Crossbreeds have been around for quite some time, and one of the most popular ones is the Poodle mix.
Due to the hypoallergenic properties of their coats, Poodles are often chosen as the second parent in a hybrid dog puppy.
So, when combined with the likes of a Labrador or a Golden Retriever, they can make a dog that sheds far less.
There are many Poodle mixes around today, and in this article, we will cover the Bernedoodle – a dog that has been growing in popularity since the first time it appeared.
But, even within the Bernedoodle mix, there are differences in shapes, sizes, and colors of the dogs.
For starters, you should know that there is the standard Bernedoodle, but there is also a mini Bernedoodle for people who want a small hypoallergenic dog.
But, before we go into details, let’s explore what crossbreeds are and whether these dogs make good pets.
Are crossbreed dogs good pets?
Each year, a larger number of dog owners turn away from purebred, pedigree dogs in favor of designer crossbreeds, also known as humble mutts.
Why is this? You might ask. And, does it really matter?
Well, it matters a lot. Pedigree dog fans love the fact that purebred dogs are reliable.
When you choose one of these dogs, you know precisely what to expect from their appearance, temperament, and demeanor.
With crossbreeds, things are a bit different.
What to expect from crossbreeds
Crossbreed dogs inherit traits from both of their parents.
The genes mix together in many combinations, and like opening a tightly wrapped Christmas present, you never know what you’re going to get.
A Mini Bernedoodle might be a Bernese Mountain Dog in a Poodle’s body or the other way around.
They get a mix of behavioral traits from their parents as well, and each litter can have lots of variations.
There can be a lot of different puppies within one litter, but also from litter to litter by the same parents.
The chances of getting a unique dog are pretty high, but the things that make it stand out from the rest will be completely random with every individual dog.
You can see how this can be exciting for some people, but unappealing to others.
What is the mini Bernedoodle?
As the name suggests, Bernedoodles are a cross between a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Poodle. But, what happens when you pair a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Mini Poodle?
The mix of these two dog breeds gives you the Mini Bernedoodle.
A designer dog that retains most of the characteristics and traits of the standard-sized Bernedoodle, yet being petite in size, which makes it much more manageable than its larger cousin.
What is the Mini Bernedoodle size?
Since the Mini Bernedoodle is a direct descendant of the Miniature Poodle and a Bernese Mountain Dog, it is possible that the dog will either inherit traits from just one parent, both parents equally, or anywhere in between.
Interestingly, when it comes to the Mini Bernedoodle, it usually inherits its size from the Mini Poodle. Because of this, the size of a grown Mini Bernedoodle can be pretty small.
A Miniature Poodle must be between ten and fifteen inches tall. Any poodle shorter than that is a Toy Poodle and any taller is a Standard Poodle.
A Bernese Mountain dog, on the other hand, is much taller.
Males of this dog breed stand between 25 and 28 inches tall while females have a height between 23 and 26 inches.
You can expect a Mini Bernedoodle to fall close to the middle of these ranges, around 18 to 22 inches.
Male Bernese Mountain Dogs can weigh anywhere between 85 and 110 pounds while a female’s weight ranges between 79 and 110 pounds.
Combine this with a typical weight of a grown Miniature Poodle, which is 15 to 17 pounds, and you can get an estimate on how heavy a Mini Bernedoodle will be.
To spare you the math, a Mini Bernedoodle will most likely end up being between 25 and 50 pounds, with females weighing less on average.
If you missed this version of the Bernedoodle mix, it is quite alright since they are the smallest of the bunch.
A Tiny Bernedoodle is what you get when you mix a Bernese Mountain Dog with a toy Poodle.
These pups are even smaller than Mini Bernedoodles, and can almost fit in the palm of your hand.
If you thought that Mini Bernedoodles are cute, you might want to sit down when meeting their smaller relatives.
Miniature Bernedoodle coat colors
The coat of your mini Bernedoodle can vary and look more Poodle-like, or lean more to the Bernese Mountain Dog parent.
In most cases, they have wavy, curly coats that shed very little. This makes them more suitable for people with dog-related allergies.
