Today, we want to take you on a journey through time and tell you the fascinating history of Bernedoodles – an adorable designer breed that has captured the hearts of many American families.

It all starts with the two pure breeds, one of which is a loyal companion and a hard worker, and another who is somewhat a fashionista and former hunter’s right hand. Yes, we’re talking about a mighty Bernese Mountain Dog and a smarty Poodle.

Read below the brief history of Bernedoodle origin and learn how it became popular.

What Is a Bernedoodle?

A Bernedoodle is a designer breed that originated in 2003, right when Doodle mixes were gaining popularity. The Bernedoodle breed is a crossbreed developed by breeding a Bernese Mountain Dog with a Poodle. Bernedoodles are believed to come from Canada, unlike their purebred European parents.

Bernedoodles come in four different sizes: Toy, Mini, Medium, and Standard.

Toy Bernedoodles are the tiniest of all Bernedoodles, and they are the ultimate lap dog you can literally carry anywhere with one hand. Mini Bernedoodles are still within the small-sized canine category; however, they grow slightly bigger than an average small dog.
Bernedoodles’ fur color will largely depend on the color of their parents. It’s hard to predict an exact pattern early on, but one of the common and desired combinations is a tri-color (black, white, and brown).

Other less common yet visually appealing colors include:

  • Black and white
  • Sable
  • Merle
  • Phantom
  • Solid black
  • Apricot
a Bernedoodle puppy playing with a ball

Bernedoodles can live for about 18 years, but Toy Bernedoodles have an even longer lifespan.

Bernedoodle History

Bernedoodle origin dates earlier than 2003, but during that year, Sherry Rupke, a Canadian breeder, intentionally bred a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Poodle together in the city of Ontario.

Dog breeding has always been a passion of Sherry. Working at SwissRidge Kennels, she first bred Goldendoodles and only later started developing Bernedoodles.

When Sherry Rupke graduated from veterinary school, her understanding of breeding and genetic diseases expanded, allowing her to focus on hybrid canines with longer lifespans, allergy-friendly and healthy.

Bernedoodles were tough to breed, especially when Sherry had to eliminate any dog that didn’t fit her strict criteria. All this was done in order to reduce or try to eliminate genetic diseases that could pass from purebred parents.

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a mighty breed that serves as a working dog. Standing 27 inches tall and weighing 120 pounds, it can pull carts and herd cattle. On the downside, this purebred has a very short lifespan of only 7 years. Moreover, the canine is prone to cancer.

Sherry is well-educated about Bernese Mountain Dogs and knows them from the inside out. But the fact of losing your best furry friend is just overwhelming, and she knew it had to change.

At one point, her client suggested crossing a Bernese with a Poodle – a blend that intrigued her to learn whether the result would be similar to the Goldendoodles she perfected in her works.

The Poodle originated in Germany and France in the early 1400s. The canine was bred to help hunters retrieve waterfowl. The canine’s curly coat helped it effortlessly swim in the water without getting tangled in debris. Nowadays, Poodles are beautiful canine companions that often visit local and international shows featuring all sorts of exquisite haircuts.

So, what were the results of breeding a Bernese with a Poodle? Well, you can now find a tiny Bernedoodle puppy running around countless American houses, bringing joy to its members.

You can also adopt a charming Bernedoodle with traits of a Bernese, the adorable curly fur of a Poodle, stronger health, and a longer lifespan.

Mini Bernedoodle

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The Popularity of Bernedoodles: From Prejudice to Common Practice

Bernedoodles are beloved pets in many homes. They have the intelligence and hypoallergenic properties of a Poodle and unique coat combinations of a Bernese. But have hybrid breeds always been in favor? Not until recently.

Crossbreeding canines was frowned upon because inexperienced breeders would only produce hybrids for the sake of earning money without proper research. Now, it’s less of a problem, but you should always look for a reputable breeder who runs health tests and follows best practices, like Central Illinois Doodles.

With further research, breeders have realized that crossbreeding offers many advantages:

  • Fewer genetic issues
  • Longer lifespan
  • Unique looks
  • Favorable traits

Once crossbreeds were widely accepted, the Bernedoodle started to gain popularity not only for its tri-color curls but also for its unique temperament.

Overall, Bernedoodle puppies are playful and affectionate. They love to socialize with you, your children, and other dogs. Although they can be quite energetic and active, Bernedoodle puppies love to cuddle and be couch potatoes with you during weekends.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Bernedoodle is not a breed, and that’s why it’s a hybrid of two purebreds; hence, it’s not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). However, the designer breed is recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club, the Designer Dogs Kennel Club, the International Designer Canine Registry, and the Designer Breen Registry.

Yes, the Bernedoodle is a relatively healthy breed, but there are a few conditions you should be aware of, in particular:

  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Sebaceous Adenitis 
  • Hip Dysplasia

The average life expectancy of a Bernedoodle is 12 to 17 years, depending on its size. The Toy Bernedoodle has the longest lifespan – up to 18 years.