Bernedoodle: The Ultimate Guide


Bernedoodles are one of the most goofy and cuddly breeds you will come across. They are perfect family companions who love to run around outdoors. If you have dog allergies, the poodle element of their heritage should be music to your ears as the Bernedoodle has inherited their hypoallergenic coat.

Bernedoodle

Key Facts

“Bernedoodle” is a hybrid name created from cross-breeding Bernese mountain dogs with the classic poodle. Together they have created a dog breed whose sole aim is to be your companion! You can expect cuddles on the couch or a friend to go hiking with. These playful and active dogs are as energetic as a puppy and will love you just as strongly.

Average lifespan

You can expect a Bernedoodle to reach the age of 12 to 18 years old.

Minimum exercise (per day)

Poodles can come in three sizes: toy, miniature, and standard. This means that a Bernedoodle can also come in these three sizes. This may lead you to believe that the toy or miniature variations don’t need to be walked that often; however, this assumption is incorrect.

All types of Bernedoodles need to have a lot of exercise every day. Ideally, you should be taking them on medium-sized walks every day; however, they will be content with short walks on weekdays and a long one on the weekend.

A good rule of thumb is to walk your adult Bernedoodle between 30-60 minutes, 1-3 times a day. Using the guide above, you could do a 90-minute walk, once a day, every day, or switch it up and do a 30 minutes walk every weekday, with a whole day hike on the weekend.

If you bring a Bernedoodle into your home, you need to be aware of their high exercise needs.

Coat length

Bernedoodles tend to have long or curly hair, which comes in a uniform-like coloring of black and whites with the occasional tanned brown mixed in.

If your Bernedoodle has curly hair, then it will have inherited the poodle’s hypoallergenic genetics. No dog is 100% allergen-friendly, but a curly-haired Bernedoodle will be less likely to bring on sneezes and itches if you are allergic to animal fur.

Minimum cost (per month)

Unfortunately, Bernedoodles are an expensive monthly breed due to the amount of food they need to eat, the amount of grooming they need, and the level of training they need.

With everything included  (food, grooming, health care, training and daycare, toys, and treats), you can expect a monthly cost of around $200 – $300 a month.

If you only want to spend the minimum amount required (food & health care), you can expect a monthly cost of around $100 – $200.

Appearance

Just like their Bernese mountain dog parent, a Bernedoodle will likely be a mixture of black and white with some tan flecks layering their fur.

You can expect them to have either a straight coat or a curly one depending on how close they resemble their parents. If the coat is straight, then your buddy will be more likely to shed.

Size

The Bernedoodle comes in three sizes, just like their Poodle parent. These sizes are toy, miniature, and standard. 

Average height

The standard version of a Bernedoodle can be as tall as 29 inches. The mini doesn’t tend to grow taller than 22 inches. The toy Bernedoole will barely reach the 17 inches mark.

Average weight

Standard Bernedoodles tend to weigh up to 90 pounds. Mini Bernedoodles weigh between 20 and 45 pounds. Toy Bernedoodles weigh roughly 10 to 24 pounds.

Temperament

Bernedoodles are super friendly, affectionate, and playful, making them a perfect pet for a family. They love young kids that can keep up with their energetic temperament, but they are intelligent enough to learn important commands to keep them in check.

Apartment Living

Toy and miniature Bernedoodles can easily become apartment dogs as their small size will mean they won’t take up a lot of space. They are also very quiet and gentle, so they won’t bark when your adjoining neighbors make unexpected noises.

However, they do need to have a lot of outdoor time. This means that you will need to take them out for long walks and cannot keep them cooped up in your apartment all day.

Good for novice owners

Despite their friendly and playful nature, we wouldn’t recommend owning a Bernedoodle as your first dog unless they have already been trained and will take your commands as their new owner. This is because Bernedoodles are very stubborn, and without proper training, they will happily ignore your commands to follow their own thoughts.

Sensitivity level

Bernedoodles are emotional dogs and are more sensitive than most breeds. If you give your buddy a soft punishment for bad behavior, they will react quickly, as they don’t like to upset their owners.

