What is a Bernotto™?

Have you heard about this wonderful family dog called a Sweet Pine Bernotto™? Of course you haven’t, it’s never been done!

It’s a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Lagotto Romagnolo cross, trained with our special Sweet Pine Puppy 8-week curriculum.

Why did we chose this cross? Our main reason for this cross is based on the health and longevity for the dogs. We absolutely LOVE the Bernese Mountain Dog, but with the genetic diseases it is prone to their life span ends up only about 6-8 years on average. That’s much too short! The Lagotto is a smaller dog with very few genetic diseases, a 12-16 year lifespan plus they are a very hardy breed. Add in their non-shedding coat and we’d say that’s a winner! Keep reading to find out more about these breeds.

(Bernotto litters happen once or twice a year. You can find out about when these puppies will be available by filling out our application or join our waitlist.)

Bernese Mountain Dog

Why pick a 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/tan colored markings. Big, powerful, and built for hard work, the Bernese Mountain Dog is also strikingly beautiful and blessed with a sweet, gentle, 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 are dry-mouthed dogs, so no gooey ropes of slime getting all over your furniture or your lap! 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

Why pick a Lagotto Romagnolo? The Lagotto Romagnolo is usually known as Italy’s adorable ‘truffle dog’. They have a curly coat and adorable facial furnishings. Despite their teddy bear 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.

Lagotti 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, Lagotti 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?

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 of a long healthy life!

Why didn’t we use a Poodle and just make Bernedoodles? We have been asked this quite a bit, and for good reason. While we absolutely love Poodles, we decided that going with the Lagotto Romagnolo 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.

Why Choose a Sweet Pine Bernotto?

At Sweet Pine Puppies, we do so much more than just breeding dogs. We are not only 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 etiquette 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 Puppy Prechool program. This is what we call a “Sweet Pine Bernotto™”- 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.

Bernotto litters happen once or twice a year. For updates about when these puppies will be available, please fill out our application or join our waitlist.