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Mini Bernedoodle Guide: 13 Little Known Facts 2023

Updated: 05/11/2023 – If you’re looking for a smaller doodle that is also a wonderful family dog, the Mini Bernedoodle is a great option.

Much smaller than a standard sized Bernedoodle but not as small as some of the other mini doodle breeds, the mini Berniedoodle is quickly becoming a popular choice as more people learn about them.

But no dog breed is perfect and the mini Berniedoodle has some traits that might make you think twice before getting one.

Join us as we go over what’s good and bad about the Miniature Bernedoodle.

Mini Bernedoodle Guide: What the Others Don't Tell You

Quick Facts About the Mini Bernedoodle

Height18 to 22″ 
Lifespan12 and 16 years
TemperamentLoyal, active, protective, social, stubborn and intelligent
ColorsTri-color, cream, red, black, chocolate (dark brown), silver and gray coloring.
Mini Bernedoodle Facts including: height, weight, lifespan, temperament and colors

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 Bernedoodle Basics

You can’t have a guide without going over the basics, so let’s start here.

What is a Miniature Bernedoodle?

Originally, the Mini Bernedoodle was bred by mating a Bernese Mountain dog with a miniature poodle. However, it is becoming more common for breeders to use a mini doodle in place of the miniature poodle. Thus, creating new variations of the Bernedoodle.

One such variation is the mini Australian Berniedoodle. An Australian Berniedoodle is the combination of the Bernese Mountain Dog and a mini Australian Labradoodle.

Unlike the American Labradoodle, which is a Poodle/Labrador Retriever crossbreed, the Australian Labradoodle is a cross between a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle, but they can also include the Irish Water Spaniel, American Cocker Spaniel, and English Cocker Spaniel.

One of the main reasons’ breeders give for using a mini Australian Labradoodle is to achieve consistent sizing in the mini Bernedoodle.

Why is sizing an issue with the Bernadoodle mini?

When you breed a very large dog to a much smaller dog, as it the case with the Bernadoodle mini, the offspring can have a wide range in sizes within the same litter.

Crossing two dogs with a vast difference in size can also cause structural issues; like a long body and short legs. Since the mini Australian Labradoodle is larger than a mini poodle, these issues should be less dramatic.

Not all breeders will tell you if they are adding another breed to the mix. Some will call the mix by a new name, like the Austrian Labradoodle I mentioned above, but not all breeders do. If this is a concern for you make sure to ask your breeder what breed the parents are.

Why cross a Bernese Mountain Dog with a Poodle?

The first Bernese/Poodle cross is claimed to be bred by a Canadian breeder. She states that it was her intention to breed a doodle that was better suited for family life.

Unlike the high-energy Labrador Retriever, the Bernese is very laid back and easy going. Plus, they require less exercise making them better for busy families. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need daily exercise. It’s just not as much as a Labradoodle.

Let’s take a look at each parent breed to understand what the Bernedoodle is like.

Miniature Bernedoodle Guide - Bernese Mountain Dog Puppy

The Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain dog is one of the four Sennenhund-type dogs originating in the Swiss Alps.  All four dogs have similar black, brown and white markings but they differ in size and fur type.

The Bernese is the second largest in the group and the only one with long fur.  

The Bernese, or Bernie as they are commonly called, was bred to be a general farm dog. They spent their time watching over the flocks and helping out on the farm as needed. Sometimes they were used to pull small wagons.

As former guard dogs they tend to be reserved and standoffish to new people, but are very loyal to their families.

The Bernese is a large, hardy dog that loves being outside and prefers cooler climates that resemble their native Swiss alps. They’re very family oriented and have a great deal of love and commitment to their families.

Unfortunately, they do have their share of health problems and their average lifespan is only 6-10 years

Mini Bernedoodle Guide - poodle puppy

The Poodle

Both France and Germany claim the poodle as their own. While no one knows for sure where the dogs originated, both countries agree that they were breed to be a waterfowl retriever.

Regardless of where they came from Poodles are highly intelligent, natural athletes and have a wonderfully goofy personality.

