Critter Culture
Everything to Know About Bernedoodles

Everything to Know About Bernedoodles

Critter Culture Staff



The bernedoodle, a cross between a Bernese mountain dog and poodle, is a popular breed choice among dog lovers. These animals are known to be loyal, playful and fun companions for owners of all ages. Their multicolored fluffy fur makes for an adorable and cuddly appearance, almost resembling a stuffed toy.

This breed first became known in 2003, and quickly rose in popularity due to its desirable personality, fur type and intelligence. Bernedoodles are intelligent and happy dogs, suited for just about everyone.


A great companion

Portrait of a Bernedoodle

The bernedoodle's recent rise in popularity is due to its lovable personality. Tru to its Bernese mountain dog roots, the breed is loyal, active and well-behaved with small children. A bernedoodle is well-matched to owners with the time and energy to devote to them. They are fun-loving pets who enjoy social situations and may become destructive if left alone for long periods of time.

Like with any larger sized dog, exercise is a crucial factor in the behavior of a bernedoodle. Ensuring that these friendly pups are given opportunities for play and training will bring out the best in their nature.


Appearance and size

Ten-month-old bernedoodle puppy on a lawn.

As a mixed breed, each bernedoodle can look very different from its siblings and parents. They usually have a combination of black, white or brown, fluffy fur, but the location of specific markings or the texture of this fur can vary. Bernedoodles are considered hypoallergenic and shed very little.

Fully grown bernedoodles range in size from 10 to 90 pounds. The adult size of each dog is highly dependent on the size of the parents. In cases where the mother is a Bernese mountain dog, and the father is a poodle, the resulting puppy will be smaller.


Health concerns

Adorable bernedoodle puppy laying on the grass outside.

The bernedoodle breed is generally healthy, with an average life span ranging from 7 to 18 years. As with other mixed breeds, the genetic ailments so prevalent in purebred animals is significantly reduced. However, as a new breed, there are many unknown factors with these dogs.

The bernedoodle has a risk of developing hip or elbow dysplasia. Many veterinarians and dog breeders recommend taking special care when exercising the puppy during the first few months to avoid injury during growth. Other concerns to watch for include eye issues, skin ailments, and cancers. Keeping up with regular health checks will help to minimize these possibilities.


Maintenance and grooming

Happy Wet Bernedoodle Dog

Doodles, meaning any dog bred with a poodle, will tend to have a thick and curly coat of non-shedding fur. While this is adorable in appearance, it does require a significant time commitment for grooming. Brushing your bernedoodle's coat a few times per week is enough to reduce knots and matting.

Regular haircuts are also a necessity with non-shedding pups. A full groom may need to be done every few months unless owners are prepared to tackle this at home.


Training and tricks

Bernedoodle puppy with a ball

Much like their poodle parent, bernedoodles are intelligent dogs, but this doesn't guarantee an easy road from excitable puppy to well-trained adult dog. These puppies tend to be stubborn but do respond well to positive reinforcements. With consistency and repetition, these eager-to-please pups will quickly learn to do what is expected of them. Keeping a bernedoodle mentally and physically stimulated will also help them to develop better social behavior. Try to find opportunities to socialize the dog to new people and other dogs, like taking walks with a neighbor and their dog, or doggy daycare centers.


Feeding and diet

Most dog foods are designed for a particular size of dog to ensure the right balance of nutrients, proteins, and fats. Asking your vet how large the puppy is likely to grow will help with food choices.

Young puppies generally eat a few meals each day, but as they grow into adulthood, the frequency usually drops to twice daily, but with larger servings. Food with high-quality ingredients, including a high meat ratio, will provide a dog with everything they need to thrive.

healthy dog food humonia / Getty Images


The best environment for your bernedoodle

Bernedoodle puppy sitting in April snow in Wisconsin.

Bernedoodles are adaptable to just about any type of home environment. While a larger space with outdoor areas is ideal, a well-exercised dog will thrive in any sized home. They're also ideal for owners who live in cooler climates. Luckily, these pups have coats that will keep them warm in cold temperatures but also can accommodate warmer locales if the fur is kept short and trim.


Where to find one

As the bernedoodle is not a recognized purebred dog, there are not registered breeders, nor are they associated with any kennel clubs. Be aware of puppy mills or unreliable sellers when selecting a dog, particularly online. If something doesn't seem right with a breeder, check with local animal welfare agencies for more information or to report violations.

5 month old bernedoodle thinking on the floor 5 month old bernedoodle thinking on the floor


Toys and treats

Three month old Bernedoodle puppy playing with her chew toy

Keeping energetic bernedoodles entertained, especially as puppies, can be challenging without the right tools. Many young dogs have a need to chew, especially as their adult teeth move in. For some, this means gnawing on the closest thing, like a chair, a shoe or garden plants. Heavy gnawers will need something sturdy, like an antler or hard rubber chew toy from the pet store. A strong rubber ball will accommodate the need to play and run. Having a selection of items that can be rotated into play will keep a busy bernedoodle from getting bored.


Choosing a puppy

Bernedoodle puppy close-up in grass

Everyone has an opinion on what makes a great dog and what attributes to look for in a puppy. Try cuddling with a few different dogs, and see which one responds most to you and your family. Ask about the gender of each. Female bernedoodles will be slightly smaller than their male counterparts. Consider the color combinations of their fur. In the end, once the research is done and the dog has been chosen, any of them will easily become part of the family.


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