The adorable Bernedoodle is a cross between a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Poodle. This mixed breed is known for being playful yet gentle. The Bernese Mountain Dog Poodle mix loves to be around their family and do well around children.
They are loyal but can be somewhat aloof around strangers, making socialization extremely important. Furthermore, they can also have some separation anxiety issues. The breed is well-loved due to their beautiful coats. They hardly shed at all, though this does not necessarily make them hypoallergenic.
Because this is a mixed breed, it is impossible to know exactly what each puppy will look and act like. Mixed breeds come from very different parents, and what traits they inherit from what parent are completely random. Still, we can make some educated guesses as to what the appearance and temperament of a Bernedoodle might be.
The Bernedoodle is relatively new to history. They have only become popular as a mixed breed over the last year or so. While they likely occurred accidentally before that, they only become sought after and popular a short time ago. However, their parent breeds have a very long history.
Bernese Mountain Dog
The Bernese Mountain dog (also known as the “Berner”) comes from an area in Switzerland called Bern, hence the name. This is actually only one of four mountain dogs that come from this area. Bern is a vast agricultural region that is known for its dairy production. The dairy produced at Bern is very important, as it is used to make cheese and chocolate- Switzerland’s most profitable exports.
This breed was originally bred to assist in this dairy production. They drive cattle, chased away predators, and served as companions to their masters. Also known as the berner, This breed has also worked as carting dogs. They can pull a load that is many times their body weight.
Despite this breed’s overall usefulness, it began to dwindle in the 1800s. The dogs left became low-quality and hard to find. Luckily, some Swiss fans saved the breed from extinction. A Swiss breed club was formed in 1907, and soon the dog was once again prosperous. The breed was imported to America in 1926 and was recognized in the AKC in 1937.
Despite some misconceptions, the Poodle actually originated from Germany. It was originally bred to be a duck dog. The name “Poodle” refers to the German word used to describe the splashing of water – “pudelin.”
The Standard Poodle was developed approximately 400 years ago, though it was not exactly like the modern Poodle until later. As a water retrieval dog, this canine was trained to jump into the water to retrieve waterfowl after they had been shot. Their short, curly coat made them particularly suitable for this job. It protects them from the elements as they jump in and out of the water.
The show cut we often know the Poodle for actually developed for practical purposes. The hunters wanted the breed to have free movement in the water without being bogged down by their hair. But they also wanted them to be protected from the cold. In an attempt to find a balance between these two needs, the hunters shaved their legs, neck, and tail, leaving the rest coated. This cut developed into the show cut we commonly see today.
Since these early days, the Poodle has found other work as well, which helped it spread across Europe. They were performers in circuses throughout Europe and became a favorite among the nobles of France. Their higher intelligence makes them very trainable and natural entertainers. They were also used for hunting truffles due to their terrific nose.
As mentioned, the Bernedoodle is the popular mix between a Poodle and a Bernese Mountain Dog. Like many Berner mixes, this breed was created by owners that want the look of a Berner, with the shedding habits of a Poodle. Luckily, this designer dog delivers exactly that. What you get is a dog that’s generally larger than a standard poodle, with a very unique looking coat and color. Let’s dive in and learn more about this beautiful pup, including their Temperament, Size, Appearance, Puppy costs, and more.
While purebred dogs often have a common “breed personality,” this is not the case with mixed breeds, including Bernedoodles. Genetics do play a role in personality and temperament. Because mixed breeds are being bred from a larger gene pool, you never know exactly what they’re going to act like.
Still, you can draw some conclusions about this mix based on the personality of the two parent breeds. Furthermore, much of temperament is also environmental. A puppy must be socialized from a young age for them to be friendly and composed. A dog who has never seen a cat before will likely not welcome cats, no matter how friendly his breed is predisposed to be.
While it is impossible to predict exactly how any Bernedoodle will act, they are usually playful and affectionate. They bond closely to their family and enjoy being around their people. This breed does well with children thanks to their larger size and are quite patient. Of course, they should be introduced to children at a young age so they can become accustomed to them.
They can be somewhat aloof and reserved around strangers. Bernedoodles need to be socialized from an early age to prevent aggression from forming. They also require quite a bit of human interaction and are not suitable to be left alone for long periods. They can also be nervous, suffering from separation anxiety.
Bernedoodles are intelligent and easy to please. They do well in most training situations and enjoy obedience lessons. They are also eager to learn tricks, and do well with basic tricks like shake and cross paws.
Size & Appearance
Like other poodle mixes, they can inherit traits from either of its parent breeds. Mixing two dog breeds together is the flip of a coin, so you never know what you’re going to get. Despite all the cute pictures on the internet, not every dog will have the same fuzzy appearance. They can look quite different from each other, even if they’re brothers and sisters.
You can never be sure what any particular mixed breed pup is going to look like. They can inherit any trait from either parent. Still, there are some traits that most Bernedoodles have in common. These pups can become quite large. They can weigh upwards of 75 pounds. Some are even closer to 100 pounds. They are large dogs by any description.
