What is a Sweet Pine Bernotto™?

Have you heard about this wonderful family dog called a Bernotto™? Of course you haven’t, it’s never been done! Keep reading to find out why this cross….

At Sweet Pine Puppies, we do so much more than just breeding dogs. We not only are very selective with our choice of parents, we are also meticulous about our Puppy Preschool curriculum which is not just a puppy training line up; it delineates how we raise our puppies to include proper socialization, husbandry and etiquitte that can only be learned at a young age and is taught by experience with their mother and litter mates (and encouraged by us). This includes things like not eliminating in their sleep/food space, keeping themselves clean, not jumping up on people, how to use a doggie door, getting used to scents and sounds so they aren’t scared or distracted by them, and many more things on our 8-week early puppy training program. This is what we call a “Sweet Pine Bernotto™” puppy – one that has been bred using our high standards from start to finish of the breeding process. Our aim is to have the puppy ready to go to their forever home fully prepared to enter a new environment, whatever that may be, and to be confident with a successful transition into their new home.

What is a Bernotto?

That’s actually a good question. It’s a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Lagotto Romagnolo cross. We absolutely LOVE the Bernese Mountain Dog, but with the genetic diseases it is prone to, their life span is only about 6-8 years. That’s much too short! The Lagotto is a smaller dog with almost zero genetic diseases and a 12-14 year lifespan. Add in their non-shedding coat and we’d say that’s a winner!

The Bernotto™ is a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Lagotto Romagnolo cross.

Bernese Mountain Dog and Lagotto Romagnolo cross

Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dogs are well known in the USA and are easily recognizable with their beautiful tri-color coat, white chest, white nose & blaze, white paws and rust colored points. Big, powerful, and built for hard work, the Bernese Mountain Dog is also strikingly beautiful and blessed with a sweet, affectionate nature. Berners are generally placid but are always up for a romp with the owner, whom they live to please.  They are known as the velcro dog as they LOVE attention and need to have some part of their body touching you, usually their paw on your leg, their head in your lap or their butt on your foot. They definitely live up to their nickname, “the gentle giant”. They have a double coat, with a longer outer coat and a wooly undercoat. Berners shed a fair amount, even more so during shedding season, which occurs twice a year. Sadly their lifespan is only about 6-8 years, 10 if you’re lucky! Berners can often suffer from hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, von Willebrand’s disease (a blood-clotting disorder), histiocytosis (the most common cancer for this breed), and gastric torsion which is where the Lagotto Romagnolo comes in…

Lagotto Romagnolo

Lagotto Romagnolo

The Lagotto Romagnolo, Italy’s adorable ‘truffle dog,’ has a curly coat and adorable facial furnishings. Despite their plush-toy looks, Lagotti are durable workers with an excellent nose that roots out truffles, a dainty and pricey delicacy. The Lagotto Romagnolo works enthusiastically and efficiently, making the most of its inherent search-and-find skills and excellent sense of smell.

Lagottos have also been trained as Service Dogs able to detect medical conditions such as an imminent seizure or a dangerous blood-sugar drop. In Search & Rescue, Lagottos use their powerful nose to find people trapped under rubble after natural disasters.

An affectionate animal, it forms a close bond with its owner and also makes a fine, easy-to-train companion. They have very few genetic diseases and we always use genetically clear studs to match up with our girls.

Crossing a Bernese Mountain Dog with a Lagotto Romagnolo?

Anna with her Bernese Mountain Dog

What you can expect from this cross is a sweet, affectionate dog that likes a job, very low to non-shedding, a lifespan of 12-16 years, and a strong nose that can help you find those delicious Truffles! Because of our studs genetics some of our pups will be curly with furnishings (beard & eyebrows) and some will look almost exactly like a full Berner with the added benefit or a long healthy life!

Now you may be asking, “Why didn’t they just use a Poodle and make Bernedoodles?” While we love Poodles we decided that going back to the predecessor of the Poodle would create a healthier puppy for you. In our research, we found that when breeding the Poodle has 12 genetic diseases to test for while the Lagotto Romagnolo only has 3. Additionally, Poodles can get emotionally upset if there’s too much activity, conflict or roughhousing in your household — they prefer peace and harmony so they aren’t always great for families with kids. With some Poodle lines you will find high-strung, nervous, even neurotic dogs.