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Bernedoodle vs Bernese Mountain Dog: 12 Key Differences

Wondering how a Bernedoodle compares to a Bernese Mountain Dog? If you are trying to decide which one of these breeds to add to your family, it’s essential to understand the key differences and similarities between the Bernedoodle vs the Bernese Mountain Dog.

The Bernedoodle is a crossbreed that merges the intelligence and fluffy coat of a Poodle with the loyal, affectionate nature of a Bernese Mountain Dog. This breed is celebrated for its playful and gentle temperament, often inheriting some of the best traits from both parent breeds.

On the other hand, the purebred Bernese Mountain Dog, known for its majestic presence, has been a long-time favorite. Renowned for its friendly demeanor, striking tri-color coat, and sturdy build, this breed has a long-standing reputation as a dependable and affectionate companion.

Though they share some common traits, there are significant distinctions that set them apart. This discussion aims to provide an informative look at both the Bernedoodle and the Bernese Mountain Dog, focusing on what they have in common and the twelve main aspects that differentiate them.

Bernedoodle vs Bernese Mountain Dog - title pic of a Berendoodle and a bernese mountain dog.

Bernedoodle vs Bernese Mountain Dog Similarities

Although the Bernedoodle and Bernese Mountain Dog have their fair share of differences, they also share several traits.

Breed Similarities:

  1. Family-Friendly Nature: Both breeds are known for their compatibility with families. They are typically gentle and patient, making them excellent companions for both adults and children.
  1. Affectionate and Loyal: Each breed forms strong bonds with their human families, displaying affection and loyalty. They thrive on companionship and are dedicated to their owners.
  1. Intelligence: Both Bernedoodles and Bernese Mountain Dogs are intelligent breeds. This trait makes them responsive to training, although their approach to learning and eagerness may vary.
  1. Social Disposition: They generally enjoy social interactions, whether it’s with family members, other pets, or during outings. Early socialization helps them develop into well-rounded and friendly dogs.
  1. Adaptability to Family Life: Both breeds adapt well to family life, showing a balance of playfulness and calmness that suits various household dynamics.
  1. Enjoyment of Moderate Exercise: While their exercise needs may differ slightly, both Bernedoodles and Bernese Mountain Dogs enjoy activities that involve moderate exercise, such as walks and playtime.
Bernedoodle vs Bernese Mountain Dog: 12 Key Differences
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12 Key Differences: Bernedoodles v Bernese Mountain Dog

While Bernedoodles and Bernese Mountain Dogs share several similarities, they also exhibit distinct differences that are crucial for potential owners to understand. Recognizing these distinctions is key in determining which breed aligns best with an individual’s lifestyle and preferences. 

1. Breeding

Bernedoodle

The original Bernedoodle, a cross between a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Standard Poodle, emerged in the early 2000s as part of the designer dog trend. This hybrid breed was created to combine the Bernese Mountain Dog’s loyalty and robustness with the Poodle’s intelligence, playfulness, and hypoallergenic coat.

As a designer dog breed they are not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and do not have a breed standard.

Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog originates from the Swiss Alps, specifically the Canton of Bern, hence its name. This breed has a rich history that dates back over a thousand years.

Historically, these dogs were an essential part of farm life in the Swiss mountains, helping to transport goods as draft animals and providing companionship to farmers. Their strength and endurance made them ideal for the hilly, rugged terrain of the region. The thick, long coat of the Bernese Mountain Dog provided necessary protection against the harsh cold weather.

The Bernese, as they are often called, is a registered breed with the AKC and enjoys the benefits of a breed standard and national Bernese Mountain Dog Club

Bernedoodle vs Bernese Mountain Dog: 12 Key Differences photos of a bernedoodle and bernese puppies on pink background

2. Bernedoodle vs Bernese Mountain DogSize

The Bernedoodle comes in a variety of sizes

You can find the Bernedoodle in three different sizes:

  • Standard Bernedoodle: Is the largest size, bred from a Standard Poodle. They can range in size from medium to large, often weighing anywhere from 50 to 90 pounds.
  • Miniature Bernedoodle: These are medium-sized, resulting from a cross with a Miniature Poodle. Their weight typically falls between 25 to 50 pounds.
  • Toy Bernedoodles: The smallest variety, bred with a Toy Poodle. They are generally smaller than 25 pounds and are a great option for those with limited space.

Even within the same litter, there can be noticeable size differences among Bernedoodle puppies.

