Our sweet Bernedoodle, Penny is quickly becoming the queen of my Instagram. She is has become my sweetest little photo drop in, and with all the questions I receive, I decided it was time to give Penny the spotlight she deserves. I’ll dive in on all the details on our Bernedoodle and what it’s like to own one.
I will talk about the good – and the bad – of owning a Berniedoodle, and will help you know exactly what you need to do to prepare adding a fur ball to your family.
This post may contain affiliate links – shopping those links is at no cost to you, and I am incredibly thankful for all the support it gives me family. This post has been updated as of September 2023.
Our Bernedoodle & What It Is Like To Own One?
I know what you are thinking. What the heck is a Berniedoodle exactly? Bernedoodles are a Bernes Mountain Dog Poodle mix. Bernedoodles are not a purebred dog breed, but rather a mix breed of 2 purebred dogs.
Berniedoodles boast non shedding hair, a loving temperament and the distinct coloring of a Bernese Mountain Dog all mixed into one!
I think most people know they are looking at a doodle for some of the perks that poodles offer. Shedding, for example is one such perk. But one thing you are probably curious about is the temperament of a Bernedoodle. Bernedoodles typically get much of the good from both breeds when it comes to their temperament.
They tend to be affectionate and playful, yet highly intelligent and hard working, if trained correctly. All in all, Bernedoodles are wonderful family dogs who are great with children, and love to be around their owners. They are an incredibly loyal breed as well. We tend to say that Penny thinks she is a lapdog, although is not the size of one!
How Big Do Bernedoodle Puppies Get?
Another thing we are asked frequently when it comes to owning a Bernedoodle is, ‘How big will she get?’
Penny is 9 months old and full grown. She is roughly 45 lbs, which is very average for a full grown female Bernedoodle. Below is a good gauge of size for a Berniedoodle based on the size you get and the gender. Keep in mind that you can ask a breeder more about the anticipated size based on past litters or the size of the parents.
Bernedoodles come in 4 different sizes: Tiny, Miniature, Medium and Standard. This is based on the size of the poodle that is the parent. For all size ranges the males tend to be larger.
- Standard Bernedoodle size (70 to 90 pounds)
- Medium Bernedoodle size (50 to 70 pounds)
- Miniature Bernedoodle size (25 to 49 pounds)
- Tiny Bernedoodle size (10 to 24 pounds) – mixed with a toy poodle
One thing you will find when looking for Bernedoodles is discrepancies in the medium and standard sizes. Penny is standard, however she is only about 50 lbs.
When you are talking about a mix breed dog in general, you will typically get a bit of a range in terms of the appearance of the dog. Your breeder should have pictures of past litters from the parent dogs which will give you a good idea of the dogs coat. Some Bernedoodles have a more curly coat, while others are a bit more straight or wavy.
The wavier hair is coming from the Bernese Mountain Dog parent and the curly hair comes from the Poodle parent. A Bernedoodle coat can also come in a variety of colors. A tri-color Bernedoodle has 3 different colors in their coat. However it should be advised that many times as the Bernedoodle grows that brown coloring will fade and go away.
What It Is Really Like To Own A Bernedoodle
You are likely reading this post because you want to hear from a real dog owner about what it is like to own a Bernedoodle, instead of reading all the stats. Maybe you are already getting your Bernedoodle, or trying to decide if it is the right breed for you. Either way, I hope this post is helpful for you!
Penny is our 9 month old F1 Bernedoodle. Her mom was a purebred Bernese Mountain Dog and her dad was a purebred Standard Poodle. Penny is/was a tri-color Bernedoodle. This means that as a puppy she had three color markings that are seen on a Bernese Mountain Dog.
She is fluffy, with a wavy coat. She has the biggest paws I have ever seen, and has quickly learned to rule our house!
Penny is our first doodle. We knew we wanted a non shedding dog, and we will never go back after how much we love her! She is such a good dog even for her puppy age, and even with her down sides. Yes, they do exist! She has been a wonderful addition to our family.
