Bernedoodles are the ideal companion dog. A cross between a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Poodle, they are low- to non-shedding. This bit of hypoallergenic magic combines the intelligence of the poodle with the loyalty of the Bernese.
The Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dogs have an easygoing nature and are extremely loyalty. They are completely dedicated to their families, create strong bonds with their owners, and are particularly good with children. Berners are known as big lap dogs. If you sit on the ground they will sit on your lap, and if you are standing they will sit on your feet.
Berners are incredibly beautiful dogs with their distinctive tri-colored coats. They thrive in cold weather, and have a double coat that does shed. One of the Swiss mountain dogs, they were originally farm dogs that pulled carts or drove cattle to market. They are intelligent and strong, with a moderate need for exercise. They do very well in therapy work.
Overall, the Berner is one of the shorter-lived dog breeds, with a life expectancy of 6-8 years. Health issues that can affect the Bernese are hip and elbow dysplasia, inherited cancer, heart disease, or epilepsy. We do our best to ensure the health of every dog we breed.
Proper socialization is very important for these naturally cautious and reserved dogs. They can be stubborn, but are sensitive and have a deep need to please their humans. Training a Berner requires patience and a gentle hand.
Poodles are known for their high level of intelligence. They are very trainable and excel in obedience and agility. They have low- to non-shedding coats that make them a great choice for people with allergies. Most dogs have double coats, poodles have a single layer coat of dense, curly fur. Regular grooming is a must for poodles, as they mat without proper care.
Contrary to the stereotype, the Poodle is more than a clever show dog. The breed is believed to have originated in Germany as a water retriever. Poodles don’t get nearly enough credit for being hardy, adventurous dogs that enjoy outdoor activities.
Poodles come in three sizes and a variety of colors. The AKC recognizes Standard, Miniature and Toy Poodles. They have an average life span of 12-15 years.
A typical Poodle is lively and playful. They thrive in an environment with plenty of attention and stimulation. Vigorous exercise and ongoing training are important for poodles. A downside to their intelligence is that they may get into mischief when bored. They are also excellent alert dogs, but have earned a reputation for barking.
Some Poodles are high strung and sensitive to stress. Health problems that can affect poodles, include eye, skin, and digestive diseases, as well as diseases of the immune system. The most common problems are bloat/torsion, thyroid issues, tracheal collapse, epilepsy, sebaceous adenitis, juvenile renal disease, hip dysplasia, and cancer.
The Bernedoodle’s job is to be your best friend. They are the ideal companions whether you are active and love the outdoors, or enjoy snuggles on the couch while watching your favorite show.
Part of the fun of Bernedoodles is that you never know what you’re going to get. No two are exactly alike. The genes from the parent breeds result in fascinating combinations. If you are interested in a Bernedoodle, it is important to understand that there can be a lot of variation in a hybrid litter.
If you want predictability, you may prefer a purebred. One well-bred Berner is very similar to the next. They are sweet, loving, loyal and calm dogs. A well-bred Poodle tends to be playful, intelligent and goofy.
The key word here is “well-bred”. Bernese and Poodles have been highly inbred over the past century. This has led not only to health problems, but also temperament issues. Poorly bred Berners may be extremely stubborn and skittish. Poorly bred Poodles may be hyper and neurotic. It is very important to find a breeder you trust, that ensures the good health and temperament of a dog before breeding.
Because of something called “hybrid vigor’, a Bernedoodle has an excellent chance of being healthier than either of its parents. The Poodle and the Bernese share few common diseases and a hybrid puppy is only likely to inherit a health problem that is common to both. Bernedoodles can therefore be expected to live healthier, longer lives than their purebred parents.
The traits and characteristics of the purebred parents are combined in the Bernedoodle, and with careful breeding the resulting pups may end up with the best attributes of each. The Bernese/Poodle combo produces a smart, friendly, playful dog. They tend to have the sweetness and loyalty of the Bernese, and the liveliness and intelligence of the Poodle. Like the Bernese, they are gentle around children and the elderly, and because they love to work, they often make excellent therapy dogs.
Most Bernedoodles need moderate exercise.
Although a perfect blend of the best attributes of the parents would be ideal, a Bernedoodle may inherit stubbornness or sensitivity from the Bernese, and/or an extremely high level of energy from the Poodle. Their training requires patience, a light touch, and positive reinforcement.
On the whole, the Bernedoodle is an intelligent dog with character and charisma. A Bernedoodle puppy can be headstrong, but this tends to disappear when the Bernedoodle is older and trained. Every dog has a different personality, but in general, they make excellent family pets.
The Bernedoodle’s Coat
The “typical” Bernedoodle coat is wavy and sheds minimally, if at all. This works well for most people with allergies. If you have a serious allergy to dog dander, the curlier the coat, the better. While there are no guarantees, a Bernedoodle with a curly coat will be the most similar to the Poodle, in that it is the least likely to shed. The straighter the coat, the more it sheds, and the less suitable the dog will be for people with allergies.
We can help match you to the puppy with the best coat type for your situation.
As for grooming, the straighter the dog’s coat, the easier it is to maintain. But most Bernedoodles shed little, if at all, and they need to be brushed regularly, and clipped every few months.
What does a Bernedoodle look like?
The overall appearance of the Bernedoodle combines elements of the Bernese and the Poodle. They are usually pure black, black-and-white, black-and-brown, or tri-colour (black, white and brown), but other colors are not unheard of. Well chosen parents tend to blend the traits of the Poodle and the Berner in a fairly consistent way. Although some Bernedoodles may have more of the Poodle’s slight build, or the Berner’s bulk, there tends to be a common, shaggy teddy bear, “look”!
Many prospective owners want the tri-color, with markings as similar as possible to those of the Bernese Mountain Dog. The “perfect” tri-color is rare, and if your mind is set on that, you may have to wait for it. As delightful as that look is, to us, temperament is far more important than colour.
How big are they?
Bernedoodles come in different sizes, depending on the size of the parents and their genetics. Females are usually smaller than males.
Standard Bernedoodle – Standard Poodle with a Bernese Mountain Dog. Generally in the 70-90lb range, and around 23-29 inches at the shoulder.
Mini Bernedoodle – Miniature Poodle with a Bernese Mountain Dog. Generally in the 25-49 lb range, and around 18-22 inches at the shoulder.
Tiny Bernedoodle – Toy Poodle with a Mini Bernedoodle. Generally in the 10-24 lb. range, and around 12-17 inches at the shoulder.
These are averages. Puppies will sometimes fall outside the expected height and weight.
Mini and Tiny Bernedoodles may have a slightly higher energy level than the Standard Bernedoodle.
F1 – first generation cross. A purebred Bernese Mountain Dog is crossed with a purebred Poodle. 50% Bernese and 50% Poodle. In this cross the parents have the least likelihood of contributing genes for common inheritable diseases.
F1b – A Bernedoodle is crossed with a purebred Poodle. The puppy is 25% Bernese, and 75% Poodle. In this cross the puppies are the most likely to be non-shedding and allergy-friendly. This cross would also include a Bernedoodle bred to a purebred Bernese. 25% Poodle and 75% Bernese.
F2 – F1 Bernedoodle is crossed with another F1 Bernedoodle. There will be more consistency, but the genetic problems of the purebreds are more likely to reappear.
Health and Lifespan
The Bernedoodle is still fairly young, so there is limited information about longevity and health. The projection is that Standard Bernedoodles will live 12-15 years, Mini Bernedoodles up to 17 years, and Tiny Bernedoodles up to 18 years.
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