Bernedoodles are adorable mixed breed dogs that look like curly haired little puppies, just a whole lot larger. They are a cross between Standard poodles and Bernese mountain dogs, and are also called Bernesedoodles, Bernapoos, and Bernese mountain poos.
These friendly family dogs are a favourite in areas with cold temperatures. With their thick, tightly woven fur, they adapt very well to cold climates, especially with people who spend a lot of time outdoors.
Bernedoodles inherit their capabilities and temperaments from both sets of parents: Bernese mountain dogs and poodles. Bernese mountain dogs are a Swiss breed of dog that was bred to pull carts and guard farms, and live as a working dog. These dogs are highly adapted to hard work and freezing cold temperatures. And poodles, of course, are one of the oldest and most well-known purebred dogs, also extremely popular for their intelligence, ease of training, and good temperament.
Bernedoodles are a rather young breed of dog. A trainer called Sherry Rupke is alleged to be the first person who intentionally combined the two breeds in 2003, to produce a dog with the physical attributes of the Bernese mountain dog, with the temperament and intelligence of a poodle. Because of this, bernedoodles are considered a designer hybrid of two dogs. This also limits their availability and contributes to why the pedigree puppies are so expensive.
Bernedoodles combine the best of both parent breeds, while retaining their best habits. They are medium sized to large, intelligent and active dogs, well suited for family life as well as for an active lifestyle.
Highlights about Bernedoodles:
- Bernedoodles come in a large variety of shapes and sizes, including a large variation in coat variety, colour, wave pattern, and coat thickness. This is determined by the parents’ physical attributes.
- Bernedoodles are roughly divided into 3 sizes: Tiny, miniature, and standard. The size of the bernedoodle and its classification depends on the poodle parent.
- Depending upon the poodle parent, a full grown bernedoodle can be anywhere between twelve by to twenty-nine inches tall and weigh anywhere between ten to ninety pounds. This is a huge range of variation, which is why it is always important to look up the parents of the puppy, to get an idea of the size he’s going to grow to.
- Bernedoodles come in a range of colours, from white to black and brown, and combinations of two or three. The rarest are grey and white Merle patterned bernedoodles, which are also significantly more expensive than there are tri-coloured poppy relatives.
- Bernedoodles have a shaggy, curly, or wavy coat, that can come in a variety of colours. They do not shed much and are considered hypoallergenic. However this is subject to variation.
- On an average, bernedoodles can live up to 18 to 19 years of age, which is a long age span for dogs.
- Bernedoodles are intelligent, affectionate, and high energy dogs they are well suited for life in a family. However, they also need a lot of training and close monitoring.
The size of a bernedoodle depends, as mentioned before, on the classification of its poodle parent.
Depending upon whether the poodle was a toy, miniature, or standard size poodle, the bernedoodle can be either tiny, miniature, or standard too.
The average height of a tiny bernedoodle is 12 to 17 inches at the shoulder, while that of a miniature bernedoodle is 18 to 22 in. A standard bernedoodle can grow up to 23 to 29 inches tall. They display a gender difference, with males being taller and broader than females, with wider shoulders.
The average weight of a tiny bernedoodle is 10 to 24 pounds, making it a very small dog indeed. In comparison, a miniature bernedoodle can weigh between 25 to 49 pounds, which is not very miniature at all. And a standard bernedoodle can weigh between a whopping 70 to 90 pounds.
Perhaps few first-generation mixed breed dogs display as much of a range of physical attributes as bernedoodles. Not only does their sizes differ, but also so their colour, texture of their hair, thickness of their coat, how hypoallergenic they are, and even their temperament. But generally speaking, tiny and miniature Bernese poodles are small to medium sized dogs, suited for apartment and small home living. Standard Bernese poodles require more space, and more attention and activity. They are all stockily built dogs with thick coats, broad foreheads, and floppy ears.
Bernedoodle Temperament and Personality
Relationship with Children:
Bernedoodles can be regarded as excellent companion dogs. They are intelligent, patient, affectionate, and playful with children. Of course, a certain amount of monitoring is necessary, when leaving small children alone around a dog. It is also essential that the individual dog share these temperament traits, which can naturally vary. But generally speaking, bernedoodles are very loyal and happy and content spending time with their families and small owners.
