What is a Bernedoodle?

It finally feels like summer here and I could not be more thrilled. Despite my Transylvanian heritage, I absolutely live for warm weather! Our Bernese Mountain Dogs, Akira and Denali, however, don’t seem to be loving the heat as much as the snow.

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They have actually done better than I thought they would and look quite slim after losing their undercoat, but we still take some extra precautions to make sure they don’t overheat. They get to spend a lot of time in our cool basement.

Photo Credit:  Buckeye Bernedoodles

Photo Credit: Buckeye Bernedoodles

I wanted to answer one question that you may or may not be asking: what is a Bernedoodle? 

To be brief - a Bernedoodle is a cross between a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Poodle.

Not a Saint Bernard and a Poodle (that’s a St. Berdoodle).

Not a Border Collie and a Poodle (that’s a Bordoodle).

And, here is one of my biggest pet peeves: it’s not a Burmadoodle (because they aren’t “Burmese” Mountian Dogs.

I’ll accept “Berniedoodle”, though, it’s not my favorite rendition of their name.

 

Bernese Mountain Dogs

These solidly built dogs originated in the canton of Bern, Switzerland. They were bred to be farm dogs and meant to pull carts, protect the herds, drove cattle, and act as a companion to their owners. 

The original breeding comes from a combination of the farming dogs of the Swiss Alps and the Molosser (not a baking ingredient, these are the Mastiff-type dogs that the Romans brought). Needless to say, Berners are large dogs, usually weighing from 70 to 100 pounds.

By the late 1800s, however, their numbers dwindled and the health of the remaining was not great. A great effort has been put into restoring this breed, but the unfortunate fact was that the damage had been done. Berners typically only live 6 to 10 years and suffer from a high percentage of cancer and other health problems.

They have amazing temperaments and are very gentle with children (we’ve proven this with our own!). They are very loyal and can have separation anxiety when removed from their family. They are also very sensitive and don’t take well to punishment. They are, obviously, beautiful and so fun to have around.

At Joley Aire, we have two amazing Bernese Mountain Dogs: Akira and Denali. They are sisters that we bought from a family in Indiana. We were especially attracted to the health and longevity in their lines to help breed healthier dogs.

Akira is the sensitive one and our son, Jordan’s most loyal companion. She isn’t the most nurturing of our dogs and isn’t so sure about puppies, but I think she’ll come around when she has her own.

Denali is a goofball. She has the silliest quirks of all our dogs and absolutely melts around babies (dog and human). Denali is bigger than Akira and has striking good looks.

 

Why a Poodle cross?

Bernese Mountain Dogs have, sadly, very short life spans because of the inbreeding that happened when they almost died out. They typically live 6-10 years. One great reason to breed them to a Poodle is that the introduction of new genes makes for a healthier dog. This phenomenon is called “Hybrid Vigor”. Google it. It’s awesome.

Another reason to cross them with a Poodle (and probably the reason you are interested in a “Doodle” type of dog) is that they shed less. And if you don’t like dog hair, this is an excellent reason to get a Doodle!

We are going through “shedding season” right now with our Bernese Mountain Dogs and the hair comes off in huge clumps everywhere! Our Bernedoodle, Izzy, however, hasn’t shed at all!

*Worth mentioning: no dog is perfectly non-shedding. After all, even humans loose hair sometimes and you wouldn’t call us shedding. A stray hair here and there makes a lot of difference though when compared to the clumps you’d find from a purebred Berner.

Besides shedding less and bringing in diversified genes, the Poodle gives the Berner a fun, goofy personality when bred conscientiously.  Bernedoodles are an intelligent, fun, and loyal dog that is highly trainable and great with any type of family.

Goldendoodle vs. Bernedoodle

So, why get a Bernedoodle instead of a Goldendoodle (since those are the only two breeds we offer, I’m not going to get into the comparisons of other breeds)?

We love our Goldendoodles. They are so fun and loving, but they have So. Much. Energy! Which is great....for some families.

 
 

Our mission is to provide the perfect family dog and we have felt that part of our market was missing out because they wanted (or needed) something that would be calmer and more laid back.

Bernedoodles fill in that gap perfectly! If you want a dog that will lounge on the couch with you and be perfectly content to lay around all day; the Bernedoodle is for you! If you want a dog that will be ok with your kids climbing all over it; you’ll want a Bernedoodle.

Now, I’m not saying that Goldendoodles don’t do this, they just need to do a lot more running around in between times. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever found the end of Reagan’s energy. She will play catch for hours and hours and still insist you throw the ball again.

Besides temperament, Bernedoodles have a lot more to offer as far as color goes. You can find anything from that beautiful traditional tri-color coat, merle, sable, bi-colored, solid colored, and parti. (Not sure what all those colors are? Check out our Doodle Guide for pictures!)

Our first Bernedoodle Litter

I can’t believe this day is here! We have been dreaming and planning for a Bernedoodle litter for a long time and now we have the great pleasure of announcing that we are 2 months away from that becoming a reality!

Izzy is in season and will, hopefully, become pregnant and will, hopefully, have puppies at the end of August! You can read much more about Izzy and her stud, Fletcher on this Breeder’s Log post.

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This litter of Bernedoodles is expected to have flashy and fun coloring! They should grow to be a nice small to medium size in the 30 to 60-pound range and have minimally shedding coats.

Since Izzy is an F1 Bernedoodle and we are crossing her back to a Poodle, these puppies will be the F1b generation (Not sure what that means? Read our guide to generations here). This is our favorite generation for lower shedding coats!

We hope these puppies will inherit their mom’s grace and sweet personality and their dad’s brains and silliness. I believe they will be fun, spunky little puppies with big hearts.

Izzy and Fletch have been health tested and deemed a good match for breeding and won’t pass on genetic defects to their puppies. The health of the puppies we breed is important because we know that it will help avoid costly vet bills and broken hearts for their future families.

We won’t be opening up the Waiting List for Izzy and Fletch just yet because it’s our first time breeding them and I want to make sure she gets pregnant first. 

If you want to reserve a spot for one of these puppies, join our Newsletter

So, I hope this has answered all your questions about Bernedoodles. We went over what they are, a little about the Bernese Mountain Dog’s history and characteristics, why they make a great cross with a Poodle, and how you can get your own Bernedoodle (by subscribing to our Newsletter to get one of Izzy’s puppies). Now I want to hear from you: What do you think of Bernedoodles? Have you heard about them before Joley Aire? Do you want one in your future? Comment below!

 
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Your turn!

What do you think of Bernedoodles? Have you heard about them before Joley Aire? Do you want one in your future? Comment below!