Bernedoodle: Dog Breed Guide

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Bernedoodles are a cross between the Bernese mountain dog and the standard poodle. They are cuddly, affectionate, playful, and love receiving attention from their owners, which makes them a good addition to any family. However, there are some items that you should keep in mind as you look to adopt this dog and determine whether it is the best breed for your lifestyle.

In this dog breed guide, we will tell you all the essential information you need to know about bernedoodles before adopting one. We’ll also give you care advice and tips on where to adopt a bernedoodle or purchase this dog from a breeder. Read on to learn everything about this unique dog breed!

A Quick Look at Bernedoodles

The quick facts about bernedoodles below will introduce you to this breed and help you to understand some basics about their appearance, temperament, and care needs.

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Weight/Height 10 to 90 lbs./10 to 29 inches
Coat Type Shorter, soft, and curly or wavy
Grooming Needs three out of five bones
Shedding three out of five bones
Temperament  Affectionate, playful, loyal
Good With Kids four out of five bones
Good With Other Animals four out of five bones
Intelligence four out of five bones
Easy to Train three out of five bones
Energy Level four out of five bones
Barking Habits three out of five bones
Lifespan 12-18 years


What Is the History of the Bernedoodle?

Two bernedoodles sitting on a loungechair by a pool

First created by breeder Sherry Rupke in 2003, the bernedoodle hails from Canada and traces its genetics back to a mix of the Bernese mountain dog and the standard poodle. The resulting mix of these two intelligent, loyal, and loving breeds led to an affectionate pup with the gentle nature of the Bernese mountain dog and the intelligent, loyal attitude of the standard poodle.

Most bernedoodles exhibit an even split of genetics between their parents and appear with Bernese mountain dog markings and the short, curly fur of the standard poodle. However, because this is not a purebred dog (it is a crossbreed, also sometimes called a hybrid dog), there is no breed standard. So the exact characteristics of your bernedoodle will vary based on their parents and the specifications the breeder is selecting for.

There are three sizes of bernedoodle around today – tiny, miniature, and standard – though the standard remains the most commonly seen. Bernedoodles with the tri-color pattern of Bernese mountain dogs are the most popular, and this breed is loved for its gentle nature, loving attitude, and energetic friendliness. They make a perfect choice for a family dog or for first-time dog owners that want a playful dog without extreme exercise and high-maintenance care needs.

What Do Bernedoodles Look Like?

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Thanks to a wide range of appearance diversity in their parents’ lineage, bernedoodles are available in many different coat colorings and patterns. This dog ranges in size from small to slightly larger than a medium-sized dog, and they have friendly faces complete with floppy ears. The coat of the bernedoodle will either be very curly and short or a bit longer and straighter depending on whether the Bernese mountain dog or standard poodle is more dominant in their genetics.

Bernedoodles come in many different colors, including black, white, rust or red, blue, tan, sable, and silver, and they will be available in patterns such as tri-color, piebald, or merle.

What Size Is a Bernedoodle?

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The bernedoodle comes in a few different sizes – tiny (sometimes called toy), miniature, and standard. Tiny bernedoodles will stand between 10 and 17 inches and weigh between 10 and 24 pounds, while miniatures will stand between 18 and 22 inches tall and weigh between 25 and 49 pounds. The standard-sized bernedoodle will stand between 23 and 29 inches tall and weigh between 50 and 90 pounds.

The standard size of this pup is generally the most popular, but the tiny and miniature versions are also fairly sought after for their cute teddy bear-like appearance.

What Is a Bernedoodle’s Coat Type?

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The bernedoodle’s coat is inherited from a mix of the Bernese mountain dog and the standard poodle. Typically, the coloration of the coat will appear much like the Bernese mountain dog, while the coat is short and curly or wavy, thanks to their poodle genetics. The curlier the bernedoodle’s coat is, the more hypoallergenic they are. If a bernedoodle has more of the Bernese mountain dog’s genetics showing through, their coat tends to be straighter, a little longer and shed more often.

What Is a Bernedoodle’s Temperament?

Bernedoodles are affectionate, loyal, and playful and are often thought of as the perfect family pet. They get along well with children and other animals, and their energetic nature makes them a great companion for playing in the park or going on a long walk outdoors. This dog is easily trained, friendly, and eager to please despite a streak of stubbornness. They love spending time with their family members learning new tricks. Bernedoodles learn fast thanks to their higher-than-average intelligence, and they enjoy giving affection as much as receiving it.

Are Bernedoodles Affectionate?

Bernedoodles are known for being a highly affectionate breed, and they love to receive attention as much as they love to give it. This dog makes strong bonds with their family and will enjoy spending as much time with you as possible simply cuddling, playing, or taking walks.

Are Bernedoodles Good With Kids?

