The Goldendoodle is one of the most popular designer breeds in the last years, because of the perfect cross of two lovable and intelligent dog breeds – the Golden Retriever and the Poodle.
Goldendoodles are also referred to as Groodles or Golden poos and can vary in size and looks depending on the type of Poodle used for the cross-breeding.
No matter whether the dogs from this hybrid breed are a cross between a Standard Poodle and one of the smaller Poodle variations, the pups from this cross are known to be perfect companions and family dogs. Many dogs from this designer breed are also used as service, guide, therapy and even as sniffer dogs. They are affectionate and are excellent competitors in various agility contests.
The cross-breed was first introduced in the 1990s, so it is a relatively new one, but the popularity of this successful mix has been growing through the years.
Overall, Goldendoodles are very friendly and social animals and will get along with all family members and other people – young or old. This means that you shouldn’t rely on their watchdog skills too much, but rather pick a dog from this designer breed if you want a friendly companion for all of your family, friends and even strangers.
The Goldendoodle will adapt to all kinds of settings and households – including the country or the city, and in a house or in an apartment. Of course, they will appreciate having a backyard or outdoor space, but they are not meant to sleep and live outdoors only. They do want to live with their humans, so don’t attempt to leave your Goldendoodle living in a kennel outside.
Thanks to the natural intelligence and trainability of both Poodles and Golden Retrievers, you can expect your Goldendoodle to be very easy to train and prove itself as one of the fastest learners among all canines. This makes this adorable mixed breed an excellent choice for timid or first-time dog parents.
Although neither breed is known to be aggressive, just like with any young dog, a Goldendoodle needs to be properly socialized by meeting more people, other dogs, and pets, in order to avoid it growing up too timid or fearful.
If you are thinking about adopting a Goldendoodle, be prepared to spend a lot of time with it. Dogs from this hybrid breed do not cope with loneliness and separation with their human parents too well and can show signs of serious separation anxiety if left alone for prolonged periods of time. This type of anxiety can lead to destructive behavior, so you may want to consider crating your dog, leaving a lot of pet treats, toys, leaving the TV or radio on, or getting a pet sitter for it if you are planning on leaving your home for the whole day.
Poodles are known to be one of the most suitable breeds for people with dog allergies. Goldendoodles shed mildly and need regular grooming and clipping, but the designer breed is a potentially great option if you are looking for a hypoallergenic dog for your household.
Overall, more and more people in the US and around the world are choosing to adopt Goldendoodles, because they are great pets, family dogs and loving and faithful companions which are good with people, dogs and with other pets.
An overview of the Goldendoodle hybrid breed
Although Goldendoodles like other designer breeds are not recognized as true breeds, this cross-breed is becoming increasingly popular due to the very successful combination of two intelligent and people-loving dog breeds – the Poodle and Golden Retriever.
Due to the different types of mixes, the exact size, character, and looks of your Goldendoodle puppy cannot be predicted, because it is not clear exactly which traits your dog will inherit from its parents.
Because this hybrid breed is relatively new, there are few second generation Goldendoodles which have been bred among Goldendoodle parents.
However, your Goldendoodle turns out looking, these dogs are considered to be light shedders, which require biweekly grooming and clipping every couple of months. If you decide to leave the hair of your lovely pup unclipped, you will need to brush it meticulously at least once a week. Overall, the Goldendoodle is a great option if you or another family member has dog allergies.
As mentioned above, this cross-breed is not a watchdog breed, so you can expect your pup to be pretty quiet at home. In fact, it may even not react when the doorbell is ringing.
Being a dog with an average energy level, a Goldendoodle will thrive best in a home with a fenced outdoor space. Otherwise, you can expect to walk and play with your dog for at least 20-30 minutes per day to keep it happy and physically and mentally satisfied.
Dogs from this designer breed get along with children of all ages, as well as with other dogs or smaller pets.
