The Bernedoodle or Bernese Mountain Poo is a companion dog and designer breed resulting from the mix of a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Poodle.
The Bernedoodle is an adorable, loving, fun pup that was created as a hybrid breed as a low shedding and a highly intelligent dog (like a poodle) and as a dog with a laidback personality and the loyal nature of the Bernese Mountain Dog.
While it is not a breed registered by the AKC (American Kennel Club), and it will not be a dog you can take to dog shows, the Bernedoodle is among the sweetest, cleverest, goofiest, and gentlest of all hybrid breeds.
It has become a popular choice for all types of owners, including seniors, singles, and large families with young kids.
The hybrid breed is a generally healthy breed with low shedding tendencies and can adapt to living in all types of households, including in small flats and homes with other pets.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about the Bernedoodle in order to find out whether this unique dog breed is the best choice for you.
Please keep in mind that even though this is a designer breed, there are, unfortunately, Bernedoodles in many of the rescue centers and shelters, so always make sure that you check your local rescues before proceeding to buy a Bernedoodle puppy or dog.
The characteristics of the Bernedoodle breed
Adaptability to living in an apartment
Bernedoodles, especially the tiny and miniature ones, are very suitable for apartment living. The standard-sized dogs from this breed can also adapt to any kind of home and family but would feel much better if they had a securely fenced backyard to play in.
Suitable for newbie owners
Bernedoodles are friendly, loving, and loyal dogs with high intelligence. While they can be very easy to train, some dogs from this mixed breed can be quite stubborn as young puppies. This can make them unsuitable for first-time dog owners and dog owners who don’t have the confidence to train and lead a dog.
But once they outgrow this phase, the Bernese Mountain Poo will happily learn new commands and tricks once you establish yourself as a pack leader.
Bernedoodles are smart, laid-back, and sometimes goofy dogs. They can get used to all kinds of households, including children and other dogs.
They do prefer to spend as much time as possible with their humans, so they can suffer from separation anxiety and will not be happy in a home where they are left alone for long periods of time.
Being smart dogs, they will learn fast and will not tolerate being mistreated, so you should always use positive reinforcement rather than punishment when training a Bernedoodle.
Tolerating being left alone
If you and other family members are gone for long hours from home, or if you tend to travel a lot, then the Bernedoodle is not the best dog for you. These dogs crave almost constant attention and feel at their best when spending time with their human families and with other pets.
Tolerating cold weather
Bernedoodles, being direct descendants of the Bernese Mountain Dogs originating in the Swiss Alps, are highly tolerant to cold weather, snow, and freezing temperatures. This goes for the Bernedoodles, which have inherited the coat of their Bernese Mountain Dog parent. For the tiny and miniature pups and those with Poodle-like coats, you will need to be careful when exposing the dog to freezing temperatures.
Tolerating hot weather
Bernedoodles are not as good with extremely hot weather as they are with cold temperatures. Make sure that you keep your pup cool and safe in the summer heat with access to fresh water at all times, and if possible, take it out on walks predawn or at dusk, rather than when the sun is scorching hot. This will help prevent overheating and dehydration which can be dangerous for canines.
Attachment to family
Bernedoodles quickly form a powerful bond with their owners and entire families, kids included. They thrive on spending time playing and cuddling with their humans and are among the best family-friendly breeds.
Your Bernedoodle will learn to recognize and respond to your emotions and happily be beside you through good and bad times, supporting you.
Bernedoodles will bond with the children in your family quickly. They are gentle animals and can tolerate loud noises and rougher games of younger kids.
They are excellent play companions and friends for your children. However, you should teach your kids to treat the pup properly and not bother it when it is eating or resting to prevent incidents.
Plus, the smallest Tiny Bernedoodles are quite fragile and thus cannot handle roughhousing and heavy-handed petting by younger children.
Bernedoodles are easygoing and friendly dogs, but like all pups, they require proper socialization as early as possible.
