Bernedoodle Breed Guide: Key Facts about the Bernese Mountain Dog Poodle Mix
Most dog lovers are familiar with the fluffy Goldendoodle that has taken the hybrid market by storm. But just as worthy is the loyal and cute Bernedoodle - a cross between the Poodle and the Bernese Mountain Dog.
They are truly the best of both worlds. Bernese Mountain Poodles are intelligent like their Poodle parents and have the adorably goofy personalities of the Bernese Mountain Dog. These pups are adored for their happy-go-lucky charm and love of kids!
Read on to find out if a Bernedoodle could be the perfect addition to your family.
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History: Where Do Bernedoodles Originate?
Like other hybrids, it is hard to pin down exactly when Bernedoodles came about. But it is thought that the Bernese Mountain Poo was first intentionally bred in 2003 by Sherry Rupke in Canada.
Rupke is quoted as saying that she wanted to produce a hypoallergenic dog, while also finding a way to reduce the health problems that Bernese Mountain Dogs suffer. Sadly, they only have an average life expectancy of 7 years and Rupke thought that breeding them with Poodles would create a dog that lives a longer, healthier life. She was right - Bernedoodles can live up to 18 years!
Originally from Switzerland, the Bernese Mountain Dog was bred to work hard in guarding and driving livestock. They are large, strong, and surprisingly gentle! Bernes love their families, especially the kiddos. Most Bernedoodles inherit their patience and good natured temperaments from their Bernese Mountain parent.
When it comes to their Poodle parent, Bernedoodles are well set in intelligence, energy levels, and good looks!
Like other happy-go-lucky doodle varieties, the Bernedoodle is goofy, playful, and a bit mischievous! And like their Poodle parents, they come in three different sizes - ensuring that there is a perfect Bernedood for you!
Standard Bernedoodles are large and may weigh up to 90 pounds, while the Mini and Toy varieties are much smaller. In fact, Toy Bernedoodles may be as tiny as 10 pounds! Similar to Goldendoodles, Bernedoodles have different generations and their characteristics become easier to predict over time.
For example, the first generation Standard Bernedoodles come from a Standard Poodle and a Bernese Mountain Dog. To create a Mini Bernedoodle, a Miniature Poodle is bred with a Bernese Mountain Dog and this is still considered a first generation dog. However, Toy Bernedoodles can never be first generation. This is because they require a Mini Bernedoodle to be bred with a Toy Poodle. And of course because they retain the unique curly hair of the Poodle, Bernedoodles are low-shedding and semi-Hypoallergenic! A variety of sizes to choose from, and allergy friendly? What’s not to love!
Temperament of a Bernedoodle
Like we have mentioned, the Bernedoodle comes from a great background - they are smart, sweet, patient, goofy, and adorable. They will happily play gently with toddlers, or romp around with the older kids. And depending on the size of Bernedoodle that you choose, they will happily curl up in your lap after a long day of fun!
As both Poodles and Bernese Mountain Dogs were bred to work, the Bernedoodle mix requires lots of exercise and outlets for their energy. At a minimum, your doodle will need sixty minutes of running, walking, fetching, and playing each day. And because they are so intelligent, they will become bored easily with the same repetitive activities. Instead, look into brain games designed for dogs and your Bernedoodle will thrive!
They also do best with ample attention so leaving them home alone for extended periods is not advised. Bernese Mountain Dogs are particularly dependent upon their owners hate to be out of their presence, so Bernedoodles may be best suited for owners who are home for most or at least part of the day.
And of course because of their hybrid nature, it can be difficult to accurately predict their nature. While it is always the goal to bring out the best of each parent breed when creating a designer dog, it is possible that the undesirable traits compound instead.
Keep in mind that Bernese Mountain Dogs are sometimes strong-willed, stubborn, and difficult to train. They can also be weary of strangers and slow to warm up to new people. Some people may like this trait as it makes for a great guard dog, but it’s just something to consider when deciding if a Bernedoodle is right for you! Poodles also have a few behavioral issues that can manifest in your Bernedoodle. These include hyperactivity, anxiety, and excessive barking.
However, when appropriate and positive training sessions are introduced in early puppyhood, you can address many of these possible issues before they grow into bigger problems. In fact, your Bernedoodle may turn out to be the best dog you have ever had!
Caring for Your Bernese Mountain Poodle Mix
Now that we have covered the basics, we’ll get into the details. In this section, we will walk you through everything it takes to care for a Bernedoodle. From feeding to grooming, we’ve got you covered with facts, tips, and helpful hints!
