Ana Oliveira
Dr Ana Oliveira (DVM, University of Lisbon)
Photo of adult Bernedoodle
Ali19288 /

The cross between a female Bernese Mountain Dog and a Poodle results in the fluffy, teddy bear-like Bernedoodle – a gentle, goofy, and friendly crossbreed. Bernedoodles are attractive dogs because they are more hypoallergenic than most dog breeds due to their Poodle parent contribution. Also, they are bred to be companion dogs, rather than show dogs, turning out to be loving family pets.

There are three sizes of the Bernedoodle: standard, mini, and toy. They are considered intelligent and responsive, very fond of people and children, and also friendly towards other pets. They can be stubborn as puppies, but this characteristic tends to fade with age. Because they are a hybrid dog, they are healthier than their parents. They enjoy both playtime and cuddling with their owners.

About & History

Bernedoodles are also called Bernese Mountain Dog Poos, Bernepoos, Bernesepoos, and Bernesedoodles. This new crossbreed is believed to have first been intentionally bred in 2003 by Sherry Rupke of Swissridge Kennels, in Canada. Some, however, claim that the accidental crossbreeding of a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Poodle has probably occurred before. Bernedoodles are not recognised by the American Kennel Club, but they are by the American Canine Hybrid Club, the Designer Dogs Kennel Club, the International Designer Canine Registry, and the Designer Breed Registry.

This new breed was deliberately created to be a good companion dog, in detriment of good performance in shows or appearance. Nonetheless, the result was a good-looking dog, regardless of the characteristics it inherits from either parents, as the Bernedoodle may differ in physical appearance. In fact, puppies from the same litter may have different sizes and coats, depending on the genetic contribution passed on be each parent. Second-generation Bernedoodles (F2) are more consistent and predictable in terms of appearance and temperament, though they have higher changes of being affected by the health problems of their parents. Bernedoodles that are 75% Poodle (F1B) are the most hypoallergenic and shed the least.


Bernedoodle Large Photo
Quinner1124 /

Bernedoodles may have curly, wavy, or straight hair. The curlier the hair, the more hypoallergenic the dog is. Its coat is thick and dense, with harsh texture. It can also be corded, with cords varying in length. The Bernedoodle coat allows it to be cool in the summer and protected against the cold in the winter. Coat colours can be:

  • White
  • Brown
  • Black
  • Black and white
  • Black and brown
  • White and brown
  • Black sable
  • Tri-coloured with patches of black, white, and brown
  • Blue
  • Grey
  • Fawn
  • Apricot
  • Cream
  • Merle

Bernedoodles are squarely built, with oval eyes, dark, and set far apart. They have ears hanging close to their head, long, triangular muzzle, and a bushy tail that is carried high. They also have thick, cushioned pads. If the Bernese genetics is more dominant, the Bernedoodle will look more sturdy and square, and its figure longer than taller.

Bernepoos come in three different sizes. The standard size, which results from the crossing of a Standard Poodle with a Bernese Mountain Dog is 58 to 74 cm (23-29 inches) tall and weighs between 32 and 41 kg (70-90 pounds). A Mini Bernedoodle (Miniature Poodle x Bernese Mountain Dog) is 46 to 56 cm (18-22 inches) tall, weighing between 11 and 22 kg (25-49 pounds). Lastly, the Toy or Tiny Bernedoodle is a cross between a Toy Poodle and a Bernese Mountain Dog and results in a small dog, 30 to 43 cm (12-17 inches) tall, weighing from 4.5 to 11 kg (10-24 pounds). Obviously, the Bernese Mountain Dog parent is always the mother, as problems in labour/dystocia would most probably occur with a Poodle mother.

Character & Temperament

Bernedoodles are excellent companion dogs. They were bred to be so and the dog lives up to their purpose, being affectionate, calm, and gentle to people and animals alike. They are a good choice for a family pet, as they are people-oriented, they love to spend time with the family, engaging in all activities and games, but they will also calmly cuddle in the sofa, taking great pleasure of time spent close to humans.

They are very intelligent, gentle, and loyal, which also makes them great therapy, service, and assistance dogs. It is not always straightforward to predict how a puppy will turn out, but they will certainly always be friendly, playful, and loving. It is the placid and loyal nature of their Bernese parent, along with the happy-go-lucky and goofy temperament of the Poodle that contribute to the charming Bernedoodle. They are curious and somewhat stubborn at an early age, though they usually outgrow this characteristic when trained and socialised. They may be aware of strangers, which makes them good watchdogs.

They prefer the cold weather and they can be extremely active and playful, so they are well-suited for owners who spend time outdoors, hike, and have an overall active lifestyle. They are good swimmers, just like the Poodle, they enjoy running, fetching the ball, and any other stimulating game. Bernedoodles crave human attention and although they are generally very adaptable, they may suffer from separation anxiety, so they are not ideal pets for owners who spend long periods of time away from home.


Photo of Bernedoodle puppy
Bernedoodle Dog /

As with any other dog, it is easier to train the Bernedoodle when it is still a puppy and is eager to learn. They are quite trainable, as they are clever dogs, but they can also be mischievous and stubborn. Nevertheless, this headstrong tendency tends to decrease with age, and a thorough training routine will prove itself successful with enough patience and consistency.

Training is also important to prevent Bernedoodles from becoming too hyperactive or even neurotic. Training should always be performed in a gentle manner, with positive reinforcement, for better results. Socialisation is also of utmost importance, as they have a tendency for disliking strangers and may become skittish.


Bernepoos are healthy dogs, more so than their purebred parents. They also live long lives. A Standard Bernedoodle may live up to 15 years, a Mini up to 17, and a Toy up to 18 years. Their main health issues, when present, are:

Hip Dysplasia

Bernedoodles may inherit hip dysplasia from their Bernese Mountain Dog parent. This is a painful and debilitating condition that affects the hip joint of large dogs. The hip socket and the femur bone do not fit properly, which causes a malfunction of the joint that, with the constant wear and tear, develops inflammation and later on, lameness.

Elbow Dysplasia

This is a condition occurring in the elbow joint, whose precise cause is not fully known. It may result from abnormal cartilage growth, an accident, or may even have a nutritional cause. Because bone growth is mismatched, the joint does not work properly, creating increased pressure that further damages the joint, causing pain and lameness.

Skin Issues

Skin problems occurring in Bernedoodles include allergies and hot spots (or moist dermatitis), which are skin lesions caused by the dog constantly and excessively licking, scratching, or itching, eventually causing a wet scab on the skin.

Bone Issues

When there is higher genetic contribution of the Bernese parent, issues with bones may also occur.

Exercise and Activity Levels

Bernedoodles are active and enthusiastic with moderate exercise needs. A long daily walk is usually enough to tire and make Bernepoos happy. They will, however, happily hike with their owner, join him on a run, or any other physical activity, as they love to be close to their family and have a playful, energetic nature.

They are very adaptable to different lifestyles, so they will also thrive in less active households, provided they have their daily walk. Along with playtime, Bernepoos love to cuddle close to humans and are great company.


One of the desirable traits of Bernedoodles is that they shed very little. Also, they are more hypoallergenic than other dogs, which makes them the perfect pet candidate for people with allergies. Although they do not shed much, they require to be groomed and brushed once or twice a week to prevent their coat from matting.

Brushing also provides the owner and dog the opportunity to strengthen the human-animal bond. Usually, the curlier the hair, the more difficult it is to groom. Every few months their coat should also be trimmed. Baths should only be given when necessary. Clipping its nails and keeping the eyes and ears clean are also part of the Bernedoodle’s grooming routine.

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