Let us tell you about a dog that’s as smart as it’s adorable, the Bernedoodle. Read on to learn about some interesting facts about this hybrid, along with its origin, appearance, and temperament.
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A brief history of the Bernedoodle
Since this is a relatively new breed, information about Bernedoodles is limited. But understanding its background and which breeds it came from will help us get to know this dog much better.
Sherry Rupke from Swissridge Kennels claims to be the first breeder to start crossing Poodles and Bernese Mountain Dogs.
Rupke first tried crossing the purebreds in 2003, wanting to produce a dog with the sweet personality of the Bernese Mountain Dog and the intelligence and low-shedding coat of the Poodle.
Also known as the Bernese Mountain Poo, Bernesepoo, Bernesedoodle, or Bernepoo, the Bernedoodle got much more from its parents than these traits. Let’s meet each parent breed to find out what else these Doodles could inherit.
The Bernese Mountain Dog
These gentle giants often share their goofy, fun-loving personality with their offspring.
Purposefully bred as farm dogs in the Swiss Alps, Berners are built for hard work, which explains how robust and powerful they are. They can grow to 28 inches (71 cm) tall and weigh as much as 115 pounds (52 kg)!
Aside from excelling in tracking, herding, and agility, the Bernese Mountain Dog is entirely dedicated to its family and extremely loyal.
With a life expectancy of 7 years, the Berner is a relatively short-lived breed. But throughout its lifespan, this dog will do anything to please his humans and soak up all possible love and attention.
Everyone knows that Poodles rank high on the canine intelligence scale and that they have a low to non-shedding coat. These are the main reasons why they’re a popular choice for crossbreeding.
There’s more to the Poodle than that, though. Behind its classy appearance is a hardy, fearless dog that originated as a water retriever.
Poodles are also playful and fun-loving, so much so that they enjoy outdoor adventures! They thrive in an active household where they can get plenty of attention and mental and physical stimulation.
Another reason why breeders love crossing these smart dogs with other breeds is that Poodles come in 3 sizes.
The Standard Poodle is typically over 15 inches (38 cm) in height and can weigh as much as 55 pounds (25 kgs), while the Miniature version can be between 10 to 15 inches (25 to 38 cm) and 12 to 15 pounds (5 to 7 kgs).
The smallest Poodle variety, the Toy Poodle, is under 10 inches (25 cm) in height and weighs only 5 to 10 pounds (2 to 4 kgs).
Do kennel clubs officially recognize this dog?
Since the Bernese Mountain Poo is a crossbreed, it isn’t recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), unlike its purebred parents.
However, the following registries recognize the Berner-Poodle Mix:
- The Designer Dogs Kennel Club
- The International Designer Canine Registry
- The Designer Breed Registry
- American Canine Hybrid Club
What does a Bernedoodle look like?
If you’re interested in getting a hybrid dog, keep in mind that no two crossbreeds are going to look the same. The same goes for their temperament.
One question we can answer, though, is “How big are Bernedoodles?”
The Poodle comes in 3 different sizes, and so does the Bernesepoo. These hybrids can be Toy, Miniature, and Standard sized.
Arguably the cutest of the varieties, the Tiny or Toy version stands at 10 to 17 inches tall (25 to 43 cm) and weighs around 10 to 24 pounds (5 to 11 kgs).
The Miniature Bernedoodle is around 18 to 22 inches in height (46 to 56 kgs) and weighs 25 to 49 pounds (11 to 22 kgs), while the Standard size stands at 23 to 29 inches (58 to 74 cm) and can weigh anywhere from 70 to 90 pounds (32 to 41 kgs).
How about their coat and color? Well, that’s the reason why these dogs are often referred to as teddy bears.
Most Bernepoos have a wavy or curly coat that often come in multiple colors, with patches of black, white, and brown.
Bernedoodles who take after the Bernese Mountain Dog tend to have coats of straight, fine hair.
A playful, friendly dog for the family
Well-bred Bernesedoodles get many of the best personality traits from the Poodle and the Bernese Mountain Dog.
These hybrids are affectionate and playful, which makes them an excellent pet for families and good playmates for children. They love to spend time with everyone in the family.
However, it’s crucial to take into consideration the size of the Bernese Mountain Dog-Poodle mix that you want to get.
If you want to get a Toy or Mini Bernedoodle, you have to make sure that your kids know how to be gentle in handling smaller dogs, as they can be injured easily.
The Standard Bernedoodle, on the other hand, can accidentally knock down a kid during playtime. You’ll have to supervise when your children and dog play together.
Check out this video to see how small these pups can be:
Another great thing about these crossbreeds is that they also get along well with other dogs.
Don’t be surprised if you notice that your Bernedoodle puppy’s a little stubborn when you bring him home. He probably inherited it from the Bernese Mountain Dog, and this trait usually fades with age.
The exercise your Bernedoodle needs
Depending on their size, Bernepoos can have moderate to high energy levels.
