The Ultimate Bernedoodle Lover’s GUIDE For 2020

If you have decided to add a puppy to your family, you are now faced with the daunting decision of choosing the best breed.

If you are looking for a family dog that seeks companionship, loves having fun, and has a touch of goofy, then the bernedoodle is the perfect dog for you!

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The bernedoodle is a crossbreed between a Poodle and a Bernese Mountain Dog. Crossing the two breeds not only brings out the best character traits in each breed, it also reduces the health risks associated with each individual breed.

And what positive attributes does a bernedoodle acquire from each parent breed?

The Bernese Mountain Dog brings loyalty, friendliness with children, and a fun, playful attitude.  From the poodle, you find intelligence, low shedding, and obedience.

Ready to discover if a bernedoodle puppy is a perfect fit for your family?

Let’s get started!

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Bernedoodle History

Bernedoodles are a recent crossbreed.  While some may have been bred earlier, many experts agree that breeders officially created the Bernedoodle in 2003.

The original goal with the bernedoodle was to have a companion dog with lower shedding tendencies and better health than its parent breeds.

The Bernese Mountain Dog has a wonderful character, but it also has high shedding and allergen concerns.  They also have shorter lifespans due in part to some of the health issues commonly found in Bernese Mountain Dogs.

Breeding Bernese Mountain Dogs with Poodles created the ideal crossbreed that addressed the concerns of the Bernese Mountain Dog while maintaining its playful and loyal attitude.

The result?

A designer dog called the bernedoodle that gives you the best of both worlds.

Designer dogs take a purebred poodle and cross it with another purebred breed.  Most designer dogs are bred to link the poodle’s non-shedding, hypoallergenic coat with the positive characteristics of another breed.

So what is the result of mixing two different pure breeds?

Intentionally mixing two pure breeds creates a crossbreed, such as the bernedoodle or goldendoodle.

A pure breed means that people have deliberately bred the same type of animal over many generations. In other words, the breed has been kept pure and unmixed with other breeds.

If you mix the offspring of two pure breeds together, as long as they are the same species, you have a crossbreed.

Although people have bred multigenerational bernedoodles together to emphasize different traits of the poodle or Bernese Mountain Dog, the most popular mix is still a first-generation crossbreed directly from a purebred poodle and purebred Bernese Mountain Dog.

Bernedoodle Variations

There are three main variations of bernedoodles--toy, miniature, and standard. The variation you will want depends on how large a dog you have space for and feel comfortable handling.

Toy:  Toy bernedoodles range from 12 to 17 inches in height and 10 to 24 pounds in weight.

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Miniature:  Miniature bernedoodles range from 18 to 22 inches in height and 25 to 49 pounds in weight.

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Standard:  Standard bernedoodles are the largest type, and range from 23 to 29 inches in height and 50 to 100 pounds in weight.

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The size of the bernedoodle is determined by the size of the poodle used in the mix.

Because they are a relatively new crossbreed, we aren't completely sure about the average lifespan of a bernedoodle.  However, many experts agree that a lifespan of 12 to 15 years is an accurate estimate.

Personality Strong Points

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Bernedoodles were bred to bring the best of the poodle and Bernese Mountain Dog together. At least, that is the hope - there is no guarantee for what a crossbreed will be like.

Because of this crossbreeding, each bernedoodle puppy will have a different appearance and personality, and it's impossible to predict what each puppy will be like. However, bernedoodles do display a few dominant characteristics.

Here are the top five traits of the bernedoodle:

Companionship

Bernedoodles are one of the top crossbreeds for craving attention, love, and care from humans.

They will soak up all the love and attention you give them!

Bernedoodles want to be with people whenever they can.  Whether it is snuggling on the sofa, being the center of attention in a game, or just spending quality time together; the bernedoodle will love any time and attention you can give!

If you decide to purchase a bernedoodle, be prepared to give it some of your time and attention. They are not dogs you can ignore.

Intelligence

Inheriting strong intelligence from the poodle side of the family, bernedoodles are smart and can quickly adapt to various situations they face.  Their quick, agile brains also make them more trainable than some breeds.

Loyalty

Bernedoodles display a strong sense of commitment to their families, particularly the children they know and love.

Families love bernedoodles because of the strong bond you can form with these dogs.  In fact, loyalty is such a strong trait in the bernedoodle that some call it the “velcro breed" because it will stick to its family like velcro!

Playfulness

Bernedoodles take the fun to the next level.

Because of their love for human companionship, as well as their special bond with children, bernedoodles are a wonderful breed when it comes to spending quality time with their people.

