We fell in love with how Samson the Goldendoodle has this relaxed demeanor, and he soon became New York’s favorite pooch. Then a video shared on Instagram of baby Theo cuddling with Samson warmed our hearts, and maybe you wondered if you could get such a fluffy dog for your kids. We are here to tell you that it is possible, and it does not even have to be a Goldendoodle; a Bernedoodle will provide you with the same loyalty and affection as you have observed with Samson. However, before you get yourself that adorable breed, here are a few facts you should know to help you make an informed decision.
1. Each Bernedoodle is uniquely different
The fact that a Bernedoodle is a hybrid between a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Poodle means that each litter will be different depending on the genes of the parents. Therefore, if you are interested in having a litter whose traits you can predict, Bernedoodle advises that you search for a breeder who crosses purebreds. The article further enlightens us that the high variation probabilities are because Bernese Mountain Dogs and Poodles have been highly inbred, causing changes in the temperaments and physical appearance of their litter.
2. They are quite expensive
Since the Bernedoodles have continued to be poorly bred, anyone interested in having a healthy Bernedoodle will have to search for a breeder who can offer a well-bred dog. Some breeders will go far and wide in search of purebreds, and the customer will have to incur the cost, mainly if the breeder imported the parents from another country. Usually, the price ranges from $2,500 to $4,000, and the more beautiful a Bernedoodle is, the more expensive it becomes.
3. Their size varies due to Poodle genes
Although male Bernedoodle are usually larger than females, you will notice a variation in size depending on the Poodle from whom the puppy was bred. The miniature size will stand at 18-22 inches tall, with a weight of 20-45 pounds. The standard size is 23-29 inches tall, weighing around 50 -70 pounds while the tiniest size is 12 -17 inches tall and weigh 10-24 pounds. Therefore, when choosing your furry friend, consider the size of your home and backyard because a big dog needs more space. Also, remember large dogs are much more costly to maintain since they will require more food, and their grooming expenses will be much higher.
4. They do not mind being outside
Dogtime discloses that a Bernedoodle will tolerate cold weather much better than hot weather. Since one of their parents, the Bernese Mountain Dog, was for a long time used in the snowy mountains by herders, the Bernedoodle does not mind a little snow in his fur. Moreover, since they can enjoy sunshine up to a limit, this breed means that regardless of when you plan a vacation, be it during winter or summer, you have no reason to leave your companion behind.
5. They barely shed
One main reason why people prefer to have their pets outside is due to their excessive shedding, which makes cleaning a nightmare. Luckily, with a Bernedoodle that should no longer stress you because the dogs do not shed, and if they do, it is minimal. Consequently, if your home has a person allergic to dogs, Bernedoodles will make great companions because they will not trigger any allergies. However, the type of coat usually plays a considerable role in the amount of shedding; a wavy coat such as that of the Poodle will have little shedding while a straight coat such as the Bernese Mountain Dog’s will shed more.
6. Perfect for children and as therapy dogs
Bernedoodles are very friendly and gentle, making them ideal companions for kids regardless of age; maybe it is the fluffy coat that even babies find comforting. As a result of being gentle, Bernedoodles make perfect therapy dogs. Besides, the dog’s moderate energy ensures children and the elderly alike can keep up during playtime.
7. They are not ideal as guard dogs
The fact that Bernedoodles are too friendly means that they will not be any use guarding your home. Although they are wary of strangers, Bernedoodles will barely bark even if they spot a stranger since they are not noisy creatures. Matter of fact is that even that strange dog that happens to wander into your backyard might become your pet’s friend since this breed gets along with other dogs. A Bernedoodle will protect those it loves, a trait that could be from the Bernese Mountain Dogs that were supposed to protect animals from prey in the mountains.
8. They can have a herding instinct
As mentioned above, since the dogs have a Bernese Mountain Dog as a parent, they are prone to inheriting a herding instinct. Consequently, you might notice that every time your pet spots a group of animals or children, it will bring them together for better protection. Therefore, it is up to you as the pet owner to start taming that instinct early to ensure better interaction with the children.
9. They experience separation anxiety
Jenna Lee Designer Doodles explains that the very reason that makes Bernedoodles ideal companions is the same one that makes them prone to separation anxiety. Since the doodles prefer being in packs, they also do well living with other animals and human beings. Therefore leaving them alone dampens their spirits, but you can help your pet adapt to the time you will be away from home. One strategy is crate training such that you put the Bernedoodle in a crate. However, for this method to work, you must introduce the dog to training as early as three weeks of age.
10. The American Kennel Club does not recognize the breed
According to the American Kennel Club, it only recognizes 195 dog breeds. The first breed to be registered was the Pointer in 1878, and in 2020, it has further added the Barbet and Dogo Argentino to the registry. Unfortunately, you will not find the Bernedoodle in that long list because AKC only recognizes pure breeds; the Bernedoodle is a hybrid of two pure breeds. All the same, Bernedoodles are still recognized by other clubs, including the Designer Dogs Kennel Club and the American Canine Hybrid Club.
