1) Is this a good time to adopt a puppy given the current COVID-19 threat? Surprisingly, yes. Due to the cancellations of a multiplicity of functions globally and nationally, you might find yourself with some spare time and money that you didn’t plan on. This would be an excellent time to welcome a new pup into your home and give it the love and training that it needs. With many more children being homeschooled, having a puppy around will give them something to turn their attention towards to keep both pup and children socialized. Though animals are susceptible to COVID-19, it is a very limited susceptibility and it is not known yet that they have been the culprits of any transmitting it. Please visit this page of our website if you would like to adopt a puppy -> Application for Adoption.
2) What is a Bernedoodle? A Bernedoodle is a cross between the beautiful, affectionate, Bernese Mountain Dog and the fun-loving, intelligent Poodle. The mix is an irresistible pal who will stick by your side and provide a confident addition to your family. Though most dogs have historically been bred for a functional purpose (i.e. Terriers for rodent control and Labradors for avian retrieving) the Bernedoodle is rare in that it is bred for a social purpose -- to be the perfect pet. A Bernedoodle should be alert, happy, ready to relax when you are as well as ready to have fun when you are.
3) Who would want a Bernedoodle? Anyone who wants a loving companion with a teddy bear personality. Since a Bernedoodle's coat can tend to be more hypoallergenic than some, there can be fewer allergy problems with this breed. Which also means less shedding, combing, etc.
4) How big do Bernedoodles get? Bernedoodles range in size according to what size Poodle the Berner has been crossed with (toy, miniature or standard). Therefore, they can vary from a small 15 pounds to a large 140 pounds. Technically, Bernedoodle sizes are based on the shoulder height and the breakdown looks something like this: miniatures are 10 to 15 inches and standards are greater than 15 inches. We are among a growing number of people that recognize the moyen size. Moyens are between miniature and standard and will stand somewhere from 14 inches to 19 inches tall at the shoulder. The corresponding weights vary but, generally speaking, a miniature will weigh in at less than 60 pounds and a standard will be above 61 pounds. You could expect moyens to range from 45 to 75 pounds. Of course, the size will also vary upon gender. Males are generally 5 – 25 pounds heavier than females.
5) Can you tell me about the coat characteristics of a Bernedoodle? It has long been believed that a dog with wavy hair is synonymous with hypoallergenic/non-shedding. As genetic testing is increasing in its ability to pin down dog coat characteristics, geneticists are learning that these two are not directly connected. They are distinct traits that, for reasons beyond the scope of this medium, are usually found together in purebreds. However, as breeds are mixed, the complexities of these genes are revealing that you can have a dog with wavy hair that is not hypoallergenic (does shed) as well as a dog with straight fur that is hypoallergenic (non-shedding). With that said, for F1s (a cross with a purebred Berner and a purebred Poodle) the coat has some variance. Usually the F1 will take 50% of its coat from the BMD and 50% from the Poodle. However, we have seen them go 60/40 (either way) and rarely 70/30 (again, either way). Most people want to know how to distinguish at puppy choosing time when puppies are 8 weeks old. Unfortunately, you cannot. Waviness of a coat can (indirectly) give you a small clue as to the characteristic of the coat but it is not the strongest indicator and will become less so as breeds continue to be mixed.
The truest way to tell if a dog will have a shedding or non-shedding coat is their muzzle hair/fur. If a dog has short fur on their muzzle, they are a shedding dog. If they have long hair on their muzzle, they are a non-shedding dog. The difficulty occurs with puppies in that all puppies, even up to 10-12 weeks of age, have short muzzle hair/fur due to the fact that it has not grown out yet. Unfortunately, that means that you cannot determine if your puppy will have a shedding coat or not when it goes home at 8 weeks from visual indicators.
The good news is that for those that are concerns about the hypoallergenic trait, there is a test that can help. This is why we do the T-shirt allergy test. This test is accurate 98% of the time and can be found under our “Adoption” drop down menu: T-Shirt Allergy Test.
6) How long can I expect my Bernedoodle to live? The mix of the Bernese Mountain Dog and Poodle will bring about what is called "hybrid vigor". Which means you can expect reduced health issues and greater longevity than you would in the pure breeds. Premier Bernedoodle breeders estimate that Standard Bernedoodles will live between 12-15 years.
7) How do Bernese Mountain Dogs and Bernedoodles do in the Texas heat? As with anything, acclimation is a help in hot climates. However, we feel the answer to this question is overwhelmingly rooted in care. We heavily encourage our adopting families to make Echt K9 pups “indoor” pets. As with humans, if they live inside with you in your air-conditioned home, the outside climate is a non-factor. I, myself, am from Idaho and have a very hard time in the Texas heat. I am extremely thankful for HVAC. Many people will give their dogs outdoor “breaks” a few times a day and/or in the night but for the short duration required for that, climate is not an issue. In other words, we feel like climate is a non-issue if you make your pet a part of the family.
8) What is the Breeder’s Choice Program? Due to the short duration of a dog’s breeding life span which produces a high turnover, we generally plan to keep a puppy or two from each litter we have. We allow adopting families to adopt these “reserved” puppies if they desire. However, it is usually extremely cost prohibitive because it comes as a sacrifice to our breeding program. In order to recover some of the loss (not all), these puppies will have an adoption price approximately 3 times what a normal puppy would be from us. Two benefits the adoption family gets when they become a part of the Breeder’s Choice program is 1st choice of a puppy in a litter and it usually means that the time it takes for the family to bring their puppy home is shortened. You can inquire via a phone call, text message, email or on the adoption form.