On some occasions, these pooches can have straighter coats, which tend to shed more and be less hypoallergenic.
The thickness of their coat helps the Mini Bernedoodle keep warm in cold temperatures while also providing it with some protection from the heat in the summer months.
A mini Bernedoodle comes in the same range of colors as a standard Bernedoodle. Some are black and white while others are pure black.
Sometimes, Mini Bernedoodles come in tri-color, with patches of white, black, and brown.
These colors are usually found in the latest generations of Bernedoodles since breeders are deliberately aiming for them.
People tend to think that the Poodle’s non-shedding coat makes them hypoallergenic.
Unfortunately, this is not the case since proteins found in dander and saliva are what cause allergic reactions in the first place. The pet hair only distributes the allergens around the house.
That being said, it is true that some people suffering from dog allergies report no reactions to Mini Bernedoodles.
This might be because of their curly coats catching all the loose hair that would otherwise fly around and carry the allergens in the air.
If you or someone in your family has allergies, and you want to know if a Mini Bernedoodle will trigger them, ask a breeder to spend some time with their pooches.
Alternatively, to ensure a more hypoallergenic dog, you should consider going to a backcross generation of the Mini Bernedoodle.
The F1 Bernedoodles might be too unpredictable, so the F1b Bernedoodles could be your best bet.
What is the temperament of a Mini Bernedoodle?
Since the Mini Bernedoodle is considered to be a relatively new crossbreed, we should look to its parent breeds to determine their offspring’s temperament.
The Bernese Mountain Dog is well-known and cherished for being intelligent, faithful, loyal, and extremely affectionate towards their families.
Mini Poodles, like most other Poodles, are highly intelligent as well. They are ranked as the second smartest breed, and can exhibit exceptional loyalty and faithfulness to their owners.
However, the temperament of the Mini Poodle can vary a lot, with the main factor being the upbringing that it has.
Thus, it is possible for the Mini Poodle, and your Mini Bernedoodle, in turn, to either be aggressive or docile depending on how it was treated.
Overall, when it comes to the Mini Bernedoodle, you can expect to have an obedient dog that is loyal to its family.
It should come as no surprise, but these little dogs are intelligent, too; hence, training them should be a walk in the park.
But, with intelligence usually comes a downside. The Mini Bernedoodle can easily get bored if not properly stimulated.
You should aim to use various training methods, and change the training routines regularly in order to keep your pup from getting bored of repetitive training sessions.
The Mini Bernedoodles are loyal above everything else. This makes them one of the best family pets around, especially in households with children.
The Mini Bernedoodle will be gentle around your family, and at the same time, fiercely loyal to your kids.
However, despite them being affectionate and loyal to your children, it is not recommended to leave children together with a dog without adult supervision.
The Mini Bernedoodle exercise needs
Due to their relatively low level of activeness, Mini Bernedoodles don’t require much exercise. This, of course, doesn’t mean that you should neglect it completely.
It doesn’t hurt to take your pup for regular walks or some outdoor playtime.
They need around thirty to sixty minutes of exercise daily to stay healthy and satisfied.
Use this time to form a stronger bond between you and your Mini Bernedoodle and you will have an excellent companion dog.
A thing to keep in mind is that the long, dense coat on Mini Bernedoodles can cause them to overheat.
The coat served its purpose well while their ancestors needed it in cold weather, but in warmer climates, it can be too much for this little dog.
During summer or random hotter days throughout the year, you should find activities to do in the shade.
Is it easy to train a Mini Bernedoodle?
Due to their temperament as well as their high intelligence, Mini Bernedoodles can be trained with ease.
But, as mentioned earlier, because of their stubbornness, you will need to put in some effort.
As with all other breeds, you will get the best results if you start training your dog early.
Socializing your puppy in its first few months will also help in having a well-mannered dog later down the road.
Socialization helps dogs adjust to people as well as other animals, and it also helps them keep calm and well-behaved in adulthood.
Despite their low energy levels, some Mini Bernedoodle pups can be quite energetic, so make sure you provide them with both physical and mental stimulation.
