Encouraging Your Bernedoodle to Swim: Tips and Tricks for a Fun, Safe Experience

Ever wondered if your Bernedoodle has the same love for water as its Poodle parent? Well, you’re not alone. Bernedoodles, a crossbreed of Bernese Mountain Dogs and Poodles, often inherit a mixed bag of traits, making it a fascinating topic to delve into.

Do Bernedoodles like to swim? The short answer is – it depends. Some Bernedoodles might jump right into the water, while others might prefer to stay on dry land. Factors like their individual personality, training, and experiences play a significant role in determining their affinity for swimming.

Key Takeaways

  • Bernedoodles, as a crossbreed of Bernese Mountain Dogs and Poodles, represent a mix of traits from both parent breeds, which can influence their inclination towards water.
  • Poodles are known for their love of water, a trait that can get passed down to Bernedoodles, but the contribution from the Bernese Mountain lineage may make them more cautious or reserved.
  • A Bernedoodle’s affinity for swimming is largely influenced by its genetic heritage, past experiences, and individual personality.
  • Positive introduction and training can help enhance a Bernedoodle’s inclination towards water. Building positive associations around water through play and rewards might be helpful in this regard.
  • It’s not uncommon to find Bernedoodles who prefer to stay dry due to different factors such as their Bernese Mountain Dog lineage, past negative experiences with water, or their individual personality.
  • Encouraging a Bernedoodle to swim requires a phased approach that starts with ensuring safety, gradually introducing them to water, and keeping the process fun and positive. Consistency and patience within this process are vital.

Introducing your Bernedoodle to water can be a delightful experience, especially when following expert guidelines such as those outlined by the American Kennel Club, which emphasize safety and enjoyment. Using floatation devices and gradual water introduction are key steps to ensuring a positive experience, traits that are echoed in PetMD’s advice for water-loving pets. Moreover, understanding your pet’s unique personality and physical limits plays a crucial role in their aquatic comfort, advice that’s well-supported by Cesar’s Way through practical swimming tips.

Bernedoodles and Their Water-loving Ancestors

Bernedoodles are a beautiful mix of Bernese Mountain Dogs and Poodles. Think about it. You have a crossbreed that combines the gentle and loyal nature of a Bernese Mountain Dog with the smart and playful character of a Poodle. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Now let’s explore more about their ancestors and their disposition towards water.

Bernese Mountain Dogs, sturdy and dependable, were originally working dogs in Swiss farms. They were known for their versatility in performing many tasks including herding cattle, pulling carts, and yes, sometimes even frolicking in the water. However, unlike some breeds, they weren’t specifically bred for water-related tasks.

On the flip side, there’s the Poodle. Poodles are known for their love of water. Originating in Germany, they were chiefly utilized as water retrievers. The water-resilient quality of their fur is a testament to this. With their keen enthusiasm for splashing around, Poodles are almost synonymous with water excitement.

Given this genetic lineage, your Bernedoodle inherits traits from both their parents – traits that could have an impact on their affinity for water. Remember that every dog’s personality is unique. Even within the same breed, there’s a possible mix of traits resulting in varying preferences.

The likelihood is that the Bernedoodle will inherit the water-loving gene from their Poodle parent, but the Bernese Mountain Dog lineage may make them more cautious or reserved. As an owner, you’ll see these traits play out in your Bernedoodle’s interaction with water.

Discovering your Bernedoodle’s swimming preferences won’t be immediate, and may, in fact, require some patience. A Bernedoodle puppy may be hesitant about water initially but may grow to enjoy it as they become more familiar. Remember to always make their water experiences positive!

Training can also play a role in fostering your Bernedoodle’s love for water. You can help your Bernedoodle overcome any apprehensions by encouraging positive associations with water through play and rewards. After all, a Bernedoodle’s love for swimming is really a blend of inherited traits, individual personality, and experienced lessons!

Factors Influencing a Bernedoodle’s Attitude Towards Swimming

The affinity for water in Bernedoodles isn’t carved in stone. Numerous factors come into play when it comes to understanding your furry friend’s take on swimming. Let’s delve deeper into some aspects that might influence your Bernedoodle’s attitude towards water.

