Bernedoodles are an incredibly cute mix of Poodle and Bernese Mountain Dog. And while they haven’t been around for a long time, they’ve quickly grown in popularity for their lovable personalities, friendliness, energy, and most notably, their beautiful and unique coats. But what is it about their coats that make them so special?
Do Bernedoodles Shed? Bernedoodles are known for being a low-shed to no-shed breed. They definitely don’t shed in the traditional sense, though they will shed hair in their brush as you brush them out. It’s comparable to how humans lose hair here and there. In fact, the amount they ‘shed’ is so minimal that they’re commonly called a “non-shedding” breed. Their minimal shedding makes them a very allergy-friendly breed.
Basically, you won’t find yourself chasing hair-balls all around the house like you would with most normal-coated breeds. You won’t be lint rolling your clothes before heading off to work. It’s nothing compared to what you’d see from a purebred Bernese…Husky…or German Shepherd. You’ll probably be sweeping up more leaves and twigs from this outdoor loving pup than you would hair.
Bernedoodle Coat Types
Bernedoodle coats can vary in thickness, consistency, and color. Keep in mind that Bernedoodles come from both the Poodle and the Bernese Mountain Dog. In an F1 (first generation) breeding, you might get a puppy with a coat that looks more similar to a Poodle and get another puppy with a coat just like a Bernese. As a breeder begins to breed this first generation of Bernedoodles with other Bernedoodles, they are able to achieve more consistency and predictable traits (shed level, color, size).
Their coats can have a various range of colors as well. Some might be black and white while others may be black and brown or even solid black. Although the most popular and sought after color combination is the ‘tri-colored’ coat, which has patches of white, black and brown. This coat most resembles the coat of the Bernese. Some may even have a few other colors thrown in here and there. Generally, when an individual is looking to buy a Bernedoodle, the type of coat takes precedence over the coat color.
Thicker hair will help them survive cold winters better while also giving them protection from the heat of summer. This is also something aspiring Bernedoodle owners consider when choosing a puppy. Bernedoodles usually come in one of three coat types: straight, wavy and curly.
- Straight “hair coat” – The straight coats usually shed the most and are the least hypoallergenic of the three coat types. Even though this coat is called “straight” or flat, it may actually have a slight wave to it. The length of the dog’s straight hair depends mostly on the length of the parent’s hair. Straight-coated Bernedoodles are not very common; you’ll mostly find them with wavy or curly coats.
- Wavy “fleece” coat – The wavy coat, which is low-to non-shedding, is probably the coat most seen on Bernedoodles. This coat is very free-flowing and often has a kinked or wavy appearance.
- Curly “wool” coat – The curly coat will shed the least and is the most hypoallergenic of the three types. The curls on this coat are usually tight with a soft texture much like what you would see on a Poodle. Curly coats may still shed, but they shed the hair upon themselves rather than on your floor. Unfortunately, this shedding upon themselves is what makes it necessary for them to be brushed daily and trimmed frequently. The curly coat Bernedoodle is usually the most suitable for owners who have an allergy to dog dander. If you don’t want to deal with shedding, keep in mind that the curlier the coat, the less it’s going to shed.
When you decide on a Bernedoodle (a great choice if you do) it’s important to understand that you’re getting the benefits of a low-to-no shed dog, but will have a greater responsibility to keep their coat well maintained and tangle free. It’s recommended that you brush them regularly. This usually amounts to 2-3 times per week. They also need to be professionally groomed every 6-8 weeks to keep their paws, eyes, and private areas maintained.
What About Allergies? Are They Hypoallergenic?
Doodle dogs, like the Bernedoodle, are generally considered to be hypoallergenic, but they’re not non-allergenic. No dog is truly non-allergenic. In the case of Bernedoodles, they are allergy-friendly because of their single coat. While all coats types are considered to be allergy-friendly, the curly coat is considered to be ideal for severe allergy sufferers.