Since Goldendoodles are very social, you should not leave them alone for long or let them live and sleep outdoors only, because they want to be with their people.
Of course, when you are looking for a Goldendoodle to adopt, always do some research and find responsible breeders who have tested their pets for any genetic diseases. You should always stay away from puppy mills too.
It is a good idea to check your local shelter or pet rescue center for any Goldendoodles available for adoption as well.
The history of this designer breed
The Goldendoodle is one of the newest of all Poodle mixes. The first breeding among Poodles and Golden Retrievers began in the 1990s. This was a natural step to take after the previously existing Doodle cross-breeds already had gained quite a big following. Some of the older Poodle cross-breeds include the Labradoodle and the Cockapoo.
The idea of the first experimenters who created the Golden poo was to make a larger Doodle hybrid breed which has low shedding, less dander and has the friendly nature and intelligence of both the Poodles and the Golden Retrievers.
Most Goldendoodles are first generation mixes, which means that their parents are actually a Poodle and a Golden Retriever rather than two other Goldendoodles.
Although this hybrid breed has not been officially recognized or registered as an official one in most countries, these dogs have a lot of fans around the world, as can be seen from all of the existing online communities and clubs for Goldendoodle owners and lovers.
Many of the people who are in love with this new hybrid breed believe that the popularity of the Goldendoodle will eventually surpass that of the other Poodle mixes including the Cockapoo, the Maltipoo, the Schnoodle, the Doxiepoo and the Labradoodle.
The size and looks of the Goldendoodle
The size of your Goldendoodle is actually quite unpredictable, because of the different types of Poodles being paired with Golden Retrievers. Overall, there are three basic sizes for Goldendoodles – large standard, small standard, and miniature. The size depends on the type of Poodle crossed with the Golden Retriever. Poodles can be standard sized, miniature or toy sized. So, your Goldendoodle will reach a shoulder height of 13-20 inches and a weight of 15-35 lbs. if one of the parents is a miniature or toy poodle. If you have a Goldendoodle whose parent is a small standard poodle, then you can expect it to reach a height of 17-20 inches at the shoulder and a weight of 40-50 lbs. The largest sized Goldendoodles will grow to be 20-24 inches in height and will weigh about 50 to 90 lbs. when fully grown.
The personality of the Goldendoodle
It is the personalities of these dogs which is the main reason for their growing popularity. The Goldendoodle is a very intelligent, friendly dog with a gentle and patient nature. All of these positive traits make this hybrid breed a preferred pet, companion and family dog.
The dogs from this cross-breed are incredibly loyal, and when socialized and trained properly will be very well behaved and obedient pets.
Goldendoodles are playful and can sometimes be a bit mischievous as well. The younger pups will want a lot of cuddles, playing and will show an adorably cute curiosity too.
Of course, the unique temperament of your Goldendoodle pup depends on its hereditary traits as well as its training and socializing. To pick the most suitable pet for your home, make sure that you meet at least your future dog’s mom first. If she is friendly and nice, it is very likely that your dog will grow up to be like that as well.
Also, if you have the chance, pick a puppy which is in the middle-of-the-road amongst its siblings, rather than the smallest and shyest one or the one which is always beating up its brothers and sisters.
Getting a chance to see the parents of the dog will also help give you an idea of how large it will grow and how it will look when it grows up.
Just like any other young dog, Goldendoodle puppies need to be socialized from an early age. You should take the time to introduce your pup to different kinds of settings, to different people as well as to other dogs and pets. You can enroll your pup in a local puppy kindergarten, invite guests to your home on a regular basis and take it to the park, to stores and other places where dogs are allowed in order to ensure that it grows up to be confident and friendly, rather than anxious and fearful.
The health of Goldendoodles
Dogs from this cross-breed are healthy in general, but just like all other dogs are prone to particular health problems and conditions associated with the Poodle and Golden Retriever breeds.
