The TRUTH about Bernedoodles (why they aren’t for everybody)


The TRUTH about Bernedoodles

If you’re looking for a friendly, family dog – then a Bernedoodle might be a breed that you want to consider.

Bernedoodles are highly intelligent, sociable, goofy, and are an excellent addition to the family if you have children.

However, if you’ve never heard of a Bernedoodle, then you might be wondering what there is to know about this breed.

In this article, I’ll cover some key information on Bernedoodles, so you can make an informed decision about whether they’re the right breed for you and your family.

So, let’s get started. 

What type of dog is a Bernedoodle?

A standard Bernedoodle – also referred to as a Bernese Mountain Poo, Bernese Poodle, or Bernese Mountain Doodle – is a designer breed that is a mixture of a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Poodle. 

The Bernedoodle is a companion dog, which is what makes them so great for families as they are the happiest when they are playing and spending time with their owners.

They also tend to be more hypoallergenic, which is a blessing for allergy sufferers and is another big reason for their popularity over the years.

The Bernedoodle is a fairly new breed. In fact, the breeder Sherry Rupke claims to be the first person to intentionally breed Bernese Mountain Dogs and Poodles to create the Bernedoodle in 2003.

That being said, a hybrid of the two might have accidentally existed before then. 

While Bernedoodles are considered to be a designer breed, you will still find them in shelters, and rescue groups that focus on Poodles and Bernese Mountain Dogs will sometimes work with mixes of those breeds.

That being said, there is no reason that you should rely on a breeder for a Bernedoodle. 

It is always worth researching the shelters near you if you decide that a Berndoodle is a breed that you would like, and it is important for you to know that you should always try to adopt before shopping.

There are so many pups out there that have been abandoned and need to be rehomed, and it is much kinder to have a look in a shelter to find the right dog for you before you think about contacting a breeder directly about a new puppy.

Size

There are three sizes of Bernedoodle: tiny, miniature, and standard. These sizes are determined by the size of the Poodle parent, which can be toy size, mini, or standard size.

Below is a rough guide of each size if you are unsure of which size would be the best fit for your family.

Tiny Bernedoodles – The clue is in the name – this size of Bernedoodle is probably the smallest variant of the Bernedoodle available. A Tiny Bernedoodle is the mix of a Mini Bernedoodle bred with a Toy Poodle. A Tiny Bernedoodle stands at 12 to 17 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs around 10 pounds.

Mini Bernedoodles – A Mini Bernedoodle is from breeding a Toy Poodle or Miniature Poodle with a Bernese Mountain Dog. Mini Bernedoodles are around 10 to 15 inches tall, while their weight can range from 10 to 30 pounds. 

Standard Bernedoodles –  A Standard Bernedoodle is pretty similar to the size of the Bernese Mountain Dog, and comes from breeding a Standard Poodle with a Bernese Mountain Dog. A Standard Bernedoodle ranges from 15 inches tall up to 29 inches tall while weighing 50 pounds and above.

The shelter or breeder that you find to get your Bernedoodle from will be able to give you a better idea of what size they estimate your Bernedoodle puppy to grow to.

Types of Bernedoodles

You will need to consider the type of Bernedoodle, as there are a few different types.

F1 Bernedoodles – F1 Bernedoodle dogs are a Bernese Mountain Dog bred with a Poodle and are known as first generation dogs.

F1B Bernedoodles – F1B Bernedoodle dogs are a Berndoodle bred with a Poodle.

F2 Bernedoodles – F2 Bernedoodle dogs are simply two F1 Berndoodles bred together.

F2B Bernedoodles – F2B Bernedoodle dogs are an F1 and an F1B Bernedoodle bred together.

If you require a non-shedding Bernedoodle because you’re allergic, you should generally try to look for an F1B Bernedoodle.

Personality traits

about Bernedoodles

Bernedoodles are very popular as they appear to get many of the best personality traits from the Bernese Mountain Dog and Poodle breeds.