Bernedoodles have a gentle nature and are typically good with kids. They love to play with children and show affection, though they might play rough with very young children. Overall, if your dog has training and your children know how to properly interact with dogs, this pup will easily blend into a family with children.

Are Bernedoodles Good With Other Animals?

Bernedoodles are playful, affectionate, and loving, and they don’t have a very strong prey drive. This means that they are likely to get along with other animals easily and will make friends with both dogs and cats that they meet. However, the temperament of your dog can vary based on their personality, so always be cautious when introducing a new animal to your bernedoodle and monitor their first interactions closely.

Are Bernedoodles Aggressive?

Bernedoodles are not known for being aggressive or for having a high prey drive. This means that they are unlikely to attack or develop aggressive behavioral traits. However, they need a lot of socializing and time spent with their family to prevent anxiety or boredom from becoming destructive behaviors.

Do Bernedoodles Bark a Lot?

Bernedoodle puppy standing inside

Bernedoodles are generally quiet, moderate barkers and will only bark loudly when they need to. Your dog might get excited and bark quite a bit, or they may see something suspicious around your property and alert you to it. However, they won’t bark constantly or yap at every little thing they see.

Are Bernedoodles Intelligent?

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Bernedoodles are a fairly intelligent breed, mostly thanks to their poodle parentage. They learn commands and new tricks easily and are very sensitive to the needs of their owners. This high intelligence also means that your bernedoodle will need lots of physical and mental stimulation to prevent them from getting bored or engaging in destructive behaviors.

Are Bernedoodles Easy to Train?

Bernedoodles can be easy to train thanks to their high intelligence and their eagerness to please their owners, but they also have a strong streak of stubbornness thanks to their Bernese mountain dog lineage. Proper training and socialization should be started in puppyhood to help them grow out of their puppy rebelliousness and set the stage for easier training as they mature.

Are Bernedoodles Energetic?

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Bernedoodles often have a lot of energy, and this dog will need a moderate level of exercise to stay happy. Bernedoodles are very playful and will want to spend lots of time with their families outdoors, playing, walking, or running around with their toys. Two long walks daily and time spent playing with their toys is a good amount of exercise for this pup and will use up their high energy levels.

Are Bernedoodles Good Apartment Dogs?

The standard-sized bernedoodle is not a great choice for an apartment dog as this breed doesn’t do well with smaller spaces; they have too much energy and are too playful to happily live in a small space. A miniature or tiny-sized bernedoodle might be a better choice for an apartment dog as long as they get lots of time outside to play and enough space to move around in while inside your apartment.

Are Bernedoodles Good Watchdogs?

Bernedoodle sitting outside by brick wall

The bernedoodle is very loyal and protective of its owners, and they make good watchdogs as a result. This dog is unlikely to bark unless they see something suspicious, which can be helpful if you are looking for a good watchdog, and their larger size might scare away potential intruders. Plus, this dog is typically intelligent and alert, both good traits for a watchdog.

Are Bernedoodles Good Service Dogs?

Due to their eager-to-please nature, high intelligence, and loving attitude, the bernedoodle does make for a good service dog. The standard size of this breed can be trained as a guide dog or mobility assistance dog, and all sizes of bernedoodle can help out as medical alert or psychiatric service dogs. Bernedoodles love learning new things and quickly pick up even complex commands, making them a good choice for a service dog or therapy dog.

How to Care for a Bernedoodle

Bernedoodles are energetic dogs that need to spend lots of time with their family, as they crave affection and can become anxious when left alone for too long. This companion dog should never spend more than 8 hours home alone, and they should have lots of toys to play with to keep them mentally stimulated when you are not around.

You will need to give your bernedoodle at least two long walks per day and some playtime out in the yard with their toys. Make sure to train your bernedoodle to prevent any stubbornness or behavioral issues from occurring, and take the time to socialize your dog from puppyhood so that they get along with children or other animals.

Your bernedoodle will need to be brushed a few times a week, especially if their coat is very curly, and will need regular grooming to ensure their hair stays out of their eyes. Additionally, your bernedoodle will need a diet of high-quality wet or dry food split into two or three meals a day and lots of love from its family to stay healthy and happy.

Do You Need to Groom a Bernedoodle?

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You will need to groom your bernedoodle through regular brushings, especially if they have very curly fur that is prone to becoming tangled. Brush your dog several times a week and take them to a groomer several times a year (every three to four months is recommended) for a full bath, help with deshedding, and to trim up any fur that may be making them uncomfortable or getting in their eyes.

Do Bernedoodles Shed?

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Bernedoodles can shed, but depending on whether the poodle or Bernese mountain dog trait is the strongest, they might not shed a lot. The curlier your bernedoodle’s fur is, the less likely they are to shed and the more brushing and grooming they will require. Bernedoodles with straighter, longer fur will require less brushing, but they are also more prone to shedding fur throughout the day.

