The Saint Bernard Poodle mix is also known as the Saint Berdoodle, sometimes shortened to the St Berdoodle. This dog combines elements of both his parent breeds, which means that he can be as large as a Saint Bernard (possibly over 150 pounds!) or the size of a Standard Poodle (possibly as small as 40 pounds). Though his exact features will vary, you can count on an intelligent and family-friendly dog.
What’s In This Guide
Saint Berdoodle FAQs
Our readers’ most popular and frequently asked questions about the Saint Berdoodle.
- Are Saint Berdoodles good family dogs?
- Are Saint Berdoodles hypoallergenic?
- How big do Saint Berdoodles get?
Saint Berdoodle: Breed At A Glance
- Popularity: Poodles at 7 and Saint Bernards at 48 on the AKC’s most popular breeds list
- Purpose: Companion dog
- Weight: Anywhere between 40 and 160 pounds
- Temperament: Friendly, intelligent, loyal
Saint Berdoodle Breed Review: Contents
- History and original purpose of the Saint Berdoodle
- Fun facts about Saint Berdoodles
- Saint Berdoodle appearance
- Saint Berdoodle temperament
- Training and exercising your Saint Berdoodle
- Saint Berdoodle health and care
- Do Saint Berdoodles make good family pets?
- Rescuing a Saint Berdoodle
- Finding a Saint Berdoodle puppy
- Raising a Saint Berdoodle puppy
- Saint Berdoodle products and accessories
History And Original Purpose Of The Saint Berdoodle
First generation mixes are called designer dogs, as they have been intentionally designed as new breeds.
There are many arguments about whether this practice is good or bad, and there are a lot of supporters on both sides of the fence. Supporters of designer dogs regularly claim them to be healthier than purebreds.
While this is difficult to prove, there is evidence that purebreds have reduced vigor compared with mixed breeds.
Meanwhile, for a first gen mix like the St Berdoodle, not much is known about the exact origin of the cross.
But we can learn more about the Saint Bernard Poodle mix by examining the history of each parent breed.
These lovable dogs got their name from the Great Saint Bernard Pass through the Alps between Italy and Switzerland.
An Augustine monk named Bernard de Menthon built a monastery and hospice there in the middle of the eleventh century.
Around 1700, the dogs of the monastery began working as search and rescue dogs for lost or injured travelers.
The first record of breeding these dogs outside of the hospice was by Heinrich Schumacher in Switzerland in 1855. The Swiss Kennel Club was founded in 1883 and adopted the first Swiss Saint Bernard standard in 1884.
Since that time, three different Saint Bernard standards have developed. There is an American standard, which is a modification of the original Swiss version. There is also an English version.
Now there is a revised Swiss version which was adopted by all the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) countries in 1993.
Poodles originated in Germany as duck hunters over 400 years ago. Hunters bred them to be water retrieving dogs.
They began shaving their legs, neck, and tail to assist with greater mobility while the dogs were swimming. The rest of the fur remained intact to keep the Poodles warm while swimming in chilly water.
The French found the resulting look to be very elegant, and Poodles became very popular dogs in France.
The Standard Poodle was the original. It has since been bred down to the Miniature, and even further to the Toy in the early 20th century.
All three varieties share the same breed standard, with the exception of size.
The Creation Of The St Berdoodle
While we can pinpoint almost exactly when and where the Poodle and Saint Bernard breeds originated, the beginning of the Saint Bernard Poodle mix is a lot more vague.
The mix is believed to have originated in the US in the 1880s.
The Saint Berdoodle is not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), but it is registered with several mixed breed registries, including the following:
- International Designer Canine Registry
- American Canine Hybrid Club
- Designer Dogs Kennel Club
- Dog Registry of America, Inc.
- Designer Breed Registry
Fun Facts About Saint Berdoodles
The Saint Bernard parent of the Saint Berdoodle mix has a long and dignified history. They’re commonly used as rescue dogs, which may be a big part of their lasting appeal. The dogs would go out in pairs to find people buried in the snow.