FAQ On Bernedoodles
I get asked a lot of questions when people see Penny. Of course everyone wants to know what type of dog is Penny? Once they find out she is a Bernedoodle, it generally leads to even more questions regarding her breed. Some of those questions are the same questions I personally wondered about when we were looking at getting a Bernedoodle puppy.
What Makes A Bernedoodle Special?
Bernedoodles are a designer breed. With several designer breeds becoming increasingly popular over the past decades, Poodle mixes are hight on that list.
Poodle mixes are loved for their size, temperament, non-shedding abilities. Of course each mixed breed and dog is different, Penny boasts all of these qualities.
How Much Is A Bernedoodle Puppy?
People are willing to pay top dollar for doodles in general, and Bernedoodle puppies are no different. Bernedoodle puppies typically cost between $2500 and $6000 for a puppy depending on the breeder and the color markings. Most breeders charge a higher amount per color marking. In other words, a single color Bernedoodle puppy is less expensive than a tri-color Bernedoodle.
Bernedoodle puppies are one of the most expensive of the doodle breeds due to the highly coveted color markings. Tri-color coated Bernedoodles are the most coveted and typically the most expensive.
What To Look For In A Bernedoodle Breeder?
You need to be cautious and do your homework before you pick out a breeder. You’ll want to make sure that the breeder is reputable and has transparency in the health of their dogs.
The high cost of a Bernedoodle puppy can lead people open to schemes, which is why it is crucial you find a reputable breeder. Be cautious that you are not supporting a ‘puppy mill’ where they are mistreating the mother dogs, and keeping them pregnant too often.
I know that finding an experienced breeder isn’t always a super easy thing to figure out, but if you trust your gut you will be able to tell.
Tip #1 : Check Your Breeder’s Social Media
Check the breeder’s social media to be sure they aren’t sharing a litter from the same momma dog too often.
Tip 2: Check For Past Litters
Look at past litters on their site. If the breeder has a list of references, this is even better. You should be able to talk to other families who have bought from the breeder before to ask questions.
Tip 3: Meet The Parents
If possible always try to meet the parents and visit the breeder in person. This way you can see the conditions of where the pets are living and how they are being treated. This will also give you time to ask plenty of questions.
Tip 4: Ask For A Health Screening
You may also want to ask if the parents or past litters have had any genetic testing to check for health issues that you don’t want bred into your puppy. A common health problem known as hip dysplasia is a condition that is typically seen in Bernedoodles. While getting an F1 Bernedoodle lessens the risk of health problems, this is not a guarantee and you’ll want to ensure other diseases aren’t bred into the line.
How Can I Find A Bernedoodle Puppy?
I searched both online and Instagram. The wait times tend to be long, so you may have to get on a waitlist well before you are ready to bring a puppy home. We personally drove across several states to get our sweet Penny, and have friends that have traveled far as well. If you are interested in our breeder you can check them out here!
We decided that the long wait was more painful than the long drive and we wanted a breeder we felt good with, so we knew we would get a healthy puppy.
Training Bernedoodle Puppies
Can I be honest? I don’t know if training any breed of puppy was going to be easy for us with 4 kids at home, but Penny has done pretty well. Bernedoodles are intelligent dogs. However, I want to walk through the good and bad of her training so you can gauge your family’s needs.
When we brought home Penny at 8 weeks old my two biggest worries were: crate training/ sleeping well and potty training. Bringing her home actually reminded me of bringing home a baby. Super sleepy and well behaved for a minute, then they turn into the needy baby.
Crate Training A Bernedoodle
We opted to crate train Penny from the first night. That meant teaching her to sleep in her kennel at night, and go in her kennel when we are gone. I was convinced we would be up all night from the start, but she slept through the night well from day one!
When we first began, we opted to keep her crate farther away from the bedrooms so everyone would sleep well. She let us know when she was awake and did bark when she was first put to bed. We also opted to keep a sound machine in the room for white noise. This helped her not hear us in the even we had to get up with any kids.
Picking The Right Crate
Penny uses this crate, and has since being a puppy. As a new puppy we were able to put the divider in to make it feel smaller and more cozy. Now, she sleeps in it without the divider.
