Bernedoodle versus Bernese Mountain Dog: Which is Right for You?
Choosing a canine companion is a significant decision that can shape your life for years to come. If you’re drawn to the gentle and majestic appearance of the Bernese Mountain Dog but are considering a more manageable-sized breed, you may find yourself comparing Bernedoodles and Bernese Mountain Dogs.
When deciding between a Bernedoodle and a Bernese Mountain Dog, it’s essential to consider your lifestyle, preferences, and priorities. These two breeds, while sharing some common traits, differ significantly in size, grooming needs, trainability, activity level, and health considerations.
Understanding the Bernedoodle Breed
The Bernedoodle is a popular designer dog breed created by crossing Bernese Mountain Dogs with Poodles. These dogs combine the friendly and affectionate nature of Bernese Mountain Dogs with the intelligence and low-shedding coat of Poodles. Before deciding whether a Bernedoodle is right for you, it’s essential to understand their characteristics.
Size Variability of the Bernedoodle
Bernedoodles come in various sizes, ranging from mini to standard. Micro Bernedoodles weigh around 10 to 20 pounds, and Mini Bernedoodles typically weigh between 25 and 49 pounds, while standard Bernedoodles can weigh up to 100 pounds.
Their coats can vary from wavy to curly and often have low-shedding and hypoallergenic qualities, making them suitable for individuals with allergies.
Temperament of the Bernedoodle
Bernedoodles are known for their friendly, affectionate, and gentle nature. They tend to get along well with children and other pets.
Thanks to their Poodle ancestry, Bernedoodles are highly intelligent and trainable. They excel in activities like obedience training, agility, and even therapy work.
Like all breeds, Bernedoodles can be prone to certain health issues, although responsible breeding practices can help minimize these risks.
Understanding the Bernese Mountain Dog
The Bernese Mountain Dog, often simply called the Berner, is a breed known for its stunning appearance and gentle temperament. These dogs are originally from Switzerland and were bred for work in the Swiss Alps.
The Size of the Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dogs are a large breed, with adult males typically weighing between 80 to 115 pounds and standing around 25 to 27.5 inches tall at the shoulder.
They have a thick double coat with a black base and rust and white markings. The coat is long and requires regular grooming to prevent matting.
Temperament of the Bernese Mountain Dog
Berners are known for their calm, friendly, and affectionate disposition. They are often described as gentle giants and are usually good with children and other animals.
Intelligence of the Bernese Mountain Dog
While Bernese Mountain Dogs are intelligent, they are not as quick to learn and respond to commands as some other breeds, like the Bernedoodle.
What are the Key Factors You Need to Consider in Deciding Which Breed is Right For You
Now that you have a basic understanding of the Bernedoodle and Bernese Mountain Dog, let’s explore the key factors to consider when deciding which breed is right for you.
Size and Space
One of the most noticeable differences between Bernedoodles and Bernese Mountain Dogs is their size. Bernese Mountain Dogs are significantly larger and require more space to move around comfortably. If you live in a small apartment or have limited outdoor space, a Bernedoodle, especially a mini Bernedoodle, may be a more suitable choice. Bernedoodles are known for their adaptability to urban living, while Bernese Mountain Dogs are better suited to homes with larger yards and open spaces.
Grooming and Shedding
Grooming requirements can vary between Bernedoodles and Bernese Mountain Dogs. Bernese Mountain Dogs have long, thick coats that require regular brushing to prevent matting and minimize shedding. In contrast, Bernedoodles typically have low-shedding coats, which can be more manageable for those who prefer a cleaner home or have allergies.
However, it’s important to note that while Bernedoodles shed less, they do require regular grooming to prevent their coats from becoming tangled or matted. The exact grooming needs will depend on the coat type of your Bernedoodle (wavy, curly, etc.). Keep in mind that grooming can also be an excellent bonding activity between you and your dog.
Trainability and Intelligence
Both Bernedoodles and Bernese Mountain Dogs are intelligent breeds, but their trainability can differ. Bernedoodles tend to be highly trainable due to their Poodle ancestry, which is known for its intelligence and eagerness to learn. They excel in obedience training and can quickly pick up new commands and tricks.
On the other hand, while Bernese Mountain Dogs are intelligent, they can be somewhat independent and less eager to please than Bernedoodles. This doesn’t mean they can’t be trained, but they may require more patience and consistency in their training.
If you’re looking for a dog that’s eager to learn and participate in activities like agility and obedience trials, a Bernedoodle may be the better choice. However, if you prefer a more relaxed and easygoing companion, a Bernese Mountain Dog can still be a wonderful option with the right training and socialization.
Exercise and Activity Levels
Both Bernedoodles and Bernese Mountain Dogs require regular exercise and mental stimulation, but their activity levels can vary. Bernese Mountain Dogs have moderate exercise needs and enjoy daily walks and playtime. They are not as energetic as some other breeds and tend to be calm and easygoing.
Bernedoodles, especially standard-sized ones, have higher energy levels and may require more exercise and playtime to stay happy and healthy. Engaging them in activities like fetch, agility, or hiking can be a great way to burn off excess energy and keep them mentally stimulated.
Consider your own activity level and lifestyle when choosing between these breeds. If you’re an active person who enjoys outdoor activities, a Bernedoodle may be a great fit. If you prefer a more relaxed pace, a Bernese Mountain Dog may be a better match.
Bernedoodles generally have a longer lifespan than Bernese Mountain Dogs. Mini Bernedoodles can live around 12 to 15 years, while standard-sized Bernedoodles typically have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years. In contrast, Bernese Mountain Dogs have a shorter average lifespan, typically ranging from 7 to 10 years.
When choosing between these breeds, consider the commitment and potential emotional impact of their differing lifespans. Bernese Mountain Dogs tend to have a shorter time with their owners due to their shorter lifespan, whereas Bernedoodles may offer a longer companionship.
Allergies and Shedding
If you or a family member have allergies, it’s essential to consider the shedding and dander levels of each breed. Bernedoodles are often preferred by individuals with allergies due to their low-shedding coats, especially if they have Poodle-like coats.
In contrast, Bernese Mountain Dogs have thick double coats that shed seasonally, which can be problematic for allergy sufferers. Regular grooming and cleaning can help manage shedding, but it’s important to be prepared for the shedding season if you choose a Bernese Mountain Dog.
Family-Friendly and Temperament
Both Bernedoodles and Bernese Mountain Dogs are known for their friendly and gentle temperaments, making them excellent choices for families. They are typically good with children and get along well with other pets.
However, Bernedoodles, particularly mini Bernedoodles, may be better suited for families with small children due to their smaller size and lower risk of accidentally knocking over a child. Bernese Mountain Dogs, while gentle, are quite large and may require more supervision around small children to prevent unintentional mishaps.
Availability and Breeder Considerations
When considering either of these breeds, it’s essential to choose a reputable breeder who follows responsible breeding practices. Research breeders carefully, ask for references, and visit their facilities if possible. Look for breeders who conduct health testing on their breeding dogs and prioritize the well-being of the puppies.
Keep in mind that Bernedoodles may be more readily available from breeders specializing in designer breeds. Bernese Mountain Dogs, while popular, can be harder to find from responsible breeders due to their lower litter sizes and specific breeding requirements.
Whichever breed you choose, it’s essential to provide them with proper care, socialization, training, and regular veterinary check-ups. Both Bernedoodles and Bernese Mountain Dogs have the potential to become cherished members of your family, offering years of love and companionship.