The Bernese Mountain Dog comes in one size

In contrast, Bernese Mountain Dogs are large dogs often referred to as gentle giants. The size of the Bernese Mountain Dog is well-documented. Males typically weigh between 80 to 115 pounds, while females range from 70 to 95 pounds.

3. Coat Type and Maintenance

Bernedoodle:

  • Facial Features: Bernedoodles will often have the long fur on their face that gives them the Teddy Bear look. But not every Bernedoodle will inherit this trait.
  • Varied Coat Types: The coat of a Bernedoodle can vary significantly, reflecting the influence of both the parent breeds. Common fur types include straight, wavy, or a curly coat.
  • Maintenance Needs: The grooming requirements for a Bernedoodle can vary based on the type of fur. Curlier coats, similar to Poodles, may require more frequent brushing to prevent matting and tangles. Regular brushing, bathing, and professional grooming sessions are important to maintain coat health and appearance. Professional grooming sessions are needed every 6 to 8 weeks.
  • Variability Within Litters: Similar to their size, the coat of Bernedoodles can vary even among puppies from the same litter, making their grooming needs somewhat unpredictable.
  • Variety of Colors: Bernedoodles can inherit a wide range of coat colors. Common colors include black, white, brown, but can also be the classic tri-color pattern of the Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dog:

  • Facial Features: The Bernese has short, smooth fur on their face.
  • Thick, Long Coat: The Bernese Mountain Dog has a distinct thick double coat that is well-suited for colder climates. This breed is known for its beautiful tricolor coat.
  • Grooming Requirements: Their coat needs regular grooming, including brushing a few times a week, to prevent matting and remove loose fur from their straight coats. Despite the longer coat, their grooming needs are somewhat straightforward but consistent. Bernese Mountain dogs do not require a visit to the groomers but some people bring their dogs in for trim around their sanitary area and paws. They require a bath every 6 to 8 weeks.
  • Consistency in Coloring: In contrast, Bernese Mountain Dogs only come in their distinctive tri-color pattern – black, white, and rust or tan markings.
Bernedoodle sideview
Bernedoodle

4. Shedding and Allergies

Bernedoodle:

  • Shedding: One of the appealing traits of many Bernedoodles is their reduced shedding, especially in those that inherit the Poodle’s genes for a low-shedding coat. While no dog is truly non-shedding, Bernedoodles with a curly or wavy coat tend to shed much less than those with the straight coat of a Bernese Mountain Dog.
  • Allergen Levels: Bernedoodles are often considered more suitable for allergy sufferers. This is due to their Poodle lineage, which is known for a more hypoallergenic coat that produces fewer allergens. However, the level of allergens can vary depending on the individual dog and its specific coat type. If allergic reactions are a concern, it is best to spend time with the Bernedoodle before committing to a lifetime with them.

Bernese Mountain Dog:

  • Shedding: In contrast, Bernese Mountain Dogs have a thick, long double coat that sheds significantly, particularly during seasonal changes. Regular brushing is necessary to manage this shedding and keep their coat healthy.
  • Allergen Levels: These dogs are not considered hypoallergenic and can produce more pet dander and allergens compared to many Bernedoodles. This can be a concern for individuals with sensitivities to dog hair and dander.
Bernese Mountain Dog outside sitting
Bernese Mountain Dog

5. Bernedoodle vs Bernese Mountain Dog – Health

Bernedoodle:

  • Health: As a hybrid dog breed, Bernedoodles can benefit from hybrid vigor. This term refers to the phenomenon where a mixed-breed dog can have better overall health and fewer genetic health issues than their purebred counterparts.
  • Common Health Issues: While Bernedoodles may have fewer health problems than purebred dogs, they can still inherit issues common to their parent breeds. These might include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, skin conditions, and certain eye disorders. Regular health check-ups and screening can help in early detection and management.

Bernese Mountain Dog:

  • Hereditary Health Issues: Bernese Mountain Dogs are prone to certain health conditions. These include hip and elbow dysplasia, certain types of cancer, and bloat, which is a serious condition that requires immediate veterinary attention. Owners should be aware of these risks and proactive in health care.
  • Importance of Responsible Breeding: Given their predisposition to certain health issues, choosing a Bernese Mountain Dog from a reputable breeder who conducts health screenings is essential. This practice can help reduce the risk of genetic health problems.
Bernedoodle laying in grass
Bernedoodle

6. Bernedoodle vs Bernese Mountain Dog – Lifespan

Bernedoodle:

  • The life expectancy of a Bernedoodle can vary but generally ranges from 12 to 15 years, depending on their size. This extended lifespan, especially in comparison to larger Bernese Mountain Dogs, is partly due to the Poodle’s genetics.

