The Merle Bernedoodle – What Makes Them So Special?

The Merle Bernedoodles are one of the most breathtaking puppies you will ever see; their coat gives them a unique and rare look, and they also have one of the cutest features that you can ever lay your eyes upon.

They also have a sweet temperament, so if you are looking for a puppy that is ideal for families or a companion for one person, you’ve come to the right place, and you chose wisely, so let’s get to know more about this beautiful dogs.

Here is a quick overview of the Merle Bernedoodle:

Other Names None
Weight 10 – 90 Pounds 
Height10 – 29 inches 
Lifespan 12 – 18 years 
Colors Sable, merle, bi-color, brindle, Parti, or phantom.
Health 9/10
Grooming Needs8/10
Exercise Needs9/10
Shedding 8/10
Kid Friendliness 9/10
Pet-friendliness 8/10
Protectiveness 9/10
Good for apartments Maybe
Average puppy cost $2,000 – $5,000 

Merle Bernedoodle Characteristics 

The Merle Bernedoodle

Size: 10 – 29 inches

Weight: 10 – 90 pounds 

Colors: Sable, merle, bi-color, brindle, Parti, or phantom.

Coat Type: Double coated/wavy or curly.

The merle Bernedoodle is a rare breed because they are not relatively easy to breed; as you already know, they are a mix between a poodle and the Bernese mountain dog.

Merle Bernedoodles’ sizes can vary greatly because it depends on the Poodle parent, whether they are standard, miniature, or toy.

So their size can range between 10 and 29 inches, and their weight can also be between 10 to 90 pounds.

The merle Bernedoodle usually has solid colors such as brown, black, or red, and they have lighter patches all over their coat.

The merle is a dilution gene that lightens the existing coat color of your pup; that is why they have lighter patches scattered randomly all over their coats.

Merle genes are usually recessive genes which means that they won’t take over the dominant colors, and for that reason, merle Bernedoodles are rare.

They are double-coated and can have curly or wavy hair, and they may have brown or blue eyes, or one brown and one blue. 

Parent Breeds

Bernese Mountain Dog (your left) and the poodle (right)

Any mixed breed has a complicated temperament and personality to understand because they have two different parent breeds.

For example, it’s easy to understand the character of Golden retrievers because they are purebred, and most of them have those cheerful and friendly personalities.

There is nothing that can change that outcome because both the parent breeds are almost precisely the same.

So to understand the temperament of the merle Bernedoodle we have to dig a little deeper and know more about their parents, so let’s start with Poodles.

Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog is one of the calmest dogs; they are friendly, energetic, and loving family dogs. It’s one of the four Swiss Mountain dog breeds that developed in the Swiss Alps is the Bernese Mountain dog. They are easy to train but can be a little stubborn sometimes, so you need to be patient and consistent with them.

The Bernese Moutain Dog can make an excellent watchdog. They are incredibly protective of their family, and socialization is critical because they can get a little aggressive with strangers.

They need at least 30 minutes of serious exercise every day, and they need regular brushing at least three times a week. 

Even though all four breeds possess similar black, brown, and white patterns, the dogs come in different sizes, with the Bernese being the second biggest and the only one with long fur.


The Poodle has been bred as a waterfowl retriever for German hunters; however, France also alleges ownership. In any case, the Poodle has long been a favorite because of its high intellect, agility, and quirky demeanor.

Poodles are available in four different sizes: toy, mini, Moyen (medium), and standard. 

The standard is quite enormous, standing 18 to 24in tall and weighing 40 to 70lbs. The variety of poodle sizes contributes to the Berniedoodle’s multiple size categories.

Poodles are a clever, independent, and affectionate breed; they are, e easy to train and need to be appropriately socialized.

They are energetic and need daily exercise to keep them physically stimulated. Since Poodles are the second most intelligent breed in the world, they also need to be mentally stimulated because they can get bored quickly, and poodles are one of the breeds known for being destructive when bored.

Poodles are great with children and other pets. They have lovely coats that need regular grooming to keep their skin healthy and clean.


The merle Bernedoodle has the same character as any other Bernedoodle; they are friendly, intelligent, and loyal. They may be stubborn, but it depends on which parent they are more like.

They are one of the quietest breeds. Bernedoodles tend to bark when there is something wrong and not on every little thing.

Merle Bernedoodle can make the ideal family pet with proper training and socializing; they are also well-tempered and perfect for toddlers and kids.

They are playful and like to be included in family activities, so try to make a schedule for their actions to be more comfortable and confident, knowing that there is a specific time for everything.

Even though they are a sweet, gentle, and affectionate breed, socialization has a significant role in their temperament and personality. That’s why it’s so essential and recommended.

Health and lifespan 

The merle Bernedoodle is usually a healthy dog, but just like any other breed, there are some health conditions that may occur, and you need to be aware of them.