Plus, they don’t shed which is why they are paired to so many other breeds.

While the Bernese only comes in one size – large, Poodles come in four sizes; Toy, Mini, Moyen (medium) and Standard. To breed the mini Bernedoodle, a miniature poodle, toy or moyen poodle may be used.

The mini poodle, if carefully bred lives a long life, averaging about 15 years.

Crossing these two breeds creates a healthier dog that sheds less than a Bernese. Bernedoodles are also known to have the laid-back confidence of the Bernese and the high intelligence and willing to please attitude of the poodle.

The Mini Bernedoodle Temperament

The Bernedoodle is known as an affectionate dog, that loves their family. They are considered to be highly intelligent and can learn commands quickly. But, they are also stubborn which makes training them more difficult. They are active pups that need a lot of exercise, especially when young. However, they also love to cuddle. That is, unless it’s too hot to cuddle.

But lets hear what Bernedoodle owners think about their dogs temperament.

When you ask a Bernedoodle owner about their dog’s temperament, you generally get a mixed response. That’s because much like people, Bernadoodles 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 with the Bernedoodles in their lives.

  1. 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 Bernedoodles stubbornness from the people who love them.

Bernedoodles can be stubborn one minute and sweet as pie the next. But training and treats will help

Sarah – mini berne doodle parent

First year with a Bernedoodle is rough. They can be so stubborn, but it does get better

Grace – Bernedoodle lover

Time and patience are definitely needed with a bernedoodle, but so well worth it. Our Max is the most lovable dog now

TJ –
  1. Another common comment about the mini Berniedoodle 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.
  1. They are 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 kids and cuddling.

They are absolutely amazing with kids, 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.

  1. Like all puppies they are full of energy. Many will get the zoomies. This is spurts of racing around the house or yard at full speed. If you are not used to it, you may think your puppy has lost their mind, but rest assure it’s a normal puppy thing.
  1. In general, the Miniature Bernadoodle tends to have higher energy levels than their full-sized counter parts, but they also know how to chill.
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.

Don’t let the fact that the Bernedoodle can be stubborn dissuade you from getting one. It can be overcome with consistent training and high value treats.

Miniature Bernedoodle dogs - Canva

How big is a Mini Bernedoodle?

When it comes to size, the term “mini” is relative to the size of a standard Bernedoodle. A standard sized F1 Bernedoodle can be between 65 and 110 pound and 23 to 29 inches tall at the shoulder.

So, a mini Bernedoodle can be between 20-50 pounds and 18-22 inches at the shoulder and still be consider a “mini”.

Mini Berniedoodle Size Comparison

You may be thinking that 20 to 50 pounds is a huge size range and you would be correct.

The reason for the big range is due to the size differences of the Bernese Mountain dog and the mini poodle.

The Bernese Mountain dog generally falls between 75 and 110 pounds. Mini poodles are on the complete opposite end of the size spectrum and are between 10 and 15 pounds. Some breeders will use a Moyen poodle for breeding, which the size between the mini poodle and a standard poodle.

The large size difference makes it difficult to determine the size of the off-spring. It’s not uncommon to hear a miniature Bernedoodle owner state that they expected a smaller dog, than what they ended up with.

If getting a smaller Bernedoodle is important to you, consider getting a later generation doodle. I will explain this more a little later in this post.

For more information on the mini Bernedoodle’s size, check out: Bernedoode Full Grown: How big do they get?

Tiny or micro Bernedoodle

If you really want a smaller sized pup some breeders now offer a Tiny or micro Bernedoodle. These pups are the smallest sized Bernedoodle you can find. 

The micro Bernedoodle ranges in size from 15-45 pounds. Again, it’s all relative to the extra-large size of the Berniedoodle.

Do Mini Bernedoodles Shed?

Many people are attracted to doodles because of the common miss-perception that all breeds crossed with a poodle will not shed and are hypoallergenic.

The reality is that it’s not just that they are part poodle, but the type of fur (aka genes) they inherit that will determine the amount of shedding and in turn how hypoallergenic they are.

