Bernedoodle Grooming Head to Tail Guide! (2024)


The Bernedoodle is a poodle hybrid that inherits its coat from its Poodle and Bernese Mountain dog parents.

As with any doodle, grooming Bernedoodles is crucial to your dog’s health. Establishing a grooming routine early on will ensure your dog has a sleek, healthy coat throughout its life.

We’ve put together this guide on how to groom a Bernedoodle to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about Bernedoodle grooming.

We’ve put together this guide on how to groom a Bernedoodle to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about Bernedoodle grooming. Read on to learn about the different types of Bernedoodle coats, how to care for each coat type, and whether your dog will require professional grooming.

Other articles you would like: How To Train A Bernedoodle? and The Bernedoodle: A Complete Breed Overview

How Often Should You Groom Your Bernedoodle?

Depending on your bernedoodle’s coat type, you may need to brush them as often as every day or as little as once a week. In addition to brushing, your grooming routine should include regular bathing, nail clipping, and occasional trips to the groomer.

Below are in-depth steps for grooming your bernedoodle.

1. Take Inventory

The first step is to evaluate what you already have concerning grooming products (if any). If you groom your dog head to toe, you’ll need more products than a quick rub-down. But a simple brushing only requires, well, brushes. 

Some products you may need for a deep clean are: 

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Detangler (for curly or wavy coats)
  • Slicker brush
  • Comb
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste

If your dog has skin conditions, such as eczema or dermatitis, use the prescription shampoo recommended by your veterinarian. Other tools you may want on board are nail files and clippers, and of course – treats. 

Remember, you need not spend thousands to get decent grooming products. Try to find items with minimal ingredients to avoid irritation, and always use dog-friendly toothpaste. Shampoos with parabens, sulfates, and propylene glycol can also harm your bernedoodle. 

2. Check Things Out

After you have your tools ready to go, look at your bernedoodle. Examine its eyes, ears, paws, fur, and skin for discomfort or irritation. 

Bernedoodles, like any dog, may get hot spots in the summertime. Keep an eye on their elbows and paws for raw or itchy-looking patches. Winter brings dry skin, so if you notice flaking or scaly places, use a hydrating shampoo and conditioner (something with oatmeal is a great idea).

Curly bernedoodles tend to have more tangles than straight or wavy-coated dogs. Run your hands gently through the coat to check for matted fur or excessive knots – but do not tug on them if you find any, as that can be painful for your pup. 

If you feel any bumps or lesions, contact your veterinarian. Do not groom your bernedoodle until you have confirmation from your vet. Otherwise, you could cause further skin damage or even an infection. This process is especially vital for dogs that have had previous skin issues.

3. Washing Up

Now for the fun part – bathing your bernedoodle! Poodles love water, so most bernedoodles have some desire to splash around. Remember to only wash your bernedoodle once a month unless they get into something seriously nasty (it happens). 

Before adding water, use a soft product-free cloth to wipe the eyes and ears. You can use a dog-friendly ear solution if necessary. Be incredibly gentle, as these areas are sensitive, and some dogs do not particularly enjoy this aspect of grooming – so give your bernedoodle a treat afterward!

When you’re ready to wash, wet the fur with warm-but-not-hot water. Hot water leads to dry skin and can increase irritation in already-inflamed areas. Next, apply shampoo using your hands or a mitt, whichever works best for you. Rinse, add conditioner, and repeat! 

After you wash the conditioner out, apply a detangler if needed. If you like, you can blow dry the coat or let your dog air dry – just ensure you keep the temperature warm or cool. 

4. Bernedoodle Maintenance 

Most dogs aren’t huge fans of getting their nails clipped or teeth brushed, but it’s essential for keeping your bernedoodle happy and healthy. 

Before clipping, check each nail. If you notice some are curved towards the paw or stabbing it, take extra care during trimming, as these can be painful or uncomfortable for your bernedoodle friend. Use a designed-for-canines nail trimmer for the best results, and filing isn’t a bad idea, either. 

When trimming nails, never go beyond the quick. You can see where the quick (or cuticle) begins by examining the nail, taking note of the area that’s see-through and when it becomes opaque. The opaque part of the nail is the cuticle/quick and should never be trimmed. 

