What is the Bernedoodle?
The Bernedoodle is, as the name suggests, a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Poodle mix.
These two breeds hail from the same part of the world, the Berner from Switzerland, and the Poodle native to France!
While these breeds don’t share many similarities, they each have affable traits that result in this relatively new crossbreed already being one of my favorite dogs around! And here’s why...
Fall in Love With the Bernese Mountain Dog and Poodle Mix
In fact, through the course of my research for this article - I think that I may have convinced myself that this might just be the next dog for our little family to welcome into our home!
Before you can fully appreciate the Bernedoodle, it is, of course, important to understand where he comes from. So, let’s take a look at his purebred ancestors and their good points, and not so good points!
Get To Know - The Bernese Mountain Dog
This tri-colored large breed dog is famous for his placid nature, an ideal family dog due to his gregarious nature. The breed standard calls for a chilled out dog that is friendly to strangers, and free from anxiety, quite the perfect breed.
- The most docile temperament.
- Great with children.
- They make exceptional guard dogs.
- A relatively short lifespan of only seven years.
- Prone to numerous health conditions.
- Requires plenty of exercise.
Get To Know - The Poodle
Many dog owners think of the Poodle as a glorified lap dog. This is mainly due to his portrayal in media as a hoity-toity pampered pooch, but alas - this breed is the second most intelligent canine in the world, beaten to first place by the genius that is the Border Collie.
The Poodle also makes an excellent option for owners that suffer from dog allergies due to their unique coat. Almost every dog breed exhibits two layers, an undercoat, and a top coat but the Poodle only possess’ a top coat. This makes for far less shedding of hair and dander which is the allergen known to cause dog allergies.
- Highly intelligent.
- Phenomenally loyal.
- Hypoallergenic properties.
- Requires frequent grooming to prevent matting.
- Does suffer from some hereditary medical issues.
- Needs plenty of exercise.
Was The Bernedoodle an Accidental Discovery?
Now that you know what the Bernedoodle is, and the personality of each dog that makes up this adorable crossbreed - you’re probably curious about how the Bernedoodle first came to be!
Well, as far as we can tell - the Bernedoodle was first deliberately bred by a lady named Sherry Rupke way back in 2003 in Ontario, Canada. And it was very much a deliberate decision!
Sherry fell in love with Bernese Mountain Dogs when she was only 16 yrs old, and it was her love for the breed that led her to ultimately research the ideal cross to extend the Berner’s unbelievably short lifespan - and hey presto, the adorable Bernedoodle was born!
A qualified veterinary technician and reputable breeder - Sherry hand picks each pup for potential owners based on their lifestyle, and requirements. In the past decade, Sherry has bred hundreds of Bernedoodles and stays in close contact with each owner to gather data on illness’ and lifespans to learn more about this new dog breed.
How Long They Live and How Big They’ll Be
As with the Poodle, there are three different sizes of Bernedoodle to be found. As with most dog breeds, the smaller varieties have shown to have longer lifespans, but as little data is yet available - definitive age ranges aren’t known.
1. Standard Bernedoodle
- Bernese Mountain Dog x Standard Poodle
- Estimated lifespan: 12-15 yrs
- Full-grown height: 23-29 inches (58-79 cm) at the shoulder
- Adult weight: 50-90 lbs (22-40 kg)
2. Mini Bernedoodle
- Bernese Mountain Dog x Miniature Poodle
- Estimated lifespan: up to 17 yrs
- Full-grown height: 18-22 inches (45-55 cm) at the shoulder
- Adult weight: 25-49 lbs (11-22 kg)
3. Tiny Bernedoodle
- Bernese Mountain Dog x Toy Poodle
- Estimated lifespan: up to 18 yrs
- Full-grown height: 12-17 inches (30-43 cm) at the shoulder
- Adult weight: 10-24 lbs (4-10 kg)
Are They Friendly?
Friendly would probably be an understatement! Their temperament does strongly depend on the quality of the breeding dog and bitch used.
Many Bernese Mountain Dogs and Poodles, as with many purebred canines, have been inbred over the years - and thus some dogs can exhibit undesirable traits such as skittish behavior, anxiety, and a poor work mentality.
Making sure that you find a Bernedoodle breeder who understands the temperamental and health concerns associated with inbred lines of Poodles and Berners is vital.
Many breeders will be happy to introduce you to dogs from their previous litters which will give you the best idea of whether you can expect to come away with a puppy that will grow up to be a great member of your family!
A well-bred Bernedoodle will almost always be incredibly affectionate, gregarious, smart, goofy, and just plain loveable. Essentially, they take on the best traits of Poodles and Bernese Mountain Dogs!
Of course, it’s impossible to guarantee these traits. As with any breeding program, puppies are susceptible to inherit the inferior characteristics of either or both parents instead, but buying a Bernedoodle puppy from an established breeding program will take out much of this risk!
Kicking Health Rumors To The Curb
As the Bernese Mountain Dog is renowned for his proclivity towards ill health, notably cancer, gastric torsion, and hip and elbow dysplasia. You might assume that the Bernedoodle might also be a sickly breed - but quite the opposite is true.
In the canine world, crossbreeds are well known for what is known as “hybrid vigor.” This, in essence, means that a part bred dog is far less susceptible to a health condition that appears on only one side of their pedigree.
They are, of course, still open to developing ailments that are known to affect both breeds, such as hypothyroidism - but as this is non-life-threatening, it can be managed to allow for a great quality of life.
Again, it’s worth noting that this is a relatively new breed, and we don’t currently have enough data to say whether there are specific medical problems that will affect Bernedoodles. But the data thus far seems to indicate an incredibly healthy breed!
Welcoming Home Your Very Own Bernedoodle
Once you’ve decided that a Bernedoodle is an ideal dog to fit your lifestyle, it’s important to do your research and buy from a reputable breeder.
There have been cases of less than vigilant breeders ending up accidentally producing dogs with temperament, and health issues. A possibility with any breed that has come out of a poor quality breeding operation of course, but that just makes your research all the more important.
The very best breeders I have come across during my research for this guide are highly involved in ensuring that each puppy goes to the right home, meaning that they select the puppy for the owner and not the other way around, as is more common.
Specifically, in cases of owners who suffer from dog dander allergies, the breeder will ordinarily wait until the pups are at least three-weeks old (to allow the coat to develop) before selecting the puppy with the tightest curled coat.
The breeders we spoke with indicated that every consideration has to be taken into account, and even if one puppy seems to possess the best hypoallergenic coat - if he displays an abundance of energy - he will never be placed in an inactive home purely to suit the owner's allergies.
Keeping On Top Of The Curls!
As with any curly coated breed, it’s essential to maintain a strict grooming routine to keep your pooch free from matted hair. Not to mention, grooming time is the perfect time to bond with your dog, why not whip out the brush while watching Netflix?! Then you’ll both get to have a lovely relaxing evening!
I’m in love. This adorable, friendly, and trainable canine is perhaps one of the best dog breed crosses I’ve yet to come across!
With intelligence in abundance, an impressive lifespan, friendly disposition, and the looks to go with it. The only downside that I can find is that there isn’t much data available on potential medical issues.
What do you think of the Bernedoodle? Comment below with questions or opinions!