To ensure that your pup grows up as a confident, well-behaved, and friendly dog with proper social skills, make sure you meet it with other well-mannered puppies and dogs as it grows up. Enrolling in puppy kindergarten is an excellent way to get your puppy used to socializing with other dogs.
If you have other dogs at home, the Bernedoodle is an excellent choice for adding another four-legged member to your family.
Some Bernedoodles will be happy to meet new people and can tolerate strangers. Still, if your pup has inherited the natural suspicion towards strangers of the Bernese Mountain Dog, then it may not be as friendly with other people.
Socializing the Bernese Mountain Poo pup and meeting it with new people from an early age can help it become friendlier and respond better to other people as it grows up.
Overall health and grooming requirements
As with other hybrid breeds between Poodles and other breeds, the Bernedoodle can be a low-shedding dog like its Poodle parent. This means fewer hairs to clean, and the dog is more suitable for homes with people with pet allergies.
But, if your pup takes after its Bernese Mountain Dog parent, then its coat may shed quite a lot, especially during the shedding seasons twice a year. This will require regular brushing to remove the dead hairs.
Related: 20+ Hypoallergenic breeds for People with Dog Allergies
The Bernedoodle is not prone to drooling, so you don’t need to worry about cleaning up slobber from your furniture or clothes if you have a dog from this hybrid breed. It is an example of a low-drooling breed, perfect for owners who like to keep their homes neat.
Depending on your Bernedoodle’s coat, its grooming requirements can be medium to high. If your pup has fast-growing Poodle-like hair, you must get it trimmed every few months. If your dog has straight Bernese Mountain Dog hair, you will need to brush the hair thoroughly several times a week and every day during the shedding season.
As with all dog breeds, you will need to brush your pup’s teeth and gums several times a week and ensure its nails are clipped and ears are clean.
According to some fanciers and experts, cross-bred dogs are healthier and less prone to hereditary diseases and health conditions than purebred pups. Bernedoodles are generally healthy dogs but can be susceptible to typical genetic diseases affecting their parents, like hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, eye problems, cancer, etc.
Overall, the Bernedoodles are quite healthy and have a life expectancy longer than that of most other breeds – from 12 to 18 years.
Always choose a responsible breeder who tests and guarantees that the breeding dogs do not carry the genes of the most common canine illnesses which affect Poodles or Bernese Mountain Dogs.
Weight gain potential
Suppose your Bernedoodle pup has inherited the insatiable appetite of the Bernese Mountain Dog parent. In that case, you will need to be careful to prevent it from gaining excessive weight or becoming obese.
You should provide your dog with high-quality dog food appropriate for its age, health, activity level, and size.
Make sure you do not overfeed the pup with treats and high-fat foods because obesity can significantly shorten your dog’s life.
Bernedoodles come in different sizes, including tiny, miniature, and standard. The size depends on the size of the Poodle parent of the dog. So, in other words, Bernedoodles come in all sizes, suitable for any preference. They can be as small as 10 pounds and 12 inches at the shoulder or as big as 90 lbs. and 29 inches at the shoulder.
Ease of training
Bernedoodles are highly intelligent and hard-working dogs, so they are relatively easy to train with positive reinforcement and with the right attitude and confidence.
In some cases, the young puppies may appear as stubborn, but they usually outgrow this trait and will be happy to learn new commands, follow directions and even work when required.
These eager-to-please pups can successfully be trained to become great therapy dogs.
As descendants of one of the smartest dog breeds – the Poodles and Bernese Mountain Dogs, it is no surprise that Bernedoodles are highly intelligent dogs.
Studies show that they can learn new commands after only 5 to 15 repetitions and will obey the first command about 85% of the time.
This means that they can learn new commands, tasks, and tricks easily and that they will require as much mental stimulation as possible to stay well and happy.
Some pups may resort to destructive or other unwanted behavior without the needed mental stimulation.
