This adorable hybrid first came into existence at SwissRidge Kennels in 2013. A beautiful chocolate goldendoodle named Lazeeza and a stunning tri-colored bernedoodle named Henry were the proud parents of the world’s first golden mountain doodle litter. The name “Golden Mountain Doodle” was coined by Jamie Amell via a competition we held through our Facebook group and this breed has been a hit ever since!
The golden mountain doodle is made up of a golden retriever, Bernese mountain dog and poodle. This cross blends the clever, yet amusing side of the poodle with the placid, loyal, loving nature of the golden retriever and Bernese mountain dog. Most golden mountain doodles are low- to non-shedding and are a safe bet for most people with allergies.
I wanted to breed the golden retriever back into the bernedoodle because, while there are so many amazing traits within the bernedoodle, I have found that they can be stubborn. By mixing some golden retriever back into the bernedoodle, my hope was that it would reduce this stubborn streak. Well, we’ve had a handful of litters and it appears to have worked!
Golden mountain doodles are very affectionate and easy to train with a playful nature. They are people pleasers, wanting to be by your side and to learn new things. They are social and spirited dogs and have a gentle and patient disposition that makes them great with children. Because they are so easygoing, they are great for first-time dog owners and experienced ones alike. They are the perfect all-around companion.
A golden mountain doodle is not a purebred and thus is not a registered breed.
The Golden Retriever
Golden retrievers are intelligent large-breed dogs, often used as gun dogs, search-and-rescue dogs, and detection dogs. They are often trained as disability assistance dogs because of their gentle and loving nature and their desire to be with people.
Golden retrievers love the water! It’s quite common for them to seek out water and go for a dip.
Golden retrievers have a beautiful dense coat and are known to shed quite heavily.
The Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese mountain dogs (Berners) are completely devoted to their families, with a special fondness for children. In fact, they are so loyal that it can be difficult to rehome an adult Berner. They are exceptionally beautiful dogs and have a distinctive tri-colored coat. Bred in the Swiss Alps as farm dogs that pulled carts or drove cattle to market, the Bernese thrive in cold weather and have a double coat that sheds quite heavily. They are intelligent, strong dogs who have a moderate need for exercise.
A significant number of Bernese are afflicted with hip and elbow dysplasia, or succumb to inherited cancer, heart disease, or epilepsy in middle age. While cancer is the leading cause of death for dogs in general, Bernese have a much higher rate of fatal cancer than other breeds. Overall, the Berner is one of the shorter-lived dog breeds, with a life expectancy of only seven years. This is particularly sad when the Berner is known to be slow to mature and somewhat challenging to train.
Without proper socialization, these naturally cautious and reserved dogs can become skittish and suspicious, and may develop separation anxiety. They can also be decidedly stubborn. Yet the Bernese also has a deep need to please its humans and is surprisingly sensitive. As a result, training a Berner requires a great deal of patience and a gentle hand. Berners are affectionately known for leaning on people to soak up all the possible attention they can!
Poodles rank high on the canine intelligence scale and excel in obedience. Most people are aware that this lovely breed has a low- to non-shedding coat, making them a great choice for people with allergies. What people don’t realize is how active and playful poodles can be! They are the clowns of the dog world, and it’s no coincidence that they were used in circus acts for centuries. But the poodle is more than a clever show dog. They originated in Germany as hunting dogs, especially good at water retrieving. This breed doesn’t get nearly enough credit for being a hardy, intrepid dog that enjoys outdoor adventures.
A typical poodle thrives in a busy household where there is plenty of attention to go around. Vigorous exercise and ongoing training are the keys to managing the poodle’s exuberance. If bored, poodles may find their way into mischief. They are also quick to sound an alert, and have earned a reputation for barking.
Poodles can be nervous and sensitive to stress and are typically affected by eye, skin, and digestive diseases, as well as immune system diseases. The most common problems are bloat/torsion, thyroid issues, sebaceous adenitis, juvenile renal disease, hip dysplasia, and cancer.
Poodles come in three sizes and a wide variety of colors. Where most dogs have double coats, poodles have a single-layer coat of dense, curly fur that sheds minimally, but will mat without proper care.
Retriever + Bernese + Poodle…Best of all worlds!
If a breeder does their due diligence in selecting the right parents, crossing purebred dogs of different breeds results in puppies that are healthier than either of their parents. This is because breeds are generally prone to different genetic problems. Hybrids such as golden mountain doodles are only likely to inherit a health problem that is common to the poodle, Bernese mountain dog, and golden retriever – three breeds that share few common diseases. Golden mountain doodles, therefore, have what is referred to as “hybrid vigor,” and can be expected to live healthier, longer lives than their purebred parents.
A hybrid dog combines the traits and characteristics of its purebred parents; with careful, conscientious breeding, the resulting pups may end up with the best attributes of each. In the case of the golden mountain doodle, the blend of the golden retriever, Bernese, and poodle produces a smart, friendly, loving, social, and playful dog. They tend to have the gentle, loving, and desire-to-please nature of the golden retriever, the laid-back, loving, and loyal nature of the Bernese, and the goofy liveliness and intelligence of the poodle.
