The Doodle is a remarkable thing, a breed composed entirely of a cross between a Poodle and a Something Else Entirely.
Remarkably in demand as they’re renowned for being hypoallergenic (not always truthfully), they can be very chilled-out dogs, with a basic set of needs and a generally happy-go-lucky approach to life.
Recently, a cross between a Poodle and a Bernese Mountain Dog, the Bernedoodle, has been growing in popularity with people who want a large but hypoallergenic dog (the hypoallergenic element presumably coming from the Poodle side of the family, because it’s not a quality native to the full Bernese).
But never let it be said that dog breeders let a good idea go to waste.
If you can have a full-size Bernedoodle by breeding a full-size Poodle and a Bernese Mountain Dog, they reasoned, you should be able to breed it small too, by breeding the hunting dog with a Miniature Poodle!
That way, we can make a Mini Bernedoodle, for owners who wanted all the fun and frolics of the full-size version, just in miniature.
And so the Mini Bernedoodle – a species no-one had ever thought of before, not even Mother Nature, and you know how inventive she can be – came into being. And allergic small dog lovers everywhere rejoiced.
But interestingly, it turns out a Mini Bernedoodle may not be everyone’s best friend.
Take a walk with us and we’ll give all the lowdown there is on the utter cuteness factory that is the Mini Bernedoodle.
The Mini Bernedoodle: What is that?
That’s a fair question. No-one ever especially asked for the invention of the Mini Bernedoodle.
Then again, whatever you believe about the beginnings of life, it’s fairly certain that no-one asked for the invention of human beings either, so who are we to judge. The Mini Bernedoodle and the human being both came about because they could.
The Mini Bernedoodle is what you get if you cross a Miniature Poodle with a Bernese Mountain Dog. Two breeds more legendarily unlikely to meet and breed in the wild, it is hard to even conceive.
But with dog breeders acting as a canine equivalent of Tinder, the incredibly unlikely becomes the relatively commonplace, and voila!
A small, unbearably cute smashing-together of Miniature Poodle and Mountain Dog – smaller than a Standard Poodle, possibly even more adorable than a Standard Bernese Mountain Dog. If it had evil on its mind, it could probably rule the world.
How mini is a Mini Bernedoodle?
Genetics can be a highly precise science.
Then there are dogs.
Dogs have always been phenomenally good at mixing, blending and shaking up traits from both parents, irrespective of breed, and giving you something it’s tricky to predict with any accuracy.
It’s as though a dog’s genetic code suffers from a short attention span, as though it thinks “Right, my mother was a Poodle, and my Dad was a Bernese Mountain Dog, so I should be a – Oh, look, squirrel!” and darts off to do its own thing.
You can know more or less what you’re going to get, but the canine genetic structure will frequently mess with you.
That means you’ll get quite the variety across the breed, but overall, the Mini Bernedoodle gets its stature from its Miniature Poodle ancestry. Given that that’s precisely what we were breeding for originally, that’s good for us. Result – small dogs.
But how small is small?
On average, a Mini Bernedoodle’s height will fall into the range from 10-15 inches. Yes, if you know your Miniature Poodles, you’ll know that in this case the stick doesn’t fall very far from the tree, as that’s exactly the average range for the parent breed.
Far be it for us to fat shame, but if you have a dog that rarely gets taller than 15 inches, let’s talk weight for a second. The Mini Bernedoodle can range in weight from 10-30 pounds.
For most people, that range won’t be a big deal at all, but if, say, you have back problems, you’re going to want to know in advance whether you’re going to be chasing and picking up 30 pounds of dog on a regular basis.
If it’s information you feel would be useful, talk to your breeder about the dimensions of the parent dogs, so you can have an idea of what to expect when the puppy stops being a puppy.
Do you have that in blue?
When it comes to color, it’s more or less a crap shoot with the Mini Bernedoodle, genetic variation markers being what they are.
You can expect your Mini Bernedoodle to come in…some variety of the colors of the parent dogs, which can include: red; black and white; or even black, white; and tan.
As with the question of weight, if the color is for some reason of particular importance to you, checking with the breeder will give you a line, if not exactly a bead, on what to expect of your Mini Bernedoodle’s fur color.
Guarantees in this area? Not a thing. As is to some extent true of all births, everywhere, when it comes to color, you largely have to love what you’re given.
What sort of temperament does the Mini Bernedoodle have?
To some extent, it’s always worth remembering that dogs have individual natures, and also respond to the interactions they have on a daily basis. In other words, the Mini Bernedoodle is more than the sum of their genetics, just as you are.
That said, the Bernese Mountain Dog is a breed renowned for intelligence and loyalty, with a side order of affection.
A kind of clever lollop of a dog, they more or less encompass the two halves of an engaging pet’s personality.
Mini Poodles are intelligent too, for all they have something of a spark of Small Dog Syndrome, determined to prove themselves in an outsize world, and occasionally challenge the unchallengeable.
They may not hold the world at large in especially high esteem, but they know which side their food bowl is filled on, and they show that understanding by a loyalty to their owners.
That means that, on a basic level, the Mini Bernedoodle is likely to be intelligent, affectionate and loyal – with perhaps that transferred spark of fighting spirit and quite the powder keg of energy.
What that means is that when you get a Mini Bernedoodle, you’re essentially taking on the responsibility of something in the region of a human 4-year-old.
Intelligent, inquisitive, small, and needing to be stimulated before it succumbs to boredom and starts sighing at you, like its ageless ennui is all, somehow, your fault.
You’re gonna need some training sessions. Things to keep your Mini Bernedoodle learning, active and engaged, at least until it’s Bernese genes kick in of an evening and it decides to lollop at your side for snuggles. Variety of training is the spice of a Mini Bernedoodle’s life.
