Bernedoodles are lovable bundles of fluff and silliness that have captured the hearts of many.
These are a hybrid breed combining the best traits of the Bernese Mountain Dog and the Poodle.
Are you considering a Bernedoodle as your new pet? This guide will share everything you need to know about this gorgeous breed so you can understand if this is the dog for you.
Let’s dive in.
What Is A Bernedoodle? Breed Facts And History
Bernedoodles emerged in the United States in the early 2000s – in 2003, if we want to be exact.
They were a creation born from the desire to blend the intelligence and hypoallergenic coat of the Poodle with the calm, friendly nature of the Bernese Mountain Dog.
The breeder’s vision was to craft a dog that exemplifies the best of both worlds: the Poodle’s intellect and the Bernese’s robustness and gentle demeanor.
This designer breed has quickly found its way into the hearts of families across the globe, not just in the US, becoming especially popular among those who appreciate a friendly, intelligent, and low-shedding companion.
Bernedoodles are characterized by their sturdy build and a coat that inherits the Poodle’s curls and the Bernese’s distinctive tri-color pattern.
They come in a variety of sizes, influenced by the size of the Poodle parent, ranging from toy and mini to standard.
Their expressive eyes, often mirroring the deep, affectionate nature of the Bernese, are paired with the keen, alert expression inherited from the Poodle side.
Bernedoodles are not just appealing in looks but also in temperament.
Known for their loyalty and playful nature, they quickly adapt to family life and provide tons of fun.
Their intelligence and eagerness to please make them relatively easy to train, and they excel in both physical and mental challenges.
Bernedoodle Average Size, Lifespan, And Key Life Stages
Bernedoodles are expected to live for 12 to 18 years, depending on the size of the dog.
There’s some disagreement over whether there are three or four main sizes of Bernedoodle, but here, we’ve broken it down into four. These are:
- The Micro Bernedoodle
- The Mini Bernedoodle
- The Medium Bernedoodle and
- The Standard Bernedoodle
Micro Bernedoodles, sometimes known as Toy Bernedoodles, live the longest – with a life expectancy of up to 18 years. They weigh in at 10 to 24 pounds and reach 12 to 17 inches tall.
Mini Bernedoodles can live for around 14 to 17 years and are a little bigger than Micros. They will weigh in at about 25 to 49 pounds. They will reach an adult height of 18–22 inches.
Medium Bernedoodles weigh in at around 50 to 70 pounds in adulthood and reach 19 – 25 inches tall. They usually live for 12 to 15 years.
Standard Bernedoodle can be expected to live for around 12 to 15 years. A Standard Bernedoodle can weigh 70 to 90 pounds when fully grown and will be around 23 to 29 inches in height.
Now, let’s take a quick look at what you can expect at key life stages:
- Two – Three Weeks Old: Just like many puppies, Bernedoodle pups start to open their eyes around two weeks old. This is when they begin to hear, too, and they become more aware of their surroundings.
At three weeks, they start to become more mobile and curious, exploring their environment with newfound enthusiasm.
- Four – Six Weeks Old: At about four weeks, Bernedoodles begin the teething process. Expect those tiny, sharp teeth to start emerging. It’s essential to provide them with appropriate teething toys at this stage to soothe their gums.
- Eight – Ten Weeks Old: At around eight weeks of age, Bernedoodles receive their first set of vaccinations, an essential part of their healthcare routine.
This is also a prime time to begin early socialization and basic training. Despite their playful and occasionally mischievous nature, Bernedoodles are eager to please and respond well to positive reinforcement training methods. Potty training and simple commands can start during this period.
- Six Months Old: As they reach six months, Bernedoodles enter their adolescent phase. This stage is marked by a significant growth spurt and oodles of bernedoodle energy.
Keep up with regular training and socialization to help your teen develop into a well-rounded adult dog.
- One to Two Years Old: The age at which a Bernedoodle reaches its full adult height and weight will depend on its variety. For instance, the smaller breeds – Micros and Minis – will reach adulthood somewhere between 11 and 12 months old. The slightly larger breeds – the Medium and the Standard – will continue to grow and fill out until about 12 to 16 months old.
Depending on when your Bernedoodle reaches adulthood and taking your vet’s advice into consideration, it will be time to transition to an adult dog food formula.
- Seven Years to Ten Years And Older: As Bernedoodles enter their senior years, their care needs may change. The bigger varieties will reach their golden years faster than their smaller counterparts.
Regardless, when they reach this age, their diet might need adjustment to support joint health and maintain a healthy weight, considering that they might be less active than in their younger years.
Bernedoodles are often described as goofballs, but don’t let this fool you, as these dogs are also intelligent; this is a combination that makes them both entertaining and easy to train.
They inherit the Poodle’s intelligence and the Bernese’s good-natured charm, making them excellent family pets.
As a gentle breed, they typically get along well with children and other animals, especially when socialized from a young age.
While they can have a protective streak, Bernedoodles generally have a friendly demeanor.
Their activity level varies but usually mirrors the moderate energy levels of the Bernese, combined with the playful, spirited nature of the Poodle.
They need regular exercise but are often just as happy cuddling on the couch with their family.
