A Bernedoodle is a cross between a Bernese Mountain dog and a Poodle. As individual breeds, the Bernese and the Poodles have very little in common, but when the two are combined, something very special happens!
What is a Bernese Mountain dog?
I’ve always adored Bernese Mountain dogs! They are strikingly beautiful, with distinct tri-color markings and a sweet, affectionate nature. They’re generally pretty laidback but always up for a romp with their family, and love going on walks, hikes, and adventures in general. Berners are quite large, and typically stand at 24-27 inches at the shoulders. The average size female is between 70-90 lbs, with males growing a good bit bigger and often maturing at over 100 lbs. They attach very strongly to their family and are particularly gentle with children. As big as they are, they never seem to outgrow the urge to be a lap dog and want lots of hugs and snuggles! They are a sociable breed and not aggressive, but tend to maintain an aloof dignity with strangers.
What is a Poodle?
Poodles are extremely intelligent and are easily trained. They are agile and graceful as well as smart, and they tend to be lively, active, and goofy. They have an almost human-like intelligence and an amazing cleverness. Training is very important as they learn fast, good habits and bad! They attach very strongly to their families and are great with kids and other dogs. Poodles don’t have an undercoat, so they don’t do much shedding and are a good choice for families with allergies, but that also means their coats require a lot of maintenance to stay matt and dirt free. They generally do well in any type of home, from apartments to estates, as long as they have plenty of exercise and human companionship. They come in 4 different sizes, standard, moyen, mini, and toy, and a myriad of colors.
- Standard: 22-27 inches / 40-70 lbs.
- Moyen: 15-20 inches / 20-35 lbs.
- Mini: 10-15 inches / 12-18 lbs.
- Toy: 7-10 inches / 6-9 lbs.
The cross between a Bernese Mountain dog and a Poodle results in the fluffy, teddy bear like Bernedoodle-that gentle, goofy, and friendly crossbreed that we absolutely adore! They are excellent companion dogs, affectionate, calm, intelligent and responsive, very fond of people, and generally get along great with other pets. They are especially fond of children and develop a strong bond with their human siblings. They can be somewhat stubborn as pups, but usually outgrow this with proper training and socialization. They love to be active outdoors (think hiking, swimming, running, etc.), but they also love being your snuggle buddy on the couch. We are very proactive in socializing our pups and they are cuddled and loved on from day one. We also follow many of the “puppy culture” protocols and they are exposed to lots of new and different environments, which helps to develop a calm and confident demeanor. Our Bernedoodles really are the perfect family pet!
A Bernedoodle’s high level of intelligence makes them very easy to train. It also means they can learn behaviors (good or bad) very quickly, so it’s important to keep up with their training, even past their puppy days! Training your Bernedoodle puppy will require a commitment and lots of positive reinforcement, but they learn quickly and it’s so rewarding to see the results! Be sure to check out our training page for some helpful suggestions!
Bernedoodles may have curly, wavy, or straight coats. They are more hypoallergenic than most dog breeds due to the Poodle parent contribution. Generally the curlier coats are more hypoallergenic and tend to shed less, but that doesn’t always hold true and the straighter coats will often have very minimal shedding as well. Since their coats have very little or no shedding, they require a lot of grooming to keep them from matting. You’ll want to schedule a professional grooming every 4-8 weeks, and brush them (using a strong metal brush) 2-3 times a week in between grooming appointments.
Bernedoodles come in many different sizes. Currently we are only breeding the standard size and our puppies grow to over 50 lbs. Males tend to grow larger than females, with the females typically maturing at 50-70 lbs and the males growing to 65-85 lbs. We expect to have mediums and minis as well by mid to late 2021. Medium size will be 45-65 lbs, and minis will be expected to grow to 35 to 50 lbs.
F1 Bernedoodles: An f1 Bernedoodle is a first generation cross between a Bernese Mountain and a Poodle. They typically have a wavy coat and very minimal shedding.
F1b Bernedoodles: An f1b is the offspring of an f1 Bernedoodle bred back to a Poodle. They are 75 percent Poodle and 25 percent Bernese Mountain and are a great choice for families with allergies, as they tend to have curlier coats in general and are more consistently hypoallergenic.
F2b Bernedoodles: An f2b Bernedoodle (also known as the Teddy Bear Bernedoodle) is a cross between an f1 Bernedoodle and an f1b Bernedoodle. They have just a bit more of the Poodle than the Bernese and are also a great choice for families with mild to moderate allergies.
Bernedoodles come in many colors as well. We breed primarily for the tri-color and sable in our f1 standard litters. We also breed primarily for the tri-color in our f1b litters, but we occasionally have sables and bi-colors as well. We expect to have tri-color and merle in our mini/medium litters.
Why do we cross the Bernese Mountain with the Poodle?
As I mentioned, I’ve always been a huge fan of the Bernese! They’re so beautiful and gentle and loyal, and really just amazing dogs. However, they do have several issues which can be greatly improved by crossing them with the Poodle:
The Bernese have a short lifespan in comparison to many breeds, as they’re prone to certain types of hereditary cancers which are greatly decreased when crossed with the Poodle. The average lifespan of a purebred Bernese Mountain dog is 8 years. The average lifespan of the Bernedoodle is 12-15 years.
Many families have one or more members who are allergic to the dander in a dog’s coat. A purebred Bernese Mountain dog is not hypoallergenic and will trigger allergies in someone with a sensitivity to dog dander. The Poodle is a hypoallergenic breed and typically does not trigger allergies. Most people with mild to moderate allergies will not have issues with an f1 Bernedoodle. However, an f1b is a safer choice for a family with moderate to severe allergies to dander.
A purebred Bernese will shed heavily!! There’s just no question about it. When crossed with a Poodle the shedding is greatly decreased. Some Bernedoodles shed lightly but usually not anywhere close to the amount of shedding from the Bernese. Some hardly shed at all. Again, if shedding is an issue and you want as little as possible, an f1b may be a better choice.