller doodles have a slightly longer lifespan than larger ones, despite generation.
Size and Life Expectancy
There are three sizes of Bernedoodle, and life expectancy is a little different for each.
TinyTiny or toy Bernedoodles are the smallest of the poodle and Bernese mountain dog crossbreeds, and they benefit from the longest lifespan. They’re a cross between a toy poodle and a mountain dog, so even though they’re a toy breed, they’re significantly larger than a cockapoo. Poodles have one of the longest lifespans, and evidence suggests these adorable little pups inherit the 16-to-18-year life expectancy of their poodle parents. In some cases, these dogs have been known to live beyond 20 years!
StandardStandard Bernedoodles have a lifespan that exceeds both of its parents’ life expectancies. While standard poodles live for around 12 years on average and Bernese mountain dogs live up to eight, in ideal circumstances, this crossbreed benefits from hybrid vigor and lives on average between 12 and 15 years.
MiniatureThe miniature Bernedoodle is thought to inherit the lifespan of its miniature poodle parent, which is between 14 and 16 years. Bernese mountain dogs usually live for between six and eight years, so adding poodle into the mix significantly expands the lifespan for these loving crossbreeds.
Are Bernedoodles Good Guard Dogs?
- While Bernedoodles inherit their cuddly nature from their poodle parent, they certainly retain some of the Bernese mountain dog’s drive to protect its territory. It’s not likely they’ll be as fiercely protective as their working parent, but they’ll have a strong herding instinct and a propensity to defend your home against strangers. They can also be protective over what they consider to be theirs, so early training around other pets is essential.
- One of the biggest selling points of a Bernedoodle is its impressively long lifespan. While hybrid vigor is believed by breeders to imbue all doodles with great health, these guys seem to have an extra boost. Their life expectancy varies depending on a range of factors, such as size, generation and lifestyle. Continue reading to find out more about Bernedoodles’ lifespan and discover our tips to help you maximize their health and longevity.
How Much Do Bernedoodles Sleep?
Bernedoodle puppies often have a lot of growing to do, and the bigger the doodle, the more they’re likely to sleep. In fact, as puppies, they might even spend up to 90% of their time in slumberland. However, as they get older, they tend to sleep less and become more active. If your adult doodle is sleeping all the time, it might be time for a trip to the vet. Grown Bernedoodles are energetic and fun-loving, and too much sleep might be a sign of depression.
Do Bernedoodles Like Cuddles?
Bernedoodles love nothing more than snuggling up with their owners and giving and receiving affection. Poodles love to cuddle, and with many first- and second-generation doodles being more poodle than mountain dog, snuggles come with the territory. They’re loyal, loving dogs that will follow you around your home and hang on your every word. Some people might call it a clingy breed, but they’re perfect for people with oodles to love to give.