Hypoallergenic & Non-Allergenic
Many people think that these two terms have the same meaning, but they’re actually quite different. Whereas hypoallergenic means there is less of a chance of it provoking an allergic reaction, non-allergenic means it won’t provoke an allergic reaction. You might wonder if the Bernedoodles are hypoallergenic and a good breed choice for allergy sufferers, why aren’t they non-allergenic?
The reason is that, as stated above, no dog is non-allergenic, and the reason for this is that there is no dog that does not produce an allergic response of some kind. You may be thinking that if a dog doesn’t have much hair or doesn’t shed, the dog won’t produce an allergic response. However, most allergic reactions do not come from the dog’s coat, although, that’s what we’ve been taught to believe for many years.
It’s actually the dog’s saliva, or not really the saliva but the protein in the saliva that causes the allergic reaction. These proteins find their way into the dog’s dander, which in turn attaches to the hair and skin. This is what makes allergic people miserable.
Every breed of dog carries a different amount of these allergy-provoking proteins. What determines how much a certain breed carries is determined more by a dog’s seborrheic level than by the length of its hair. The seborrheic level is the level of oil the dog produces.
Certain oily-haired dogs, such as Labrador Retrievers, carry a large amount of these proteins. The less amount of oil a dog has in its skin, the less dander it will produce. Since the poodles are one of the least oily breeds of dog, Doodles and other dogs created by using Poodles are going to be more hypoallergenic and have fewer body odors. Therefore, Bernedoodles are more allergy-friendly.
Do They Lose Or Blow Out Their Puppy Coat?
Yes, and here’s an explanation of what that looks like. Most dogs have two coats: an undercoat and an overcoat. The undercoat, which is a softer coat, acts as an insulation to keep the dog warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The overcoat, a slightly more course topcoat, has stiff hairs that shield it from dirt or debris and repel water and moisture.
When two-coated dogs begin to shed, they’re actually shedding the undercoat. This is why owners are advised to brush the dog and get right down to the skin so the undercoat hair doesn’t get tangled, mattered or fall out everywhere in clumps. Bernedoodles do not have the two coats. They only have the undercoat, which is typically referred to as simply a “hair coat”. They do begin losing some of this hair while they’re still a pup.
Bernedoodle puppies should be brushed regularly regardless of the coat type, although, curly coats will require brushing a little more frequently. When the Bernedoodle gets about nine months of age, he will start losing the coat a little by little. You’ll need to brush it daily to get rid of the dead hair before it has a chance to tangle and matt.
If that’s allowed to happen, you’ll have quite a mess on your hands. It’s usually around this age, between nine months and a year that the Bernedoodle begins to lose this “baby” coat and grow in its permanent hair. Some Bernedoodle owners who don’t want to deal with the everyday brushing choose the shave the dog regularly. It’s all a matter of personal choice.
Do Bernedoodles need to be brushed often?
Because Bernedoodles shed so little, they should be brushed regularly, but the frequency of brushing can be determined on the type of coat. Curly coats will need to be brushed on an almost daily basis while straight coats can get by with being brushed only a couple of times a week. Those that do need to be brushed often need it so the hair doesn’t get all matted and tangled.
Do Bernedoodles mat easily like the other Doodle dogs?
Bernedoodles do have a tendency to become matted if they are not brushed regularly. This is particularly true with Bernedoodles who have the curly coat. The curlier the coat, the more likely it is to become matted if not brushed.
Can coat type be determined through breeding?
Coat type absolutely can be determined through breeding. If the breeder is experienced, he or she can determine exactly what kind of a coat the litter will have based on which sire and dam are being used for the breeding and past genetics. This is where F1, F2, F3, and multigenerational breeding comes in handy.
With so many wonderful dogs out there, one would often wonder why aspiring dog owners would choose a mixed breed dog like the Bernedoodle. While it’s true that the Bernedoodle is a mixed breed, it’s not the result of careless breeding but rather the result of combining two wonderful dog breeds together to create an almost perfect dog! In a Bernedoodle, you’ll have a wonderful pet that’s intelligent, loyal, and allergy-friendly.