When you’re ready for teeth brushing, do not use too much toothpaste and use a toothbrush that fits inside your bernedoodle’s mouth comfortably. Some toothbrushes even come with finger holders for ultimate convenience! You can also make your toothpaste for your dog with baking soda, bouillon cubes, and other household ingredients. 

5. Time for a Trim

Grab your scissors or electric razor if you noticed matted fur or tangles during step 2. If the mats are severe or painful, take your bernedoodle to the vet for removal. Your vet may shave or trim the coat if the mats are causing your bernedoodle to lick or scratch. 

When deciding how much to trim from your bernedoodle, consider the time of year first. During summer, your dog will likely appreciate having less fur. But winter calls for a thick winter coat to stay warm during playtime, so only remove the ends (if any fur). 

If you plan to shave your dog in the summer, make sure they do not have an undercoat (i.e., straight-coated doodles.) Shaving a dog with an undercoat renders the undercoat useless – and the dog becomes less able to regulate its body temperature. A summer shave is a fine idea if you have a curly-coated doodle, as they cannot control their temperature.

What Tools Do You Need to Groom a Bernedoodle?

Most of the things you need are listed above, but below are a few options as far as brushes and tools go for a spa-like experience for your bernedoodle.

Slicker Brush

Slicker brushes are the best for bernedoodles as they get into the undercoat and pull tangles out without harming the dog. 

These brushes have short, thin wires on a flat surface, customarily a rectangle or square. The handles are flexible for easy maneuvering around tricky spots, and most dogs love a good slicker brush session. 

Use a slicker brush 2 to 3 times a week if your bernedoodle has a curly coat, as this can help prevent mats. Wavy or straight coats likely do not need as much brushing – once a week should suffice.

Pin Brush

If you have a wavy or straight hair bernedoodle, a pin brush should be your weapon of choice. As these coats are less susceptible to excessive mats and tangles, a gentler pin brush works wonders for keeping their coats shiny and silky. 

Pin brushes are likely what you think of when you consider dog brushes. They look similar to human hairbrushes, but the pins are typically further apart. Each pin has a tiny bobble on the tip to eliminate knots. 

You can groom your bernedoodle with a pin brush every day or a few times a week. Most bernedoodles love these brushes as it feels like an in-depth petting session. 


Combs are excellent grooming tools for bernedoodles, as they help collect dirt and grime and eliminate knots. If you notice fleas or ticks on your dog (or want to check for them), use a comb to glide through fur easily and without touching the critters. 

Bernedoodles also have fur around their nose and eyes, and combs are excellent for smoothing these areas without harming the delicate ocular area or being excessively rough on the nose.

You’ll need more than a comb for an effective brushing session. It’ll take you forever to comb your bernedoodle with only a comb! Use it after a wash or post-brush.  


Remember when your parents sprayed your hair with a detangler after a bath? Your bernedoodle is no different. 

Detanglers for dogs range from super cheap to luxury (human brands like Chi and Biosilk have dog-friendly formulas that run up to $40). Most bernedoodles don’t need anything beyond basic detangling, so no need to spend a ton. Remember to use a formula free of parabens, sulfates, and artificial fragrances.

If your bernedoodle never has knots, you may not even need a detangler – but it keeps tangles out and smells fresh! 

Cleansing Wipes 

Having a pack of canine-friendly cleansing wipes is never a bad idea, especially if you take your bernedoodle on hikes or it likes to roll in dirt and mud. Keep a pack in your car for just-in-case situations!

These also make excellent companions to the pre-bathing routine if your bernedoodle has lots of dirt packed onto its coat. Take the wipe across the areas to remove caked-on debris, eye secretions, and general grossness. 

Using a wipe before you bathe your bernedoodle pal ensures you get the most dirt off as possible, and works well for interim grooming sessions before a brushing.

Should You Take Your Bernedoodle to a Groomer?

Many Bernedoodle owners take their doodle to the groomer once a month for a haircut or professional brush.

A professional groomer is also fantastic for specialty jobs like removing mats and tangles. If you do not have time to maintain your dog’s coat, taking them to a groomer once a month is a great idea. If you want to take your bernedoodle more often, ensure you specify that you do not want your furry friend to be bathed – just brushed and nail trims if necessary.

