Clever, goofy, gentle, and loyal. Bernedoodle fans boast that this mixed breed has the best of both worlds from its Bernese Mountain Dog and Poodle parents.
Despite their unfortunate status as a designer breed, you may find these dogs in the care of shelters and rescues. Remember to adopt! Don’t shop if this is the mixed breed for you!
Also known as the Bernese Mountain Poo, Bernedoodles aren’t bred to take home ribbons in dog shows, but are instead meant to be the perfect, loving companions for active owners and families with children.
It’s important to remember that dogs of any breed can suffer from health issues throughout their lives. A good pet insurance plan can help you prepare to give your dog the care they need at any age.
Contrary to popular belief, small size doesn’t necessarily an apartment dog make. Plenty of small dogs are too high-energy and yappy for life in a high-rise. Being quiet, low energy, fairly calm indoors, and polite with the other residents are all good qualities in an apartment dog.
Some dogs are simply easier than others; they take to training better and are fairly easygoing. They’re also resilient enough to bounce back from your mistakes or inconsistencies.
Dogs who are highly sensitive, independent thinking, or assertive may be harder for a first-time dog parent to manage. You’ll get your best match if you take your dog-owning experience into account as you choose your new pooch.
If you’re new to dog parenting, take a look at 101 Dog Tricks and read up on how to train your dog!
Some dogs will let a stern reprimand roll off their backs, while others take even a dirty look to heart. Low-sensitivity dogs, also called “easygoing,” “tolerant,” “resilient,” and even “thick-skinned,” can better handle a noisy, chaotic household, a louder or more assertive owner, and an inconsistent or variable routine. Do you have young kids, throw lots of dinner parties, play in a garage band, or lead a hectic life? Go with a low-sensitivity dog.
Some breeds bond very closely with their family and are more prone to worry or even panic when left alone by their owner. An anxious dog can be very destructive–barking, whining, chewing, and otherwise causing mayhem. These breeds do best when a family member is home during the day or if you can take the dog to work.
Dogs with thick, double coats are more vulnerable to overheating. So are breeds with short noses, like Bulldogs or Pugs, since they can’t pant as well to cool themselves off. If you want a heat-sensitive breed, your dog will need to stay indoors with you on warm or humid days, and you’ll need to be extra cautious about exercising your dog in the heat.
All Around Friendliness
Some breeds are independent and aloof, even if they’ve been raised by the same person since puppyhood; others bond closely to one person and are indifferent to everyone else; and some shower the whole family with affection. Breed isn’t the only factor that goes into affection levels; dogs who were raised inside a home with people around feel more comfortable with humans and bond more easily.
See Dogs Less Affectionate with Family
Being gentle with children, sturdy enough to handle the heavy-handed pets and hugs they can dish out, and having a blasé attitude toward running, screaming children are all traits that make a kid-friendly dog. You may be surprised by who’s on that list: Fierce-looking Boxers are considered good with children, as are American Staffordshire Terriers (which are considered Pit Bulls). Small, delicate, and potentially snappy dogs such as Chihuahuas aren’t always so family-friendly.
**All dogs are individuals. Our ratings are generalizations, and they’re not a guarantee of how any breed or individual dog will behave. Dogs from any breed can be good with children based on their past experiences, training on how to get along with kids, and personality. No matter what the breed or breed type, all dogs have strong jaws, sharp pointy teeth, and may bite in stressful circumstances. Young children and dogs of any breed should always be supervised by an adult and never left alone together, period.
Friendliness toward dogs and friendliness toward humans are two completely different things. Some dogs may attack or try to dominate other dogs, even if they’re love-bugs with people; others would rather play than fight; and some will turn tail and run. Breed isn’t the only factor. Dogs who lived with their littermates and mother until at least six to eight weeks of age and who spent lots of time playing with other dogs during puppyhood, are more likely to have good canine social skills.
Health And Grooming Needs
Drool-prone dogs may drape ropes of slobber on your arm and leave big, wet spots on your clothes when they come over to say hello. If you’ve got a laid-back attitude toward slobber, fine; but if you’re a neatnik, you may want to choose a dog who rates low in the drool department.
Some breeds are brush-and-go dogs; others require regular bathing, clipping, and other grooming just to stay clean and healthy. Consider whether you have the time and patience for a dog who needs a lot of grooming, or the money to pay someone else to do it.
Due to poor breeding practices, some breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, such as hip dysplasia. This doesn’t mean that every dog of that breed will develop those diseases; it just means that they’re at an increased risk.