If you’re looking for a canine to be your companion on walks and hikes, the Bernedoodle can keep up!
Like the Poodle, they love being active and fit well in busy households. They’re always up for fun activities like fetch and treasure hunts.
We recommend Bernesedoodles, especially the Standard size, for homes with fenced backyards because they need the space to run and explore.
Tiny and Miniature variations of this crossbreed can be happy living in an apartment, as long as they get some playtime daily.
Whatever this hybrid’s size, regular exercise gives them the physical and mental stimulation they need to avoid destructive tendencies.
Be careful not to over-exercise them while they’re still puppies. To avoid overexertion and injury, wait until your dog is two years old before doing any rigorous activities with them.
After having a tiring day that they surely enjoyed, the Bernese Mountain Poo would love to cuddle up or even stay beside as you’re enjoying some relaxing time indoors.
How to train a Bernedoodle
Since one of its parents is the Poodle, you would think that the Bernedoodle would be easy to train. Well, it’s not always the case.
Don’t forget that the other parent is a Bernese Mountain Dog, which is renowned for its hardheadedness. But you shouldn’t let that discourage you, as the stubbornness of the Bernepoo’s only lasts through its puppy stage.
Patience in training these pups will go a long way, and, as long as you keep going, you won’t end up with skittish Bernese Mountain Poo.
Take things step-by-step. Start with socialization, teaching your puppy to walk with a leash, and potty training. Use plenty of positive reinforcement, in the form of praise and treats.
Once your Bernedoodle has mastered that, he can move up to more complex activities. You can teach him to do fun tricks or train him for agility. Agility training is an excellent way to burn through this crossbreed’s energy levels.
Quick training tips for first-time owners
It’s essential that training starts while your Bernesepoo is still a puppy. Set the right path for your dog while he’s still a cute little pooch that is curious and eager to learn.
You may also want to crate-train your dog as soon as possible. Crate training will help reduce the separation anxiety that the Bernedoodle is prone to.
Teach him that the crate will be his safe space whenever you have to leave the house. Your Bernepoo will eventually learn to feel more calm and relaxed even when you’re not at home.
Bernedoodle care 101
The Bernese Mountain Dog-Poodle mix may need a little more attention compared to other crossbreeds, especially with its thick coat and potential health problems.
Here’s what you need to know about this hybrid’s grooming needs, diet, and overall health.
How to groom a Bernedoodle
Did you know that the Bernepoo doesn’t have fur? Instead, it has hair. Hair tends to be smoother to the touch and has a finer texture compared to fur.
Whether its hair is straight or curly, brush your Bernese Mountain Poo’s hair 2 to 3 times a week. The frequent brushing will help rid the coat of dead hair, which can get trapped in your dog’s curls.
Other owners brush their dog’s hair daily, taking grooming as an opportunity to bond with their pets. Your Bernesedoodle will undoubtedly love the extra attention.
Once your dog is around 7 to 9 months old, you can take him to a professional groomer every 8 to 12 weeks to get its coat clipped.
(If you’re taking your Bernese-Poodle cross to a groomer, be specific on how you want your dog’s coat to be cut. Most groomers default to a Poodle clip unless instructed differently.)
Don’t bathe your Bernese Mountain Dog-Poodle mix too often because you don’t want to strip natural oils from its coat. You can wash your dog every month or so or when needed.
Are Bernedoodles hypoallergenic?
The truth is that no dog is truly hypoallergenic. However, the fact that the Bernepoo has hair instead of fur means that your dog is less likely to trigger allergies.
Bernedoodles with curly hair will appear to shed less because the hair they shed gets trapped in their curls rather than floating out into the environment. That means less dander in the air and fewer allergens in the environment overall.
Taking care of your dog’s eyes and ears
Even with a tangle-free, fresh-smelling coat, your dog isn’t well-groomed if you forget to pay attention to his face.
Let’s start with the Bernesedoodle’s sparkly eyes, which can overproduce tears and result in stains in the dog’s fur.
Use some water and a washcloth to gently wipe away any gunk from the fur around your fur baby’s eyes.
While carefully cleaning the eye area, check your dog’s eyes for redness or swelling, or even unusual discharge. Never use soap or shampoo because these can cause discomfort or damage your dog’s eyes.
If your Bernese Mountain Dog-Poodle mix has long hair, clip or tie their hair away from their face to prevent eye irritation.
Aside from their eyes, these dogs’ ears need some special attention, too. Hair in the Bernedoodle’s ears, plus their dropped position, hinders proper air circulation and encourages the accumulation of dirt and moisture.
This makes the Bernesepoo susceptible to ear infections, more so compared to dogs with prick or erect ears.
Check your dog’s ears weekly and clean them with a cotton ball and hydrogen peroxide. Don’t forget to remove excess liquid from the cotton ball before using it on your dog’s ears
Watch out for waxy buildup, foul odor, and redness and irritated skin around your dog’s ears. If he often scratches his ear or shakes his head, take him to the vet for a checkup.
