So you decided to get a Bernedoodle. The first thing you need to determine is whether you want to look at young Bernedoodle puppies or would you consider an older rescue puppy.
Most people want to experience the joy of having a puppy. You just need to be mindful that puppies can be a handful when they are young. This often leads some people to regret getting a puppy and may even experience the puppy blues.
However if you know this ahead of time most people will be able to handle the puppy stage. It’s important to have realistic expectations for what your puppy will be like. And remember they are only puppies for a short time.
But whether you decide that you really want a Bernedoodle puppy or would be happy with a young Bernadoodle we have tips for you on the best places to find a Bernedoodle.
Bernedoodle Puppies Research
Before you start your search for a Bernadoodle you need to decide on a few options first.
1. Puppy or young dog
As I mentioned above, you can either choose to get a Berniedoodle puppy or look for a young Berniedoodle in need of rescue or rehoming.
Older rescue dogs typically are house trained and come with some basic training. But there are no guarantees. Adolescent or adult dogs may come from puppy mills or neglectful homes with little or no training before being placed for adoption.
Where you get your rescue dog will have a big impact on their training. While most rescue groups will provide some socialization and training before placing them for adoption, dogs that are in public shelters generally receive little training.
2. Trained or not
Another option is whether to get an untrained puppy that you will need to train or pay extra for an older puppy that is partially trained.
Trained puppies from breeders are not rescue dogs. They are older puppies that are held back by the breeder with the intent of selling them at a higher price to people who either don’t have the time or experience to train a young puppy.
You will also need to decide the approximate size of the Bernedoodle you want to bring home. Bernedoodles come in three sizes; Standard, Mini, and Micro mini or tiny.
Full Sized Bernedoodle: A full sized Bernedoodle is also referred to as a standard Bernedoodle. Standard Bernedoodles are bred using a full sized Bernese Mountain Dog and a standard Poodle. Depending on the size of the parents standard Bernedoodles can be large dogs.
Mini Bernedoodle: A mini Bernedoodle is bred using a Bernese Mountain dog and a mini poodle. If you choose a mini Bernedoodle you want to inquire about how the dogs were bred down to the miniature size.
Mini Bernedoodles are larger than other types of mini doodles. They typically fall in the 30 to 45lb range which is considered a medium sized dog.
Micro Mini Bernedoodle: The micro mini Bernedoodle is bred using a toy poodle to reduce the size of the Bernedoodle. A micro mini should be a multi generation doodle since breeding a full sized Bernadoodle with a toy poodle may not produce the best results. Micro Minis are smaller than the regular minis and more in line with the other mini doodles, like the mini Goldendoodle.
To learn more about the adult size of a Bernedoodle, check out our post on Bernedoode Full Grown: How big do they get?
4. Doodle Generation
You also need to decide which doodle generation you want to have. Doodle generations are a way to determine how mixed a doodle is.
- F1 Bernedoodle – 50% Poodle and 50% Bernese Mountain Dog.
- F1B Bernedoodle – Bernedoodle bred with either a poodle or a Bernese.
- F2 Bernedoodle – Bernedoodle bred with another Bernedoodle.
There are pros and cons for each generation. F1 doodles are considered the healthiest of the mixes. This is due to the crossing of two different purebred dogs.
Since each breed has their own specific genetic health issues crossing with a different breed will make them less susceptible to these conditions. But some diseases are common between purebreds.
Later generation doodles like the F1B or F2 tend to have more poodle genes. That is unless the cross-back is with a Bernese.
The more poodle a Berndoodle has in them, means there is a greater chance that the Bernadoodle puppies will inherit the non-shedding genes. But they can also have a much curlier coat and be prone to breed specific health conditions.
Once you have decided on the above options the next step is to decide where to look for a Bernedoodle.
Where to Find Bernedoodle Puppies
There are a number of ways that you can search for a Berne doodle puppy. The recommended places include reputable breeders, and rescue organizations.
