Updated: 10/27/2023 – Thinking about adding a Mini Bernedoodle into your life? You are not alone. The Mini Bernadoodle, a delightful blend of the loyal and sturdy Bernese Mountain Dog and the playful and intelligent Poodle, has fast become a top contender among people looking for a dog. Their intelligence and easy-going manner are qualities many people find appealing.
Yet, what truly sets the Miniature Bernedoodle apart is its compact size. While they inherit the charm and characteristics of the standard Bernedoodle, they present it in a form that’s easier for many households to accommodate.And beyond size, their adaptable and affectionate nature allows them to seamlessly fit into various lifestyles.
Whether you’re an active individual seeking a hiking partner or someone who enjoys cool, cozy nights in with a furry friend by your side.
But no dog breed is perfect, and the mini Bernese Mountain Dog Poodle Mix has some traits that might make you think twice before getting one.
Keep reading to discover the Miniature Bernedoodle, both the good and bad about them. In this guide we go over what you need to know about the breed and hear what life is like with these pups from actual Bernedoodle owners.
Quick Facts About the Mini Bernedoodle
|Height||18 to 22″|
|Lifespan||12 and 16 years|
|Temperament||Loyal, active, protective, social, stubborn and intelligent|
|Colors||Tri-color, cream, red, black, chocolate (dark brown), silver and gray coloring.|
Mini Bernedoodle Guide
What is a Mini Bernedoodle?
A Mini Bernedoodle is a hybrid dog breed commonly resulting from the crossbreeding of a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Miniature Poodle. Known for its friendly disposition, intelligence, and low-shedding coat, it’s believed that the mini Bernedoodle combines the best traits of both the poodle parent and the Bernese Mountain Dog parent in a compact size.
But there is a downside to this crossbreed. One of them is the difference in size between the two purebred dogs. Breeding a large dog with a small dog may cause a couple of issues with the offspring.
The first is that there can be a wide range of different sizes within the same litter. The second issue is structural. An example of a structural issue is a dog with short legs and bodies that are too long.
To deal with this issue, some breeders are choosing to use a mini doodle in place of the miniature poodle parent.
Mini Australian Berniedoodle
One such variation is the mini Australian Bernedoodle. In this case a mini Australian labradoodle is used in place of the miniature poodle. Unlike the American Labradoodle, the Australian Labradoodle is a mix of a Labrador Retriever, Poodle, Irish Water Spaniel, American Cocker Spaniel, and English Cocker Spaniel.
Mini Bernedoodle Origins and History
Sherry Rupke of SwissRidge Kennels in Ontario, Canada, is credited with breeding the first standard Bernedoodle. Her aim was to create a doodle more fitting for family life. Unlike the high-energy Labrador or Golden Retriever, the Bernese is more relaxed and requires less exercise, making it a better choice for families.
To understand the Bernese Mountain Dog Poodle mix better let’s take a quick look at the parent breeds.
The Bernese Mountain Dog
The Bernese Mountain Dog, originating from the Swiss Alps, is a large and sturdy breed known for its striking tri-colored coat and gentle disposition. Historically used as a farm dog, they were not only valued for their strength and agility, often employed in pulling carts, but also for their protective instincts, serving as dependable guard dogs for properties and livestock.
Their temperament is affectionate and loyal, making them excellent family members. However they can be a bit reserved with new people. While they relish their outdoor activities, they equally cherish indoor family time.
The Miniature Poodle, originally from Germany and utilized primarily as a duck retriever, is a smaller version of the Standard Poodle. Known for its curly, hypoallergenic coat and high intelligence, the Mini Poodle ranks among the most trainable and obedient of dog breeds.
Their playful and lively nature, combined with their affectionate demeanor, makes them popular companions. Despite their smaller size, they are energetic and thrive on activity, but they also have a loving side, making them great for families and individuals alike.
Mini Bernedoodle Temperament
The Mini Bernedoodle’s temperament is a blend of its parent breeds. Affectionate by nature, they form strong bonds with their families, making them wonderful companions. Their high intelligence, inherited from the Poodle side, ensures they are quick learners and keen observers. However, this intelligence can sometimes translate to stubbornness, which may pose challenges during training.