9) What should I feed my Bernedoodle? Any high quality, high fat, dry dog food is acceptable. We recommend using Royal Canin because our experience shows it to be the all around best food for them. Dogs are primarily carnivores and should not be fed a feed with an excess of grain products. A young Bernedoodle should be kept within a healthy weight range to ensure healthy growth to their bone structure.
10) What are the care requirements for a Bernedoodle? Due to the nature of the "doodle" coat, Bernedoodles, like many poodle hybrids, need regular grooming. Because of multi-layered fur, they are prone to matting especially around the ears and groin. It is very important to brush your Bernedoodle several times a week. Daily brushing is ideal for a healthy coat free of mats as well as a regular bonding opportunity between dog and owner. An experienced groomer can help you to understand how to properly care for their coat and nails.
11) Will a Bernedoodle get along with my other dogs? Dog's personalities are as varied as people. So no one can be 100% certain. However, in general, Bernedoodles tend to get along great with other breeds. As is always the case with a new animal, take the time to closely supervise their introduction in the beginning to insure the safety of all dogs involved.
12) Is a Bernedoodle good with children? Both Bernese Mountain Dogs and Poodles are considered excellent family dogs that adapt well to surroundings with children. Bernedoodles are frequently used as service dogs which espouses their good disposition and readiness to take tenderly to their human companions--both young and old. 13) Will you ship or deliver my puppy to me? Shipping is generally an option. It depends on your location and the time of the year. One option is to fly your puppy to you. However, some airlines have limitations on shipping dogs in the summer months due to heat or the winter due to cold (cold limitations is destination dependent). Check with us to find other shipping options during limited airline shipping times. We do have ground delivery options available. You can go to this page of our website for more information on transporting: Transporting.
14) How do I know I am getting a healthy, genetically sound dog for me and my family? Here at Echt K9, our goal is to breed happy, healthy canines that come from long lines of happy, healthy dogs. We have done our digging so that we can ensure you a wonderful companion. In addition, all of our dogs come with a 24 month health guarantee and, before going to their new homes, they are each looked over by a certified veterinarian.
15) Will my dog be registered? Though at this point Bernedoodles are still considered a mixed breed, they can be registered with with the CKC (Continental Kennel Club) and you will be sent home with all of the necessary paperwork to put this in place.
16) How does the choosing process work when it comes time to choose a puppy? Please reference our web page Choosing a Puppy for an answer to this.
17) How do I get on your waiting list? It is an easy 3 step process:
Fill out the adoption form on our website (3-4 minutes)
We’ll send an email with deposit information after the adoption form comes in
Initial and sign the personalized Sales Agreement
We’ll send an email with the Sales Agreement attached after the deposit comes in
18) Can I come visit? Yes, we do allow visits to our place to see our dogs. There are a few things to consider in so doing. They are:
We almost never have Bernedoodles on site because that is what we sell. Our parents are mostly purebreds so you can see them. In rare times when we have Bernedoodle puppies, they go home at when they are 8 weeks old. A puppy that is less than 8 weeks old is not a good representation of the adult (of any breed). It is best if we keep other people’s puppies from outside visitors so as to minimize their chance of exposure to pathogens. Also, we love talking about our dogs and are happy to discuss anything that you would like to. We do have some videos of Bernedoodle puppies (romping around) on our website.
We have to be very cautious about Parvovirus which is a very unforgiving, fatal and contagious disease for young canines that is highly difficult and extremely costly to eradicate. Due to the extreme nature (on every level) of this threat and others (especially for vulnerable puppies), we do need to have a short 3 minute conversation with you on the phone before you come so that we can assess the interaction you’ve had with canines in the last 6 weeks and if you all seem clear, we ask that you not interact with any other canies for at least 6 weeks before visiting our place. We don’t like working this way but Parvo is very serious threat for us and for your puppy. We want to make sure we keep your puppy healthy.
COVID-19 Update: Generally, we’ve always had visitors in our living room and would have a nice time with puppies. However, due to the Coronavirus, we are moving all visits outside. This combined with the fact that we homeschool has made for less than desirable visit dynamics. We are still willing to have visitors, but we want to upfront with what to expect on a visit.
We are happy to say that my wife just gave birth to our 8th child on September 2nd. 😊 Although we are aware what we are not in the “high risk” category for Coronavirus, we are trying to take extra precautions with it given our situation.
If we can work through all of this, we would be happy to have you come visit.
19) What colors do Bernedoodles come in? Bernedoodles come in a variety of colors. These include; black, black and white bi-color and a variety of sable, phantom and the classic tri-colored (black, white and either brown or rust) markings of the Berner (which is the most coveted of the coats).
20) Will a Bernedoodle's coat color change? It can. We are not able to guarantee the color or coat texture of your dog. Poodles are complex and can yield varying shades of black, silver, brown and white. However, you won't have a black turn white or a brown turn black, for example. The coat color changes typically become different shades of the same color. The most excessive we see are whites becoming silver or dark and browns becoming lighter shades of cream. However, dare to say that given their personalities, you will not be disappointed with your dog even if they do tend to change some in color as they mature. I've included some pictures below to show you some examples of coloring changes.