The bernedoodle is also known as being a bit goofy and having a sense of humor. You can see this coming out in the bernedoodles playful side.

One thing to consider with bernedoodles, mainly the toy and miniature breeds, is to play with them carefully to avoid injury.  Be sure to show your children how to interact with bernedoodles in ways that will not cause harm.

Stubbornness

Bernedoodles are known to be more stubborn and headstrong than some breeds, especially when they are puppies.  This is a trait that comes from the bernese mountain dog.

Although this may seem like a negative, bernedoodles usually outgrow this as they become older and more mature. Owners who train their bernedoodle consistently and patiently as a puppy, will quickly find this trait becoming less of an issue.

Also keep in mind that bernese mountain dogs tend to mature slower than some breeds do. So don't be surprised if your bernedoodle acts like a puppy even when it appears to be mature. Don't worry--he will grow out of it eventually.

Other Characteristics

Like other animals, the exact characteristics of the bernedoodle vary based on the puppy you choose, the environment it is raised in, and regular attention and care it receives.

There are a few characteristics of the bernedoodle that some people may not find ideal for their particular situation or wants.

These are not necessarily negative characteristics, but you should take them into consideration before you choose your puppy.

Regular exercise needed

The bernedoodle is an active, playful dog and requires daily exercise.  As a general recommendation bernedoodles should get a minimum of 30 minutes of daily exercise.

What constitutes exercise?

Excercise includes playing in the backyard or local park, going on a walk or run, or swimming.

Keep in mind that you shouldn't involve your puppy in vigorous exercise activities such as jogging until they are six or eight months of age. Over-exercising at an early age can cause joint problems. Begin with taking your puppy on short walks with frequent breaks.

The bernedoodle may not be the best breed for you if you are looking for a low-energy dog that will not require regular aerobic activity. If you choose a bernedoodle you will need to be prepared to give it the exercise it needs.

Not the best watchdog

Because they enjoy human interaction, the bernedoodle does not make the best watchdogs.

Bernedoodles aren't everyone's best friend at sight. But they also aren't a watch dog breed, and they aren't as quick to alert you to danger or protect as some breeds are.

Space Considerations

Space is a concern with any pet, and bernedoodles are no different. Because of their need for regular exercise and their potential size, you need to make sure you have enough space in your house or backyard for your bernedoodle.

Many people do not recommend standard bernedoodles for small apartments or spaces because of their active nature and size. If you have a small space, it may be best to get a toy or miniature bernedoodle.

Grooming

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Although the bernedoodle has the poodle’s DNA and easier groomability, you still can't ignore your bernedoodle's coat.

It is important to perform regular grooming on your bernedoodle, preferably several times a week. A slicker brush tends to work well on their curly hair.

Owners find that bernedoodles respond well to regular grooming, especially if you start when they are young.  If you start young they will quickly learn that grooming means time with their owner, and that is something they love!

How necessary is regular trimming since they are partly poodle?

The majority of bernedoodles have wavy or curly hair, but it is possible for a bernedoodle to have straight hair. Straighter coats mean more shedding; therefore, you should trim these bernedoodles on a regular basis.

Overall bernedoodles do have the poodle’s curly hair, and you should give their coat some care.  We reccomend that you clip the hair several times a year. Regular trimming results in a cleaner dog and faster, easier grooming.

If you groom and trim them properly, bernedoodles will not need to be bathed regularly.  The exception is if they are excessively dirty. Similar to a poodle, their skin will have its own oils and moisture, and regular bathing can remove these from your bernedoodle.

Other care for the bernedoodle is just routine dog care: Maintain trimmed nails, keep them clean, and brush their teeth several times a week with approved toothpaste. Also be sure to feed them healthy amounts of good dog food.

Health

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Your bernedoodle's health is a critical factor in its quality and length of life.

As mentioned before, the bernedoodle is a relatively new crossbreed, and there is not as much data on them as older breeds. However, bernedoodles may be subject to many common health issues facing dog breeds.

What is your first line of defense?

The best time to be on the lookout for health issues with your bernedoodle is during regular grooming.  Looking for sores, rashes, unusual skin or hair color, or other issues when you groom your bernedoodle will help you spot problems early. When you spot problems in the beginning stages they are easier to take care of.

Hip and elbow dysplasia is a common problem in many dogs.

Dysplasia occurs when a joint in the dog’s leg or hip becomes weakened or malformed.  This can result in arthritis or even total lameness if it goes untreated. One thing that can cause dysplasia is if your puppy runs too much on hard surfaces at too young an age.

