12 Things You Should Know about the Goldendoodle

For an animal that’s only been around for the last 20 years, the Goldendoodle is a very popular dog.

But just what kind of dog is it? What traits does it have? What should you know about it before deciding if it’s the right dog for you, especially since it’s such a new type of dog?

Read on for everything you need to know about this fun-loving and sweet animal.

They are mutts.

You can use a fancy name like “crossbreed,” but really this dog is a mutt. It’s a cross between a Golden Retriever and a miniature or standard Poodle. This is not an AKC-registered breed, so even though you see them pop up more and more, they are not yet formally recognized by official dog clubs.

Because they are mutts, there are no guarantees what you’ll get.

With most breeders who breed dogs that have been around for a long time, there is a high level of prediction in terms of the type of puppies that a dog will have. Not so with the Goldendoodle. Despite the best efforts of breeders, they can’t always predict color, size, or even the tail type of the dogs until they’re born. And even then it’s difficult to predict the full-grown size of any puppy.

Sonny is on the larger side for a Goldendoodle. Officially he would be considered a “standard” size (see list below). He is cream colored and his tail is curled.

They come in four different sizes.

According to GANA (Goldendoodle Association of North America), there are four sizes of the dog that exist today.

  •    Petite: Height = Less than 14 inches, Weight = 25 pounds or less
  •    Miniature: Height = 14 inches to just under 17 inches, Weight = 26-35 pounds
  •    Medium: Height = 17 inches to just under 21 inches, Weight = 36-50 pounds
  •    Standard: Height = 21 inches and over, Weight = 51 pounds and over

To give you a good comparison, this is him with his BFF from next door. She is a purebred Golden Retriever, and she and Sonny are about the same size.

They are the best of both of their parent breeds.

The Golden Retriever and the Poodle are both great dogs. Their crossbreed is sought after because it is known to have the best traits of both the dogs in its lineage: smart friendly, and outgoing.

This is a social dog.

Goldendoodles need socialization. They are great with kids, nice to strangers, and are very affectionate dogs. Because they’re so loving, they don’t make great watchdogs so if you need a pet to guard your home, start looking at other breeds. But they are cat-friendly and dog-friendly, so you can welcome them into your home even if you already have other animals. All of these traits make it a great family pet.

Like we said, Sonny’s best friend is the dog next door. This is a video of how they acted the entire time they were together. They would follow each other around and occasionally playfully chase one another, but there was never any aggression from either dog.

They are smart. Really smart.

When its lineage is full of good-intelligence genes, the dog that is a product of both is bound to be intelligent too. And this one is. Both the Poodle and the Golden Retriever are rated very highly when it comes to intelligence. The Goldendoodle follows suit, and many are smart enough to become service dogs.

Here Sonny sits with his owner’s daughter. She has special needs and Sonny is being trained to help her in her daily life, including curb a bad habit.

This type of dog is very new to the dog world.

The first Goldendoodle was thought to have been bred in the late 1990s. It was around that time that “designer” breeds like the Labradoodle were becoming very popular with people who loved Labrador Retrievers (the “Labra” in Labradoodle) but hated the shedding. Breeders managed to create a crossbreed of the two that has very low allergens. It’s likely that some breeders saw the success of the Labradoodle and wondered if they couldn’t do the same thing with the Golden Retriever? Turns out, they could and they did.

They make great companion dogs.

We’ve already established that they love people. This is a breed that wants to please you and its temperament is ideal for training. Keep them indoors and keep them close to you because that’s where they want to be. If you’re looking for a dog that will be your shadow and wants to please you, this may be the dog for you.

This is the face of a dog that wants to please his owner! Sonny has learned tricks and loves to play in the yard, but he always comes back to his owner with this great “what should we do next?” look in his eyes.

They’re a good fit for apartment living.

Even though the largest size might seem too big for an apartment, Goldendoodles of all sizes are well suited to live in smaller spaces. While they do need daily exercise and they are more playful in personality, you can easily curb their energy with a few small walks throughout the day. When it comes to living in an apartment, focus on the things this dog doesn’t do: bark often, shed a lot, and become territorial. These traits make it an ideal companion for someone who lives in close proximity to others.

Grooming is a must.

Just because this dog is not a big shedder doesn’t mean you’ve escaped the need for a groomer. They have a coat that is a combination of the longer fur of a Golden Retriever and the tightly-wound curly fur of a Poodle. Together, that can create a hot mess of fur if left unattended for too long. Goldendoodles need to be seen every two-three months for a good grooming and trim of their nails. Between groomings, you’ll want to be brushing them at least weekly to make sure you’re keeping their fur as tangle free as possible.

You can get a good idea of the Goldendoodle fur from this picture. Sonny is trimmed every two months to keep all of his fur under control, but you can see that with the tightly curled fur on his body, how it could get matted easily if it were grown out. The same is true of the longer fur on his ears.

Overall, this dog is healthy.

Like any mutt, they are susceptible to the health issues that tend to genetically plague their purebred ancestors. For Golden Retrievers, these include hip dysplasia, heart disease, and eye issues. For Poodles, these include hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and certain orthopedic issues.

However, the Goldendoodle often (but not always) escapes these health problems. Because it’s a mutt, it inherits traits from both and sometimes that means a very clean bill of health. As we’ve said, however, there are no guarantees. The average lifespan of this dog is 10-15 years.

Breeder choice is critical.

While the importance of breeder choice could be argued for any breed, it’s especially true of dogs like Goldendoodles that are crossbred. Puppies can cost anywhere from $500-$2,500 which is obviously a huge range. Here is a great review of why the cost of these puppies can vary so much, and why you might not want to be so quick to take advantage of that bargain-priced puppy.

There is no doubt that while they’re one of the newest dogs around, the Goldendoodle is here to stay. If you’re ready to take on an intelligent dog with a sweet personality and an eagerness to love its owners, consider bringing this dog home today.

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