Bernedoodles are mixed breed dogs. They're a cross between a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Poodle, and they exhibit many beloved traits of both breeds. The breed is relatively new, with the first intentional breeding of this cross done by breeder Sherry Rupke of SwissRidge Kennels in 2003. If you're looking for a fluffy, affectionate pet to add to your family, a Bernedoodle might be just what you're looking for.
Bernedoodles come in a wide range of sizes, with some being smaller to medium-sized dogs like many poodles, and others being gentle giants, closer to the Bernese Mountain Dog. Bernedoodles range in size from 12 to 29 inches in height and can weigh anywhere from a tiny 10 lbs. to 90 lbs. or more. If you're looking for a certain size dog, talk to the breeder you select about what you're looking for so they can let you know how big the puppies from certain parents tend to be when they're fully grown.
Some of the best qualities about Bernedoodles are their gentle and happy dispositions. This breed is excellent for families with children or other pets because they're friendly and affectionate, and they generally get along well with other dogs. They do require a lot of human interaction to be happy, so they're not a great choice if your dog will be alone for many hours on a regular basis. Bernedoodles are intelligent and respond well to training, especially if you start training your pet while its young. Puppies with more Bernese Mountain Dog in them can be more headstrong than ones with a more even mix of the two breeds, so it's even more important to stick to a strict training regiment from the beginning with dogs born to parents with more Bernese Mountain Dog blood in them.
Most Bernedoodles have wavy coats that shed very little and are a good choice for people with allergies to pet dander. Some puppies with more poodle in them have curlier coats, and these dogs generally do not shed at all, making them the best type of Bernedoodle for people with more severe allergies. Curlier coats are harder to maintain, however. Bernedoodles need to be brushed regularly to prevent their fur from tangling or matting, and they need to be clipped several times a year at a minimum to keep their coats healthy.
Like other mixed breed dogs, Bernedoodles tend to be healthier than purebred dogs of their parent breeds. They can be prone to some of the same health concerns as poodles and Bernese Mountain Dogs, however, such as eye problems, hip dysplasia, and skin problems. Ask your breeder if there is any genetic testing performed on the parents or puppies to help rule out serious genetic conditions. Because the breed is so new, the overall general lifespan isn't known, but most Bernedoodles should live for 12 to 15 years if they get proper veterinary care and barring any major injury or illness.
If you're still not sure whether a bernedoodle would be a great fit for your family, look for bernedoodle breeders like Petit Jean Puppies who can answer any questions you still have.