They would dig through the snow and try to awaken the traveler. If he was unable to move, one dog would lie on top of him to provide warmth, while the other went back to the hospice to get help.
Since the early 18th century and over the course of about 200 years, some two thousand people were rescued due to the efforts of Saint Bernards, including lost children.
Poodles also have a vivid history, having historically been used in European circuses, thanks to their great show personalities and ability to learn tricks. These dogs even worked as truffle hunters due to their strong noses.
Saint Berdoodle Appearance
A St Bernard Poodle mix could end up with the appearance of either parent breed, or a mix of the two.
Let’s take a look at each parent breed individually, to assess some of the possibilities.
Saint Bernards are one of the largest breeds of dogs.
Males typically range between 140 and 180 pounds and 28 to 30 inches tall. Females are slightly smaller, roughly 120 to 140 pounds and 26 to 28 inches tall.
These gentle giants have huge heads with short muzzles, dark eyes, and wrinkled brows. They are powerfully strong and well-built animals.
Saint Bernards have very dense, short-haired coats that are smooth yet tough, according to the American Breed standard.
There is also a long-haired Saint Bernard that is recognized by the FCI breed standard.
Saint Bernards are usually white and red or white and brown-yellow.
Poodles come in three possible sizes. Standard Poodles are between 60 to 70 pounds for males and 40 to 50 pounds for females. They typically stand over 15 inches tall.
Miniature Poodles weigh between 10 and 15 pounds and stand between 10 and 15 inches tall. Toy Poodles weigh only 4 to 6 pounds and are shorter than 10 inches tall.
Poodles are well-proportioned dogs that are squarely built and not as dainty as some may believe.
They have long, pointed snouts and long ears that hang down. Poodles have either a harsh, dense, curly coat or a heavily corded coat. The AKC only considers Poodles with a solid colored coat under the standard.
Poodles can come in various combinations, though. The breed standard can be any of the following colors:
St Berdoodle Appearance Range
As you can see, Saint Berdoodle size could potentially range quite a lot! Of course, it’s almost certain that your Berdoodle will be the result of a cross with a Standard Poodle. This narrows it down somewhat, but it still allows for a potential range of 40 to over 150 pounds.
The Standard Poodle St Bernard mix can be expected to range between 40 and 180 pounds in weight and 15 to 30 inches tall.
They can also range widely in color and have a few different coat types.
The mini Saint Berdoodle is another possibility. This is the result of crossing a Miniature Poodle with a miniature Saint Bernard.
They typically range between 20 and 50 pounds in weight and 14 to 18 inches tall. However, it should be noted that “miniaturizing” a large breed like the Saint Bernard usually means a crossbreed, commonly mixed with a Cocker Spaniel.
Saint Berdoodle Temperament
The Saint Bernard is one of the world’s most famous and loved breeds. It was made popular by the Beethoven movies and is considered a patient and watchful “nanny” dog for children (think Peter Pan).
These dogs originated as search and rescue dogs. Their care for humans shows the loyalty of this humble breed. They are considered charming dogs but can be playful and inquisitive.
If you’ve seen the Beethoven movies, you know what a “bad” Saint Bernard can be like.
Without proper training and socialization, a Saint Bernard’s natural curiosity can lead to unwanted and inappropriate behavior.
Poodles are extremely smart dogs that are eager and loving to their families but can be aloof with strangers.
However, they are very people-oriented and eager to please once they get to know you. While athletically built, Poodles are sensitive at heart. They require a gentle, yet consistent touch.
Training And Exercising Your Saint Berdoodle
Saint Bernards only require moderate exercise. Most will be happy with a daily walk or play session, as long as they can be with their humans.
Early socialization and training classes are extremely important for this breed due to their size and strength. It’s important to teach them manners before they’ve grown large enough to knock people over or eat off the table.
Thankfully, Saint Bernards are agreeable and eager to please, so they generally respond well to consistent training.
Poodles, meanwhile, are higher energy dogs who love being active. They were bred as hunting dogs, so they enjoy and excel at doggie sports such as tracking, hunting, and agility.
