Bernedoodles are a poodle mix breed with a Bernese Mountain Dog. This has many benefits such as being a hypoallergenic breed, having a non-shedding coat and other various health advantages.
Taking proper care to groom your Bernedoodle well and often is an important facet of dog ownership in regards to this breed. Neglecting to do so can lead to serious health risks and all round lower quality of life for your four legged friend.
Why is it so important to groom your Bernedoodle?
Not properly grooming your Bernedoodle comes with serious health risks. Since they can’t properly groom themselves it means it’s up to responsible pet owners to take care of it for them.
Since a Bernedoodles fur is non-shedding, they can have various lengths of coats depending on how frequently they are getting haircuts. But all coats are prone to matting. That’s when their fur gets so tangled it forms tight itchy clumps that cause several different problems.
Mats tend to form close to the skin and can cause itchiness, sores, and rashes. This also can trap heat causing your dog to overheat easier in hot temperatures, leading to heat stroke or dehydration.
These mats can also become home to parasites like mange that can harm your dogs. Also, when matting occurs most of the time that’s it for the fur and the best solution is to cut it off and start over, potentially ruining your dog’s haircut! The good news is all of this is easily prevented with good grooming habits.
A large appeal of the “doodle” is their hypoallergenic nature. Bernedoodles are no different. However grooming helps keep your allergies down as well as keeping your dog healthy and fresh. The main causes of dog allergies come in the form of fur, saliva, and dander.
Unkempt coats are going to carry more of all 3 of those things making those of us with allergies that much more sensitive to our favorite furry friends.
Nature also tends to use animals with bushier coats to spread things such as seeds, pollen, substrates, and insects. Yet again these can be things that cause your allergies to flare. So if your allergies are acting up around your Bernedoodle, that might just mean it’s bath time!
Grooming is also a bonding experience for you and your dog. Dogs, and by extension Bernedoodles, know who is taking care of them. Regardless of if they seem to appreciate it in the moment. This is an often overlooked part of the chore that can make it rewarding. Spending time with your dog in this way is undoubtedly one of the best activities to have some quality time and strengthen your bond.
Bathing and Grooming your Bernedoodle
Bernedoodles as a breed tend to enjoy water and that extends to baths. They might get bored and want to relax however, making the job that much more difficult. This is a good problem to have because it’s easy to fix. Bring something to engage the dog and reinforce good behavior, like treats for example. It can also be solved by working quickly and efficiently.
A lesser known trick to speeding up bath time is taking a bottle with a spout and filling it with a mixture of hot water and dog shampoo concentrate. Shake well and apply to the dog while they are still dry.
Apply to the back, legs, chest, stomach, rear, and head. Then lather into the fur with your hands and rinse thoroughly. This can quicken bath time and prevent boredom. Once your dog is squeaky clean make sure to hand dry with a towel or two, and finish the damp areas with a blow dry on low heat.
Some dogs have a higher tolerance for this than others but frequent practice and positive reinforcement at an early age are paramount to conditioning your Bernedoodle to enjoy every part of bath time. Bath frequency can vary depending on your own personnel needs as well as the dog's needs. I’d recommend at least one bath between haircuts and a bath accompanying each haircut.
Brushing a doodle's coat is an important cornerstone of caring for your doodle, and or Bernedoodle. The more often you comb your doodles fur the easier it will be. Less tangles and mats will form with frequent brushing. Coat length is also a factor here and longer coats require more attention.
Investing in a solid wire brush and comb is all you need for this portion of grooming. Any fur longer than 1 ¼ inch should be brushed out regularly. I’d recommend brushing your Bernedoodle at least once a week; and before and after giving them a bath. When your Bernedoodle gets comfortable with this ritual they will love it and it’s perfect to do while watching a favorite show or movie.
Haircuts are another facet of Bernedoodle care. Since they are a non-shedding breed their fur will continue to grow and grow. Haircuts are important for three main reasons.
The first is that a good haircut can make everything we’ve talked about so far that much easier.
Second and third are the health concerns. Dogs get hot and more fur on their body will trap more heat. Depending on your climate it will be incredibly important that your dog’s haircut matches the weather.
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Lastly is the all important Sanitary shave and face/eye/paw trims. These will keep your Bernedoodle clean where it matters most and let them enjoy their world to the fullest.
Haircut length and style will be down to preference and I’d recommend keeping any at home haircuts limited to just trimming and the aforementioned Sani-shave unless you have plenty of practice or confidence grooming your Bernedoodle.
Once your Bernedoodle’s coat is styled how you like it, maintenance is easy enough. Just ask your groomer what guard length to use for your clippers. Eye and face trims can be tackled with a nice pair of straight or curved grooming scissors. Paw trims can be tackled using clippers with or without a guard depending on style and preference. Sani-shaves are done using clippers without a guard.
If you have any questions about this, using one of our reference videos or asking your dog’s professional groomer is always a good idea. Haircuts and trims should be maintained around every 6 weeks and I’d recommend getting your Bernedoodle professionally groomed every 12 weeks. So every other haircut is done at home for maintenance.
Thanks for reading, and reach out to us for all your doodle questions here!
Jenna and the JLDD Team