Places you shouldn’t use to get a Bernedoodle puppy are puppy stores, online puppy brokers and backyard breeders.
Where NOT to look for Bernedoodle Puppies
Both the puppy store and online puppy brokers act as middlemen between the breeder and consumer.
Puppy stores and online puppy brokers tack on an additional cost to the original cost of the puppy to cover their expenses and profits.
Although they may say they sell puppies from reputable breeders that have been vetted, chances are they are selling puppies from large scale commercial breeders (aka: puppy mills).
Large breeders have too many puppies to sell to do the selling on their own. Instead they rely on brokers to sell either directly to the consumer or to resale outlets like pet stores.
Remember commercial breeders are not illegal, and they may be following the laws, making them “reputable”, but what most people think of as a good breeder is different then what a broker might view it as.
A family dog needs to be raised differently than a cow or chicken if they are going to live in a home with a family. The first 8 weeks of a puppy’s life will impact the rest of their lives with you. Puppies (and their parents) need proper nutrition, socialization and early training for the puppies to grow up healthy and become a good family dog.
In fact getting a puppy from a large scale commercial breeder is the first potty training mistake people make.
How to detect a commercial breeder?
One way to tell if a puppy is from a commercial breeder is to ask for its USDA number. Commercial breeders that sell their puppies “sight unseen”, to brokers, or pet stores are required to be licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture. But a dishonest person may just lie about having a USDA number.
Another way to tell, is if you are dealing with a salesperson. Salespeople are employed by online puppy sites to sell the puppies. Salespeople are given leads and then expected to close the sale, much like a car dealer would.
These salespeople will be very friendly and personable but will not be knowledgeable about a particular puppy or breeder. One way to determine if they are a salesperson is to ask a lot of detailed questions.
Also if a puppy comes from a breeder that sells many different unrelated breeds and they are selling through a third party they are most likely a commercial breeder.
Always do your research, check with the Better Business Bureau, and multiple review sites to see what issues there may be with the site.
But what about all the glowing reviews for online “puppy for sale” sites?
While there are many puppies from commercial breeders that arrive sick or with genetic health issues as you can see in their reviews, many also beat the odds and are healthy.
But you are taking a big risk. Even if they arrive healthy it’s difficult to properly socialize and begin training when you have a large number of litters to care for. Plus some health conditions will not be known until later in their life after the health guarantee expires.
Not to mention that you are contributing to a life of misery for the parent dogs.
Another issue with buying from an online puppy site is puppy selling scams. Unlike the puppy brokers mentioned above there are puppy scam websites that don’t actually have a puppy to sell. They rip off pictures from other sites and pretend to have a puppy to sell on the cheap or even to give away. But these sites then start asking for money for other things, like transportation or for a crate to transport them in.
If the website is asking for payment for either the puppy or for items for the puppy and they want you to pay through Western Union or a MoneyGram they may not be legit.
A backyard breeder is a person who has a family dog that they decide to breed to make some extra cash. These dogs are typically not health tested and the owner knows nothing about the breeding process.
A backyard breeder might not seem all that bad. After all they cost less than a puppy broker and are raised one litter at a time in a home. But what you don’t pay in upfront costs will generally cost you more later.
This is because inexperience and poor breeding practices lead to health issues once the puppies are in your home. I have known many people who have tried this route only to deal with various allergy and health issues.
Backyard breeders use Facebook to sell their puppies, but that doesn’t mean that all breeders on Facebook are backyard breeders. You need to ask a lot of questions before making payment.
Where can I find Bernedoodle Puppies?
So now that we have gone over some of the places you shouldn’t look for a bernepoo puppy, let’s go over where you can look for a Berne doodle puppy.
Probably the best place to get a healthy, well socialized puppy is from a reputable breeder that has been breeding Bernadoodles, or Poodles and Bernese Mountain dogs for a long time. But finding a good breeder can be difficult.
