Grooming Your Bernedoodle

cute bernedoodle sizeThe Bernedoodle breed, also referred to as a Bernese mountain poo, is the product of a Bernese mountain dog parent and a poodle parent. This hybrid dog breed combines the best characteristics of both types of dog, such as the intelligence and low-shedding coat from its poodle part and the unwavering loyalty and laid-back demeanor of its Bernese mountain dog part.

This combination of dog breeds also makes Bernedoodles irresistibly fluffy, with several variations in coat types. Of course, this means grooming your Bernedoodle should be done reglarly.

Consider this your ultimate guide on how to properly groom a Bernedoodle, complete with a list of popular Bernedoodle haircuts you can choose to keep your furry family member looking its best.

Keep reading to learn more about grooming needs.

The Basics of Bernedoodle Grooming

There truly aren’t any downsides to owning a Bernedoodle, as they make fantastic companions. Except, of course, the fact that they require a substantial amount of grooming.

That’s not to say that trying to groom a Bernedoodle can’t be fun or a nice bonding experience with your pup. One major thing that will factor into your Bernedoodle’s grooming needs and time requirements is the type of coat your specific pup presents, curly and wavy coats being the standard. More on that later.

Keep in mind that grooming this breed is more than simply keeping its hair clean and trimmed. It also involves nail clipping, regular brushing and keeping its skin moisturized. Additionally, Bernedoodles with longer coats and curly coats tend to need a bit more effort as they’re more prone to matted hair.

Here’s a breakdown of the general grooming process:

  • Daily brushing is recommended; however, you can get away with brushing a few times each week.
  • You’ll want to bathe your Bernedoodle between its professional grooming visits; however, you’ll want to limit these baths to every three months. For some people, the rule of thumb for Bernedoodle baths is whenever their pup starts to smell or becomes visibly dirty.
  • You’ll want to take your dog to a professional groomer every six to eight weeks to take care of the more advanced tasks such as nail clipping.

Regular grooming will keep your dog happy and healthy. Once you learn the basic requirements for this breed, you’ll be able to take care of its coat between professional grooming sessions to ensure your Bernedoodle is always looking its best.

Bernedoodle Coats and Shedding

As previously mentioned, Bernedoodles have different types of coats, and each coat type comes with different attributes. Your Bernedoodle’s coat type will directly affect how much the dog will shed as well as how much brushing it’ll require.

These are the different Bernedoodle coat types and what you can expect from them in regard to grooming.

  • Straight coats are a characteristic of the Bernese mountain dog parent. These are typically long coats, and while they’re referred to as straight, they’ll have a slight wave to them. These types of coats are known to shed more often and more noticeably compared to the others, which means the grooming process won’t be as intensive (but still very necessary).
  • Wavy coats (fleece) are considered a 50/50 combination of the poodle parent and Bernese mountain dog parent. A wavy-haired Bernedoodle will have a much softer coat compared to straight coats and be more prone to matting. It also won’t produce as much dander or shed as much as a straight coat but will require more regular grooming.
  • Curly coats (wool) are a characteristic of a pure poodle parent. Curly coats generally don’t shed and produce even less dander than wavy coats. However, these coats need regular daily brushing because of their tightly wound curls, the coat type most susceptible to matting.

It should also be noted that while wavy and curly coats don’t shed per se, you’ll still notice a lot of loose fur comes out while brushing. This is why these coat types require daily brushing while the straight coat doesn’t.

Getting on a Regular Grooming Schedule

When we talk about a regular grooming schedule for your Bernedoodle, we’re talking about both a weekly grooming schedule and a monthly one. Don’t worry, it’s not as tedious as it sounds.

Here’s how often to groom a Bernedoodle:

Weekly Grooming

Weekly grooming for your dog is all about keeping up with regular brushing to maintain health and shine. Just like people, Bernedoodles’ fur needs to be brushed to avoid knots, tangles and matting, especially curly coats.

The general consensus for weekly brushing is:

  • Your dog needs a minimum brushing of twice a week to get rid of any dead or loose fur.
  • However, if your Bernedoodle has a curly or wavy coat, you’ll need to brush its coat at least every other day. (Keep in mind that curly and wavy fur has a much higher risk of becoming tangled and matted, so brushing isn’t something that can be skipped.)

You don’t really need to brush your dog’s hair every single day. As long as you commit to it a few times a week, it should be fine. Most Bernedoodle owners stick to two to three times per week, paying close attention to whether their dog needs an extra brushing session or two.

Monthly Grooming

While brushing is arguably the most important aspect of Bernedoodle grooming, it’s also necessary to bathe your Bernedoodle from time to time. As we’ve mentioned, this isn’t something you want to do often as frequent bathing can dry out the natural oils in your dog’s skin, causing it to crack and the coat to become brittle and lackluster.

However, to keep a Bernedoodle coat clean and healthy, you’ll need to keep a bathing schedule. You should bathe your Bernedoodle every two to three months and whenever they get into something dirty, like mud puddles.

In addition to bathing your dog every so often, you’ll also need to commit to taking it to your local dog groomer for a proper trim and nail clipping. For both straight-haired Bernedoodles and curly-haired Bernedoodles, most groomers recommend you bring them in every four to six weeks for maintenance.

grooming your bernedoodle - cute black and white puppy

Brushing and Bathing Your Bernedoodle

If you’ve never brushed or bathed a dog before, it’s essential you take the time to understand what’s required based on their hair growth and coat type. There’s a lot involved, from the necessary tools to how to keep your dog calm throughout the process.

