Guide To Responsible Bernedoodle Breeding - Doodle Doods (2024)

If you’re interested in learning all about responsible Bernedoodle breeding, then you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re considering this as a new venture or simply would like to know the ins and outs of breeding Bernedoodles, then this guide will answer all of your questions and more on this topic.

Table of Contents

  • Responsible Bernedoodle Breeding: Intro
  • How To Breed A Bernedoodle Responsibly
  • What Is The Best Age To Breed A Bernedoodle?
  • How Much Does It Cost To Breed A Bernedoodle?
  • Responsible Bernedoodle Breeding: Frequently Asked Questions
  • Responsible Bernedoodle Breeding: Final Thoughts

Responsible Bernedoodle Breeding: Intro

The Bernedoodle is a hybrid cross between the Bernese Mountain Dog and Poodle. Like their Bernese parents, these Doods are large, loving, and loyal companions that make excellent pets for couples, singles, and families. They adore their human family and they generally get along very well with children and other pets.

Of course, Bernedoodles have many other wonderful traits as well, such as their high levels of intelligence and playful nature. They can be quite goofy at times, which means that you’ll never get bored with this amazing Doodle by your side. In addition to that, unlike their purebred Bernese Mountain Dog parents, they also tend to shed quite a bit less, making them much more suited for people with allergies. Or, if you just prefer a dog that possesses many of the same qualities as the Bernese Mountain Dog, minus the shedding.

We can certainly understand your interest in breeding Bernedoodles – they truly are such wonderful dogs that would light up anyone’s world. Imagine the joy and love you’d get to share bringing more of these pups into this world! But the key question here is, how to breed Bernedoodles responsibly. That’s the main thing you should start thinking about, as you’ll want to make sure that you become a responsible, reputable breeder that follows ethical breeding guidelines.

How To Breed A Bernedoodle Responsibly

So, you’ve decided to start breeding Bernedoodles. Or, at least, start educating yourself to understand whether or not this path really is for you. We’re not going to lie, breeding puppies is not an easy job, and it requires a ton of research to get started. However, if you’re willing to put in the work and truly commit to the health and wellbeing of your dogs and puppies, it sure is worth all that effort.

That’s why we decided to put together this comprehensive guide, so that you can learn the basics and get started on this wonderful journey. Below we’ll discuss the essential topics you should carefully plan and consider before you get started.

Consider The Different Types Of Bernedoodles

While it’s rather straightforward to breed, let’s say, purebred Bernese Mountain Dogs, then that’s not the case with Bernedoodles. Since Bernedoodles are made up of two different purebred dogs, there are also many possible varieties that you could achieve as a breeder. In addition to that, the Poodle comes in three different sizes – Standard, Miniature, and Toy – which means that there are also multiple possible size variations of the Bernedoodle.

Similarly, the Bernedoodle also comes in Standard, Mini/Medium, and Toy size categories. If you’re planning to get into Bernedoodle breeding, you must first think about which size you’d like to breed. Or maybe you’d like to produce all sizes? Based on that, you also have to carefully plan your breeding stock.

Here’s a helpful Bernedoodle size chart for your reference:

Toy BernedoodleMini/Medium BernedoodleStandard Bernedoodle
Weight10-25 pounds25-55 pounds55–90 pounds
Height*15 inches or less15-22 inches23-27 inches
Age at Full-Grown9-11 Months11-13 months12.5-16 Months

*A dog’s height is measured from their withers, which is the highest part of their shoulder blades.

As the size of your Bernedoodles will be determined by the size of their parents, namely the Poodle, there are a few different options you can consider. If you’re planning to produce the largest of them all, Standard Bernedoodles, you need to use a Standard Poodle or Standard Bernedoodles.

Similarly, if your goal is to breed smaller Toy or Mini Bernedoodles, you need to have either Toy or Miniature Poodles in your breeding stock, respectively. By the way, as the Bernese Mountain Dog is a large-sized breed, it would be wise to breed the smallest Toy Bernedoodles as backcross generations – we’ll talk all about generations in the next section.

NB! If you’re planning to breed two different sized dogs, the smaller should always be the father to minimize any potential health risks for the mother.

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Bernedoodle Breeding Chart: Understand The Generations

Anyone planning to get into breeding Bernedoodles should also know the difference between different types of Bernedoodles and their generations. To put it simply, generations tell us how a litter of hybrid breed dogs was bred. You can breed either F1, F1b, F1bb, F2 generations and so forth. Let’s take a closer look:

1st Parent2nd Parent% Bernese Mountain Dog*% Poodle*
F1 Bernedoodle (first-generation)Bernese Mountain DogPoodle50%50%
F1B Bernedoodle (first-generation backcross)F1 BernedoodlePoodle25%75%
F1BB Bernedoodle (first-generation backcross backcross)F1B BernedoodlePoodle12.5%87.5%
F2 Bernedoodle (second-generation)F1 BernedoodleF1 Bernedoodle50%50%
F2B Bernedoodle (second-generation backcross)F1 BernedoodleF1B Bernedoodle37.5%62.5%
F2B Bernedoodle (alternate cross)F2 BernedoodlePoodle25%75%
F3 / Multigen BernedoodleF1B Bernedoodle or higherF1B Bernedoodle or higherVariesVaries

*These are generic calculations only – genetics are rarely mathematically accurate.

