In this post, we’re going to introduce you to a relatively new designer dog – the Bernedoodle dog breed. If you’re thinking of getting a Bernedoodle, the material you’ll read here should help you to determine whether this is the right dog for you and your family.
What is a Bernedoodle? It’s an intelligent, playful dog that’s the result of a breeding between a Poodle and a Bernese Mountain Dog. It’s also sometimes known as the Bernese Mountain Poo, but we don’t really like that appellation. Bern is the capital of Switzerland, and it’s a mountainous area. “Berrnese Mountain Poo” sounds to us like… well, like something someone would have deposited in the mountains given the absence of a porta-potty. Therefore, for purposes of this post, we’re going to stick with “Bernedoodle.”
Given that this breed mix hasn’t been around for all that long, it’s difficult to say if there’s ever going to be any sort of a “standard” for the Bernedoodle mix. Right now, Bernedoodles can take on the appearance of the Poodle Parent, or the Bernese Mountain dog parent, or a combination of the two. Adding in the fact that Poodles come in Standard, Miniature and Toy sizes, that further muddies the waters.
Bernedoodles are basically companion dogs, playful, happy-go-lucky and great with kids. Standard Bernedoodles need about half an hour of vigorous exercise each day, while the Mini Bernedoodles can get by with less, and in fact make great apartment dogs.
On the whole, Bernedoodles are adaptable to almost any kind of living arrangement. They love being family members, but are equally adaptable, depending on size, to keeping apartment-dwelling singletons company.
Any puppy, regardless of breed, has to be properly trained, and the training process starts with socializing your puppy. What this means is that you take him places with you. Go on walks around the neighborhood, hang out in parking lots, and once his shots are up to date, take him to the dog park.
You could enroll your Bernedoodle puppy in puppy kindergarten or daycare as well, where he’ll meet other puppies and also humans who will help with the socialization process.
Crate training is also important when it comes to a Bernedoodle puppy. If your reaction is “Oh no, I don’t want to lock him up,” pull back and regroup. You’re not consigning your Bernedoodle puppy to a prison – you’re giving him a place that he can go where he’ll feel safe when it’s not possible for you to be with him.
A crate, properly equipped with a blanket, food, water and toys, is like a little den where your Bernedoodle puppy feels safe. It’s not a prison unless you make it one, by leaving him in there all the time just because you have other things to do.
To crate train your Bernedoodle puppy, get it all set up with blankets, toys and so on, and then toss in a treat. Your puppy will go for the treat. Then you can close the door for a minute or so, let him investigate the crate, and then let him out. He’ll learn quickly enough that the crate isn’t something to be feared, and that you won’t leave him alone.
and it can also serve as a respite if you have other animals or rambunctious children in your home.
The crate is also going to be your best friend when it comes to house training. This is because no dog wants to mess where he’s also sleeping and eating.
We can hear you right now, wailing “But I want the whole house to be his crate!”
Sure, that’s fine, just not in the early days. Early on, your goal is to make sure that your new best buddy doesn’t mess in the house. So, what you’re going to do is put your Bernedoodle puppy in his crate at night. Make sure he’s had a “potty trip” outdoors, and then bring him in at bedtime. Put him out first thing in the morning. Chances are that if he feels the need to “go” during the night, he’ll whimper or bark and wake you up.
Are messes still going to happen? Oh, you bet they will! And when they do, the worst thing you can do is scold your Bernedoodle puppy. He’s not going to understand why you’re mad at him. The second worst thing you can do is put him outside – why would you? He’s already done his thing! Just clean it up and move on. House training is a process, and it’s not going to happen overnight. You’ll get there eventually, though.
With any dog, the Bernedoodle included, obedience training is essential.There are four basic commands that your Bernedoodle needs to learn. Here they are, in order of importance, and also in the order that you should teach them.
Teaching a dog to sit is so easy! Just fill your pockets with treats, stand with your dog facing you, pull a treat out of your pocket and say “Sit” while using a sweeping motion to take the treat over your dog’s back and toward his butt. He’s going to sit, because his head is following the movement of the treat. Tell him he’s a good boy, give him the treat, and do it again! Repeat until he’ll sit on command, without you needing to give him a treat.
Same but different, LOL! “Down” isn’t much different from sit, except in the hand motion. Put your Bernedoodle puppy in a sit, and with a treat in one hand, move your hand toward your feet and say “Down.” He’s going to follow the motion of the treat, and lower his front quarters to the floor. Once he’s fully down, praise him and give him the treat.
about a 99% chance that your puppy is going to follow the motion of the treat, and lower his front quarters so that he’s lying down. Say “Down” again, and give him the treat.
This is where we have to switch things up a bit, because your Bernedoodle puppy is going to want to be with you more than anything else. It’s one of the most important commands you can teach your Beernedoodle puppy, though, because it keeps him safe. A puppy that will stay isn’t going to run into traffic or other dangerous situations.
We’re assuming here that you’ve already trained your Bernedoodle puppy to sit or lie down. Now, what you want him to do is hold the position. So, put him in the sit or the down position, and then hold your hand out, palm up – kind of like a traffic cop would do if trying to tell you to wait where you are. Say “Stay.”
Now, if your Bernedoodle puppy has held the “stay” position, even if it’s just for a few seconds, tell him what a remarkable, perfect dog he is, and give him a treat. Do this over and over, each time expecting your Bernedoodle puppy to hold the “Stay” position for a bit longer.
