Maybe it was love at first sight. Or maybe you’ve done oodles of research to get to this point. Either way, the bernadoodle has won your heart over. Not only do they have charismatic personalities, but they are adorable, making it hard to dwindle the decision down to just one pup, much less one look. Their coats are positively anything other than boring, but the answer to “What colors do bernadoodles come in?” is anything other than basic as well. Rather than simply black, brown, cream or red, the combination of colors and patterns that these pups flash can be too many to even list. Whether your choosy or not, you may want to consider the benefit of knowing what you’re getting in the “color” department and what appearance changes to expect as they grow. A bernadoodle coat comes in quite the range of color selections. Depending on generation, they will generally have a solid or “base” coat or coats in either black, white, brown, cream, red, or a combo of those colors. You’ll oftentimes hear terms such as Phantom, Bridle, Merle, Sable, Bi-color or Tri color in reference to bernadoodle color choices. These primarily refer to the patterns or genes that give the base coat a specific and unique shape or tone of color and are ultimately what make up the color selections.
If all of this already has your head spinning, hang in there, we’re here to help you sort through the titles
given to bernadoodle colors. A bernadoodle coat is what adds to the fun of adopting one of these pups,
so take the time to select one that is original to you as their new forever friend!
If you like the look of a Bernese mountain dog, then the very popular “Tri-color” may be words to watch
for when looking at color selections. Traditional tri-color bernadoodles have one base color, generally
black, with tips of a different color, usually rust, along with bright white markings on the chest and tip of
tail. The white blaze markings between the eyes is the main characteristic of the tri-color and may be a
full mask or they may be limited. “Sable tri color” bernadoodles are a two toned, generally black or very
dark brown, dog with white markings. They tend to look like a traditional tri-color with their blaze mask,
but their feature characteristic is a coat tipped in black ends, in no particular pattern or location.
“Phantom tri-color” bernadoodles hold the look of the traditional tri-color with generally a black base,
rust and white markings, but rather than the blaze between the eyes, white markings will be located on
the chest. We’ll go into more detail about the “merle” gene further in the post but for now it’s
important to note that “merle tri-color” bernadoodles will somewhat hold the traditional tri-color
pattern but will carry a gene that will dilute the color of a black or brown base. This gene causes the
pigment to appear a mottled blue/grey or red tint, but the classic white blaze between eyes remains
The “Bi-color” also resembles the pattern and look of the bernese mountain dog and the tri-color
pattern. They will have the black base and white markings with the white blaze between the eyes but
differ because they do not have a third color marking, such as rust. Simply put, they are black and white
only. They are classic showstoppers when it comes to the looks department.
“Phantom” is a word used to describe markings. Phantom bernadoodles will have one base color with a
different color of markings, other than white, that can be found over the eyes, sides of faces, on the
chest, on all four legs and feet or under the tail. A chocolate base with cream markings, black with rust
or, similar to the look of a Doberman or Rottweiler, black with brown. Although phantoms do not have
any white on them, the exception is the tri-color phantom as mentioned earlier. Tri-color phantom will
have a base color black, with tan markings and some white on the chest rather than the traditional
white tri-color blaze being between the eyes.
Probably the most commonly misunderstood pattern is the Merle. Many believe merle denotes color,
however, it is a dilution gene that variously lightens the solid base color, usually being red, brown or
black, while untouching any whites of the bernadoodle. The dilution causes patches of uneven marbling
or speckling and a lightening of the base color to a different hue. A solid black dog with a merle gene will
appear to have a blue/grey hue. The dilutions are not spread evenly but can leave scattered patches of
merle color over the dog’s body. Therefore, no two merles are alike and are extremely unique. The
merle gene can also affect the eye, nose or paw pad colors as well, giving these dogs an outstandingly
gorgeous look. Sometimes, the merle gene can be so minimal, hidden or masked under the white that it
goes unidentified. This can become a problem when a merle to merle is bred resulting in health
complications. Purchasing merles from a knowledgeable breeder who is cognizant and able to recognize
the merle gene in lineage is a good idea. A safely bred merle tends to be rare and therefore more costly,
but their beauty is well worth the cost.
“Brindle” is also an acquired recessive gene that affects the look of a pup. Both parents of a brindle pup
must carry the gene before it is acquired. Brindle describes a subtle tiger stripe pattern. The streaks
of color are irregular and darker than the base color of the coat. Brindles are generally grey/black,
brown and tan in color and striping tends to become more predominant with age.
We’ve already touched lightly on the sables earlier, but more so than a pattern, sable denotes a two-
tone, generally brown or black, base color of bernadoodle. However, what identifies the sable is black or
brown tipped hairs, found in random patterns or locations on the ends of the coat’s hair. The two-toned
sable bernadoodle can also hold patterns such as the traditional tri-color or genes, such as the merle
sable, which can altogether change the appearance or shape of colors. Sable dogs tend to lighten as
they grow into adults, but they can also just hold their dark brown or black color that they are born with.
They’ve been known to grow into shades of red, brown, black/grey and depending on genetics, a light
cream color. The black tipping will also become more predominant as they grow.
Similar to the merle, the “Parti” pattern affects the pigment of the base coat. But rather than affecting
the color hue, it changes color pigment to white. Both parents must carry a recessive gene in order to
create a parti pup. The traditional parti is a black base, but can also be other base colors or combo of
patterns such as sable, brindle, tri-color, bi-color or merle. However, in order to be a parti, at least 50%
of the dogs’ coat must be pigmented white. The large patch of white is generally over the face, chest,
feet, legs and tips of their tails.
The bernadoodle is without a doubt a special breed to own. No matter what shade your bernadoodle is
born, it has the potential to change in appearance with age, often referred to as fading or clearing. They
not only have stellar personalities, but the amount of color combos and patterns that they come in
allows them to be a “one of a kind” pup to each owner. Their coat selections add a dimension of
diversity that sets them apart from other breeds. Let’s be honest though, you can’t go wrong in
whatever color bernadoodle pup you choose!
F1 Bernadoodles: Traditional Tri-color, Sable Tri-color, Phantom Tri-color, Merle Tri-color, Merle
Phantom, Merle and White, Black, Brown, Sable and white, Brindle and White, Black, Black and White,
F1B and multigeneration: Traditional Tri-color, Sable Tri-color, Phantom Tri-color, Merle Tri-color, Merle
Phantom, Merle and White, Chocolate Phantom, Sable Phantom, Sable and White, Brindle and White,
Black, Black and White, Parti, Cream, Cream and White, Chocolate, Chocolate and White, Red