A quick Goldendoodle 101 course might be in order if you’re thinking of getting a puppy or adult belonging to this beautiful, friendly breed. The goldendoodle name, as you might expect, comes from the fact that the breed is a cross between the golden retriever and poodle. Their history goes back to 1969, but they first became popular in the 1990s.1
Since then, pet parents across the world have fallen in love – and you will, too.
But in order to be the best pet parent possible, it will help if you are an informed pet parent. To that end, here’s a detailed look at the goldendoodle, including information on the health and temperament of the breed, grooming, and more.
Just like any mixed breed, the goldendoodle is, well, a mixed bag of sorts. You pretty much know how a purebred dog will act, and the kind of health issues they may face. While a lot is known about the goldendoodle, you should never make any assumptions about the specific dog you’re planning to bring home. There can be an enormous amount of variability between dogs belonging to a mixed breed. Don’t expect the one you bring home to act like one a friend or family member may have recently adopted.2
That being said, however, the vast majority of dogs belonging to this breed are not only affectionate but also extremely intelligent. That only makes sense, considering that the poodle and golden retriever are both very smart. A larger goldendoodle will tend to need more exercise than their smaller counterparts. Dogs of this breed love to play dog sports, and love to be active every day.3
Here’s some information covering important subjects such as how big your goldendoodle puppy is going to get, what kind of behavior you can expect, what sort of health challenges can sometimes affect the breed, and more.
In general, the size of your goldendoodle puppy, like a golden retriever puppy or many other breeds, will have a lot to do with their gender. Males tend to grow to between 25-29 inches in length. A female puppy will probably wind up being 22-25 inches long. The breed will typically range in weight from 45-100 pounds.4
Does that sound a little too big for the size of your home? There’s no need to worry. The mini goldendoodle is a cross between a golden retriever and a toy poodle, rather than a standard poodle. The mini goldendoodle usually reaches a maximum length of 17 inches and a maximum weight of 30 pounds.5 If you live in an apartment or a smaller home, the mini goldendoodle could be the better choice.
Whether you’re choosing a puppy or getting ready to welcome an adult goldendoodle into your home, get ready for a lot of love and a lot of fun. The miniature goldendoodle, as well as the regular-size version of the breed, is known for loving people and being extremely accepting of others. You simply couldn’t choose a gentler, more patient, or more affectionate companion. Your puppy will probably take every opportunity to greet other people and dogs as you’re walking around the neighborhood.6
Just like any puppy, you’ll need to socialize your new goldendoodle. Try to expose the puppy to as many new people and positive experiences as you can. Also, try to see how the puppy behaves in their current setting before you bring them home. See how they interact with the others in their pen, and see how they react when you hold them. That will help give you an idea of what might happen when you bring the puppy into your family.7
Unfortunately, a goldendoodle may be susceptible to some of the health issues that the poodle and golden retriever can sometimes face. These include dysplasia of the elbows and hips, ear infections, knee issues, and vision problems. In general, the goldendoodle has a lifespan of between 10-13 years.8
But all dogs, just like all humans and other living things, can be predisposed to certain types of health challenges. Take your dog to the vet for regular checkups. That’s the best way to catch problems and address them before they become serious.
One of the best ways to help a goldendoodle – or any other pet – live a long and healthy life is regular exercise. This breed, like you learned earlier, loves to be active. This means three, 30-minute walks per day if possible. If you have a good-sized, fenced yard, take the time to play with your goldendoodle whenever you can.9
The thing that stands out the most about the goldendoodle is its coat. Some goldendoodles have a coat consisting of loose curls, while others have smooth fur that looks almost like that of a golden retriever. Many dogs of the breed have a double coat, which can collect a lot of dirt. It can also easily develop mats. As a result, you’ll want to plan on brushing your puppy or adult goldendoodle a few times each week.10
In addition, you’ll want to take your dog to the groomer every two to three months. Between visits, pay attention to the fur around the dog’s foot pads, ears, eyes, and rump. This fur might need regular trimming. Also, watch their floppy ears closely, because they can develop ear infections fairly easily – especially if they’re around water on a regular basis. Finally, clean their teeth every week. Your vet can show you how to do this effectively and safely.11
If you’ve been doing any research on goldendoodles, you might have come across terms such as “f1 goldendoodle,” “f2 goldendoodle,” and others. What do these terms mean?
An F1 goldendoodle is the most familiar. It’s a cross between a poodle and a golden retriever. An F2 goldendoodle is a cross between two F1 goldendoodles.12 There’s also such a thing as an F1b goldendoodle. The “b” stands for “backcross,”. In this case, it means a cross between a poodle and an F1 goldendoodle.
This is usually done in order to produce a litter that is 75 percent poodle and 25 percent golden retriever. An F2b goldendoodle is a cross between either two F1b goldendoodles or an F1 plus an F1b. These are usually 62.5 poodle and 37.5 percent golden retriever. One of the reasons some breeders favor the “poodle” side of the goldendoodle is because they believe that makes a puppy’s coat less likely to shed.13
Have you ever heard of a breed known as a double doodle? This is a mix between a Labradoodle (a cross between a Labrador Retriever and a poodle) and a goldendoodle.14
Of all the goldendoodle’s awesome traits, one of the best is that they are very willing participants when it comes to dog training. This breed really wants to please their pet parents, making it a lot easier than you might think.15
Just remember that you should never, ever punish a goldendoodle during dog training. Positive reinforcement, meaning training through treats and other rewards, is always preferable to any other method. Follow these tips and you’ll find that training your goldendoodle will not only be easy but also fun.16
There are very likely many reputable breeders in your area who take care of their animals and provide healthy, happy puppies to their customers. But instead of going through a breeder, please consider adopting a dog. You’ll not only be saving a life, you’ll also be gaining a beloved friend and companion. There’s a good chance you can find a goldendoodle rescue group nearby.
If you do choose to go through a breeder, take a look at their setup before committing to make a purchase. Check to see that they provide a healthy environment for their dogs. Any breeder worth considering should be happy to show you exactly how their dogs live.18 Always do your due diligence beforehand. Ask for references from the breeder, and look at online reviews. Talk to a veterinarian to see if he or she has any recommendations on local breeders.
You might also want to consider fostering a goldendoodle or other breed before you decide on getting a dog as your own. It will give you more of an idea as to whether or not having a pooch will be right for you. Talk to a local vet about foster groups in your city.
Two great resources for information on fostering and/or adopting a goldendoodle include IDOG Rescue, Inc. and Adopt-A-Pet. IDOG Rescue is a fostering organization devoted to goldendoodles, Labradoodles, and poodles. Adopt-A-Pet partners with thousands of rescue and shelter organizations across the country to help find homes for loving pets.
If you are about to bring a goldendoodle into your home – whether you adopt or go through a breeder – congratulations are in order. You are about to add a family member who will give you a lot of love, laughter, and fun for years to come.