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The Bernedoodle also known as a Bernese Mountain Poo is a hybrid dog that is a mix of a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Poodle. There are actually three types of Bernedoodle. The standard which is a cross between a Standard Poodle and the Bernese Mountain Dog, the Mini Bernedoodle which is a mix of a Miniature Poodle with a Bernese Mountain Dog and the Tiny or Toy Bernedoodle which is a result of crossing a Mini Bernedoodle with a Toy Poodle. The standard Bernedoodle is a large breed who lives 12 – 15 years, the mini is a medium dog who lives for 14 – 17 years and the tiny or toy is a small dog who should live 14 – 18 years.
|Here is the Bernedoodle at a Glance|
|Average height||Tiny = 12 – 17 inches, Mini = 18 – 22 inches, Standard = 23 – 29 inches|
|Average weight||Tiny = 10 – 24 pounds, Mini = 25 – 49 pounds, Standard = 70 – 90 pounds|
|Coat type||Medium, dense, wavy to curly|
|Shedding||Low to moderate|
|Brushing||Once or twice a week|
|Touchiness||Can be sensitive if they lean more to the poodle|
|Tolerant to Solitude?||Not really especially not for long periods|
|Tolerance to Heat||Moderate tolerance to heat|
|Tolerance to Cold||Not too cold but some from her Bernese side|
|Good Family Pet?||Excellent family dog|
|Good with Children?||Excellent with children|
|Good with other Dogs?||Excellent with other dogs|
|Good with other Pets?||Very good with other pets|
|A roamer or Wanderer?||Moderate chances of wandering off|
|A Good Apartment Dweller?||As long as they still get exercise|
|Good Pet for new Owner?||Yes very good|
|Trainability||Good to very good|
|Exercise Needs||Moderate needs for activity. Standards need more due to their size|
|Tendency to get Fat||Moderate to fairly high chances of obesity|
|Major Health Concerns||None known|
|Other Health Concerns||Hip and elbow dysplasia, eye problems, skin problems, allergies|
|Life Span||12 – 18 years depending on type|
|Average new Puppy Price||$1500 – $3500 (in high demand right now)|
|Average Annual Medical Expense||$400 – 600|
|Average Annual Non-Medical Expense||$400 – 550|
Where does the Bernedoodle come from?
Hybrid dogs became popular in the last 10 to 15 years. While there may have been Bernedoodles before this, the first breeder to claim to have intentionally bred Bernedoodles is Sherry Rupke from SwissRidge Kennels in Canada. She bred her first litter in 2003 and has since developed a breeding program for them as their popularity has been high. The idea is to have a blend of the loyalty and placid nature of the Bernese with the intelligence and goofiness of the Poodle. As with any hybrid there can be no guarantees in what aspects of each breed the Bernedoodle gets and each one is unique.
The Bernese Mountain Dog
The Bernese Mountain Dog was bred in the Swiss Alps to be a farm dog, where they helped out with things like taking cattle to the market or pulling carts. Being a mountain dog they were bred to withstand the cold and have been around for at least 2000 years. Today she is an easy going and loyal dog, fantastic with children and great family pets. They love attention and they bond so closely with their owner that should they need to be re-homed this can be difficult. She is intelligent, versatile and strong and has moderate needs when it comes to exercise. If not socialized well she can become skittish and reserved and can develop separation anxiety. She is short lived too having just 7 years as a life expectancy.
The Poodle is originally from Germany not France and was bred to hunt waterfowl. It is a very old breed that over the years has been bred to have three sizes, the standard, the miniature and the toy. Today she is an intelligent dog that a lot of people with dog allergies turn to as often she does not trigger an allergic reaction. She is great with children, easy to train, and has a loveable goofy streak sometimes. Affectionate with her family but takes time to warm up to strangers and has a high level of energy.
The Bernedoodle is friendly, loyal and playful. She usually has the intelligence of a Poodle and the goofiness too that makes her love to entertain, be a bit mischievous and play games. She is loving and cuddly with her family but can be cautious with strangers. If not trained and socialized that cautiousness can turn into skittishness. She can be headstrong when she is young as a puppy so training will need you to be persistent but that stubbornness normally eases up as she enters adulthood. She is energetic and enthusiastic and curious too.