If you’re adopting a puppy, it’s a good idea to find out which genetic illnesses are common to the breed you’re interested in. You may also want to ask if your shelter or rescue has information about the physical health of your potential pup’s parents and other relatives.
Some breeds have hearty appetites and tend to put on weight easily. As in humans, being overweight can cause health problems in dogs. If you pick a breed that’s prone to packing on pounds, you’ll need to limit treats, make sure they get enough exercise, and measure out their daily food servings into regular meals rather than leaving food out all the time.
Ask your vet about your dog’s diet and what they recommend for feeding your pooch to keep them at a healthy weight. Weight gain can lead to other health issues or worsen problems like arthritis.
Dogs come in all sizes, from the world’s smallest pooch, the Chihuahua, to the towering Great Dane, how much space a dog takes up is a key factor in deciding if they’re compatible with you and your living space. Large dog breeds might seem overpowering and intimidating, but some of them are incredibly sweet! Take a look and find the right sized dog for you!
Easy-to-train dogs are more adept at forming an association between a prompt (such as the word “sit”), an action (sitting), and a consequence (getting a treat) very quickly. Other dogs need more time, patience, and repetition during training.
Many breeds are intelligent but approach training with a “What’s in it for me?” attitude, in which case you’ll need to use rewards and games to teach them to want to comply with your requests.
Dogs who were bred for jobs that require decision making, intelligence, and concentration, such as herding livestock, need to exercise their brains, just as dogs who were bred to run all day need to exercise their bodies. If they don’t get the mental stimulation they need, they’ll make their own work–usually with projects you won’t like, such as digging and chewing. Obedience training and interactive dog toys are good ways to give a dog a brain workout, as are dog sports and careers, such as agility and search and rescue.
Common in most breeds during puppyhood and in Retriever breeds at all ages, mouthiness means a tendency to nip, chew, and play-bite (a soft, fairly painless bite that doesn’t puncture the skin). Mouthy dogs are more likely to use their mouths to hold or “herd” their human family members, and they need training to learn that it’s fine to gnaw on chew toys, but not on people. Mouthy breeds tend to really enjoy a game of fetch, as well as a good chew on a toy that’s been stuffed with kibble and treats.
Dogs who were bred to hunt, such as Terriers, have an inborn desire to chase–and sometimes kill–other animals. Anything whizzing by, such as cats, squirrels, and perhaps even cars, can trigger that instinct. Dogs who like to chase need to be leashed or kept in a fenced area when outdoors, and you’ll need a high, secure fence in your yard. These breeds generally aren’t a good fit for homes with smaller pets that can look like prey, such as cats, hamsters, or small dogs. Breeds that were originally used for bird hunting, on the other hand, generally won’t chase, but you’ll probably have a hard time getting their attention when there are birds flying by.
Some breeds sound off more often than others. When choosing a breed, think about how often the dog vocalizes with barks or howls. If you’re considering a hound, would you find their trademark howls musical or maddening? If you’re considering a watchdog, will a city full of suspicious “strangers” put your pup on permanent alert? Will the local wildlife literally drive your dog wild? Do you live in housing with noise restrictions? Do you have neighbors nearby? Then you may wish to choose a quieter dog.
Some breeds are more free-spirited than others. Nordic dogs such as Siberian Huskies were bred to range long distances, and given the chance, they’ll take off after anything that catches their interest. And many hounds simply must follow their noses–or that bunny that just ran across the path–even if it means leaving you behind.
High-energy dogs are always ready and waiting for action. Originally bred to perform a canine job of some sort, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding livestock, they have the stamina to put in a full workday. They need a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation, and they’re more likely to spend time jumping, playing, and investigating any new sights and smells.
Low-energy dogs are the canine equivalent of a couch potato, content to doze the day away. When picking a breed, consider your own activity level and lifestyle, and think about whether you’ll find a frisky, energetic dog invigorating or annoying.
A vigorous dog may or may not have high energy, but everything they do, they do with vigor: they strain on the leash (until you train them not to), try to plow through obstacles, and even eats and drinks with great big gulps. These dynamos need lots of training to learn good manners, and may not be the best fit for a home with young kids or someone who’s elderly or frail. A low-vigor dog, on the other hand, has a more subdued approach to life.
Some breeds do fine with a slow evening stroll around the block. Others need daily, vigorous exercise, especially those that were originally bred for physically demanding jobs, like herding or hunting.