So, make sure you provide your dog with stimulating interactive toys and games and spend the time interacting with it and training it in obedience, agility, and other skills.
Neither the Poodles nor the Bernese Mountain Dogs is typically mouthy dogs or herders, so it is less likely that your Bernedoodle will turn up as a pup that likes to chew, nip or play bite people and other animals.
These dogs will love playing catch and fetch. Still, they can display destructive behavior like chewing on furniture or digging holes if left without sufficient physical and mental stimulation and exercise and without enough human attention.
Yes, young pups will like to bite and herd their humans when they are young, but this type of behavior can easily be curbed with the proper positive reinforcement training.
Bernedoodles have a lower prey drive as compared to dogs which were bred to hunt. But this doesn’t eliminate the possibility that your pup may suddenly be triggered to chase and try to catch a smaller running animal.
In order to curb such behavior, you should take the time to train your dog and teach it the basic commands to keep it out of trouble and of the danger of running off into the traffic or in other dangerous areas.
Bernedoodles can bark occasionally, so they are average barkers. As descendants of the Bernese Mountain Dogs, which are excellent watchdogs, you can expect your Bernedoodle to bark when alerting you that someone is at the door or when protecting you.
Since these pups are prone to separation anxiety, you may end up with a compulsive barking dog if it is left alone for long periods of time.
Impulse to roam or wander off
The Bernedoodle has an average wanderlust potential. Their natural intelligence may make them curious to explore the world, so your dog can run off a few times. But in general, these loyal dogs create very strong bonds with their owners and prefer to spend time with them rather than roam around alone.
Physical and exercise needs
Bernedoodles usually have moderate to high energy levels. They do need at least one long walk and spend some playtime with their owners every day, but at the same time, they won’t mind cuddling up and spending the day sleeping next to their humans.
Remember that Bernese Mountain Dogs are very hard-working dogs, so your Bernedoodle might be happy to learn some tasks and sports and perform different jobs you give it.
They are not the most vigorous of dogs. In fact, most Bernedoodles are pretty calm and can be taught proper manners, making the cross-breed suitable for elderly or frail owners too.
As mentioned earlier, Bernedoodles can vary in their exercise needs. Still, the dogs from this designer breed usually do just fine with one long walk per day and possibly longer outings and hikes or playtime on the weekends.
Bernedoodles are among the best dogs to have if you have kids at home. They will bond with your children and become best play buddies with them.
Being highly intelligent, Bernedoodles will enjoy playing interactive games with you as well.
It is recommended that you keep these dogs mentally active in order to keep them happy and well.
Temperament: intelligent, loyal, hard-working, and goofy
Height at the shoulder: 12 to 29 inches, depending on the size (tiny, miniature or standard)
Weight: from 10 to 90 lbs. depending on the size
Life expectancy: 12-18 years, longer than most breeds
Breed Group: Mixed breed
About The Breed
The Bernedoodle is a relatively new hybrid breed, which has been gaining popularity and an increasing number of fanciers thanks to its intelligence, friendliness, goofiness, and happy temperament.
The Bernedoodle can differ in size and appearance, depending on the type of Poodle and depending on which traits it inherits from its Bernese Mountain Dog and Poodle parents.
The ideal Bernedoodle will inherit the amazing intelligence of the Poodle as well as its low shedding and the happy-go-lucky, loyal, and sometimes goofy temperament of the Bernese Mountain Dog parent.
Overall, you can expect a Bernedoodle to be a happy dog that enjoys playing games and cuddling with family members, especially with the children at home.
While it is hard to determine what an individual Bernedoodle will look like when it is born and grows up, it can be expected to be a friendly, happy, affectionate, and smart pup.
In many cases, the Bernedoodle will also be a low-shedding dog, which is good news for people with allergies and respiratory problems and those who prefer to have fewer dog hairs all over their homes.
The appearance of the different Bernedoodles can differ. Some dogs from this hybrid breed can have curly coats, while others can be wavy or straight.
