The Definitive Bernedoodle Owner’s Guide: A Loyal, Loving & Fluffy Companion

The Bernedoodle is best described as clever, goofy and loyal.

They are bred to take the best parts from both of their parent breeds; the Bernese Mountain Dog and Poodle. What you end up with is a fun loving teddy bear.

These dogs are not bred to be show dogs, and are much more appropriate for the companion dog lifestyle. They come in three sizes, Standard, Mini and Tiny (depending on which size poodle they have been bred with).

Another name for this breed is the Bernese Mountain Poo and these gorgeous dogs are great for almost every household.

To learn more about how-to care for, train, groom and bond with this incredible dog, keep reading.

What is a Bernedoodle? (Overview)

Bernedoodle Puppy

The Bernedoodle, a crossbreed of a Poodle and Bernese Mountain Dog, are companion dogs who will adore being by your side.

These designer dogs are a fairly new mixed-breed with Swissridge Kennels claiming to be the first Bernedoodle Breeder back in 2003.

This mixed breed can come in three different sizes depending upon which size Poodle they are bred with.

Standard and Mini Bernedoodles are bred with a purebred Bernese Mountain Dog mother and either a Standard Poodle or a Miniature Poodle father. Using the Bernese Mountain Dog as the dam (i.e. mother) reduces the chance of any issues that arise during birth – due to the offspring’s size difference.

The Tiny Bernedoodle is actually a first generation Mini Bernedoodle mother bred with a Toy Poodle fatherso they are actually 75% Poodle and 25% Bernese Mountain Dog rather than 50/50 like the other two sizes.

Bernedoodle Appearance

Bernedoodle Face

When you have a designer dog, it is much harder to accurately predict the appearance of a litter of puppies. This is because there are many ways that the genetics of the parent dogs may combine.

You never really know what you’re going to get until you get a puppy.

Their size may vary, but, they will look like a fluffier version of the Bernese Mountain Dog. They have a large, well-proportioned body with a bushy tail. Their ears hang down beside their face and their snout is fairly compact with a black nose.

Height and Weight

The Bernedoodle’s size will depend on the Poodle they were bred with:

  • A Standard Bernedoodle full grown is 23 to 29 inches tall and weighs 50 to 90 lb
  • The Mini Bernedoodle is 18 to 22 inches tall and weighs 25 to 29 lb
  • The Tiny Bernedoodle is 12 to 17 inches tall and weighs 10 to 24 lb

Color Variations

The most sought after color is the classic tri-color pattern of the Bernese Mountain Dog, but, they come in many variations. The Bernedoodle has a range of coat colors:

  • If they take after their Bernese Mountain Dog parent, they are most commonly black, black and white or the classic tri-colored black, white and brown.
  • If they take more after the Poodle side, then their coats may also be grey, apricot, blue, fawn, cream, and merle.

Coat

Most often their coat is medium length, thick and wavy. They shed little and are generally a great dog for people with dander allergies.

The Bernedoodle’s coat is mainly wavy and non-shedding – they acquire this from their Poodle genes and it’s great for people with pet allergies as most of these dogs are hypoallergenic.

They sometimes have much tighter, poofier curls that are more like the classic Poodle look. This is especially likely in the Tiny Bernedoodle as they have a higher percentage of Poodle genes.

Much more rarely, they might have a straighter coat and these pups will generally shed more and aren’t hypoallergenic.

Bernedoodle Pictures

Bernedoodle Temperament

Bernedoodle Temperament

They are frequently described as a clever, goofy, loyal, fun-loving companion.

With designer dogs, it is hard to predict their personality and temperament because of the massive variety of combinations the parent breeds could produce.

With their Poodle genes, they are bound to love playtime and you and your family are sure to laugh excessively at these lovable goofs.

For a Standard Bernedoodle, a backyard is important. The smaller versions, are more suited to apartment living, but, are often just as energetic as the standard size!

These dogs are not generally barky dogs, but, like most companion dogs, they do suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for too long.