Having an irregular daily routine will confuse and upset a Bernedoodle, as does a loud household. If you live an unstructured lifestyle, with lots of guests, and noisy entertainment, then a Bernedoodle will not be happy in your home.

Tolerates Being Alone

Bernedoodles were bred to be social, which means they are not good at being left alone. If you own multiple dogs, then this little pup can get their much-needed attention from the other pets in your house when you are not around. 

Tolerates Cold Weather

Bernedoodles have no problem being in cold weather climates. If you live in particularly frosty locations, you may want to let your Bernedoodle grow their hair longer to keep them toasty.

Tolerates Hot Weather

Bernedoodles have no issues when they are in hot weather climates. If your home is in a particularly toasty location, then you may want to have your Bernedoodle’s fur cut short, so their curls don’t trap in the heat.

Affectionate With Family

Bernedoodles are super affectionate towards their family members, and they genuinely enjoy spending time with their handlers. Due to their loyal and sensitive nature, they can strongly pick up on their handler’s emotions, which helps them bond closely to you. This bond will give both you and them a strong sense of happiness.

Kid-Friendly

Bernedoodles are gentle and kind, making them perfect dogs for families with kids. This breed loves being around children, as they seem to have the same energy levels as this excitable and dopey four-legged friend.

Dog Friendly

Again, the docile and gentle nature of Bernedoodles means they are great companions for other dogs. They won’t try to dominate a hierarchy with any dogs already in your family, and they will enjoy having other energetic buddies to play with.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Due to their kind nature, Bernedoodles will be okay around strangers and won’t cause any issues. However, their loyal personality means they will likely sit with you as the new and unknown person walks into their space.

A stranger won’t receive any issues from the Bernedoodle, but your pooch would rather spend time with you.

Health And Grooming

Although Bernedoodles take some of their parentage from Bernese mountain dogs, you should be happy to learn that they have not inherited the same health risks. They have also bypassed a lot of the grooming problems associated with Poodles. Bernedoodles have inherited the best of both worlds when it comes to health and grooming.

Shedding

If your Bernedoodle has straight hair, then they will shed their fur. If your Bernedoodle has curly hair, then they will not. This is just a general rule, as different pups will inherit different traits, but on the whole, it is pretty accurate. 

When your puppy is a couple of weeks old, you will be able to see what type of hair they will grow.

Drooling

Bernedoodles are not a drooling dog breed, so if you want to avoid a sloppy kiss or a continuous wet patch on your couch, then you will be happy with a Bernedoodle by your side.

If you notice that your Bernedoodle is starting to drool, you should take them to the vet as soon as possible because this might be a sign that they are unwell.

Grooming

Straight-haired Bernedoodles don’t need that much upkeep to their hair. A simple wash and brush every now and then should be enough to stop any matting. If you want to reduce the amount of shedding, you should brush your pup daily.

Curly-haired Bernedoodles will need a great deal of grooming. You will need to brush your beautiful dog daily to avoid matting. Luckily Bernedoodles love to be brushed, and it helps cement the bond between you and your buddy.

To keep your pet’s eyes and ears free from infection, the hair surrounding them should be cleaned and snipped often.

Ideally, you should be taking your pooch to a dog groomer every month to make sure that their fur isn’t matted and the length isn’t too long.

General health

The Bernese mountain dog breed only has a life expectancy of 7 years due to their high cancer rate, heart disease rate, and epilepsy rate. Luckily, Bernedoodles have not inherited these life-threatening illnesses, so their life expectancy is almost double their parents. In general, Bernedoodles are very healthy dogs, and so you shouldn’t expect a high monthly vet cost for their insurance. 

Common health problems

Despite their mostly healthy genetics, no animal is completely free from health issues. The common health problems you can expect in a Bernedoodle are hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, ocular disease, hot spots, skin diseases, and allergies.

Dysplasia is when the socket of a joint doesn’t fully cover the ball of a bone. This means the bone can become dislocated easily. This is a problem a pet (or person) is born with, so you should know early on if your new buddy suffers from easily dislocated joints.

