The Bernedoodle – also known as the Bernese Mountain Poo – is a cross between a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Poodle.
Whether you already own this fabulous breed or are looking to buy or adopt one, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about this relatively new crossbreed.
What is a Bernedoodle?
Bernedoodles are one-of-a-kind pets that combine the intelligence of a Poodle with the loyalty and sweetness of the Bernese Mountain Dog.
Tracing the history of this breed is complex but it is believed that a breeder named Sherry Rupke of SwissRidge Kennels might have created the first Bernedoodle in Ontario in the early 2000s. Since then, the breed’s popularity has been steadily rising.
After all; Poodle hybrids or Poodle crosses are very much sought after. Even canine experts – trainers and breeders – recommend first-time dog owners start with Poodle hybrids. This is due to the fact that they are intelligent dogs with virtually non-shedding coats. They also make excellent family pets.
Physical Attributes – How Big Does a Bernedoodle Get?
Bernedoodles come in three different sizes depending on the Poodle parent. You can have Standard, Miniature/Medium, and Micro-Mini or Tiny – an excellent choice for someone looking for a small-sized dog. Here is a table showing how big the different-sized Bernedoodles get:
12 to 17 in (30.48 to 43 cm)
10 to 24 lb.(4.5 to 10.88 kg)
18-22 in (45.72 to 55.88 cm)
25 to 49 lb.(11.33 to 22.22 kg)
23-29 in (58 to 73.66 cm)
70-90 lb. (31 to 40.83 kg)
With Bernedoodles, you get the best of both worlds – a cute and cuddly dog with a moderate-to-low-shedding coat. Since it is a crossbreed, a Bernedoodle puppy could inherit the characteristics of both parent breeds. Depending on how the breeds are crossed, you could have three coat types: wavy – which is the most common, long and silky, and short and curly. The curly-coated Bernedoodle is the least likely to shed. Allergy sufferers will do best with the F1B (first-generation back cross) curly-coated Bernedoodle.
F1B poodle mixes are 75% poodle and 25% of the other breed in their mix. Hence, they are more likely to have a non-shedding coat than first or second-generation Bernedoodles.
Bernedoodles are known to have coat colours like white, black, merle or brown and they could be single-coloured or tri-coloured.
What is the Temperament of a Bernedoodle?
Like the Bernese Mountain Dog, Bernedoodles remain “puppies” for a long time. Sure, their bodies might grow but their minds and brains take longer to mature. This is important for Bernedoodle parents to understand since it can impact their training.
Are Bernedoodles hard to potty train?
Training a Bernedoodle puppy at a young age is the right decision but one needs to understand that these dogs tend to be stubborn. Therefore, housetraining can take time and considerably more effort. Once your puppy outgrows this stage, it won’t be an issue.
While intelligent dogs like Bernedoodles are often easy to train, this intelligence also comes with a downside. These dogs are prone to boredom so they need plenty of games, attention, toys and treats.
Bernedoodles are extremely sensitive dogs. This is very important for pet parents to understand since it can impact the way you handle your pet. While negative training methods are a strict no-no, you need to be consistent with your dog and always reward good behaviour. Do not use harsh methods to deal with accidents. This will only cause setbacks and avoidance behaviour.
What is the Personality of a Bernedoodle?
Bernedoodles are intelligent dogs that love learning new things. They benefit from obedience training which is very important; puppy training helps your dog understand what you want them to do. Remember: this dog is an offspring of two breeds that love having a job to do. So, they need constant mental and physical stimulation. This can be in the form of teaching them tricks to playing a game of fetch.
Your Bernedoodle will need plenty of exercise as well as puzzles and mental games for a healthy body and mind. They cannot stay cooped up in a small space all day, so the ideal home for a Bernedoodle is a house with a fenced yard. Even the medium and tiny Bernedoodles are energetic and need exercise and brain games. Daily walks should be a part of every Bernedoodle’s routine.
Bernedoodles are generally shy in the beginning but warm up after socialisation. They have a slightly wary nature which makes them excellent guard dogs.
In short: the Bernedoodle’s personality can be described as sweet, loving, friendly, affectionate, slightly goofy, and extremely entertaining. They get along well with kids and other dogs.
Being playful, energetic, and gentle, they make excellent companions for children as long as they are socialised. Exercise some caution with infants and toddlers: they are excitable dogs and may not be aware of their size. Little kids could be easily knocked down by their exuberance. Bernedoodles make great pets for the elderly provided they get their daily exercise needs met.