They are a classic velcro dog and will want to be with you all the time. This is not the right dog for you if you are often away and unable to bring them with you. This character trait is one of the things that makes this breed particularly attractive (imagine endless cuddles from a living teddy bear that just wants to love you).

Your mix will absolutely adore your family and close friends, however, the Bernese Mountain Dog temperament in these dogs may make them a little wary of strangers.

This should be combatted easily with plenty of socialization as a puppy. Have them meet all kinds of different people throughout the socialization period and they should develop into highly sociable dogs.

Is A Bernedoodle A Good Family Dog?

Yes, this goofy mix is an excellent family dog. They love kids and are extremely gentle as long as they have been socialized correctly from a young age.

They have often been used as therapy dogs because of their gentleness and intelligence. They may sometimes be a little hard headed, but, will generally grow out of this as they pass the puppy stage.

How to Train A Bernedoodle

Training A Bernedoodle to Sit

With a potentially hard headed puppy, the best way to train them is always by using positive reinforcement. In fact, positive reinforcement has been shown to be the absolute best way of training any dog.

When you have a dog that can be predisposed to stubbornness you want to avoid any negative reinforcement.

Although these pups may be a little strong-willed when young, they do tend to grow out of this as they become older. Positive reinforcement paired with repetition and consistency are sure to give you a beautifully trained pooch.

These dogs may sometimes be a little wary of strangers. Socializing them with many people when they are young is really important.

If your dog is not socialized properly they could become anxious around strangers and this will make having guests over much less pleasant. Socialization is the key to a confident, well-behaved dog.

A great idea for socialization with other dogs is puppy parties, they provide a safe space where dogs of similar ages will learn and play together.

These dogs are extremely intelligent dogs thanks to their Poodle parent’s brain. Poodles are ranked as the second most intelligent dog breed, just under Border Collies.

They will need a multitude of different toys and games to keep them mentally stimulated. A nice idea for keeping your pup occupied is to play brain games with your dog. These will exercise their mind and often their bodies as well.

Caring For A Bernedoodle

Bernese Mountain Dog and Poodle

A Bernedoodle is quite happy to fit into most family lifestyles you have. However, they are big sufferers from separation anxiety. Someone suited to these teddy bears will not be leaving them alone for long periods of time.

They will be ecstatic to join you in a hike, or a beach walk, but, they will be equally happy going to the dog park. As long as they have been given a decent walk a day, plenty of playtime and cuddle time on the couch, they will be joyous.

Exercise Requirements

They are fairly active dogs and are best suited to an owner who enjoys being outside. These dogs will be more than happy to go hiking, running, even swimming if they’ve picked up the Poodles’ love for the water.

He is also suited to a less active family household providing his is being taken out on one good walk a day. He won’t mind just having some playtime in the house, or garden, to burn off his energy.

The smaller varieties of this breed are known for being more energetic than the standard size.

Unlike most dogs, he enjoys the colder weather as their coat is thick and they especially love playing in the snow.

The stubborn nature of these dogs may sometimes make training a little harder. If you want to have your dog off-leash, be sure you master recall first, without recall, you could be putting your dog in a dangerous situation each time you exercise them.

Grooming and Shedding

Grooming requirements for this dog will depend on the type of coat they have.

If you have a straight-haired Bernedoodle, you should brush them at least once a week. They will shed if they have a straight coat and because of this investing in a decent vacuum cleaner is a must.

The non-shedding versions of these dogs are hypoallergenic, which is great, but they do have slightly more intensive grooming requirements.

If you have a wavy or curly coated Bernedoodle you will need to brush them several times a week to stop matting. You will also need to take them to the groomers every couple of months to trim their coat.

Regardless of their coat type, they will of course need nails clipped, ears cleaned, flea treatments and worming.

