I’ve been trying to decide what kind of dog to get. Truthfully, I’ve been thinking about this for several years but I haven’t pulled the trigger yet. Goldendoodles are a breed I keep coming back to as they look cuddly, have a gentle personality, and are good with kids.
What is a Goldendoodle?
A Goldendoodle is a crossbreed dog that is the result of breeding a Golden Retriever & Poodle together. They are considered to be a “designer dog” and have breeders dedicated to advancing the breed. They are frequently used as therapy dogs and have gained in popularity since they were first seen in the ’80s and ’90s.
Origin of the Goldendoodle
Interestingly, many of these “designer breed” dogs originated in Australia. Goldendoodle’s were first documented in Australia in the ’80s after the success of the Labradoodle. Like the Labrador Retriever, Golden Retrievers have desirable traits that make them great service dogs, hence the reason they were bred into existence.
The issue allergy-sufferers had with their guide dogs was with the amount of hair Golden Retrievers shed every day. Some allergy sufferers were not able to handle it and so breeders began mixing their guide dogs with Poodles. The goal was to create a guide dog that would have the temperament of a Golden Retriever and the non-shedding coat of a Poodle.
The expectation was that by combining these two breeds together they would create a suitable guide dog that would be allergy-friendly. As the breed spread and more people found out about them they became popular with the mainstream as they make great family pets.
You will find that Goldendoodles vary in color, size, and coat type. Several things factor into their appearance but the Poodle used in the breeding process influences the appearance more than the Golden Retriever does.
Golden Retrievers are golden while the Poodles chosen are usually white, but some are black. The coloring depends on the Poodle used in the breeding. Most Goldendoodles are in a range from light brown, to dark brown but they can be black and tri-colored as well.
Goldendoodles can have 3 types of coats: wavy, straight, or curl. This is determined by the number of KRT71 genes they inherit from their parents. A good breeder will be able to produce Goldendoodles with this gene which results in dogs that are consistent in appearance.
3 Sizes Of Goldendoodles
The size is determined by the size of the Poodle the Golden Retriever is bred with. Golden Retrievers are large dogs but Poodles come in three sizes: Standard, Miniature, and Toy. Because of this, there are also three sizes of Goldendoodles: Standard, Medium, and Mini.
- The Standard Goldendoodle is the largest of the three.
- They are the result of breeding a Golden Retriever with a Standard Poodle.
- They can weigh up to 50 lbs or more.
- Fully grown they can measure 22 inches in height from the top of the floor to the shoulder
- The Medium Size Goldendoodle is a popular choice for families because they are smaller in size but still big enough to play with.
- They are the result of breeding a Golden Retriever with a Miniature Poodle.
- They usually weigh 30 to 45 lbs
- Fully grown they stand around 15 to 20 inches from the floor to the shoulder
- The Mini Size Goldendoodle is a popular choice for apartment living and people who travel.
- They are the result of breeding a Golden Retriever with a Toy Poodle and are the smallest that you can get.
- They usually weigh under 30 lbs
- Fully grown they stand around 15 inches from the floor to the shoulder.
Goldendoodle Personality Traits
Goldendoodles have joyful and optimistic personalities. They are happiest when they are spending time with their owners but they don’t mind new people either. They are very trusting dogs that love people. Because of this, they don’t make good guard dogs.
With that said their personalities can vary since they are a cross-breed dog. Their personality and temperament may reflect whichever parent had the dominant genes. Because of this, not all Goldendoodles have the same temperament, though most of them do. Some display personalities more akin to Goldenretrievers while others show personalities more like Poodles. To get a better understanding of temperament you should familiarize yourself with both parent breeds.
Grooming & Maintenance
Goldendoodle’s coats do not shed so to prevent tangles they need their hair clipped every 1 to 2 months. This can be done at home but many Goldendoodle owners opt to take their dogs to a professional groomer.
Goldendoodles should be bathed and have their coats blown out, at least, every 4 weeks. To prevent matting they should be brushed weekly.
Training A Goldendoodle
Like all dogs, Goldendoodle puppies need to begin training as soon as they are brought home. Training them early sets the precedent for the rest of their life. By taking the time to train them while they’re young, you will save yourself (and your Doodle) from headaches later down the road.
They have above-average intelligence. With patience and consistency, they should be able to pick up most commands. Since they are a social breed they respond best to positive reinforcement. You should never use fear-based techniques in your training. They love to please their owners and rewarding good behavior is the best way to get them to pick up new commands or tricks.
Exercise & Play
Goldendoodles require a moderate amount of exercise and activity. They love to play and enjoy being outdoors. It’s important to keep them active every day or they may get into trouble and misbehave while indoors. A daily walk of 20-30 minutes in duration should satisfy most of their exercise needs but they still may have the energy they need to burn off.
Many Goldendoodles love to play fetch as they have the retriever instinct passed on to them by their Golden Retriever parents. This “play” activity bonds them to their owners, is fun for them, and gives them exercise. It may be a good idea to incorporate both in their exercise routine.
Common Goldendoodle Health Problems
Goldendoodles are usually healthy, but as with other breeds, they are prone to certain health conditions. A good breeder will be able to tell you of potential health issues to look out for. If they don’t offer health information then be sure to ask about the conditions mentioned below, which can manifest later in your Goldendoodle’s life.
Here are some of the health issues that Goldendoodles are prone to:
- Hip Dysplasia
- An inherited condition where the thigh bone does not fit correctly into the hip joint.
- It may or may not be painful.
- May cause the dog to limp or bunny hop
- Can be fixed through surgery in some cases
- Needs to be managed by pain medication in other cases
- A reputable breeder should not be breeding dogs with this condition.
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Similar to Hip Dysplasia but of the elbow joint
- Gastric Dilation-Volvulus
- Also called bloat.
- More common in large Goldendoodles
- Air becomes trapped inside the stomach and the dog is unable to burp it out
- Can be Life-threatening and send the dog into shock
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- An eye disease
- Can progressively cause blindness
- Signs start to show as the dog ages
Good Breed For Allergy Sufferers
Goldendoodles are one of the most interesting dog breeds. They are a fantastic help to those suffering from allergies. Not only because of their hypoallergenic coats but they can also be trained to detect the presence of allergens, like peanuts, that their owners are allergic to. This type of training is usually done by trainers who specialize in training guide dogs but with some patience (and guidance) many Goldendoodle pups can learn how to do this.
What is a Goldendoodle?
So, to recap, a Goldendoodle is a “designer dog” that is the result of mixing a Poodle and a Golden Retriever. This article should have given you the basics of the breed. If you decide to get a Goldendoodle I am sure that you won’t regret it. They are an amazing breed!