Do Bernedoodles Swim?

Taking a puppy for a swim in a Pool or to the beach can be a tremendously fun experience.

The amazing Poodle mix breed Bernedoodle descends from Poodles and the Bernese Mountain Dog.

People often wonder do Bernedoodles swim? And do Bernedoodles like water?

I asked a group of eight Bernedoodle owners to find out!

Bernedoodles are such an amazing Oodle dog! Their distinctive tri-colour coat (Jet Black, Clear White, Rust) is so striking.
Photo by the insanely talented @chrismichel on Twitter, reproduced with permission.

The Bernedoodle 101

What is a Bernedoodle? It is an amazing crossbreed of a Poodle and a Bernese Mountain Dog. An Australian Bernedoodle is a different breed, it is a cross between an Australian Labradoodle and a Berner dog.

10 Fast Bernedoodles facts.

The Bernedoodle Owner Survey Results are in: Do Bernedoodles Swim?

Bernedoodles are one of the most popular Poodle mix dog breeds. (List of the most popular Poodle Mix breeds in 2020 according to real data)

I wanted to find out: Do Bernedoodles swim? so we asked 8 Bernedoodle owners for their experience.

When asked: Does your Bernedoodle swim?

  • 8 of 8 (100%) said their Bernedoodle can swim. 7 of 8 (87.5)  said their Bernedoodle likes to swim or at least plays in shallow water.

I then asked the same group if their Bernedoodles likes to swim and this is where it got interesting.

The exact question: Does your Bernedoodle like to swim?

do bernedoodles swim
So we know now that Bernedoodles can swim, but do they actually enjoy swimming?
  • 1 of 8 told me that their fully grown Bernedooodle really dislikes going in the water. It can swim but chooses to avoid.

“Benny can swim but really hates the water. We tried gradually introducing him but he didn’t like it. We go to the lake alot and he is happier just sitting on the shore.”


  • 6 of 8 told me that their Bernedoodle likes shallow water/playing in the shallows of the beach

“Likes the beach but doesn’t like fast moving waves – barks at them”


“Loves fetching balls in and out of the water.”


  • 1 of 8 told me that their Bernedoodle (only just one year old) is obsessed with swimming in their background pool. Part dog part fish!

“It’s crazy he would swim with the kids all day if he had the chance. He is so addicted I am worried about winter!”


Bernedoodles have an interesting history to overcome in order to enjoy swimming.

They are a Poodle mix crossbreed (see list of Poodle mixes) between a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Poodle.

Poodles usually love swimming. In fact the origin of the name Poodle is German – and is Pudelhund  or Pudel. This translates to puddle or “splash around” (German Dictionary).

Poodles were water retrievers used for duck hunting. There is a historic predisposition for enjoying being around water (American Kennel Club). Their physique and sprightly bodies make swimming a breeze.

Bernese Mountain Dogs on the other hand are Swiss mountain dogs.They are known for being giant, and loving the snow.

Super large Bernese Mountain Dogs come from the mountains and snow. When querying do Bernedoodles swim – the genetics of the BMD cast some doubt.

They are not well known for their love of water. Many owners find their Bernese Mountain Dogs (Berners) do end up liking the water, but it is not a natural fit with their origin.

Note from the author: Every dog is individual though! I was at a off-leash beach recently and saw a full size Berner frolicking in the waves! (chasing a much smaller dog around actually). The owner said his BMD has always enjoyed the waves.


Taking Your Bernedoodle To The Beach

If you live near the ocean it can be pretty important to introduce your Bernedoodle beach swimming. It is a fun activity that can be a treat for the dog – or even a part of weekly life during summer.

If you live very close to the beach or frequent it, training your Bernedoodle not to be scared of the water and ocean waves is important for puppy safety.

There are plenty of things you need to know before taking your puppy to the beach. They almost all revolve around safety! (Here is a comprehensive article about things to know before taking your puppy to the beach)

For Bernedoodles the biggest issue with beach visits actually relates to their amazing coat. It is common for sand to get caught in the deepest layers of their coat. This can rub against the skin causing injury or bleeding! It typically is worst when trapped beneath a collar or harness.

NOTE: Be sure to clean the ears really well after swimming to stop debris from getting caught. Find out more in this how to clean Poodle Mix breeds ears guide.

Do Bernedoodles Swim? Yes! But Are There Better Swimmers?

Like most dogs, Bernedoodles can swim.

There is no guarantee that your Bernedoodle will actively seek out the water or enjoy swimming in the ocean.

If you are deciding between a Bernedoodle and another breed of dog to join your family – you cannot guarantee it will enjoy swimming. Some people decide for a Goldendoodle over a Bernedoodle if active swimming is definitely part of their life.

Must Do: After Beach Swims with a Bernedoodle

  1. Rinse as soon as possible after a beach visit. Cool water to remove salt water and sand.
  2. When home, wash again using water and a gentle puppy or dog shampoo. Natural is usually better, and you don’t need to buy the most expensive brand to get a great Poodle Mix shampoo.
  3. Use a brush to thoroughly comb areas where there may be knotting trapping sand
    • The ares near the collar or harness are most prone to sand trap

There is a comprehensive guide about taking your puppy to the beach here.

Or if you want to learn more about Bernedoodles:

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