The Best Way to Keep Your Dog’s Coat Healthy


Before we dive into grooming techniques, let’s talk about the best way to keep your dog’s coat looking sleek and shiny: good nutrition and adequate hydration.

If your dog isn’t getting the right balance of nutrients in their diet and doesn’t have proper hydration, no amount of brushing or bathing will help them.

Healthy hair and skin start from the inside out, so always dial in your dog’s diet, exercise, and water routines before addressing other concerns.

Types of Bernedoodle Coats


As with any doodle hybrid, your dog’s appearance will differ depending on which parent had the dominant traits.

If your dog’s poodle parent was dominant, your dog’s coat most likely resembles a poodle’s curls. If the Bernese mountain dog was dominant, your dog likely looks more like that parent.

There are three types of Bernedoodle coats: the straight coat, the curly coat, and the wavy coat. Let’s look at them now.

Bernese Straight Coat

Bernedoodles inherit the straight coat from the Bernese parent. This coat type most closely resembles the standard Bernese Mountain Dog’s straight coat.

If your dog has this coat, they most likely also have an undercoat, which makes them more prone to shedding. The good news about the straight coat is that it is easy to brush and maintain.

Bernedoodle Curly (Wooly) Coat

Doodles inherit this coat from the Poodle parent, and it more closely resembles a Poodle’s classic curls.

This coat is less prone to shedding, making the dog hypoallergenic. However, it is also more prone to matting and requires more daily maintenance than a straight coat.

Bernedoodle Wavy Coat

The wavy coat is sometimes called the “goldilocks” coat because it combines the best parts of the straight and curly coats.

It is less prone to shedding than a straight coat and matting than a curly coat, making it easy to maintain and great for allergy sufferers.

When Should You Start Grooming Your Bernedoodle?


Start a Bernedoodle grooming routine with your new Bernedoodle as soon as possible.

If you have a Bernedoodle puppy, getting them used to being handled, brushed, bathed, and clipping their nails will make life much easier once the dog is fully grown.

At Home

Start grooming your puppy as soon as you bring them home. Establish a daily or weekly routine so your dog knows what to expect, and make the activity fun with plenty of treats, praise, and games.

Nail clipping is one of the most important aspects of grooming. You should start acclimating your dog to nail clipping right away.

Many dogs dislike nail clipping. If you can get your dog used to it at a young age and make it a normal part of their life, you (and your groomer!) will be much happier.

At the Groomer

Most groomers will not allow your puppy to come in until it has received its rabies vaccination. This usually happens between 16-18 weeks.

If you want your puppy to start getting acquainted with going to a groomer before that, try contacting an at-home groomer. They may be willing to come to your home and start acclimating your dog to the process early.

Even if you can’t take your dog to a professional groomer before 18 weeks, you can still begin acclimating them to the various aspects of grooming by grooming them yourself at home.

How Often Should You Groom Your Bernedoodle?


Depending on the type of coat your Bernedoodle has, you may need to brush them as often as every day or as little as once a week.

In addition to brushing, your grooming routine should include regular bathing and nail clipping and occasional trips to the groomer.


You may need to brush Doodles with curly coats once a day to keep the coat smooth and free from tangles. If you are not brushing your doodle daily, ensure that you check for mats and tangles daily with your hands.

You can brush straight and wavy-coated doodles less frequently. Once a week is often enough for wavy-coated doodles.

Straight-coated doodles may require more brushing to help alleviate shedding, especially during the twice-yearly periods when they “blow” their undercoats.

When your dog “blows” its undercoat, it sheds much excess hair. This happens in the spring and fall, during the transitions between warm and cool months.

At this time, your dog will require some extra brushing to help manage the dander (unless you like having piles of hair all over your house!)


In addition to brushing, you should bathe your dog regularly too. Contrary to some beliefs, you rarely need to bathe your dog.

Most dogs, including Bernedoodles, only need to be bathed once a month. Any more than that can be harmful, as it strips the natural oils from the dog’s coat and skin.

