Bernedoodles, as hybrids of Bernese Mountain Dogs, and Poodles, have quite a variety in size depending on whether the Poodle parent is a Standard, Miniature, or Toy--which means this crossbreed itself comes in Standard, Miniature, and Tiny variations. Regardless of size, though, owners everywhere love their Bernedoodles. A head to tail guide on these dogs can be found below, including details on puppy development, exercise needs, and more. For answers to your questions about Bernedoodle care, keep reading!
The Bernedoodle is hybrid that can have a wide variety of sizes, depending on the size of its Poodle parent. That said, Bernedoodle puppy development can span 16 to 22 months from birth to full maturity. Physically, Bernedoodle puppies grow swiftly in height and length for the first 5-8 months (with a major growth spurt often seen from about 4-7 months in the larger Standard Bernedoodle pups). For the last 5-8 months of growth, Bernedoodle pups "fill out" by gaining muscle mass and fat before reaching these average adult sizes:
- Standard: 26 inches in height, 80 pounds in weight; adult size reached at 14-18 months
- Miniature: 20 inches in height, 40 pounds in weight; adult size at 12-14 months
- Tiny: 15 inches in height, 17 pounds in weight; adult size at 11-13 months
Socially, all Bernedoodle variations develop somewhat steadily. They reach adolescence at 5-7 months, sexual maturity at 8-12 months, and full mental maturity at 16-22 months. For specific milestones in Bernedoodle development, see this chart:
|Dog Age||Development Milestone|
|2-3 Weeks||Eyes/ears open, begins walking|
|2 Months||Old enough to be separated from mother, housetrained, introduced to solid food|
|3 Months||Can begin exercising; vaccinations/de-worming needed|
|5-7 Months||Adult coat growing in; adolescent period starts, characterized by increased independence, fear, disobedience, hyperactivity|
|8-12 Months||Sexual maturity|
|9 Months||Can be transitioned to adult food; can begin "adult" exercise regimen|
Whether large or small, Bernedoodle exercise requirements aren't too extensive. The Mini and Tiny variations are normally pretty lively, and will fulfill much their daily activity needs just running around being their friendly little selves. While not as active, Standard Bernedoodles are quite enthusiastic, and will usually be up for a walk or game of fetch anytime their owners are.
Adult Bernedoodles, depending on their size, age, and overall activity level, will need about 45 minutes of proper exercise each day. You can start exercising your Bernedoodle pup at three months of age by taking it on short (5- to 10-minute) walks, then increasing the walks' length and frequency as the puppy grows.
A few things to consider when exercising your Bernedoodle: first, puppies younger than nine months old shouldn't participate in activities that include a lot of jumping, running, and navigating of stairs, as doing so can injure their still-developing joints and bones. And regardless of age, it's best to use a leash when you and your Bernedoodle are in public. These dogs have a fair prey drive, plus they're very social and curious--so they may tend to run off to explore interesting critters, people, and other pets if they have the chance. A leash will help minimize this tendency when you're out and about. Finally, Bernedoodles are extremely people-oriented, and will respond better to activities in which one or more of their human family members also participate. (Simply putting your Bernedoodle out to play alone in the yard, in other words, probably won't do any good; the dog will likely be miserable, and will spend its time barking and scratching at the door to be let back in!) Exercises you perform together are much better.
Precautions aside, it's good to exercise your Bernedoodle every single day. If bored or restless (and left alone), a Bernedoodle will become disobedient, fussy, and especially in the case of the Standard variants, quite destructive. Consistent exercise will be great for the dog's peace of mind--and for your own as well. A few exercise ideas:
- Walking: Two 15- to 20-minute walks per day is a good target
- Fetch: Can be played indoors or out
- Hide-and-Seek: Great rainy-day, indoor activity; give the dog a treat when it finds you
- Dog Park: Bernedoodles normally enjoy the company of other dogs
- Hiking: Great bonding activity; bonus if you find a remote location where the dog can be off-leash
When indoors, it's a good idea to give your Bernedoodle access to one or more balls or toys that will allow the dog to burn any excess energy. It's also recommended that you establish a regular exercise schedule for the dog, such as walks after breakfast and dinner and a play period in the afternoon.
In terms of shedding and drooling, care needed for these dogs is pretty low overall. Bernedoodle shedding is extremely minimal, and drooling is a non-issue as well.
Bernedoodles usually have wavy to curly, medium-length coats that are considered hypoallergenic. They still shed hair and skin dander--every dog does, at least a little--but the shedding amount is very low. (Bernedoodles with straighter coats tend to shed a bit more, but still not much overall.) Even so, these dogs will need frequent grooming to keep their coats from tangling and matting.
Bernedoodles also drool very little. The Standard variants may drool a bit in anticipation of food, but almost never otherwise. If your Bernedoodle is drooling excessively, it may be a sign of a medical issue, in which case a veterinarian's care might be required.