The difference between a Bernedoodle and a Labradoodle isn’t as massive as you might think. Despite one being larger than the other! Today we are going to take a look at the pros, cons and differences between these two lovely dogs. Helping you to choose the right new companion for your family.
Picking a puppy is never easy, and you’ve done amazingly well to get it down to a choice of two. Bernedoodle vs Labradoodle. Let’s find out which new puppy is destined to join your home.
- Bernedoodle and Labradoodle history
- Differences in appearance
- Labradoodle vs Bernedoodle temperament
- Health differences between them
- Bernedoodle vs Labradoodle lifespan
- Coats and grooming
- Labradoodle and Bernedoodle puppies
- Finding a good breeder
- Which doodle is best!
Bernedoodle vs Labradoodle – Quick Comparison
The Labradoodle is a much more common sight than the Bernedoodle. But with the rise of Doodle dogs, both mixes are taking off. As first generation mixes, both Bernedoodles and Labradoodles can be quite unpredictable. So, you must be prepared for any potential outcome.
On average, the Bernedoodle tends to be slightly larger than the Labradoodle. But, both dogs are intelligent, active, and family-oriented. Colors and coat types will vary, but if either mix takes more after their non-Poodle parent, they will be heavy shedders. Ready to find out which one of these modern dogs is better for you?
|Parent Breeds:||Bernese Mountain Dog and Poodle||Labrador and Poodle|
|Height:||15 – 27.5 inches||15 – 24 inches|
|Weight:||40 – 115 lbs||40 – 80 lbs|
|Temperament:||Gentle, intelligent, friendly||Energetic, social, intelligent|
|Coat Type:||Can be anywhere between the two parents||Hair, fleece, or wool types|
|Coat Colors:||Wide variety but most often tri-colored||Wide variety|
|Exercise Needs:||Moderate to high||High|
|Average Lifespan:||Anywhere from 7 – 18 years||12 – 18 years|
|Puppy Price:||$900 – over $4000||$500 – $2000|
Of course, the above information isn’t all you need to know before deciding which breed is right for you. There’s a lot that can impact a breed’s suitability as a pet in a certain home. So, let’s take a closer look at the Bernedoodle vs Labradoodle debate to help you choose between the two.
Labradoodle vs Bernedoodle History
Both of these breeds are relatively modern. Mixed breeds, particularly those with a Poodle parent, have been increasingly popular over the past few decades. In fact, this is a trend that began with the Labradoodle dog.
There are two main ‘strains’ of Labradoodle – the American Labradoodle and the Australian Labradoodle. The Australian Labradoodle combines up to 6 different breeds, whereas the American version just mixes the Labrador and Poodle. Initially, Labradoodles started out in Australia, created to produce a guide dog that wouldn’t trigger allergies. The result was so popular that it took the world by storm and diverged into two distinct versions, with Australian Labradoodle breeders working hard to standardise the mix.
Bernedoodles are even more modern, and are one of the many Poodle mix dogs that have emerged following the Labradoodle trend. Breeders are mixing their favorite breeds with the Poodles in the hopes of getting a unique mix that suits people with allergies. Since both the Labradoodle and Bernedoodle are so new, neither are accepted by any major kennel clubs. And, when bred as a first generation cross, with two purebred parents, both mixes can be quite unpredictable.
Bernedoodle vs Labradoodle Appearance
Both Labradoodle and Bernedoodle dogs can be quite varied, especially if they are first generation crosses. First generation mixes have two purebred parents, and can inherit any blend of traits from their parents.
In terms of coat type, the Labradoodle can have a hair coat (like the Labrador), a wool coat (like the Poodle), or a fleece coat, which falls somewhere between the two. Hair coats are double layered and will shed heavily. Wool coats are tightly curled or corded, single layered, and won’t shed visibly. The fleece coat is often wavy and can shed moderately. The Bernese Mountain Dog has a similar coat type to the Labrador Retriever – double layered, dense, and heavy shedding. So, the Bernedoodle can have a similar variety of coat types.
In terms of color, the Bernedoodle is often tri-colored. But, puppies can inherit any coat colors possible in either parent, leaving them a wide variety. The same is true of Labradoodles, although some of the most popular coat colors include apricot and red.
The Labradoodle is most often a medium to large breed. The Bernedoodle can be similar, but it is larger on average, thanks to the size of the Bernese Mountain Dog parent. Puppy size can also depend on the size of the Poodle breed used. Both Bernedoodles and Labradoodles that have Miniature or Toy Poodle lineage will usually be smaller than those that have a Standard Poodle parent. If you’re looking for a large dog, you will usually be better with a Bernedoodle that has a Standard Poodle parent.