Without enough exercise, these breeds may put on weight and vent their pent-up energy in ways you don’t like, such as barking, chewing, and digging. Breeds that need a lot of exercise are good for outdoorsy, active people, or those interested in training their dog to compete in a high-energy dog sport, such as agility.
Some dogs are perpetual puppies — always begging for a game — while others are more serious and sedate. Although a playful pup sounds endearing, consider how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day, and whether you have kids or other dogs who can stand in as playmates for the dog.
Dog Breed Group:Mixed Breed DogsHeight:From 10 to 29 inches tall at the shoulder, as sizes vary from tiny to standardWeight:From 10 to 90 poundsLife Span:12 to 18 years. Tiny Bernedoodles tend to live longer than standard.
More About This Breed
The Bernedoodle is a companion dog, through and through. The breed inherits the intelligence of its Poodle parents and the charming, goofy, happy-go-lucky temperament of the Bernese Mountain Dog. Bernedoodles are happiest when they’re spending time with their families, children included, and are willing participants in playtime and cuddle fests alike.
The breed hasn’t been around for long, so it may be difficult to accurately make predictions about individual dogs. Sometimes they get more Poodle traits, and other times they more closely resemble the Bernese. That said, fans of Bernedoodles adore their friendliness, playfulness, intelligence, and affection. They also tend to be more hypoallergenic, which is a blessing for allergy sufferers.
In addition to their personalities, Bernedoodles can differ in appearance. Their coats can be curly and wavy or straight and come in a variety of colors. They come in three sizes; tiny, miniature, and standard. These sizes are determined by the size of the Poodle parent, which can be toy, mini, or standard.
Bernedoodles are fairly adaptable and go with the flow. Smaller sized Bernedoodles make better apartment pets than Standard Bernedoodles, who do best with a yard to burn off energy. This breed has moderate exercise needs that are usually met with at least one long daily walk.
If you need a dog for the whole family, or if you’re a single owner looking for a lovable, smart mixed-breed with good health that will put a smile on your face with their antics, you won’t be able to find a much better choice than the Bernedoodle.
- Because they are a mixed breed, Bernedoodles tend to have fewer health problems than either Poodles or Bernese Mountain Dogs.
- Breeding of Bernedoodles began in 2003 with the sole purpose of creating a great companion dog, not a dog that would perform well in shows or just look cute.
- They may be stubborn as puppies, but that usually fades with age, and their intelligence makes them very trainable for patient owners.
- Bernedoodles are usually hypoallergenic and shed very little.
- Though they are generally good with children and other dogs, early socialization is always helpful in making sure they stay calm and comfortable in new situations.
- Bernedoodles can vary greatly in appearance depending on which traits they receive from each parent.
- They are equally happy playing outside as they are cuddling up with their favorite humans.
- Bernedoodles crave attention and are best suited to a home where they are not left alone for long periods of time.
The Bernedoodle is a relatively new breed. Sherry Rupke of Swissridge Kennels is the breeder who claims to be the first to intentionally breed Poodles and Bernese Mountain Dogs to create the Bernedoodle in 2003, though a hybrid of those dogs may have “accidentally” existed before then.
Being a relatively new breed and a hybrid of two purebreds, the Bernedoodle is not recognized by the American Kennel Club, though it is recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club, the Designer Dogs Kennel Club, the International Designer Canine Registry, and the Designer Breed Registry.
While this is considered a designer breed, they do appear in shelters, and rescue groups that focus on Poodles and Bernese Mountain Dogs will sometimes work with mixes of those breeds. There is no reason that you have to rely on a breeder for a Bernedoodle, and you should always adopt before shopping. You can even check our searchable database of adoptable dogs here. Even if you don’t find the exact dog breed you want, you’ll definitely find a pup that you can fall in love with.
There are three sizes of Bernedoodle: tiny, miniature, and standard. These result from the size of the Poodle parent, which can be toy, mini, or standard size. The Tiny Bernedoodle stands at 12 to 17 inches tall at the shoulder, and weighs about 10 to 24 pounds. The Miniature Bernedoodle stands at 18 to 22 inches tall and weighs 25 to 49 pounds. The Standard Bernedoodle stands at 23 to 29 inches and weigh 70 to 90 pounds. Males are generally larger than females.
Bernedoodles seem to get many of the best personality traits from the Bernese Mountain Dog and Poodle breeds. Exactly which traits they inherit from their parents can differ a bit, though, and individual personalities of dogs within the breed vary. Bernedoodles tend to be highly intelligent, hardworking when necessary, loyal, and just a bit goofy. They are good with children and other dogs, provided they have been well socialized.