When you strip the natural oils from a dog’s coat, you remove the coat’s ability to resist water, making the dog less buoyant and more prone to dampness, sores, and mold.


How often you cut your dog’s hair is mostly a personal preference. For some Bernedoodles—such as those that live in warm climates—a summer shave can help regulate body temperature.

If you plan to shave your dog in the summer, make sure they do not have an undercoat (i.e., straight-coated doodles.)

Shaving a dog with an undercoat renders the undercoat useless and makes the dog less able to regulate their body temperature.

If you have a curly-coated doodle, a summer shave is a fine idea, as they cannot regulate their temperature on their own.

What Tools Do You Need to Groom a Bernedoodle?


You do not need much to keep your dog’s coat looking and feeling healthy. The best brush for Bernedoodles is a slicker brush.

This brush is great for curly or wavy coats. A de-shedding brush or undercoat rake is also a good idea if your dog sheds a lot.

For bath time, buy shampoo you are sure will not upset your dog’s skin or cause an allergic reaction.

Steer clear of fancy, scented soaps, which will dry out your dog’s skin. Mane ‘n’ Tail is an excellent choice for cheap, good-quality shampoos for dogs.

Conditioners and other fancy sprays, oils, and wipes are unnecessary and can sometimes irritate your dog’s skin. However, conditioners can be useful for detangling and brushing a curly or long coat.

In addition to maintaining your dog’s coat, you should also clip their nails. A safe nail clipper is a must.

When clipping your dog’s nails, ensure that you are not clipping them too short or cutting the quick of the nail. Cutting the quick of the nail is very painful for your dog and can lead to infection. 

Should You Take Your Bernedoodle to a Groomer?


Many Bernedoodle owners take their doodle to the groomer once a month for a haircut or professional brush. However, it is not necessary to do so. If you want to cut your dog’s hair in the summer, we recommend taking them to a professional. 

A professional groomer is also fantastic for specialty jobs like removing mats and tangles if you do not have time to maintain your dog’s coat, taking them to a groomer once a week or once a month is a great idea.

However, if you can keep up with your dog’s grooming needs and do not plan to cut their hair, you may save some money on a professional groomer.

Just ensure that your dog’s coat is not suffering from a lack of attention, that their nails are trimmed, and that their teeth are healthy.

What Are the Best Bernedoodle Haircuts?


There are many fun, funky, and classic haircuts for Bernedoodles. Depending on your preference, you might enjoy some of them for your dog.

Teddy Bear Cut

This cut, called the puppy cut, is the most commonly seen for Poodles and Doodle varieties.

There is no particular shape to it. It is simply a way of keeping the dog’s hair at a manageable length. It is called the “teddy bear cut” because it makes the dog look cute and cuddly—like a teddy bear!

Summer Cut

You usually see this cut on curly and wavy-haired dogs who live in warm climates. In this cut, the majority of the dog’s hair is trimmed to keep the dog cool. If your dog swims a lot, this is also a nice option, as it makes the wet hair easy to manage.

Kennel Cut

The kennel cut is like an extreme version of the summer cut. The majority of the dog’s hair is clipped very short or shaved.

This cut is recommended for people who do not have a lot of time to dedicate to grooming. However, be aware that maintaining the short length will require many trips to the groomer.

We do not recommend this cut for straight-hair Bernedoodles, as it requires shaving.

Mohawk, Classic Poodle, Lamb

These fun, stylish cuts give your dog a bit of spunk and personality. Though the classic poodle and lamb cuts are most frequently seen on Poodles, your curly or wavy-haired Bernedoodle can wear them too!

We do not recommend these cuts for straight-haired dogs, as they require shaving.

Bernedoodle Grooming Head to Tail Guide


Keeping your dog’s coat and nails healthy is just one part of being a responsible dog owner. The most important thing you can do to maintain your dog’s coat is to brush it regularly and bathe once a month.

Research your dog’s breed so you know what kind of coat it has before undergoing any kind of cutting or shaving.

If you’re not sure what kind of coat your dog has, try contacting a professional groomer for an evaluation.

This is a great way to figure out exactly what you must do to maintain your dog’s coat. It’s also a good way to meet your local groomer and decide if they are a good fit for you and your dog!

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