Guide To Responsible Bernedoodle Breeding - Doodle Doods (2)

The great thing about those insanely complex generations is that they help breeders achieve more control over the puppies’ size, coat type, potential for shedding, and other characteristics. For instance, if you’d like to breed the smallest Toy Bernedoodles, you should look into backcross generations like F1b, F1bb, and F2b. On the other hand, if you’re sticking to large Standard Bernedoodles, these can easily be achieved even as first-generation pups.

Of course, all of these estimates are only predicted, and don’t necessarily reflect the exact outcome. Nonetheless, it does make your job as a breeder easier, depending on what’s your goal.

Responsible Bernedoodle Breeding With The Help Of Health & DNA Testing

When it comes to responsible Bernedoodle breeding, you cannot forget the crucial step even before the breeding starts – health screening. As a responsible breeder, you should only choose the healthiest parents from the strongest bloodlines to ensure the health of your litters. This is done with health and genetic testing to rule out any genetic illnesses that could be passed onto the offspring.

Genetic testing usually includes many, many different genetic illnesses that both Bernese Mountain Dogs and Poodles are at a higher risk of. Some of the most common Bernedoodle health issues include hip and elbow dysplasia, von Willebrand’s Disease, eye diseases like progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and cataracts, thyroid issues, epilepsy, and bloat.

Now, this doesn’t mean that with health screening you’ll be able to produce 100% healthy puppies that will never experience any health problems. However, health screening does, in fact, greatly minimize the risk of the puppies inheriting said conditions.

Coat Testing

Another thing to consider with Bernedoodle breeding is coat testing. Especially if your goal is to breed for a specific coat type. Like other Poodle mixes, Bernedoodles were created to achieve a low-shedding and allergy-friendly dog. However, these traits are more prevalent in Bernedoodles whose genetic makeup consists mostly of the Poodle and who carry the right genes.

In addition to that, you should also think about coat testing if you’d like to breed for certain coat colors. This all comes down to dominant and recessive genes, and how you cross your parent dogs.

To give an example, the merle pattern is one of the most highly coveted, yet one of the rarest Bernedoodle colors. This type of coat pattern can only be produced if one of the parents carries the merle gene. You may now think that it would be reasonable to cross two parents carrying the merle gene to make sure that the puppies will inherit this coat type. However, responsible breeders never use two merle-carrying parents in the mix, as this has been shown to increase the risk of blindness and deafness in puppies.

Evaluate The Parents’ Personality & Temperament

Although Bernedoodles are generally very affectionate, social, and sweet-tempered dogs, you should still consider your Bernedoodle breeding dogs’ personality and temperament. Reputable breeders generally use very well-tempered parents in their programs, with multiple generations of responsibly bred dogs in their bloodline. This is one way to increase the chances of the puppies inheriting similar temperaments.

Nonetheless, what shapes the puppies’ personality, temperament, and behavior the most is how you raise them during those first few months before getting adopted. We’ll talk about this a bit later on in this guide. What’s more, as dogs are living and breathing creatures, they will still have their own unique personalities and quirks. So, even puppies from the same litter can have very different traits in terms of personality and temperament.

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Work Closely With A Licensed Veterinarian

If you aren’t an experienced, educated veterinarian yourself, we recommend you team up with a licensed veterinarian. Working closely with an experienced professional can help you ensure that both your breeding dogs and puppies are healthy.

Your vet will be able to advise you on prenatal care, whelping, and even keeping track of the puppies growth and development during those crucial first weeks on this earth. Additionally, your vet will know exactly which vaccines and deworming shots have to be administered while the puppies are in your care.

Don’t Forget Early Socialization, Training, & Mental Enrichment

Another thing to educate yourself on are various forms of enrichment methods, including early socialization, training, and mental stimulation. This will greatly affect the puppies emotional and behavioral development, and . Not to mention, your future customers will be that much more satisfied with your breeding program if their puppies already have a head start in training and socialization.

Early socialization is vital for the puppies to learn how to interact with people of all ages and other pets. It’s also an excellent way to build your puppies’ confidence and mental stability. Likewise, introducing the puppies to potty training, crate training, and basic obedience training will set them up for success. As a general rule of thumb, the sooner you start, the better.

