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Straight Hair Bernedoodle: Is a Flat Coat Bad?

straight haired bernedoodles

Sit back, close your eyes, and imagine a Bernedoodle in your mind.  What do they look like?  If you’re like most people, you’re probably thinking of a fluffy dog with a curly coat similar to that of a teddy bear.

While that mental image is often accurate, did you know that Bernedoodles can come in a wide variety of coat colors and textures?  One type we’ll talk about today is the straight hair Bernedoodle.

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Also known as flat coat Bernedoodles, these dogs can sometimes be confused for purebred Bernese Mountain Dogs based on their appearance.  Breeders will often refer to them as having an “improper” coat, which can add to the confusion and wariness of prospective owners.

So, is there anything wrong with this coat texture?  Or, would a straight hair Bernedoodle make a great fit in your family?  Keep reading to learn all the pros and cons!

Can Bernedoodles Have Straight Hair?

Although most Bernedoodles have curly hair, many Bernedoodles have straight hair instead!

Being a mixed breed, Bernedoodles share DNA from both the Poodle and the Bernese Mountain Dog.  Naturally, some puppies will inherit more traits from one parent breed and some will inherit more from the other.

Even from the same litter of Bernedoodles, some puppies may have flat coats similar to that of the Bernese Mountain Dog while others may have curly coats that more closely resemble the Poodle.  Genetics can truly be a grab bag!

Photo courtesy of @bennie_and.the.jets on Instagram.

Are Bernedoodles Always Curly?

Bernedoodles can have curly hair, straight hair, or even an in-between, wavy coat!

That being said, breeders often strive to produce as many curly haired puppies as possible.  This is because curly-haired Bernedoodles are more likely to shed less and be allergy-friendly.

This preference by breeders explains why you see many more curly Bernedoodles than those with flat coats.

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Why Does My Bernedoodle Have Straight Hair?

Straight hair is one of the traits a Bernedoodle puppy can inherit from their Bernese Mountain Dog lineage.  Bernedoodles with a flat coat lack the “Cu Locus” (KRT71) gene that can be passed on from the Poodle side of this mix.

While there is absolutely nothing wrong with flat coat Bernedoodles, puppies with curly coats tend to be more popular.  Many people want the appearance and personality traits of a Bernese Mountain Dog with the allergy-friendly coat of the Poodle.

As such, breeders typically strive for their puppies to inherit a curly coat.  Reputable breeders will perform extensive genetic testing and familiarize themselves with the lineage of the parents to give them the best chance at this.

Read More: How to Recognize a Responsible Doodle Breeder (and Avoid Puppy Mills!)

Even so, genetics are impossible to predict with 100% accuracy, so there’s no way a breeder can guarantee a litter of puppies will have particular traits like a curly or straight coat.  However, there are different generations to choose from which can increase or decrease your odds of having a flat coat Bernedoodle.

Let’s take a look at generations in more detail and how they may influence the texture of your puppy’s coat!

straight coat bernedoodle
Photo courtesy of @superdogmoose on Instagram.

Which Generation of Bernedoodle Has a Flat Coat?

Before a puppy is born, the best indicator of whether a they’ll have a flat coat or not is their generation.

Let’s start with the basics—what are generations?  Put simply, a Bernedoodle’s generation describes it’s lineage and how close in DNA it is to a purebred Poodle or Bernese Mountain Dog.

If you’re still confused, don’t worry!  Check out this article that explains everything you need to know about Bernedoodle generations!

What you should know for now is that the more Bernese Mountain Dog DNA your puppy has, the more likely they are to have straight hair.

In the table below you’ll see the theoretical DNA splits for each generation…

bernedoodle generations chart

If you’d like a straight hair Bernedoodle, your best bet are the F1 and F2 generations, both of which have about 50% Bernese Mountain Dog DNA.  If you’re trying to avoid your new puppy having a flat coat, the safest generations are F1BB or F2BB both of which are dominated by Poodle DNA.

Very rarely, you’ll find “Reverse F1B Bernedoodles” where breeders pair an F1 Bernedoodle back to a Bernese Mountain Dog instead of the Poodle.  This is extremely uncommon, however.

Are Straight Hair Bernedoodles Hypoallergenic?

While no Bernedoodles are guaranteed to be completely hypoallergenic, straight haired Bernedoodles are far more likely to bother allergy sufferers than their curly haired counterparts.

Flat coat Bernedoodles may be more allergy-friendly than a purebred Bernese Mountain Dog, but that’s not a certainty.

If your goal is to bring home a Bernedoodle puppy that is the most allergy-friendly possible, you’ll want to consider the F1BB, F2BB, F1B, and F2B generations in that order.  As you can see in the table we discussed earlier, these generations have the lowest theoretical percentage of Bernese Mountain Dog DNA.

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Straight Hair Bernedoodle Shedding

Since dog allergies and shedding tend to go hand-in-hand, it’ll be no surprise to learn that straight hair Bernedoodles will likely shed at least moderately.  While this shedding might not be as bad as a purebred Bernese Mountain Dog, it will probably still be a significant amount.

