So, you’ve decided you want a Doodle… you’re just not totally sure which one. With a little research, you’ve narrowed it down to two of the most popular kinds. But the question now is: Bernedoodle vs Goldendoodle – which one to choose?
Both Bernedoodles and Goldendoodles are super sociable, highly trainable, and relatively low shedding. But which is best?
In this article, we are going to help you out by providing a comparison of the different aspects of both breeds. This includes differences in temperament, size, and maintenance. Armed with this information, you will no doubt feel much more confident in deciding which of these delightful dogs to bring into your home.
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All About Bernedoodles
Breeder Sherry Rupke of Ontario, Canada, is credited with creating these hybrid pups in 2003. She fell in love with a Bernese Mountain Dog but had family allergies to contend with – so she combined them with (mostly) hypoallergenic Poodles. The output was the Bernedoodle and the rest, as they say, is history!
As a comparatively newer Doodle, much less is known about Bernedoodles than, say, Labradoodles and Cockapoos, which have both been around much, much longer. So, the best way to understand these happy-go-lucky hounds is to look to the parent dogs.
Bernese Mountain Dogs are originally from Switzerland. There they were bred to herd cattle, pull carts, and act as watchdogs. They were also kept as companion animals which resulted in the calm and friendly disposition that we see in the breed today. They are also known to be sweet and extremely loyal.
Poodles are German dogs. They originally worked as water retrievers, sent into lakes and rivers to fetch birds shot down by their hunter owners. Interestingly, this is how they got their name which is derived from the German word pudel, meaning ‘to splash about in the water.’ Aside from being beautiful, elegant, and low-shedding, Poodles are extremely intelligent, which only adds to their appeal.
All About Goldendoodles
Goldendoodles, a cross between Golden Retrievers and Poodles, have probably been around since the 1960s. Yet, the breed didn’t increase in popularity until the 1990s. This, however, means that a fair bit more is known about these gorgeous pups than Bernedoodles.
Like Poodles, Golden Retrievers were used by hunters to collect ducks and other fowl that they shot down. With both parents being highly intelligent working dogs, it’s no wonder that Goldendoodles have so much energy, not to mention smarts. They also tend to love the water much more than other breeds.
Golden Retrievers have long been one of the most popular family dogs in the States. These dogs fall in love with a family and stay in love with them – and the feeling is usually mutual. They are also super (usually over the top) friendly to all other people and animals they meet out and about.
So, with the success of earlier Doodles, creating another type of low-shed pup with this breed was an obvious choice. These dogs remain super young and fun throughout their lives. Yet, despite this, both Golden Retrievers and now Goldendoodles make excellent guide dogs, support animals, and rescue dogs.
Bernedoodle vs Goldendoodle: Size
Both Bernies and Goldies come in an assortment of sizes based on the Poodle used in the breeding. Whether it be Standard, Miniature, or Toy.
Here you can check out the differences in height and weight between the various sizes:
17 inches or less
15 inches or less
As you can see, there isn’t that much in it – especially with the smaller dogs. However, generally speaking, Bernedoodles tend to be slightly bigger as Bernese Mountain Dogs are both taller and heavier than Golden Retrievers.
Bernedoodle vs Goldendoodle: Temperament
All Doods, while being individual, have epic personalities, and the Bernedoodle and Goldendoodle are no exception. As previously covered, both breeds are tremendously social, but when it comes to being friendly to all, Goldies have the edge. They will let a complete stranger walk into your house with no reaction other than a wide grin and a frantic tail wag.
Bernedoodles, on the other hand, tend to be a little more cautious and certainly a lot more suspicious of strangers. Their ancestors were kept as watchdogs, after all. These dogs will let you know when something is not quite right. They are utterly loyal and will protect their family at all costs.
Perhaps, for this reason, Bernies tend to be a little more codependent – they don’t do well when left alone for extended periods of time. The cheerful Goldendoodle, though, will happily keep themselves occupied while you are away from the house and greet you thoroughly and enthusiastically upon your return.
Bernedoodles are also a little more chill and a bit more sensible than the overly bouncy and boisterous Goldie. So, if you are away a bit and have plenty of energy, the Goldendoodle is your best choice. If you’re a homebody and like a calmer atmosphere, opt for a Bernedoodle.
