Our sweet Bernedoodle, Penny is quickly becoming the queen of my Instagram – never mind all the DIY’s and home decor she is over shadowing. She is quickly becoming my sweetest little photo drop in, and with all the questions I get I decided it was time to give Penny the spotlight she deserves.
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.
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What is a Bernedoodle?
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 2 purebred dogs. The parent breeds are Bernese Mountain Dog and Standard Poodle. Bernedoodles have many perks of both breeds which make them enticing to so many (including us) to own.
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 in terms of shedding and such, but one thing you are probably curious about is the temperament. Bernedoodles. Berniedoodles typically get much of the good from both breeds when it comes to temperament.
They tend to be affectionate and playful, yet highly intelligent and hard working if trained right. 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 Berniedoodle Puppies Get?
Another thing we are asked frequently when it comes to owning a Berniedoodle 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 Berniedoodle. 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 Berniedoodles is discrepancies in the medium and standard. Penny is a Standard however only about 50 lbs.
When you are talking about a mix breed dog in general you typically will 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 that will give you a good idea of the dogs coat. Some Bernedoodles have a more curly coat where some 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 will fade and go away.
What it is Really like to Own a Berniedoodle
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, but 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 meaning as a puppy she had the 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, but 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.
How much do Bernedoodles cost? And where Can I get a Bernedoodle puppy? Why are Bernedoodle Puppies so expensive?
Questions I get asked a lot – and questions I personally wondered when we were looking at getting a Bernedoodle puppy. People are willing to pay top dollar for doodles in general, and Bernedoodle puppies are no different. Bernedoodles are often considered a designer breed and poodle mixes have becoming increasing popular dog breeds over the past decade.
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. So a single color Bernedoodle puppy is less 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.
Because of this high price point and the amount of money that can be made on a Bernedoodle puppy you do have to take care when you are picking a breeder for your puppy, and make sure you find a reputable breeder. Take care in your choices so 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 a isn’t always a super easy thing to figure out, but if you trust your gut you will be able to tell. Check the breeders social media to be sure they aren’t sharing a litter from the same momma dog too often.
Look at past litters on their site. There are some ways to tell. On top of that -follow your gut in finding a breeder that you can tell truly cares for the mommas and puppies.
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. There are health problems such as hip dysplasia is something you want to look into, however getting an F1 does tend to help there to be less health problems that are bred into the line.
As far as how to find a Bernedoodle puppy?
I both searched 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 want to walk through the good and bad of her in terms of training so you can gauge what parts will be harder or easier for you and if that aligns well with your family’s needs.
We brought home Penny at 8 weeks old, and I will be honest – my two biggest worries were 1 – crate training/ sleeping well, and 1 – 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.
We opted to Crate train penny from night one. 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!
There was a little barking when we put her down, and she did bark to let us know she was awake, but we opted to keep her crate far from the bedrooms so she would sleep well. We also opted to keep a sound machine in the room for white noise which I think was helpful in her not hearing us if we had to get up with any kids.
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, and now she sleeps in it as is. When she was small we put towels down for her to sleep on so they were easy to clean, but she LOVES anything we keep in the kennel – she honestly treats it like a baby blanket and drags it out to lay on, so we ended up giving her a blanket at about 7 months old.
I would say by about a year old we will feel comfortable letting Penny sleep on a dog bed in our room if she can show us she can stay on the dog bed…TBD. Right now we have enjoyed her having her own space and she isn’t disrupted by the kids if they come in during the night.
We do already have a bed for her in our room that we LOVE and is washable – so when the time is right we are set.
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. Penny was VERY fast to be about 90% house broken – I would say something like 2 or 3 weeks, then it took another week or so before she was 100%.
We were VERY big on not leaving her in any room where she was unattended because that was when the accidents happened those early weeks. We found that following her cues was very helpful. We also put her in her kennel if she had an accident instead of taking her outside once we knew she knew it was wrong.
Behavior Issues and Training
We have done some training with Penny. We did a 2 week all day training that was somewhat successful, however probably not worth it for a family that couldn’t devote lots of time at home after.
We honestly feel as though Penny has been VERY well behaved for a puppy, but she sure isn’t perfect. One thing I SWORE she wouldn’t do was lay on our couches….but that was a fight I lost really fast. She loves to be on furniture and sometimes even tries to be on my lap.
I would not say Penny is aggressive at all, but she has nipped at the kids a bit as a puppy which bothered them. As she has gotten older that has lessened, but the teething puppy is ROUGH.
We keep these bully sticks on hand, and 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. The nipping lessens as they get older and are no longer teething.
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.
Working on the jumping has been something we have had to work hard to train out of her, and has been a continual work in progress, so I would be aware of that if you are looking into Bernedoodle. Due to their affectionate nature they are going to be apt to jump for love and to be in your space.
I am often asked about barking when it comes to Penny and she honestly does not bark. 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 an issue we have found with her.
We have heard that Berniedoodles 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.
Do Bernedoodles Shed and does Penny Shed?
Bernedoodles, as with most doodles, 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 with too much contact and Penny has not done that for Jack, so we have been really happy with her hair.
Speaking of shedding – Are Bernedoodles High Maintenance? Do you have to get Penny groomed?
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 think I would consider Penny high maintenance, but there is some grooming and tending to her that should be done at home.
Below are some of the favorite things we use with her!.
- 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 has been pretty easy to please.
Throwing the ball for her outside or this toy is a great way to entertain her. As with most big dog breeds one of the best ways to handle the 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, and we have considered things like puppy daycare for socialization and to fill those exercize needs on days we are too busy. She is very pleasant with other dogs and on the shy side.
How is Penny with the 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 not to.
She has been incredibly loving with the kids, and although sometimes rambunctious overall is very sweet and gentle with them. I would say that Bernedoodles lean to the side of wild and goofy with their highly affectionate personality, so you can expect that they will be very playful with the kids.
Our overall Pros and Cons of owning a Bernedoodle:
- Easily Trained in the aspects we found most important (IE crate training and potty training)
- Hypoallergenic and Non Shedding – this was HUGE for me. I am a home decor blogger and have a child allergic to dogs so I needed this. Bernedoodles are a great choice for allergy sufferers
- Affectionate in nature
- Longer lifespan – Most Berniedoodles live from 12 -18 years. Smaller Bernedoodles do live longer.
- 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 – we have experienced little of this, but she is VERY attached
- 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 that 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.
I have all the favorites we use with Penny linked here in my Amazon shop – I am pretty minimalist with her so only linked our favorites – including food!
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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.