To ensure that your Goldendoodle doesn’t have hereditary health issues, ask the breeder for a document for health clearance for its parents. A reputable Goldendoodle breeder should be able to show you clearance for hip dysplasia by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, as well as for elbow dysplasia, von Willebrand disease or hypothyroidism. Other common hereditary diseases you should look out for are problems with the eyes and with thrombopathia.
Here are some of the most common hereditary health problems which Goldendoodles are prone to
This is a common problem in small-sized dogs and is known as slipped stifles. The patella of the dog is actually its kneecap. A luxation in the patellar actually means that the joint is dislocated and slides out of position. This is more common in the rear legs. The condition can cause discomfort and pain to the animal, and if not managed properly can cause permanent crippling. Still, this is a condition which will allow most dogs to lead almost normal lives if proper care is taken to treat the pain.
Infections of the ears
Like all dogs with floppy ears, Goldendoodles are prone to ear infections which can be caused by moisture getting trapped in them. This is why you should regularly clean and check the condition of your dog’s ears.
Dysplasia of the hip
This condition is hereditary in most cases, although it can occur in cases of malnutrition as well. Dysplasia means that the thighbone does not fit properly in the hip joint. This can cause a limp of either one or both rear legs. At an older age, the problem can become deeper if arthritis develops and causes a painful condition for your pup.
The best way to diagnose hip dysplasia is with an x-ray screening at your vet. Dogs which suffer from this type of dysplasia should not be bred, so ask for a record of health clearance for both parents before adopting a Goldendoodle puppy.
Dysplasia of the elbow
This condition is similar to hip dysplasia but affects the front legs of the Goldendoodle. It too is a genetic degenerative disease, which can lead to arthritis, limping and other painful conditions. Some common methods for managing and treating elbow dysplasia include surgery, anti-inflammatory medication, weight management, and others.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
This disease causes the gradual deterioration of the dog’s retina and can cause night blindness or total loss of eyesight as the dog ages. Usually, dogs can easily get accustomed to the loss of their eyesight, as long as you don’t move around your furniture or switch the settings indoors and outside which they are used to.
Von Willebrand Disease
This disease can affect both dogs and humans. It is a disorder of the blood which affects the proper clotting process. Some symptoms include bleeding from the gums, nose, or prolonged bleeding during heat cycles, after an injury or surgery or blood in the stool. This condition can be diagnosed in dogs from an age of 3 to 5 years. Although it cannot be cured, it can be managed by avoidance of specific medications as well as taking extra precautions when suturing injuries, providing blood transfusions prior to surgery and other timely measures.
Goldendoodles like all other dogs are susceptible to various types of allergies. The most common types include food, contact and inhalant allergies. Naturally, restricting the contact of the dog with the allergen is the best way to deal with the allergy. There are also various medications, dietary restrictions or environmental changes which your vet can recommend in order to avoid allergic reactions of your Golden poo baby.
Bloat (Gastric Dilation Volvulus)
This condition is especially common among large chested dogs. It can be life-threatening if emergency action is not taken. Dogs that eat large quantities of food very quickly once a day or those that drink abnormal amounts of water after eating or engage in vigorous activities right after eating are more prone to this condition. It is popular among older dogs as well. The condition involves gas being trapped in the stomach which causes a twist of the intestines or stomach. This prevents the air from being released and affects the blood flow to the heart. As a result, the blood pressure of the pup will drop and it can quickly go into shock.
If you notice or more of the common symptoms of bloat, including if the stomach of your dog is distended, if it is trying to vomit unsuccessfully or is salivating excessively, is becoming lethargic, weak or depressed make sure you contact your vet immediately.
Just like with humans, dogs can be affected by hypothyroidism. Goldendoodles are prone to this disease of the thyroid. It can cause hair loss, epilepsy, hyperpigmentation, obesity, pyoderma, hyperpigmentation, and other skin conditions. Hypothyroidism can be managed and treated with an appropriate diet and medication.