They often have the curly, single-layer coat of the Poodle. However, this is not always the case. Their fur can be longer, though this is rarer. THey can also come in a wide variety of colors. The tri-coloration of this breed seems to be the most common, but it is not rare to see dogs of other colorations. Solid colors are possible as are a huge variety of markings. You’ll likely never confuse a Bernedoodle when comparing them to a Goldendoodle though.
The coloration of each puppy is affected heavily by the color of the parents. Looking at the parents is a good way to estimate what the puppies might look like. They are also typically very muscular and solidly built, but also working dogs and look as such.
Coat & Colors
Bernedoodles have a single coat. Their Poodle parent has a single coat, and their Berner parent has a double coat. Because of the blend of Poodle genetics, this helped them develop a coat that sheds less than their Berner parent, with easier grooming requirements. These pups do in fact shed, it’s just much less than any double coated dog breed.
The Bernedoodle’s coat color can be white, black, brown, grey, and any color combination of the group. Because this breed is a mix, there is no true “breed standard” as defined by the AKC. With that being said, usually, breeders and potential owners are looking for a dog that has the same coat color as their Berner parent, with a hair consistency that’s somewhere between both breeds.
Wavy or Curly Coat: This type of coat will look closer to their poodle parent. They look shaggier, and their hair is slightly more wiry and wavy than their Berner parent.
Straight Coat: It’s possible that your dog will have a more straight coat like their Berner parent. This means they will look more like a Berner, with all the anti-shedding benefits of a Poodle parent.
Exercise & Living Conditions
They have a moderate activity requirement. They are energetic and do require regular exercise. However, they do not need exercise for hours a day like some other breeds. They also have a lot of endurance and like to roam. A fenced in backyard is very helpful, though this is not necessary as long as you take your dog on daily walks.
You can expect them to need about thirty minutes of intense exercise a day. This can be playing fetch, going for a walk, or anything else that gets your dog panting. Besides this, this breed will also want to play throughout the day. They like to spend time roaming outside and doing outdoor activities with their family.
Most Bernedoodles are also very intelligent and will need mental stimulation every day. This can be done easily through a fifteen-minute training session. Puzzle toys and games like hide-and-seek can also mentally stimulate your canine.
Bernedoodles are easy to train. They are very intelligent and are eager to please their owners. Because they are sensitive, you should stay away from harsh training methods, only engaging in positive reinforcement methods. When it comes to potty training, we recommend training your dog to sleep in your room while in a crate. They are active dogs, and training them in a crate at night will help put them on a regular schedule.
When it comes to training any type of activity, toys can be useful. Bernedoodles aren’t notorious for chewing, so you won’t have to worry about them destroying the first toy that walks through your front door. When it comes to leash training, we recommend your pup be outfitted with a proper harness to start. As they grow out of their puppy stage, transition them to walking on a normal leash and collar.
Most of the time, mixed breeds are healthier than purebreds. This is because they come from a larger gene pool, lowering the chance that they’ll inherit genetic problems. Purebred dogs, on the other hand, are more prone to a variety of genetic conditions because their parents are very genetically similar.
Nearly all purebred dogs are the result of inbreeding long ago. Still, this mix is decently healthy. They are not prone to many problems. Usually, you can expect them to live at least 12 to 15 years, on average. Let’s look at the problems that affect some Bernedoodles, however.
Elbow and Hip Dysplasia
Dysplasia is when the joints in the elbow and hip do not correctly form. This makes the bones not fit correctly into the joints, which can be painful and cause arthritis. This condition is genetic and happens typically as dogs age.
Larger breeds are more prone to this disorder due to their higher BMI. In most cases, this problem presents itself before your Bernedoodle turns 18 months old. Symptoms vary by dog. Because this condition causes pain in the joint, dogs will often attempt to avoid moving the joint. This results in a bunny-like gait. Other changes of gait can also be measured depending on the joint affected.
Other symptoms include discomfort when walking, mild lameness, and lethargy. Most of the time, the signs of dysplasia are not dramatic. However, they can worsen with time or suddenly. This condition is incurable and lifelong. Instead, the focus is on treating the symptoms and reducing pain. Luckily, many dogs have a high quality of life despite this condition.
This is an uncommon skin condition in some breeds of dogs. It does affect the Poodle, which makes it possible for it to affect the Bernedoodle as well. This disease is an inflammation of the sebaceous glands. These glands are found in a dog’s hair follicles. They produce a substance called sebum that helps lubricate and waterproof the skins and furs of mammals.
The most obvious sign of this disease is a silvery dandruff that adheres to the coat of the canine. Hair loss is very common and can be severe in many cases. A dull and dirty coat can also develop.
As the disease progresses, the dog’s skin will form lesions and produce a musty odor. The exact cause of this disease is unknown. Different breeds of dogs seem to have different underlying causes for this disorder. In Poodles, it is likely that the disease is genetic.
We probably don’t have to tell you that Bernedoodles eat a ton of food. However, what food they should be eating might surprise you.
Despite many misconceptions, a Bernedoodle should not be eating grain-free foods unless they have a grain allergy. Because they are not particularly prone to allergies, this is unlikely. Dogs have adapted to eat grains, so it is not harmful to the average dog in the least.