While allergy-sufferers may find shedding to be a complete deal-breaker, for those without allergies it doesn’t have to be a major annoyance!  With the right equipment, it’s definitely possible to manage shedding and make it much more tolerable!

  • Chris Christensen Big G Slicker Brush: Brushing your dog regularly can help prevent hair from getting all over your house. This brush is the top of its class.  Once you switch from a generic brush to the Big G, I promise you’ll never want to go back.  It’s amazing at preventing matting and tangles.

Chris Christensen Big G Dog Slicker Brush

  • FURminator De-Shedding Tool: This deshedding tool is gentle on your dog’s coat while helping to get all that loose fur without making a mess.
  • Burt’s Bees Shed Control Shampoo: There are plenty of shampoos that are designed to reduce shedding, but what I like about this brand is that it’s completely natural.  That means there aren’t harsh chemicals in it which can irritate the sensitive skin of some Bernedoodles.

Finally, the most underrated tool of them all for owners of Bernedoodles that shed is a vacuum.  Not just any vacuum, but one that was designed specifically to handle pet hair.  These are a few great choices to consider…

Flat Coat Bernedoodle Grooming

One category where flat coat Bernedoodles have a distinct advantage is grooming.  Since they have straight hair and not a tight, curly coat, they’re far less susceptible to matting.

Not only will brushing need to be less frequent but so will haircuts.  Since Bernedoodles with straight hair will likely shed, this helps lessen the need for grooming appointments since long hair falls out instead of becoming a matted, tangled mess.  

This doesn’t mean you can completely skip the grooming salon altogether though.  Even straight hair Bernedoodles will still sometimes need haircuts and they’ll definitely need regular bathing, nail trimming, and teeth brushing as well!

Related: Short Bernedoodle Haircut Ideas: 20 Before and After Photos!

Photo courtesy of @livyloo_the_bernedoo on Instagram.

Flat Coat Bernedoodle Puppies: Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Cost: Bernedoodles with flat coats are typically found in litters of F1 or F2 Bernedoodles.  These generations tend to have a lower price tag than backcrossed generations with more allergy-friendly coats.  That means your straight haired Bernedoodle could be a bargain, at least relatively speaking.
  • Less Competition for Litter Picks: Since there is typically a lower demand for Poodle mixes with straight hair, you don’t necessarily need to worry about having the first pick of the litter.  These puppies are often passed up and may be available to those with lower picks or on a breeder’s waitlist.
  • Less Daily Grooming: Straight hair is easier to keep free of matting and you can get away with brushing slightly less frequently.
  • Less Frequent Haircuts: There are many breeds of dog that shed so much that they never need haircuts.  A flat coat Bernedoodle probably will still need regular grooming, just less frequently than a curly-haired, non-shedding dog would.  By taking less frequent trips to the groomer, you can save many hundreds of dollars over the lifespan of your Bernedoodle.
  • Cute Bernese Mountain Dog Appearance: Who doesn’t love the adorable looks of the Bernese Mountain Dog?

Cons

  • Shedding: When you have a Bernedoodle with an “improper” coat, expect a decent amount of shedding.  While this isn’t the end of the world, it can be an inconvenience at times.
  • Allergies: For those who have dog allergies, you’ll definitely want to avoid Bernedoodles with straight hair.  Those with curlier coats tend to be more allergy-friendly.
  • No Teddy Bear Poodle Appearance: If you love the classic “doodle” appearance that resembles a teddy bear, you’ll want to opt for a wavy or curly coated Bernedoodle.
Photo courtesy of @seamuswantsawalk on Instagram.

What Coat Will My Bernedoodle Puppy Have?

The “puppy coat” of your Bernedoodle may look significantly different than their full-grown adult coat.  With that being said, it’s possible to predict whether a puppy’s coat will be curly or straight by looking for “furnishings.”

Furnishings are the hair on a Bernedoodle’s mustache and eyebrows that give them a “scruffy,” teddy bear appearance.  You can spot them by looking at the bridge of a Bernedoodle’s nose.

Below you’ll see an example of a doodle that has furnishings compared to one without.

labradoodle furnishings example
Photo courtesy of @rey_thelabradoodle_skywalker on Instagram.

Will a Bernedoodle Puppy Coat Change?

Bernedoodles are born with a completely different coat than they’ll have as an adult.  Their puppy coat is soft and thin while their adult coat will be more like hair, fleece, or wool.

Bernedoodles shed their puppy coat and start growing in their adult coat around 6 months of age.

While their adult coat can be a different texture, you shouldn’t expect it to shed significantly more or less than their puppy coat.  Drastic changes in how much your Bernedoodle sheds can be the result of a health issue.

Final Thoughts

Many people mistakenly believe that straight coat Bernedoodles have something wrong with them.  That’s not true, it’s just the way genetics work!

While those with allergies should probably steer clear, flat coat Bernedoodles may be a great choice depending on what you prioritize about your future dog!

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