So here are the health conditions that Bernedoodles may be prone to

  • Addison’s Disease
  • Epilepsy 
  • Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus
  • Panosteitis 
  • Hip Dysplasia 
  • Elbow Dysplasia 
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy 
  • Cushing’s Disease
  • Hypothyroidism 
  • Patellar Luxation 
  • Optic Nerve Hypoplasia 
  • Cancer
  • Portosystemic Shunt 
  • Gastric Torsion 
  • Legg-Perthes Disease
  • Sebaceous Adenitis 

Suppose you notice any sudden changes in your dog’s behavior, such as lack of appetite, less energy, limping, sleeping more than usual, vomiting, covering their face with their paws, or growling. 

In that case, you should always take them to the vet for a check-up to make sure that everything is okay.

You should also find a good breeder that will provide you with health clearances that prove that your puppy and his parent breeds are checked and cleared from some health conditions.

Nutritional Needs 

The Nutritional need of the merle Bernedoodle is pretty much the exact nutrition needs of any Bernedoodle.

They need protein for their muscles, and it’s essential if they are still growing and developing; Bernedoodle puppies need between 21 and 26% protein in their meals, 15 to 20% fats, 1% vitamins, and 42% carbohydrates.

On the other hand, adults need fewer calories because they are less active and don’t need the exact amounts because as soon as they reach 18 months, they are almost in their full size.

Seniors need an entirely different diet; you should increase the protein by 50% to fuel their muscles, but it would be better to consult their vet for the best diet for them when it comes to seniors.

However, any diet should include meat, grains, vegetables, fibers, fats, and any source of vitamins.

They also need high-quality carbs such as rice, oats, and barley, and you can also add omega-3 or omega-6 to their meals for better health, skin, and coat. 

Your Bernedoodle should always have access to fresh cool water. You can also provide them with fresh fruits as snacks, they are healthy, light, and delicious, and your pup can enjoy eating them, especially in the summer. 

Grooming Needs & Shedding

The merle Bernedoodle has a great thick, wavy, or curly coat that needs regular grooming because it can get easily tangled.

Bernedoodles are usually not heavy shedders, but it depends on their genetics. 

If they are more like their poodle parent, they will be low shedders and almost hypoallergenic, and the straighter their coat gets, the heavier they shed.

You should brush them daily to keep their coat clean and prevent any tangling or mats. Bernedoodles need to be bathed once a month. 

You shouldn’t bathe them too often because it strips their natural oils and leaves them dry and flaky skin.

However, you can bathe them if they need to, for example, if they jump in the mud, dirty water, or anything that can leave them with a foul odor and stains all over your house.

You should trim their nails every three weeks or whenever their nails get too long that you can hear them clicking down on the floor. 

Their teeth need to be brushed daily to prevent bacteria, tartar build-up, gum diseases, and bad breath.

Make sure to check their ears every week for any infection, redness, or a bad odor; you should also wipe their ears whenever they get wet with cotton dampened in a pH-balanced ear cleaner gently wipe their ears.

As a double-coated breed, many people think that they should shave their Bernedoodle in the summer so that the dog can handle the heat and warm weather better, but is this true? Well, the answer is quite complicated, so I’ve made this guide that answers should Bernedoodles be trimmed in the summer here, so make sure to check it out.

Exercise Needs 

They are energetic because both of the parent breeds are highly energetic, so the merle Bernedoodle needs lots of exercise to keep them mentally and physically stimulated.

Bernedoodles can get destructive when bored, so you need to wear them out so they won’t have any energy to do anything inside the house except playfully hang out and nap with you.

Also, most dogs tend to bond with their owners the most during exercise, training, and any activity they like to do.

They need to exercise for at least one hour a day; you can take them for a walk, a run, hiking, or swimming.

You can also choose one specific day to spend some quality time with them, and every week you can choose a different activity or game such as tug-of-war, fetch, hide and seek, or any game that you enjoy playing with your family and dog.

If their Poodle parent is a toy or miniature, you can raise them in an apartment if you want, but a standard merle Bernedoodle will need more space to run around freely without knocking everything down on the floor.

You should also provide them with some puzzles to keep them mentally stimulated and busy if you leave them home alone.


Bernedoodles are easy to train because they are quick learners, and even if they can be stubborn sometimes, you won’t have any problem with the proper training method.

Bernedoodles can respond well as long as you use positive reinforcement with them and stay consistent.

It would be best to take them to obedience training if it’s your first time training a dog. It will make training them way easier for you.

It’s also crucial that you socialize them from a young age so they can grow up as well-rounded dogs.

You must stay patient with them and never raise your voice or shout at them; instead, always use a cheerful voice and joyful words whenever they are doing great, and reward them with treats and kisses. 

You can also try the crate training, and it will become handy when you have to leave them alone for a couple of hours and are worried that they might harm themselves or destroy something.

As Family Dogs 

The Merle Bernedoodles are lovely family dogs; they are incredibly friendly and can get along with anyone as long as they are socialized.

They get along with other pets, and Bernedoodles are gentle and sweet with kids.

However, you should always supervise any interaction between your dog and kids to ensure that everything is okay.