11. How the breed was discovered
Sherry Rupke fell in love with Bernese Mountain Dogs at 16, and she began breeding them. Unfortunately, her customers were heartbroken that the dogs only got to live up to seven years, so one client suggested she cross-breed the Bernese Mountain Dog with a Poodle. Sherry took up the suggestion, and the Bernedoodle was born. She was further encouraged to proceed with the crossbreeding because she had observed remarkable improvement in the Goldendoodle’s health. Besides, once Sherry sold her first litter of the Bernedoodles and got positive reviews, she knew she was on the right track. She is now a renowned dog breeder who uses her veterinary studies to ensure high-quality animals.
12. They were meant for companionship
Sherry’s aim for crossbreeding the two purebreds was that she wanted families to enjoy the increase in their lifespan and other improved characteristics of the hybrid. Therefore, even though the Bernedoodles are a sight to behold, using them as show dogs will defeat the purpose for which they were created.
13. They are stubborn
Bernese Mountain Dogs are known to be stubborn, especially the males who feel they have to show their dominance. As a result, your Bernedoodle will inherit this trait, which can make training a bit of a headache. Luckily, the dogs are easy to please; with a few treats and positive reinforcement techniques, the stubbornness will disappear, and they will be ready to learn. Some sources believe that the puppies are usually the most stubborn; hence once they outgrow that phase, you will have an eager-to-please dog. However, patience and persistence is the key to culling that undesirable behavior.
14. Each size determines the amount of food to give
Since the Bernedoodle comes in three different sizes, you should feed each size with the right amount of food. A tiny-sized dog cannot eat the same amount as the standard-sized, but luckily the market has specially formulated dog food for each. Larger dogs are most likely to be much more active hence require even more exercise, making their need for calories higher. Usually, the standard-sized dog requires about 1800 calories per day. Puppies, on the other hand, should feed often in small portions to avoid stretching their stomach with a large meal. At first, they need about four meals a day, which you should reduce to two meals per day after they are a year old.
15. They are at risk of elbow and hip dysplasia
Since the Bernese Mountain Dogs are predisposed to hip dysplasia, the Bernedoodle also, unfortunately, is at risk. Pet Ventures Book published that standard-size dogs are usually at a higher risk than their small counterparts. Regardless of size, any dog that was exercised too much in its early stages can develop the painful condition. Since Bernedoodle is moderately active, you should detect the disease by observing that the dog has dramatically reduced its activity and is portraying lameness in the hind legs. Fortunately, surgery can correct the condition, but hip dysplasia surgery is considered one of the most expensive canine operations since it costs between $3500 and $7000 per hip.
16. They have hair, not fur
Although most people think fur and hair refer to the same thing, with some reasoning that fur is for animals while hair grows on humans, the two terms should not be used interchangeably. Hair grows on a single coat while fur develops on a double coat; Bernedoodles have a single coat; hence they have hair. Since the hair can develop curls, it is advisable to brush often to prevent matting and keep the coat shiny and healthy-looking. Trimming the hair is also recommended to make grooming much more manageable.
17. Require regular exercise
If you do not lead an active lifestyle, a Bernedoodle may not be the pet for you. The breed needs regular exercise with the frequency depending on the age. For instance, a 3-month-old puppy should exercise for at least 15 minutes, twice daily, while a six-month-old needs 30 minutes of exercise twice a day. At nine months, the Bernedoodle will do with at least 45 minutes of exercise twice daily, and as they grow older, so will the amount of time set aside for activity. However, you should take care when exercising the puppies since, as we discussed, hip dysplasia could develop later if the joints are strained too much.
18. They are classified based on genetic makeup
Most people know that a Bernedoodle is a hybrid, but they do not understand the extent to which the genes play a part in determining the type of Bernedoodle. We Love Doodles explains that if the Bernedoodle comprises 50 % Poodle genes and 50% Bernese Mountain Dog genes, then the result is an F1 Bernedoodle. The article advises prospective pet owners to pick a dog with more of the Poodle genes than the Bernese Mountain Dog genes since they are less likely to shed hence are hypoallergenic. However, if you are looking for a healthy dog, then go for the F1 Bernedoodle. They do not inherit most of the genetic deficiencies that will be passed down by other parents of the purebred dogs; instead, the hereditary diseases are why should concern you.
19. Their hair color can fade with time
You might fall in love with the dog’s beautiful jet black fur only to later notice that the color is fading to silver or cream. This trait is inherited from the Poodle, whose hair color also tends to fade with time. Fortunately, you can have a tri-colored dog, so the fading effects will not affect its appearance too much.
20. The tiny dogs outlive the large ones
Regarding life expectancy, size matters in Bernedoodles even if the range is 12 to 18 years; you should know that the small ones can live up to 18 years while the larger ones can go up to 12 years. It is still is an improvement from the Bernese Mountain Dog that only lives up to 7 years.
Photo via Wikipedia Commons