Updated: Jun 30
As breeders, we seem to get asked about Bernedoodles and their temperaments & personalities more frequently than some of our other doodle breeds. The first intentional Bernese Mountain Dog and Poodle cross is traced back to 2003 in Canada.
This newer breed remained relatively unknown until the last decade. As a newer breed, but one that is skyrocketing in popularity, many people have questions about what the Bernedoodle is all about. (See our bernedoodle puppies here and below!)
With some of the doodle breeds that have been around longer such as the Goldendoodle or Labradoodle, many have had a chance to meet one in person, or at the very least, most people have met a golden retriever or Labrador during their life as these breeds are consistently in America’s 10 most popular dog breeds.
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The Bernese Mountain Dog is not nearly as common, and as a result, many people have not been able to interact with one personally, hence the frequent questions we receive about the Bernese Mountain Dog and the Bernedoodle.
Bernedoodle Personalities and Temperaments? FUN
So what is the Bernedoodle all about? The short answer is FUN! But let’s explore the two breeds that make up this popular cross more in depth to better understand this goofy, affectionate dog more. (Read about which doodle breeds are the calmest here.)
The Bernese Mountain Dog takes its name from the canton of Bern in the central farmlands of Switzerland where he was bred to work on farms as a helper in various ways, from guarding livestock to pulling carts of farm supplies across the hilly Alpine terrain.
As you can probably tell from his job description, the Bernese Mountain Dog is a large, strong dog who has the energy to do physical tasks. As he has transitioned to being more well-known as a family pet in recent decades, he has channeled his hard-working energy into being the happiest, most hilarious companion you’ll ever have.
The Bernese Mountain Dog is known for having a sense of humor; running away with your socks or keys is one of his favorite pastimes. Although you may not find their jokes as terribly funny as they do if you do not enjoy slobbery socks or keys!
Without his farm chores to do, the Bernese Mountain Dog must find other ways to use his powerful body and energy. This breed will happily snuggle with you on the sofa, but he must also be exercised daily, particularly when young.
Bernedoodles Have Gentle and Caring Temperaments
The Berner is known for being a gentle giant— patient with children, affectionate and devoted to his family. He is overall amiable and easygoing. However, this does not mean he is a pushover to train. Unlike the Golden retriever and Labrador, the Bernese Mountain Dog does not have a long history of therapy and service dog work. Despite being steady-tempered, he can be a bit stubborn when it comes to training and prefers to do things on his own timetable.
One of the strongest qualities of the Berner is his affection. He may very well think his 100 pound body can fit perfectly in your lap. He will want to accompany his owners as much as possible and his loyalty is simply unmatched.
The other half of the Bernedoodle is of course the well-known Poodle. Due to its most unusual hair styling, the Standard Poodle sometimes gets a bad rap for being a “frilly dog.” But what many don’t realize is that the Standard Poodle was originally bred as a retrieving dog (specifically for the water!).
In fact, the sporting clip method of trimming the coat was originally used to facilitate swimming. So Standard Poodles are actually quite athletic, moderately active and extremely intelligent. Retrieving is a skill that requires dutiful obedience on the part of the dog, and the standard poodle is no exception.
Poodles often excel in obedience competitions and agility exercises. They are also incredibly people-oriented and sensitive. This means they are often easy to train, but also that they require a lot of affection to be at their happiest and reach their full potential. In other words, Poodles are not the type of dog that will be content alone in the backyard all day!
Bernedoodles Will Take More Effort to Train Since They Have an Active Personality
The combination of the Bernese Mountain Dog and Poodle is pure magic! The Poodle lends its non-shedding coat and better health to the Bernese Mountain Dog to create a lower-shedding, longer-living, but just as loving of a companion as the purebred Berner. The trainability of the poodle tends to help soften the Bernese Mountain Dog’s stubbornness.
Still, the Bernedoodle may be more difficult to train than other types of doodles such as the goldendoodle. The Bernedoodle will need daily exercise to keep from turning his playful goofiness into a darker humor of chewing up your furniture or other bad habits. This is especially true if you are not at home for much of the day. As previously mentioned both the Bernese Mountain Dog and the Poodle are incredibly affectionate, devoted dogs.
This is a huge positive to the breed as it makes the Bernedoodle one of the most loving and faithful companions in the dog world, but on the downside, they can become anxious and therefore destructive if they do not receive enough companionship.
To summarize, we interviewed a few owners of Bernedoodles to get some firsthand descriptions of exactly what this breed is like. As predicted, many owners described their Bernedoodles as the ultimate people-lovers and “social butterflies.” The same words came up over and over: “goofy, active/energetic, and loving.”
When it comes to training, owners described the Bernedoodle breed as “very smart” and mostly eager to please: “he seeks acceptable behavior but experiments often with what he can get away with.” Overall, this breed is a kind-hearted lover, but he does need exercise and a firm hand with training to be a well-mannered pet.
Or as one owner put it: to summarize the breed in a few words, “stubborn cuddles with a side of spaz!” In conclusion, with a little effort on the part of his owner with training, this goofy love bug will be making you laugh for years to come.
Jenna and the JLDD Team