Do Bernedoodles Bark?
It is fairly common for Bernedoodles to bark at people at the door. Their wary nature makes them so. They are also loyal and protective dogs who take their guard duty seriously.
You could train your pet to bark on cue. After all; not all barking is bad – your dog may be warning you about something in your surroundings.
Are Bernedoodles Chewers?
Bernedoodles are heavy chewers and it will help if you can give them something to chew such as juicy bones or safe chew toys. Otherwise, they won’t hesitate to chew up your slippers or furniture items. Stuffed Kongs and licky mats are ideal mental enrichment tools.
Are Bernedoodles Low-Maintenance?
The easy-going personality of Bernese Mountain Dogs and the intelligence and low-shedding coat of Poodles make the Bernedoodle fairly low-maintenance. However, as mentioned earlier, they need mental and physical stimuli. They also need a job to do.
You must also brush your dog every 2-3 days to keep its coat tangle and dirt-free. You can bathe it once a month or as needed.
One of the major cons of owning a Bernedoodle is that it cannot be left alone for long periods of time. Without proper training from an early age, they can develop separation anxiety. So, you might want to consider hiring a pet sitter or a dog walker to check on your dog if you have to work for long periods away from home.
How Much Does a Bernedoodle Cost?
This popular breed is quite expensive compared to most poodle mix designer dogs. Reputable breeders charge almost $3000 to $7000 for a Bernedoodle puppy depending on its coat colour, size, etc. Since more and more people prefer smaller dogs, miniature and medium-sized Berndoodles tend to cost more than standard Bernedoodles.
The puppy’s purchase price isn’t the only cost to consider. You’d also need to consider the cost of food and treats, training, grooming, medical costs, etc. Owning a dog breed like the Bernedoodle can cost, on average, between $1000 and $9000 a year!
Best Food for Bernedoodles
Your Bernedoodle needs very high-quality food and it should provide your pet with balanced nutrition. Compared to many other dogs, Bernedoodles have higher standards of nutritional needs. They are high-energy dogs and you must provide them with proteins, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals to keep your pet thriving.
Look for foods with meat as their first ingredient – it could be lamb, chicken, kangaroo, beef, fish, turkey, or even novel proteins like emu, crocodile, wild boar and duck. Avoid foods containing by-products, fillers, preservatives, and colours which do not provide any real nutrition. Today, you have many choices in dog food varying from homemade diets to raw food to kibble/dry dog food, canned food, and even freeze-dried food.
Every dog has different nutritional needs that vary based on the dog’s age and activity levels. Check with your vet regarding the right nutrition for your Bernedoodle.
Health Issues in Bernedoodles – What Problems do Bernedoodles Have?
Being hybrid dogs, Bernedoodles are generally healthy and hardy. However, from time to time, the following health issues have been noted in these dogs:
- Hip and elbow dysplasia – this is a genetic disorder. As such, it can be prevented through good breeding practices. The best breeders will hip and elbow score their breeding dogs. This is why it is important to buy your pet from a reputed breeder.
- Smaller Bernedoodles have structures similar to Poodles. This makes them susceptible to diseases seen in the parent breed including Von Willebrand’s disease ( a lack of clotting protein in the blood) and also Addison’s disease.
Bernedoodles have a lifespan ranging from 10-18 years.
FAQs – Bernedoodles
Do Bernedoodles like hugs?
Yes, irrespective of their size, all Bernedoodles are cuddly and affectionate dogs. They love attention from their humans – whether it is in the form of playtime, walks, hugs, or cuddles.
Should I get a male or female Bernedoodle?
Both genders are amazing pets. Male Doodles tend to be more affectionate whereas females are docile and tend to be easier to train.
Do Bernedoodles like to swim?
Most Bernedoodles love swimming and other water activities. As with any dog breed, no two Bernedoodles are the same and some dislike being near the water.
Does a Bernedoodle shed? Do they need haircuts?
Yes, some Bernedoodles tend to shed. It entirely depends on the type of coat. The curly-coated Bernedoodle is the least likely to shed. Similarly, the curly-coated Bernedoodles will require more time spent with them on grooming to prevent coat matting. Most Bernedoodles will need professional grooming and haircuts once every 6-8 weeks or so.
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