Goldendoodle vs Bernedoodle: Appearance
As covered above, Bernedoodles are a little larger than Goldies. They also tend to be a little stockier too. Although, both breeds have that gorgeous teddy bear look that Doodles are so well known and so adored for.
Beyond that, these dogs differ significantly in color. As per the name, Goldendoodles are often varying shades of gold – although they can also come in red, brown, caramel, cream, apricot, and black. They tend to be a single solid shade all over.
Bernies, however, usually inherit the tri-color jet black, clear white, and rust coat of their Bernese Mountain Dog parent. They are mainly bred to be this way. Although if this isn’t the case, there can be significantly more variation due to the presence, in the genes, of all these colors alongside the rainbow of hues that Poodles come in.
Bernedoodle vs Goldendoodle: Grooming & Maintenance
For each Doodle, no matter their specific breed, the look and texture of their coat will largely depend on their generation (whether they have two pedigree parents or one or more Doodle ones). Later ones are more likely to have the curly, wiry Poodle coat. In contrast, earlier ones may have inherited the long, straight fur of their non-Poodle parents, or they might just have wavy hair that sits somewhere in between.
Both Bernese Mountain Dogs and Golden Retrievers have double coats. The Bernese’s is designed to deal with wintery conditions, whereas the Golden’s is more for water resistance. So, if you live in a cooler climate, the Bernie might be more adept at coping with it if they have also inherited this kind of fur. Although if they have, they will be more likely to shed, too.
How much upkeep these dogs require depends less on their breed and more on which kind of coat they end up with. The Poodle coat, despite being the most desirable in terms of low-shed and more hypoallergenic, actually requires more care and attention. Rather than falling out, dead hair gets twisted up in healthy hair, causing knots, tangles, and eventually matting.
Goldendoodle vs Bernedoodle: Health & Wellness
As mixed rather than full-blood breeds, Doodles typically tend to be a little healthier than their parent dogs. Although, this does not mean they are immune to all canine issues. They are susceptible to the same problems as their parent dogs – just perhaps slightly less so.
Goldendoodles can go on to develop ailments like heart stenosis, glaucoma of the eyes, cancer, neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, and sebaceous adenitis – a skin disorder. A Bernedoodle might suffer from allergies, hip dysplasia, eye problems, and Von Willebrand’s disease. Their larger size could also cause joint issues.
To ensure a happy and healthy pup, make sure to purchase them from a reputable breeder. This is one who has conducted all the necessary tests and is willing to provide copies of the relevant health certificates. You will also need to feed your Dood a good and suitable diet, take them on plenty of long walks, and provide games and toys to keep them well entertained.
As descendants of working dogs, both breeds have quite significant exercise requirements – up to an hour and a half every single day. Bernies tend to be a little snoozier than Goldies and require slightly less mental stimulation. However, they will still need games that help burn up all that energy. Goldendoodles, because of their water-focused history, usually love going for a swim when they get the opportunity.
Goldendoodle vs Bernedoodle: Lifespan
When adequately cared for most Doodles enjoy a long and healthy life compared to similarly-sized dogs. However, the rule with canines is that smaller dogs generally outlive bigger ones, although we don’t know precisely why this would be the case. For this reason, you would expect a tiny/toy or miniature pup to outlive a medium or standard one.
This might also go a ways towards explaining why your Goldendoodle would generally live longer than your Bernedoodle (remember that they are often slightly smaller). However, the difference is so tiny as to be barely noticeable.
Goldendoodles tend to live to around 10 to 15 years of age, with an average life expectancy of 12 years. For Bernedoodles, it’s 9 to 14 years and an average of 11 years of age. Of course, the better they are looked after, the longer they will live for – plus, crucially, the happier they will be throughout their entire lives.
Bernedoodle vs Goldendoodle: Training & Environment
Again, that working dog background comes into play here – especially those super-smart Poodle genes. Most Doodles are brilliantly bright animals who, perhaps, more importantly, adore doing exactly what is asked of them (most of the time). This bodes well when it comes to obedience training and socialization. However, it also means that these dogs could quickly get bored and engage in unwanted or even destructive behaviors if left with nothing to occupy them.