Also, depending on the type of Poodle parenting the dog (toy, mini or standard), the Bernedoodle can be either tiny, miniature, or standard.
Overall, Bernedoodles are highly adaptable dogs and can get used to living in all types of homes. The tiny and miniature Bernedoodles are more suitable for small apartment living, while the standard ones will thrive better in larger homes or homes with yards.
The Bernedoodle does not require too much exercise and can do well with at least one long walk per day.
The hybrid breed is suitable for all owners and families, including single owners and large families with kids and other pets.
- The first Bernedoodles were bred in 2003 to create a great companion dog
- Bernedoodles can come in different sizes – from tiny to standard and can weigh from 10 to 90 lbs.
- Since they are a mixed breed, Bernedoodles tend to suffer much less from health issues that plague the purebred Poodles and Bernese Mountain Dogs
- While Bernedoodles are very smart dogs, they can be quite stubborn and difficult to train when they are young puppies, but they do improve as they age
- Being direct descendants of the non-shedding poodles, Bernedoodles are usually non-shedding and hypoallergenic dogs too
- They are great with children and other dogs and pets, but like all other dogs, they require early socialization
- Bernedoodles come in a very wide variety of colors and color combinations, the most common being – black, white, and brown. One of the most sought-after colors is the rare tri-color combination of the Bernese Mountain Dogs
- Being smart, eager to please, and hard-working, Bernedoodles can be excellent therapy dogs
- They crave human company and attention, which makes them unsuitable for homes where the owners are gone for long periods of time
History of the breed
While some similarly mixed breed dogs may have existed before due to accidental crosses between Poodles and Bernese Mountain Dog, the first intentionally mixed Bernedoodles were created by the owner of Swissridge Kennels, Sherry Rupke, in 2003.
This makes the Bernedoodle a relatively new hybrid breed.
The original intention of Sherry Rupke was to create the perfect companion dog rather than a cute show dog.
As a hybrid breed, the Bernedoodle is not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). It has been recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club, the International Designer Canine Registry, the Designer Dogs Kennel Club and the Designer Breed Registry.
Even though Bernedoodles are considered a designer dog breed, you can find some dogs from this hybrid breed looking for forever homes in dog shelters and different rescue groups. So, make sure that you check for dogs looking to be adopted before contacting a breeder and buying a Bernedoodle.
There are various online resources and search engines for rescues and adoptions of dogs in need you can check out as well.
As with most other doodle hybrid breeds, Bernedoodles can come in various sizes, including tiny, miniature, and standard. The size depends on the size of the Poodle parenting the dog. Poodles can be a toy, mini, or standard-sized, and when crossed with a Bernese Mountain Dog, can produce Bernedoodle puppies sized as small as 12 inches by the shoulder, up to 29 inches by the shoulder for the standard size.
Tiny Bernedoodles are usually sized from 12 up to 17 inches at the shoulder and can weigh from 10 to 24 lbs.
Miniature Bernedoodles are from 18 to 22 inches at the shoulder and weigh from 25 up to 49 lbs.
The standard-sized Bernedoodles reach a height at the shoulder of 23 up to 29 inches and weigh from 70 to 90 lbs.
As with other dog breeds, the males are taller and heavier than the female Bernedoodles.
Related: Large Hypoallergenic Dogs
In most cases, Bernedoodles inherit the best personality traits from both the Poodles and the Bernese Mountain dogs. However, remember that each and every Bernedoodle is unique, so there is no way to tell which puppy has inherited which personality traits exactly.
One way to predict what your puppy will turn out to be like is to meet its mother or parents and siblings, if possible.
When picking a dog, to stay on the safe side, choose one who is willing to come to greet you and be cuddled, rather than the shy one or the overly confident and loud one.
Overall, you can expect that the Bernedoodle puppy will grow up to be a happy, easygoing, loyal, highly intelligent, and hard-working dog.
