Do Bernedoodles Need Grooming? Haircuts Styles And Bathing Tips

Do Bernedoodles Need Grooming?
Image Credit: Cottonwood Creek Doodles

Bernedoodles are a cross between a Poodle and the Bernese Mountain Dog and, being part Poodle, have hair rather than fur. Their beautiful tri-colored coats are allergy-friendly and one of the features that’s helped them gain popularity so quickly in recent years. Which quickly leads people to their next question.

Do Bernedoodles need grooming? Yes, it’s recommended that they are groomed at home regularly and professionally groomed every 6-8 weeks. The frequency of professional grooming will depend on their hair growth and the appearance the owner prefers.

Routine brushing, combing, and bathing should be done between groomer visits to keep their coat healthy and free of painful and damaging mats. 

Ok, so you know that your Bernedoodle will need to see a Groomer from time to time. But you can’t rely on them completely; you’re going to need to do some regular upkeep on their coat in-between grooming visits. So let’s see what that looks like.

Importance Of Regular Brushing

Brushing plays a significant role in the overall health and appearance of your pup’s coat. It spreads the naturally occurring oils throughout their coat, giving it a nice healthy shine. Since Bernedoodles shed very little, they should be brushed regularly to avoid tangles in their coat, which will lead to matting.

Mats can be extremely uncomfortable to the dog and damaging to the coat. Mats the aren’t attended to quickly can grow worse and lead to the groomer having to cut them out with the clipper. That will leave them with a patchy and unattractive coat.

Most owners find that brushing 2-3 times a week does the trick. Daily brushing early on will help them get used to being brushed and make them more tolerable of being groomed. As you learn more about your Bernedoodle and the look and feel of their coat, you’ll be able to tell when they’re ready for brushing.

Bernedoodles have different coat types, and each coat type has different attributes. The coat type will affect how much the dog will shed and how much brushing he’ll need. Generally, the curlier the coat, the less it will shed and more brushing it will need.

  • Straight coats are similar to the Bernese and have a slight wave to them. These coats will shed more noticeably than the others.
  • Wavy coats generally work well for most individuals allergic to dog dander. Wavy coats are much softer and generally easier to brush and less prone to matting.
  • Curly coats are similar to the coat of a Poodle and generally do not shed. Curly coats are by far the best coat for people suffering from dog dander allergies. Because of their tightly wound curls, these coats need more frequent brushing and are the most susceptible to matting.

Mats And How To Avoid Them

Matting may seem like nothing more than a slight inconvenience, but they can become a big nuisance to you and the dog. Each coat type will have the potential for matting if it’s left unattended. What’s interesting is that most people like the curly coats because they shed the least, but it’s the coat type most likely to mat if it’s not brushed regularly.

If the curly coat is not brushed regularly, it will begin to mat, and if the mats aren’t brushed out, they can tangle the hair to the skin and even cause painful sores. Because of the long curly hair, you may not see the sores, but the dogs can feel them. They also have the potential to spread to the rest of the body and cause the dog a lot of pain and discomfort.

Once it gets to this point, you may have no choice but to go to a professional groomer and possibly a veterinarian.

Groomers typically charge more when they have to remove mats due to its time-consuming nature. Yet another reason to take good care of your Doodles coat.

The best way to avoid mats is to brush the Bernedoodle regularly and properly. One common mistake, which often leads to mats forming, is not brushing all the way to the skin. Be sure that the brush or comb is not just touching the top layer of hair, but is making it all the way to the base of the coat.

The length of the coat also plays into the frequency of brushing needed. Longer coats will likely need to be brushed daily to keep them healthy and tangle-free.

How Often Should You Bathe A Bernedoodle?

As much as you’re going to want to bathe your Bernedoodle, or maybe you won’t, it’s important to not bathe the dog too often because you can strip the coat of its protective oils. The coat needs these oils to keep both the skin and coat healthy. The dog needs these natural oils to keep the skin moisturized and healthy. With that said, the Bernedoodle should only be bathed every three to four months.

If your Bernedoodle spends a lot of time outdoors and has a love of water and mud puddles, you may find yourself bathing him more often. If you let the coat dry, you may find that you can easily brush out the dirt and avoid having to bathe the dog.

If this is not the case, and you feel the dog needs a bath, avoid harsh shampoos and stick to dog shampoo/conditioner for sensitive skin. Oatmeal formulas tend to be fairly gentle.

If you’re unsure which shampoo or conditioner to use, check out our recommended grooming products, here. Brushing your Bernedoodle regularly is a great way to keep his hair clean, avoid the need for unnecessary bathing, and grow your bond with him.

Common Bernedoodle Grooming And Haircuts Styles

Whether you take your Bernedoodle to a professional groomer or do the grooming yourself, you’ll probably find that it can be as adventurous as when you go to your own barber or hairstylist. Be prepared for the fact that most groomers, even the best out there, are not experts at grooming Bernedoodles. It’s not unusual for a groomer to have never even heard of the breed, especially in some locations.

You’ll find it helpful to find pictures online of Bernedoodle cuts you like and bring them along when you go to the groomer. From my experience with groomers, especially those trained for cuts fitting within the ‘breed standards’ of breeds like Poodles or Schnauzers, they may struggle the first few times.