Bernese Mountain Dog:

  • The Bernese Mountain Dog has a shorter lifespan compared to many breeds, typically the average lifespan is 7 to 10 years.

7. Temperament

While both Bernedoodle and Bernese Mountain Dog share traits like affection and family-friendliness there are some differences in temperament between the two.

Bernedoodle Temperament:

  • Variability: The temperament of Bernedoodles can be quite varied, reflecting their hybrid nature. They often blend the Poodle’s intelligence and eagerness to please with the Bernese’s affectionate nature. However, this mix can lead to a range of personalities, even within the same litter.
  • Energy and Playfulness: Generally, Bernedoodles tend to be more energetic and playful, inheriting the Poodle’s lively spirit. This can manifest in a love for interactive games, activities, and a generally livelier personality.

Bernese Mountain Dog Temperament:

  • Consistent: In contrast, the temperament of Bernese Mountain Dogs is more predictable and consistent. They are known for their gentle, calm, and affectionate behavior.
  • Laid-Back: Typically, Bernese Mountain Dogs have a more relaxed and laid-back attitude. They enjoy leisurely walks and comfortable family time, showing a more mellow disposition than the often more energetic Bernedoodle.
  • Strong Bonding: While both breeds form strong bonds with their families, Bernese Mountain Dogs may exhibit deeper attachment and loyalty, sometimes being more reserved around strangers compared to the generally sociable Bernedoodle.
Bernese Mountain Dog

8. Adaptability to Living Environments

Bernedoodle:

  • Highly Adaptable: Bernedoodles are generally known for their adaptability to a variety of living situations. This flexibility is partly due to the influence of the Poodle, which is known to adjust well to different environments.
  • Size Considerations: The size of the Bernedoodle can greatly influence its adaptability. The smaller mini Bernedoodle or toy Bernedoodle can be more suited for apartment living or homes with limited space, while larger dogs may require more room.

Bernese Mountain Dog:

  • Best in Spacious Environments: The Bernese Mountain Dog, being a large-sized dog, is typically more suited to environments where they have more space. Homes with yards or access to outdoor areas are ideal for this breed.
  • Moderate Adaptability: While they can adapt to various homes, their size make them less ideal for small apartments or living spaces with limited room for movement.
  • Calm Indoor Demeanor: Despite their size, Bernese Mountain Dogs are known for having a calm and relaxed demeanor indoors. They enjoy being part of the family setting and can adapt to family life quite well, as long as their space and exercise needs are met.
Bernedoodle laying in grass
Bernedoodle

9. Bernedoodle Vs Bernese Mountain Dog -Exercise Needs

Bernedoodle Exercise Needs:

  • Variable Energy Levels: Bernedoodles can have a range of energy levels, largely influenced by the Poodle parent. They generally fall into the moderate to high energy category, especially when they are younger.
  • Need for Physical and Mental Stimulation: Due to their intelligence and energy, Bernedoodles benefit from both physical exercise and mental stimulation. This can include daily walks, playtime, and activities that challenge their minds, like puzzle toys or obedience training.

Bernese Mountain Dog Exercise Needs:

  • Moderate Exercise Requirements: Bernese Mountain Dogs, while large, typically have moderate energy levels. They enjoy regular walks and playtime but do not generally require as intense exercise routines as some high-energy breeds.
  • Importance of Regular Activity: Regular exercise is important for maintaining their health, preventing obesity, and managing potential joint issues, such as hip dysplasia. Gentle activities like walking and moderate hiking suit them well.

10. Socialization Needs

Both the Bernedoodle and Bernese Mountain Dog thrive with early and consistent socialization, but their approach and response to it can differ.

Bernedoodle Socialization Needs:

  • High Socialization Requirement: Due to their intelligent and sometimes energetic nature, Bernedoodles often require significant socialization. They benefit greatly from early exposure to a variety of people, pets, and environments. This helps in developing their adaptability and preventing shy or anxious behaviors.
  • Approach to Socialization: Bernedoodles typically respond positively to socialization, showing enthusiasm for interaction and play. Their Poodle heritage can make them quick to engage and interact in social settings. Continuous social engagement into adulthood helps maintain their social skills.