Genetic Heritage

Remember your Bernedoodle is a product of two parent breeds with somewhat differing affinities towards water. The Poodle’s love for water might be highly influential. However, also remember the Bernese Mountain Dog’s history as a versatile working breed. Their affinity to water varies greatly amongst individuals. So, depending on which parent breed your Bernedoodle leans more towards genetically, an affinity towards water might be more or less prevalent.

Past Experiences

Beyond heredity, past experiences with water can shape your Bernedoodle’s attitude to it. If initial encounters with water were negative or frightening, it could make your pup hesitant or even scared of swimming. Similarly, if introduced to water in a positive, calm manner, they’re much more likely to enjoy it.


Training, or lack thereof, also has a strong influence. Like any new skill, swimming needs to be taught and practiced. Without the right training, a Bernedoodle might feel uncomfortable in water or may not even know how to swim.

Individual Personality

Finally, it’s important to understand that every Bernedoodle, like any other dog, is unique. Their individual personality will play a large factor in their relationship with water. One Bernedoodle might be naturally more adventurous and drawn to water, while another might prefer to stay dry and observe from a distance. Regardless of which inclination they exhibit, patience and understanding are crucial.

In fostering a positive stance towards swimming, keep these factors in mind. Gently introduce your Bernedoodle to water at an appropriate pace and for an appropriate duration. Remember to make each instance fun and rewarding. Involve their favorite toys and treat it as playtime. Stay with your Bernedoodle during these sessions and remember to keep your expectations realistic.

Bernedoodles Who Take the Plunge

Dive into the world of Bernedoodles who love to swim. Let’s navigate this experience involving their genetic heritage, past encounters with water, training and, individual personality.

In the mixture of genes inherited by Bernedoodles, the Poodle lineage plays a pivotal role. Known for their agility and love for water, Poodles trace back to a hunting water dog lineage. Consequently, your Bernedoodle might show a natural inclination towards water due to this. However, the other half of their genetics is from the Bernese Mountain Dog, a breed far less excited by water. So the mystery of whether your Bernedoodle puppy will be a water lover often comes down to which parent breed they favor.

Moving on to their past experiences with water, these significantly shape their perception of it. If your Bernedoodle had positive interactions with water from an early age, it’s likely they will carry a love for swimming into adulthood. But if they’d had any traumatic experiences with water or swimming, it might become a challenge to coax them into the water.

Training plays an instrumental role. With the right approach, you can influence a Bernedoodle to fall in love with swimming. Using positive reinforcement techniques such as treats, toys and praise could steer your furry friend toward acing their swimming lessons. Take things slowly and don’t push them into deep water immediately. Over time, as they become confident, they will enjoy their aquatic adventures more.

Lastly, the individual personality of your Bernedoodle determines their affinity for water. Some Bernedoodles will take to water like a fish, while others might be more reserved, preferring to stay dry. Uncover your Bernedoodle’s disposition, and find swimming activities that match their level of water enthusiasm.

Remember, patience is key to nurturing a positive relationship between your Bernedoodle and the water. Always keep swimming a fun and enjoyable experience for them. Keep an eye on them while swimming to ensure their safety.

Bernedoodles Who Prefer to Stay Dry

Just as there are Bernedoodles who adore the water, there are also those who’d rather have their paws firmly planted on dry land. Several factors can contribute to your furry friend’s inclination to avoid splashing around.

While the Poodle in your Bernedoodle may have a century-long history of water affinity, their Bernese Mountain Dog lineage tends to be somewhat indifferent to water. This divergence in genetic heritage can result in Bernedoodles that have little to no interest in swimming. After all, Bernese Mountain Dogs were bred for hauling heavy loads on land, not for fetching waterfowls from lakes or ponds.

Next, we can’t ignore past experiences. Negative water interactions early in a Bernedoodle’s life can result in them developing an aversion to water. This could be due to a past traumatic incident or lack thereof positive exposure to water when they were pups.