It’s important to note here that this pertains to adult dogs and dogs that have already been trained thoroughly. When young, bernedoodles can sometimes be very stubborn and refuse to follow instructions, and sometimes even commands that they have already been trained to follow. They inherit the stubbornness from their Bernese mountain Dog parents, and it needs to be trained out of them during puppyhood.
Relationship with Other Pets
If you have other pets in the house, you needn’t worry at all when getting a bernedoodle. They are exceptionally social and get along very well with other pets, whether there are other dogs, or cats, birds, ferrets, rabbits, etc.
It’s best if the bernedoodle puppies are socialized with the other pets from an early age onwards, but even grown up bernedoodles can adjust quickly to other animals because of their mild manner and sweet temperament.
Bernedoodles are dogs with a healthy lifespan.
First generation crossbred bernedoodles can outlive their individual parents because of fewer inherited health conditions.
Their average lifespan is 12 to 15 years, but 18–19-year-old bernedoodles are also not unusual. The general rule of thumb is the larger the dog, the shorter the lifespan (by a difference or months).
Bernedoodles are generally very healthy dogs, being a mixed breed, as they do not inherit the genetic defects of their individual parents’ breeds. However, f2 generation bernedoodles, which are the result of a cross between two F1 generation bernedoodles, often have more recurrent health conditions.
It is thought that the large gene pool behind breeding bernedoodles is responsible for the low tenancy of congenital conditions in these dogs. Despite this, bernedoodles can develop some common diseases. This includes:
- Elbow dysplasia and Hip dysplasia, especially in the larger dogs
- heart disease,
- progressive blind secondary to retinal atrophy
- Patellar dislocation
- Degenerative myelopathy
- Blood disorders like von willebrand disease, and other coagulation abnormalities.
These problems are magnified in puppies that are bred from two bernedoodles. Checking the pedigree out before getting a puppy or adopting is therefore a good idea.
Bernedoodles are not exceptionally high maintenance dogs. They do not require so much attention in the way of grooming, but for that, they do need some one-on-one time with their owners, more so in the early months.
Full-grown bernedoodles are active dogs and required attention and physical activity. Bear in mind that Bernese mountain dogs are full-time working dogs, and bernedoodles inherit their level of activity. Adult bernedoodles need to be exercised at least an hour long, at least twice a day.
Bernedoodle puppies, in comparison, tire much quicker. Puppies at approximately 3 months old need somewhere in the range of 15 to 20 minutes of exercise, twice to thrice a day. To help your puppy build his stamina, you should gradually increase how long he exercises on a daily to weekly basis.
Tiny and miniature bernedoodles adjust quite well to living in an apartment or in a small home, as long as they are taken out once or twice a day and tired out properly. Standard bernedoodles are large dogs and require at least a yard or a lawn, where they can walk around on their own or occasionally get the zoomies. Bear in mind, that a bernedoodle who has not been tired out may turn to destructive activities inside the house, if he has too much energy to burn. Since bernedoodles are also very intelligent, a tendency like this can very quickly turn into a bad habit.
A good way to keep them engaged is to provide them with puzzles and interactive dog toys that will keep their attention engaged, as well as help them increase and improve their problem-solving skills. You never know, your bernedoodle could well surprise you!
Bernedoodles are generally hungry dogs with large appetites and will clean their plate at every given opportunity. This is why it’s not a bad idea to feed bernedoodles in special dog dishes that slow your pooch down as he’s trying to wolf his chow down.
Toy and miniature bernedoodles thrive on dog foods designed for small to medium dog breeds, while standard bernedoodles need dog food for a larger breed. In both cases it’s a good idea to get a brand that is rich in calcium, vitamin d, and omega-3 and 6 fatty acids. This helps counter the breed’s predisposition to bone weakness and joint weakness in later years.
It’s also a good idea to ask your vet about exactly how much food your dog should get on a daily basis. The size of the bernedoodle will obviously influence his daily portion size.