Moreover, you want to spend as much time as possible with the pups. Responsible dog breeders usually raise their puppies indoors, right inside their own homes. This way, the puppies are constantly supervised, and also get to adjust to a regular home life. You’ll want to safely expose the puppies to various sights and sounds, such as the TV, vacuuming, dishwasher, and even car rides.

In addition to that, responsible breeders utilize various enrichment methods like physical and mental stimulation. Physical stimulation is essentially exercise, whereas mental stimulation includes everything from puzzle games, chew toys, and interactive toys to training and socialization. As they say, a tired pup is a happy pup, and keeping your Doods busy and entertained will prevent boredom and destructive behaviors.

Obviously, there’s a lot to cover here, and it does take some time to learn everything. To ensure that you’re doing everything on your part, you could look into programs, such as Puppy Culture, , Badass Breeder’s Guide, or Avidog. What’s more, many breeders also utilize Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) and Early Scent Introduction (ESI) methods.

Get The Right Breeding Supplies

Needless to say, if you’re getting into Bernedoodle breeding, you need to stock up on all the necessary breeding supplies. Here are some of the most important items you should have at hand:

  • Dog beds
  • Clean blankets or towels
  • Dog crates
  • Whelping boxes
  • Whelping pads
  • Heating pads and cooling mats
  • Dog food for the mama and puppy food for the pups
  • Puppy treats
  • Food and water bowls
  • Bottle and syringe feeding supplies
  • Toys
  • Grooming tools
  • First aid supplies
  • Sanitizers
  • Disposable gloves
  • Bulb syringes
  • Potty training aids
  • Collars, leashes, and harnesses

In addition to that, you should plan out where you’re going to house your dogs and puppies. Maybe you have a spare room in your house that’s warm, calm, and cozy for the pups to stay in? Or are you going to raise them in your living room to ensure that you can constantly keep an eye on them? Obviously, the area should be clean and safe for both the mama and puppies.

Follow The Law!

We cannot forget the importance of doing things the right way. You’ll want to carefully study your local laws on dog breeding to make sure that you’re following everything to a T. Additionally, you might want to work with a mentor who is already an established, experienced breeder.

In terms of breeding laws, there may be different requirements in different states and even countries. Howere, something that’s usually required everywhere is that the dogs and puppies are kept in a clean and safe environment, in humane conditions, with plenty of healthy food and clean drinking water. Other specifics may differ from state to state, so it’s crucial that you know exactly what you need to do. For instance, many states require their breeders to microchip the breeding dogs and puppies. This is also an excellent way to keep your pups safe in case they accidentally wander off (though it’s your responsibility to ensure that your dogs and puppies are kept safely indoors).

Build Trust With Your Customers

Even though ‘designer breeds’ like Bernedoodles are extremely popular and in-demand, this doesn’t mean that you should skimp on building trust with your potential customers. You should be as transparent as possible and provide all the necessary information up front.

For example, your website should include information about the parents, their health and genetic testing results (you should also store all documentation in case your customers ask to see certifications!), pricing information, purchase policies, and health protocols.

In addition to that, you should keep all vaccination and deworming records. You should give each of your customers a copy of these records so that their new vet knows exactly when and what has been administered in the past.

You can build even further trust with your customers by providing them lifetime support in case they have any questions. If you really, truly care about the health and wellbeing of your puppies, it would be wise to stay in touch with their forever families in case they need it.

Provide Health Guarantees

One vital aspect of building trust and backing your promises is to provide health guarantees for each of your puppies. There are two types of health guarantees – short term health guarantee and long term genetic health guarantee.

The shorter option usually applies for a few days after adoption to ensure that the puppy is healthy in all areas. The buyer will have to take their new puppy to the vet in the days outlined in the contract for the guarantee to apply. The longer genetic health guarantee usually applies for the first one or two years from birth (or even longer, it’s up to you!) and should cover any serious, life altering genetic conditions and congenital defects.

Register With Clubs & Associations

If you’re about to get in the Bernedoodle breeding game, you may want to register with clubs and organizations that are committed to responsible breeding. Some of these organizations include the American Kennel Club (AKC), Continental Kennel Club (CKC), and the Good Dog’s Responsible Breeding Program.

While you can only register purebred dogs (in this case, purebred Bernese Mountain Dog and Poodle parents) with the AKC, CKC registration is also available for hybrid breeds.

Ensure Your Puppies Go To Good Homes

Any responsible dog breeder is very much invested in their puppies’ wellbeing and health even after adoption. That’s why reputable breeders generally carefully vet their potential buyers with extensive questionnaires and video calls to ensure that they’re actually fit for becoming pet owners. You should also have a proper purchase document for both parties to sign that outlines any and all responsibilities for both you as a breeder and your clients.