First generation Bernedoodles can inherit either the straight coat of the Bernese or the curly non-shedding coat of the poodle. Often, they will inherit a blend of the two and display a wavy coat.

Sometimes they end up with an improper coat that has a mix of different fur types. Our first-generation doodle has curly hair on her legs but long straight hair on her back and face.

One of the ways to determine if a Bernedoodle will shed is by their facial hair. Bernedoodles that are furnished, meaning they have long hair around their mouth and eyes are less likely to shed or will shed less than a dog that is unfurnished or has short smooth facial hair.

If having a low-shed dog is important to you, consider getting a F1B or multigen Bernedoodle.

Is the Bernedoodle Hypoallergenic?

How much a dog sheds goes hand in hand with how many allergens are released into the air.

You see, most people who are allergic to dogs are actually allergic to a protein in a dog’s skin cells. These proteins are released into the air when a dog sheds by way of tiny bits of dandruff that is attached to the hair.

So, the more a dog sheds, the more chances there are for someone to come into contact with this allergy causing protein.

The poodle’s curly coat does not shed like other dog types. Double coated breeds need to shed their fur during much of the year to get rid of old fur and make room for new fur.

Poodles on the other hand need to have haircuts like you and me to get rid of old hair. Though they will shed a little, just like most humans.

If a Bernedoodle inherits the poodle’s curly coat, they will naturally shed less, therefore reducing the number of allergens in the air. The reverse is also true. If your Bernedoodle inherits a straighter the coat, they will shed, but generally still less than a purebred Bernese.

It is not unusual for a puppy’s fur to change when they grow in their adult coat. So, you will not know what type of fur your puppy inherited until they are fully grown.

One thing to keep in mind about dog allergies is that there are other ways to come in contact with the protein. It is also present in their saliva and urine.

F1 Mini Bernedoodle Vs F1B Mini Bernedoodle?

Throughout this post I have used terms like F1 or first generation to describe a Bernedoodle. If you are new to the world of doodles you may not know what these terms mean. So, let’s us take a moment to explain what they are and why we use them.

Way back when doodles were first created and genetic testing was not as widely available as they are today, breeders used a doodle generation classification system to determine how much poodle vs the other breed doodles had in them.

This allowed breeders to have some idea as to what personality the dog might have, the type of fur and how much shedding could be expected.

Mini Berne doodle Guide: 12 Little Known Facts

Mini Bernedoodle Generations Explained

F1 Miniature Bernedoodle

​The F1 Bernedoodle is a first generation cross (or first time) the Bernese and miniature poodle are bred together.

The F1 bernedoodle is considered to be the healthiest of the generations because they are 50% poodle and 50% Bernese. This means they have the least chance of inheriting two genes that cause common health conditions.

But there are still some conditions that are common in both the poodle and Bernese so it is best to go to a breeder that does genetic health testing.

F1 Bernedoodles will usually have a straight to wavy coat and tend to shed. Occasionally, you can get a curly coat with no shedding.

F1 Bernedoodle is a good choice for someone who does not mind shedding and wants to retain more of the Bernese personality without having an extra large dog.

Bernedoodle Generation Chart - describes the breeding of a F1 and F1b mini berniedoodle
Bernedoodle Generation Chart

F1b Miniature Bernedoodle

The F1b is a second generation cross between a Bernedoodle and a poodle. The b in F1b stand for Back. As in breeding BACK to one of the original breeds used in the F1 Bernedoodle.

When a poodle is used in the cross-back breeding the puppies are believed to be 25 percent Bernese Mountain dog, and 75 percent mini Poodle.

F1b puppies that were conceived via a crossed back to a poodle are more likely to have a non-shedding, hypoallergenic coat thanks to the greater percentage of poodle genes. The tradeoff is that your doodle might have a curlier coat and have more “poodle” traits.

On rare occasions a breeder might choose to use a Bernese as the crossback in breeding a F1b Bernedoodle. This would result in a dog with more of the Bernese’s traits but they are more likely to shed.

