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Bernedoodle Generations Explained (F1, F1B, F1BB, F2, F2B, F2BB, F3, Multigen)

bernedoodle generations

Do you scratch your head when people mention Bernedoodle generations?  At first glance it can seem so complicated. It may seem like there is so much information to consider when choosing a new Bernedoodle puppy, it can be overwhelming…

…it can all be mind-boggling!

And then we have all this talk about Bernedoodle generations. What is the difference between an F1 Bernedoodle, F2B Bernedoodle, Multigen Bernedoodle, etc?

Even experienced doodle owners can stumble while explaining this concept. However, understanding Bernedoodle generations is important. It can have a large impact on the compatibility of a Bernedoodle puppy with your family.

We are here to demystify what Bernedoodle generations mean and how they can impact a puppy.  Read on to learn more!

Why Do Bernedoodle Generations Matter?

The lineage of your Bernedoodle, and by extension their generation, influences their physical characteristics, personality, and also the potential issues they may be at risk for.

Responsible breeding can help lower the risk of these health problems, but it is highly advised that all Bernedoodle owners invest in pet insurance. It can help protect you from expensive veterinary care that may arise suddenly.  While there are many companies out there, I prefer Healthy Paws because it can cover up to 90% of your Bernedoodle’s vet bills at affordable monthly rates.

Labeling Bernedoodle Generations

The first step toward understanding Bernedoodle generations is learning the labels and their meanings.

What does the “F” mean?

Every Bernedoodle generation begins with the letter F.  This F stands for “Filial Hybrid.”  This means that it is a hybrid dog that came from two purebred dogs of two different breeds.

What does the number mean?

The number is the generation of the Bernedoodle. 1 means first generation, 2 means second generation, 3 means third generation, etc.  You’ll learn more about this later in the article.

What does the “B” mean?

When a Bernedoodle generation includes a B it indicates that it is a backcross. Backcross simply means that the current Bernedoodle generation was bred back to a Poodle. It can rarely mean breeding back to a Bernese Mountain Dog as well. However, as this is uncommon, this article will refer to it only as a breeding back to a Poodle. Sometimes you will find two B’s in the Bernedoodle generation label. This means that this generation of Bernedoodle has been backcrossed with a Poodle twice.

Bernedoodle Generations Chart

This table about Bernedoodle generations is available for you to reference as you read this article. This will help you remember the theoretical DNA percentages of the Bernedoodle generations. However, keep in mind that these DNA percentages are theoretical estimates. Only nature can control how much of each parent’s DNA a Bernedoodle puppy will inherit.

bernedoodle generations chart

What is an F1 Bernedoodle?

Let’s start from the beginning…what is an F1 Bernedoodle? It is the most basic, first generation cross of a purebred Bernese Mountain Dog and a purebred Poodle. This is the Bernedoodle generation that most people think of as the classic Bernedoodle as the DNA is, in general, the closest to a 50/50 split of the two breeds of origin.

This first generation has a large amount of genetic diversity, so the F1 Bernedoodle appearance can widely vary. For instance, the coat could appear straighter, like a Bernese Mountain Dog, it could have the curliness of the Poodle’s coat, or it could be somewhere in between. While most F1 Bernedoodles will likely shed less than a Bernese Mountain Dog, they still have a decent probability of shedding a little and triggering allergy-sufferers. So, if you have dog allergies, you may have better luck with some other generations of Bernedoodles.

The genetic diversity of the F1 Bernedoodle offers the benefit of having lower odds of inherited genetic conditions that appear in purebred breeds. So while mixed breed dogs generally are at a lower risk for these issues, the F1 generation of Bernedoodles is the safest bet for avoiding these genetic Bernedoodle health issues.

F1 Bernedoodle Price

Prices will vary widely and are more based on location, breeder reputation, and size than their generation. For instance, merle-colored Bernedoodles will typically be more expensive, regardless of generation. Smaller Bernedoodle sizes also tend to cost more. In general, Bernedoodles will range in price from $2,000 up to $4,000.

F1 Bernedoodle Picture

what is an f1 bernedoodle
Aspen is one example of an F1 Bernedoodle. Photo courtesy of @aspen.the.bernedood on Instagram.

What is an F1B Bernedoodle?

Now that we know about F1 Bernedoodles, what is an F1B Bernedoodle? It is a first generation F1 Bernedoodle bred with a Poodle. As mentioned earlier, it could be an F1 Bernedoodle bred back to a Bernese Mountain Dog, but this type of breeding rarely takes place. So it is safe to assume that an F1B Bernedoodle has been backcrossed to a Poodle unless otherwise noted.

With the F1B Bernedoodle, you lose some of the genetic diversity, by reintroducing the Poodle. However the advantage is a more predictable coat. The more Poodle DNA a puppy has, the more likely they are to be lower shedding and more hypoallergenic, as compared to an F1 Bernedoodle. So this generation is a safer bet for families dealing with mild allergies.