Poodles are also generally easy to train thanks to their intelligence and agreeableness. However, consistent positive reinforcement is very important. They can react poorly to yelling or too harsh of tones.
Positive reinforcement is always an important aspect of training, but warmth and praise are even more important with these gentle souls.
A St Berdoodle could end up with either moderate or high exercise needs. However, as both parent breeds love people, playing with its humans is likely to be high on the list of requirements for this mixed breed.
Saint Berdoodle Health And Care
There are several known hereditary health issues in both parent breeds, some of which can be tested for. To find out what tests are recommended for each parent breed, visit the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals.
Saint Bernards are known to inherit the following health issues:
- Hip dysplasia
- Eye diseases
Saint Bernards can also become seriously ill when going from air-conditioned climates to high heat. It’s important to keep these large dogs properly cooled and provide plenty of water in hot temperatures.
Poodles can inherit any of the following health issues:
- Eye diseases
- Hip dysplasia
- Idiopathic epilepsy
- Sebaceous adenitis
- Von Willebrand’s disease
- Immune-mediated disorders
- Gastric dilatation-volvulus
Smaller Poodles are less likely to suffer from sebaceous adenitis or gastric dilatation-volvulus. However, they are at increased risk for orthopedic problems including patellar luxation and Legg-Calve-Perthes.
St Berdoodle Grooming And Lifespan
With two reasonably healthy parents, the Saint Bernard Poodle mix is likely to be a fairly healthy dog. But he may inherit any of the above conditions.
As far as grooming and care, the necessary amount will really depend on which parent dog the pup takes after.
Saint Bernards’ coats are relatively low maintenance. They require weekly brushing during most of the year with a slicker brush or metal comb. Twice a year, during shedding season, brushing will be required daily to help remove loose hair and avoid matting.
Poodles, on the other hand, have high maintenance coats. They have very minimal shedding and are often considered hypoallergenic. However, the curly or corded coats need to be trimmed or clipped on a regular basis. They also should be brushed each day.
A St Bernard Poodle mix could have the coat of either parent breed or a mixture of the two. This means it could have either a low-maintenance or a high-maintenance coat. If you’re considering a Saint Berdoodle puppy, you need to be prepared for either case.
Some breeders will claim St Berdoodle puppies are hypoallergenic. Be aware that not all of them will be, even with a curly Poodle-like coat. If you or a family member have allergies, you should have the dog’s saliva and hair tested to ensure you will not react to it.
Do Saint Berdoodles Make Good Family Pets?
Each of the parent breeds are famously good family pets, so it follows that the St Berdoodle will also fit in well with a family.
It will be important for a Saint Bernard Poodle mix to have a family that is around all, or at least most, of the time. These dogs love to be social and undesirable behaviors can occur if they are left alone for extended periods of time.
If you are considering one of these dogs, it’s important to remember that their size, grooming requirements, and exercise needs can vary widely.
When buying a puppy, know that you could end up with a medium-sized, low maintenance and low energy dog. You could also end up with a giant that weighs as much as a full-grown person, needs regular professional grooming, and is high energy.
Or you might get anything in between.
Rescuing A Saint Berdoodle
Are you not sure about bringing home and training a puppy? Or are you concerned about how big a Berdoodle might potentially get?
One of the best recommendations we can make is to rescue a dog in need of a home.
Rescuing a dog will almost always be far, far less expensive than buying from a breeder. And it gives you the chance to know for sure the dog’s size and temperament.
For some suggested rescue societies to check out, take a look at our list here.
Finding A Saint Berdoodle Puppy
Doodles, or dogs that have a Poodle parent, have grown in popularity in recent years. The St Berdoodle is no exception. So you may very well be able to find a breeder in your area.
Otherwise, you can find Saint Berdoodle puppies online through one of the mixed breed registries discussed earlier, or through breeder websites.
Make sure the breeder is reputable, and that the background of the parent dogs, health, and upbringing of the puppy is known. All puppies should be tested for known health issues apparent in the parent breeds.