While they are eager to please, their independent streak means consistent, positive training methods and patience are essential to harness their full potential. Early training is also needed to prevent bad habits from forming.
What do real Bernedoodle Owners have to say about the breed?
When you ask a Bernedoodle owner about their dog’s temperament, you generally get a mixed response. That’s because, much like people, Bernese Mountain Dog Poodle mixes are all different.
But there are common themes when it comes to the Bernedoodle. Here, we will go through each one, and hear from real Bernedoodle owners about their experiences.
First, the most common comment about the Miniature Bernedoodle’s temperament is that they are stubborn. This is also a common trait of the Bernese Mountain Dog. Here are a few comments about the Bernedoodle’s stubbornness from Bernedoodle owners:
Bernedoodles can be stubborn one minute and sweet as pie the next. But training and treats will helpSarah – mini berne doodle parent
First year with a Bernedoodle is rough. They can be so stubborn, but it does get betterGrace – Bernedoodle lover
Time and patience are definitely needed with a bernedoodle, but so well worth it. Our Max is the most lovable dog nowTJ –
Another common comment about the mini Bernedoodle is that they are full of personality. It is often said that they can be very clownish and also very vocal. This vocalization may come in the form of barking, whining or arguing with you through the various sounds they can make.
The Bernedoodle is full of personality!!Kisha H.
Bernedoodles are known to be very affectionate, loyal to their families and love cuddle time as they get older. However, most owners report that as puppies, they are more interested in exploring the world and playing. Here’s what Bernedoodle parents say about children and cuddling.aying.
They are absolutely amazing with kids and love to play.Gini –
Took my pup 2 years to calm down. Now that he is older all he wants to do is cuddle. Unless it’s warm. Then he cuddles with the tile floor.Tyler-
The Miniature Bernadoodle tends to have higher energy levels than their full-sized counterparts. Mini Bernedoodle puppies are know to experience the “zoomies”. If you have small children around you will need to watch to make sure they are not accidentally knocked over. Here’s what Bernedoodle parents say about exercise.
They do their zoomies twice a day to play and exercise.John – mini berniedoodle owner
Bernedoodles are very active dogs that need a lot of exercise.Tim M.
Mini Bernedoodle Physical Characteristics
How big is a Mini Bernedoodle?
When discussing size, the term “mini” for Bernedoodles is relative to the standard Bernedoodle size. A standard F1 Bernedoodle typically weighs between 65 and 110 pounds and stands 23 to 29 inches tall at the shoulder.
In comparison, a Miniature Bernedoodle weighs between 20-50 pounds and measures 18-22 inches at the shoulder.
Mini Bernedoodle Size Variation
A 20 to 50-pound range might seem broad, and rightfully so. This variation results from the stark size differences between the Bernese Mountain Dog and the Miniature Poodle. While the Bernese Mountain Dog weighs between 75 and 110 pounds, the Mini Poodle weighs just 10 to 15 pounds. Some breeders might use a moyen poodle or mini Australian Labraoodle in the mix, further affecting size outcomes. This significant size disparity between parent breeds makes predicting the offspring’s exact size challenging, leaving some Mini Bernedoodle owners with a big surprise when their puppy grows larger than expected.
For more information on the mini Bernedoodle’s size, check out: Bernadoodle Full Grown: How big do they get?
Micro Mini Bernedoodle Size
For those seeking an even smaller size, some breeders offer the Micro mini or Toy Bernedoodle. Micro mini Bernedoodles are bred using a toy poodle. This size class is the smallest among Bernedoodles, weighing between 15-45 pounds. Remember, these size classifications are all relative, especially given the naturally large size of the standard Bernedoodle.
What Colors do Mini Bernedoodles come in?
Mini Bernedoodles come in a variety of colors due to the diverse color genetics of both the Bernese Mountain Dog and the Poodle. Here are some of the most common colors and combinations:
- Tri-color: This is one of the most desired and recognized colors for Bernedoodles. It combines black, white, and rust or tan markings, mirroring the iconic Bernese Mountain Dog coloring.