That being said, which traits they inherit from their parents will differ between litters, and individual personalities of dogs within the breed can vary a fair bit as you might expect. After all, not every pooch is the same!

Bernese Mountain Dogs were originally bred in the Swiss Alps as farm dogs, and are known for being highly intelligent and their loyalty to their owner.

They’re docile, hard-working, and love being around their families. That being said, they can develop separation anxiety if you leave them alone.

Bernese Mountain Dogs can also be stubborn, so you need to ensure that you’re consistent with their training. It is also important to socialize these dogs, as they can be apprehensive of strangers at first.

Standard Poodles are known for being highly intelligent, playful, and have a tonne of energy to burn! That being said, although Poodles are playful, they can be overzealous and accidentally hurt children.

Bearing this in mind, then, you should keep a close eye on a poodle until it has proven to be trustworthy around your children.

Bernedoodles tend to be highly intelligent, hardworking, loyal, and generally are loveable goofballs to be around.

They are the definition of a companion dog and are great to have in the house if you have children and other dogs, provided that they have been well socialized from a young age.

Typically speaking, Bernedoodles can crave attention a lot of the time and are the most comfortable in homes where they are not left alone for long periods of time.

That being said, if you work a lot, a Bernedoodle might not be the right fit for you as they may experience separation anxiety. 

Energy levels

It is important to note that Bernedoodles typically have medium energy levels, but this can vary as many of them have high energy levels. Either way, your Bernedoodle will require daily exercise and lots of mental stimulation. 

Bernedoodles absolutely love the outdoors, and you’ll need to walk them come rain or shine.

They need moderate exercise at the very least, and you should try to add some variation into their exercise by playing with them, hiking, or walking them in a variety of different places to ensure that you are giving them a varied exercise routine.

Generally speaking, Tiny and Miniature Bernedoodles do better with apartment and city life than Standard Bernedoodles. 

Coat type, color, and grooming

A Bernedoodle can inherit either of their parents’ coat types, whether that be from the Bernese Mountain Dog, the Poodle, or a mixture of both.

Usually, they have wavy, curly coats that don’t shed much, which can help make them more suitable for people with allergies.

Bernedoodles’ coats have quite a large range but tend to be standard white, brown, or black tri-colored coats that are similar to the coat of the Bernese Mountain Dog.

However, that isn’t to say that they can’t inherit coloring from their Poodle parent (black and white, black and brown, spotted) they are just rarer.

In terms of coat texture, it’s next to impossible to predict Poodle mix dogs’ coats and colors before they are born, so it’s often a varied surprise! While most Poodle mix dogs don’t tend to shed, it’s hard to know whether a Bernedoodle will.

Their hair tends to range from straight to wavy, to curly – so it really is a mixed bag! That being said, Bernedoodles with straighter coats generally shed more and are less hypoallergenic, so this is something to be mindful of when choosing your dog.

However, the curlier the Bernedoodle’s coat is, the harder it is to groom. Like all Poodle mix dogs, Bernedoodles require a lot of grooming.

Due to the fact that they shed less, they need to be brushed more often to prevent their coat from getting matted and unruly.

Thanks to your Bernedoodle’s thick and wavy coat, you shouldn’t be surprised if they develop hot spots or rashes on their skin.

However, bearing this in mind, you will need to regularly comb the dog’s coat so that you can observe the skin with ease and to ensure that their coat is in the best possible condition.

Some Bernedoodle owners choose to brush their dog’s coat daily and treat it as a bonding exercise, which this breed tends to love as it is like a little daily pamper session everyday for them!

As Bernedoodles crave a lot of attention, this not only benefits them but also makes maintaining their coat much easier for you! It is also worth noting that their coat must also be trimmed every 6 to 8 weeks, depending on how quickly it grows.

Health

As the breed hasn’t been around for very long, information and research into the health concerns for Bernedoodles is somewhat limited.

