The Bernedoodle is a cross between a purebred Bernese Mountain Dog and a purebred Poodle. This mix blends the smarts and workability of the Poodle with the placid loyalty of the Bernese. Depending on the Bernedoodle's generation (F1, F1b, F2, etc.), it can have varying percentages of Poodle vs. Bernese Mountain Dog genetics. The amount of possible genetic combinations within the Bernedoodle breed results in many variations of coat texture, color, temperament, agility, and size.
Bernedoodles are fun, easy-going, loyal, patient, gentle with children and other animals, loving, and extremely smart. But keep in mind that they can also be stubborn and switch into sloth-mode if asked to do something that they're not excited about.
Bernedoodles are known for their silly demeanor and happy-go-lucky attitude. They enjoy a walk through the neighborhood, making new friends at the park, or going on an adventurous hike, but they are also content just being with you while watching Netflix and getting a belly rub.
Since Bernedoodles can be very in-tune with their owner’s feelings, they make excellent emotional support dogs for people with PTSD or anxiety. They know just when to give a comforting hug, a gentle nudge with their nose, or the infamous Berner-lean.
F1, F2, F1B?? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?
I JUST WANT A BERNEDOODLE!
Since the Bernedoodle is a crossbreed, there are many different combinations that can produce one. To indicate what pairing was used that resulted in a particular Bernedoodle puppy, breeders and buyers alike, often use the appropriate filial generation to describe a litter. The use of the doodle generations helps future puppy families get a better idea on what to expect of future temperament tendencies, coat texture, possibility of shedding, and body structure. Theoretically speaking, a puppy from two F1 Bernedoodle parents could look almost like a purebred Poodle or a Bernese Mountain Dog, depending on which combination of genes came into play. Even though most Bernedoodles fall into the middle of the spectrum, there can still be significant differences in coat, shedding, and build, even amongst litter mates.
THE MOST COMMON DOODLE GENERATIONS
Here is a quick guide to the most common Bernedoodle generations
The first, and therefore original, Bernedoodle generation is the F1, which is produced by pairing a Bernese Mountain Dog with a Standard Poodle. It does not matter if the Bernese Mountain Dog is the dam and the Poodle the sire, or vice versa. Each puppy inherits 50% of the genetic make up from each parent.
In general, F1 Bernedoodles have a wavy coat, and they are usually medium to low shedders. Their coats require a moderate amount of grooming to prevent tangles and matting, and their build can be on the heavier side, with some F1 Standard Bernedoodles surpassing the 100 lbs mark.
The F1b Bernedoodle has one Poodle parent and one F1 Bernedoodle parent. This combination gives it a higher genetic percentage of the Poodle compared to an F1 Bernedoodle.
Most F1b Bernedoodles have a coat that ranges from wavy to very curly, and are usually low to non-shedding. The curly coats have a wonderfully light, almost cloud-like feel, which is great for petting, but they generally require more frequent grooming to prevent matting.
Compared to an F1 Bernedoodle, F1b Bernedoodles may have a more athletic build, which makes them excellent running buddies and candidates for dog sports.
The pairing of an F1 Bernedoodle with another F1 Bernedoodle results in a litter of F2 Bernedoodles. The features of the F2 Bernedoodle can be very unpredictable, since they can theoretically range from a purebred Poodle to a Bernese Mountain Dog and everything in between. That means that you could have siblings from the same litter, with one having a slender body and extremely curly hair, and another being unfurnished (short/smooth hair on the face and on the lower legs), and being a heavy shedder with a stocky build.
MULTIGENERATIONAL BERNEDOODLES (F3 AND HIGHER)
Any pairing of an F1b or later generation Bernedoodle to another Bernedoodle results in multigenerational Bernedoodles. Through genetic testing and careful consideration of both parents' traits, these multigen Bernedoodles can have a more predictable coat. Multigen Bernedoodles also allow us to produce puppies that meet our breeding goals more consistently, like a cobbier body structure, wavy/shaggy non-shedding coat that is easier to maintain, and a mellow temperament.
Did you know that the most frequently asked question we get from potential puppy families is about the size of our puppies? It’s no surprise, since Bernedoodles (and other Doodles too) can greatly vary in size from tiny 15 lbs Micros to Standards than can easily reach 100 lbs! Families want to know what to expect! That’s why it is so important to talk in terms of a weight range and height rather than categories like Mini, Medium, and Standard. A Mini Bernedoodle to one person could be twice as big as a Mini to another person.
If your dog’s adult size is of utmost importance to you, it would be wise to:
- Pick from a litter that comes from similarly sized dogs over several generations
- Pick from a pairing that has already had a litter which is now full grown
And even if you do all of your research and follow the above advice, there is still no guarantee that your puppy will grow to its predicted size.
The takeaway: If you are open to a SIZE RANGE, the Bernedoodle could be a great companion, but if you MUST have a dog that will grow to a very SPECIFIC size (due to landlord rules, service dog tasks, etc.), a purebred dog might be the wiser choice.
THE COLORFUL WORLD OF THE BERNEDOODLE
Here is a look at the most common Bernedoodle colors
Since Poodles come in such a variety of colors, Bernedoodles do too!
Two Bernedoodles that are the same color in genetic terms, can look completely different. Phantom markings, for example, can range in color from white/cream, or almost silver, to golden, tan, and a deep rust or red tone.
The world of doodles offers something for almost everyone
The social butterfly
Goldendoodles have been known to be friendly and active throughout their lives. They need a lot of exercise and playtime to keep them from seeking out trouble.
Goldendoodles are people dogs. They very rarely will come across a person that they don’t like. Everyone is a potential friend and playmate.
Labradoodles are loyal, highly trainable and friendly, and always ready for fun.
Labradoodles are active dogs who love swimming and can get bored if they don't have a job to do.
EVEN MORE DOODLES
With so many doodle varieties available today, it is important to educate yourself before making the decision to welcome a dog into your life for the next fifteen years or more. If you are feeling overwhelmed to make the right choice, learn about the non-poodle breed that was used to create the doodle (i.e. Irish Setter for Irishdoodle, Saint Bernard for Saint Berdoodles, etc.). Take a closer look at their temperaments and the original purpose they were bred for. The AKC website or the appropriate parent breed club are very helpful resources to research the various breeds.
One should never choose a dog based solely on looks, but if allergies play a role in your family, there are many non-doodle breeds who could be wonderful options since their coats may be more predictable than that of a mixed breed.