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Do Bernedoodles Like To Swim?

Do Bernedoodles Like To Swim?

You might be wondering if your Bernedoodle would love a dip in the pool. But, do Bernedoodles like to swim? Do you have to treat them any different than other dogs that have taken a dip in the lake or family pool? We have to go into the background of the parents, a Bernese Mountain Dog and Poodle. Then, we will take a look at the Bernedoodle and how to treat them differently. 

Bernese Mountain Dogs And Water

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A Bernese Mountain Dog typically does not enjoy the water as other breeds naturally do. They were originally bred in the Swiss mountains where it is cold, snowy, and no significant bodies of water besides smaller ponds and creeks. They do not have the instinct to swim like other dogs of similar size and weight, like the Newfoundland. 

Each dog is different and has their own unique personalities, but with Bernese Mountain Dogs, they generally have to be trained at a young age to swim and enjoy the water. It is not uncommon to see a Bernese wadding in ankle-deep shallows, but very rare to see one jump headfirst into the pool like a Golden Retriever. 

So to answer this question, Do Bernedoodles like to swim? Even with training at a young age, it is never a guarantee that the Bernese will ever enjoy swimming, or even learn how to. They much prefer to be inside during hot weather. Snow, on the other hand, is different. They would gladly make a few snow angels with you over swimming in a lake. 

Poodles And Water

The name “Poodle” comes from the German term for “to splash.” Poodles originated in Germany as a water retrieving hunting dog. Poodles are natural-born swimmers by genetics. 

With webbed toes and a water-resistant coat, nothing is stopping a Poodle from taking a plunge into any body of water. The original “Poodle cut” also has roots in helping the Poodle to swim faster. The tufts of hair strategically placed all over the body kept areas of the body sensitive to cold warm in colder water. It is rare to come across a Poodle who doesn’t gravitate towards water. 

Do Bernedoodles Like To Swim?

With a combination of both parents differing views on water, your Bernedoodle could go either way. Some Bernedoodles are more like their Bernese Mountain Dog ancestry and avoid water. Then others seem drawn to it like their Poodle ancestry. With mixed breeds, there can not be a breed standard on what to expect, though it seems that most Bernedoodles love the water after being taught to swim. 

There are a few things you can do to help train your dog to love the water and to swim. 

  • Start YoungIf you would like your dog to love the water in the future, then it’s best to start as a pup. Playing in the bathtub during winter, or in a small kiddie pool during the summer for smaller pups could get them exposure when they are too small to swim. Frequent exposure will give your Bernedoodle better chances at loving water.
  • Start Small – Introducing water can be scary for the first few times. You would never want your dog’s first encounter with water to be diving right into the ocean. Take baby steps until you can tell if your dog will take to the water well. Starting with a shallow pool, or slow-moving creek is a good starting point.
  • Don’t Force ItIf your Bernedoodle does not like swimming, do not try to force them to. You can not force a dog to swim if he does not like it. Forcing your Bernedoodle to swim will only cause aggression that could make bath time a trigger. You will soon answer this question: Do Bernedoodles like to swim?
  • Increase Exposure – Once your dog has gotten a taste of what it’s like, gradually bring him into the deeper end and extend the amount of time spent in the water. With small increments of exposure, your Bernedoodle will love swimming in no time.
  • Talk To Your BreederIf water is a big part of your lifestyle, talking to your breeder can give you a better idea of what to expect. They would know if the parents loved the water and if the previous litters loved the water as well. A positive water history will increase your chances of having a Bernedoodle that loves the water.
  • Give Praise And TreatsBernedoodles love to make their owners happy. Giving them praise and a reward for doing something that they are unsure about will likely get them to do it again.
  • Show By ExampleHave them watch another dog first, especially if your Bernedoodle has never been around the water before. Watching older dogs in the household that they know and trust can get them to warm up to the idea of swimming faster. If you have no other dogs, take them to a dog beach. They will love to play with the others and quickly trust them for water play.
  • Play GamesBernedoodles are fun and playful dogs. Use this to your advantage with games and toys that your dog can’t resist. This is a sure-fire way of getting them to experience new things with enthusiasm.
  • Be Patient Bernedoodles can be a little stubborn at times. Being patient and calm will help your Bernedoodle know that he is ok. Yelling and force will only make him hate water. Just keep trying and be patient.
  • Take Breaks – You should make sure to take a break and play another fun game, particularly, if your dog is having a hard time adjusting to the water or seems uncertain. After they have seemed to calm down or forgotten about the water, try again slowly. Breaks are also useful if they are taking well to water, as it will provide their muscles a break until they have strengthened them.


When bringing any dog into the water, safety is always essential. To answer this question, Do Bernedoodles like to swim? No matter how well your dog can swim, or how experienced your dog may be, follow these important safety tips.

  • can bernedoodles swimLife jackets – Dog life jackets are essential for new and experienced swimmers. Especially in larger lakes and oceans where their feet can not touch the ground.
  • Cold Waters – Be mindful of colder waters and try to avoid it when possible. It does not take long for cold water to cause hypothermia.
  • Keep Ears Dry – Most importantly, drying out your dog’s ears thoroughly will help prevent infections and swimmers ear. You can buy wax plugs that keep water from entering the ear canal that mold to any ear shape. You can find these in any local pharmacy. When finished swimming, always dry the ear out completely.
  • InSight – Never let your dog swim unattended no matter how well they seem to swim.
  • After Water Care – Once your Bernedoodle has found the joys of your family pool, it might be hard to keep her out of it! You might be wondering about how to care for their dense coats after water play to keep it matt free and healthy.
  • Rinse-Off – After swimming in any body of water, make sure to rinse off your Bernedoodle thoroughly. This is to get dirt or chemicals out of their hair.
  • Microfiber Towels – These towels are great for the curly and wavy coats of a Bernedoodle. It will dry them fast without causing frizz and damage to their hair follicles. Microfiber is super absorbent, and you will be able to get them mostly dry using just one towel.
  • High-Velocity Dryer – If your Bernedoodle has a longer coat, therefore, you might want to invest in a professional-grade high-velocity dryer. These dryers cut your drying time by half. They get deep down into the fur, unlike a normal hairdryer. Drying all the way to the skin is especially important because if the water is left unable to dry on the skin because it can cause yeast infections.
  • Ear Drying Drops – Because these drops will help clean and dry up any water left in floppy ears. This will prevent infection and yeast from growing with repeated exposure to water.
  • Slicker Brush – You will want to use a slicker brush to de-matt after your Bernedoodle is dried. If this step is skipped, your Bernedoodle will start to matt close to the skin and will need to be shaved down to relieve him.
  • Conditioner – Using a spray conditioner will help keep their coats nice and soft, especially, if your dog has been swimming in the ocean or treated water of any kind  This is the equivalent of us using aloe after being in the sun all day. It helps to protect and restore moisture to the hair follicle after prolonged water exposure.
  • Shave Down – It might be best to keep them shaved short for the summer, especially, if you plan to be in the water a lot with your dog. It will make swimming easier for them, and grooming more manageable for you.

In Conclusion:

Bernedoodles all have unique personalities. Some love the water and swimming as much as a fish, while others don’t care for it as much. With these tips, you can train your Bernedoodle to love the water as much as you. 

Other Bernedoodle articles

  1. How Long Do Mini Bernedoodles Live?
  2. How Much Do Bernedoodles Cost?
  3. When Do Bernedoodles Stop Growing?
  4. How Big Do Bernedoodles Get?
  5. Do Bernedoodles Shed?

Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Doodle Board!!

Do Bernedoodles like to go swimming?

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