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Do Bernedoodles Like to Swim?

Bernedoodles are stealing the spotlight as one of the coolest mixed breeds around! With their quirky curls and cuddly personalities, it’s no wonder they’re a hit, especially for those scouting for Bernedoodle puppies available in PA.

But here’s a fun question that pops up quite a bit: Do Bernedoodles like water? The answer is yes!

Let’s dive into what makes these fluffy friends tick and if your potential family pet is likely to be your next swimming buddy!

Key Takeaways

  • Bernedoodles often enjoy the water, inheriting their affinity for swimming from their Poodle lineage.

  • Introducing Bernedoodles to water at a young age and using positive reinforcement can help them develop a love for swimming.

  • Ensuring water activities are fun and stress-free, such as using floating toys and joining in, encourages Bernedoodles to enjoy swimming.

A Bernedoodle's Love of Water

Bernedoodle puppies swimming in the lake

When it comes to splashing around, Bernedoodles might just surprise you with their natural affinity for water, a trait they inherit from their Poodle parent. Poodles aren't just fancy show dogs; they were originally bred as water retrievers, built to dive right into the lake and fetch whatever fell in.

The genetic love for the water of Poodles often trickles down to their Bernedoodle offspring, making them potential lovers of ponds, pools, and puddles alike!

However, it's not all about the Poodle. The other half of Bernedoodles comes from Bernese Mountain Dogs, a breed more accustomed to mountain trails than laps in a lake. The traits of the Bernese Mountain Dog parent might temper their eagerness to swim.

While many Bernedoodles inherit the Poodle's water-friendly genes, some may exhibit a more reserved attitude towards water, reflective of their Bernese heritage.

Given these mixed genetic signals, whether Bernedoodles like to swim can vary. But, starting them young and introducing them to water in a positive, fun way can make all the difference.

Starting 'em Young

Just like early socialization with other dogs can make a Bernedoodle puppy more confident and friendly, introducing them to water at a young age can desensitize them to any initial hesitancy and help foster a love for swimming.

Early introduction is necessary, especially when you consider the mixed heritage of these pups—combining traits from the water-loving Poodle with the more reserved Bernese Mountain Dog.

Water and the Bernedoodle puppy

When Bernedoodles are introduced to water as puppies, it becomes a normal part of their environment. This familiarity helps prevent the development of fear and anxiety that can occur if their first exposure to water is delayed until later in life.

For mini Bernedoodles, tiny Bernedoodles, or even the standard varieties, the process is the same: start small with shallow waters like kiddie pools and gradually increase their exposure in a fun and controlled manner.

Using positive reinforcement during these early water encounters, such as treats and playful interaction, can also enhance their comfort and enjoyment. Most Bernedoodles, with their intelligent and adaptable nature, can learn to associate water with positive experiences, making them more likely to enjoy swimming as they grow into adulthood.

This early exposure not only sets the stage for enjoyable water-related activities but also helps in developing a well-rounded, family-friendly dog that's confident in a variety of settings.

Introducing Your Bernedoodle Pup to Water

A little Bernedoodle pup being taught the command sit

Introducing your Bernedoodle to water involves more than just splashing around. Here are some structured steps to ensure a positive and safe water experience:

Basic training

Before you even get near the water, make sure your Bernedoodle puppy has mastered basic commands like sit, stay, and come. This basic obedience is crucial for safety and control, especially near bodies of water.

Making sure your puppy is well-trained will help manage their movements and keep them close, even when they’re tempted to dash off into deeper waters.

Use an example

Bernedoodles, like most dogs, learn a lot from observation. Having your pup watch other dogs or even family members enjoying the water can pique their interest and demonstrate that water is a fun and safe place to be. This can be particularly effective for hesitant pups or those not naturally inclined to take a dip.

Go slowly

Start with very shallow water, such as a kiddie pool or a calm, shallow part of a lake. Let your Bernedoodle puppy get their paws wet and gradually get used to the sensation of water. This can prevent the shock and fear that might come from more abrupt introductions like jumping off a dock or being led into deeper water too soon.

Don’t push!

It’s important to let your Bernedoodle set the pace. If they seem nervous or reluctant, don’t force them into the water. Instead, give them time to observe and explore on their own terms.

Some Bernedoodles may take to water quickly, while others might need more time and encouragement. Pushing them too fast can lead to a long-lasting aversion, not just to swimming but to water in general.

Keep it Fun!

A Bernedoodle puppy playing with a ball in the pool

Making water activities a blast for your Bernedoodle is all about creativity and patience. Here’s how you can turn splash time into playtime, ensuring it's both fun and stress-free:

Interactive toys

Bring along floating toys, such as rubber ducks or water balls, that are specifically designed for water play. These toys can be thrown into the water for your Bernedoodle to retrieve, providing both physical exercise and mental stimulation.