Too much of the same old, same old, and it’ll get as bored and listless as you would in its place. “Oh…the ball? Again? I think one of us is just phoning this relationship in, Janine…”
One trait the Mini Bernedoodle gets from both sides of its genetic heritage is loyalty to its owners. Result? A fantastic dog to have around the family, especially with children.
Being small themselves, they frequently gravitate to the kids, and appear to sense a need for gentleness around them.
Not exactly ‘leave the dog and the child together unsupervised’ gentle, but much as we love them, that’s probably as much a precaution to keep the dog safe as it is to keep the child safe.
That said, if the Mini Bernedoodle in your family senses a threat to the family, especially the children, it will probably go off like a hand grenade. Loyal, remember?
Does a Mini Bernedoodle need to feel the…erm…burn?
When it comes to exercise, there’s a certain degree of commitment you’re agreeing to when you get a Mini Bernedoodle.
After all, think about it – Bernese Mountain Dogs are usually active and working, and it’s a thing they seem to need in order to justify their overall snuggle-flump at the end of the day.
Miniature Poodles on the other hand seem to contain all the energy of a Standard Poodle, condensed down and concentrated into a much smaller package. They are, if you like, the Scrappy Doo to the Standard Poodle’s Scooby.
So again, while allowing for individual personality, if your Mini Bernedoodle is a mix of lively energy and a seeming need to be doing something, you really shouldn’t be that surprised.
Some of that energy needs burning off regularly. You’re looking at between 30-60 minutes of daily exercise, both to burn off its fun energy before it gets either bored or snappy, and of course, to give you some bonding time to enjoy its antics.
How do you train a Mini Bernedoodle?
Despite its energetic hand grenade potential, you might be surprised to learn that it’s actually easier to train a Mini Bernedoodle than it is to train some other breeds.
The combination of loyalty, intelligence, and more or less wanting to please will give you a smoother time than you might be expecting.
That said, in among its loyalty and its intelligence, there’s a stubborn streak about a mile wide. In fact, it actively pours stubbornness out into the world, far beyond the normal range of a dog its size.
So you’ll have to be firm – especially when your dog’s still a puppy – and wait for the intelligence and the loyalty to surface through the pool of stubbornness.
How much do Mini Bernedoodles shed?
One of the many reasons why the mini Bernedoodle is becoming so popular is that it’s seen as a hypoallergenic – or at least a lightly shedding – breed, so those with allergies can safely have them in the house. Is that accurate?
Well, that depends on the severity of your allergies. Certainly, the Mini Bernedoodle is an infrequent shredder, so its biology does the best it can to make it friendly to you.
But it will still need regular combing to untangle and un-mat its coat.
It’s not technically possible to have a 100% guaranteed hypoallergenic dog. But the Mini Bernedoodle is on the side of the sneezing angels, and many people report a reduction in their allergic reaction when they switch to the breed.
Ker-Ching! How much will a Mini Bernedoodle cost
The price of the Mini Bernedoodle is usually between $2000-$5000. Some breeders will of course request more, depending on the parents of the pup and their pedigree.
But you need to be prepared to commit to the investment if you’re going to get one of the cutest dogs on the planet.
The health and safety of a Mini Bernedoodle
For the most part, as you’d expect given the price tag, a Mini Bernedoodle is a healthy, lively, stubborn, intelligent, loyal bundle of fun. It’s not a breed that has a long list of health problems commonly associated with it, so you should be OK for most of the time.
Sometimes though, your Mini Bernedoodle will be susceptible to hip or elbow dysplasia.
And in significantly rare cases, they could also suffer from skin conditions. While we would never advise you to worry about that unduly, it’s probably work just checking out occasionally when you groom your dog.
Rashes and the like can be the first symptoms of a dermatological issue, and the sooner you can diagnose it, the sooner you can get your dog some relief and ensure their life goes on happily.
The bad news: why Mini Bernedoodles may not be for you
We’ve waxed lyrical about the energy, the loyalty, the intelligence of the Mini Bernedoodle. We’ve told you how great they are around children, and how they’ll stick by their family whenever they sense a threat to any of them.
Here’s the thing though. They’re not everybody’s best friends.
Remember we said they were a commitment akin to having a 4-year-old child? Mm-hmm, we weren’t kidding about that.
Firstly, there’s that hour of stimulating exercise a day.
There’s no skipping that. Every day, one of you has to provide that diversion, that movement, that sensory journey into new things for your dog.
That’s pretty much the price you pay for having a breed that’s born of inquisitive work dogs and energetic small dogs.
And then there’s the grooming.
Mini Bernedoodles need a lot of grooming, and there’s no real getting away from the fact that they need it both at home, and at professional dog groomer’s.
That means they’re a breed that takes up quite a lot of time and even more hard cash to keep in their best condition.
While it would be unfair to call them a high maintenance breed as such, because their temperament itself is more friendly and inquisitive than demanding, and it’s not as though their intestines are going to be upset if they don’t have steamed chicken every two hours, the need to satisfy their physical and inquisitive requirements does place them more towards the rich pet end of the spectrum, rather than qualifying them for everydog status.
Frequently Asked Questions
What sort of size do Mini Bernedoodles grow to?
Generally, Mini Bernedoodles grow to between 10-15 inches in height, just like Miniature Poodles. In weight, they can range from 10-30 pounds.
Are Mini Bernedoodles a barking breed?
Not really, no. They will bark in instinctive response to a threat to themselves or their family, but generally they’re a quiet breed. With a little training, they can be relied on to bark only on command or for guarding purposes.
They look adorable, but do Mini Bernedoodles like to snuggle?
Every dog has their own personality, but as a hallmark of the breed, yes, Mini Bernedoodles are highly affectionate and will love to snuggle.