If shedding is a concern for you a F1B or Multigen Bernedoodle might be the better choice.

F2 Miniature Bernedoodle

The F2 is a second-generation cross, in which an F1 Bernedoodle is crossed with another F1 Bernedoodle.

These dogs can be a bit of a mixed bag of traits, because there is no way of knowing which genes are being passed down.

Remember the F1 Bernedoodle is 50% Bernese and 50% poodle. While a mini’s size should be more consistent, it is still too early in the generations to guarantee anything. Plus, they are more prone to the health conditions that affect the parent breeds.

Multigenerational Bernedoodle

Multi-generation doodles are far removed from the original F1 pairing. Multi-gen Bernadoodles will have more consistency in appearance and size, but have a greater chance of inheriting the genetic health problems of purebreds.

When choosing a Multigen-Berndeoodle, make sure to buy from a breeder that commits to health testing their breeding dogs.

What is a furnished Miniature Bernedoodle?

Earlier in this post I mentioned that Bernedoodles can be furnished or unfurnished. Let’s discuss this in greater detail.

The term “furnishings” refers to the long hair on a dog’s face that makes a doodle look like a teddy bear. This includes the long fluffy mustache and eye brows that gives a doodle that sweet look. Unfurnished dogs will have short straight fur on their face.

In the picture below, you can see that the Bernese Mountain Dog (picture on the right) is an unfurnished breed. Although this puppy has long wavy fur on the top of his head, his facial hair is short and straight.

On the other hand, the poodle (shown in the picture to the left) is a furnished breed. You can see in the picture that the puppy has long fur on their muzzle and the long eyebrows.

What is a furnished Bernedoodle?

How does a dog get furnishings?

Since furnishings are a dominant trait, a dog only needs one copy of the furnishing gene to have the fluffy look. This means a F1 Mini Berniedoodle (50% purebred Bernese Mountain Dog and 50% mini poodle) should inherit the long hair on their face.

Where it gets complicated is when you start looking at multi-generation Bernadoodles. Since two F1 Bernedoodles will each carry one furnished gene and one unfurnished there is a chance for at least some of the puppies to have no furnished genes.

The good news is that all of this can be determined through genetic testing. This is why it’s important to only use a breeder that does both health and genetic testing on their dogs.

Mini Bernedoodle Guide: 12 Little Known Facts

What Colors do Mini Bernedoodles come in?

Mini Berniedoodles come in a range of colors and patterns. While the Bernese will always pass down the genes for their tri-color coat, poodles can pass on both dominate and recessive color genes.

Poodles carry genes that can include shades of cream, apricot, red, black, chocolate (dark brown), silver and gray coloring.

They also carry the genes for popular color patterns, like Phantom and not so popular genes like the fading gene.  

As you can see in the picture above, Bernedoodles can inherit the tri-color coat, a bi-color coat or a single-color coat.

Mini Bernedoodle Care

Exercise Requirements

A grown mini will typically require about 2 hours of daily exercise. This can be in the form of daily walks and playtime in the yard. But puppies will require more play time.

Remember to try not to make your puppy overtired, since this can cause behavioral problems. If they start biting a lot it is probably time for a nap.

Every dog is different so try to follow their clues to see how much exercise they need. If they are getting into trouble, they probably need more attention from you.

When do Bernedoodle puppies start to settle down?

A common question about Bernedoodle puppies is when will they start to settle down. Most owners say that their pups started to settle down around a year, which is sooner than the Labradoodle or Goldendoodle. Both of which take until 18 months to two years to settle down.

Coat Maintenance

If anyone has ever told you that the Bernedoodle is a low maintenance dog, they either don’t have one or they are not taking care of their Bernedoodle properly.

Like all doodles, the Bernedoodle requires a fair amount to maintenance to keep their coat in good shape. This includes frequent brushing and line combing, in addition to haircuts every 4 to 6 weeks.

The actual amount of time you will need to spend on daily brushing and combing will depend on their fur type and the length of their fur.