Bernese Mountain Dog Socialization Needs:

  • Moderate Socialization Requirement: While Bernese Mountain Dogs are naturally gentle and friendly, they also benefit from early socialization. This helps them become well-adjusted, confident adults, especially given their large size.
  • Approach to Socialization: They may be more reserved or cautious in new situations compared to Bernedoodles. Proper socialization ensures they are comfortable and not overly timid or fearful in different environments.
  • Stability and Familiarity: Bernese Mountain Dogs often appreciate a stable and familiar environment. While they enjoy meeting new people and other pets, they also value the comfort of familiar settings and routines.
Bernese Mountain Dog looking at camera
Bernese Mountain Dog

11. Bernedoodle Vs Bernese Mountain Dog -Training

Both the Bernedoodle and Bernese Mountain Dog share certain training issues like stubbornness though the degree of the stubbornness varies

Bernedoodle Training:

  • High Responsiveness to Training: Bernedoodles often exhibit a high level of responsiveness to training, thanks to the intelligence and eagerness to please inherited from both the Poodle and Bernese Mountain Dog. They generally pick up commands and tricks quickly.
  • Need for Engaging Training: Their intelligence and energy mean they benefit from varied and engaging training sessions to prevent boredom. Consistency is key, but incorporating different activities and challenges keeps them interested and motivated.
  • Positive Reinforcement Works Best: They respond well to positive reinforcement methods, such as treats, praise, and play. Harsh or punitive training methods are not effective and can be detrimental.
  • Stubbornness: The level of stubbornness in Bernedoodles can vary widely, largely due to the mix of traits they inherit from their Poodle and Bernese Mountain Dog parents. Some may exhibit more of the Poodle’s eagerness to please, while others might lean towards the Bernese’s more laid-back, stubborn streak.

Bernese Mountain Dog Training:

  • Gentle and Consistent Approach: While intelligent, Bernese Mountain Dogs may not be as quick to learn as Bernedoodles and often require a more patient and consistent training approach. They respond well to gentle guidance and positive reinforcement.
  • Focus on Early Training: Given their large size and strength, early training is crucial to ensure they grow into well-behaved adults. This includes basic obedience and socialization to develop good manners and confidence.
  • Sensitive Dogs: Bernese Mountain Dogs can be sensitive to their owner’s tone and mood. A calm and positive approach during training sessions fosters a better learning environment and strengthens the bond between the dog and the owner.
  • Stubbornness: Bernese Mountain Dogs can exhibit stubborn behavior, often characterized by a laid-back or indifferent attitude towards commands or training. This can be more pronounced if they don’t see the purpose or benefit of the task at hand.

12. Popularity and Availability

While both breeds enjoy popularity, the Bernedoodle’s is on the rise, and they may be less consistently available due to their growing demand and the variability in breeding practices. Regardless of which breed you choose; the quality and practices of breeders can vary significantly. Prospective dog owners need to research and choose reputable breeders who prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs.

Bernedoodles:

  • Growing Popularity: The Bernedoodle has been gaining popularity, particularly among families and individuals.
  • Availability: As a newer hybrid breed, the availability of Bernedoodle puppies can vary. While there are many breeders specializing in Bernedoodles, the demand for them, especially for specific coat types or sizes, can sometimes exceed supply. This can lead to waiting lists or higher prices.

Bernese Mountain Dogs:

  • Established Popularity: The Bernese Mountain Dog has been popular for many years.
  • Steady Availability: Being a purebred with a long history, Bernese Mountain Dogs are generally more consistently available through breeders than Bernedoodles.
  • Breed Clubs and Rescues: There are numerous breed clubs and rescue organizations dedicated to Bernese Mountain Dogs, which can be resources for adoption or finding a responsible breeder.

Which one should you choose?

Choosing between a Bernedoodle puppy vs a Bernese Mountain Dog is a decision that involves considering a range of factors, including those major differences outlined in this comparison.

Whether it’s the Bernedoodle’s variable size and coat type, or the Bernese Mountain Dog’s consistent, gentle temperament and established breed characteristics, each breed offers its unique set of qualities.

Understanding these differences is crucial in ensuring that your choice not only aligns with your lifestyle and environment but also meets your expectations for pet ownership. Remember, a dog is a long-term commitment, and selecting a breed that complements your life can lead to years of joy and companionship.

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