The Saint Berdoodle is a mixed breed dog — a cross between the Saint Bernard and Poodle dog breeds. Friendly, intelligent, and loyal, Saint Berdoodles are great family dogs.
The Saint Berdoodle is also known as the Saint Berpoo, St. Berpoo, and St. Berdoodle. Although they are “designer dogs,” you may find them at shelters or breed specific Saint Bernard and Poodle rescues.
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These affectionate pups would do best in a home where they can be around family most of the time. Though both parent breeds have tendencies for curiosity that may lead to mischief, especially the St. Bernard, with early training and socialization, this trait can be honed to be helpful, rather than destructive. While there’s also a range of energy levels for these dogs, it’s best to be prepared for a large dog who may need space or extra attention around small children. Saint Berdoodles are versatile dogs who just want to love and be part of the family.
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.
Breeds with very short coats and little or no undercoat or body fat, such as Greyhounds, are vulnerable to the cold. Dogs with a low cold tolerance need to live inside in cool climates and should have a jacket or sweater for chilly walks. You can find a great jacket for your dog here!
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.
Stranger-friendly dogs will greet guests with wagging tails and nuzzles; others are shy, indifferent, or even aggressive. However, no matter what the breed, a dog who was socialized and exposed to lots of different types, ages, sizes, and shapes of people as a puppy will respond better to strangers as an adult. Remember that even friendly dogs should stay on a good, strong leash in public!
Health And Grooming Needs
If you’re going to share your home with a dog, you’ll need to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothes and in your house. However, shedding does vary greatly among the breeds. Some dogs shed year-round, some “blow” seasonally, some do both, and some shed hardly at all. If you’re a neatnik, you’ll need to either pick a low-shedding breed or relax your standards. To help keep your home a little cleaner, you can find a great de-shedding tool
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:15 to 30 inchesWeight:40 to 180 poundsLife Span:8 to 12 years
More About This Breed
- Saint Berdoodles are mixed breed dogs. They are not purebreds like their Saint Bernard or Poodle parents.
- Two common color combinations of Saint Berdoodles are white-and-brown and white-and-black. They can also be red with white accents or white with red accents.
- The coats of Saint Berdoodles can take after either parent–wiry and curly for the Poodle, or longer and smooth or rough for the Saint Bernard.
- Saint Berdoodles are generally pretty well-equipped for cold weather, especially if their coats are similar to Saint Bernards. They aren’t quite as tolerant of high heat.
- Saint Berdoodles are great with people of all ages, including kids. The only concern with these dogs is their size with very young children. Be sure to supervise interactions with very young children in case of accidental stepping or sitting.
- These dogs do not enjoy being alone, so they would love the company of other pets and family members.
- The Poodle’s sense of adventure and higher energy, mixed with the Saint Bernard’s inquisitiveness and laid-back attitude, means you should be prepared to offer your dog outdoor exercise time every day, along with opportunities for nap time afterward.
Historical records show Poodles being bred in the 1600s and Saint Bernards being bred in the 1700s, both in Europe. Saint Berdoodle breeding is a little more vague, but it looks like they were bred intentionally in the US beginning in the 1880s.
The rationale to combine the protectiveness and rescue nature of the Saint Bernard with the intelligence and trainability of the Poodle for a family dog was strong. Between 1700 and 1900 alone, Saint Bernards rescued over 2,000 people. It’s no wonder they are often called “nanny dogs.”
Even though the Saint Berdoodle breed got its start as a designer breed, some have ended up in shelters or in the care of rescue groups. Consider adoption if you decide this is the breed for you.
Check your local shelters, look up Saint Berdoodle rescues, or check with breed-specific Saint Bernard or Poodle rescues, as they sometimes take in mixed breed dogs and find homes for them.
Though there is quite a range of sizes for Saint Berdoodles, you can expect a larger dog, in general. It is very unlikely a smaller Miniature or Toy Poodle than the Standard Poodle would breed with a Saint Bernard. Saint Bernards are always large, and Standard Poodles are medium-to-large.
In terms of weight, the smallest you’re likely to find a Saint Berdoodle would be 40 pounds–that would be the low side of a female Standard Poodle’s weight range–a male would start at 50 pounds. The high side of a Saint Bernard’s weight range is 180 pounds, so that’s the top size you could expect with this mixed breed.
In terms of height, the range is typically between 15 and 30 inches.
There have been attempts at creating a Miniature Saint Berdoodle, with a weight between 20 and 50 pounds, and a height between 14 and 18 inches, but miniaturizing a Saint Bernard usually involves breeding with a smaller dog, too–most commonly the Cocker Spaniel. Therefore, the “Miniature Saint Berdoodle” actually involves three breeds.