As a whole, Bernedoodles are considered healthy dogs. However, one would assume that Bernedoodles may be predisposed to similar health problems of the Poodle and Bernese Mountain Dog including:

  • Hip dysplasia.
  • Elbow dysplasia.
  • Allergies.
  • Epilepsy.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy.
  • Eye problems.
  • Skin issues such as allergies and hot spots.

However, this being said, because Bernedoodles are a mixed breed they tend to benefit from a more diverse genetic makeup and often suffer fewer health concerns.

Where is the best place to find a Bernedoodle?

When it comes to looking for a new dog, your first port of call should always be your local shelter or rescue center to see if there are any Bernedoodles available to adopt.

There are so many puppies out there that have been abandoned, and rescuing a dog is so much more rewarding for you and for the dog if you are able to offer them a stable, loving home.

Aside from this, adopting is much more attainable as Bernedoodles can be incredibly expensive. Adopt, don’t shop!

That being said, if you do want to buy a Bernedoodle puppy then you will need to find a reputable Bernedoodle breeder, as they take the necessary precautions to screen the parents for any health issues to minimize the risk of them being passed onto the puppies.

However, Bernedoodles are generally in high demand, so you should expect to pay a premium price if you do decide to buy one.

Why a Bernedoodle might not be the right breed for you

Now you have a better understanding of the breed, you will also need to be aware of some of the reasons why a Bernedoodle might not be the right breed for you.

Below are some reasons that you’ll need to consider carefully before getting a Bernedoodle.

High maintenance grooming – A factor that you’ll need to bear in mind is the fact that Bernedoodles are relatively high maintenance to groom.

Their coats require daily brushing to remain in the best possible condition and to ensure that their fur doesn’t become unruly and matted.

If you do not stay on top of grooming, you’ll not only be on the bad side of the groomers that you send your pup to, but you also might be unaware if they develop a skin or heat rash due to their fur.

If you don’t think you’ll have the time to groom your pooch daily, then a Bernedoodle might not be the right choice for you.

Separation anxiety – Another big factor to take into account is that Bernedoodles don’t like to be left alone for long periods of time.

If you lead a busy lifestyle and work all day everyday outside of your home, then it is likely that a Bernedoodle isn’t the right choice for you.

This is because they are prone to developing separation anxiety if they’re left alone for too long, which can be detrimental to their wellbeing and happiness and will make it more challenging for you to go to work if they develop bad habits.

Stubbornness – Despite the fact that they are highly intelligent dogs, you might find that Bernedoodle pets can be a little stubborn when it comes to training.

That being said, they are highly trainable but you will need to consistently train your Bernedoodle puppy to ensure that they follow your orders.

Patience is key here, and training can take time and dedication to ensure that your pup is as well behaved as possible. If you don’t take the proper time to train your puppy, you could find that they develop bad habits and are naughty when you go out.  

Medium to high energy levels – Like most dogs, Bernedoodles require physical and mental stimulation, and probably aren’t suitable for you if you live a busy lifestyle.

They crave a lot of attention and need to be entertained a lot of the time, whether that’s taking them for a hike or playing with them in your yard.

That being said, if you have a tiny apartment or don’t have the time to walk your Bernedoodle for a few hours a day, then it is likely that they’re not the right breed for you.

In summary

After reading this article, you might have decided that a Bernedoodle is the right fit for you or maybe it isn’t. The main thing about choosing a breed of dog is that they are going to fit into your lifestyle and have the best life possible.

Too many dogs are either abandoned or put up for adoption because their owners commit to having a dog before they’ve taken the time to properly consider what is best for the dog itself.

To avoid this, make sure that you are prepared for the responsibility of taking care of a dog before you commit yourself to it and research everything you can about the breed before going ahead with your purchase. 

Dogs are not an accessory but are a new family member. That being said, you will want to offer them the best life possible and education is the most important step to take before you jump into a decision you’re not ready for.

Always make sure that you’re making the right decision for yourself, and the Bernedoodle that you’re thinking about adding to your life.

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.

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