Looking at BernedoodleLooking at breeder websites, you might have come across odd terms like F1 or F2. What do these numbers mean? These terms tell you what generation your Bernedoodle is. So an F1 generation is the first cross of Bernedoodles, and F2 is the second. With multiple generations, you might be wondering what Bernedoodle generation should I buy? Let’s take a look at why each one will make a great addition to your family.
F1 Bernedoodle Generations
The F1 generation is the first cross between the Poodle and Bernese Mountain Dog. This 50/50 mix is the most common of all the generations. Most breeders only breed F1 generations of AKC registered parents. That is because they are predictable in temperament, size, and coat type. And you can trace the linage back generations to ensure only the healthiest of puppies.
F1 generations are a favorite because their hair is predictable. Most Bernedoodles of this generation will have a hypoallergenic wavy to curly coat. The F1 Bernedoodle generations are the ones that most people visualize when they think of Bernedoodles. They all have the iconic brown, black, and white markings. If you want the signature Bernedoodle look, this is the generation for you.
This generation also comes in multiple sizes. The standard Bernedoodle gets as big as 90 pounds. But an F1 Mini Bernedoodle will grow up to be 50-60 pounds. You might be wondering how a mini is even possible in the first generation-First-generation Bernedoodles through artificial insemination. A female Bernese Mountain Dog is inseminated with a Toy or Mini Poodle male. These smaller breeds are perfect for those who don’t have space for giant breeds.
F1B Bernedoodle Generations
When you breed an F1 Bernedoodle back to a purebred Poodle, you get the F1B generation. The purpose of F1B Bernedoodles is to make a more hypoallergenic generation. Since this cross is 25% Bernese Mountain Dog and 75% Poodle, the puppies have a curlier coat and won’t shed. They even produce lower amounts of dander than F1 Bernedoodles.
One advantage of the F1B Bernedoodle is that they come in many more colors than the F1 generation. Another advantage is that you can get even smaller mini Doodles with an F1B cross. An F1B mini Bernedoodle is a cross of the F1 Mini Bernedoodle and a Toy Poodle. They only get 25-50 pounds depending on the size of the parents.
But they also come in standard sizes that weigh 60-75 pounds. This generation has a slimmer build compared to the F1 generation. So you can have a larger dog that isn’t overbearing or bulky.
There is also a risk you take with F1B generations. They come with an increased risk of all the common health conditions Poodles are prone to. Genetic testing is essential to eliminate epilepsy, eye disease, joint problems, and skin conditions.
Reverse F1B Bernedoodle Generations
Another cross is breeding F1 Bernedoodles back to the Bernese Mountain Dog, called a reverse F1B Bernedoodle. These crosses are not very common. But they are an excellent option for those who love the temperament and size of the Bernese. The only downside to this cross is that there is a slim chance that the puppy will have a hypoallergenic coat.
Some breeders might claim that they all still have a hypoallergenic coat. But since this generation is 75% Bernese Mountain Dog, there is no way to guarantee this. No one can be certain that the only Poodle genes passed down are the low-shedding coats. So don’t be fooled, and walk away from any breeder with these false claims.
F2 Bernedoodle Generations
Breeding two F1 Bernedoodles together gives you the F2 generation. These puppies are still a 50/50 mix and hold the same temperaments as first generations. But the most significant difference between the F1 and F2 generation is their unpredictable coat.
In any litter of the F2 generation, you can get any combination of coat types. Typically curlier coats are the most hypoallergenic. But don’t be surprised if you get a curly F2 that still sheds. Genetics are a funny thing and doesn’t always play out the way we want them to.
But the good part about this generation is that you can breed for smaller dogs in many colors. Every litter in the F2 generation is like a little puppy rainbow. And while there are no breed standards for Tiny or Micro Bernedoodles, some breeders are making them a possibility.
F3 Bernedoodle Generations And Higher
F3 Bernedoodle generations are not commonplace. An F3 generation is a result of breeding two F2 Bernedoodles together. Most people label any generation above an F2 as “multi-generational.”
No reputable breeder will intentionally breed an F3 Bernedoodle or higher. That is because any generation above an F2 is unpredictable and could have negative characteristics. Everything from coat type to size to temperaments has no guarantee with these dogs. And when you combine this with an increased chance for genetic defects, you can see why they aren’t popular.
If you find F3 generations, they likely are an accidental litter. Some backyard breeders will even label Doodles of unknown ancestry as F3. It would be best if you stayed as far away as possible from these breeders.
Does Generation Affect Temperaments?
When considering what Bernedoodle generation should I buy, temperament is the top concern. Most generations from breeders retain the temperaments we know and love. They are funny, loving, and loyal dogs. Your Bernedoodle will prefer to stay by your side all day, every day. Their happy demeanors fill your home with love and purpose.
You won’t notice a difference in temperament until you get into the multiple generational Bernedoodles. Because genetics is random, Bernedoodle F2 generations can act more like one breed over the other. Even though they are still half Bernese, half Poodle doesn’t mean that they get an even split in temperament. And the further you go down the generational trail, the more unpredictable their temperament gets.
F1B and reverse F1B is included in this because they are a 25/75 mix. You might get a multi-generation Doodle that acts more like a Poodle. Other times their temperament isn’t up to par because of bad breeding.
Which Generation Is The Healthiest?
Most breeders prefer the F1 generation because they are the healthiest. Doodles are known for “hybrid vigor.” But this term is a little misleading to the average person. The reason Doodles in the F1 generation are healthier is because their purebred lines are the result of decades of selective breeding. The pure lines are DNA tested to ensure that no two dogs pass down genetic medical concerns.
F2 generations have the possibility of being just as healthy. Since we can trace most F1 generations to their purebred ancestors, we can also see their genetic history. But they need to have DNA testing for a proper pairing of dames and sires just to be sure. Even with low chances, there is still a probability of diseases passing down.
Anything above an F2 generation is at greater risk for disease. Multiple generations are at greater risk of hip and elbow dysplasia, eye disease, and cancer. These lines are harder to test for genetic markers and tracing breed lines. All it takes is one mistake, and all of the puppies are prone to common illnesses.
Does Grooming Differ According To Generation?
Grooming Doodles has less to do with what generation they are and more with coat types. Bernedoodles come in straight, wavy, and curly coat types. Straight coats shed an average amount of hair and aren’t typically preferred by owners. Wavy and curly coat types are hypoallergenic and shed little to none.
You will have to brush your Bernedoodle daily no matter what coat type they have. And you will need to make appointments with the groomer every 6-8 weeks for wavy and curly coat types. Since these hypoallergenic coats grow like human hair, they need trims to keep it manageable.
All of these hair types are available in every Bernedoodle generation. But some Bernedoodle generations are more prone to certain types. For instance, F1 generations are more prone to wavy and curly hair. F1B Bernedoodles almost always have curlier coats like a Poodle’s. F2 generations mostly have wavy coats, but straight coats are also a probability.
If you want a Bernedoodle with a specific coat, you should talk to your breeder. An experienced breeder has the knowledge to point you in the right direction.
So What Bernedoodle Generation Should I Buy?
What it boils down to is what coat type you prefer. If you need a hypoallergenic coat for medical reasons, an F1B is your best option. Since the F1B coat has virtually no shedding, they are best for people with allergies, asthma, and eczema.
Maybe being hypoallergenic isn’t that important? You could opt for an F2 generation to get a unique coloring. Some rare colors may cost more and have a long waiting list, but they are so beautiful.
What Bernedoodle generation should I buy? Any of them. As long as the Bernedoodle has all the qualities you want and responsibly bred, any generation is perfect for you.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Doodle Board!