If you’re feeding your dog dry food or kibble, here’s a good general measure. Mini bernedoodles should be fed 0.75-1 cup of kibble every day. Miniature bernedoodles need in the range of 1-1.5 cups of kibble everyday karma while a large standard bernedoodle needs about 2-2.5 cups per day.
As a rule, bernedoodles are not dogs that require a lot of grooming and maintenance. Depending upon their wave pattern, most bernedoodles shed very little hair and are practically hypoallergenic.
Bernedoodles that have curly coats have tightly wound hair and closely coiled coats. These dogs shed the least, but as a result are slightly harder to groom. They need regular brushing and washing, to make sure that no matts and tangles develop in their coat. However, bernedoodles absolutely love being brushed, so you don’t have to worry about your dog fighting you on this.
Bernedoodles that have long, and wavy hair shed a lot more than their curly-coated counterparts. These dogs are less prone to tangling karma and require fewer showers and detangling sessions. However, they are not as hypoallergenic either. Still, they are more hypoallergenic than straight haired bernedoodles, who are heavy shedders.
Bernedoodles also benefit greatly from conditioning treatment for their skin. Using natural oils to moisturise their skin can help prevent itchy skin or irritated patches on ol’ Patch because of too much washing.
Bernedoodles also need regular haircuts and trims depending on how quickly their hair grows. They also need regular nail trims, unless you have a dog who spends a lot of time outside, which naturally grinds the nails down. It’s advised to take your bernedoodle to a groomer every 3 or 4 months.
Bernedoodles: Everything Else
An important trait to mention while discussing bernedoodles is the significance of training them properly. Bernedoodles have a reputation of having inherited the stubbornness of the Bernese mountain dogs, especially when they are young.
Bernedoodle puppies are very active and high-energy little beasts and will often try to resist being trained. This can manifest in active refusal to follow instructions or pretending to have unlearned already taught commands.
The key point to remember is that bernedoodles are easily trainable dogs, if you work with a little patience and plenty of positive reinforcement. Early socialisation and early training is essential for making sure that your bernedoodle remembers his commands for life. A Bernedoodle who is allowed to get his own way during puppyhood is a lot harder to train later on in life.
Another trick is to make sure that your dog is getting enough physical exercise and physical activity, so he’s not saving his stores of mischievous energy for your training sessions with him. It also helps that bernedoodles are extremely intelligent and eager to please their masters. They thrive on positive reinforcement and reward-based training.
This is the best way to make sure that you train your dog for life. Once the puppy years pass, bernedoodles get progressively less and less resistant and more compliant to following their commands.
But of course, this only goes to emphasise how essential it is to socialise your dog from the beginning onwards. Bernedoodles make very bad guard dogs as it is, because they are friendly even towards strangers. This makes it easier for you to take them out into public places and undertake a wide range of activities with your bernedoodle. But you have to make sure that you’ve trained him enough first.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How big do Bernedoodles get?
Standard bernedoodles can grow up to 25-29 inches tall, and weigh up to 90lb. On the other end of the spectrum, tiny bernedoodles are toy sized at 15-in tall and weighing up to 25 lbs.
What is the personality of a Bernedoodle?
Bernedoodles are exceptionally sweet tempered and affectionate dogs, and are patient, loyal, and loving. A good way to estimate their personality is to look at their parents.
Are Bernedoodles lazy?
Bernedoodles cannot be called lazy under any definition. They are active dogs and need a lot of daily exercise, as well as mental engagement and attention.
Why are Bernedoodles so expensive?
Depending upon the pedigree of the bernedoodle and its colour, bernedoodles can clock in with a very heavy price tag. This is because they are hard to breed and hard to raise through early puppyhood. Bernedoodles bred for specific traits are also harder to come by, which drives the price higher.
Do Bernedoodles like to cuddle?
Bernedoodles are extremely affectionate dogs who generally love to cuddle with their family. They appreciate physical affection and are comfortable in family settings.
Do Bernedoodle dogs drool?
Bernedoodles are not dogs that typically drool a lot. They drool occasionally, but not in masses like, say, a St. Bernard would.
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