While grain-free free foods do not contain grain, they do contain other fillers that can be harmful to dogs, such as peas, legumes, and potatoes. These substances can harm a dog’s ability to digest their food properly, which can lead to other health problems. DMC, which is a serious heart condition, can occur in dogs who consume lots of potatoes, legumes, or peas.
It is better to choose a grain-inclusive food instead of one that contains these potentially harmful ingredients. You should also avoid foods that have duck, lamb, or boar as the main source of protein. These protein sources have not been properly tested to meet a dog’s nutritional needs. They are okay if paired with another protein, but should not be your pup’s sole protein source.
You should also avoid “boutique” diets. These are foods that come from smaller companies and often have “fancy” ingredients. Most of the time, these companies do not have a dog nutrition expert on staff and have not properly tested their food. Instead, you should always choose food that meets AAFCO standards.
Bernedoodles require a moderate amount of grooming and maintenance. These dogs will shed, with the amount of hair lost increasing seasonally. Depending on the dog’s coat type, this hair might get stuck in their coat or be lost normally. However, this hair will still need to be removed with regular brushing.
We recommend brushing your Bernedoodle at least a few times a week. If your dog has poodle-like hair, they will also need groomed professionally on a regular basis. Routine eye and ear cleaning are also required, but this can be done at home with nothing more than water and a cotton ball. You should also brush your dog’s teeth with an enzymatic toothpaste designed for canines.
Breeders & Puppy Costs
Start your search for a breeder online. You’ll want to find a breeder that has a history of breeding Bernedoodles. Usually, both parents will have health checks that have been done, and puppies should come with health guarantees if buying from a breeder. Because this is a mixed-breed dog, you won’t have AKC registered papers.
As designer dogs become more popular, it’s common to see those breeds make their way into puppy mills. Avoid puppy mills at all costs. Puppy mills are people that breed dogs without any care of how the breed carries on. These are often the dogs you will find in pet stores. A puppy purchased from a reputable breeder will cost anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 depending on the breeder and their history with the breed.
Rescues & Shelters
It’s not common that a Bernedoodle will make their way into a shelter, but it happens. We recommend checking with both Berner Dog Rescue Organizations, as well as Poodle Rescues if you’d prefer to adopt your dog, rather than buy a puppy from a breeder.
Doodle Rock Rescue is a great place to start, as they rescue other doodle type dogs. We recommend putting in your name for a dog and letting them know what you want. It can be a long wait for a rescue facility as you are solely dependent on people surrendering their dogs rather than adopting a puppy.
As Family Pets
- Bernedoodles make excellent family companions.
- They will get along well with all pets in a multi-pet household.
- They love attention and will happily be the primary focus of the family.
- Bernedoodles are quick to make friends with everyone.
- Because of their eagerness to please, they can suffer from anxiety.
- They won’t do well in households where their families are gone all day.
- Because of their size, do better in larger yards with space.
- They can function in a smaller living space with proper daily activity.
- Because of their energy levels, they will need 45-60 minutes of daily exercise.
The Bernedoodle is a huge, lovable dog that can make a great companion to the right family. It is important to ensure that you have enough room for your pup to run because this is a relatively active breed. They do not do well in apartments due to their large size.
Overall, if you are looking for a fun breed, that’s great with strangers and has a soft fluffy coat, you could do far worse than bringing a Bernese Mountain Dog Poodle mix into your home. The Bernedoodle is a great dog for just about any occasion and we’d strongly recommend this pup if you have the time and energy to dedicate to owning a more active pup that loves to be around everyone.
February 26, 2023 at 8:16 pm
son and 2daughters age 8 and 5 surprised us, wife and I with a visit. They visit regularly and surprised us with a new addition an 12 week old Bernese/ poodle mix. He was calm a bit aloof for about 1 hour then continued to lay at son's feet. he would come and take a few small treats. He would explore with permission. He made a barely audible whimpering sound when he wanted a bathroom break out doors. So far very good pup. n black charcoal and some white in coat.cl
May 3, 2021 at 2:33 pm
I have a 6mo bernedoodle, and he is all love. His coat and markings lean toward the poodle parent, he is light tan, dark ears and the tips of his paws are white. He loves his older brother, 1.5 yo golden doodle. Highly recommend either breed for family. I do not have small children so can not speak to that, but they are very playful and rough at times (in a good way).
May 3, 2021 at 7:32 pm
Sounds like a great dog, Debra! Thanks for sharing your experience with the breed!
January 27, 2021 at 7:13 pm
Thank you for the info. I have been looking at a lot of articles about Bernedoodles but found this one very informative.
January 27, 2021 at 7:20 pm
Thanks for the comment, Isabella! Glad you found it helpful and informative!
January 7, 2021 at 10:37 pm
I found this information informative and very helpful. We hope to be getting a puppy in early April and I’m reading everything I can get my hands on. I really enjoyed your article. Now if you can recommend a really good training book that would be awesome. Maybe one specific to the Bernedoodle would be even better.
January 9, 2021 at 6:34 am
Thanks for the comment, Robin! Zak George's Dog Training Revolution is a great start. While not breed-specific, there are some good basics you should be able to pick up. Good luck with your new canine companion!