As we mentioned earlier, changing the training routines will keep things interesting and yield the best results possible.
Also, these dogs will respond better to praise and pets rather than punishment.
Keep that in mind when you start training your Mini Bernedoodle puppy, and make sure you give it all the pets and cuddles it deserves.
Caring for your Mini Bernedoodle
Regardless of their fur and how much they shed, you should take care of a Mini Bernedoodle’s coat regularly.
Their coats must be brushed on a daily basis to avoid matting and tangling of the fur.
It might even need a haircut every eight to twelve weeks depending on how quickly the fur grows as well as the local climate and temperature.
The upper side of grooming a Mini Bernedoodle is that it doesn’t require bathing often.
In fact, these dogs should not be bathed often because they will lose the healthy oils that their coats naturally produce.
Miniature and tiny Bernedoodles are more suited to apartment or condo life. But, you should provide them with regular walks in order to stimulate them properly.
Typically, this Poodle mix doesn’t require much personal space. So, as long as their moderate needs for mental and physical stimulation are met, they shouldn’t behave in a destructive manner.
However, they love being around their family and other humans, so the less time they spend on their own, the better.
The appropriate amount of food for a Bernedoodle depends on its size, age, and activity level.
For example, standard Bernedoodles can be voracious eaters that gulp down everything you put in front of them.
This is why it is recommended that you monitor their intake and keep track of their diet.
When it comes to your Mini Bernedoodle, you can consult your vet on the amount of food it needs or measure it yourself.
Whatever you choose, make sure to keep it in healthy condition. This means no overfeeding or underfeeding because both of these things can lead to serious health issues.
Miniature Bernedoodle health concerns
Healthy parents usually have healthy puppies. So, the best way to get a healthy dog is to get it from a reputable Bernedoodle breeder.
These breeders often test the health of their breeding dogs in order to ensure the healthiest litters possible.
Like with most designer breeds, the health problems of Mini Bernedoodles are likely to be that of their parents.
But, being a mixed breed, they are generally healthier than both of their purebred parent breeds.
This is due to the hybrid vigor trait found in all mixed breeds, but it has fewer benefits with each dog generation.
Let’s explore the most common ailments of Miniature Poodles and Bernese Mountain Dogs.
Hip and elbow dysplasia
The abnormal bone development of a joint, or joint dysplasia, can lead to painful and crippling arthritis.
Approximately one in eight Bernese Mountain Dogs and Miniature Poodles have hip dysplasia.
On top of that, a further one in five Berners also suffers from elbow dysplasia.
Since both elbow and hip dysplasia are hereditary conditions, both parents should have their joints examined by a vet before they are used for breeding.
This condition occurs when a dog’s knees slip out of their sockets. Around three percent of Bernese Mountain Dogs and four percent of Miniature Poodles are affected.
This is also a hereditary condition caused by several faulty genes. If patella luxation is diagnosed in both parents of the mix, their offspring is more likely to inherit the ailment, too.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
This is a degenerative eye disease that ultimately leads to total loss of vision.
Bernese Mountain Dogs are not prone to this condition, but between a quarter and a third of Mini Poodles are carriers of the disease.
Fortunately, there is a DNA test that can identify the carriers.
A good, responsible breeder can prove that they haven’t mated two carrier dogs, which is the best way to get a pup with a smaller chance of developing PRA.
Both parent breeds are susceptible to further eye diseases, such as cataracts and eyelashes that turn inwards (distichiasis).
If you get your Mini Bernedoodle from a reputable breeder, he will have a certificate of good eye health issued by an ophthalmologist.
Gastric dilatation volvulus, more commonly known as bloat, is a common problem in both Poodles and Bernese Mountain Dogs.
Bloat is what happens when a dog’s stomach twists back on itself.
This is a serious and life-threatening condition that can progress very quickly, and the only course of action is immediate emergency surgery.
Bloat is most often caused by gulping food too fast. Dogs are known to be fast eaters, and one of the best ways of protecting them from bloat is by using a slow feeder bowl.