You should also ask to see the elbow and knee scores of both parents to check for the likelihood of dysplasia.
Make sure to visit the breeder and meet the pup’s parents, if at all possible. And the breeder will likely want to ensure that you can provide a good home for their puppy.
If a breeder shows no interest in you as a potential dog owner, or refuses to answer questions or visit, those are red flags. Likewise, steer clear of puppy mills and pet stores.
For more information on finding a puppy, take a look at our puppy search guide.
Raising A Saint Berdoodle Puppy
Raising a puppy may not be as easy as it sounds.
There are some great guides to help you with all aspects of puppy care and training. You’ll find them listed on our Saint Berdoodle puppy page.
Saint Berdoodle Products And Accessories
Every type of dog needs care products, toys, and other accessories.
Here are a few of our curated lists of relevant items.
Pros And Cons Of Getting A Saint Berdoodle
- May be a very large dog
- Will need lots of socialization and training
- Could have some inherited health issues
Comparing The Saint Berdoodle With Other Breeds
There’s a very wide variety of breeds that have been mixed with the Poodle. This is due in large part to the fact that Poodles are generally intelligent and family friendly. When combined with other breeds with similar lovable traits, you get a winning mixed breed!
One of our favorites is the Pyredoodle, the Poodle Great Pyrenese mix.
This mix has some similarities to the St Berdoodle, as it shares one parent breed and the other parent breed is also a large, fluffy dog. The Pyr may tend to be shyer than the Saint Bernard parent. This mix definitely works well as a shepherding dog.
For more similar mixed breeds, take a look at our article on Poodle mixes.
If you’re not entirely certain about bringing home this exact mixed breed, there are plenty of other options to take into consideration.
Here are a few suggested mixes that have features or traits in common with the St Berdoodle.
Check out the other other popular Poodle mixes here too!
Saint Berdoodle Breed Rescues
There aren’t many rescues specifically for the Saint Berdoodle. So it’s a good idea to take a look through rescues that focus on the parent breeds.
Here are some in the USA, UK, Australia, and Canada.
Do you know of any other rescues that focus on the parent breeds or on the Saint Berdoodle? Please let us know about them in the comments!
References And Resources
- Gough A, Thomas A, O’Neill D. 2018 Breed Predispositions to Disease In Dogs and Cats. Wiley Blackwell
- O’Neill et al. 2013. Longevity and Mortality of Owned Dogs In England. The Veterinary Journal
- Adams VJ, et al. 2010. Results of a Survey of UK Purebred Dogs. Journal of Small Animal Practice.
- Schalamon et al. 2006. Analysis of Dog Bites In Children Who Are Younger Than 17 Years. Pediatrics
- Duffy D et al. Breed differences in canine aggression. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 2008
- Strain G. Deafness prevalence and pigmentation and gender associations in dog breeds at risk. The Veterinary Journal 2004
- Packer et al. 2015. Impact of Facial Conformation On Canine Health. PlosOne
- Blumberg, J, 2016. A Brief History of the Saint Bernard Rescue Dog. Smithsonian
- Beuchat, C. The myth of hybrid vigor in dogs…is a myth. The Institute of Canine Biology, 2014.
- Harasen, G. Patellar luxation. The Canadian Veterinary Journal, 2006.
- Lim, C., Bakker, S., Waldner, C., Sandmeyer, L., Grahn, B., Cataracts in 44 dogs (77 eyes): A comparison of outcomes for no treatment, topical medical management, or phacoemulsification with intraocular lens implantation. The Canadian Veterinary Journal, 2011.
- Pedersen, NC., Liu, H., McLaughlin, B., Sacks BN. Genetic characterization of healthy and sebaceous adenitis affected Standard Poodles from the United States and the United Kingdom. Wiley Online Library, 2012.
- Trbolová, A., Ledecký, V. The relationship between the occurrence of lens cataract and progressive retinal atrophy and some categories of poodle breeds. Folia Veterinaria, 2000.