Obviously, you’re not going to expect your Bernedoodle puppy to “stay” forever, so you need a way of showing him that although you want him to stay on command, you want something else as well – which is for him to come when you call. This might confuse your Bernedoodle puppy a bit to start with, since, after all, you’ve told him that you want him to stay. “Come” tells your Bernedoodle that you didn’t mean for him to sit like a brick forever – it’s okay to break the sit, but only when you say it’s okay.
What you want to do here is make sure that your Bernedoodle puppy is in a perfect “stay.” Then, take a treat out of your pocket, and with the hand not holding the treat, pat your opposite shoulder repeatedly while saying “Come.” If your puppy doesn’t come right away, that’s fine – you DID tell him to stay! Keep patting your shoulder and calling him enthusiastically until he comes to you. Then place him in the sit, and give him the treat.
There you go – you have a Bernedoodle that’s doing everything you need him to do!
If you’re searching for a breeder of Bernedoodle puppies, you’re going to have to be very careful. You probably know better than to send money to people who send you emails that go something like “Hello, my respected friend, I have been given your information by a trusted associate who has told me that you are a person of integrity who can help me get my money out of Nigeria….”. But do you know how to avoid puppy scams?
Here’s the thing about Bernedoodle breeders, or breeders of any other kind of dog for that matter – a good breeder wants to get to know you. A good breeder wants to email you, talk with you on the phone, get references, and have you visit the litter. Further, a real breeder will never offer you “overnight delivery,” because such a thing doesn’t exist. It takes time to book a cargo shipment for an animal, and it never happens overnight.
There are so many online scams, it’s frightening. If you’re looking for Bernedoodle breeders online, please, please do your homework! If they’ve posted pictures, run them through Google’s image search and see if they show up on other sites. Copy some of the text into Google, and see if it’s been taken from another site. Read every single one of the reviews, and if they’re all positive, run in the opposite direction – nobody ever has 100% good feedback.
Finally, resist the temptation to be like Agent Mulder in The X-Files – he wanted to believe. You probably want to believe too – you want to believe that this person you’ve met on line has a Bernedoodle puppy for you. Maybe they do. But maybe they’re just trying to grab your money and run.
Here’s another thing – if you’re looking for a breeder of Bernedoodles, the AKC will be of no help to you – because the Bernedoodle isn’t a breed! The Bernedoodle is recognized by various designer breed clubs, but not by the AKC. And when looking for a breed club, you’ll need to be careful because, again, there are scam sites. Do your research.
On average, you can expect to pay about $4,000 for a Bernedoodle puppy. This might seem like a crazy amount for a mixed breed, but it’s a simple matter of supply and demand. People want Bernedoodles, so the price can actually be higher than it would for a purebred Bernese Mountain Dog or Poodle.
Given the average Bernedoodle’s sweet temperament, it’s hard to imagine these dogs ending up in rescue facilities due to temperament issues. However, there are other reasons why dogs might find themselves without a loving owner – perhaps a family has broken up, an owner has lost his or her job, or the Bernedoodle’s human has died and none of the surviving family members want the dog. Whatever the reason, Bernedoodles do sometimes need to be rescued.
If you want to rescue a Bernedoodle, it’s a wonderful thing you’re doing. But be just as careful as you would when looking for a Bernedoodle breeder. Your best option is a local shelter where you can actually see the dog. Breed clubs might also be an option. As suggested above, though, watch out for scam clubs.
A standard Bernedoodle is a medium-size dog, trending toward the upper end of medium. An adult Bernedoodle will typically weigh up to 50 pounds, and stand 23-25 inches at the shoulder. The size of your Bernedoodle will be entirely dependent on the size of the Poodle parent – whether it’s Standard, Miniature or Toy.
Nobody seems to really know exactly what constitutes a “Mini” Bernedoodle, since the Poodle, as we said previously, muddies the waters when it comes to size. The conventional wisdom seems to be that a Mini Bernedoodle could weigh as little as 15 pounds, or even as much as 40 pounds, if the puppy is the progeny of a Toy Poodle and a Berenese Mountain Dog. A Bernese Mountain dog can weigh up to 115 pounds, and a Toy Poodle as little as 6 pounds, so you can see why there’s such a variation in size when it comes to Mini Bernedoodles, and Standard Bernedoodles as well.
Now, let’s talk about a few questions you might have about Bernedoodle Dogs that haven’t been covered already.
1. Do Bernedoodles shed?
Yes, but not all that much. A brushing once or twice a week can go a long way toward reducing shedding when it comes to the Bernedoodle.
2. Do Bernedoodles change color?
Bernedoodles can come in a variety of colors, since they take their coloring from both the Poodle and the Berenese Mountain dog. Even in the same litter, puppies can be a variety of colors. However, the color that your Bernedoodle puppy displays at birth will be the color that he will carry throughout his life.
3. Are Berendoodle Dogs hypoallergenic?
There is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog. Depending on whether the Bernedoodle picks up more from the Poodle than from the Bernese Mountain dog, though, people who suffer from allergies may have less trouble being around a Bernedoodle than they would with some other breeds.
4. Do Bernedoodles bark?
ALL dogs bark. But if you’re asking if your Bernedoodle is going to be an annoyance to your neighbors with incessant barking, the answer is probably not.
5. Are Bernedoodles hard to train?
No. In fact, Bernedoodles are perfect dogs for first time owners. They’re loving, cooperative, and very easy to train.
So there you go – everything you need to know about the Bernedoodle. Are you going to adopt one? You could do a lot worse than to consider this very pleasing mix.