If you’re a novice pet owner, you would likely be better to opt for a Goldendoodle. These people-pleasing pooches can be a bit more accommodating than Bernies, who may or may not have inherited the Bernese’s stubborn streak. That is unless you feel up to a challenge, of course. Bernedoodles also need more socialization due to their more overly cautious nature.
Considering getting a larger-sized Dood but worried about being a little short on space? Surprisingly the bigger Bernie does better with more modest living arrangements because of their calmer temperament. You do need to ensure they get plenty of people interaction, though, to prevent them from developing behavioral problems when left home alone. For help dealing with these common issues, check out our article How to Help a Dog with Separation Anxiety.
Bernedoodle vs Goldendoodle: Cost
The price of these pups is based on the fact that Doodles are still considered ‘designer dogs,’ meaning they often sell for the same high price, if not even more, than pedigree breeds.
On average, Bernedoodles are the more expensive of the two as breeders of these dogs are rarer than of Goldendoodles. Market competition keeps Goldies a little lower in price (and likely a little higher in quality, too).
Color also factors into the cost. Usually you will end up paying more for a multi-color coated breed (the Bernedoodle is mostly a mix of three). Pups with fewer hues will go for slightly less, as will non-golden Goldies.
Goldendoodle puppies often start at $1,500 and Bernedoodles $2,000. You could, however, end up paying as much as $5,0000 for either one depending on appearance, breeding lines, health status, and generation.
In terms of care costs, though, both breeds are around the same. The exact figure will vary depending on their size (how much food they need) and their coat type (whether you need to buy expensive grooming equipment or have them professionally groomed).
Bernedoodle vs Goldendoodle: Family Friendliness
Finally (and perhaps most importantly), you will want to know how well suited each of these dogs are to being family pets. This may be of particular concern if you have small children about the house.
Golden Retrievers are well-known family dogs, and this fact may have you leaning more towards getting a Goldendoodle. Yet both breeds are actually incredibly social, fun-loving, goofy, and extremely family-friendly. They do, however, have different strengths.
Bernies as calmer dogs may even be better suited to households with small children. They will be less likely to send them flying by running past, jumping up, or any other behaviors associated with the Goldie’s overly exuberant nature. Our owner survey also found them to be the most affectionate (although, to be fair, Goldendoodles weren’t that far behind).
Goldies are great with older kids and teens as they will enjoy games, walks, and just generally running around like crazy with them. The same survey found them to have the most energy (not surprising) and to be the most playful too.
All dogs should be closely supervised around children of any age.
If you have other pets, especially cats or smaller animals, take care with Bernedoodles. Bernese Mountains Dogs have a higher prey drive than Golden Retrievers, and so Bernies may be more likely to give chase. Early socialization can help to reduce these natural urges somewhat but very rarely does it eliminate them altogether.
Bernedoodle vs Goldendoodle: Which One Should You Get?
When it comes to comparing Bernedoodles with Goldendoodles there is no absolute best breed. As you can see from the information above, each of these delightful dogs has a lot to offer. The one you pick will be the one that is best suited to you, your home, and your family.
The Bernedoodle is your guy if you:
- Have plenty of experience with dogs.
- Live in a colder climate and love to be outdoors.
- Are looking for a slightly calmer dog with fewer exercise needs.
- Have younger children in the house or less space to work with.
- Are willing to spend a little more on a puppy.
- Spend plenty of time at home or have a large family.
Opt for a Goldendoodle if you:
- Are more of a novice dog owner.
- Live by the ocean, a lake, or anywhere your pup can swim.
- Are a super active, adventurous, outdoor-loving family.
- Have older children and teenagers and plenty of space in and around your home.
- Are looking for a slightly cheaper Doodle puppy.
- Want to be able to leave your dog home alone sometimes.
Doodle breeds, in general, are ever-increasing in popularity due to their cute appearance, intelligent, loving nature, and low-shed coats. These dogs often inherit the very best characteristics of the parent breeds. This is undoubtedly the case with most Bernedoodles and Goldendoodles. Both kinds of dogs make excellent family pets and will thrive in the right environment. Hopefully, this article has helped you understand these two breeds a little more, which should go some way towards helping you choose between them.