What is a Bernedoodle?
The Bernedoodle is a cross between a Bernese Mountain Dog and a poodle. I was the first breeder to deliberately breed these dogs. I had bred Goldendoodles and purebred Bernese Mountain Dogs for many years, and people kept asking me combine the Bernese and poodle. I finally decided to give it a try, and was very impressed with the results. The pups were stunning, and they grew into healthy family dogs with amazing personalities. I have gone on to breed many litters of Bernedoodles with a lot of success, and while their popularity is growing, they are still relatively uncommon.
What is the Bernedoodle’s temperament like and how do they compare to the goldendoodle?
The Bernedoodle tends to have the best attributes of the Bernese and the poodle. They are fun, friendly, playful, goofy, sociable dogs. In other words, the perfect family dog! They are very gentle around children and elderly people and seem to know what people can handle. In fact, they make excellent therapy dogs as they are easy to train, very intelligent and love to work.
Bernedoodles do need to be taught right from wrong. Because they are very intelligent and sociable, a lack of training or human interaction can lead to problems. Purebred Bernese Mountain Dogs can be strong-willed, and that trait may also show in the Bernedoodle. Training and exercise will make both owner and Bernedoodle happy.
Most Bernedoodles have a moderate activity level. While they love to play, swim, run and fetch, when it’s time to relax, they’ll enjoy a nice movie with you. How do Bernedoodles compare to golden doodles?
The Bernedoodle and Goldendoodle are similar in so many ways. They are both highly intelligent, social, fun, playful, friendly, and goofy crossbreeds. They both have incredible character and charisma.
They only notable difference I’ve seen between the two temperaments is that the Bernedoodle can be a little more headstrong. This is more pronounced at the puppy stage, and tends to disappear when the Bernedoodles is older and trained. Remember, every puppy will have a different personality, but when considering the overall characteristics of both dogs, Goldendoodles and Bernedoodles are quite similar.
For both crosses, the curlier the coat the less they shed, and the better they are for people with allergies. Most ’doodles have wavy to curly coats and are very low to non-shedding.
At SwissRidge Kennels, I ask what you are looking for in terms of coat type and temperament, and match you to the best puppy for your family.
Are Bernedoodles hypoallergenic?
Every Bernedoodle has a different coat. The curlier the coat the less it will shed. Most Bernedoodles have the wavy type coat that is low- to non-shedding.
Straight Coat: like the Bernese coat – it may have a slight wave to it. This coat will shed—less than a Bernese, but noticeably.
Wavy Coat: Most Bernedoodles have this coat type, which gives them the typical ’doodle look. Wavy coats are very low- to non-shedding. Most people with allergies to dog dander (i.e., experience sneezing, watery eyes) are fine with a wavy coated dog.
Curly Coat: Similar to the poodle coat and will not shed. While there are no guarantees, if you are fine with poodles, a curly-coated Bernedoodle should not bother your allergies.
If you are allergic to dog saliva, however, you will most like be allergic to both Bernedoodles and Goldendoodles. You will know if you are allergic to salvia because your skin will break out in hives when a dog licks you. If you still want a dog, it would be best to go with a smaller dog (’doodle or otherwise) as they produce less saliva than larger dogs.
Most breeders will give you some time to see if you are allergic to your puppy and will allow you to return the pup if it’s a problem.
As for grooming, the curlier the dog’s coat, the harder it is to maintain. Since most Bernedoodles don't shed, or shed very little, you will need to brush them regularly to prevent matting, and have them clipped every 3-4 months.
What colors do Bernedoodles come in?
Bernedoodles tend to be pure black, black-and-white, black-and-brown or tri-colour (black, white and brown). They can also come in other colors but the colors above are the common colours.
What is the height and weight of a Bernedoodle?
Bernedoodles come in different sizes, depending on the parents.
Standards (Standard Poodle crossed with a Bernese): 50lbs and up, and 21 inches and up at the shoulder. Females are usually smaller than males.