What Should a Bernedoodle Eat?

Your bernedoodle should be eating a diet consisting of high-quality dry or wet dog food that is supplemented occasionally with healthy treats. How much you feed your bernedoodle each day depends on how large your dog is and whether or not they are a puppy or fully grown. Daily food amounts can range from 1 to 7 cups, split into two or three meals. Consult with a veterinarian if you need advice or feeding recommendations for your bernedoodle.

What Health Problems Do Bernedoodles Have?

While the bernedoodle is a generally healthy breed, there are a few health issues that they may be predisposed to, such as hip and elbow dysplasia, eye and heart diseases, allergies, skin issues like hot spots, and Von Willebrand disease. Taking good care of your dog and ensuring you go to regular vet visits will help to counteract any health issues or catch health problems before they become too serious.

How Long Do Bernedoodles Live?

The bernedoodle breed is known to live between 12 and 18 years; the smaller sizes of this dog generally have longer lifespans than the standard size, as is the case with most larger dogs.

Are Bernedoodles Expensive?

Bernedoodles are considered a ‘designer’ dog breed and are typically in high demand. You can expect to pay anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 for a bernedoodle puppy. This price has such a large range due to the many factors that go into bernedoodle breeding, such as size, appearance, and desirable traits.

How to Find a Bernedoodle Breeder

Finding a bernedoodle breeder can be overwhelming, especially when you don’t know where to start looking. The best way to find a reputable breeder to purchase from is to perform an internet search or to ask families and friends in the areas that you live in.

Make sure when researching bernedoodle breeders that you pick one with proper licenses and certifications, and that the living conditions of the breeding dogs and their puppies are humane. Do your best to avoid puppy mills or irresponsible breeding practices, and keep in mind that if the price for a puppy seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Can You Adopt a Bernedoodle?

You may be able to adopt a bernedoodle from a local shelter or a national rescue organization, but this is not the most common way to add a bernedoodle to your family. Because this pup is typically purchased from breeders, they are unlikely to end up in a shelter for adoption. However, it does happen occasionally, so if you really want to rescue a bernedoodle, keep checking local and national organizations to see if one becomes available.

Are Bernedoodles Purebred?

Bernedoodles are not purebred dogs, as they are a mixed breed created from the Bernese mountain dog and the standard poodle. The parents of the bernedoodle will often be purebreds, but the bernedoodle is considered a crossbreed, also sometimes called a ‘designer’ breed or a hybrid breed.

Can You Show Bernedoodles?

Bernedoodle puppy playing with ball outside

Bernedoodles are not purebred dogs and are not recognized by the American Kennel Club, making them ineligible to be shown through AKC events or shows. However, this pup may be recognized by other local and national crossbreed dog kennel clubs and eligible to participate in shows through these organizations. Perform an internet search if you want to find a mixed breed kennel club or a bernedoodle organization to show your dog in.

Are Bernedoodles Good for New Dog Owners?

Bernedoodles are a fairly easy dog to care for. They are friendly enough to fit into any type of family, whether you’re looking for a companion or a family looking for a pup that will get along with their children and any other pets they have. Bernedoodles are also affectionate, smart, and easy to train, making them a good choice for first-time dog owners looking for a loving and playful companion.

Is a Bernedoodle the Right Dog for Me?

Deciding whether or not the bernedoodle is the right dog for you can be overwhelming. Use our bullet points below to review factors about this dog and make your decision more easily.

The bernedoodle is the right dog for you if:

  • You want a friendly family dog that loves being a companion to you and your family wherever you go.
  • You want a dog that is easily trained and intelligent enough to learn more complex commands, even service dog commands with the right training.
  • You need a dog that will easily get along with children or other pets that you may have living in your home.
  • You want a dog that is energetic but doesn’t have extremely high exercise and working requirements.

The bernedoodle might not be the right dog for you if:

  • You plan on leaving your dog at home for more than 8 hours a day or travel frequently and can’t take your dog with you – bernedoodles get separation anxiety and can turn destructive when they don’t spend enough time with their family.
  • You don’t want to make regular grooming appointments and don’t have time to brush your dog’s fur several times a week to keep it untangled – proper grooming is an essential part of caring for a bernedoodle.
  • You live in an apartment and don’t have enough space for a bernedoodle to play with their toys inside, or you lack access to outdoor areas to exercise and play with your dog.

After reviewing all of these points, you should know whether the bernedoodle is the best breed to add to your family. Carefully read our dog breed guide as you decide whether or not to adopt one of these fun-loving, playful, and gentle pups, and make sure to give all of your love and care to any dog you adopt, as this will ensure you both live together happily for as long as possible.