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Bernedoodle Lifespan: How Long Do Bernedoodles Live?

how long do bernedoodles live
Photo courtesy of @plymouth.the.bernedoodle on Instagram.

Whether you’re a current or prospective owner of this breed, you’ve probably wondered, “how long do Bernedoodles live?”

Being without our beloved dog one day is not something that’s fun to think about. However, it’s important to know roughly what the Bernedoodle life expectancy is so you can plan appropriately for their care from puppyhood to their golden years.

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So, how long do Bernedoodles live?  The average lifespan of a Bernedoodle is 12 years. This can vary significantly depending on your Bernedoodle’s size, generation, and health. For example, standard Bernedoodles live 8-12 years, mini Bernedoodles 10-14 years, and tiny (aka toy) Bernedoodles 12-16 years on average.

SizeEstimated Lifespan
Toy / Tiny Bernedoodle12-16 Years
Mini Bernedoodle10-14 Years
Standard Bernedoodle8-12 Years

In this article, we’ll discuss the factors that influence how long a Bernedoodle lives for as well as tips and tricks to help extend your dog’s life as long as possible.

Factors That Influence the Lifespan of a Bernedoodle

Making an exact prediction about how long a specific dog will live is impossible. However, we can make a ballpark estimate based on a few simple factors which heavily impact the life expectancy of a Bernedoodle…

Size of Your Dog

how big do bernedoodles get

Excluding freak accidents or sudden illnesses, size is the single biggest factor that will increase or decrease the lifespan of your Bernedoodle. As with all breeds, the larger your dog is the shorter their life expectancy will be.

Wondering why this is? Larger dogs age more quickly than smaller dogs due to additional strain on their physiological processes.

How does this impact Bernedoodles? All else being equal, mini Bernedoodles will live 4 years longer than standard Bernedoodles. Tiny Bernedoodles will live even longer, averaging 8 years more than a standard Bernedoodle.

Curious which size of Bernedoodle is best for your family? Check out our article on Bernedoodle sizes to compare them and decide for yourself!

What Generation They Are

As you already know, Bernedoodles are a cross between the Bernese Mountain Dog and the Poodle. These two breeds have drastically different lifespans.

Poodles have a fairly long lifespan. Even the largest, standard size of Poodle lives around 10-13 years. The Bernese Mountain Dog, on the other hand, only averages 8-10 years. This short lifespan is partially due to size, but also to the plethora of health issues this breed tends to experience.

F1 Bernedoodles benefit the most from “hybrid vigor.” This term refers to the health benefits of having the diverse DNA that mixed-breeds enjoy. However, backcrossed generations like the F1B or F1BB Bernedoodle benefit from having a higher DNA percentage of the longer-living breed.

Overall, having a higher percentage of the longer-living Poodle breed outweighs the additional hybrid vigor of first generations. Therefore, generations of Bernedoodles closer to the Poodle in DNA will tend to live a bit longer than an F1 Bernedoodle, which has a theoretical 50/50 split between the two breeds. However, the difference in life expectancy based on generation alone tends to be negligible in most cases.

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

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Hereditary Factors

Similarly to how a human child may take after the height of their father or the eyes of their mother, your Bernedoodle can inherit traits from both their parents.

This can be a desirable thing in the case of achieving rare coat colors like the Phantom or Sable Bernedoodle. However, it can also mean passing along certain health problems which could affect how long your Bernedoodle will live.

Reputable Bernedoodle breeders will do extensive genetic testing on the parents and select dogs from healthy bloodlines. However, even the best testing can’t guarantee a healthy dog.

Due to the large number of potential health issues a Bernedoodle can experience throughout their life, I highly recommend investing in a DNA+Health Kit from Embark. This mail-in, cheek-swab test will show you what hereditary issues your Bernedoodle has the potential to develop.

This information will help you and your veterinarian create a plan to prevent these issues or, at minimum, spot them early so treatment can begin ASAP.

Embark Breed + Health Kit

Health Problems

Bernedoodles have some of the most health issues of any doodle breed, thanks to the DNA of the Bernese Mountain Dog. To educate yourself on some of the most common ones, check out our article on Bernedoodle health problems!

While I advise every dog owner to invest in pet insurance, Bernedoodle owners should consider it even more seriously. You never want to be in the unfortunate position of having to choose your dog’s medical care based on what you can afford. With a plan from Healthy Paws, you can pay as little as 10% of the total bill.

Calculating Your Bernedoodle’s Age in Human Years

A common misconception about the age of dogs is that 1 human year is equal to 7 dog years. In reality, the answer is a bit more complex as it depends on breed and size.

