Bernedoodle

Kaitlyn Arford
By Kaitlyn Arford. Reviewed by Barri J. Morrison, DVM on Jun. 18, 2023
brown and white bernedoodle mixed breed dog lying in the grass

In This Article

General Care

Bernedoodles are a double dose of fun: This cross between a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Poodle is known for their fun-loving and outgoing personality. On top of being fun and fluffy, Bernedoodles have a low-shedding, low-allergen coat that has given them a reputation for being a “hypoallergenic" dog. (Though, there’s actually no such thing.)

Like other “Doodle” dogs, Bernedoodles are often assigned a generation label such as F1, F1b, F2, or F3. This is directly related to their lineage, or the breed of their parents. An F1 Bernedoodle has a Bernese Mountain Dog parent and a Poodle parent, while an F1b Bernedoodle has a Poodle parent and an F1 Bernedoodle parent. The higher the number, the further away you are from the simple Bernese Mountain Dog-Poodle mix.

Caring for a Bernedoodle

There are three different Bernedoodle sizes: Standard, Miniature, and Toy.

  • Standard Bernedoodles weigh 61–100 pounds, stand up to 29 inches tall, and can live 12–15 years.

  • Mini Bernedoodles, full-grown, weigh 20–45 pounds, stand up to 22 inches tall, and live 14–16 years.

  • Toy Bernedoodles weigh less than 20 pounds and stand 12–17 inches tall. These dogs live the longest, up to 18 years.

Though they’re all a Bernese Mountain Dog-Poodle mix, each Bernedoodle size has its own care requirements and ideal lifestyle needs. For example, Toy and Miniature Bernedoodles can each live happily in a small apartment. But a Standard Bernedoodle might prefer more space to stretch their legs and spread out when sleeping on the floor.

But these dogs are also very adaptable, so a well-exercised Bernedoodle—of any size—can happily fit into most families.

Bernedoodle Health Issues

The Bernedoodle lifespan ranges 12–18 years, depending on how big your dog is. As a general rule, smaller dogs live longer than larger dogs.

These dogs can inherit conditions from both of their parent breeds, but Miniatures might have different health issues arise than Standards. Before you bring your puppy home, check with your Bernedoodle breeder to get a complete health history for your pup and their parents. Breeders should vaccinate dogs, screen for different health conditions, and be able to provide a family history.

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is when the dog’s hip joint becomes loose and painful during growth and development. Similarly, elbow dysplasia happens when a dog’s elbow develops abnormally, also causing pain. Both are inherited conditions that, if left untreated, will lead to arthritis.

Hip and elbow dysplasia can be treated by keeping your Bernedoodle at a healthy weight, as obesity puts more pressure on their joints. However, hip and elbow dysplasia may also require medications, joint supplements, or even surgery if the case is severe.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Bernedoodles can develop a few eye conditions, including progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Dogs with PRA experience declining eyesight that eventually leads to blindness. Symptoms include:

  • Clumsiness

  • Dilated pupils

  • Cataracts

  • Night blindness (this is often the first sign)

There is no treatment for PRA, but blind dogs can live long and happy lives with proper care.

Allergies

Although Bernedoodles are known to be a good fit for people with allergies, this breed still experiences allergies of their own. Their allergies can be from food or the environment, and signs include persistent itching or licking, rashes, skin and ear infections, and hair loss.

If you notice any of these symptoms, talk to your vet. They can help you come up with a plan for identifying and treating the allergy.

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV)

Large dogs with a deep chest, such as Standard Bernedoodles, are at risk for developing gastric dilatation-volvulus, a severe form of bloat in dogs. GDV occurs when a dog’s stomach fills with gas quickly, leading it to expand and twist. Both the stomach and the spleen can be affected; when the stomach twists the spleen gets entangled as well.

This can occur in dogs who eat too quickly or who eat one big meal for the day. Symptoms of GDV include:

  • Inability to settle

  • Retching

  • Distended abdomen

  • Excessive drooling

  • Stretching the body in a “downward dog” or “praying mantis” position

GDV is a life-threatening condition that happens fast. Treating it requires immediate medical and surgical intervention. If you see any of these symptoms, take your dog to the vet or emergency vet right away. 

What To Feed a Bernedoodle

Feeding your Bernedoodle a dog food approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) ensures that your canine companion gets a complete and balanced diet. If you have questions about which brand is best for your dog, talk to your vet.

How To Feed a Bernedoodle

Bernedoodle puppies should eat three to four meals a day on a regular schedule. If you have a Standard Bernedoodle pup, give them a puppy food formulated for large breeds.

Bernedoodle adults should eat two meals per day. If your Bernedoodle is eating their food too fast, try introducing a slow feeder to help stop them from scarfing the meal down.