What to feed your Bernedoodle
The right diet for the Bernese Mountain Dog Poodle mix will be highly individualized.
For Bernedoodle puppies, they should be fed high-quality puppy kibble specially formulated for their size and nutritional needs.
Make sure that the dog food you choose meets the Bernese-Poodle cross’ daily nutritional requirements.
Protein helps regulate the function of the dog’s tissues and organs, while fats are vital for their energy.
In terms of the amount of food they should eat, you would have to base it on their size, age, and activity levels.
Generally, a Bernesedoodle would need 1,500 calories (around 3 cups of kibble) daily.
As per their size, the daily food consumption or calorie requirements are:
- Standard Bernedoodle – 1,400 to 1,800 calories
- Miniature Bernedoodle – 750 to 1,400 calories
- Tiny Bernedoodle – 400 to 960 calories
Pups should be eating a minimum of 4 times per day, but you can reduce that to 2 meals a day once your Bernedoodle is full-grown.
Reduce the risk of bloat by giving your Bernepoo small but frequent meals. And if you decide that you want to feed your dog anything other than kibble, consult your veterinary nutrition specialist first.
The food intake of Standard Bernese Mountain Poos should be monitored more strictly because they can be voracious eaters. Keeping an eye on their diet, plus a daily exercise routine will help keep these dogs at a healthy weight.
What health problems can the Bernedoodle have?
Mixed breeds are generally healthy because of hybrid vigor. But we have to take into consideration that they may inherit health issues that their canine parents suffer from.
Bernese Mountain Dogs can be afflicted with hip and elbow dysplasia, heart disease, or epilepsy. This breed is also one of the dogs that are at the highest risk of getting cancer.
Despite its energetic gait, the Poodle may get serious health issues, which include eye, skin, and digestive conditions as well as diseases that target their immune system.
You can minimize the likelihood of your dog getting skin allergies by grooming them regularly and giving them the right diet. Try giving him a grain-free diet, as grains are common food allergy triggers.
If you’re looking to get a Bernedoodle puppy from a breeder, ask about testing for the following conditions, too:
- Von Willebrand’s Disease
- Sebaceous adenitis
- Degenerative myelopathy
- Patellar luxation
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- MTC (Macrothrombocytopenia)
Early health screening will
If they’re well taken care of, the average lifespan of a Bernedoodle is between 7 to 18 years.
These dogs’ life expectancy is affected by their size, too. Tiny and Mini Bernedoodles tend to live longer while the Standard-sized Bernedoodle has a shorter life expectancy.
Where can I find a Bernedoodle?
You’ve reached this part, so I assume that you’ve decided that a Bernesedoodle is the right furry baby for your family. Would you prefer to buy a puppy from a breeder or to adopt an older Bernese Mountain Dog-Poodle mix?
Going with a breeder is more expensive, with a Bernedoodle puppy costing anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 each.
The price depends on the Bernepoo’s size and overall appearance; some breeders, for instance, charge more for specific coat colors.
Find the right Bernedoodle breeders
The best breeders out there are those who select the puppy for the owner and not the other way around as there’s a lot of consideration to take into account.
For example, if a prospective owner has allergies, the breeder will recommend a Bernese Mountain Poo puppy with a curly coat that will release less hair into the environment.
Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world, and reputable Bernedoodle breeders can be challenging to find.
Here are some things to consider when choosing a breeder:
- The right breeder has had his pups health-tested and can share the health certificates with you.
- He allows you to meet the parents of the litter or the puppy itself before your purchase.
- He will provide references from previous clients, other breeders or owners, and veterinarians.
- He is willing to keep in touch even after you bring home your puppy.
- He has puppies that have been vaccinated, microchipped, and dewormed before going home with their owners.
- He asks you about what you’re looking for in a dog, your lifestyle, your family, and the environment the puppy will grow up in.
Here are some breeders that we recommend for you to check out if you’re ready to buy a Bernedoodle puppy:
Adoption or rescues for Bernedoodles
Many love stories between people and their pets start with adoption. It’s not impossible to find a Bernepoo in shelters or rescue groups.
These hybrids can also appear or be available in breed-specific shelters for Poodles and Bernese Mountain Dog.
You can check with the following groups to see if they have Bernesedoodles available for adoption:
Why choose Bernedoodles?
Whether you choose a Toy, a Mini, or a Standard version of the Bernese Mountain Dog-Poodle mix, there is no doubt that he or she will be a perfect addition to any family or home.
Due to their low-shedding coats, even people with allergies have the chance to own and cuddle with these living teddy bears!
Bernepoos are bundles of curls that are full of love to give.
They crave attention and affection, and they’re ideal for owners who won’t mind a dog following them around all day.
These dogs have a moderate need for exercise, so they won’t need a highly active owner.
Let us know what you think of Bernedoodles! Type in opinions, or even tips for new owners, in the comment box below.