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Are Bernedoodles Hypoallergenic? (We Surveyed 47 Allergy Sufferers!)

are bernedoodles hypoallergenic
Photo Credit: @benningtonthebernedoodle on Instagram

Bernedoodles are the result of crossing one of the lowest shedding breeds with one of the highest.  While the Bernese Mountain Dog and Poodle mix is often touted as hypoallergenic, we asked real-life Bernedoodle owners with dog allergies to find out if this claim is legit or just a bunch of fluff.

While Bernedoodles are likely to be more allergy-friendly than purebred Bernese Mountain Dogs, this crossbreed is NOT guaranteed to be hypoallergenic.  In a survey of 47 Bernedoodle owners with dog allergies, 72% of respondents reported experiencing no symptoms due to their Bernedoodle, with the remaining 28% experiencing at least mild symptoms.

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Here are the full results of our survey…

Survey of Bernedoodle owners with dog allergies.

Survey Comments from Bernedoodle Owners

“My son is worse with our BD than when we had 2 Rotties in the house. Their fur holds everything!”
Ann Marie

Survey Findings

From the responses we’ve gathered, we can clearly tell two things…

  1. The majority of Bernedoodles do NOT trigger their owner’s allergies.
  2. While they may be in the minority, a significant portion of Bernedoodles cause their owners to have allergy symptoms.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dive deeper into the results to determine the odds of a Bernedoodle bothering your allergies.  Then, later in this article, we’ll discuss ideas to help minimize your symptoms if you end up allergic to your Bernedoodle!

Can You Be Allergic to Bernedoodles?

Our survey found that 28% of Bernedoodle owners with dog allergies reported experiencing at least mild symptoms from their pet.

It’s clear that people have the potential to be allergic to Bernedoodles.  However, allergy symptoms vary from individual to individual.  One person may experience allergy symptoms from a particular Bernedoodle, while another may be fine around that same dog.

Additionally, some Bernedoodles will be more allergy-friendly than others…even two dogs from the same litter can vary!  It all depends on genetics, which we’ll discuss later in this article.

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Are Bernedoodles Good for Allergies?

While we know allergies vary not only from person to person but from dog to dog, the best indicator of whether or not a breed is allergy-friendly is the collective knowledge of current and former owners.

Our polling of 47 current Bernedoodle owners showed that 72% reported no symptoms from their dog, 19% reported minor symptoms, and 9% reported significant symptoms.

On one hand, this data shows that Bernedoodles are significantly more allergy-friendly than purebred Bernese Mountain Dogs.  Having a 91% chance of experiencing little to no allergy symptoms is remarkable for dogs that are a cross of one of the highest shedding breeds according to the AKC.

On the other side of the coin, if you compare these results to the same survey of Goldendoodle owners, Aussiedoodle owners, and Cavapoo owners, you’ll find that Bernedoodles are one of the more likely Poodle-mix breeds to trigger allergies.

So, whether Bernedoodles are good for allergies all depends on how you look at it.  Compared to the Bernese Mountain Dog, they’re great. However, compared to other doodle breeds, particularly crosses between two hypoallergenic parent breeds, they’re far riskier.

What Causes Bernedoodle Allergies?

It’s a common misconception that people are allergic to dog fur.  Allergies to dogs are actually triggered by little flakes of dead skin, called dander, that get spread around as your dog’s fur sheds.

This is why breeds that shed less, such as the Bernedoodle, tend to be more allergy-friendly than those who shed a lot.

Keep in mind that humans can be allergic to more than just dander.  Other possible allergies to dogs include urine and saliva.  In these cases, a dog breed being “hypoallergenic” is irrelevant as that only helps to control dander allergies.

On top of all this, dogs can make other non-dog allergies worse by tracking pollen, grass, or other allergens inside the house.

Best Types of Bernedoodles for Allergies

Like other mixed-breed dogs, Bernedoodles are categorized into “generations.”  You may have heard some of these terms thrown around by breeders or owners, such as F1, F1B, F2, etc.

While we have a whole article dedicated to explaining Bernedoodle generations, the basic idea is that they indicate a puppy’s lineage.  This can often tell us, in theory, how close in DNA a Bernedoodle is to the Bernese Mountain Dog versus the Poodle.

The best generations of Bernedoodle for allergy sufferers are those more close in DNA to the Poodle.  This includes the F1BB Bernedoodle, F2BB, Bernedoodle, F1B Bernedoodle, and F2B Bernedoodle.

On the other hand, allergy sufferers will want to avoid any “reverse” Bernedoodle generations, which have more Bernese Mountain Dog DNA than Poodle DNA.  Additionally, generations with significant genetic variability, like the F2 Bernedoodle or F3 Bernedoodle, can be risky bets.  Even an F1 Bernedoodle is a bit of a crapshoot regarding shedding and allergies.

A reference table for common Bernedoodle generations.

With all that being said, it’s important to remember that these generations are only theoretical estimates of DNA.  Even a “safer” generation like the F1BB Bernedoodle isn’t guaranteed to be hypoallergenic.  On the other hand, you could get lucky with a Bernedoodle of any generation not affecting your allergies.

Are You Allergic to Your Bernedoodle?

Unfortunately, many people don’t know they have allergies to dogs until they bring a new dog home from a shelter or breeder.

A few common signs you may be allergic to your Bernedoodle include congestion, runny nose, sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, and skin irritation.  In some rare cases, there are more severe reactions like difficulty breathing.  Talk to your doctor if you think you have dog allergies, as they can help you find a solution to manage them as best as possible.

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Minimizing Your Dog Allergy Symptoms

Luckily for allergy sufferers, there are basic things you can do at home to manage your symptoms and make living with your Bernedoodle more tolerable.  Especially if your symptoms are mild, making a few minor changes and optimizations can go a long way.

Here are a few tips to try…

  • Brush your Bernedoodle at least 2-3 times per week, but ideally daily.  For best results, use a high-quality brush that reaches down to the base of your dog’s coat, like the Chris Christensen Big G Slicker Brush.
  • If your Bernedoodle sheds a lot, consider using a de-shedding tool like this one.
  • Bathe your Bernedoodle at least once a month using a specific shed-control shampoo.
  • Make your bedroom a “dog-free zone” so your body has time to recover each night.
  • Use a HEPA Air Purifier in your bedroom and living room.
  • Invest in a vacuum specifically designed for pet hair, like this one from Amazon.

Is a Bernedoodle Puppy the Best Choice for You?

Bernedoodles have many great qualities, but unfortunately, being hypoallergenic isn’t one of them.  While you can certainly take precautions by choosing an allergy-friendly generation, there are still no guarantees.

Bernese Mountain Dogs are among the highest-shedding breeds and aren’t great for dog allergies.  Intentionally choosing a mix of this breed when you have allergies is a dangerous game to play.

If you are an allergy sufferer, I’d personally encourage you to consider other Poodle-mix breeds that are more allergy-friendly.  Mixes with two hypoallergenic parent breeds like the Schnoodle, Bichpoo, Whoodle, or Yorkiepoo are the safest bets.

If your heart is (understandably) set on a Bernedoodle, choose a back-crossed generation and consider asking your breeder to do a “t-shirt test” with your future puppy before taking them home.

A t-shirt test is where your breeder will send you an article of clothing that has been around the puppies in a litter to see if wearing it will bother your allergies. Of course, it’s not a perfect system, but it’s another precaution you can take to ensure your compatibility with your future best friend!

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