Where the Bernedoodle is a relatively new breed, the two breeds involved in its make-up go way back. The origins of the Bernese Mountain Dog can be traced back 2,000 years when the Romans invaded Switzerland with their cattle drovers and guard dogs. The Roman mastiff-type dogs were probably crossed with the region’s flock-guarding dogs who were of a size and coat-type to withstand the severe weather in the Alps, and which also served to soften their temperaments. These dogs worked for hundreds of years in this area - often being referred to as the Farmer’s Dog, the Butcher’s Dog or even the Cheesery Dog as along with being flock guards, they were used as cart-pullers to transport goods to markets, as most villagers were too poor to own horses.
It took until the latter half of the 19th century for the breed to become of interest to breeders and canine enthusiasts who then worked to standardise and protect the breed - with varying degrees of success. The first breed club in England wasn’t set up until 1971. The Standard Poodle on the other hand is a working breed originally developed as a water retrieving dog. Contrary to popular belief, their unusual haircuts were not about fashion, they came from owners wanting to make sure their dogs didn’t get waterlogged or too heavy to swim easily in lakes, so they shaved off as much hair as possible while keeping the vital organs and joints protected. The Miniature Poodle was created purely as smaller version of the original Poodle for owners who didn’t want such a large dog, but were enchanted by their personalities and enthusiasm for all kinds of work. The Bernedoodle can have any combination of the two breeds in their appearance, behaviour and temperament.