Unfortunately, many Bernedoodle puppies inherit the typical stubbornness of their Bernese Mountain Dog parent. This can make the initial training of the puppy quite frustrating, but the good news is that the dogs from this hybrid breed usually outgrow it, and become easy to train, cooperative, and can even become perfect work or therapy dogs.
Due to their natural intelligence, the Bernedoodle puppies and dogs will quickly pick up new commands and learn.
While every dog is different, and it is much more difficult to predict the exact personality of a mixed-breed dog as compared to a purebred one, in general, you can expect the Bernedoodle to be a loving, smart, loyal, hard-working, and quite often a pretty goofy and fun dog.
Owners should keep in mind that sometimes, the Bernedoodles can inherit the natural suspicion of the Bernese Mountain Dogs towards strangers. This is why starting with the socialization of the puppy from this designer breed should begin as early as possible.
Bernedoodles thrive when surrounded by their human family and are the center of attention. They do not tolerate being left alone for long hours, which is why these dogs are unsuitable for owners who are gone most of the day. When left at home, Bernedoodles will do better if a family member stays home or if there are at least some other pets to keep them company.
The Bernedoodle can adapt easily to living in an apartment and in the city. The tiny and miniature-sized ones are better options for smaller apartments. The standard-sized Bernedoodles may require more exercise and space to burn that energy.
Overall, Bernedoodles require moderate to high activity, so you should ensure that your dog from this breed gets at least one long walk and moderate exercise every day to stay well and healthy.
During the rest of the time, your Bernedoodle pup will gladly snuggle up next to you on the sofa or bed and snooze and cuddle all day long.
As with most other mixed breeds, Bernedoodles tend to be healthier and less prone to hereditary diseases than their purebred parents, according to some experts. They claim that cross-breeding helps reduce the risk of dogs developing genetically inherited conditions and diseases. On the other hand, reputable breeders claim that they test and ensure that their purebred dogs do not have common hereditary diseases, thus minimizing the risk of the conditions occurring among their offspring.
But because the Bernedoodle has been along for less than 20 years, it is still difficult to say what the most common health issues these mixed-breed pups are most prone to.
While it looks like Bernedoodles are much less prone to developing cancer than the Bernese Mountain dogs (cancer is the number one cause of death among Bernese Mountain Dogs), the mixed breed does have some conditions to which it is predisposed to. Some of the most common health conditions affecting Bernedoodles include hip and elbow dysplasia, skin problems, eye problems, hot spots, and allergies.
But overall, the Bernedoodle is a relatively healthy breed in general and has a lifespan that is longer than the regular dog lifespan. In fact, Bernedoodles have a lifespan of 12 up to 18 years.
Exercise and care
The Bernedoodles require medium to intensive exercise, with the tiny and miniature sizes being less active and thus better suited for apartment life. The standard-size dogs of this breed will feel happier if they have a yard to spend time roaming.
In any case, you will need to provide your Bernedoodle with at least one long walk per day, with some playtime. This is essential if you want it to be healthy and happy and to prevent it from looking for other ways to spend its energy, such as resorting to destructive behavior, barking, and others.
But in general, the Bernedoodle is an excellent option for urban living, as it doesn’t require too much space and excessive activity.
One problem with the dogs of this hybrid breed is that they prefer to spend their time with their owners and with people and other pets, so they are not suitable for homes where they will be left alone for long hours.
As descendants of Poodles, Bernedoodles are highly intelligent animals, and it is crucial to stimulate them mentally and physically with behavioral training, socialization, and games.
Even if your Bernedoodle shows signs of stubbornness when it is young, don’t give up on the positive reinforcement training, as it will most likely grow out of this phase as it matures and will become a quick learner thanks to its inherited intelligence.
Socializing a Bernedoodle should begin at an early age. You should make sure that your pup gets to meet new people and other good-mannered dogs, and visit different places to ensure that it grows up as a friendly, confident, and well-behaved dog.