Here’s what you need to know:

Preparing Your Bernedoodle Puppy for Its First Grooming Session

If you adopt an older Bernedoodle, there’s a good chance it has experience with being groomed. However, a puppy is a different story and will likely take more effort on your part to train it to become accustomed to the process.

The goal is to make brushing and bathing a positive experience for your Bernedoodle puppy so the process becomes easier each time you do it. Keep in mind, your puppy probably isn’t used to running water, the sensation of brushing or even loud noises, which could include the sound of its nails being clipped.

Here are a few tips on preparing your puppy for a more positive grooming experience, both at home and at the local groomers:

  • First, be sure you’re using the right type of brush for your Bernedoodle’s coat. Let your puppy sniff the brush to become familiar with it, but don’t let it be treated like a toy. Gently brush your puppy’s fur in short strokes until it gets used to the sensation, praising it throughout and rewarding it with a treat afterward for good behavior.
  • To keep from scaring your puppy during bath time, pre-fill the tub or sink with lukewarm water before bringing it into the room. Be very gentle as you soak and wash it, giving more praise during the process. Refrain from scolding if it hesitates or is visibly afraid — this is an important part of their development, and fear can lead to anxiety issues later on.
  • While you may not be the one to trim your dog’s nails, you’ll still need to prepare your puppy for the process as it can be a strange experience. To do this, handle their paws beforehand, one at a time, increasing the amount of time each day.
  • Once puppy vaccinations are complete, you can take them to the groomer. Even if they don’t need a full grooming session yet, it’s better to take them at a young age to help them become acclimated to the process quickly.

How To Brush Your Bernedoodle’s Coat

When it comes to brushing any type of Bernedoodle coat, you’ll likely need more than one type of brush, such as a metal comb, a slicker brush, a pin brush or a combination.

For all types of brushing, however, you’ll want to ensure you work in sections, combing in the general direction of the hair growth — and only when the fur is dry.

First, you’ll want to start with a metal comb, especially with curly-haired Bernedoodles. For any areas where the comb can’t easily move through, switch to a slicker brush or pin brush and use a line brushing technique to work through it. Once any mats and tangles are removed, you can comb through your dog’s hair in larger sections.

How To Bathe Your Bernedoodle

When it comes to bathing your Bernedoodle, you’ll want to first pick out a dog shampoo and conditioner that are specific to its coat type. If you’re unsure which brand or type would be best for your dog’s specific coat, get a recommendation from a licensed veterinarian or professional groomer.

Be sure to brush your dog’s hair before bathing it, and remember that keeping your dog calm is the key to a successful bath. So, fill up the tub with lukewarm water, and be sure to soak it thoroughly before adding the shampoo.

When it’s time, work the shampoo into a nice lather and gently rub it into their fur, giving attention to their hind legs and front legs and being careful with your dog’s ears. Give it a thorough rinse, then follow the same steps with the conditioner.

Once you’re finished, pat it down with a towel to stop any dripping and allow the hair to air-dry for best results.

While it’s recommended to use conditioner for dogs with long hair or curly coats, not all groomers automatically do it. Be sure to speak with your dog groomer first about what they recommend for your specific breed, as well as which services (such as conditioning) count as an additional option.

Popular Bernedoodle Haircuts

There’s actually a lot you can do with your Bernedoodle’s hair. Of course, we don’t recommend cutting your dog’s hair yourself or even trimming it if you haven’t done it before — always leave that to the professional groomer.

Choosing your dog’s next haircut will depend on a few variables, including your Bernedoodle’s hair type, your lifestyle and the climate you live in. Many Bernedoodle owners opt for a shorter haircut as it reduces at-home grooming time. You can also alternate Bernedoodle haircuts to try out different styles or get it ready for changing seasons.

Here are a few of the most popular options with different seasons and coats in mind:

  • The Bernedoodle Winter Cut will keep your pup cozy throughout the winter as it’s a bit longer. However, it will require more frequent brushing, especially if your Bernedoodle has curly hair.
  • The Bernedoodle Summer Cut, as expected, is much shorter. It’s actually considered shaved and usually requires very little brushing for a straight coat or wavy coat.
  • The Bernedoodle Poodle Cut imitates the traditional look of a poodle and can become high maintenance, as the hair will be longer on some body parts.
  • The Bernedoodle Teddy Bear Cut is exactly as it sounds — it’ll make your Bernedoodle look like a teddy bear. This cut works best on curly and wavy hair.
  • The Bernedoodle Kennel Cut is similar to the summer cut in that it’s borderline shaved, but not as short. Many Bernedoodle owners opt for the kennel cut when they can’t commit to brushing their dog’s hair every day.
  • The Bernedoodle Lamb Cut is another poodle hairstyle in which the hair is the same length all around with the face, feet and most of the tail shaved.

Keep in mind that when you groom a Bernedoodle, it should be a bonding experience. So, learn to do it correctly and make sure you have the proper tools and the time to commit to your pup. And don’t forget to have fun with the different Bernedoodle haircuts!

Want to learn more about the care and training of your favorite doodle breeds? Check out our blog!