Mini Bernedoodles (Miniature poodle crossed with a Bernese): 25-49lbs and 15-20 inches at the shoulder. Females are usually smaller.
Tiny Bernedoodles (Toy Poodle crossed with a Mini Bernedoodle): 10-24lbs, and 10-14 inches at the shoulder.
What are the generations of Bernedoodles?
F1 Bernedoodles: This is currently the most common cross, in which a Bernese Mountain Dog is bred to a purebred poodle. The F1 cross is usually the healthiest, as it is the strongest type of hybrid. A hybrid is in most cases healthier than a purebred dog because you are mixing lines/breeds that are prone to different genetic problems.
Purebred dogs carry similar genes and in turn pass these genes onto their pups, which makes purebred dogs more prone to genetic diseases. F1 hybrids such as the Bernedoodle are only likely to have a disease that both the poodle and Bernese are prone to—and they only share a few common diseases. As a result, Bernedoodles have fewer problems, and will likely be healthier and live longer than their purebred parents.
F2 Bernedoodles: F2 Bernedoodles are the result of breed two F1 Bernedoodles. This mix has more consistency in the lines. Where there can be variation in appearance in F1 Bernedoodles (although most are a nice mix between the two parents), when you start breeding F2, F3 or F4 Bernedoodles, you will get more consistency in terms of the dogs’ appearance. A breeder with “a look” in mind will start doing this.
If a breeder successively bred Bernedoodles 7 times (F7 Bernedoodle), they could apply to have it registered as a purebred dog.
The advantage of crossing Bernedoodles with other Bernedoodles is that people will know what they are getting (as with any purebred dog). A purebred has a breed standard and a certain look and every dog must conform to it. Mixed breeds like Bernedoodles do not have a “breed standard,” although a qualified breeder will be able to give you an idea of what the pup will look like as an adult based on what the parents have produced in the past and what traits they see in the pup
The disadvantage of about breeding generation after generation is that you are now doubling up on genetic traits and getting away from the hybrid vigor that makes a crossbreed special in the first place!
F1B Bernedoodles: This is a “back cross,” in which a Bernedoodle is bred back to a poodle. Most of these pups will have curlier coats and therefore suit people with allergies.
How long do bernedoodles live?
Standard Bernedoodles: 12-15years
Mini Bernedoodles: 13 -17 years
Tiny Bernedoodles: 14-18 years
Usually, the smaller the dog the longer they live.
What are the health concerns for Bernedoodles?
As a hybrid, Bernedoodles tend to be healthier than their parent breeds, but they can still be prone to conditions such as hip and elbow dysplasia and certain eye problems.
Skin problems, such as hot spots and allergies, are also seen in this mix. Just like almost every other breed of dog, they can get cancer.
While Bernedoodles are less prone to genetic disease, testing is still required. A lot of people randomly breeding Bernedoodles aren’t doing the appropriate testing, or caring for the advancement of the breed as a whole. Far better to spend more money up front for a good pup from a reputable breeder than to support a careless breeder and end up with expensive vet bills down the road. You want this new member of your family to be healthy, and with you a long time.
Please do your research and make sure breeders are performing the testing below.
Tests required for Breeding of Bernese Mountain Dogs:
1. Hips (HD) OFA or Pennhip or OVC
2. Eyes (CERF)
3. Elbows (OFA)
Elbows have become a recent problem in the breed. Due to this, you may find many of the older tested dogs will not have elbow clearances. To continue to keep up with the research and the recommendations of the breed Association, all new Bernese certifications should have elbows cleared before breeding.
Tests required for the Breeding of Standard Poodles
1. Hips (HD) OFA or Pennhip or OVC
2. elbows OFA
3. Eyes (CERF) Required Yearly
4. Von Willebrands (vWd) (bleeding disorder) DNA or Blood screen
5. Sebaceous Adenitis (SA) Skin Disorder
* Thyroid malfunctions - Not Required but a highly recommended test for all breeding dogs.