Since Bernese Mountain Dogs are a hard-working breed, you can give your Bernedoodle tasks to do, train it to be a therapy dog, or teach it to participate in different dog sports, which it will be more than happy to learn and perform.
As with all other dog breeds, you must establish yourself as a leader and gain the dog’s trust as early as possible to ensure that it complies with your commands and directions and responds to further training happily.
The amount of food your Bernedoodle needs to eat depends on size, age, activity level, and metabolism. It also depends on the quality and nutritional value of the dog food you choose to feed the dog.
Younger, larger, and more active dogs will need more calories to stay healthy and well. In comparison, older and less active pups and the tiny and miniature-sized Bernedoodles will require fewer calories overall.
Choosing the best dog food for your dog is essential for its well-being. You should choose foods with at least one protein as the number one ingredient but which include fibers, carbs, and up to 5% fats.
Keep in mind that if the Bernedoodle has inherited the appetite of its Bernese Mountain Dog parent, you will need to monitor the quantities and calories of the food and ensure that your pup stays active to burn those calories and stay fit.
Obesity is a serious problem for canines, leading to numerous serious health problems and significantly shortening dogs’ lifespan. Uncontrolled obesity can lead to the development of diabetes, heart conditions, hypertension, bladder stones, joint problems and osteoarthritis, and other debilitating problems.
Make sure that you speak to a dog nutritionist or your veterinarian if you have concerns about the weight and diet of your dog.
Being a hybrid breed, Bernedoodles can come in a wide variety of different colors and coat types. In some cases, the Bernedoodles will have curly Poodle-like coats, and in others, they will have straight or wavy coats resembling the striking tri-colored coats of the Bernese Mountain Dogs.
In most cases, Bernedoodles will have curly or wavy coats, which are low shedding. This makes the hybrid breed preferred by people with pet allergies and other respiratory problems.
The dogs from this designer breed that have straight coats will shed more, but their coats will keep them protected from the winter cold and summer heat. These coats require regular brushing, especially during shedding season.
As for the color of the Bernedoodle’s coat, it can vary from one pup to another. Some dogs are completely black, brown, or white, while others can be black and brown with white patches. The most sought-after Bernedoodles are tri-colored like the Bernese Mountain Dogs.
Depending on your dog’s coat type, it may need to be trimmed every few months.
To keep your Bernedoodle properly groomed and well, you should teach it from an early age to tolerate the brushing of its teeth and gums twice or three times a week.
It is also recommended that you get your pup used to regular nail clipping as early as possible, but make sure that you ask a dog groomer or vet to teach you how to safely and correctly clip your dog’s nails. Cutting through the quick of a dog’s nail can cause pain and bleeding.
Another part of the required periodic grooming is the regular inspection and cleaning of the ears of the dog. Clean the outer part of the ears with a cotton ball and ear cleaner, but do not insert anything inside the ear canal. Look for any worrying signs of ear infection, such as redness, excessive ear wax production, and a foul smell. You should take the pup to the vet if you notice symptoms like this.
When grooming the dog, also take notice of its eyes, nose, and skin condition. The earlier you notice any worrying symptoms, the faster you can take action to prevent more serious health problems.
Life with other pets and children
Bernedoodles are friendly and very loyal dogs that love spending time with their families, children included.
You must teach your kids to act appropriately with the dog, including not mistreating it or approaching and touching it when it is sleeping or eating. You should ensure that your children treat the pup gently, especially if you have a delicate Tiny Bernedoodle that can be injured easily by roughhousing.
Bernedoodles are usually great with other dogs in the household, but like all other canines, they need to be adequately socialized as early as possible.
Rescue shelters and groups
Since Bernedoodles are still pretty rare dogs, they are less likely to be found in dog shelters and rescue centers, and groups. Still, some groups are dedicated to helping all poodle mixes, where you can look for a Bernedoodle pup in need of a forever home.
One such group is Poo-Mix Rescue. There are also online databases with dogs that are up for adoption you can search through if you are looking for a new dog.