Caring For Your Bernedoodle
Below, we’ve included some must-know info about caring for your Bernedoodle to ensure a happy, healthy pooch.
Bernedoodles require a well-balanced, nutritious diet.
For puppies, a diet rich in essential nutrients and proteins is crucial to support their rapid growth and development.
As your Bernedoodle matures, their dietary needs will change. Adult Bernedoodles require a balanced diet that maintains their energy levels and supports their overall health, with a focus on quality proteins, healthy fats, and carbohydrates.
It’s important to monitor their portion sizes to prevent overfeeding, as Bernedoodles can be prone to weight gain.
Senior Bernedoodles may benefit from a diet formulated for older dogs, which can help manage weight and provide the necessary nutrients for aging joints and organs.
Your Bernedoodle will also enjoy some treats, but, as we mentioned, they are prone to weight gain, so keep snacks to a minimum, making up no more than 10% of your dog’s overall diet.
Always have fresh water available, and consider consulting with your vet to tailor your Bernedoodle’s diet to their specific needs, particularly if they have any health concerns.
Bernedoodles are energetic and playful, thriving on regular physical activity and mental stimulation, but their exercise needs are not as demanding as some other breeds.
We recommend carving out up to one or two hours of your day to exercise your Bernedoodle, regardless of their size.
Daily exercise is a must to keep them not only physically fit but also mentally sharp.
Activities can include brisk walks, play sessions in a securely fenced area, and interactive games that challenge their intellect.
If you have children, get them involved in playtime – both your Bernedoolde and your kids will love it.
Grooming is an important part of responsible pet ownership and caring for a Bernedoodle.
Their coat, which can range from wavy to curly, requires regular maintenance to prevent tangling and matting.
Brushing several times a week is recommended, along with professional grooming every few months to keep their coat in optimal condition.
When choosing a brush, a good quality slicker is usually a good all-rounder for tackling their coat and keeping it tangle-free.
During grooming sessions at home, don’t forget to check their ears for signs of infection and keep their nails trimmed to avoid discomfort while walking.
Starting a grooming routine early in life will help your Bernedoodle become accustomed to these activities, making the process smoother for both of you.
Along with a solid grooming routine, a good diet, and regular exercise, there are a few other care considerations you should know about.
You will need to deflea your Bernedoodle about once a month – although this depends on the type of treatment you use.
You can expect to worm your pooch every three months when they reach adulthood (more frequent worming sessions are required for pups).
Your vet can advise you of an ideal flea and worming schedule and can recommend the best products for your particular doggo.
As well as keeping pests at bay, you need to protect your dog from common diseases by taking them for regular vaccinations.
Your vet can advise you on core and non-core shots and how often they are needed.
Common Bernedoodle Health Problems
The good news is that Bernedoodles don’t have as many health problems as pure-breed Bernese Mountain Dogs and Poodles, but, as with all dogs, they can be susceptible to certain conditions, which can be inherited from their relatives, including:
- Elbow and Hip Dysplasia: Elbow and hip dysplasia are common conditions in many dog breeds, including Bernedoodles. These hereditary conditions involve abnormal development of the elbow or hip joints, which can lead to discomfort, pain, and, in severe cases, arthritis. Symptoms may include a reluctance to run, jump, or climb stairs. While genetics play a significant role, factors like improper nutrition, rapid weight gain, or excessive or incorrect types of exercise during growth can exacerbate the problem.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): Progressive Retinal Atrophy is an eye disorder that eventually leads to blindness due to the loss of photoreceptors at the back of the eye. Early symptoms can include night blindness or a noticeable shine to the eyes. PRA is generally recognized as a genetic condition, and while there is currently no cure, affected dogs can often live full lives, particularly if their environments are adapted to their changing visual capabilities.
- Von Willebrand Disease (vWD): Von Willebrand Disease is a blood clotting disorder commonly found in several dog breeds, including Bernedoodles. It’s similar to hemophilia in humans and can lead to excessive bleeding, even from minor injuries.
- Allergies: Bernedoodles, like their parent breeds, can be prone to allergies. These can be food allergies, environmental allergies (like pollen, dust mites, or mold), or allergies to flea bites.
Symptoms can include itchy skin, excessive grooming, red or inflamed skin, ear infections, or gastrointestinal problems. Identifying and managing allergies may involve dietary adjustments, changes in the home environment, and possibly medication.
Bernedoodles have only been around since the early 2000s, but in that time, they’ve risen to popularity thanks to their kind, gentle, and funny natures.
Regardless of the size of your Bernedoodle, you can expect a lifelong friend who will cuddle and play with the whole family.
With the right care and attention, these delightful dogs can live very long lives.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are Bernedoodles expensive?
As a relatively new breed, Bernedoodles can be quite expensive. This is due to the need for responsible breeding, which involves genetic testing. This breed is also in high demand, which can push up the price.
Do Bernedoodles bark a lot?
Bernedoodles are not big barkers and will only tend to bark if there’s a reason for them to.
What is the average lifespan of a Bernedoodle?
The average lifespan of a Bernedoodle is 12 to 18 years, but this depends on the size of the dog.
Are Bernedoodles ever aggressive?
Bernedoodles are generally gentle dogs. As long as they are well-trained and properly socialized, they aren’t usually prone to aggressive behavior.
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