Below, we’ve included some instructions for common Bernedoodle haircut styles, from Sherry Rupke’s amazing book, Bernedoodles: A Head to Tail Guide (view it on Amazon).

The Bernedoodle Winter Cut (Longer)

Start with a thoroughly bathed and dried dog. Use a 40 blade on to trim the hair between the dog’s pads. Don’t trim up the sides of the toes.

For The Body

  1. Use a 1” clipper comb to clip from the chin to the top of front legs on their chest. Also do this on the sides of neck, from under their ears down to their elbows.
  2. Use 1” clipper comb to clip on the back of hind legs, starting at the base of the tail to the top of the hocks.
  3. Using scissors, cut the body length to three inches. Blend the body into all of the areas you’ve clipped.
  4. Use scissors to shape the front legs like tubes from the elbows down to the foot, and back legs from the top of the hock to the foot.
  5. Pick up the foot, turning it over, so that you can comb the hair over pads and scissor it even with the pads. Place the foot down flat and scissor around it. Then place the foot down and scissor around the foot.

For The Tail

  1. Use scissors to cut the tail so that its hair is a little longer than the hair on the body.
  2. Use scissors to blend the hair on the tail for about four inches from the dog’s butt to the longer are. The tail should be nicely blended into the body.

For The Head

  1. Use thinning scissors on the top of the muzzle, from the nose to the eyes. Cut hair short enough so that the hair doesn’t grow up in front of the eyes.
  2. Use a ½” clipper comb on the cheeks, from the edge of eyes to the ears, under the chin, and on the ears.
  3. Use a ¾” clipper comb on the top of the head from eyes to the back of the head, joining it into the cheeks.
  4. Comb hair on top of the head over eyes and scissor cut the hair until the eyes are showing.
  5. Use scissors to cut under the muzzle and on the side of the muzzle to blend it into the rest of the head.
  6. Scissor cut the edges of ears in the shape of the ear, leaving about ¼” of hair around the ear leather.

The Bernedoodle Summer Cut (Shorter)

Start with a thoroughly bathed and dried dog. Use a 40 blade on to trim the hair between the dog’s pads. Don’t trim up the sides of the toes.

For The Body

  1. Use a ½” clipper comb and clip from the chin to the top of front legs on the chest. Also clip on the sides of the neck, from under the ears to the elbows.
  2. Use a ½” clipper comb to clip on the back of the hind legs, from the base of the tail to the top of the hocks.
  3. Use a ⅞” clipper comb on the body and down back of the neck from the back of the head to the rest of the body.
  4. Use a 1” clipper comb on the front legs, from elbows to the foot.
  5. Use a 1” clipper comb on the back legs, from the top of the hock to foot.
  6. Pick up the foot and turn over, so that you can comb the hair over pads. Scissor cut the hair so it is even with the pads. Then place the foot down and scissor around the foot.

For The Tail

  1. Scissor cut the tail so that the hair is a little longer than the hair on the body.
  2. Blend the hair on the tail with scissors for about four inches from the dog’s butt to the longer area. The tail should be nicely blended into the body.

For The Head

  1. Using thinning scissors, cut on top of the muzzle, from the nose to the eyes. Make hair short enough so that it doesn’t grow up in front of the eyes.
  2. Use a ½” clipper comb on the rest of the head, including the muzzle and ears.
  3. Comb hair on top of the head over the eyes and scissor cut the hair until the eyes are showing.
  4. Scissor cut the muzzle so there are no long ends.
  5. Scissor cut the edges of ears in the shape of the ear, leaving about ¼” of hair around the ear leather.

Check out our Bernedoodle Haircuts board on Pinterest for pictures and ideas of different cuts.

Related Questions

When should a Bernedoodle first go to the groomer?

It’s important to introduce your Bernedoodle to the groomer at a young age to not just socialize him with strangers but also to get him used to being groomed by someone other than you.

However, don’t take him to the groomer until he’s completed all his puppy vaccinations. This is usually around 16 weeks or 4 months of age.

To make it a little easier on the pup, ask the groomer to not use the clippers the first time. Just have a clean-up cut done with scissors around the eyes and feet, the coat brushed, ears cleaned, and nails trimmed. Reserve the clippers until the second or third visit.

How long will a Bernedoodle coat get?

The Bernedoodle coat will grow to several inches if left unattended. Unlike human hair that just continues to grow and grow, the Bernedoodle’s hair will only grow so long and will then begin to develop tangles and mats. The longer the dog’s hair grows, the more maintenance it will require to look good.

In Summary

Bernedoodles are adorable dogs that will look their best when they’re regularly groomed. While grooming your Bernedoodle may be the least fun part of owning this dog, it’s an opportunity for you to bond with the dog. Bernedoodles love attention and love spending time with their owners. They enjoy it so much that regular grooming may even become something they anticipate with joy.

References

Rupke, Sherry. Bernedoodles:  A Head to Tail Guide (pp. 149-190). Sherry Rupke, Sandy Rideout. Kindle Edition.

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