Bernedoodle vs Labradoodle Temperament
Appearance isn’t the only thing that can vary in mixed breed dogs. Temperament can also differ from one pup to the next. Generally, these two mixes are popular family dogs, but their temperament can be slightly distinct.
Labradoodles tend to be energetic, social, and playful. They come from two working breeds, so are quick to learn, especially with positive reward training methods. And, they need plenty of exercise and active time each day to burn off their boundless energy and stimulate their clever minds. As long as they are socialized well, they are known to get on well with everyone, strangers, children, and other animals alike.
The Bernedoodle is similar, with an overall friendly, intelligent and people-oriented personality. Bernedoodles may be slightly more calm than Labradoodles, thanks to the influence of the gentle giant Bernese Mountain Dog parent. They will need moderate exercise, but owners should be careful of their joints, particularly if their mix is on the larger size. They will enjoy regular training, and will also respond well to positive reward methods. Socialize this mix well with children and other animals for the best temperament.
Bernedoodle vs Labradoodle Health
There’s a lot of debate surrounding mixed breed health, especially compared to that of purebred dogs. Advocates of mixed breeds argue for the health benefits of their wider genetic pools. But, critics suggest that mixed breeds are just as prone to the hereditary issues of their parents, and less standardized in terms of temperament and appearance.
Choosing a good, reputable breeder is important to maximise the good health of your chosen puppy. The best breeders will test parent dogs for any common health issues before breeding, and will never breed from unhealthy dogs. It’s important to make yourself aware of the health issues that could impact your puppy, so you know what tests to ask for when speaking to a breeder. Let’s take a look at each breed in turn.
Common Poodle Health Issues
Since the Poodle influences both Labradoodles and Bernedoodles, owners of both should learn about this breed’s most common issues. It’s important to note that Miniature and Toy Poodles can also have problems relating to their size. Here are some of the most common health problems Poodles can face and pass on to their offspring:
- Hip dysplasia
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Sebaceous Adenitis
- Luxating Patella
- von Willebrand’s Disease
- Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
- Addison’s Disease
Common Labrador Health Issues
If you’re thinking that the Labradoodle dog is best suited to your home, it’s important to learn about problems it can inherit from the Labrador parent, too. Here are some of the most common issues that Labs can experience:
- Gastric Dilatation Volvulus
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
- Exercise Induced Collapse
- Centronuclear Myopathy
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Since both the Poodle and Labrador breeds are prone to health issues affecting their eyes and joints, this is a more prominent concern in Labradoodle dogs.
Common Bernese Mountain Dog Health Issues
If you’re more interested in the Bernedoodle mix, it’s important to learn about the Bernese Mountain Dog’s common problems, as well as the Poodle’s. Here are some health issues that can impact this breed:
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
- Gastric Dilatation Volvulus
- Degenerative Myelopathy
- Autoimmune Thyroiditis
- Histiocytic Sarcoma
- Kidney disease
- Heart disease
- Skeletal disorders
Due to common issues in both parent breeds, Bernedoodles may be more prone to joint-related health issues and thyroid problems. Joint issues are particularly common in large breed dogs, so take care when exercising your Bernedoodle, especially in those early, fast-growing months.
Bernedoodle vs Labradoodle Lifespan
On average, the larger a breed, the shorter its life expectancy. But, there are very few studies comparing the average lifespan of mixed breed dogs, especially those like the Bernedoodle, which are only recently gaining traction. So, it’s best to gain an idea of lifespan by looking at the parent breeds.
Labs tend to live an average of 12 years. Standard Poodles are the same, with an average of 12 years, although in Miniature and Toy Poodles, this average is closer to 14 and 15 years. Bernese Mountain Dogs sadly fall shorter, with an average of only 8 years.
Based on these statistics, standard Labradoodles may live to an average of 12 years. Although those with Miniature or Toy Poodle parents may live longer. Bernedoodles may be closer to an average of 10 years, although again, those with smaller Poodle parents may live longer.
Grooming and Hypoallergenic Coats
The main reason that most new owners want Doodle dogs like the Labradoodle and Bernedoodle is related to dog allergies. Many breeders will sell these mixes as “hypoallergenic” dogs, promising that the puppies will not trigger allergy symptoms. However, it’s important to note that there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog. Some may shed less than others, but they still possess the proteins that can trigger allergies.
