Bernedoodles - also known as the Bernese Mountain Poo - are dogs that come from mixed Bernese Mountain Dog and Poodle parents.
Their parent breeds are specifically chosen so that Bernedoodles can make loyal and loving companions for families that enjoy activities and have young children. They can be hypoallergenic thanks to inheriting a coat from their Poodle parents - but it's important to note that not all dogs are 100% hypoallergenic, so don't expect them to be!
Bernedoodles were first introduced in 2003 and were bred entirely to be companions, so they're an incredibly loyal and loving breed that's rather fond of cuddles. Often they are a mix of the goofiness of a poodle with the calm, loyal nature of a Bernes Mountain Dog. They thrive in cold weather thanks to their coat, but are often low to no-shedding.
Read on for a complete Bernedoodle breed profile to help you decide if they're the right pet for you.
How much exercise does a Bernedoodle need?
Life expectancy: 12-18 years
Average weight: 61-100 lbs
About the same as: A tumble dryer
Exercise level: High
Bernedoodles need a lot of exercise in order to maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle. They love to hike, swim, and run, so they're great for families who love outdoor activites. Bernedoodle puppies are energetic, as well, and if they aren't given proper playtime can get destructive - Bernedoodles are especially fond of excessive chewing, so keep an eye out and consider investing in some of the best dog chew toys.
Bernedoodles like to have room to stretch out, and benefit from being given tasks or being taken on walks. They're great candidates for agility training, as a fulfilled Bernedoodle is a happy Bernedoodle. If you get a mini or small Bernedoodle, they may be a good fit for an apartment, but only if they still get plenty of outdoor time and attention.
Bernedoodles will become cuddle monsters, but they need to be properly exercised (mentally and physically) first. Bernedoodles also come in multiple sizes: toy, mini, and standard (just like a Poodle)!
Are Bernedoodles easy to train?
Suitable for: Active families, families with kids
Not suitable for: Apartment living, or owners who are not active
Temperament: Playful, loyal, friendly, outgoing
The mix of the Poodle and Bernese Mountain Dog means most Bernedoodles should be easy to train. Poodles are bright and can easily learn tricks and good behavior, while Bernese Mountain Dogs are intelligent working dogs. Training a Bernedoodle should include potty training, leash training, and listening and obeying, as that will make an especially well-behaved 'doodle.
Be patient, and use positive reinforcement training methods to ensure your Bernedoodle will be a happy and well-behaved pup. Positive reinforcement training involves giving a reward in return for a dog's correct behavior, which can be anything from sitting, staying, or ceasing a bad behavior. That reward can be food based in the form of treats, a fun bout of playtime, or praising and lots of pets. There's a reason positive reinforcement works - there's a science behind it!
Sherry Rupke, a breeder and creator of the Bernedoodle, tells Great Pet Care (opens in new tab) that if your Bernedoodle inherits the stubborn nature of a Bernes or the increased energy levels of a Poodle, "like any dog, you need to put the time into training your Bernedoodle to be a great dog."
Are Bernedoodles good with kids?
Bernedoodles are great with kids, and are a fantastic companion for families with children. Many people find that they are especially fond of younger kids. Dr. Sara Ochoa tells Great Pet Care (opens in new tab) that "Bernedoodles are great with kids and other pets. They are very social and love to be the center of attention." They are gentle with babies and the elderly, but energetic enough to play with teenagers.
That means Bernedoodles are a great pet that can grow up alongside your children, as they're ideal matches for both young and old.
What do Bernedoodles eat?
Toy and mini Bernedoodles should be fed a diet that's specially formulated for small-breed dogs. A standard Bernedoodle should eat food that's made for a large breed. We Love Doodles (opens in new tab) offers some of the best dog food picks for a Bernedoodle for 2021, which includes Royal Canin Medium Puppy food, Purina Pro Plan Dry Puppy food, Nulu Puppy Dog food, Honest Kitchen Human-Grade Dehydrated Grain-Free dog food, and much more.
As always, giving your Bernedoodle higher quality food is always the way to get from puppyhood up through adulthood.
Do Bernedoodles bark a lot?
According to Daily Paws, Bernedoodles don't make good guard dogs as they're gentle and don't often feel the need to bark. However, they can have rather loud and authoritative barks, so if they do decide to bark they may startle you.
Oftentimes excessive barking is a sign of pent-up energy, so if you find your Bernedoodle is barking for no reason, they may just need to go for a swim or on a good run.
Are Bernedoodles aggressive?
Bernedoodles don't tend to have aggressive behavior, especially if properly trained from a young age. Many people refer to Bernedoodles as gentle giants, and since they are good with kids they don't tend to be aggressive. However, keep in mind that any dog can get aggressive no matter the breed, and it is all about proper training and keeping an eye out for any underlying medical conditions that may cause a dog to lash out.
Since Bernedoodles are good with both people and other dogs, though, it's unlikely that you'll see a Bernedoodle getting aggressive. Unlikely doesn't mean impossible, however, so keep that in mind when training your 'doodle.
Do Bernedoodles shed a lot?
Amount Of Shedding: Low
Easy To Groom: No
General Health: Good
Potential For Weight Gain: Mild
There are technically different crosses of Bernedoodle that can result in different shedding types : the F1, F1b, and F2. The F1 is a 50/50 split between Bernese and Poodle, and are considered the healthies. The F1b is 25% Bernese and 75% poodle, and are the least likely to shed - and may even be entirely non-shedding. The F2 Bernedoodle is the result of breeding two Bernedoodles, and they may have a different coat.
The majority of Bernedoodles have a wavy coat like a Poodle and therefore will not shed, while a wavier-coated 'doodle will have an increased likelihood of shedding. They need to be brushed two to three times a week in order to prevent matting or tangles, and getting them groomed every few months at a groomer is ideal.
Bernedoodles health problems
Because Bernedoodles are a cross breed, they tend to be healthier than either of their purebred parents. Bernedoodles have only been around since 2003, however, so it's hard to gather longer-term information about any health issues that may affect the breed.
However, there are reports that Bernedoodles can be genetically predisposed to issues like hip and elbow dysplasia, eye problems, and skin allergies. Overall though, Bernedoodles seem to be a healthy breed.
Should I get a Bernedoodle?
As always, it's up to you to determine if a specific dog breed is the right fit for you and your family. If your family is active and loves the outdoors and can dedicate time to training and exercising your Bernedoodle, this may be a dream breed for you. If you're looking to start a family and want a dog that will grow well with your kid, consider the Bernedoodle.
As always, do your own research and make sure you are ready to introduce a dog into your lives. And please adopt, rather than shop, if possible.
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