The Bernedoodle, also sometimes called the Bernese mountain poo, is a much-beloved designer breed. A hybrid dog whose parent breeds are the Bernese mountain dog — a well-known farm dog from the Swiss Alps — and the poodle, this relatively new breed is popular with dog owners. Scoring high on the canine intelligence scale and known for their fluffy hypoallergenic coats and friendly, sensitive personalities, Bernedoodles almost inevitably make an impression on any household that makes them part of the family. It’s natural, then, to want to know the best way to enjoy the most possible time with your healthy Bernedoodle, and how to maximize their life expectancy.

What’s the Average Bernedoodle Lifespan?

Bernedoodles are bred in all cases from a Bernese mountain dog or Bernedoodle mother and a poodle sire. The size of the specific Bernedoodle breed depends on the size of their sire and bears a direct relationship to their expected lifespan.

The smallest variant, the toy or tiny Bernedoodle, is the offspring of a toy poodle sire and a mini Bernedoodle mother. They tend to be closer to poodles in their nature and personality and can be expected to grow to a healthy weight of 10-24 pounds and to stand between 12 and 17 inches in height. They have the longest average lifespan for a Bernedoodle at around 18 years.

A black and white bernedoodle puppy - bernedoodle lifespan concept image

The next largest breed is the mini Bernedoodle or miniature Bernedoodle, bred from a male miniature poodle and a Bernese mountain dog mother. Standing up to 22 inches in height at full maturity and reaching 25 to 49 pounds, the mini doodle that enjoys a healthy lifestyle can expect to live around 14 to 17 years.

Standard Bernedoodles are the largest breed, products of standard poodle and Bernese mountain dog parentage. They can reach a mature height of 23 to 29 inches tall and a weight of 50 pounds at maturity, and they have the shortest Bernedoodle lifespan at 12 to 15 years, although they can live longer with an excellent quality of care.

Why Smaller Bernedoodles Live Longer

Larger breeds having shorter lifespans is a phenomenon seen in most dog breeds, related to the fact that larger dogs pack far more aging into a shorter span of fast growth than their smaller counterparts. Large-breed dogs gain up to 100 times their birth weight when aging out of the puppy stage, compared to an increase of around 20 times for smaller breeds. The strain on their systems from this rapid cell multiplication can lead to the early development of health issues such as cancer, bone and muscular diseases such as elbow dysplasia or hip dysplasia, heart disease, immune system diseases and intestinal diseases.

How to Prolong a Bernedoodle Lifespan

No matter the size of your Bernedoodle, there are many different ways to make sure your fluffy canine friend has the longest and healthiest lifespan its genetics will permit. These tips won’t guarantee that a Bernedoodle will outlive its expected span, but they do give it the best chance of doing so and ensure its quality of life is the best.


The first step in getting a long-lived Bernedoodle is to acquire it from a responsible breeder. A reputable breeding facility will always be able to give you detailed information about your Bernedoodle’s parentage, which is always an indicator of how long its lifespan will be. A high-quality facility should even be able to provide a DNA screening for diseases. Any facility run by Bernedoodle breeders worth dealing with should be clean and free of overcrowding and provide quality care and a healthy environment for the dogs involved.

Healthy Diet

Good quality of life begins with healthy, tasty food. Make sure your Bernedoodle’s diet is nutrient-rich, and steer clear of foods loaded with fillers and preservatives. Make sure you’re providing food that’s made for its size: Small dogs will get overweight on foods made for larger breeds, and large dogs have different needs for nutrients and vitamins to help sustain their rapid growth and give some relief from growing pains.

Plenty of Exercise

Exercise is crucial for keeping extra weight off, which keeps pressure off your dog’s liver, back and joints. Standard Bernedoodles in particular can be prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, which can be aggravated by carrying extra weight; obesity can also lead to a dog’s developing diabetes, pancreatic cancer or a fatty liver. Just as important, exercise provides a jolt of endorphins that keep a dog’s mind sharp, improve its mood and make it feel young. Long walks or hikes, play sessions at a dog park or doggie daycare a few times a week are all great options for keeping your Bernedoodle active.

Engaging Their Minds

Bernedoodles are extremely bright and eager to please and want nothing more than to see their human companions happy. The other side of that coin is that boredom and neglect will cause them to act out or grow depressed and slothful. They need mental stimulation more than many other breeds. Training them, keeping their minds engaged in play when you’re around and providing them with puzzles or other pastimes when you’re not is key to helping them feel young and sharp.

Teeth Cleaning

Gum and tooth decay can produce serious health problems in a dog, leading to infections and even liver disease without preventive care. Brushing your dog’s teeth can keep its dental health in trim, but if it doesn’t care for brushing, you can use special chew bones or oral health additives for its water.

Regular Vet Visits

Your Bernedoodle should have an annual health checkup and teeth cleaning at the family vet. These regular checkups are crucial for keeping vaccinations current and catching any other developing health issues early enough to treat and correct them. You should never be hesitant to call your vet if you suspect your Bernedoodle is sick in any way.

cute bernedoodle puppies

Cherishing Your Bernedoodle

Bred to be companion dogs, with their unique wavy coat and outgoing personality, Bernedoodles are in many ways the perfect family dog. Start with the above tips and cherish your time with them, placing maximum possible value on their health and well-being, and you’ll stand the best possible chance of prolonging their lifespan.