These proteins are most common in dander (skin flakes), saliva, and urine. The traditional Poodle coat is either tightly curled or corded. So, it catches any shedding hairs that may be coated in saliva, and any shedding dander. This is why Poodles tend to be best for people that suffer from dog allergies, as fewer proteins are distributed around their home.
However, studies have shown that in many cases, the level of allergy-triggering proteins in the home are the same, whether the dogs are “hypoallergenic” or not. And, both Bernedoodles and Labradoodles can have high shedding coats if they take after their non-Poodle parent. So, if you are hoping to find a dog that doesn’t trigger your allergy symptoms, it will often be best to choose a second or third generation mix, with a Poodle type coat, or to spend some time with the dog before bringing it home and see how you react.
It’s worth remembering that Poodle coats need a lot of grooming. So, even if there is less shed fur around the house, you will need to get up close to brush out any knots and tangles on a very regular basis.
Bernedoodle vs Labradoodle Puppies
No matter which of these two mixed breeds is best for you, it’s important to choose a reputable breeder. This way, you’ll minimise the risk of bringing home a dog with behavioral issues and hereditary health problems. Reputable breeders will only breed from the healthiest dogs and those with the best temperaments, with the aim of producing the best overall puppies.
Labradoodles have taken the world by storm and are often a lot easier to find. However, Doodle mixes are trending, and the Bernedoodle is quickly growing in popularity. So, it likely won’t be an issue to find puppies of either type. The main issue that will arise is finding puppies from a reputable breeder and not those from backyard breeders, puppy farms, or pet stores.
Avoiding Bad Breeders
Puppy farms, backyard breeders and pet stores often sell puppies with the aim of making a quick profit, and will jump on trends to do so. They will usually not health test parent dogs, and will keep dogs and puppies in less than favorable conditions. These puppies will often have behavioral issues as well as health issues, since they will have little to no socialization, and may even be sent to homes before they are ready, earlier than 8 weeks old. Ask plenty of questions when you visit your breeder, and make sure to see where the dogs and puppies are being kept.
If their conditions are poor, and the mother does not seem to be a loved part of the family, take this as a red flag. If the breeder refuses to show you evidence of health testing, or asks you no questions in return to ensure their puppies are going to a good and suitable home, it’s a good idea to go elsewhere. Although it can be tempting to buy the puppies and “rescue” them from a bad breeder, supporting these practices will just encourage them to continue their breeding.
Bernedoodle vs Labradoodle, Which is Best?
Although both the Bernedoodle and Labradoodle share some common traits, there are enough variations that make them better-suited to slightly different homes. Bernedoodles tend to be larger than Labradoodles, and often need slightly less exercise. Although, both mixes need plenty of mental stimulation.
Both the Bernedoodle and Labradoodle can vary a lot, particularly if you choose a first generation hybrid. So, be prepared for any potential outcome, and familiarise yourself with the two purebred parent breeds. Bernedoodles, on average may live shorter lives than Labradoodles. But, for both mixes, those with Toy and Miniature Poodle parents can live longer. If you’re searching for a Bernedoodle or Labradoodle with specific traits, like the Poodle’s tightly curled coat, it may be best to choose a second or third generation mix.
Which Poodle Mix is Your Favorite?
Do you already have one of these popular Doodle mixed breeds at home? Or are you preparing to welcome one to your family? We would love to hear about your experiences with the Labradoodle and Bernedoodle in the comments below.
References and Resources
- Beuchat, C. ‘The Myth of Hybrid Vigor in Dogs… is a Myth’, The Institute of Canine Biology (2014)
- Adams, V. (et al), ‘Methods and Mortality Results of a Health Survey of Purebred Dogs in the UK’, Journal of Small Animal Practice (2010)
- Donner, J. (et al), ‘Frequency and Distribution of 152 Genetic Disease Variants in Over 100,000 Mixed Breed and Purebred Dogs’, Plos Genetics (2018)
- Turcsan, B. (et al), ‘Owner Perceived Differences Between Mixed-Breed and Purebred Dogs’, Plos One (2017)
- Klopfenstein, M. (et al), ‘Life Expectancy and Causes of Death in Bernese Mountain Dogs in Switzerland’, BMC Veterinary Research (2016)
- Vredegoor, D. (et al), ‘Can F 1 Levels in Hair and Homes of Different Dog Breeds: Lack of Evidence to Describe Any Dog Breed as Hypoallergenic’, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (2012)
- Butt, A. (et al), ‘Do Hypoallergenic Cats and Dogs Exist?’, Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (2012)