- Exercise Needs: Middle to high.
- Typical Health Problems: Congenital hip and eye problems.
- Average Life Expectancy: ~15 years.
- Grooming Requirements: Middle.
- Training Difficulty: Easy.
- Diet: Normal costs for a dog of this size.
- Price and Cost: Average puppy price $1,000 (see also below).
Similar to the Labradoodle, the Goldendoodle is a Poodle hybrid, this time resulting from a cross with the Golden Retriever. With both parent breeds ranging in the Top 10 of intelligent dog breeds, it comes as no surprise that the Goldendoodle is considered equally intelligent. Add to this the low shedding coat of the Poodle and the willingness to serve of the Retriever and you see why this hybrid breed gains more and more fans.
The term ‘Goldendoodle’ originates from the 90s, but it it safe to assume that crosses between the two breeds have happened much earlier. Since the end of the last century, this dog is bred by many, both in North America as well as in Australia (Australian Goldendoodle), and lately also in Europe. While normally the cross is between a standard sized Poodle and a Golden Retriever, the wish for smaller dogs has also resulted in the crossing of Retrievers with smaller sized Poodles that produced the Miniature Goldendoodle. These dogs are largely meant to be ‘allergy friendly’ companion dogs, while there bigger cousins serve also as therapy and assistance dogs.
As this is a new breed, dogs are often categorized by how close they are to the parent breeds. F1 after the dogs name means that it is an offspring of a Poodle x Golden Retriever mating, F1B refers to a cross between a F1 Goldendoodle and either one of the parent breeds (the ‘B’ stands for back breeding) and F2B describes cross between either a multi generation Goldendoodle and a FB1 one or a cross between two F1Bs. In same countries breeders make efforts to get this new hybrid dog registered and acknowledged, but as of 2011 the Goldendoodle is not a registered dog breed in any country.
Size wise between the two parent breeds, a Goldendoodle comes in three varieties, just like the Poodle: standard (over 45lbs), medium (between 30 and 45 lbs) and miniature (between 15 and 30 lbs. The coat is either curly-wooly like the Poodle’s, or more straight and fleece like similar to the Retriever’s. As a rule of thumb it can be said that the more ‘Poodle like’ the coat, the less the dog sheds and the higher is the chance that it is hypoallergenic. All colors are possible with white, crème, apricot, golden and red being the most common ones while gray, silver, black, brown and bi-colored dogs are much rarer. The general body build is that of a slimmer and more agile Retriever, often combined with a head that resembles the Poodle.
Friendly, affectionate and happy are often words that are used to describe this breed. They are intelligent and willing to learn and get well along with other pets and kids. They can have high levels of energy and some examples are even outright ‘hyper’ whilst others are far more laid back.
Like all breeds that can serve as assistance dogs, the Goldendoodle lives to please and work for its master or mistress. Intelligent as they are, they do best with positive reinforcement training methods and, typically, only require little correction. As long as the handler can make the dog understand what behavior is required, the Goldendoodle will do everything in its power to do it.
Being the offspring of two active breeds the ‘Dood’, as it is also affectionately known, needs things to do and a moderate to high amount of daily exercise. These dogs do best when used as service or assistance dogs or when living with active people or families. A long walk a day plus some playtime and participation in dog sports such as agility training help to keep the dog and owner happy. Many dogs also enjoy a good, long swim from time to time or a playing a game of ‘fetch’ that involves a lake or a river. Dogs that aren’t exercised enough can become a problem as they do need an outlet for their high energy levels.
Daily brushing is a must and depending on the climate and length of coat also some clipping might be required. As this is more of a assistance and companion dog than a show dog, clipping can be done at home, with the right tools, and doesn’t necessarily mean expensive trips to the dog beauty salon.
Common Health Problems
Unfortunately the Goldendoodle can inherit some of the health curses of its parent breeds, the so-called ‘hybrid vigor’ doesn’t protect from this. Especially hereditary eye and hip problems are frequent. Care should be taken to purchase only puppies from breeders that adhere to strict health screening guidelines when it comes to choosing the prospective parents.
Price and Costs
Puppies can cost as low as $300 and as much as over $2,000, depending on the breeder. It has to be noted that basically everybody can breed ‘Goldendoodles’, or other hybrid dogs for that matter, without any breed standards and guidelines to adhere to. Before buying a Goldendoodle puppy two things are important to consider. First of all, no dog should ever be bought from a pet shop or online, as most of these puppies will come from puppy mills. The best thing is to visit the breeder personally and to insist on seeing the kennel and at least the mother of the puppies. The second point is that many adult dogs are available from dog shelters. This not only helps a dog to find a new forever home and reduces the amount of puppies produced in puppy mills by lowering the demand, but also makes it easier to find a dog that doesn’t cause allergies (see below).
Other Important Points to Consider
If a Goldendoodle is chosen because of an existing dog allergy, the puppy or adult dog should be tested for compatibility with the affected person to avoid heartbreak later on. It is also important to note that the coat changes again when the dog reaches adulthood and that this can influence how hypoallergenic or not the dog is when having reached maturity.
A great family and companion dog that can be hypoallergenic. The Goldendoodle requires a fair bit of maintenance (grooming) and exercise to be happy and relaxed. A particular danger to this developing breed are unscrupulous backyard and puppy mill breeders that simply breed this dog because it is fashionable and sells easily for high prices. In order to buy a healthy pup it is of utmost importance to visit the breeder in person and to choose your new four-legged friend carefully. Don’t buy one from the pet shop or via the internet as you would only support puppy mills with this!
Synonyms, nicknames and common misspellings include: Golden Doodle, Golden Doodles, Groodle, Curly Golden, Goldenoodle, Goldenpoo, Goldiedoodle and Dood.