The Bernedoodle is viewed as a great alternative to the Labradoodle or Goldendoodle, but they are not without their issues. In this post we will look at 9 reasons why you shouldn’t get a Bernedoodle.
While the Labradoodle may have started the doodle trend, as more families started to live with them, they realized that the dog’s energy level was more than they could manage.
Some breeders took notice and started to look for an alternative.
One breeder in particular decided to take on the challenge by combining the low shed and hypoallergenic traits of the poodle with the laid back temperament of the Bernese Mountain dog to create the Berne doodle.
While the Bernadoodle is a wonderful dog for many, they are not for everyone. Keep reading to learn about some of the reasons why you shouldn’t get a Bernedoodle
In order to understand the Bernadoodle you need to understand the parent breeds. The Bernadoodle is a crossbreed between the Bernese Mountain Dog and the Poodle. As I mentioned, they were first bred as an alternative to the energetic Goldendoodle and Labradoodle that had become widely popular.
These Bernese and the Poodle are very different breeds. It was the hope of breeders and owners alike, that by combining the two you will get the best of both worlds.
While this may happen, it is not guaranteed. Through studies we know that when you combine two different breeds they will inherit a combination of looks and temperament from each breed but that doesn’t mean it will be the best of both breeds.
Plus if you are getting a F1B Bernedoodle, which is a Bernedoodle, crossbred back to either a poodle or Bernese, the puppy’s look and temperament will lean more towards the purebred used in the cross back.
Bernese Mountain Dog
The Bernese Mountain Dog, or Bernie as they are commonly called, was bred to be a hard working farm dog in the Swiss Alps. They love to romp around in the snow and be active outside all year. They do not fare well in areas of excessive heat.
These are large dogs weighing in at between 66 to 120 pounds. As with most large dogs they have a shorter lifespan but Bernies have a shorter life than other large breeds. According to the American Kennel Club Breed Profile their lifespan is just 7 to 10 years.
The purpose of the Bernese was to tend the flock, watch over the farm and on occasion, pull small carts. Because of this breeding they are very watchful of their home and any strangers that may come by. If not taught not to, they may announce every time they see someone walking past the yard with a fit of barking
They also like to watch over their people. This watchful eye can be a bit overzealous as they will follow you everywhere you go. Including the bathroom.
As with many general farm dogs they were bred to be independent. Some people view this independence as a stubborn streak. If properly motivated they are easily trainable but may choose not to obey when it doesn’t suit them.
Overall they have a calm friendly disposition and are very family friendly if socialized early and trained properly.
Poodles were bred to be water retrievers helping hunters by retrieving prey and flushing out animals. They are active and very athletic dogs that are considered to be the second smartest dog breed. Only the Australian Shepherd is considered to be smarter.
They are easy to train and also considered the class clown. They like to get your attention and keep it.
Poodles come in different sizes and their sizes dictate their personality to a degree. Standard poodles are athletic, friendly but sometimes come off as being aloof to strangers.
Mini poodles tend to be more high strung and bark more often.
The Moyen poodle is a smaller version of the standard poodle and is less common in the USA
9 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Get a Bernedoodle
As you can see the Poodle and Bernese each have their good and not so good attributes. But in all cases they can be overcome with proper training and planning.
A Berniedoodle will be a blend of the above personalities. You will not know which qualities your Bernadoodle will inherit until they are grown. But a good breeder will be able to tell you what their parents are like and be able to determine the personalities of the puppies.
But given all this, you still need to decide if you are the right person for a Bernadoodle. Here are some of the reasons why you shouldn’t get a Berne doodle
1. They run hot
As stated above the Bernese comes from the Swiss Alps so their fur and body have adapted to the cold climate. Add to that the long fur of a poodle and you can get one hot dog when summer comes around.
Many Bernadoodle owners have stated that their dog runs hot. It is also common to hear that their favorite place to hang out is on tile floors.
While there are things you can do for your Berniedoodle to keep them cool during the summer, if you prefer a hot climate all year long, a Bernadoodle may not be the best choice for you.
Remember they do love being outside and being active so even if you have air conditioning keeping them inside all the time may lead to an unhappy pup.
2. They can be stubborn
The Bernese was bred to work independently to herd cattle and guard the farm. The poodle is highly intelligent. When you combine the two you get a dog that can be stubborn at times.
Bernadoodle owners have commented on how although their Berniedoodle knew a command they would simply choose not to follow it. Especially if it was something that they did not want to do.
Now that doesn’t mean they are not trainable. Bernedoodles love their family and want to please them, but you need to spend the time to bond with your puppy right from the start.