Some Bernedoodles inherit the Bernese Mountain Dog’s stubbornness, which may make them difficult to train, however this trait tends to fade away as puppies become adolescent dogs. Once they begin training, their intelligence helps them pick up commands more easily than other dogs. Bernedoodles may also inherit the Bernese’s apprehension around strangers, so socialization is important, especially at a young age.
Bernedoodles can have high energy levels and crave attention and at least moderate exercise. They do best in homes where they are not left alone for long periods of time. Tiny and Miniature Bernedoodles do better with apartment and city life than Standard Bernedoodles. They’ll need at least a nice, long daily walk to burn off energy. Generally, they want nothing more than to be with their humans and are just as ready to go outside and play with them as they are to join them on the couch for cuddles.
Bernedoodles tend to be healthier dogs than either of their parents. Inbreeding has left many purebred dogs open to genetically inherited diseases and conditions, but cross-breeding reduces that risk. Because the breed hasn’t been around for very long, information about health concerns for Bernedoodles is somewhat limited. The instances of cancer in the Bernedoodle seem to be lower than those of the Bernese Mountain Dog.
There are, however, some conditions that Bernedoodles may be predisposed to, including hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, eye problems, and skin issues such as allergies and hot spots. All breeds may be affected by any number of health concerns, but the Bernedoodle is generally a healthy breed.
Regardless of how healthy your dog is when you first bring them home, you should prepare for any issues that may come up throughout their life. A pet insurance plan can help you stay ready for any of your dog’s veterinary needs.
Tiny and Miniature Bernedoodles are more suited to apartment life, while Standard Bernedoodles do better with a nice yard to run around. Generally, this breed doesn’t require much personal space, and as long as their moderate needs for physical and mental stimulation are met, they shouldn’t be too destructive. They love being around their humans, so the less time they spend alone, the better.
Like Poodles, Bernedoodles are quite intelligent, which means they can learn bad habits just as easily as good ones. It is important to keep up with training. Early socialization and exposure to other dogs and humans is always a good idea and will help keep them well-behaved when meeting new people or pets.
The appropriate amount to feed a Bernedoodle depends on their size, age, and activity level, which means it is highly individualized. Standard Bernedoodles may be voracious eaters that will gulp down whatever you put in front of them, so you’ll have to take care to monitor their food intake and weight while providing them with plenty of physical activity. You should ask your veterinarian for dietary recommendations that suit your particular dog.
Coat Color And Grooming
Bernedoodle coats can vary and look more Poodle-like or more closely resemble the Bernese Mountain Dog. Usually they have wavy, curly coats that don’t shed much, which can help make them more suitable for people with allergies to dander. Sometimes Bernedoodles can have straighter coats, which shed more and are less hypoallergenic. The thickness of their coat helps this breed thrive in cool temperatures while providing them a fair amount of protection from the heat of summer months, as well.
The color of Bernedoodle coats have quite a range. Some are pure black, others are black and white, and others are black and brown. Sometimes Bernedoodles are tri-colored with patches of black, white, and brown. They may even have other colors, as well. The most popular coat colors and markings for people seeking a Bernedoodle tend to resemble the tri-colored Bernese Mountain Dog.
The curlier the Bernedoodle’s coat is, the harder it is to groom. Because they shed less, they need to be brushed more often to prevent their coat from getting matted. Some Bernedoodle owners brush their dog’s coat daily and treat it as a bonding experience, which this breed tends to love. Their coat must also be trimmed every few months, depending on how quickly it grows.
Children And Other Pets
Bernedoodles are excellent for families with children, though it is always important to make sure children are instructed on how to properly treat animals, especially with Tiny and Miniature Bernedoodles that may be injured more easily. This breed is affectionate and loves to play, and they absolutely adore spending time with their families.
Bernedoodles usually do well with other dogs, but it is important to begin socialization at an early age and keep up with it to make sure they are comfortable around new animals.
Bernedoodles are somewhat rare in shelters and rescue groups, but there are rescues that cater to Poodle mixes, and you can always keep an eye on your local shelters to see what new dogs come in.
Poo-Mix Rescue may help you find a dog you’re looking for, or you can try searching our database of adoptable dogs here.
All dogs will need veterinary care at some point in their lives. When you adopt, make sure you’re prepared to address any health issues that may come up after you leave the shelter. A pet insurance plan can keep your dog covered.