The Goldendoodle is a popular hybrid dog breed
Rapidly growing in popularity, this cross breed dog combines several of the best features of the Golden Retriever and a Poodle. They vary in size, depending on the size of the Poodle involved – Toy, Miniature or Standard. For example, the mini Goldendoodle is a cross between a miniature Poodle and Golden Retriever purebred dogs. But their temperament is fairly predictable; they are affectionate, intelligent and quick to learn. They are playful dogs that make a great family pet.
Goldendoodle Dog Breed – Temperament
This is a very sweet and good-natured dog. They are very trusting and loving, almost to the point of becoming too attached to its ‘family’ members, resulting in possible separation anxiety if left alone in the house for too long. They do best when they are around their family, and do not like being kept in the backyard in a dog house. They prefer being inside with humans.
The Goldendoodle is also patient and gentle, especially so with children. However, like all dogs of this size, they should not be left unsupervised with very young children, who may unintentionally hurt the dog, resulting in a defensive snap.
The exact temperament of any dog is the result of heredity, degree of socialization, and training. If you are going to a breeder to select a puppy, make sure that you can also see one or both of the parents. You will be able to see how the parents behave when they meet you, and how they act around their pups.
When selecting a Goldendoodle puppy, don’t go for the nervous one hiding in a corner, no matter how appealing they may seem. Also, try to avoid the rambunctious one that dominates the other puppies in the litter. Instead, watch for the puppy that is curious and unafraid to come to you, without being a little ‘Rambo’.
When they are fully grown, these dogs need a good 20 to 30 minutes of exercise each day. The larger sizes of Goldendoodle are not really suited to apartment life, and need a good-sized yard to run around in. Both parent dogs are water dogs, so it’s no surprise that splashing around in water and swimming are 2 favorite activities! They have a high energy level, and need plenty of daily exercise and long walks.
Their intelligence and friendly nature make them excellent guide dogs and service dogs, and also as a companion dog. Goldendoodles are also an ideal choice as therapy dogs.
Goldendoodle Dog Breed
– Breed History
Although there had been accidental crossings of Golden Retrievers and Poodles in the past, they were regarded simply as ‘mongrels’ or ‘cross-breeds’. But in the 1990s professional dog breeders started to cross pure-bred Golden Retrievers with Poodles in a controlled and recorded manner.
This led to the Goldendoodle hybrid dog that we know today. Almost all that you come across will be ‘first generation Goldendoodles’, ie. the product of a Golden Retriever crossed with a Poodle as the parents, also called an f1 Goldendoodle.
Second generation dogs are the product of a Goldendoodle breeding with another Goldendoodle, also called an f2 Goldendoodle.
The first Poodle hybrid dogs were the Cockapoo and the Jackapoo, which are relatively small dogs. Breeders then wanted a bigger dog that had the hypo-allergenic features of the Poodle (low dander, low-shedding), the intelligence of both breeds, and the soft and friendly nature of the Golden Retriever. The Goldendoodle meets these aims. Some people have dismissed the Goldendoodle as “designer dogs”, but this misses the amazing hybrid breed that is the result.
Although there are several online communities and forums for Goldendoodle owners, there are no breed clubs, breed standards, nor any official recognition yet by any Kennel Club. However the popularity of this hybrid is increasing quickly, and it is likely to soon become the most popular of all the Poodle-based dogs.
In the United States, there is the Goldendoodle Association of North America.
Goldendoodles can come in 3 sizes, depending on the size of the Poodle – Toy Poodle, Miniature Poodle or Standard Poodle. The smallest version (also called the ‘miniature’) dog will be 13 inches to 20 inches tall at the withers, and weigh from 15 lbs to 35 lbs.
The medium size version (also called the ‘small standard size’) will be from 17 inches to 20 inches in height, and weigh 40 lbs to 50 lbs.
The largest Goldendoodle (the ‘large standard’) will measure 20 inches to 24 inches in height, and weigh from 50 lbs up to a big 90 lbs.
Life span; 10 years to 14 years
Color; Variable, but frequently yellow/gold/russet. However Poodle colors may predominate occasionally.
Ease of Training
These are intelligent dogs, with the parent dogs being amongst the most intelligent of all dog breeds. They are relatively easy to train if you have a patient and consistent attitude, rewarding the dog for correct behavior and ignoring incorrect reactions. (Positive reinforcement). These dogs are suitable for first-time dog owners.
We recommend puppy training classes at a young age, as soon as your vet says it’s OK, to introduce the puppy to new sights, sounds, smells, new people, and of course other dogs. This is an important part of socialization. Around one year of age, your young dog will be ready for proper training, and obedience classes are a good idea.
These hybrid dogs are not very good watchdogs – in fact, they may not even bark once when a stranger turns up at the door. Like their parents, they are simply too friendly and accepting of people they don’t know.
It follows that they are not good guard dogs either. The Goldendoodle is more likely to wag its tail and try to lick any intruder, than to try to defend its territory.
Regular grooming for these dogs is not a big chore. They are low-maintenance dogs, and do not have a shedding coat. Instead, they are low-shedding, but their shaggy, curly coat type can become matted and knotted if left unattended. They should be brushed every few days to prevent mats and knots building up, and have their coat trimmed by a professional dog groomer during summer months if you live somewhere that gets much over 75 degrees F during the day.
Being water dogs, they have an oily coat, and so giving the dog a bath with shampoo too often will remove the oils and result in a dry, irritable skin. Only bathe your Goldendoodle when it is absolutely necessary, when they have rolled in something smelly or start to develop a strong doggy smell.
The dog’s claws should be trimmed when needed, best by a vet or professional dog groomer. This will help prevent the nails from cracking and splitting, and becoming uncomfortable.
The ears should be checked each week for any signs of infection such as redness, swelling or a bad smell. Also look for any foreign objects such as grass, small twigs, or small childrens’ toys.
Teeth should be brushed each day with a small, soft toothbrush and a dedicated dog toothpaste – not a human toothpaste. Start this for just a few seconds each time, building up to around 60 seconds, when the dog is still a puppy. This will get the dog used to the procedures.
Health Issues and Health Problems
Goldendoodles are generally healthy dogs, and are not prone to many genetic issues. However, like all dogs, they may be affected by certain conditions. A reputable breeder will have their own dogs checked and screened by a vet to reduce the chances of a problem developing with Goldendoodle puppies. Be sure to avoid puppy mills.
The health conditions to be aware of include;
- Patellar luxation (Dislocation of the knee joint)
- Ear infections
- Hip dysplasia (Hip joint displacement)
- Elbow dysplasia
- Progressive retinal atrophy (affecting the retina of the eye)
- Von Willebrand’s disease (affecting blood clotting)
- Gastric volvulus (bloat)
In particular, bloat can occur where the dog eats a large amount of food quickly or drinks a lot of water in a short space of time. The stomach swells up with gas or air swallowed during the feeding or drinking frenzy, then twists. This prevents the escape of the gas or air by either belching or vomiting, and the blood return to the heart is impeded. Then the blood pressure can drop, and the dog will go into shock.
You can help prevent this by limiting how much your dog eats or drinks in one go. Using an anti-gulping bowl for feeding your dog is a great aid.
Golf legend Tiger Woods owns a Goldendoodle, as do many other celebrities, but I couldn’t find any dogs that are famous in their own right. Please let me know if you are aware of any, by using the Contact Me link. Thank you!