Bernedoodles

Table of Contents

brown bernedoodle

Origin and History of the Bernedoodle

Bernedoodles are a novel Doodle breed that has not been around for long at all. The first crosses were born in 2003, and since then the breed has become highly popular in the US and abroad. The parents of the Bernedoodle however are old breeds with a long history.

Poodles

Poodles are waterdogs that originated in Germany. While we know them as delicate show dogs, they actually are very athletic canines that used to work tirelessly with their owners in duck hunting. The first drawings of Poodles can be found as far back as the 15th century. 

Although today Poodles are often portrayed as dainty dogs that need a lot of grooming and mostly go to dog shows and sleep on the couch, they are highly intelligent dogs that are devoted to their owners.

Their characteristic coat was originally bred to be suitable for long days in and out of the water. Nowadays their coat quality makes them a popular choice for cross-breeds as they can add a low or no-shedding quality to other dog breeds and make their fur more manageable.

Bernese Mountain Dogs

Bernese Mountain Dogs are large and very docile dogs that were bred in the Swiss Alps. They were originally bred to be all-around farm dogs. They would guard a property and livestock and also function as draft animals, pulling carts for their owners.

Bernese Mountain Dogs are a highly popular breed for many families in Switzerland, Austria and Germany due to their calm temperament. They are very friendly and generally do not require a lot of training. If you go to any restaurant or beer garden in the summer, you are likely to find at least one Bernese Mountain Dog snoozing underneath a table.

These dogs are generally great with kids and other dogs. They have a stable temperament and tend to not be scared or skittish. However, a Bernese Mountain Dog will protect his home and scare off intruders with his bark if needed!

Traits of the Bernedoodle

As a cross-breed, there is a lot of variety in the Bernedoodle’s looks. 

Most dogs grow very tall with 23-29 inches at the shoulder and weight between 70 and 90 lbs.

There might be some variation if the Poodle parent of your Bernedoodle was a smaller Poodle (a miniature or toy Poodle) – then you might have what’s known as a Mini-Bernedoodle, which stay fairly small around 20lbs.

Most Bernedoodles’ coat color is similar to the Bernese Mountain Dog’s one: they come in different shades of black with while and brown coloring.

Their coat is a mixture of the Poodle’s and Bernese Mountain Dog’s one: long and wavy and usually shedding much less then a double-coated dog.

Temperament

It cannot be overstated that a Bernedoodle is not a couch potato dog.

Many Doodle owners find themselves with a puppy that is much more energetic than they hoped for. If you want a low-key, laid-back dog, it is better to decide on a purebred Bernese Mountain Dog.

As all Doodles, Bernedoodles are extremely outgoing and social dogs. They love to meet and greet everyone and become friends with every person and dog they meet. They often stay very puppy-like for several years before settling down.

Bernedoodles are heavy chewers. If you do not provide them with plenty of chew items they can and will start to chew your furniture, shoes, walls … Many Bernedoodles have a lifelong chewing desire and you need to be ready to fulfill it.

Due to their energy level and tendency to be exuberant and over-the-top, they will require training. If you do not invest time into teaching your puppy to walk well on a leash, to not jump up on people and to come when called, your adult Bernedoodle will be out of control.

Bernedoodles usually love children and greatly enjoy being around them. They thrive in the company of their people and are ideal for families and couples that spend plenty of time with their dog. Since they are so social these dogs are not at all suitable to be outside-only dogs or dogs that mostly live in kennels. If you do not want to share your house with your dog, do not decide on a Bernedoodle.

bernedoodle in the winter
bernedoodle puppy

Do Bernedoodles Shed?

One of the main reasons many owners decide to purchase a Poodle cross is their tendency to shed less. 

It is very important to note that there is no guarantee that your Bernedoodle will not shed. While Poodle mixes do shed a lot less than many other dogs, as with every cross it is impossible to reliably predict certain qualities.