Caring for the Goldendoodle
Being a mix between two of the most intelligent and easy to train breeds, the Goldendoodle is a smart and eager to please dog. It is easy to train which makes it an excellent option for people with little or no experience with dogs whatsoever.
You should use only positive reinforcement for training dogs of this hybrid because any punishments or other harsh corrections can lead to damage to the dog’s confidence and other negative effects.
Since Goldendoodles are very gentle canine, early socialization of the puppy can be really helpful to avoid shyness and anxiety in the dog later on in life.
This means that you should take your Goldendoodle to all places where dogs are allowed, take it to meet other dogs and pets, invite people to your home, and go on walks so that the dog can meet and play with other dogs on a regular basis.
The energy level of the Goldendoodle is just about average, so you don’t have to run and play with it all day long. Still, if you want your dog to be healthy and happy, you should ensure that it gets at least 20-30 minutes of playtime and walk every day.
If you have the chance, taking your Goldendoodle for a nice swim from time to time will be the perfect way to keep your dog happy and physically and mentally engaged, because these dogs love the water and swimming just like their Golden Retriever parents do.
A Golden poo can become quite large in size, so make sure you have adequate living space for your dog before adopting it. Dogs from this mixed breed should not be kenneled and lift to live outdoors, because they are social animals and need to interact with people in order to stay happy.
If you have a fenced yard, your Goldendoodle will love spending several hours a day outdoors enjoying a nice run or some playtime.
As mentioned previously, these dogs are prone to separation anxiety, so make sure that you don’t leave them alone for long, or if necessary get a pet sitter, or leave your dog a lot of its favorite toys and treats when you are leaving home for more than a couple of hours.
Feeding the Goldendoodle
Depending on the size of your adult Goldendoodle, the recommended daily food quantity is from 1 to 4 cups of top quality dry food which should be divided into multiple meals. How much you should feed your Goldendoodle depends on its size, weight, activity level, and overall health.
Also, the quantity of food intake also depends on the quality of the dog food provided. The more nutritious it is – the less food your Golden poo will need to eat.
In order to prevent your Goldendoodle from becoming overweight or obese, make sure you give it food just twice or three times a day instead of leaving the dog food out available all day long.
You should avoid feeding your Goldendoodle only once a day because this cross-breed is prone to bloat which can be caused by eating a large meal at once or rapidly. As mentioned above in the health section, bloat is a life-threatening condition.
Also, measure the quantity of the food you feed to your dog and monitor the weight and overall form of your dog to see if its diet needs corrections.
You can tell that a Groodle is out of shape if you cannot visibly see a waist when you look at it. Also, you should be able to feel the dog’s ribs without the need to poking it or pressing too hard.
In case your dog is overweight you should reduce the food quantities and increase its physical activity.
In order to ensure that you are feeding your Goldendoodle properly, speak to your vet for any advice on the types and quantities of food it should eat, as well as other dietary and lifestyle changes which need to be made.
The coat and grooming of the Goldendoodle
The coat of this beautiful crossbreed is normally wavy or curly and has a length of about 2-3 inches. The hair on the body, tail, legs, and ears is usually longer than that on the muzzle and head.
The color of the coat of the Goldendoodle can differ depending on the hair color of the parents. It can be white, black, cream, copper, red, gray or apricot, but the most common color is golden.
The color of the coat will likely become lighter as the dog ages.
Even though Goldendoodles are considered to be light or non-shedding dogs, they do require regular grooming, including brushing every week and clipping every 2 months.
If you prefer not to clip the hair of your dog, you should be prepared to brush it once every week or once bi-weekly.
You should bathe your Golden poo only when it is absolutely necessary in order to prevent its skin and hair from losing its natural shine, moisture, and oils.
Brushing the teeth of your Goldendoodle twice or three times per week will help prevent the formation of tartar and bacteria build-up.