We all know how many dogs and puppies end up on the streets, shelters, dog rescues, or even puppy mills. That’s why it’s so important that you also do your due diligence to ensure that your puppies find the most perfect forever homes.

Get Started With Responsible Bernedoodle Breeding: Create A Breeding Plan

Lastly, you want to create a breeding plan that will help you manage the whole breeding process from start to finish. Some things you should have lined out in your roadmap include:

  • What size and generation of Bernedoodles are you going to breed? Consider your breeding stock based on that.
  • How many litters can you and want you to breed each year? Keep in mind that bringing new puppies into this world is a laborious job and requires your undivided attention.
  • Are you going to use guardian homes for your breeding dogs to ensure that your home doesn’t get overcrowded?
  • How much will you charge for your puppies? Are certain generations, sizes, coat types, or coat colors more expensive than others?
  • How will you screen your potential buyers and find forever homes for your pups?

What Is The Best Age To Breed A Bernedoodle?

Like other dogs, Bernedoodles start nearing sexual maturity somewhere around their 6 month birthday. Although they’re technically able to mate and have babies, it’s way too soon for them to handle just yet. You want to make sure that your parent dogs are all grown up and both mentally and physically mature enough to handle this process.

Typically, a good age to start is around the parents’ second birthday. By then, they should be fully matured and fit for bringing new pups into this world. In addition to that, you must keep in mind to not over breed your dams (mothers). There should be plenty of time in between each litter for a mama to recover. Furthermore, reputable breeders generally have their mamas breed 3-6 litters before retiring.

How Much Does It Cost To Breed A Bernedoodle?

If you’ve adopted a Bernedoodle, you probably know all too well that they’re not cheap! However, if you’re adopting a dog with the goal for them to become a breeding parent, you’ll likely have to pay an extra few thousand dollars, if not more, for you to have the legal rights to do so.

On top of that, there are plenty of other costs you should take into account. One of the most expensive parts is the health and genetic testing, but also veterinary care and prenatal care. If you’re using a stud service from the outside, you can expect to pay for that as well. You’ll also have to purchase all the necessary breeding supplies, toys, and stock up on dog and puppy food. And if you’re thinking about registering with a club or organization, that’s also going to be an extra cost. Overall, the costs of breeding Bernedoodles could start as low as $3,000 and go upwards to $10,000.

Responsible Bernedoodle Breeding: Frequently Asked Questions

What Do You Breed To Get A Bernedoodle?

A Bernedoodle can be either created with purebred Bernese Mountain Dog and Poodle (either Standard, Miniature, or Toy) parents, or you could opt for later generations with either a Bernedoodle parent and a Poodle parent. Or, you could use two Bernedoodles instead. You’ll also want to consider what size of Bernedoodle you’re planning to breed, as the Poodle used in the mix determines the size of the puppies.

How Many Puppies Do Bernedoodles Have?

On average, Bernedoodles tend to have about 5-8 puppies in a litter. However, it’s not unheard of for some Bernedoodles to have even up to 12 puppies in a litter. On the other hand, this is never guaranteed and some mamas can have just 2-3 puppies as well.

What Is An F1 Or F2 Bernedoodle?

An F1 Bernedoodle is a first-generation Bernedoodle that has a purebred Bernese Mountain Dog parent and a purebred Poodle parent. In contrast, F2 Bernedoodles, also known as second-generation Bernedoodles, have two F1 Bernedoodle parents.

What Is The Lifespan Of A Bernedoodle?

The average lifespan of a Bernedoodle ranges between 12 and 15 years. Generally, smaller Mini and Toy Bernedoodles outlive larger Doods, some of them living beyond the 15 year mark.

How Do You Get A Tri Colored Bernedoodle?

The tri-colored coat pattern is a nod to their Bernese Mountain Dog heritage. That’s why this coat pattern is also one of the most coveted of them all. However, it’s also rather tricky to get a tri-colored Bernedoodle without proper coat genetic testing. In addition to that, the tri-colored pattern may be easier to achieve in first-generation Bernedoodles, and the Poodle used in the mix should carry specific coat genes to achieve that.

Responsible Bernedoodle Breeding: Final Thoughts

If you’re keen on becoming a Bernedoodle breeder, it’s vital that you do this out of love for these beautiful Doods. Above all, your top priority should be the dogs’ and puppies’ health and wellbeing, and finding them the most caring and loving forever homes. Of course, you should have a deep understanding of your dogs’ genetic and physical health, as well as invest in high-quality nutrition and care to ensure that each pup can live up to its full potential. With proper research and planning, you can most definitely get into Bernedoodle breeding with confidence and peace of mind.

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Guide To Responsible Bernedoodle Breeding - Doodle Doods (2024)
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