Thankfully, since it is a genetic disorder, you can test dogs for hip and elbow dysplasia. Ask your breeder if they have any dysplasia testing or health records on your puppy’s parents.  If your puppy shows any negative signs, be sure to have your local veterinarian check them.

Because of their long ears, watch for infections inside your bernedoodle’s ears.  When moisture gets in their ear, a bernedoodle’s larger ears restrict airflow. This can result in ear infections if their ears are not thoroughly dried.

This ear infection can occur in any breed with larger ears. The best prevention is making sure the ears are thoroughly dried after your bernedoodle has been swimming or gets significantly wet.

Bernese Mountain Dogs can also be susceptible to cancer. However, although the bernedoodle crossbreed is still young, many veterinarians have noticed that the majority of bernedoodles do not carry this genetic health concern.

Allergy Characteristics of a Bernedoodle

As we already mentioned, one of the original purposes of the bernedoodle crossbreed was to create a human companion dog that would not shed as much or cause as much allergic reaction.

This raises the question: Are bernedoodles more hypoallergenic than standard breeds?

This is a difficult question to answer with a definitive “yes” or “no.”

However, it does raise a second question we need to answer:  What causes people to be allergic to dogs in the first place?

The simple answer is dander.

Dander is dead skin cells shed by dogs and other animals, including humans.

Because of their poodle genes, bernedoodles do tend to have less dander because of their shorter, curlier hair.  It is important to note that low dander levels are best achieved when you perform regular grooming, trimming, and brushing.

So your bernedoodle may be more hypoallergenic than some dogs. However, keep in mind that it's difficult to predict what a crossbreed will be like. Your bernedoodle may have longer, straighter hair like the bernese mountain dog that results in more allergies.

Choosing Your Dog

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When it comes to choosing a dog, you have several options.

You can purchase from a previous owner, adopt from a shelter, or buy them as a puppy.

What are some pros and cons of the three places you can get your dog?

Buying from a Previous Owner

The first 16 weeks of a puppy’s life are critical stages in their development. When you buy an older dog, you miss those first stages. This means that whether good or bad, a lot of their early training and development has already happened.

A well-trained dog will save you a lot of time and energy because they are already in good habits, but a poorly trained dog with bad habits takes a lot of time and work to retrain.

It can also take more time to bond with a bernedoodle if they were owned by a previous owner, particularly if they are older. Thankfully bernedoodles are social and can adapt and bond with new owners quickly if they are properly loved.

You should also ask for veterinarian records.  This will allow you to keep up-to-date records on your dog’s health, as well as help you and your veterinarian know that your dog is current on all recommended vaccinations.

Adopting from a shelter

Adopting from a shelter provides a loving home to a dog in need, and the results can be beautiful.

Animal shelters are continually looking for good homes and families to adopt their animals. Adopting a puppy can be a good way to give back to your local community and humane society.

If you choose to adopt from a shelter, you do want to be aware that it might require some additional TLC and training.  Much of this depends on the condition of your dog when it arrived at the animal shelter and the environment it came from.

Many times the animal shelter may know very little about the dog’s background, so spending some time with your bernedoodle in person will help you learn more about its personality.

Another thing is that puppies from shelters may not have papers.

Buying as a Puppy

Many people like to get their bernedoodles as puppies so that it is a part of their home for its full life.

One of the biggest benefits of adding a bernedoodle to your home while they are still a puppy is that you maximize the amount of time you have to spend with it.

Why is this important?

Bonding with your bernedoodle as a puppy quickly establishes a robust and life-lasting bond between it and your family.

Another benefit in purchasing a puppy is that you can provide it with a quality, controlled environment from day one.  It may also provide you with the opportunity to meet one of the parents, and this will help you see the overall health and personality of your dog.

One negative in purchasing a puppy is that you are responsible for all the training.  You can either do all of the training yourself, or enroll your puppy in a local obedience school.

However you purchase your puppy, beware of puppy scams! They are a real thing. However, it's fairly easy to avoid puppy scams if you are aware of them.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a family-friendly, loyal, and fun dog; look no further than the bernedoodle!

Purchasing a bernedoodle will bring a lot of joy and life to your home. We hope you enjoy every minute you get to spend with your dog.

If you are ready to add a bernedoodle to your family, head over to Infinity Pups to view our available Standard Bernedoodle puppies or Mini Bernedoodle Puppies.  All puppies listed with Infinity Pups are guaranteed not to be from puppy mills and they come with a 1-year health guarantee.

If you had something different in mind, check out our other breeds. 

We hope you love your new puppy!

One Comment

Linda Strand

This was very informative. I did not know that there were three different sizes available. It would be nice to know where they can be purchased.

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