The Goldendoodle is a crossbreed between a golden retriever and poodle, resulting in a "designer" mix that was originally bred in the late 1960s as a guide dog. Goldendoodles vary in size, depending on the size of their parents because poodles can be miniature or medium-sized. The breed typically has curly, hypoallergenic hair and hardly shed thanks to their non-shedding poodle ancestors. Goldendoodles are highly intelligent, athletic, and lovable dogs that are great with children and other pets.
- Group: Hybrid
- Weight: Typically 45 to 100 pounds, but can weigh as little as 15 to 30 pounds
- Height: 13 to 26 inches
- Coat and Color: Shaggy and often curly coat with varying colors. Dogs can be gold, cream, red, black, brown, white, gray, or a combination.
- Life Expectancy: 10 to 15 years
Characteristics of the Goldendoodle:
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History of the Goldendoodle
Goldendoodles were first bred in 1969 to be guide dogs, but the breed gained popularity among breeders during the 1990s. This “designer” mix was bred to combine the non-shedding coat of the poodle with the desirable temperament of the golden retriever.
The idea for the crossbreed was inspired by the successful breeding of the Labradoodle, a poodle and Labrador retriever hybrid. As one of the most popular domestic dog breeds in the United States, the golden retriever was an obvious choice for crossbreeding with the delightfully hypoallergenic poodle.
Goldendoodles have been used as pets, agility dogs, guide dogs, therapy dogs, diabetic dogs, and search and rescue dogs. Their lovability and patience have made them a popular choice for family dogs in recent years.
The first three dogs to earn the American Kennel Club Obedience Champion title after its introduction in 1977 were golden retrievers, which proves their loyalty and ease of trainability Poodles were originally bred as retrievers and water dogs, and both the breeds score in the top 5 of the 150 smartest dog breeds. These genes pass on to the Goldendoodle, so owners can be assured of an athletic, intelligent and obedient companion.
The fur of a Goldendoodle varies. They can have wiry, curly hair like their poodle ancestors, or shaggier and straight fur like golden retrievers. Most of the time, their fur is in between the two extremes.
Though Goldendoodles don’t shed excessively, they still need to be brushed regularly which removes dead hair and prevents nasty matting. To keep their skin and coat healthy, they need a moisturizing bath every few months. Depending on the dog, a Goldendoodles may grow long hair over its eyes or between its toes and appropriate trimming is required.
With average to above average energy levels, Goldendoodles require daily exercise and love to go for walks, runs, hikes, and swims. Their playful nature and retriever genes make them great fetch partners, too. Owners should aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise each day.
A fenced yard is ideal for Goldendoodles to romp around, but they shouldn’t be kept there all day. This social breed thrives with its family and friends inside.
Goldendoodles are obedient, athletic, and smart. They take well to training and are eager to please, so agility comes to them naturally. Agility courses are a great place for Goldendoodles to burn energy and create a strong bond with his owner and companion.
In general, the breed isn’t difficult to train due to their high intelligence. They respond best to positive, reward-based training and will gladly show off their tricks for a tasty treat.
Common Health Problems
Goldendoodles tends to have excellent health if bred responsibly. They may inherit the health problems associated with poodles and golden retrievers, but it is possible that the hybrid minimizes health problems due to their genetic diversity.
“Hybrid vigor” is a common term used when describing mixed breeds, noting the health and vitality of hybrids between two unrelated breeds. Goldendoodles often do exhibit this enhanced health, but only when its parents are purebred golden retrievers and poodles who have been bred responsibly and have no hereditary health issues.
In your puppy search, it’s important to find a reputable breeder who is committed to breeding healthy dogs.
Poodles and golden retrievers are both prone to hip dysplasia, so a hip exam is highly recommended to keep a potential issue in check.
Eye disorders are also a common problem among poodles and golden retrievers. Setting up an annual eye exam with your veterinarian is a great idea for all Goldendoodle owners.
The breed may also be prone to ear infections and yeast infections in the ear if they get wet due to their droopy ears that don’t allow water to drain easily. Owners should give their goldendoodle’s ears extra attention.
Diet and Nutrition
Because Goldendoodles are active, they need a high-quality diet to keep them happy, strong, and energetic. A dry kibble high in protein and fats does the trick. Dry kibble is helpful in removing plaque and promoting general dental hygiene.
Corn, wheat, soy, and dairy are common canine food allergies. Goldendoodles are susceptible to food allergies, so it is a good idea to minimize these ingredients in their diet. Go for a grain-free diet with whole vegetables. The food’s first ingredient should be meat.
Smart and fairly easy to train
Good for those with pet allergies
Friendly dogs that are good with kids and other pets
Needs at least one hour of daily exercise
Doesn't do well being left alone for long periods of time
Susceptible to food allergies, requiring higher-quality, allergen-free food
Where to Adopt or Buy a Goldendoodle
Check with your local animal shelter or rescue group to see if there's a Goldendoodle available for your home. The IDOG Rescue, Inc., group is dedicated to finding new homes for all types of doodles, including Goldendoodles, that need a loving family. Big Fluffy Dog Rescue also includes Goldendoodles in the type of dogs that it rescues. The Goldendoodle Association of North America provides a list of breeders on its website.
More Dog Breeds and Further Research
If you’re ready for your own Goldendoodle, finding a reputable and responsible breeder is crucial for a healthy pet; watch for signs of a bad or backyard breeder.
Like Goldendoodles? You might also enjoy these breeds:
Learn even more about our favorite furry friends by checking out additional dog breed profiles.