Definition of a reputable breeder:
A reputable Bernedoodle breeder does what is necessary to breed healthy, well adjusted puppies. They strive to make the breed better through their breeding practices.
This means putting the care and health of the parent dogs and puppies first. It means being knowledgeable about the breed and proper breeding practices. They also make sure the puppy goes to a good home and is set up to excel.
They never use a middleman to sell their puppies because they don’t need to. Instead they have a waiting list of potential buyers.
Where to find a quality Bernedoodle breeder
One of the best places to start looking for breed specific puppies are breed associations and clubs. Unfortunately unlike some other doodle breeds like the Goldendoodle and the Labradoodle, the Bernadoodle does not have a breed club or association. This means you need to do your homework when looking for a Bernedoodle breeder.
When looking for a reputable Bernadoodle breeder you want to look for (at a minimum) these five characteristics that make a good breeder.
Five Characteristics of a Reputable Breeder.
1. Health Testing
Good breeders want to make sure they do not breed disease into their dogs. To do this they test for certain health conditions commonly found in the associated breeds that can be passed down to the offspring. For Bernedoodle puppies, breeding dogs should be tested for the conditions that affect both the Poodle and the Bernese Mountain Dog.
To learn more about testing requirements for Bernedoodle puppies, please refer to the health testing sections on respective breeding clubs websites listed below.
2. Health Guarantee
Having a health guarantee goes along with the health testing. A health guarantee typically covers genetic health conditions for the first couple of years in a dog’s life. Meaning that if the dog shows signs of a genetic health condition the breeder will either pay for a portion of the medical expenses or refund the cost of the dog.
The purpose is to give buyers some sort of recourse if the dog becomes seriously ill.
While a health agreement is a sign of a breeder that cares for the health of their dogs, you need to read the agreement carefully. Every health guarantee is different and I have seen ones that put in so many stipulations that it will be almost impossible to collect on them.
One common clause that you should look for is that you have to return the dog to the breeder in order to get a refund. Since most people will not return their sick dog that they have had for a year or two this clause makes the guarantee useless.
All breeders should provide a health guarantee for at least 2 years. I have seen some offer a 4 year health guarantee but with stipulations.
3. Personal knowledge
A good breeder will have personal knowledge of the puppies and its parents. They will be able and willing to answer all your questions including things like their health, personality, favorite foods or activities.
Some breeders have started to use guardian homes for their breeding dogs. We will discuss guardian homes in more detail shortly, but these are homes where breeding dogs live with a family as a pet until it’s time to breed.
In these cases the breeder might not know everything about the dogs but they should still have first hand knowledge about basic things. In these cases they should be able to tell you about the dog’s health, personality and living environment.
If they can’t, that’s a red flag that they are selling someone else’s puppies.
A good breeder will be able to answer all your questions about the breed. They should not only tell you all the good things about the Bernadoodle, but they should also tell you why you may not want a Bernadoodle. Remember no dog is perfect.
They should ask you questions about your life and why you want a puppy. They will want to make sure the pairing will be beneficial for both you and the dog.
A good breeder will take the dog back if you ever need to rehome them, but they will ensure this never happens by only selling to people who will make a commitment to the dog for life.
Ask for references. The breeder should have a list of happy customers that are willing to talk to you about their experience with their dog and the breeder. Don’t rely on reviews that the breeder shows you on-line, they may not be true.
Also check reviews from outside sources, like google reviews and the Better Business Bureau. While you would expect all provided references to be happy, unhappy customers may be more honest in an anonymous review.
Bernedoodle Puppies – Breeders that Health Test
Here are 5 Breeders that have genetic health tests listed for their parent dogs.
Note: We do not know these breeders nor do we endorse them. The information was gathered to show you examples of information to look for. This is not a list of all the breeders that health test. Also you will notice that not all test results are shown for some of the breeders. Please do your own research on any breeders you pick and verify all information.
