Bernedoodles are tousle-haired charmers that catch the eye. They are designer dogs, i.e. offspring of two deliberately paired pedigree dogs. The Bernedoodle is always a mix of the Bernese Mountain Dog and Poodle.
Bernedoodles love adventures in nature.
The Bernedoodle: Not always a balanced mix
However, nature sometimes throws a spanner in the works: The dog almost looks like a Poodle and there are hardly any traces of the Bernese Mountain Dog – or vice versa.
The size of the Bernedoodle depends heavily on the Poodle parent: Pairing with a Standard Poodle results in offspring with a shoulder height between 45 and 58cm. If the Poodle is smaller, the Bernedoodle will be too.
Other characteristics of these hybrid are:
- Tousled fur
- Elegant, muscular physique
- Lop ears
- Almost all fur colours from white to black possible
- Well received: the Bernese Mountain Dog's typical tricolour fur
- Weight varies depending on the Poodle involved, maximum 40kg
Friendly nature lover
The intelligence of Poodles combined with the good nature of Bernese Mountain Dogs – sounds like a good mix? Of course! However, not all Bernedoodles correspond to this ideal in terms of character.
Coming from the Poodle, some tend to hunt or are livelier than their Doodle owners are expecting. Even though the Poodle has a reputation as a pampered lapdog, both parent breeds are real nature lovers. They love spending time outdoors whatever the weather.
Most of these dogs are also friendly towards humans and animals, although some keep their distance towards strangers. As with all dogs, training needs plenty of time, but the Bernedoodle can be well trained by first-time owners.
Of course not just genes are an important part of a dog's character, but socialisation and formative phases too. A responsible breeder sets great store by this.
Housing and Grooming
An outdoors dog with high-maintenance fur
Despite its cute teddy bear appearance, the grooming and housing requirements of a Bernedoodle shouldn't be underestimated.
Grooming for the advanced
Grooming a Bernedoodle is demanding. Many dogs have long, wavy fur. You're best off getting your dog used to grooming when it is still a puppy.
The more curls a Bernedoodle has, the less hair it loses. However, this doesn't make grooming easier: If the fur doesn't fall out, regular shearing is required. You either do this yourself or take your dog to a dog groomer every three months.
The fur can tend to get tangled if it is long, which is also how a lot of dirt ends up in your home. What's more, an ungroomed Bernedoodle doesn't feel at ease in its own skin – and soon starts to give off a nasty smell.
The lop ears also require regular check-ups. With some Bernedoodles, hairs need to be plucked out of the ears. It's best to take advice from your vet on this.
Who is the Bernedoodle a good fit for?
Is the Bernedoodle a good fit for a family? Obviously! Both Poodles and good-natured Bernese Mountain Dogs cope well with children, although children should never be left unsupervised with them.
These hybrids generally also befriend cats quickly. This is particularly true of Bernedoodles that have had positive contact with cats during the puppy phase.
The Bernedoodle is no city dog and needs plenty of time outdoors every day in order to feel well. If you live in a city, you should definitely be able to offer this breed your own garden and long walks in green surroundings every day.
Health and Life Expectancy
Skin problems and tumours as risks with the Bernedoodle
A problem that regularly affects Bernedoodles can be traced back to the different fur textures of the parent animals. This is why these dogs tend to suffer from skin problems.
Furthermore, the health of hybrids depends on that of their parents. In contrast to reputable pedigree breeding, the parent animals of designer dogs aren't necessarily examined thoroughly. Reputable breeders examine the dogs for congenital diseases regardless.
Congenital diseases with Bernedoodles
With the Poodle parent, breeders should ensure that it is proven to be free of hip dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy.
The Bernese Mountain Dog also tends to suffer from hip dysplasia, therefore the breeder should examine its hips before deploying it for breeding. Genetic tests have to be carried out for degenerative myelopathy, which regularly occurs in Bernese Mountain Dogs.
Danger of tumour diseases
Malignant histiocytosis is the biggest health problem for Bernese Mountain Dogs. It is a tumour diseases that hugely reduces the average life expectancy of the breed, since it affects many dogs.
Reputable Bernese Mountain Dog breeders are working on finding and deploying dogs for breeding that have not inherited the disease by means of a genomic breed value. However, this value cannot be calculated without precise knowledge of the ancestors and lineage. Hence, plenty of know-how is required for breeding Bernese Mountain Dogs – even when it comes to hybrids.
Bernedoodles have an average life expectancy of six to twelve years. Amongst other things, this broad spectrum is based on the fact that Bernese Mountain Dogs have a much lower life expectancy than Poodles.
No recognised breeders
Since the Bernedoodle is a designer dog, there are no recognised breeders. This has several disadvantages: You don't get a certified pedigree and providers aren't monitored by an association.
They don't always deploy pedigree parent animals for breeding. Even if they do, non-experts can barely recognise how true to type the dogs are and if they are really suitable for breeding. Hence, it is difficult to find a reputable breeder.
Steer clear of breeders asking for imaginary prices of £1,000 or more for these hybrid dogs. For a Poodle and Bernese Mountain Dog mix, £600 to £900 maximum is an acceptable price.
Make sure too that the breeder doesn't give any puppies away before they are nine weeks old and that they are dewormed, vaccinated and microchipped when you receive them.
Alternative breeds to the Bernedoodle
Are you looking for a large, cuddly dog that does moult, is intelligent and has a long life expectancy? No problem. A Poodle is a good alternative to the Bernedoodle.
If thoughts like 'granny dog', 'pampered lapdog' and images of strange hairstyles are now running through your head, take a look at a Poodle with a sports cut and get to know a few Poodles better.
An excellent alternative to designer dogs are dogs from animal shelters. You can find numerous wonderful mixes looking for a new home.
Poodles are real nature lovers and the closest alternative if you can't find a Bernedoodle.
One of many Doodles
The Poodle is the older of the two dog breeds and originates from water dogs that were deployed for hunting birds throughout Europe. Bernese Mountain Dogs have been pure bred since 1907. They were originally all-rounders for guarding, herding cattle and pulling loads in the Swiss canton Bern.
The Bernedoodle itself was created based on now fashionable designer dogs. Breeders deliberately paired two pedigree dogs of different breeds to combine their positive characteristics. Popular mixes include, amongst others, the Labradoodle, Cockapoo and Goldendoodle.
Conclusion: Bernedoodle – an appealing mix
From the provider's perspective, names with Doodle are often a clever strategy to sell hybrids for a high price. Nevertheless, these dogs are very charming. If they are brought up lovingly and socialised well, they are likeable and friendly dogs. However, their attractive appearance shouldn't disguise the fact that grooming is very time-consuming and their energy level is unpredictable.