Ocular diseases are infections and genetic issues which affect the eye and its vision. If your Bernedoodle has a red watering eye, seems to be losing their sight, or has become sensitive to light, then they may have developed an ocular disease.

Hot spots are the most likely health issues you will come across, and they are caused by the Bernedoodle’s thick coat. If your buddy is licking or chewing a specific area on their skin, they are probably reacting to a hot and painful spot under their fur. This fur might be matted or dirty. Take your dog to the vet if you think they are suffering from hot spots.

Potential For Weight Gain

Bernedoodles are not super likely to become obese, nor is it impossible for them to become that unhealthy. Because this breed loves to run around and wants to live an active life, they will likely burn off most of the calories they consume, however, they do also enjoy a snack.

If you keep an eye on how many snacks they have and continue to take them on long walks, you should have no issues regarding weight gain.

Trainability

Although we said that Bernedoodles are not a great choice for first-time dog owners due to their training needs, this doesn’t mean that this breed is hard to train. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Bernedoodles are so easy to teach that they will quickly pick up bad habits, which will be hard for them to unlearn.

Easy To Train

Bernedoodles are very responsive to training and will do best with positive reinforcement and a lot of patience. Because these pooches are so high energy, they will need more time and attention to get the training right. This means that you will need to continue training even past their puppy stage, otherwise, they will slip into bad habits, and other more exciting interactions could grab their attention.

Intelligence

Bernedoodles are very intelligent dogs, meaning you can each teach them a whole list of commands which they will understand and memorize them after 5 to 15 repetitions. Bernedoodles will often obey these commands on the first try, 85% of the time.

Potential to bite

Bernedoodles are not likely to bite anyone due to their gentle and kind nature. If one does bite you, it is probably because of these reasons: It is trying to protect itself from you, it is in pain, it is overexcited, it has been provoked.

If a Bernedoodle has bitten you, you should decipher the reason for the bad behavior to learn what your buddy is trying to tell you.

Although they don’t tend to bite, you might receive a painless and playful nip from your Bernedoodle. This should be trained out of your pet, but don’t be alarmed if your buddy gives you a nibble, as this is considered playful behavior and not aggressive. 

Tendency To Bark Or Howl

Bernedoodles tend to bark, but they are not a constant talker. Instead, you might find your friend having a chatty day if they are saying hello, asking for attention, are afraid of something, or suffering from separation anxiety.

Understanding your pet will help you decrease their amount of barking, but typically a Bernedoodle won’t be howling all day.

History

bernedoodle

Bernedoodles are a relatively new breed of dog. A Bernese mountain dog breeder (SwissRidge) had been breeding purebreds for a long time but wanted their loved dogs to be free from their debilitating health issues and become more allergen-friendly to their customers. First, they crossed Bernese mountain dogs with Golden retrievers, and this new breed became an instant hit.

They then decided to create a new breed again by pairing Bernese mountain dogs with the classic Poodle in 2003 to create this huggable teddy bear we know and love today.

Costs

We have already looked at the minimum monthly costs you will have to pay for your Bernedoodle, but there is a lot more money involved than their food and vets bill. This includes buying the dog to begin with.

Depending on whether you pay for training and daycare or simply stick to monthly food budgets and health care, you should expect to pay a monthly payment of $100 – $300.

The cost of a Bernedoodle puppy can be anywhere between $1,000 and $5,000. Adopting a Bernedoodle will cost around $100 – $500.

Because Bernedoodles can live for up to 18 years, this means that the total cost of a Bernedoodle for its lifetime will be around $60,000 – $70,000.

Fun Facts

Bernedoodles are not eligible for registry as an official breed. This is because they are healthiest as a first-generation mix between Poodle and Bernese mountain dogs, but second generations and beyond would inherit the Bernese illnesses.

The whole reason for Bernedoodles’ creation was to eliminate the common Bernese mountain dog diseases, so breeding a second-generation wouldn’t make sense. As they are not bred to a second-generation, they technically will never be seen as official.

Bernedoodles are so friendly that they would be terrible guard dogs. They are gentle creatures that don’t bark too often, so if you had one in your home, you can’t count on them to alarm you of an intruder.

Kerry White

Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.

Recent Posts