Tests required for breeding of Miniature and Toy Poodles.
1. Hips for HD and Legg-Perves Disease OFA, Penn hip or OVC
2. Stifles for Luxating Patella's
3. Eyes (CERF) Required Yearly
4. Von Willebrands Disease (vWd) DNA or Blood screen
* Thyroid malfunctions - Not Required but a highly recommended test for all breeding dogs
Are Bernedoodles registered?
This is a mixed breed dog and therefore cannot be registered with the American or Canadian kennel clubs.
How should I choose a Bernedoodle breeder and what should I look for?
A good breeder will perform all clearances listed above and will share all health certificates with potential clients. If a breeder is unwilling to show you health clearances of the parents, this is a red flag. I’ve had dogs with grade four hip dysplasia who are healthy, happy and jumping around. There is no way I would have known they had hip dysplasia if I didn’t get them tested. Imagine if I were a disreputable breeder and didn’t get these dogs tested and sold you a pup out of one of these parents. ASK TO SEE CERTIFICATIONS.
A responsible breeder will:
·be willing and able to provide you with references; ·be honest with you and have high standards and integrity to provide clients with a quality puppy; ·be willing to work with you even after your pup goes home; ·ask to be kept up-to-date on how the pup is growing and maturing, and about their temperament. (This is how responsible breeders improve their breeding programs. By knowing what my breeding stock produces, I’m better able to pair my dogs appropriately and breed the best Goldendoodles out there ); ·provide you with a health guarantee, and make sure the pups are vaccinated, microchipped and dewormed before they go home; ·have some type of adoption form; ·ask you questions about what you are looking for in a dog (This will help the breeder give you the most suitable pup in terms of temperament and coat-type); ·allow clients to visit their kennel, although each one may have different rules (At SwissRridge, we only allow people who have purchased a pup to view the kennel at the time of pickup to reduce the risk of many different diseases like parvo, canine distemper, canine herpes, kennel cough, canine flu being spread to our dogs.); ·provide you with references from clients, other breeders, veterinarians, etc. ·ask questions to help determine if you will provide a great home to their pups.
A responsible breeder cares about their pups and where they are going.
What is the difference in temperament between mini and standard Bernedoodle?
I find that as pups, the mini doodles are more outgoing and take a little more work, but as adults they seem to calm down. The nice thing about the mini doodles is they are a great size and you can take them almost anywhere. They are great city/condo dogs.
Other than that, both mini and standard Bernedoodles love to play fetch, swim, and hike, are great family dogs and awesome with kids.
How much exercise does my Bernedoodle need?
Bernedoodles just like the goldendoodles require a moderate amount of exercise. They should to be taken for at least three walks a day for 15-30 minutes. They love being with people and if you’re active they will participate. If you’re just chilling on the couch, they’ll join you. They are happiest being with people. You can take these dogs almost anywhere and they acclimatize well to new situations.
How do I groom my Bernedoodle?
The curlier the Bernedoodles’s coat, the harder it is to care for. If your Bernedoodle is very low to non-shedding, you will need to brush it every day to prevent matting, and it will need professional grooming every 6-8 weeks. Make sure to be very specific with the groomer as to how you want your dog groomed because some owners have been horrified when their Bernedoodle comes out looking like a poodle. Be specific and show the groomer a picture of how you want your dog to look.
You should take your pup to the groomer only after its full set of three vaccines (at around 14-16 weeks). To get them used to the process, ask the groomer only to give them a bath, clean the ears and cut the nails. The full clip might scare your pup. The next time you visit the groomer, you can have the pup clipped.
You should only bath your Bernedoodle every 3-4 months as bathing strips all the essential oils out of the fur.
What is the difference in temperament between males and females?
There isn't a huge difference between males and females. Males tend to be bigger, more affectionate, goofy, but also a little more stubborn. Females tend to be smaller, more independent but easier to train and less stubborn. These differences are minor, and both males and females make amazing pets. I think it is far more important to choose a pup based on temperament before gender.