What does a Bernedoodle look like
The Standard Bernedoodle is 70-90lbs in weight and 23-29 inches tall. The Mini is 25-49lbs in weight and 18-22 inches in height. The tiny is 10-24lbs and 12-17 inches. Colors are either the tri-color look that the Bernese has of brown, white and black for example, or some kind of other mix of those colors. You can see elements of the Poodle and Bernese in their coat with color being Bernese influences and coat type being more poodle. The curlier or wavier the coat is the more the Bernedoodle leans towards the Poodle in terms of being hypoallergenic.
Training and Exercise Needs
How much activity does she need?
Bernedoodles tend to have moderate needs when it comes to how much activity to give them. They would enjoy joining in a hike or run with you and they love to swim too. In fact the smaller varieties tend to have more energy to burn off than the larger one. A daily long walk plus play time should be enough but you could always fit in something like a trip to the dog park too. They are happy to chill and snuggle on the couch with you when it is time to take it easy.
Is she easy to train?
If they are more like the Poodle with that intelligence and will to please they will be easy to train. Sometimes though the Bernedoodle has a stubbornness that is more obvious when she is a puppy and then she grows out of it. That means when straining young you may have to stay focused and committed and persevere with it. Socialization and training is super important in any dog starting from an early age so it is important that you start early and stay consistent and positive using praise and rewards.
Living with a Bernedoodle
The Bernedoodle is low to non shedding so there is not as much need for cleaning up hairs around the house or off your clothing. However if it is more curly and like a Poodle’s part of her grooming needs are going to being clipped every few months by a professional groomer which is an additional cost and responsibility. Most have a more wavy coat though and the straighter it is the more shedding there is. If coat is a factor when choosing a Bernedoodle tell the breeder. Some brushing once or twice a week will help remove anything that is matted into the coat and a bath when she needs it, some dogs are more drawn to mud and puddle than others!
Other grooming needs include checking her over once a week for any signs of infection or changes in her coat. Clipping her nails or having that done at a groomers also. Wiping her ears once a week to prevent infection and checking her eyes.
How good is she with children and other pets?
She is amazing with the young and old alike. She is able to adjust to be more gentle when it is needed which is lovely to see. Make sure children are taught or trained too though! No tail pulling or taking her food or hurting her. She is very friendly and happy to accept other pets in the house and even other dogs. Socialization and training from a young age helps her with this and to avoid being skittish.
Other useful information on living with her
This is one of the most suitable dogs to be a companion with one person or a family. She will happily be at your side whether you are jogging, hanging out in the yard, on the couch for movie night. She will give affection and loyalty and will make you laugh. She thrives on being with you or the family though and would not do well being left alone for long. She can live in an apartment as long as she still gets some exercise, but obviously as for any dog a fenced in yard is a lovely bonus. She has some tolerance for hot and cold but for either in any extreme. When it comes to being fed give her high quality dry dog food. Different formulas work better depending on whether you have a standard, mini or tiny so check you have the right kind. Obviously how much she needs also depends on her size.
There is not much known about health concerns at the moment because the hybrid is fairly young. As with other mix breeds they tend to be healthier than pure bred dogs. Health issues that may come up from their parents include hip and elbow dysplasia, eye problems, skin problems and allergies. If you use a good breeder he or she will carry out genetic testing to check for any major heath issues. Ask to see healthy clearances for the parents too.
Costs involved in owning a Bernedoodle
Costs of hybrid puppies can vary a great deal so estimating a cost is difficult. Where you live, how in demand they are, and how reputable the breeder is has a big impact. When you pay a reputable breeder you get things like health checks, deworming, a promise of only using healthy breeding parents and that pushes the cost up but also means you can feel better about the puppy you are getting. Sometimes more is worth paying. At the moment the Bernedoodle is a very popular hybrid especially puppies who have the tri-color look of the Bernese. Those puppies are selling for around $2500 – $3500! Other colored puppies that are less desired at the moment are still selling for $1500 – $1800. You have costs of crates, carriers, food bowls, micro chipping, blood tests, vaccinations, emergency medical care, toys, treats, license, and more to consider too. Annually you will need to spend $800 to $1200 on your Bernedoodle.
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This is a great family pet, she will be loving and affectionate and goofy and fun too. She will get on with everyone in the family or be happy as a companion to one. Training will need some patience but she is worth that time spent. At the moment she is very high demand and so the prices are somewhat high compared to other mixed breeds.
Featured Image Credit: Cavan-Images, Shutterstock
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.
- Where does the Bernedoodle come from?
- What does a Bernedoodle look like
- Training and Exercise Needs
- Living with a Bernedoodle
- Health Concerns
- Costs involved in owning a Bernedoodle