You should also trim its nails regularly if they do not get worn down naturally in order to avoid any painful tears or other problems. Be careful when trimming the nails because they do have blood vessels in them. It is advisable to ask a groomer or your vet on advice on how to trim the nails if you don’t have experience.
Also, remember to check the ears of your pet at least once a week. Look for redness or for a foul smell which could be indicators for ear infections which are common among dogs with floppy ears. Clean the ears gently but never insert anything in the ear canals, only the outer ear.
In order to be able to groom your Goldendoodle properly, you should get it accustomed to being examined, touched by the paws and trimmed, clipped and brushed from an early age. If your dog gets used to having its teeth cleaned, and its nails trimmed early on you will avoid the hassle later on.
Every time you groom your pup, make sure you check for any sores, signs of inflammation, ticks or other worrisome signs on the skin, coat, paws, eyes, mouth, and face.
Goldendoodles and children and pets
The Goldendoodle is a wonderful and gentle family pet especially if it takes after the parent who is a Golden Retriever. Your Goldendoodle is likely to be a very loving pet and very gentle with children of all ages and pets of all types.
Naturally, you will need to teach your children how to properly approach, touch and play with the dog in order to prevent any incidents. Your child should know not to tug the dog, and to never attempt to take its food while it is eating, and not touch it when it is sleeping.
It is a good idea to always supervise any interactions between young children and your dog just in case.
If properly socialized from a young age, your Goldendoodle should not show any signs of aggression either to people or towards other dogs or smaller pets.
Adopting a rescue Goldendoodle
Since many first-time dog owners are not familiar with taking care of dogs, Goldendoodles and other dogs are often left in shelters. You may want to check the rescues in your area for any Goldendoodles up for adoption before buying one. In case you want to buy the dog or rescue a Goldendoodle from another area, you can contact your local breed club or the national breed club for advice.
Some intriguing facts about Goldendoodles
They are a relatively new designer breed which first appeared in the 1990s in the US, and the name Goldendoodle came into use in 1992.
The mix between a Golden Retriever which is a loving and playful family dog breed and a Poodle which is one of the most intelligent and athletic dogs, and is considered to be hypoallergenic is a perfect one. The result can be a loving, smart, eager to please and loving dog which is suitable for all types of households even those in which there are allergic people, small children, and other pets.
Goldendoodles are excellent athletes and enjoy running, swimming, playing, hiking and spending time outdoors. They are excellent in agility training and are the best option for people and families who have more active lifestyles.
The Golden poo can be the perfect playmate for your child. These wonderful dogs love playing and are eager to please, so they will happily play with you and with your children whenever you feel like some fun and games.
They are exceptionally friendly dogs. Your Goldendoodle will no doubt become best friends with all family members including young children, other dogs and with smaller pets.
Goldendoodles are pretty quiet. Since they don’t have the natural instincts of watchdogs, you can expect that your pup will abstain from barking even when somebody is at your door.
This cross-breed requires very little maintenance. Since they do not shed, or shed very little, you won’t have to brush them and bathe them so often as other dogs. Brushing the coat once in every two weeks, and bathing the dog when it is absolutely necessary is pretty sufficient. Of course, you may decide to clip its hair every two or three months, and you should regularly clean its teeth, trim its nails and inspect its ears, eyes, and skin.
Goldendoodles are excellent swimmers. If you have a lake or beach nearby your Golden poo will be the happiest dog in the world!
They can come in many different colors. Apart from the most common golden color, the Goldendoodle can also be black, white, gray, apricot, cream or fox colored as well.
They also vary in size, so if you want a small-sized dog you can opt for a mix between a toy or miniature poodle and a Golden retriever. If you prefer a larger dog, then choose a standard sized Goldendoodle instead.
As you can see, the Goldendoodle is a very successful cross-breed which is perfect for a loving family pet and companion to people of all ages and families and homes of all types. With proper socializing, training and care for your Golden poo, you will end up with the best, most loyal and most loving buddy you have ever had!