To get a little more specific, you can use this table to see about how old your Bernedoodle is in dog years! This table was made using average weight data from each of the sizes of Bernedoodles. It’s a fun way to see how old your dog is compared to you!

SizeToy / Tiny BernedoodleMini BernedoodleStandard Bernedoodle
Dog AgeAge in
Human Years
Age in
Human Years
Age in
Human Years

From this table you can get a better feel for whether your Bernedoodle is a puppy, adult, or senior. Notice that the toy and mini versions of this breed age slower than the standard size.

Although some Bernedoodles act like puppies forever, they’ll only officially have that label until around 2 years old. When they’ll become a senior depends on their size. Standards reach that title around 6-7, minis around 8-9, and toys around 10-11.

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Common Signs of Aging in Your Bernedoodle

Greater Number of Health Problems

When your Bernedoodle gets close to their “golden years” they’ll likely be plagued by more health issues. Some will be minor, but others could be more life-threatening. Cancer, joint issues, and bloat could all pose a threat or at minimum affect your dog’s quality of life.

Aside from physical symptoms, look for mental symptoms of old age. Slow response times and unwillingness to do normal activities can both be signs of cognitive decline.

Have a question for a vet?  Click here to live chat instantly with a verified veterinarian!

Lower Energy

As your Bernedoodle ages, they’ll naturally need more rest. Don’t worry, as this is normal just like it is in humans. Give your senior Bernedoodle lots of time to recover and relax.

Reduction in Senses

An aging Bernedoodle can experience a reduction in smell, eyesight, and hearing. This is no different than what humans experience in their senior years.

While it’s important to keep your veterinarian updated about these changes, there are also things you can do to help accommodate your dog. They’ll appreciate a steady routine as well as giving them warning that you’re nearby before you touch or pet them.

Weight Gain or Loss

Depending on the dog, they can either gain or lose weight in their senior years. Keep a close eye on your Bernedoodle’s weight so it doesn’t reach unhealthy levels.

Talk with your veterinarian about portion control and check out our article here to see if your Bernedoodle is getting the right amount of exercise!

Have a question for a vet?  Click here to live chat instantly with a verified veterinarian!

Reduced Bladder Control

You’ve likely already dealt with enough accidents while potty training your Bernedoodle as a puppy. However, when they’re older they may start having less control over their bladder again.

The most important thing to remember is to have patience—they can’t help it. Never punish them as the accident likely is causing them distress already since they know it’s against the rules.

Consider using potty pads or taking your Bernedoodle out for more potty breaks throughout the day as they get older.

Photo courtesy of @iambentleybernedoodle on Instagram.

Tips for Extending Your Bernedoodle’s Life Expectancy

Invest in a Pet Insurance Policy

Half a million pets in the U.S. alone are euthanized each year just because their owners can’t afford treatment. Nobody thinks this will happen to them…until it does.

Protect your Bernedoodle’s health and your finances by investing in pet insurance as early in your dog’s life as possible. I personally use Healthy Paws, as they have a great reputation amongst doodle owners.

With a pet insurance plan, you can have up to 90% of your vet bills covered. That’s huge, especially considering how many health issues in Bernedoodles can cost thousands of dollars to treat!

Keep Their Weight Under Control

Just like with humans, obesity can lead to a lot of related diseases in dogs. If your dog is gaining weight, talk to your vet ASAP to work on weight management.

As simple as it sounds, proper diet and exercise will extend your Bernedoodle’s lifespan significantly!

Don’t Let Your Dog Get Loose

If your Bernedoodle gets lost, the odds of them returning home alive are less than 25%. That’s even scarier when you consider that 1 in 3 pets will go missing in their lifetime.

To help you keep better track of your Bernedoodle and avoid becoming part of that unfortunate statistic, I recommend getting a GPS tracking collar like the one I have from Fi.

I conducted a simple experiment where I “lost” my doodle on purpose to see the difference this device makes in finding him. Check out the full video to see how powerful this smart collar is!

Fi GPS Smart Collar for Dogs

Use the promo code POPULARDOODLE25 to get $25 off your new Fi collar!

Have a Good Oral Hygiene Routine 

This is by far the most overlooked aspect of canine health and life expectancy. Improving oral hygiene can fend off potential illnesses and increase your Bernedoodle’s lifespan.

Simple things like brushing your pup’s teeth and giving them a dental treat here and there make a world of difference over time.

Visit Your Veterinarian for Regular Checkups

Getting yearly checkups and staying up to date with your Bernedoodle’s vaccinations are important. These visits will help you spot and treat any potential health issues early which can sometimes make a difference between life and death.

Have a question for a vet?  Click here to live chat instantly with a verified veterinarian!

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