The Saint Berdoodle combines many of the best personality traits from Saint Bernards and Poodles. You can expect your Saint Berdoodle to be friendly and affectionate, always wanting to be part of family activities. They’re very social and prefer not to be left alone for long periods of time. The Saint Bernard’s curiosity and the Poodle’s intelligence make for a clever pup, indeed. The easy trainability of the Poodle helps to nip Saint Bernards’ potential mischief in the bud if they’re trained and socialized at a young age.
Saint Bernards have earned the term “nanny dog,” for the protective, gentle, and loving natures. The only reason you may need to supervise interactions with Saint Berdoodles and very small children is just that these dogs are often quite large, so accidents may happen with sitting or stepping.
The Poodle’s sense of adventure and higher energy, mixed with the Saint Bernard’s inquisitiveness and laid-back attitude, means you should be prepared to offer your dog outdoor exercise time every day, along with opportunities for nap time afterward.
Saint Berdoodles are eager to please and quite agreeable–you couldn’t ask for an easier-going, more affectionate family dog.
Saint Berdoodles are fairly healthy dogs. While mixing breeds can be a way to minimize genetic disorders, the resulting crossbreed can still inherit health problems from the parent breeds. Regular care and annual veterinary check-ups are a good way to keep your dog in prime health.
Some of the more common health problems for Saint Berdoodles include:
- hip dysplasia
- ear infections
- Wobbler Syndrome
- skin problems
- Willebrand’s diseases – which impact the blood’s ability to clot.
In addition to annual check-ups at the vet–and, of course, additional visits should you notice any health concerns developing–there are some basic care tasks you can perform at home to keep your Saint Berdoodle in peak health.
Saint Berdoodles have a range of energy, which can be high with a Poodle or low with a Saint Bernard. In general, they should be allowed some time to exercise, play, and explore outside every day. A few shorter walks are a better idea than one long one with this mixed breed. They may need to nap during the day, too.
Saint Berdoodles do have long ears, but they’re not necessarily prone to ear infections. Be sure to check their ears for debris regularly. Your vet may recommend occasional cleaning with a vet-approved solution and cloth. Also, check their eyes every so often to make sure they are clear of infection/debris.
Regular nail trims are also important, approximately once a month, or as needed. An easy way to tell if they’re too long is to listen for clicking on the floor when your dog walks–if you hear it, it’s time for a trim. You can do this yourself with special trimmers, or you can ask a groomer for assistance.
Your Saint Berdoodle’s teeth should be brushed two to three times per week.
An ideal Saint Berdoodle diet should be formulated for a large breed with medium energy. You’ll have to evaluate your dog’s energy level for yourself, as it depends which parent your dog takes after–the higher-energy Poodle, or the lower-energy St. Bernard.
As with all dogs, the Saint Berdoodle’s dietary needs will change from puppyhood to adulthood and will continue to change into their senior years. You should ask your veterinarian for recommendations about your Saint Berdoodle’s diet, as there is far too much variation among individual dogs–including weight, energy, and health–to make a specific recommendation.
Coat Color And Grooming
Saint Berdoodles have a variety of color combinations, mostly based on their parents. Two common color combinations are white-and-brown and white-and-black. They can also be red with white accents or white with red accents.
The coats of Saint Berdoodles can take after either parent–wiry and curly for the Poodle, or longer and smooth or rough for the Saint Bernard.
Saint Berdoodles are generally a lower-maintenance mixed breed. If they have the curly coat of the Poodle, they won’t need frequent brushing, but they will require regular trims at the groomer. If they have the shaggier coat of the Saint Bernard, weekly brushing will keep shedding down, or more often during “shedding season,” as their coats change for the weather, though Saint Berdoodles are not high on the shedding scale. Bathing should be about once a month, or as needed.
Saint Berdoodles are generally pretty well-equipped for cold weather, especially if their coats are similar to Saint Bernards. They aren’t quite as tolerant of high heat, so make sure not to have them out too long when temperatures climb, especially over 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Children And Other Pets
Saint Berdoodles are wonderful with people of all ages, including children. Saint Bernards have earned the nickname of “nanny dogs,” after all. The only concern with these dogs is their size, with very young children. Be sure to supervise interactions with very young children in case of accidental stepping or sitting. Some Poodles can be a bit mouthy, so tender baby skin is also of concern when your dog may be playing with or getting to know a child. Mouthiness can be addressed with early training, too.
Saint Berdoodles get along very well with other pets, especially if socialized at a young age. Poodles do have some level of hunting instinct–not at the very top range for dogs, but still present–so you will want to supervise activity if there are prey-sized animals in the house.
Saint Berdoodles do not enjoy being alone, so they would love the company of other pets and family members.
It may be hard to find a breed-specific rescue for Saint Berdoodles because they are a mixed breed. However, you may want to try Saint Bernard or Poodle breed-specific rescues, as they often care for mixes, as well. Here are some rescues you can try:
- Colorado Saint Bernard Rescue
- Carolina Poodle Rescue