F1B Bernedoodle Price

F1B Bernedoodles may be slightly more expensive than other generations. However, prices will vary widely and are more based on location, breeder reputation, and size than by their generation. A good ballpark range is that Bernedoodles will vary in price from $2,000 up to $4,000.

F1B Bernedoodle Picture

what is an f1b bernedoodle
Peppercorn is one example of an F1B Bernedoodle. Photo courtesy of @peppercorn_thepepperpupper on Instagram.

What is an F1BB Bernedoodle?

What is an F1BB Bernedoodle? It is the result of breeding an F1B Bernedoodle with a Poodle. The BB indicates that this generation is backcrossed twice with a Poodle. This generation is typically the closest to a Poodle’s DNA.

The F1BB Bernedoodle generation is designed with allergy sufferers in mind. Because this generation is closer to the Poodle than the Bernese Mountain Dog, it has a much better chance of being non-shedding and hypoallergenic, although it is important to remember that there are no guarantees. But if allergies are a concern, an F1BB Bernedoodle is the best generation for you to seek out.

There will be less genetic diversity than in other generations. Both appearance and temperament are more likely to be Poodle-like. While this means you are more likely to get a hypoallergenic coat, this also means this coat will likely be curly and high-maintenance when it comes to grooming.

Although it helps for all generations of Bernedoodles, if you have an F1BB Bernedoodle, you will definitely want to invest in a quality brush like the Chris Christensen Big G Slicker Brush. It’s expensive, but very necessary for keeping your Bernedoodle’s coat healthy and free of matting.

Chris Christensen – Big G Slicker Brush

F1BB Bernedoodle Price

F1BB Bernedoodles may be more expensive than other generations because they are less common. However, prices will vary widely and are more based on location, breeder reputation, and size than by their generation. In general, Bernedoodles will range in price from $2,000 up to $4,000.

F1BB Bernedoodle Picture

what is an f1bb bernedoodle
Barley is one example of an F1BB Bernedoodle. Photo courtesy of @barleygirly on Instagram.

What is an F2 Bernedoodle?

What is an F2 Bernedoodle? There are a number of parental combinations that can produce the F2 Bernedoodle generation. These are second generation Bernedoodles and can be bred using an F1 with an F1, an F1 with an F1B, an F1 with an F2, etc. However the most common breeding is between two first generation Bernedoodles creating a litter of second generation Bernedoodles.

Because it is hard to predict the traits that will be produced in F2 Bernedoodles, they are not as commonly bred as other generations. In these breedings, puppies can sometimes end up being closer to Bernese Mountain Dogs in appearance and personality. If allergies are not a concern, and you prefer the traits of the Bernese Mountain Dog, then an F2 Bernedoodle may be a good choice for you.

F2 Bernedoodle Price

F2 Bernedoodles are usually less expensive, but prices will vary widely and are more based on location, breeder reputation, and size than by their generation. In general, Bernedoodles will range in price from $2,000 up to $4,000.

F2 Bernedoodle Picture

what is an f2 bernedoodle
Mira is one example of an F2 Bernedoodle. Photo courtesy of @missmiraandmae on Instagram.

What is an F2B Bernedoodle?

What is an F2B Bernedoodle? This is the result of an F2 Bernedoodle with a Poodle. This helps take the more random DNA of the F2 Bernedoodle and adds back more Poodle traits. This will increase the chance that this generation will be non-shedding and hypoallergenic. It can also mean this generation may inherit the Poodles curly, higher-maintenance coat.  However, as they are less likely to shed, this can be a decent generation for allergy sufferers.

Please note that some breeders may refer to F2B Bernedoodles as Multigen Bernedoodles. “Multigen” is a label that can apply to any generation of Bernedoodles that are beyond an F2.

F2B Bernedoodle Price

While an F2B Bernedoodle will usually cost more than an F2 Bernedoodle, prices will vary widely and are more based on location, breeder reputation, and size than by their generation. In general, Bernedoodles will range in price from $2,000 up to $4,000.

F2B Bernedoodle Picture

what is an f2b bernedoodle
Juneau is one example of an F2B Bernedoodle. Photo courtesy of @sweetlifeofjuneau on Instagram.

What is an F2BB Bernedoodle?

What is an F2BB Bernedoodle? As we have learned above, the BB means backcrossed to a Poodle twice. So the F2BB generation is a breeding of an F1B Bernedoodle and a Poodle. This is also sometimes referred to as a Multigen Bernedoodle.

Because the F2BB Bernedoodle has more Poodle DNA, this generation has a good chance of being non-shedding and hypo allergenic. So while there are no guarantees when it comes to DNA, the F2BB is a safer bet for allergy sufferers than some of the other Bernedoodle generations.

F2BB Bernedoodle Price

As the F2BB Bernedoodles are less common than other generations, they may be more expensive. Prices will vary widely and are more based on location, breeder reputation, and size than by their generation. As a rule of thumb, Bernedoodles will range in price from $2,000 up to $4,000.