It would be best if you trained them how to behave appropriately around each other, especially the kids, because they tend to pull their tails or ears, and some children try to ride the dog and can end up hurting the dog and themselves.  

As Guard Dogs 

The merle Bernedoodle can make an excellent guard dog; they will alarm you whenever they sense that something is off or whenever there is an intruder.

Bernedoodles are incredibly loyal, and if their family is ever in a threat, they will try their best to protect their family with their lives, so don’t worry, your pup got your back.

However, you can also train them if you want a decent guard dog, and the standard Bernedoodle will be pretty good at it. Still, if it’s a miniature or toy Bernedoodle, you should consider another breed such as German Shepherds, Pitbulls, or Husky.

Where to find them? 

The best place to find Bernedoodles is in your local shelter; however, since the Merle Bernedoodle is rare, there is a low chance that you can actually find them in a shelter or a rescue group, but it doesn’t hurt to check them first, you may not find what you want, but you may find what you need.

If you still didn’t find what you are looking for, you can purchase them from a breeder but make sure that they have lots of good reviews or at least one good review from someone you trust.

All About the Merle Bernedoodle in a nutshell 

The merle Bernedoodle is an intelligent breed; they are quick learners and easy to train. They are ideal family dogs and can get along with other pets, and Bernedoodles are incredibly gentle with kids. Bernedoodles are energetic and need vigorous exercise every day; they need daily grooming.

What you should know about Merle Dogs

Merle dogs are getting more popular every day, and before you can spend thousands of dollars on one, there are some things that you should know.

First off, what even is merle? The Merle pattern is a pattern in which random splotches of dark pigment are overlaid over the lighter shades of the same color, this pattern is completely random and it means that no two merle dogs, even of the same litter, look exactly alike.

Merle pattern is more common in dogs like Australian Shepherds, Collies, and Great Danes, while it is less common in dogs like Border Collies, cocker spaniels, American Bullies, and Chihuahuas.

This uniqueness factor (and how good they look in your Instagram pics and stories) has led to a sharp increase in the price of these dogs, which is problematic because, with increased demand and price, the breeders quickly started breeding more merle dogs to meet this demand.

However, this is not a good idea, because the merle gene also comes with a few health issues that make the lives of these dogs more difficult than it needs to be.

In a study of several merle breeds, it was found that merles with one M allele copy had a 2.7% one-ear deafness and 0.9% deafness in both ears, with these numbers sharply increasing in double-merle dogs to 10% for one-ear deafness and a shocking 15% deafness in both ears.

This high risk of deafness in blue-eyed merle dogs is the reason most people believe that all blue-eyed dogs have hearing problems, but this is not entirely true, and I discuss this further in this post on are blue-eyed dogs deaf.

Another major issue that’s specific with double-merle dogs is microphthalmia, which is when the dog’s eyes are abnormally small and are sometimes nonfunctional. The reason for the prevalence of this issue in double-merle dogs is still unknown and in need of further studies, but the data does confirm their prevalence in double-merle dogs.

So, where does this lead us? Simply: DO NOT GET A DOUBLE MERLE DOG. Consequently, this also means you should never breed two merle dogs. It’s inhumane and outright cruel to bring a double-merle dog into this world when you know there is a very high chance they are going to suffer from a serious health issue.

As for single merle dogs, they should be fine, but you still need to make sure the dog is healthy and their parents have been healthy as well.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is the Merle Bernedoodle A Good Family Dog? 

Yes, the merle Bernedoodle is a good family dog; they are loyal, friendly, and caring; with the proper training and socializing, they can get along quickly with anyone. However, if they are left untrained or unsocialized, they may get too friendly or aggressive with strangers depending on their personality.  

Is the Merle Bernedoodle easy to train? 

Yes, the merle Bernedoodle is easy to train; they are intelligent because both parent breeds are incredibly smart. However, you must stay consistent and patient with them because they may be a little stubborn sometimes, and make sure to socialize with them; it will make training them more manageable.

Is the Merle Bernedoodle good with kids? 

Yes, the merle Bernedoodle is good with kids; they are incredibly gentle and sweet when they are around kids. Make sure to socialize them with your kids and teach them to be appropriately around each other; you should also supervise all of their interactions to avoid any accidents.

How much is the Merle Bernedoodle? 

The Merle Bernedoodle can cost more than $4,000 because they are rare, and the average Bernedoodle can cost between $2,000 to $5,000. However, it depends on the breeder, so make sure to find a trustable breeder that can provide you with all the papers you need and still asks for a reasonable price. 

Is the Merle Bernedoodle smart? 

Yes, the merle Bernedoodle is incredibly smart because one of their parent breeds is the second most intelligent dog in the world. They’re quick learners. However, this can also mean that they can learn anything quickly, even the things that you don’t want them to, so it would be best if you train them properly.

Helpful Resources 

The Bernedoodle – Dog information

Problems with Merle Dogs

Living with a Retriever: Recommendations and Sources

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