Even though your Bernedoodle will probably not shed a lot (or maybe even not at all), he will still require grooming.

If Doodles are not groomed regularly, their coat mats and quickly become unmanageable. You should have a plan in place for grooming your future puppy. If you enjoy brushing your dog and bathing him, you can do it yourself. You can also find a local groomer who can help with the bathing and trims.

The longer you keep your Bernedoodle’s coat, the more often he will need to be brushed.

While yes, your Bernedoodle will likely not shed a lot he will need regular grooming.

Training 

Based on his breed-specific characteristics, the Bernedoodle will require training focused on showing good manners even when excited. Most owners report that they especially have to invest time into:

  • leash walking training
  • training their puppy to not jump on people
  • training their puppy to not chew furniture
  • working on their puppy’s mouthiness
It is really important to be consistent about training when your puppy is young. If you wait until your dog has grown up to be 70+lbs and has rehearsed naughty behavior for months, it will be much more difficult to change those.
Your daily training does not need to take a long time or include countless repetitions – just a 3-minute training session in the morning, afternoon and evening will make a big difference in your Bernedoodle’s manners.

Deciding on a Bernedoodle

 

Are you wondering whether a Bernedoodle would be the right addition to your home? While looking at adorable puppy pictures will make you want to decide in a heartbeat, it is important to consider several key aspects of owning this mix breed. 

The characteristics of the two breeds make Bernedoodles very intelligent, outgoing dogs that often require quite a bit of exercise and training. Many owners are surprised at how energetic and social their Bernedoodles are and struggle with them especially during the puppy stage. The Poodle adds a lot of athleticism and drive to the mix which should not be underestimated.

 

puppy bernedoodle

A Bernedoodle is not the right dog for you if:

A Bernedoodle is the right dog for you if:

bernedoodle puppy

Finding your Puppy Breeder

If you are ready to say yes to a Bernedoodle, the next step is to find the right breeder. It is really important to pay attention to the way your breeder is raising the puppies. A lot of imprinting happens during the first 8 weeks after birth. The more committed your breeder is to making this an enriching and positive period of their life, the better the puppies are set up to become friendly and outgoing family dogs.

You also should inquire if your breeder is testing the parents for breed-specific conditions. Both Bernese Mountain Dogs and Poodles are for example prone to hip and elbow dysplasia. Check that your breeder has confirmed through x-rays that your puppy’s parents are not affected by this condition. It is largely genetic so making sure that the parents have healthy joints will be crucial.

Do not let the distance to the breeder guide your decision process too much. Even if you have to drive a couple more hours to get to your puppy, it will be worth it many times to find a breeder you “click with” and who pays attention to raising the puppies in a healthy and enriching environment.

How much is a Bernedoodle Puppy?

Like for all designer breeds, prices for Bernedoodle puppies can vary wildly. You should expect to pay upwards of $1,500 for your puppy – with prices going as high as $5,000 for certain colors and patterns. 

This is a huge investment, but with an average lifespan of 12-15 years you will have a wonderful companion by your side for a long time.

Many owners are repeat Bernedoodle buyers – they fall in love with the breed and cannot imagine ever owning a different breed. The outgoing, social, happy-go-lucky nature of the Bernedoodle is captivating and makes for amazing companions – whether on an adventure or just relaxing at home.

 

bernedoodle chewing

Why are Bernedoodles so expensive?

A lot of thought, effort and time goes into breeding healthy puppies with great temperaments. A responsible Bernedoodle breeder will always make sure to check the parents for any genetic conditions that could be passed on as well as to extensively evaluate their temperament. 

Raising puppies properly also requires a lot of time and resources. They need high-quality food, a lot of interaction and socialization, toys, vet visits etc. … a responsible breeder will let the puppies go to their forever homes only after being checked by a vet, microchipped and dewormed.

Even if a Bernedoodle puppy might seem expensive to you – the breeders most likely did not get rich from breeding dogs. It is a passion for them!