When she was small we put towels down for her to sleep on so they were easy to clean. She LOVES anything we keep in her kennel. She treats towels like a baby blanket and drags it out to lay on, so we ended up giving her a blanket at about 7 months old.
Now, she sleeps in our bed or her dog bed. Her dog bed is washable and is the perfect blend of cozy and stylish.
Buy her dog bed here – I love how this looks, but it also washes well in the machine.
Potty Training Bernedoodle Puppies
Because puppies typically do a great job at not having accidents in their crate, that is a good step in getting them house broken. After 2 or 3 weeks, Penny was 90% house broken. Then after another week or so, she became completely house broken.
We were VERY careful not to allow her to be in any room unattended. When puppies are unattended, you can expect accidents.
Following her cues was very helpful in establishing a schedule. Just like potty training a toddler, puppies too give off body signals to alert you that they need to go. Once we realized those cues and timing, potty training was set. Lastly, in the event of an accident, Penny is placed in her kennel instead of taking her outside once we knew she knew it was wrong.
Behavioral Training A Bernedoodle Puppy
In honestly, we haven’t done much behavioral training with Penny. We attempted a 2 week, all day, training session. This worked well, but it isn’t a great fit for all families. In all, you need to find classes or a program that works for your family’s needs and schedule.
No Dogs On The Furniture?
Penny is very well behaved, but she sure isn’t perfect. One thing I SWORE she wouldn’t do is lay on our furniture. However, I lost that fight, fast. She loves to be on furniture and sometimes even tries to be on my lap.
A Teething Bernedoodle Puppy
A teething puppy can be rough. Puppies tend to nip and chew on anything they can sink their teeth into- even if that means a finger or two. The kids quickly learned not to play near her mouth.
We keep these bully sticks on hand. Honestly, it is an investment because she goes through them really fast. It has been the best thing for keeping her from chewing on anything in our home or from nipping, which will lessen with time.
How To Curb Jumping?
Jumping has been our hardest behavior to curb for Penny. She is a big dog and is very strong. Coupled with the fact that my youngest child just turned 2 has been rough from time to time because Penny doesn’t understand her size.
Jumping has been our biggest hurdle to work through and it is a continual work in progress. I think for most bigger dogs, this is a difficult behavior to address. Bernedoodles are especially prone to jumping due to their affectionate nature. They want to jump for love just to be in your space.
I am often asked if Penny barks a lot. People are surprised to find out that Penny is not a barker
If she barks I know she REALLY needs to go outside or she is really mad to be in her kennel. From time to time, she will bark in her kennel for 10 seconds to remind us she wants out, but by no means is barking in excess.
We have heard that Bernedoodles do tend to bark more than Penny does – so I am not 100% sure that our experience with the minimal barking from Penny is accurate.
Bernedoodles are considered a hypoallergenic breed of dog that does not shed. That said, they do shed SOME just like you do as a human. Penny by no means sheds on our clothes or our furniture. We from time to time do find a little fluff of hair against the baseboards, but for the most part have noticed no major shedding.
Our oldest son is also allergic to dogs, and has done very well with Penny. Shedding dogs give him hives and Penny has not done that for Jack.
Even with minimal shedding, Bernedoodles do have to be groomed.
We take Penny to be groomed where we have them do the whole nine yards, including cutting her hair. Between the grooming sessions we also do a few things to take care of her at home.
I don’t consider Penny high maintenance in terms of care. However, she still requires regular grooming appointments and brushing at home.
Favorite Grooming & Care Products For Bernedoodles
- Brush – My friend Chrissy shared about this brush and I ended up ordering it and LOVING it. It is important that you brush their hair so they don’t get matted between groomings. The more often you brush your Bernedoodle, the more used to it they will get so they handle it better.
- Toy for cleaning teeth – We try to brush Pennys teeth, but also have opted to use this toy with toothpaste.
- Greenies Bones – We also give Penny Greenies bones every few days which helps keep her breath fresh and her teeth clean.