- Bi-color: This can be black and white, black and rust, or even chocolate and white. Some bi-color Bernedoodles might resemble a Bernese Mountain Dog but without one of the three colors.
- Phantom: These Mini Bernedoodles showcase tan or white markings on a primarily black or chocolate coat, similar to the markings seen on Rottweilers or Dobermans.
- Merle: A merle coat has a solid base color with patches of other colors scattered throughout. This is an uncommon color in Bernedoodles and requires careful breeding practices due to associated health concerns with the merle gene.
- Solid: While less common, solid-colored Mini Bernedoodles can occur. These might be in shades of black, chocolate, or even cream.
It’s essential to understand that coat colors can sometimes be unpredictable, especially in mixed breeds. Moreover, the final adult color of a Bernedoodle might vary from its puppy color, as some colors fade or change with age.
Do Mini Bernedoodles Shed?
Many people are drawn to doodles, mistakenly believing that any breed mixed with a poodle won’t shed.
In truth, it’s not just the poodle heritage that dictates these traits, but rather the specific fur type—or more accurately, the inherited genes—that determine the degree of shedding.
First-generation (F1) Bernedoodles might inherit the straight or slightly wave coats of the Bernese or the curly, non-shedding coat of the poodle. Frequently, they possess a mix, resulting in a wavy coat. In some instances, these dogs can have an “improper” coat—a mix of various fur types.
For example, our first-generation doodle sports curly hair on her legs but long straight fur on her back and face.
An interesting indicator of a Bernese Mountain dog Poodle crossbreed’s shedding potential is its facial hair. Bernedoodles with “furnishings,” or long hair around their mouth and eyes, tend to have a low-shedding coat. Conversely, those without these furnishings, characterized by shorter, smoother facial hair, might shed more.
If you need a low-shedding dog, consider later generation Bernedoodles like the F1B or multi-gen Bernedoodle that have more poodle genetics.
F1 vs. F1B Mini Bernedoodle: What’s the Difference?
Throughout this post I have used terms like F1 or first generation when discussing Bernedoodles. For those new to doodles, these terms can be confusing. Originally, breeders classified doodle generations to indicate the mix of Poodle to the other breed. This classification provided insight into the dog’s likely temperament, coat type, and shedding expectations.
For a deeper understanding of these generation classifications and their implications, see our article on Bernadoodle Generations Explained.
Is the Bernedoodle Hypoallergenic?
The hypoallergenic status of a Bernedoodle largely depends on its genetics and the type of coat it inherits. While no dog is entirely hypoallergenic, some breeds, like the Poodle, are known to produce fewer allergens than others.
A significant source of allergens in dogs is a protein found in their dander, saliva, skin cells, urine, and feces. Dander, which contains this protein, is released when a dog sheds their fur. People with dog allergies typically react to this protein when it gets into the air.
Bernedoodles can inherit the Poodle’s curly, less-shedding coat. Such a coat tends to release fewer allergens, making these Bernedoodles more suitable for people with mild allergies. Conversely, if the Bernedoodle inherits the straighter, more shedding coat of the Bernese, it might release more allergens into the air.
Regardless of the coat type, allergy sufferers should spend time with a Bernedoodle before bringing one home, to gauge their allergic response and ensure a comfortable coexistence.
Mini Bernedoodle Health
What is the lifespan of a Mini Bernedoodle?
The Mini Bernedoodle typically has a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years, influenced by factors like genetics, health, diet, and care. This longevity can be attributed to its Mini Poodle parent, which averages a lifespan of 13 to 15 years, and in some cases, even reaches 18 years. In contrast, the Bernese Mountain Dog tends to have a notably shorter lifespan, averaging just 6 to 10 years.
Mini Bernedoodle Health Concerns
While the Mini Bernedoodle, is considered to have good health thanks to hybrid vigor, they can still inherit health conditions from both parent breeds. Here are some potential health issues to be aware of:
- Hip Dysplasia: A common issue in many larger breeds, including the Bernese Mountain Dog. It’s a genetic condition where the thigh bone doesn’t fit into the hip joint properly, which can lead to arthritis or pain.
