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Breed Series

Bernedoodle

baby bernedoodle puppy

Bernedoodles are a lovable mix between Bernese Mountain Dogs and Poodles, making them a great hypoallergenic dog for those who suffer from allergies! They have all the best features of their parents - the goofy, gentle, and playful disposition of the Bernese Mountain Dog mixed with the intelligence and low-to-no shed coat of the poodle. Bernedoodles are very loyal and great with families, particularly with children. They are happy to be active outside or hang out inside, just as long as they are with their families.

Bernedoodle History

The Bernedoodle is a relatively new crossbreed and was first bred in 2003 in hopes to prevent some of the health issues typically associated with Bernese Mountain Dogs such as hip dysplasia and cancer. Even today, breeders and owners are still learning much about what the Bernedoodle is capable of!

When it comes to mastering the ideal mix, Sherry Rupke, a Canadian breeder spent 8 years considering the health standards, quality, and appearance of the dog. Today, Bernedoodles possess the best qualities of both dogs with their cleverness and great personality. 

Since it is a hybrid dog, the Bernedoodle is not currently recognized by the AKC. However, it is recognized by several other organizations, including the Designer Breed Registry, the American Canine Hybrid Club, the International Designer Canine Registry, and the Designer Dogs Kennel Club. 

Bernedoodle Appearance

Sizes: Toy, Miniature, Standard

Height: (Toy) 12-17 inches, (Minature) 18-22 inches, (Standard) 23-29 inches

Weight: (Toy) 10-24 pounds, (Minature) 18-22 pounds, (Standard) 70-90 pounds

Color: Tricolor (black, brown, white), merle & sable

Bernedoodles favor the Bernese Mountain Dog in appearance, so they tend to be a mixture of black, brown, and white – the tricolor appearance is what they are most known for. However, they can also be merle and sable. Their coats can be curly, wavy, or straight and tend to be thick. This can help them thrive in colder temperatures, as well as protect them from the summer heat. Interestingly, appearances, including coat color and type, vary greatly, even within the same litter! The size of the Bernedoodle is determined from the poodle side. Male Bernedoodles tend to be larger in both height and weight when compared to female Bernedoodles.

Keep in mind that the toy and miniature Bernedoodles do well with smaller living quarters and are ideal for apartment living, while the standard Bernedoodle should have a larger yard to burn off their energy. However, in general, they don’t require a lot of personal space and thrive when in close proximity to their family.

Bernedoodle Personality

Bernedoodles have the best of both worlds, inheriting the best personality traits from each breed. They are gentle, intelligent, loyal, and affectionate dogs, often goofy but can be great working dogs when needed, especially for herding and hunting. Their intelligence gives them the benefit of learning commands easily and though they may be shy at first, Bernedoodles are very sociable and personable dogs. 

Even though they are bred to be affable, younger Bernedoodles may be stubborn. This is inherited from both sides, but it will often fade as they get older. Just make sure to give them lots of consistent training and praise, and they should respond well to training!

Bernedoodle Exercise Requirements

Bernedoodles thrive when they are around people, and even though they can be just as happy at home as they are out and about, they are high-energy dogs that should get regular physical and mental exercise. At a minimum, they should get at least one long walk per day, though they do well with all types of exercise, including swimming, running, and playing fetch. 

Having consistent mental exercises will help keep your dog challenged and engaged, which can stop them from more destructive behaviors like chewing, digging, and barking. Consider working with them on interactive games and puzzles, rewarding their problem solving with treats. This will help them to stay sharp in addition to regular physical exercise. 

Bernedoodle Training and Care

Bernedoodles are fairly low maintenance and require being fed 1-2 times per day with regular access to clean water. As well, like most dogs, they shouldn’t be left alone for extended periods of time.

They can be fast eaters so it’s important to prevent overfeeding them by monitoring their diets. This also includes when you are treat training them. Therefore, you may want to invest in a slow feeder that helps to prevent your dog from eating too fast. 

While Bernedoodles can be stubborn, they are also very intelligent dogs that respond well to training. You just need to be patient with them and start training as soon as you can. Even as young as 8 weeks, they can learn simple commands like sit, down, and stay, as well as to be housebroken - they, much like all other dogs, are highly motivated by food! If you run into trouble training your Bernedoodle, persevere with patience and consistency and they will get it over time. 

Bernedoodle Health

Bernedoodles were bred to avoid some of the health issues that have historically plagued both breeds. While Bernedoodles are at a lower risk than other dogs, they can still be predisposed to several diseases, including:

  • Cancer
  • Hip and/or Elbow Dysplasia
  • Skin Issues
  • Eye Problems 

Typically, hybrid breeds tend to live longer, healthier lives than their purebred counterparts.  Their average lifespan is between 12 and 18 years. Because Bernedoodles are a newer hybrid breed, not much is known about their long-term health. 

Bernedoodle Grooming

How much you need to groom your Bernedoodle depends on the type of coat they have. It may seem counterintuitive, but the curlier your Bernedoodle’s coat is, the more they need to be brushed. This is because dogs with curlier hair don’t shed, so you need to comb their hair to prevent matting. Straighter hair Bernedoodles tend to shed more, but they still need to be combed often. 

They should receive haircuts every few months, and they only need a few baths a year, though of course this may increase if they are frequently outdoors and get dirty often. You should also clean your Bernedoodle’s ears several times a month to remove any dirt or debris that may have accumulated. This will help prevent ear infections.