- Cloud Nine Doodles –
- Located in Washington near Canada
- Breeds: Bernedoodles and Double Doodles
- Uses Guardian Homes
- Health Testing can be found under Our Dogs
- Highfalutin Furry Babies-
- Located in Florida
- Uses Guardian Homes
- Breeds: Bernedoodles
- You can find their health test results on their meet the parents page
- New England Bernedoodles –
- Located in New Hampshire
- Uses Guardian Homes
- Breeds: Bernedoodles and Australian Labradoodles (as High Country Australian Labradoodles)
- Test performed are listed under Bernedoodle breeding dogs on their website, but you will need to ask for the results.
- Above and Beyond Standards –
- SwissRidge Kennels –
- Located in Ontario, Canada
- SwissRidge has a long history with breeding Bernedoodles
- They have also written a book on the Bernedoodle for new puppy parents
- Breeds: Bernedoodles, Australian Bernedoodles, Goldendoodles, Golden Mountain Doodles, Golden Retrievers, Bernese Mountain Dogs and SwissRidge Doodles
- You can find their breeding dogs and their corresponding health test results on their website under the headings Females and Males
2. Guardian Home Program
As you can see from the breeders listed above, more breeders are using Guardian homes in their breeding programs. This is because a good breeder understands that dogs need to live in a home with a family. This also allows them to have more breeding dogs for their program.
Although the terms of a Guardian Home Program will vary by breeder the basic idea of the program is the same.
General Guardian Home Programs Overview:
- You must live within a predetermined distance from the breeder.
- The breeder retains the breeding rights of the dog for the length of the contract.
- Your puppy is picked from the litter by the breeder. You generally get the best pick of the litter.
- You are responsible for routine care and veterinary services for the dog as determined by the breeder. For doodle breeds this will include grooming.
- Based on the contract, the dog will either spend time at the breeder’s location during whelping or may allow the whelping to happen in your home.
- Dogs are bred for a specified number of times and years before they are released from the program.
Benefits of getting a dog from a Guardian program:
- Pick of the litter
- Reduced cost for a dog
- Enhanced heath testing for genetic conditions
3. Rescue Groups
Another option is to look for a rescue organization that has Bernedoodles in need of a home. Sometimes there are people who shouldn’t get a Bernedoodle. In these case you will be able to find a Bernadoodle in need rehoming. Also on occasion you can find a puppy at these places.
At the time of this writing I found two Berniedoodle puppies looking for a home on Petfinder.com. Here is Miles. He is a 12 month old Bernedoodle that needed a new home.
You can find rescue groups that specialize in Bernadoodles and other doodles in our post Bernedoodle Rescue: 15 Best Places To Look. These places have some of the best chances of having a Bernedoodle.
4. Local Shelters
While finding a Bernedoodle Puppy at a local shelter may be rare, it does still happen. Keep an eye on your local shelters website and Facebook page if they have one.
5. Retired Bernedoodle
If you are willing to get an older Bernedoodle, some breeders will “retire” their dogs from breeding after they have had a certain number of litters or are unable to breed. Once retired they spay the dogs and offer them up for adoption.
Breeders will generally announce the retirement on their own websites. Finding a retired breeding dog is rare now since most reputable breeders use guardian homes.
Bernedoodle Puppies – FAQ
Do Bernedoodle puppies come with papers?
No. Bernedoodles do not come with pedigree papers like a purebred dog. Bernedoodles are still considered to be designer crossbreds and therefore are not recognized by the American Kennel Club.
How much does a Bernedoodle cost?
The cost of a Bernedoodle puppy ranges from $750 all the way up to $20,000. The price is determined by many factors such as where they are bred (commercial breeder vs small boutique breeder), size, color, demand, and training.
The average cost for Bernedoodle puppies is between $2,000 and $5,000. To learn more about the cost of a Bernedoodle puppy check out our post on Bernedoodle Price.
Bernedoodle Puppy Resources
- American Kennel Club – Government Relations Department