If you seriously love a Bernese mountain dog or a spirited poodle, the Bernedoodle might be the best dog to adopt or buy from a reputable breeder.
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All About The Bernese Mountain Dog and Poodle Mix
Bernedoodle dogs have existed for nearly two decades and more people are going for them due to the many benefits they offer.
Also referred to as the Bernese mountain poo or Bernadoodle, this dog resembles a giant teddy bear and is an offspring of the Bernese mountain dog and poodle mix.
The lovable fur-baby is friendly and playful, something that makes it a good choice for almost all households. You are likely to fall for its soft fur and the beautiful teddy bear face the first time you come across it.
A Brief History of the Bernedoodle
The Bernadoodle is a comparatively new breed, which has existed since 2003. While the hybrid breed of Bernese mountain dogs and poodles might have existed before, Sherry Rupke of the Swissridge Kennels claims that she was the first to breed the two dogs intentionally to come up with the designer dog.
Sherry Rupke aimed to make the purebreds more allergen-friendly and resistant to the health problems that have been plaguing them.
After breeding Goldendoodles successfully, she wondered whether a Bernese version would offer the same health results. She paired the Bernese mountain dog with a poodle and the first Bernedoodle was born in 2003.
Being a new breed and crossbreed of two purebreds, the American Kennel Club does not recognize it. However, other organizations like the Designer Dogs Kennel Club, American Canine Hybrid Club, the Designer Breed Registry, and the International Designer Canine Registry recognize it.
The Traits of the Bernedoodles
The Bernese mountain dog poodle mix is a fluffy, goofy, and shaggy-looking breed. The dog can inherit both good and bad traits from each purebred. Therefore, it might look more like the Bernese mountain dog or the poodle parent. Here are the traits.
Bernedoodles can have a coat color of pure black, black and brown, black and white, or tricolor, such as white, black, and brown. The overall appearance of this dog combines elements of the poodle and Bernese. Beyond the color, the dog blends the traits of the Bernese mountain dog and poodle consistently.
Even though some pups lean toward the Bernese’s sheer bulk or poodle’s slighter build, the Bernedoodles have a common look and the breeders can control it by studying the results of various pairs. In short, the dogs have the appearance of shaggy teddy bears.
Many people choose a tri-color Bernedoodle with marks close to those of the Bernese mountain dog. Unfortunately, the appearance is hard to get and you might be forced to wait for the birth of such a dog. Some colors may also fade as the dog ages.
Bernedoodles come in three different sizes – miniature, tiny, and standard. The three sizes highly depend on the size of the parents, which can be mini, toy poodle, or standard poodle size.
The Tiny Bernedoodles (aka toy bernedoodles) are 12-17 inches tall at the shoulder and they weigh around 10-24 pounds. The height of the Miniature Bernedoodles (aka mini bernedoodle) range from 18 inches to 22 inches and they weigh around 25-45 pounds.
Lastly, the Standard Bernedoodle weighs 70-90 pounds and stands at 23-29 inches.
Every Bernadoodle will have a unique coat type. However, most of them boast a wavy coat that is low or no-shedding coat. So, if you are among the people allergic to dog dander or those who experience runny eyes and sneezing, the wavy-coated dog is a good choice.
Still, some boast a straighter coat, close to that of the Bernese mountain dog. They will, therefore, shed more and they might not be ideal for homes with people looking for Hypoallergenic Dogs.
A Bernedoodle breeder can tell the type of coat the puppies will have after they are a few weeks old and match them with the right owners.
If you have allergic reactions to saliva from dogs, and you experience itchiness if a dog licks your skin, then you will be allergic to all the Bernedoodles, regardless of the type of coat they have.
Some breeders will allow you to spend some time with a puppy and return it if you are allergic to it.
The Bernese mountain dog and poodle mix make an excellent companion for most family members, thanks to its wonderful temperament. The breed is docile but affectionate and caring. The combination of Poodle’s intelligence and the placid, goofy, and sweet qualities of the Bernese mountain dog parent makes Bernedoodle a playful and loving dog.
The parent breeds are working dogs, meaning that the dog has a playful and lively nature. It will do great if it gets at least 60 minutes of exercise per day.
Furthermore, the Bernese mountain dog and poodle mix is very social and does not have aggressive tendencies. It also loves affection and staying close to the owner. For that reason, it is a good choice for people who can offer company for several hours per day. Leaving the dog alone for a long time may lead to several unwanted behaviors like separation anxiety.
Being a hybrid, the dog may also possess undesirable traits from the parents. It can show the headstrong and stubborn tendencies of the Bernese mountain dogs. Besides, the dogs can be hyper and neurotic like the poodles. To avoid such problems, you will have to train the dog and socialize it from puppyhood to make it can be gentle, sociable, and loving.
Caring for the Bernedoodle
The Bernedoodle is adaptable and it will do well in any busy home if there is enough love and attention to share. As a low shedding dog, Bernedoodle has minimal grooming requirements.
That means the caring part is easy. Indeed, it only needs more attention when it comes to the training and exercise part. Focus on these requirements if you would want the dog to stay happy.
The Bernedoodles with curly coats requires more grooming than those with the straighter coat. They do not shed much and they, therefore, require frequent brushing to reduce chances of painful matting. The dogs enjoy being brushed, so brushing will provide you with a good chance to bond with them. However, curly hypoallergenic dogs will require a regular haircut.