With time and patience you will be rewarded with a wonderful companion, but if you don’t have the time to spend training your pup at the beginning, everything will take longer including potty training your puppy.
If you don’t have the time to train them, you should pick an easier breed. But all dogs will require some training time during the first year of them living with you.
3. Separation Anxiety
Just like other doodle dogs, the Bernadoodle is prone to separation anxiety. It’s not surprising when you think about it. The Poodle was bred to be a hunting companion and the Bernese was bred to be a working farm dog. Both breeds were bred to work alongside people.
Add to that the fact that Bernese were also herding dogs, it’s no wonder why they want to be near all the time. These dogs do best when they are near someone most of the day. Bernadoodle owners often comment on how their pups follow them everywhere.
The easiest way to prevent separation anxiety is to start training them to spend time alone when they are still puppies. Start off with a short time period and increase the time as they grow up. Once they learn that you will always come back, they will not become upset when you leave.
Again if you don’t have the time to slowly train them, they can become destructive when left alone. These are not the type of dogs that can be left alone all day long. If your lifestyle requires you to be out all day you are not the right person for this breed.
4. Are large dogs
A full sized Berniedoodle is a big dog. Males can get as big as 29 inches tall at the shoulder and 120 pounds. While they will be happy to be with you wherever you are, you may not be happy with them underfoot all the time.
5. Takes time to Mature
The standard Bernadoodle is known to mature slowly. In fact most large dogs take longer to completely grow up then smaller dogs. A full sized Berne doodle can take up to 2 years to reach their full height and weight.
But it’s not just their physical maturity that takes a long time, it’s also their mental maturity. Berniedoodle owners state that their pups are 2 to 3 years old before they settle down and stop their mischievous behavior. This includes things like chewing forbidden items or counter surfing. It also may take them longer to become house trained.
If you are looking for a dog that acts like a puppy for a long time the Berne doodle is a good choice. Mini Bernedoodles will mature a little faster.
6. Born Thieves
While not all Bernedoodles do this, many owners have commented on how they like to steal things like socks and move them from one place to the next. In some cases it can be viewed as cute but in others it can be a real problem.
Especially since they also have a tendency to eat socks and other cloth items. In all fairness many of the large doodle breeds have also eaten stuff that is made of material, but the Bernadoodle seems to do it more than any other doodle.
Not only do they steal stuff, but they are also known to counter surf. Given the size of the standard Bernedoodle, it’s really not that hard for them to reach the kitchen counters or table.
Because of this tendency, they do not make a good companion for someone that likes to leave stuff lying around.
7. High Maintenance Dogs
While an adult Berne doodle is pretty easy going and up for most adventures, their long fur makes them a high maintenance dog. Doodles generally need to be brushed and combed every few days to prevent their fur from matting. The longer the fur, the more they need to be brushed. They will also need regular trips to the groomers.
You can manage that amount of maintenance needed by keeping their fur short, but then that requires more frequent haircuts.
So if you are a person that finds it therapeutic to brush hair daily they are the perfect choice, but if you are not, look for a different breed.
Oh, and owners report that their F1 Bernedoodles still shed, just not as much as a Bernese Mountain dog.
Bernedoodles like to be heard. They are very vocal dogs. This includes barking, whining and grumping. My pup does this too and I love it. But not everyone wants a dog that talks back or barks every time someone goes by the house.
You need to remember it is part of the breeding as a Bernese to warn of intruders.
Bernedoodles are an expensive dog to buy and to own. Bernedoodle puppies can cost on average between $2,000 to $5,000. To learn what goes into the cost to buy a Bernedoodle check out our post on Bernedoodle price.
But that is only the beginning of what it costs to care for a full sized Bernadoodle. Because they are large dogs everything costs more. This includes monthly costs like food, and treats, but also the cost of toys and beds.
The average cost for a dog bed made for a large dog is $200 more than one for a small dog.
You also need to think about the cost of professional grooming for your pup. For a large doodle some people have been quoted $150-$200 for a grooming session. A mini Bernedoodle can cost about $75. The prices will change based on where you are located and how long you go between grooming. It’s not unusual for groomers to charge extra for de-matting services.
Of course you can reduce the monthly cost by getting a mini Bernedoodle, but you still need to be able to cover the costs comfortably.
Why You Shouldn’t Get a Bernedoodle – Recap
So there you have it. 9 good reasons why you shouldn’t get a Bernedoodle. But that doesn’t mean they are bad dogs. Thousands of Berne doodle owners love their dogs and wouldn’t change a thing about them. In reality nothing I stated is a deal breaker for most people, but it is important to know what you are getting into before you make a life long commitment.
If you are not sure if a Bernedoodle is right for you, take a moment to learn about the Newfiedoodle.