F2BB Bernedoodle Picture

what is an f2bb bernedoodle
Mocha is one example of an F2BB Bernedoodle. Photo courtesy of @mochaforthegram on Instagram.

What is an F3 Bernedoodle?

F3 Bernedoodle can be a challenge to breed and can create unpredictable results, so they are not often bred. Like the F2 Bernedoodle generation, they do not produce as consistent of puppies. F3 Bernedoodles are commonly referred to as Multigen or Multigenerational Bernedoodles.

F3 Bernedoodle Price

When it comes to F3 Bernedoodles, prices will vary widely and are more based on location, breeder reputation, and size than by their generation. Plan to spend anywhere from $2,000 up to $4,000 on your new Bernedoodle puppy.

F3 Bernedoodle Picture

Truman is one example of an F3 Bernedoodle. Photo courtesy of @thetrumannewmanshow on Instagram.

What is a Multigen Bernedoodle?

What is a Multigen Bernedoodle? Multigenerational Bernedoodles, or Multigen Bernedoodles for short, are a common way of referring to any Bernedoodle generation that is beyond an F2.  This includes F2B, F2BB, F3, and beyond.  If you ask a good Bernedoodle breeder who advertises Multigen puppies what generation they are, they should be able to tell you the specific generation.

Multigen Bernedoodle Price

Prices will vary widely and are more based on location, breeder reputation, and size than by their generation. Especially for Multigen Bernedoodles, which encompass a lot of specific generations, there is a wide price range. In general, Bernedoodles will range in price from $2,000 up to $4,000.

Multigen Bernedoodle Picture

what is a multigen bernedoodle
Copley is one example of a Multigen Bernedoodle. Photo courtesy of @copleyoncoppelia on Instagram.

F1 vs F1B Bernedoodle: Which of These Bernedoodle Generations Are Better?

The debate between an F1 vs F1B Bernedoodle is highly subjective, and really depends on what you are looking for. F1 Bernedoodles are more likely to have that classic doodle look, with a coat that is closer in texture to a Bernese Mountain Dog. The F1 also has the most genetic diversity, which can lower the chance your Bernedoodle will have to deal with genetic health issues throughout its life.

However, if someone in your household suffers from allergies, and F1B Bernedoodle is a safer bet. The puppies will have more predictable traits and they will be closer to a Poodle DNA. That means they are more likely to inherit the Poodles non-shedding, hypoallergenic coat if you are choosing between an F1 vs F1B Bernedoodle. Safer still are F1BB or F2BB Bernedoodle generations, as they are even closer to the Poodle in DNA.

F1 vs F2 Bernedoodle: Which of These Bernedoodle Generations Are Better?

Like any debate, there and pros and cons to weigh between the F1 vs F2 Bernedoodle. F1 Bernedoodles are easier to breed and have more predictable traits than F2 Bernedoodles. However, if you are looking for a Bernedoodle puppy that is closer in looks and temperament to a Bernese Mountain Dog, and you aren’t concerned about allergies, you may want to consider an F2 if you are choosing between an F1 vs F2 Bernedoodle.

F1B vs F2B Bernedoodle: Which of These Bernedoodle Generations Are Better?

If you are choosing between an F1B vs F2B Bernedoodle, you will find they are very similar, as they are both back crosses with Poodles and are good choices for mild allergy sufferers. As they are so similar, it is more important to consider the reputation of the breeder.

Breeders of the F1B vs F2B Bernedoodle generations should make sure to do genetic testing to make sure they are limiting the risk of genetic issues. Compare other factors including price, location, and feedback from families with puppies from this breeder. If all else seems equal, the F1B Bernedoodle generation offers greater hybrid vigor and genetic diversity.

What Generation Bernedoodle is Best?

It may be hard to determine what generation Bernedoodle is best for your family. The most important factor to consider is if you have allergies.  If you do, my first recommendation would be an F1BB Bernedoodle followed by the F2BB, F1B, and F2B Bernedoodle generations in that order.

If allergies are not a concern, the F1 Bernedoodle will give you that classic doodle look, while also having the greatest genetic diversity and usually the lowest price.

With that said, finding a responsible Bernedoodle breeder is the most important factor to selecting your pup. Bernedoodle generations are only as good as the breeder and the extent of the genetic testing they do. The more information they can offer about the parents of the puppies, the better. Keep in mind that the parents being “vet checked” is NOT a substitute for genetic testing.

While genetic testing helps reduce the risk of future health concerns, there are never any guarantees, so choosing a great pet insurance policy will help you care for your Bernedoodle throughout their life.

Not Sure Which Generation Your Bernedoodle Is?

What do you do if you share your life with a Bernedoodle now and you want to know what generation they are? You can reach out to the breeder, but if your dog is a rescue or if you have lost contact with the breeder, there are other ways to figure it out!

Many doodle owners choose to do a simple, mail-in dog DNA test from Embark. A quick swab of your Bernedoodle’s cheek takes only a few minutes and can tell you their ancestry, potentially locate canine relatives, and reveal health issues they may be at risk for!

Embark Breed + Health Kit

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