“Adult dogs can technically get only one meal per day, but this can lead to anxiety and hyper fixation on food,” says Jamie Whittenburg, DVM at Kingsgate Animal Hospital in Lubbock, Texas. “A meal every 12 hours is better for the dog’s mental health and metabolism. More frequent feeding can also help reduce the risk of certain health issues such as GDV, because the size of each meal will be smaller and the dog is likely to eat more slowly.”

How Much Should You Feed a Bernedoodle?

How much food your Bernedoodle should get not only depends on your dog’s size (as you can imagine, Toy Bernedoodles eat a lot less than 100-pound Bernedoodles). But their food intake also depends on their health and lifestyle.

“When it comes to feeding your Bernedoodle, there is no one-size-fits-all and you should discuss a feeding plan with your veterinarian,” Dr. Whittenburg says.

Nutritional Tips for Bernedoodles

As long as your dog is eating a well-balanced dog food approved by the AAFCO, they shouldn’t need any nutritional supplements unless your vet recommends them. But some Bernedoodles can benefit from joint supplements to stave off hip and elbow dysplasia.

Always talk with your vet before giving your dog supplements of any kind.

Behavior and Training Tips for Bernedoodles

Bernedoodle Personality and Temperament

Bernedoodles are loving and kind. While every dog is an individual, these canines are often the perfect addition to nearly any family—they love spending time around children, romping around with other dogs, and are gentle with smaller pets like cats.

Bernedoodle Behavior

As a cross between the hunting Poodle breed and the gentle giant Bernese Mountain Dog, Bernedoodles are goofy, playful, and gentle. With a good breeder and early and consistent training, your Bernedoodle puppy will grow to be a sweet and happy dog. They love being beside their family and don’t bark very often.

Bernedoodle Training

What is a Bernedoodle if not an intelligent dog happy to please you? These smarties are quick to learn basic cues, fun tricks, and essentials such as crate training and potty training. Always use positive reinforcement as you work with your canine companion to promote good behavior. 

You’ll also want to start leash training immediately, as Bernedoodles love going on lots of walks.

As a cross between the hunting Poodle breed and the gentle giant Bernese Mountain Dog, Bernedoodles are goofy, playful, and gentle.

Fun Activities for Bernedoodles

Bernedoodle Grooming Guide

The Bernedoodle is a low-shedding breed that needs frequent brushing and regular grooming sessions by a professional. Like any dog, they should have daily teeth brushings with doggy toothpaste to deter plaque buildup. This is not a low-maintenance breed.

Skin Care

Because Bernedoodles tend to be outdoorsy dogs, they’ll need a bath whenever they get too dirty. Take care not to bathe them too often (no more than once a month, max), or they can develop dry skin.

Coat Care

As a Bernese Mountain Dog-Poodle mix, Bernedoodles require lots of consistent brushing. Pet parents should expect to brush this breed every week. Setting up regular grooming appointments will also help keep their hair tangle-free and stop it from growing unruly.

Eye Care

Bernedoodles shouldn’t need any special eye care. Simply make sure the hair around their eyes isn’t obstructing their vision or causing irritation. If you notice any changes in your pup’s eyes, such as cloudiness, redness, or discharge, call your vet.

Ear Care

Many Bernedoodles love to swim, and it’s important to clean their ears every time they’re done splashing in water. This prevents moisture and bacteria from accumulating and causing an ear infection.

Considerations for Pet Parents

Bernedoodles are a mix between Poodles and Bernese Mountain Dogs—and it’s obvious. They are intelligent and friendly dogs who equally love relaxing on the couch and running around the backyard with kids and other family pets.

Plan on at least two walks a day to keep your Bernedoodle active, healthy, and entertained. These dogs also need lots of mental stimulation in the form of games, snuffle mats, and puzzle toys. As long as their body (and mind!) is well-exercised, a Bernedoodle dog can fit in with almost any family.

Bernedoodle FAQs

Do Bernedoodles shed?

Overall, Bernedoodles do not shed much when compared to other breeds. But every dog is different and some Bernedoodles can shed more than others, particularly if they take after their Bernese Mountain Dog parent.

Are Bernedoodles hypoallergenic?

Because of their Poodle lineage, Bernedoodles can be a good fit for some people with allergies. But no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, as all dogs release allergens in their urine and saliva. 

Do Bernedoodles bark a lot?

Bernedoodles tend to be quiet dogs and only bark when something surprises them or when they’re playing.

What’s the difference between a Goldendoodle vs. Bernedoodle?

Though they can look similar (except for maybe their coloring), Goldendoodles and Bernedoodles are different hybrid dogs. Goldendoodles are a mix between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle, while the Bernedoodle is a Bernese Mountain Dog-Poodle mix.

How much does a Bernedoodle cost?

The average Bernedoodle price is anywhere between $2,000–$5,000.

Featured Image: Adobe/Cavan


Kaitlyn Arford

WRITTEN BY

Kaitlyn Arford

Freelance Writer


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