Exercise is essential for the mental stimulation and physical fitness of the dog. While this breed loves to exercise, you should limit the exercise to 60 minutes per day because it is susceptible to elbow and hip dysplasia.
It can safely walk for 5 minutes every month of age. Put differently, your 4-month pet can walk for 20 minutes per day without developing any growth issues. Over-exercising can also contribute to other problems like dislocating kneecaps.
Daily walks are also necessary to burn off their excess energy and prevent undesirable behaviors, such as digging. The dogs further require consistent social stimulation because it reinforces their positive behaviors. They will be well-behaved during an introduction to foreign situations or persons if they are more exposed to humans and other pets.
Bernedoodles are smart and therefore very easy to train. Unfortunately, they tend to learn both good and bad behaviors very fast. It is for that reason you have to continue training them, including after they are past their puppy days. The training of this dog requires positive reinforcement and a lot of patience.
Even though they are very responsive to training, Bernedoodles have unique personalities and they are not as predictable as the purebred dogs. If the dog inherits the willfulness of the Bernese or the high energy of the Poodle, it will demand more attention and time from you. If it is stubborn, you will have to reduce your expectations and stay calm.
The feeding requirements of this dog highly depend on the size. The tiny and miniature-sized dogs will survive on lesser cups of kibble and calories compared to Bernedoodles of standard size. A standard will need around 1,400 to 1,800 calories and a mini will demand 750-1,400 calories per day. The toy will need around 400-960 calories per day.
Puppies should be fed at least four times per day but the meal should be reduced to two after they mature. Choose high-quality kibble formulated for large and active breeds for the puppy to grow to its full potential. Still, you can opt for any dry or wet food if all energy requirements are met.
Life Expectancy and Health of the Bernedoodle
The Bernedoodle has a lifespan of 12-18 years. This breed does not inherit the health risks of the Bernese mountain dog, which has a short lifespan of only seven years and it is more susceptible to elbow and hip dysplasia, cancer, epilepsy, and heart disease. Still, the smaller versions of the Bernese mountain dog and poodle mix are known to live longer than the standard-sized ones.
Still, you have to keep in mind that the Bernedoodles are predisposed to elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, allergies, and ocular diseases. So, after adopting one, you will have to remain on the lookout for warning signs like the ability to add weight fast and excessive drooling.
Skin problems like hot spots are also common in dogs because of their thick coats. Hot spots mainly result from excessive chewing or licking of an area. It is for that reason owners of this pet are encouraged to keep up with grooming. Bernedoodles mostly pick at their skin after their coat gets matted and dirty.
Selecting a Bernedoodle Generation
When acquiring a Bernedoodle dog, you will come across some types of cryptic letters before the word Bernedoodle, such as F1 and F2B. The letters and numbers stand for a Bernedoodle generation that influences the dog’s makeup.
You have to comprehend the Bernedoodle generations terminology because the percentage of Bernese mountain dogs and poodle varies in each generation.
The terminologies are fairly straightforward after you have understood the letters, for example, in F1B Bernedoodle, F stands for Filial Hybrid dogs and it implies that the dog comes from two purebreds.
The number 1 stands for the generation, which is the first generation, of the offspring. Finally stands for backcross. The backcross is a term that means inbreeding back to 100 percent Poodle generation.
Breeders breed back to 100 percent Poodle because the purebred is allergy-friendly and does not shed fur. Here are the generations of Bernedoodle you will come across.
This is the first generation cross, meaning that the puppy is 50 percent Poodle and 50 percent the Bernese mountain dog. It is considered the healthiest crossbreed because the parents are unlikely to contribute genes for the inheritable diseases.
This is 75 percent poodle and 25 percent Bernese mountain dog because it is developed by crossing the F1 Bernedoodle with a poodle. F1b puppies tend towards being hypoallergenic and have low to non-shedding coats. Even though the F1b has a 25 percent ratio of the Bernese mountain dog, it resembles the Bernese.
This is the second generation cross made up of 50 percent Bernese and 50 percent poodle. The breeders cross two F1 Bernedoodles to come with the F2 Bernedoodle. However, the F2 Bernedoodle is the least preferred crossbreed. Because it has many health issues. Some people refer to it as the Bernedoodle multi-gen.
This is 37.5 percent Bernese mountain dog and 62.5 percent poodle. Making it a second-gen backcross. Breeders cross an F1 and F1B to come up with F2b. The pup has a low-shedding coat but resembles the Bernese mountain dog. It further comes in various colors and 3 different sizes. Some people call it the Teddy Bear Bernedoodle due to its looks.
If you are uncertain of the best Bernedoodle generation to choose, go for one with more genetics of the Poodle. Bernedoodles with more Poodle genetics is nonshedding and hypoallergenic.
Still, you have to keep in mind that some breeds will be reproduced with 100 percent Bernese mountain dog. In which case the F1B Bernedoodle will be 75 percent Bernese mountain dog and 25 percent Poodle.
The Berdoodles are great family pets. They get along well with children due to their super playful, affectionate, and goofy personalities. The dogs are gentle with toddlers and babies. They are sensitive with elderly people and have energy enough to run around with teenagers.
However, after adopting this dog, you must teach your kids how to play with it safely because the smaller variants are as delicate as puppies. They are not a good choice for people with time constraints or inactive seniors.