Lastly, your Bernedoodle’s unique personality will also play a significant role in their aquatic preference. Some Bernedoodles might naturally be more timid or anxious than others, leading to reservations around the water.

So, if your Bernedoodle shows little interest in the water, don’t despair. It’s not unusual or indicative of any problems. It’s simply a part of their unique charm as a Bernedoodle. Instead of swimming, they might take great pleasure in trail walks, toy fetch games or just lazing around indoors. Remember, you can still enjoy a multitude of other activities together to build your bond.

Encouraging Your Bernedoodle to Swim

While not all Bernedoodles may naturally take to water, it’s still possible to help them enjoy swimming a bit more. With some patience, encouragement and a few strategic interventions, you can make swimming a wonderful, shared experience.

Ensure Safety First

The first step in getting your Bernedoodle comfortable with swimming is to ensure their safety. Invest in a well-fitted canine life jacket. This equipment can make them feel more secure and buoyant. More so, it gives you peace of mind knowing that your furry friend stays afloat even in deeper waters.

Take Baby Steps

When introducing swimming to your Bernedoodle, remember to take baby steps. Start in shallow water that’s slow-moving or still, preferably in a kiddie pool. You could wade in first, slowly coaxing your Bernedoodle to join. Over time, as they get more confident, gradually introduce them to deeper waters.

Utilize Toys and Treats

Toys and treats can be powerful tools to help your Bernedoodle associate water with positive experiences. Toss their favorite toy into shallow water and encourage them to retrieve it. Reward them with praise or a treat once they are successful. Through repeated exposure, your Bernedoodle can learn that swimming can be a fun activity.

Keep It Regular And Fun

Consistency is key. Regular exposure to water can help increase your pet’s comfort level with swimming. Make these sessions enjoyable by incorporating play time. And remember, it’s okay to keep the sessions short initially. Gradual exposure can help them overcome any water-related fears.

Remember, each Bernedoodle is unique and may respond differently to water. Rushing them or forcing them into the water could turn swimming into a traumatic experience rather than a fun one. So, always approach swimming sessions with patience, persistence, and positive reinforcement. With time, your Bernedoodle might not only get used to water but also look forward to the swimming sessions.


So, you’ve learned the ropes of getting your Bernedoodle to embrace the water. It’s all about safety, patience, and a sprinkle of fun. Remember, a canine life jacket can be a lifesaver. Start small, in the shallow end, and let your furry friend discover the joy of swimming at their own pace. Toys and treats? They’re your secret weapons to turn swimming into a game. And don’t forget, consistency is king. Keep at it and your Bernedoodle’s water confidence will grow. But, bear in mind, every Bernedoodle is different. What works for one may not work for another. Your goal? To make swimming a fun and enjoyable experience for your Bernedoodle. Now, it’s time to dive in and make a splash with your Bernedoodle!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: How can I encourage my Bernedoodle to swim?

Start off in shallow waters and gradually move to deeper areas. Use toys and treats to foster positive associations with the water. Regular exposure and repetition are vital for your Bernedoodle to overcome water fears.

Q2: Why is a canine life jacket important when teaching Bernedoodles to swim?

A canine life jacket ensures your Bernedoodle’s safety while learning to swim. It helps the dog stay buoyant, reduces the fear of drowning, and furthers confidence in water.

Q3: Each dog is unique, so should we follow the same approach for all Bernedoodles?

No, you may need to modify approaches based on your Bernedoodle’s temperament, fears, and reactions. Always remember to keep the sessions fun and positive.

Q4: What is the ultimate objective behind teaching Bernedoodles to swim?

The ultimate goal is to help Bernedoodles feel comfortable in the water. With time, patience, and encouragement, they should not only learn to swim but also find enjoyment in the activity.

Q5: How can toys and treats aid in teaching Bernedoodles to swim?

Incorporating toys and treats in swimming lessons can make the water more appealing to Bernedoodles. They work as positive reinforcement, encouraging the dog to form a positive relationship with swimming.