Do Bernedoodles like Water?


Do Bernedoodles like Water?

Bernedoodles are cute and loyal companions that have become a highly sought-after breed in recent years. They enjoy playing fetch, going on walks and just hanging out with their family. Do they like water as well?

Being part Poodle, many Bernedoodles love water – assuming they are exposed to it early on. 

If you never take your Bernedoodle puppy around water, you’ll likely end up with a dog that’s scared of water as an adult. Keeping water as something new often makes dogs unsure of it. 

However, if your puppy is around water all the time, it becomes a new normal. Water is something the puppy has always been around. Therefore, they aren’t scared of it. 

Raising a Bernedoodle to like swimming is a lot like socializing your puppy. At first, your puppy may be scared of other dogs. If your puppy is not around dogs at a young age, meeting any new dog will be a new and unusual experience. They won’t like it – and this can even lead to aggressive problems. 

Getting your Bernedoodle to like water is similar. These dogs have a natural affinity towards water, but you still have to get them around it often. Otherwise, they’ll be fearful of the experience once they get older. 

It’s a process of desensitization.

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Do Bernedoodles like Swimming?

Poodles were bred to swim. They were initially developed to retrieve fowl from the water after they had been shot down. 

The Bernedoodle is half Poodle. Though their other half doesn’t usually like water, most of these mixed breeds will at least be somewhat open to the idea of swimming around. 

Whether or not your particular Bernedoodle like swimming is up in the air. Some of it will depend on the specific genes they inherited from their parents. Poodles love water both because they are introduced and taught to swim – and because of their genetics. They have a natural affinity to it. 

How you raise your Bernedoodle also matters. After all, if your puppy is never around water, then they won’t learn to swim at all! 

This is quite similar to humans. We often have an affinity for water and enjoy swimming. But if a person is never around water when they are young, they won’t suddenly love it when they are older. 

For those who want their puppy to love water, your best bet is introducing them to it from a young age. If you provide them with plenty of time around water, they will likely grow to like it. 

Of course, sometimes your dog won’t like swimming – despite your best efforts. Some dogs won’t have an affinity for the water, despite their genetics. 

bernedoodles at the pool

How Do You Introduce Your Bernedoodle to the Water?

If you want your Bernedoodle to like water, it is vital to allow them time to warm up to the idea of swimming. You shouldn’t just throw them in the water or expect your puppy to take them to it right away. 

You don’t want to scare your puppy during the introduction process. 

Below, we’ve outlined the basic process of introducing your Bernedoodle (or Mini Bernedoodle) to the water. As always, it is best to begin this process early on in their life. You can do this with adults as well, but some of them may be a bit too set in their ways. 

The older the dogs, the longer they will likely take to warm up to swimming. 

However, there are expectations to every rule. Some older dogs will take to water quickly, while some puppies may never enjoy swimming. 

Basic Training

Your dog can’t do much swimming if you’re worried; they won’t come back. You should always stay within arm’s length of your puppy while they are learning to swim. However, this can be difficult to do if your pup doesn’t know basic commands.

Your dog should at least know how to sit, stay, and come before you begin any serious water introduction process. Before this, utilize kiddy pools and similar bodies of water. 

Use an Example

Most dogs won’t start with a conception of swimming. For the most part, they may be a bit confused regarding what they’re supposed to do with all the water. 

The best way to get puppies excited about water is to show them other dogs swimming. If you know an adult dog that likes to swim, plan an outing with them that involves water. This outing will encourage your puppy to try out the water their selves. 

If you don’t have an adult dog that likes to swim, don’t fret. Many puppies are also quite interested when they see humans swimming. Go swimming yourself – with an extra person nearby to keep an eye on your puppy, of course. 

bernedoodle ready to swim

Go Slowly

Don’t introduce your puppy to the ocean as their first experience with water. Instead, you should start very small. 

Even very young puppies can get interested in a kiddy pool full of just an inch or two of water. Your first step to getting your dog into the pool is to get them used to being wet. We recommend making the kiddy pool a fun place – add in some water toys and have plenty of fun in the water. 

Once your puppy gets a bit older, you can start introducing them to larger amounts of water. Start somewhere calm, like a pool or pond. Places with waves can be a bit scary for new swimmers. 

As your dog is comfortable, you may increase the depth of the water. Excellent swimmers can be taken to the ocean, but be sure to take plenty of safety precautions. 

Don’t Push

You should avoid pushing your dog to enjoy the water – especially if they seem afraid. You can’t make your dog love anything, including swimming. 

Some dogs are just not suitable for the water. Whether it is genetics or their innate personality, some dogs will never take well to the water. 

Most Bernedoodles will like swimming and playing in the water. But “most” is the keyword here. Not all Bernedoodles will love getting wet. 

Keep it Fun

If you make swimming stressful, your dog likely won’t enjoy it. You should aim to keep it fun and always follow your dog’s lead. Let your dog play in the kiddy pool if that’s what they like to do – don’t feel the need to push them into bigger bodies of water. 

Get a few fun water toys and floating balls. Let your canine play and have fun. Don’t focus so much on helping them swim or moving too fast. Progress will happen best when they can move at their own pace and have fun while they’re doing it. 

By the way: Unless you keep your dog’s coat very short, your Bernedoodle will need to be groomed quickly after getting out of the water. Rinsing off chorine or river water and giving him a quick brush will usually be sufficient. Don’t skip this step, or you will have to deal with tangles and unkempt hair later on.


Bernedoodles often have a genetic predisposition to water. The Poodle was bred to swim and enjoy it. So, their offspring typically do as well. 

However, this isn’t a promise. Not all Bernedoodles like to swim. Some don’t inherit these traits from the Poodle and may never take readily to water. When you mix two breeds, you’re left with some degree of uncertainty – including their temperament. 

How often your dog is introduced to water at a young age matters. If your puppy is never around water, they likely won’t learn to swim. Many dogs would be unsure or even a bit fearful of water as adults if they didn’t swim around as puppies. Therefore, you should aim to take your puppy around water a lot. Otherwise, they probably won’t enjoy it very much. 

Of course, there isn’t always much you can do to encourage your puppy to like water. That’s what you get with a mixed breed – you can’t always be sure of their temperament and likes. 

If you need a dog that loves water, we recommend getting a purebred Poodle. They have been bred over the centuries to love water. It’s an innate characteristic. Other Poodle mixes that will most likely love water are Goldendoodles, Mini Goldendoodles or Labradoodles.

Author: Kristin

Author: Kristin

Kristin was born in Tennessee and currently lives there with her husband and children. She is passionate about educating pet parents and helping them make the best possible decisions for their pets. She currently owns one dog, two cats, a lizard, and a variety of fish.