For puppies or timid swimmers, start with shallow water tosses and gradually increase the distance as their confidence grows.

Games in the water

Engage in games like "fetch" or "find the treat" in the water to make the experience more enjoyable. You can use floating toys or safe, water-proof treats to encourage your Bernedoodle to enter the water and search around. This not only makes the water fun but also rewards them for being brave and adventurous.

Join in the fun

Dogs often mirror their owner's emotions and actions, so if they see you enjoying the water, they're more likely to feel at ease and join in.

Wading into the water with your Bernedoodle or swimming alongside them can provide reassurance and strengthen the bond between you.

Positive reinforcement

Always use positive reinforcement when your Bernedoodle successfully interacts with water. Praise, treats, and affection are great ways to reinforce their good behavior and make them associate water with positive outcomes.

Keep sessions short

Initially, keep the water sessions short and sweet to avoid overwhelming your furry friend. Gradually increase the time spent in the water as they become more comfortable and look forward to it as a regular part of their routine.

Safety first

Always supervise your Bernedoodle during water play, especially in natural bodies of water where currents and underwater hazards can pose a risk.

Consider a dog life jacket for extra safety, especially in deeper water or if your dog is still getting used to swimming.

What if Your Bernedoodle Doesn't Like Water?

While many Bernedoodles may inherit their Poodle parent's love for water, it's not a universal trait. If your Bernedoodle seems less than enthusiastic about getting their paws wet, no worries! There are plenty of other activities that can keep them engaged and happy.

Interactive play on land

Engage your Bernedoodle in land-based games like fetch, frisbee, or tug-of-war. These activities provide great exercise and mental stimulation without the need for water.

Agility training

Bernedoodles are known for their intelligence and agility. Setting up an agility course in your backyard or joining a local class can be a fun way to bond with your pup and keep them physically active.

Hiking and Walking: Take advantage of your Bernedoodle's love for adventure by exploring new trails or parks. Walking and hiking are great ways to stimulate their mind with new sights, sounds, and smells.

Puzzle toys

Offer mental stimulation through puzzle toys that challenge them to solve problems to receive treats. This can keep their mind sharp and engaged, especially on days when outdoor activities might be limited.


Since Bernedoodles generally enjoy the company of other dogs, arranging playdates with other friendly dogs can provide socialization and allow them to play in a comfortable environment that doesn't involve water.

Training sessions

Regular, short training sessions using positive reinforcement can be both fun and rewarding. Teach your Bernedoodle new tricks or reinforce basic commands to keep their training up to date.

Sniffari walks

Allow your Bernedoodle to take the lead on walks, exploring and sniffing at their own pace. This "sniffari" provides sensory stimulation and a sense of control, which can be incredibly satisfying for dogs.


So, do Bernedoodles love to splash around? Many do, thanks to their Poodle heritage, but remember—every Bernedoodle is a unique furball! Whether your fluffy friend is a dive-right-in type or prefers to keep their paws dry, the key is to discover what floats their boat.

Take the time to explore and engage in a variety of activities that cater to their individual quirks and preferences. With a bit of patience and a lot of love, you’ll find the perfect way to make every day a blast, in or out of the water.

Dive into the adventure of understanding your Bernedoodle, and who knows? You might just have a water-loving buddy by your side, ready for the next swim—or a cozy companion happy to watch from the sidelines!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Bernedoodles good with water?

Many Bernedoodles inherit their Poodle parent's love for water, making them generally good with water. They tend to enjoy activities like swimming, thanks to the Poodle's historical role as a water retriever. However, like all traits, an affinity for water can vary from dog to dog. Not all Bernedoodles will like to swim from the get-go, but they can be taught.

What makes Bernedoodles happy?

Bernedoodles thrive on interaction and affection from their family members. They are highly social and enjoy engaging in activities with their humans, whether it's a game of fetch, a hike, or cuddling on the couch. Regular exercise and mental stimulation through training or puzzle toys also contribute significantly to their happiness.

What are Bernedoodles prone to?

As a mixed breed, Bernedoodles are generally healthier than their purebred counterparts but can inherit some health issues from both the Bernese Mountain Dog and the Poodle. These may include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, certain skin issues, and eye problems.

Regular check-ups with a vet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help manage and prevent some of these issues.

Do Bernedoodles bark a lot?

Bernedoodles are not known for being excessive barkers. However, like any dog, they may bark to alert their owners of something unusual or express excitement. Proper training and socialization can help manage and minimize unnecessary barking.


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