The curlier the hair the more prone they are to matting which means they need to be combed more often. Also the longer their hair the greater chance of it getting tangled when it falls out.

Since Bernedoodle do not shed much, they need to have their fur cut on a regular basis. Just like humans their fur may continuously grow. You can either chose to groom them yourself or find a good groomer.

The cost of a groomer will depend on where you live, the size of your dog and how well they behave while being groomed. In most areas the cost of a groomer will be between $65 and $120.

When to start grooming your puppy?

You should start brushing your puppy as soon as you bring them home. It is important for them to get used to the daily grooming, since they will need it for the rest of their lives. Talk to your vet about when it is safe to bring them to the groomer.

How much does a Mini Berniedoodle Cost?

The average cost of a health tested mini Bernedoodle is $3,000 to $6,000, with the popular tri-color pups being the most expensive.

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.

While the cost might seem high, so is the demand for these pups.

Plus, there are still a limited number of quality breeders to get your pup from. High demand plus low inventory always means higher prices.

If you find a Bernadoodle puppy for less ask lots of questions to make sure they are not from a puppy mill.

Where to find a Mini Bernedoodle?

When searching for one of these dogs you can either look for a Bernedoodle rescue or go to a quality breeder. If you chose to get your pup from a breeder make sure to ask a lot of questions.

The breeder should be knowledgeable in the parent breeds and the breeding process. Plus, they should be able to provide proof of the health testing for genetic traits on parent dogs.

It is 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.

What is the lifespan of a Mini Bernedoodle?

The Bernese Mountain dog has one of the shortest lifespans in the canine world. Typically they only live to about 6 to 8 years old. Mini Poodles on the other hand have an average lifespan of 13 to 15 years, but there have been cases where they live to 18 years.

As a hybrid of the two breeds, the mini Bernedoodle’s lifespan averages between 14 to 16 years.

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13 Things to Know About Living with a Mini Bernedoodle

1. Mini Bernedoodles 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, the poodle’s curly coat was developed to keep them warm in the water. Put these two traits together in a warmer climate and you end up with one hot dog.

Because of their tendency to be hot many do not take to their crate because there is not enough space 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. Regardless of if it’s your bed or theirs. 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 leaving them to dangle in the air help them cool off.

4. Bernadoodles are known as “Velcro” dogs

They love to be with their people. To the point that they will follow you around all day long.

But, you need to remember that they are breed to be watchdogs on the farm. So, keeping track of the family while also protecting them is what they were born to do.

If there are no sheep watch over, the kids (or you) will take their place.

5. Mini Bernedoodle like to talk

They are known to “talk” with their people. This talking can 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. They are very stubborn

I already mentioned this trait earlier, but it’s worth stating again. Berniedoodles can be are stubborn and the mini is no different.

If you are planning to share your life with a mini Bernie doodle be prepared to deal with a dog that likes to do things on their own terms. After all the Bernese was a farm dog that needed to work independently to protect the herd.

7. The Bernedoodle lean

As we already covered, Bernedoodles tend to get hot easily. Because of this many of them don’t like to be cuddled a lot, but they do like lean against their person.

Most owners believe this is their way of cuddling without getting too hot.

8. 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.

9. Their colors may fade

Due to the poodle’s fading gene a Bernadoodle’s colors may fade as the 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.

10. 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.

This is important to know because they do not take well to punishments. These dogs need to be trained using positive reinforcement only.

11. 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.

As the puppies grow up, their nose will start to turn all black so enjoy those adorable pink puppy noses while you can.

Of course, since they are a mix of breeds it’s possible for them to not to be born with a pink nose, but it seems like the majority do.

13. Miniature Bernedoodles may have other breeds mixed in

I mentioned this above, but in case you missed it I will say it again. Due to the size difference between the mini poodle and a full-sized Bernese, some breeder will use a doodle in the place of the poodle. The most common doodle used is a Labradoodle, but any doodle may be used.

This is done to reduce the size difference between the breeding dogs, but it can still allow the poodles desired traits to be passed down to the Bernedoodle.

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Mini Berniedoodle Resources