Goldendoodle (Groodle): Dog Breed Characteristics & Care

History, Care Tips, and Helpful Information for Pet Owners

Portrait of golden doodle
photogodfrey / Getty Images

The goldendoodle (groodle) is a crossbreed between a golden retriever and a 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 sheds thanks to its non-shedding poodle ancestors. Goldendoodles are highly intelligent, athletic, and lovable dogs that are great with kids and other pets.

Breed Overview

  • GROUP: Hybrid
  • HEIGHT: 13 to 26 inches
  • WEIGHT: Typically 45 to 100 pounds, but can weigh as little as 15 to 30 pounds
  • COAT: Wiry, curlier hair or shaggier, straight fur
  • COAT COLOR: Gold, cream, red, black, brown, white, gray, or a combination
  • LIFE SPAN: 10 to 15 years
  • TEMPERAMENT: Friendly, intelligent, energetic, trainable,
  • HYPOALLERGENIC: Yes
  • ORIGIN: United States

Characteristics of the Goldendoodle:

Goldendoodles have been used as pets, agility dogs, guide dogs, therapy dogs, diabetic dogs, and search and rescue dogs. Their lovability, patience, and willingness to please their humans have made them a popular choice for family dogs in recent years.

Affection Level High
Friendliness High
Kid-Friendly High
Pet-Friendly High
Exercise Needs Medium
Playfulness High
Energy Level High
Trainability High
Intelligence High
Tendency to Bark Low
Amount of Shedding Low
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Click Play to Learn More About the Lovable Goldendoodle

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, which is 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.

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.

Goldendoodle Care

Though low-maintenance, goldendoodles require adequate exercise, grooming, and training. 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. The fur of a goldendoodle varies, but most of the time, their fur is in between the two extremes when it comes to grooming. 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.

Exercise

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 including walking, running, swimming, and tackling agility courses.

Grooming

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.

Training

Goldendoodles are obedient, athletic, and smart so they take well to training and are eager to please. Agility comes to them naturally and courses are a great place for goldendoodles to burn energy and create a strong bond between owner and companion.

Goldendoodle Dog with Ball
Maria Jeffs / Getty Images

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.

Hip dysplasia: 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: Eye issues 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.

Infections: 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.

goldendoodles as pets illustration
KIllustration: The Spruce / Kelly Miller

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.

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.

Goldendoodle Overview

Pros
  • Smart and fairly easy to train

  • Good for those with pet allergies

  • Friendly dogs that are good with kids and other pets

Cons
  • Needs at least 30 minutes to an 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

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.

FAQ
  • Are goldendoodles rare?

    No. Goldendoodles are popular dogs, but they are not rare. The only potentially rare goldendoodles are ones with all black or merle coats, thanks to the intricacies of genetics.

  • What is a merle goldendoodle?

    Goldendoodle coats come in a variety of colors and markings. Merle refers to a variegated pattern on a goldendoodle's coat. (Note that the merle gene may cause blindness and deafness.) Other names for patterns include parti (half white with patches), phantom (distinct markings on chest and other areas), brindle (stripes), and abstract (solid color with white markings).

  • What are goldendoodle furnishings?

    The word "furnishings" seems like an odd choice of a word to describe facial hair features for dogs, but that's just what it means. The characteristic furnishings typically found on goldendoodles include longer than usual eyebrows, mustaches, and beards that make the dogs look so adorably scruffy.

  • How much do goldendoodles cost?

    If you buy a goldendoodle from a breeder, be prepared to spend on average between $2,000 to $3,000 or even more for a mini or a merle goldendoodle. This dog is expensive because it takes breeders a lot of genetic engineering to produce these beautiful dogs.