Another way of preventing this health issue is by splitting your dog’s meals into two smaller ones instead of feeding it one large meal a day.
Even though Poodles can suffer from heart-related issues, they are more often found in Bernese Mountain Dogs.
This is why the Canine Health Information Center recommends that a Bernese Mountain Dog should be screened for heart disease before being used for breeding.
How long do Mini Bernedoodles live?
Sadly, both male and female Bernese Mountain Dogs are a very short-lived breed. About 85% of them make it to their fifth birthday while only 30% reach the age of ten.
This makes their average lifespan a little over seven years.
This is where the poodle side of the mix gives a big contribution. Poodles live much longer than Berners.
In fact, ten years is the minimum while some poodles on record even reach 18 years of age.
For the Miniature Poodle, the average lifespan lies between twelve and fifteen years.
All of this combined means that a Mini Bernedoodle will probably live between seven and fifteen years, averaging at around ten or eleven.
Finding a Miniature Bernedoodle puppy
Given that the chance of finding one on the street is pretty slim, there are two ways of getting your hands on one of these great companions.
Rescuing a puppy
Adopting a dog is always a great choice. You get a loyal and faithful companion, and the dog gets a second chance in life.
But, since Mini Bernedoodles are very popular and highly sought after at the moment, it’s unusual to find them in rescue shelters.
This doesn’t mean that it is impossible to happen. Some people forfeit or abandon a Mini Bernedoodle that triggers their allergies.
Keep in touch with your local shelter or rescue and tell them what kind of dog you are searching for.
Be patient and ready to act quickly if a Mini Bernedoodle comes along.
Purchasing a puppy
If you’ve had no luck with rescuing one, then the alternative is to purchase one of these awesome pets.
There are probably many Mini Bernedoodle breeders across your country with sophisticated and informative websites.
It might be obvious, but the best thing you can do is type “Mini Bernedoodle puppies” in any search engine and start from there.
Choosing a Mini Bernedoodle breeder
Mini Bernedoodle puppies of today are high in demand, and hence, often sold for high prices.
Sadly, this means that people want to get on that cash train with no regard for animal welfare.
These people run puppy mills, where female dogs are treated as breeding machines that produce sickly offspring.
Finding your first Mini Bernedoodle puppy will greatly depend on finding a responsible Mini Bernedoodle breeder.
How to recognize a responsible breeder
You know you are talking to a responsible breeder when all of your questions, including any about weaknesses or health issues, are answered honestly.
These breeders will also be proud to share what they’ve done to prevent passing those issues on to the next generation.
When you first meet a breeder, ask what health checks were carried out on both parents before they mated. A good breeder will have documented results of every health check.
You should also take a look at where the puppy and its parents live.
Meet them and observe how they interact with the breeder, and if you see them comfortable and happy, then it is usually a sign of a good breeding place.
Good breeders will also have some questions for you like where you plan to keep the puppy, and in what condition will it live.
This is normal since most responsible breeders want to make sure that their pups end up in good, loving homes.
Pros and cons of getting a Mini Bernedoodle
If you’re still undecided on whether or not to get one of these pups, here’s a quick summary of everything we covered in this article.
Cons: This dog might not live long.
The big fluffball, known as Bernese Mountain Dog, is not blessed with great health or a long lifespan.
If your Mini Bernedoodle inherits more of the Berner side, you might be looking at having less than a decade together, with more than a few hefty vet bills.
This can be even more heartbreaking if your Mini Bernedoodle takes a long time to build up its confidence.
After a long time of socialization and training, your pup might have less time to actually enjoy it.
Also, if you’ve decided on this dog because someone in your home suffers from allergies, you should remember that poodle mixes are not completely hypoallergenic.
Pros: They are loving, smart, and family-oriented dogs
This hybrid dog has deep roots in two well-known and honorable working breeds.
A Mini Bernedoodle will enjoy its role in your family and keep you company whenever you wish.
At the end of the day, if you’ve been looking to get a Bernese Mountain Dog or another giant breed, but want a few more years with your pet, then this crossbreed might be the best choice.