- Elbow Dysplasia: Another joint problem where abnormal development of the elbow joint can lead to pain and lameness.
- Eye Conditions: Both Bernese Mountain Dogs and Poodles can have a variety of eye conditions, including Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), cataracts, and others.
- Addison’s Disease: More common in Poodles, this condition affects the dog’s adrenal glands and can lead to symptoms like lethargy, vomiting, and weight loss.
- Skin Issues: Some Mini Bernedoodles can develop skin problems, including hot spots and allergies.
- Von Willebrand’s Disease: A genetic bleeding disorder common in both Poodles and Bernese Mountain Dogs.
- Cancer: Bernese Mountain Dogs, in particular, have a higher risk of certain types of cancers.
- Degenerative Myelopathy: A progressive disease of the spinal cord that can cause lameness.
- Sebaceous Adenitis: A skin condition common in Poodles where the sebaceous glands become inflamed.
It’s important for potential Mini Bernedoodle owners to be aware of these health concerns and to choose breeders who prioritize health screening and responsible breeding practices. Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and proper exercise can also play a crucial role in ensuring a Mini Bernedoodle’s overall health and well-being.
Mini Bernedoodle Care and Maintenance
Adult Mini Bernedoodles generally need around 2 hours of exercise daily. This can encompass regular walks and playful time in a fenced in yard. Puppies might need additional playtime, but try not to make them overtired. An overtired puppy can start to exhibit bad behaviors like biting. If they begin biting excessively, it’s likely time for a nap.
Tip: Every Mini Bernese Mountain dog Poodle crossbreed is unique. Observe their behavior for cues on their exercise needs. Mischievous actions can often indicate a need for more engagement.
When do Bernedoodle puppies start to settle down?
A frequent question from new puppy owners is when will their puppy start to calm down. Typically, most owners find their puppies settling down around the one-year mark. This is somewhat early compared to breeds like Labradoodles or Goldendoodles, which may take 18 months to 2 years.
Bernedoodles, like other doodle breeds, demand consistent coat maintenance. Regular brushing and the occasional trim every 4 to 6 weeks are essential. The exact grooming frequency depends on their specific fur type and length. Longer, curly hair is more susceptible to tangling and thus needs more attention.
Given their low-shedding nature, regular trims are essential to prevent continuous hair growth. Grooming can either be a DIY task or done by a professional. Costs differ based on location, your dog’s size, and their behavior during sessions. Typically, grooming charges range from $65 to $120.
Introducing Puppies to Grooming
It’s beneficial to introduce at-home brushing routines as soon as your puppy joins your household. Acclimating them to grooming early is crucial since it’ll be a regular part of their lives.
However, before you bring them for their first professional grooming session, consult with your vet to determine when it is safe. Upon their approval, you can opt for a puppy cut, which is often a sanitary cut and bath.
Bernedoodle Cost and Where to Find One
How much does a Mini Berniedoodle Cost?
The cost of a Mini Bernedoodle puppy varies based on factors like breeder reputation, location, lineage of the parent dogs, and coat type. Reputable breeders who prioritize health and early socialization typically charge more. Unique coat colors or patterns may also command higher prices.
On average, a Mini Bernedoodle can range from $2,500 to $5,000 or more. It’s crucial to research breeders thoroughly, ensuring they emphasize health and ethical breeding. If you would prefer to have your puppy trained before you bring them home, so you can skip the puppy blues, the price tag goes up to 15K.
To learn more about what goes into the cost of a mini Bernedoodle read our post Mini Bernedoodle Price: What do they cost?
Where to find a Mini Bernedoodle?
- Reputable Breeder: Always research and choose a breeder who follows ethical breeding practices. They should conduct health screenings, offer a health guarantee, and be transparent about their breeding dogs’ health and living conditions.
- Rescue Organizations: Occasionally, Mini Bernedoodles end up in rescue organizations or shelters. The cost to adopt an adult mini Bernedoodle can range between $250 and $600 depending on the age of the dog and the adoption agency. The adoption fees for a young mini bernedoodle puppy may be higher.