What to Feed Your Bernedoodle
Similar to the schedules we have recommended for other dogs, your Bernedoodle should be fed about four times per day until they mature. Small, frequent meals help to ensure that your puppy grows in a healthy manner while protecting their tummies from stretching. You can cut their feeding times to two once they reach maturity around twelve months old.
The size of your Bernedoodle - Standard, Mini, or Toy - will determine what type and how much food you should give at each meal. For example, Standard Bernedoodles should eat a blend that is formulated specifically for large breed dogs. And because they are bigger, they require more calories - about 1,800 a day depending on their activity levels and sex. In contrast, Mini Bernedoodles require about 1,400 calories and Toys require 900 or so.
How to Exercise Your Doodle Mix
As we mentioned earlier, Bernedoodles are bred from working dogs and have high energy needs. The Standard sizes typically require at least one hour a day. But of course the Minis and Toys have lower requirements.
As puppies, it’s important that your Bernedoodle receives adequate rest so that he can grow and thrive. Over exercising during puppyhood can increase your Bernedoodles risk of hip and elbow dysplasia, especially if you have a Standard. Instead, try short but frequent play sessions until your puppy reaches maturity. Then, you can start by providing 30 minute walks before working up to the full hour of activity required by the large Bernedoodles.
Training Your Bernedoodle
Poodles are quite easy to train because they are so intelligent. While Bernese Mountain Dogs are also smart, they are known for their stubborn streaks. This might carry over to your Bernedoodle, so be prepared to put in the work.
Early socialization to a variety of places and people will help ensure that you raise a happy, friendly and confident Bernedoodle pup. Your doodle pup should also receive training from a young age. Sessions should be positive and reward-based to promote a safe learning environment. Reward your Bernedoodle for good behavior with verbal and physical praise when he completes tasks appropriately. Redirect him, instead of punishing him, when he does something wrong.
With patience and time, your Bernedoodle will blossom into an obedient and loyal companion!
Bernedoodle Health Concerns
As we have already covered, hip and elbow dysplasia is a common concern with large breeds. It can be worsened if your Bernedoodle is over exercised in puppyhood. This condition is characterized by abnormal joint development that causes pain and lameness. Thankfully, it can be corrected with medication or surgery if necessary.
Bernedoodles also have a higher risk of developing cancer that other dogs. They inherit this from their Bernese Mountain Dog parent - sadly, this is why the parent breed only has an average life expectancy of 7 years. The risk is highest with Standard Bernedoodles and decreases with the size of the pup. So the Toy Bernedoodle has the lowest cancer risk and highest life expectancy!
Grooming: Managing the Coat of Your Bernedoodle
Similar to the Goldendoodle hybrid, the Bernedoodle looks like a teddy bear - just a bit shaggier!
They are adored for their low-shedding coats, inherited from their Poodle parent. But because the Bernedoodle does not shed very much, they are more prone to developing tangled mats than other dogs are. You can help prevent this by brushing your Bernedoodle at least twice a week. It is also helpful to have your Bernedoodle professionally groomed from time to time. With just a little effort, your Bernedoodle will remain adorable and mat free!
Bernedoodle Breed Summary
The Bernedoodle loves attention and thrives with plenty of exercise! They love children and pets alike. And they come in three sizes, so there is certainly a perfect one to suit any family!
Bernedoodles are smart, silly, and maybe a little stubborn. But with the right training strategy, you can help him grow out of it and become the perfect fluffy friend!
Do you have a Bernedoodle? We’d love to know! Drop us a comment below.
7-18 years, depending upon size
Standard, Mini, or Toy
Somewhat stubborn, but intelligent and very trainable with effort
Playful, goofy, loving, smart
Elbow/Hip Dysplasia, bloat
Very Energetic and playful
Looking to show off your Bernedoodle? We’ve put together a list of recommended products below.
Personalized Pet Storybook
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Pet Pop Art Blanket
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Pet Pop Art Socks
Turn your pet into a fashion statement! Make a pair of socks with your dog or cat’s likeness so you can walk around with their adorable face everywhere you go.
Pet Pop Art Canvas
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Pet Pop Art Phone Case
Is your fur-born always on your mind? Create a custom phone case with your pet’s likeness on a variety of backgrounds. Show off your pet to the world and get tons of compliments on their cute face!