Whether your pup is a Bernedoodle or a Bernedoodle mix, learning about their breed can explain a lot about your pet’s personality, habits and overall health. Or maybe you’re interested in adopting a Bernedoodle, but you want to do some research first — we can help.
Bernedoodles are known for being friendly dogs who are usually less energetic than other types of doodle breeds, Dr. Timothy Burdsall, DVM, a veterinarian at Ethos Veterinary Health, says.
Bernedoodles are a cross between a Bernese Mountain Dog and a poodle. They're intelligent, energetic (although slightly less bouncy than your typical doodle) and known as great family dogs.
These dogs vary widely in size. While the Bernese Mountain Dog is generally large, ranging from 70 to 115 pounds, a Bernedoodle’s size depends on the type of poodle they’re mixed with and whether they’re a first-generation cross or the result of two Bernedoodles.
You can expect a Bernedoodle to be one of three sizes: tiny, mini and standard. The tiny variation is typically the result of a toy poodle, weighing around 10 to 25 pounds, and is less than 15 inches tall. The mini is next in line at 25 to 55 pounds and 15 to 22 inches tall.
Finally, the largest variety is referred to as the standard Bernedoodle and is a cross between a Bernese Mountain Dog and a standard poodle. These Bernedoodles can weigh up to 90 pounds and may be up to 27 inches tall when full grown.
Bernedoodles are known for being loving family dogs. If their parents are anything to go by, it’s easy to assume that Bernedoodles are also intelligent and energetic dogs that need plenty of training and enrichment.
“The temperament of a dog is directly correlated to how the parents have trained it and how good of a job they have done socializing it as a puppy,” Dr. Burdsall says. “During the pandemic, puppy adoption skyrocketed, and socialization of said puppies came to a screeching halt as people were cooped up in their homes. This has led to a large population of socially inappropriate, fearful, nervous dogs.”
Socializing a dog early on (through puppy play classes or obedience classes) can help to desensitize a dog and help them to be their confident, best selves in any environment, Dr. Burdsall adds.
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Like many other doodles, Bernedoodles have the potential to be low shedding. Although no dog breed is completely hypoallergenic, a Bernedoodle that inherits a poodle’s curly hair coat will be less likely to shed and cause allergic reactions.
That nice coat does come at a price. You’ll have to get ready for brushing (and lots of it!). You’ll either have to grow very comfortable with grooming your pup or will have to take them to regular grooming appointments. Going too long without grooming can lead to potentially painful matting.
Bernedoodles are susceptible to von Willebrand disease, a blood clotting disorder. More commonly, Dr. Burdsall sees skin issues, ear infections, hot spots and the occasional bout of gastroenteritis, which is an illness caused by the inflammation of the digestive system.
“You can avoid these types of issues by cleaning your dog’s ears after a swim or bath, or during humid weather. You should clean the ears once weekly for maintenance,” Dr. Burdsall says. “To avoid gastroenteritis, don’t feed your dog anything other than their food and regulated and approved treats.”
Dr. Burdsall’s biggest recommendation for Bernedoodle parents is to discuss setting up a spay and neuter procedure and a possible gastropexy with your veterinarian, as Bernedoodles are prone to bloat like many other deep-chested dogs.
“I would also establish a good relationship with a local veterinarian and invest in pet insurance,” Dr. Burdsall adds. “You never know when an emergency is going to happen, and having to pay a $6,000 bill is not something everyone can afford. Pet insurance is lifesaving.”
Are you interested in adopting a Bernedoodle, another mix or any pet at all? Check out our shelter partners to find your new best friend.
The Dig, Fetch by The Dodo’s expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too. Fetch provides the most comprehensive pet insurance and is the only provider recommended by the #1 animal brand in the world, The Dodo.
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