- Guardian Homes: Some breeders place their breeding dogs in guardian homes where the dog primarily lives as a family pet but returns to the breeder for breeding purposes. Once their breeding career is over, the dog permanently stays with the guardian family. You can learn more about Guardian programs in our post “Bernedoodle Puppies: Best Places to Get One”.
How long does it take to get a Mini Bernedoodle from a Breeder?
It’s common to have to wait 6 to 12 months for a puppy from a quality breeder. If you want a Bernadoodle with tri-color markings the wait can be even longer.
13 Things to Know About Living with a Mini Bernedoodle
1. Mini Bernadoodles run hot
Bernedoodles tend to run hot. This is not really a surprise when you consider the Bernese Mountain Dog originates from the Swiss Alps where it’s often cold and that the poodle’s curly coat was developed to keep them warm in the water.
Because of their tendency to be hot many do not take to their crate where space is limited to spread out. To help you can set up a fan to blow on them or place their crate near an air conditioner vent.
2. They prefer to sleep on the floor
Because they run hot, Bernedoodles prefer to sleep on the floor rather than a bed. In fact, it’s not uncommon to find a Bernadoodle sleeping on the bathroom floor or kitchen tiles.
3. The Mini Bernadoodle likes to sleep on their backs
Another way they like to sleep is on their backs. The common belief is that this also helps them to cool off when they are getting too hot. Since dogs only have sweat glands in their paws, having them dangle in the air can help them cool off.
4. Bernadoodles are known as “Velcro” dogs
Bernedoodles are often referred to as “Velcro” dogs because of their strong desire to be close to their owners. They love to be with their people. To the point that they will follow you around all day long.
5. The Mini Bernedoodle can be very vocal
They are known to “talk” with their people. This talking may include whining, grumbles, barking and soft growls. Sometimes it’s done to get your attention, but some seem to argue with their humans when they don’t like something.
6. The Bernedoodle lean
As we already covered, Bernedoodles tend to get hot easily. Because of this many don’t like to be cuddled a lot, unless it’s cold, but they do like to lean against their person. Most owners believe this is their way of cuddling without getting too hot.
7. They can lose their puppy teeth quickly
Mini Berniedoodle owners have stated that their pups lost large numbers of their puppy teeth all at once. It seems once they are ready for their adult teeth, all the puppy teeth come out very quickly. Sometimes they lose two or more teeth at a time.
8. Their colors may fade
Due to the poodle’s fading gene, a Bernadoodle’s colors may fade as they mature. The easiest way to determine if your pup might inherit this gene is by looking at the parents or asking if the breeder tested for the gene.
9. The Bernedoodle can be sensitive
This trait comes from the Bernese Mountain dog side of the pairing. Not all Bernepoos will be sensitive but some are. As sensitive dogs they do not do well with punishments. These dogs need to be trained using positive reinforcement only.
10. Can develop separation anxiety
The breed parents of the Bernedoodles were both developed to work alongside humans, either in the fields retrieving prey or on the farm helping with livestock and other duties. So, it only makes sense that these dogs want to be around their people all the time. But Bernedoodles seem to be a bit more prone to Separation Anxiety then other dog breeds.
12. Mini Bernadoodles are born with pink noses
They inherit this trait from the Bernese Mountain Dog side of the genes. All Bernese Mountain Dogs are born with pink noses, while only some poodles are born that way. Though as a mixed breed some puppies will not have pink noses.
Bringing Home a Mini Bernedoodle
Once you decide you want a Miniature Bernedoodle, you should start thinking about what you need for when you bring your puppy home. Puppies require many things, like a leash and collar, food bowls and toys.
One of the things you might not think about is where your puppy will go to the bathroom. Having an established place to train your puppy to go outside will make potty training easier. To learn more, check out our posts on Potty Training a Puppy: Made Easy and Outdoor Dog Potty Area Guide.
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Note: We do not endorse any of the breeders linked to on this page. Links are strictly to use as a reference for information supplied in this post.
Mini Berniedoodle Resources