- Shampoo – Although we get Penny groomed it is great to bathe your Bernedoodle at home from time to time. Using this shampoo is great, this shower scrubber and head is SUPER helpful.
- Paw Cleaner – This has been one of my favorite purchases with Penny. You fill it with water and clean their paws when they come in when it is muddy. We keep it by the back door for stormy days and it has been so helpful!
Bernedoodle Play and Socialization
So how much attention does a Bernedoodle really need? Puppies will always need socialization and attention. Penny, however, is easy to please.
Throwing a ball for her outside is a great way to entertain her. As with most big dog breeds one of the best ways to handle energy levels is to take them on a daily walk. Long walks take time for them to be ready for in terms of obedience, but overall we have found that slowly walking more has been the best way for her.
She is much more well behaved when slightly worn out. Of course, if you need assistance in getting energy out, a puppy daycare is a great option for socialization and to fill those exercise needs.
Penny loves other dogs and enjoys playing. She isn’t often near other puppies, but when friends have introduced their pets, Penny has been accepting and welcoming of meeting new friends.
Bernedoodles & Kids
This was the NUMBER ONE THING for us. We have 4 little ones at home and their safety is our biggest concern. That said we also have taught them to respect Penny in return. We allow Penny to eat on her own and although sometimes the kids do interrupt, we try to encourage them to leave her be.
She is incredibly loving with the kids. While she can be somewhat rambunctious, overall, she is very sweet and gentle with our crew.
Bernedoodles lean to the side of wild and goofy with their highly affectionate personality. You can expect that they will be very playful with the kids and a great addition to your family.
Bernedoodle Pros & Cons
- Easily trained in aspects we found most important (IE crate training and potty training)
- Hypoallergenic and non-shedding. Bernedoodles are a great choice for allergy sufferers
- Affectionate in nature
- Longer lifespan with most Bernedoodles living from 12 -18 years old
- At times overly affectionate and hyper
- Tendency to jump
- Chewing as a puppy that needs to be occupied with Bully sticks and toys
- Can have some separation anxiety
- High exercise needs – Bernedoodles are very active dogs that will be happier pets if you give them adequate excerise.
Overall Bernedoodles are a healthy breed that makes a great family pet. They are beautiful dogs with big personalities and are an excellent choice if you are looking for a loyal dog for your family.
We LOVE Penny and feel incredibly lucky that we chose a breed that has turned out to be such a great blessing for us. So if you are looking for a good choice of dog to be the perfect family dog then I think you will be beyond thrilled with a Bernedoodle.
Shop My Favorite Bernedoodle Dog Products
- PAW Brands Puprug Faux Fur Memory Foam Orthopedic Dog Bed
- Diggs Groov Dog Training Toy
- CEESC Dog Chew Toothbrush Toys
- Buddy Biscuits Wash 2-in-1 Shampoo
- GREENIES Original Large Natural Dog Dental Care Chews
- Chris Christensen 35 mm Oval Pin Dog Brush
- Dexas MudBuster Portable Dog Paw Cleaner
- Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slo Bowl
- Internet’s Best Double Door Steel Crates
- Unique Style Paws Durable Dog Leash
- MateeyLife Licking Mat for Dogs and Cats
- Metal Buckle Dog Collar
- Furbo 360° Dog Camera
- Aquapaw Dog Bath Brush Pro
- Purina Pro Plan High Protein Dog Food
- Unique style paws Durabel Dog Leash
- Unique Style Paws Pet Soft &Comfy Bowtie Dog Collar
- Petace Elevated Cat Bowls for Food and Water
- Blush Gingham Dog Bed Cover
- Waggo Dipper Ceramic Dog Bowl
- Woleigiao Dog Bath Brush
- Nature Gnaws Small Bully Sticks for Dogs
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Hopefully you found this post about Bernedoodles and what it is like to own our Bernedoodle Penny helpful. If you have any questions leave them in the comments below, and be sure to follow both myself (@arinsolange) and Penny (@pennysolangeathome) on Instagram to keep up with our lives.