Feeding and Diet

The feeding requirements for this dog will depend on their age and size:

  • As a puppy, they should generally be fed 3 to 4 meals a day of high-quality puppy food
  • At 6 months they should move on to 2 meals a day
  • Once they reach a year they should move on to adult food

Tiny and Mini Bernedoodles will probably do best on small breed dog food where as Standard will be better with specifically formulated large dog food.

Choosing a high-quality dog food is vital for the health of your dog. Generally, people will mix dry food and wet food for a complete diet, but, a raw diet is also a popular option.

The best dog foods will have meat as the predominant ingredient this is because protein is the most important nutrient for your dog.

You should be feeding your dog around 20 calories per lb of body weight. That means for a 50lb dog they should get around 1000 calories a day.

Known Health Problems

In general, they are much healthier than their purebred parents, this is because of hybrid vigor.

Thanks to this hybrid vigor, this dog is less likely to develop bone cancer like their Bernese Mountain Dog mother. However, they are still prone to some conditions, mainly hip and elbow dysplasia and skin problems.

It’s always a good idea to check the hip and elbow scores of the parents and puppies when buying from a breeder.

Tiny Bernedoodles are more prone to digestive problems thanks to their higher percentage of Poodle genes.

What Is The Typical Bernedoodle Lifespan?

Standard Bernedoodles are expect to live 12 to 15 years, whereas Mini and Tiny mixes can live up to 17 years of age.

Buyer’s Guide

Buying a Bernedoodle

The Bernedoodle dog breed is growing in popularity, but, it is still a fairly new breed – this makes finding a reputable breeder fairly difficult.

When you do find a breeder, be sure that they are a reputable breeder with good breeding practices. You should be able to meet at least the mother dog when going to look at the puppies. This will help you judge the kind of temperament that the puppies may have.

In the case of the Standard and Mini, both parents should be purebreds and therefore could be Kennel Club registered.

For the Tiny, the father should be purebred. As the puppies are mix breeds they cannot be Kennel Club registered.

Ask the breeder about the puppies’ personalities as well. They will know the most about them and be able to point you in the direction of certain puppies if you are looking for particular characteristics.

A good breeder will never be desperate to sell their puppies. They will want them going to an appropriate home.

How Much Does A Bernedoodle Puppy Cost?

A bernedoodle’s price tag is likely to be between $1,500 to $5,000 USD – these are not cheap dogs.

If you find a puppy that is being sold for much less than this, you should be cautious as you may end up supporting puppy mills or bad breeding.

Quick Breed Summary Table

Breed Characteristics
Size: Standard: 23-29″, Mini: 18-22″ and Tiny: 12-17″
Weight: Standard: 50-90 lb, Mini: 25-49 lb and Tiny: 10-25 lb
Lifespan: Standard: 12-15 years, Mini and Tiny: up to 17 years
Coat: Dense and curly
Color: Most often black, black and white or tri-colored
Do They Shed: No
Temperament: Goofy, loyal, loving, gentle and friendly
Intelligence: High
Socialization: Required from a young age with people and dogs
Destructive Behavior: Separation anxiety
People Skills: Wary of strangers
Good with Children: Extremely gentle
Activity Levels: Medium to high activity levels

Summary

This gorgeous companion dog is suited to almost every household thanks to the variety of different hybrid combinations.

A Bernedoodle dog is best suited to someone with endless amounts of time to spend with them. They are fun-loving loyal goofballs who will have the whole family rolling around with laughter.

With adaptable exercise needs, and a love of sofa time, you are not going to be able to get enough of these fluffy teddy bears.

Be sure to keep their coats groomed and trimmed, their brains occupied with games and to give them tons of socialization from a young age and they will be your family’s best friend! What are your experiences with Bernedoodles? Let us know.

Thomas Woods Face Portrait
Thomas has been a dog lover since he was 6 years old when his parents got him a rescue Labrador. Since then his love for dogs has lead him to study Animal Behavior & Welfare. He now keeps a six year old English Bullmastiff and educates pet parents through his online publication Perfect Dog Breeds.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*