Most golden mountain doodles have a moderate activity level. They love to run, play, and hike with you, and some will inherit the retriever’s affinity for the water and retrieving. When it’s time to relax, golden mountain doodles are usually happy to join you on the couch for a snuggle as most of them have little need for personal space.
Appearance and Coat
Golden mountain doodles can often be confused with goldendoodles. Breeders tend to develop their own style and look of dogs. The appearance of a SwissRidge golden mountain doodle is usually stocky with a well-built frame, beautiful head, and silky and wavy coat, although the coats can vary. This breed can have a unique combination of two or three different colors throughout their coat, but they can also be a solid color.
Every golden mountain doodle is different. Within an average litter, we will see that the majority of puppies have wavy coats, and a few have straight or curly coats. Most puppies within the litter shed minimally, if at all. Most people with allergies to dog dander are fine with a wavy- or curly-coated dog. Golden mountain doodles with a curly coat are like the poodle and will not shed. While there are no guarantees, even if you have serious allergies to dander, you should do well with a curly-coated golden mountain doodle. Puppies that have a straight coat are very silky and soft, almost like velvet. It’s hit or miss with those pups, some shed and some don’t shed at all; they don’t mat and won’t need to be clipped. This is a unique trait that I have only seen in the golden mountain doodle.
If you are allergic to dog saliva, and your skin breaks out in hives when licked by a dog, you will most likely be allergic to all golden mountain doodles regardless of coat type. If you still want a dog and you are allergic to saliva, I would suggest a tiny dog as they produce less saliva.
We can tell the coat type when the puppies are a few weeks old, so it’s important to let us know what you are looking for so that we can select the best match for you. Since there are no guarantees with coat type, a responsible breeder will give you time to interact with your puppy and see if you are allergic, allowing you time to return the pup if it is not working out. It is best if you meet some doodles ahead of time, before committing to your own puppy.
As for grooming, the curlier the dog’s coat, the harder it is to maintain. Since most golden mountain doodles shed little, if at all, they need to be brushed regularly to prevent matting, and must be clipped every few months.
Golden mountain doodles come in a variety of sizes. At SwissRidge, we breed standard and mini golden mountain doodles.
The standard golden mountain doodle results from crossing a goldendoodle with a bernedoodle or any combination that would create a mixture of golden retriever, poodle, and Bernese. They will generally be 50 lbs. or larger and around 23 to 29 inches at the shoulder. Most standards are in the 70 to 90 lb. range.
A mini golden mountain doodle results from crossing a mini goldendoodle with a mini bernedoodle. They generally range from 25 to 50 lbs. and between 18 and 22 inches at the shoulder.
Please keep in mind that these sizes are an average, and sometimes a puppy will fall outside the expected height and weight.
Mini golden mountain doodles may have a slightly higher energy level than the standards. Since we use calm poodles in our breeding program, we tend to produce docile golden mountain doodles, regardless of size.
This breed has the stamina to keep up with an athlete, but is just as happy to lay on the couch all day and chill. They are affectionate, loving family dogs and are good for first-time dog owners.
Golden mountain doodles are the F2 generation as two doodles are being crossed to make a golden mountain doodle. F2 is referred to as a second-generation cross, in which an F1 doodle is crossed with another F1 doodle.
Health and Lifespan
The first SwissRidge golden mountain doodle was bred in 2013, so they are still a young breed. Since I can only estimate on their long-term health, I use their lineage as my guide. They are very healthy and vibrant dogs, and I estimate the average life expectancy to be around 13 years.
While golden mountain doodles tend to be healthier than their parent breeds, they can still be prone to conditions such as hip and elbow dysplasia and certain eye problems. Skin conditions, such as hot spots and allergies, are also seen in this mix, and like many other breeds, they may get cancer.
Genetic testing can reduce the risk of many diseases. A reputable breeder will perform various tests and provide evidence of the successful results. It’s important for prospective buyers to understand that breeders invest a great deal of money upfront in finding healthy breeding stock and doing the required testing. This investment is usually reflected in the higher cost of the puppy for the buyer. A higher upfront cost will most likely reduce vet bills down the road.
Is This Dog for Me?
Golden mountain doodles make wonderful family dogs and are suitable for most people. If you want an affectionate, loyal, non-shedding dog that is the light of your world and if you have the time and enthusiasm to raise a puppy, I predict you will be very happy with a golden mountain doodle!
We wrote the first book on Bernedoodles
This comprehensive, easy-to-read and entertaining book covers everything you need to know about this amazing hybrid. Since Bernedoodles can vary significantly in size, build, coloring, and even personality, prospective owners need advice from someone who knows the breed inside out. Who better than the breeder who created them?
Pawsh Magazine – “… insightful tips for finding the right breed and puppy for your family dynamic.”
Thinking of adopting a SwissRidge puppy?
Often people will want one of my dogs because they are irresistibly adorable. Please take the time to consider if this breed is the right choice for you and your family. Click the link above to answer some questions to help you see if our doodles are the best match for you.