The Goldendoodle is one of the most popular designer dogs on the planet. And it’s not surprising how much popularity this hybrid dog has gained since his recent creation. But does this mean he is the right dog for you and your family? Not necessarily! A crossbreed of the Golden Retriever and the Poodle, this pup is a big hit with families of all shapes and sizes. But there is more to him than his gorgeous teddy bear looks.
If you are considering a Goldendoodle, there are many aspects you’ll need to consider before welcoming one into your home. You’ll need to understand their personalities, exercise needs, grooming requirements, and more. You’ll also need to know how much to budget for dog food, and toys.
Still interested in finding out more about the Goldendoodle? This guide focuses on the standard-sized Goldendoodle, not the Miniature Goldendoodle. Although every Goldendoodle is similar, the standard-sized pup is unique in several ways. Let’s jump in and find out if this dog is a perfect fit for your lifestyle.
The Goldendoodle’s exact history is unknown, which is the same for most designer breeds. What is certain is that, like most designer dogs, he became popular in the 1990s. The successful cross of the Golden Retriever and the Poodle to create an allergy-friendly service dog is likely to have inspired the creation of the Goldendoodle.
To date, one of the most famous Goldendoodles on the planet is Samson the Dood, with over one million followers on Instagram.
Looking into a dog’s history can give us an indication as to what his personality will be like, as well as what he might be like as a family pet. And it is a crucial part of the ‘is this the right dog for me?’ research process. So, let’s take a quick look at his parent’s history to get a clearer idea of their history.
One-half of his parentage is the standard-sized Poodle. The Poodle is a German hunting dog, and in particular, duck hunting. So he has plenty of sporting energy, and he has a thing for water (and ducks!) The other half of his parentage is the Golden Retriever.
The Golden Retriever is a gun dog from Scotland, United Kingdom, created to retrieve his master’s quarry, meaning that he also has plenty of working energy and loves to chase birds. Mixing these genes creates a very energetic dog who adores his family.
The Goldendoodle isn’t yet recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as a dog breed in its own right yet. But being one of the most sought-after poodle mixes, he will surely become one of the first hybrid breeds to be recognized in the future. Until then, you can register your dog with the Goldendoodle Association of North America (GANA). This breed club is the only Goldendoodle Club dedicated to promoting and guiding the breed to official recognition.
The Goldendoodle is a delightful doggy who has a real love for life. Always happy and ready to play, there is never a dull moment with one of these pups about. He has lots of energy, and although we’ll cover this more in the exercise section, it is a BIG part of his personality. Many soon-to-be parents assume he’s a big lovable stay-at-home pup who just likes to cuddle. But standard-sized Goldendoodles are full to the brim with bouncy energy, which comes from their Poodle parent.
Thankfully, he is also well-balanced and calm in the home. They are affectionate with their loved ones, which is why they make great family pets. He is not hyperactive like some other breeds and is a sensible dog when he needs to be. This is why he makes a fantastic therapy dog. He also craves companionship and is often called a Velcro dog. He’ll stick to your side like glue, so you best be looking for a needy pup.
If you seek an independent doggo content spending time in his own company, you should look for another breed altogether. Some dog owners adore this temperament trait, and others aren’t a fan. So you need to know which side of the Goldendoodle fence you sit on.
His adoration of humans, combined with his intelligence, makes him a clever pup. Sometimes, too clever for his good! He’ll often get up to mischief if you don’t entertain him enough. He’s a very friendly dog who gets on well with family friends and strangers alike. This is fantastic for families who are very sociable and forever throwing parties or going on vacation (Goldendoodle in tow, of course!) But for families looking for a guard dog, consider a different dog.
As long as you can meet his needs, he makes a wonderful family pet. As long as he is socialized well as a pup, he is sure to adore children, and he loves the company of other dogs and animals. The animal he might not get along with is birds, especially ducks. So, if you have feathered pets or live on a turkey farm, it might be too much for him to handle. Other than that, he’s an adaptable dog who’ll fit into most family environments.
Size & Appearance
According to GANA’s breed standard, the standard-sized Goldendoodle measures 21 inches and above, and he weighs 51 pounds or more. On average, most standard-sized dogs measure between 20 to 24 inches and weigh between 50 and 90 pounds.
If sizing is really important to you, you need to clarify with your breeder what size he is. For reference, there are four types of Goldendoodle size: petite mini, mini, medium, and standard.
The Goldendoodle looks like a big cuddly bear. He is proportionate in overall appearance. He has a happy expression that is warm and always welcoming to strangers. They are also athletic but elegant-looking dogs who have a light and smooth gait. The standard-sized Goldendoodle looks muscular in comparison to his miniature counterparts.
His muzzle is similar to that of his Golden Retriever’s wider muzzle, rather than the narrow Poodle muzzle. Giving him a fuller and rounder face. His cute oval-shaped eyes are expressive, and he has a square and fleshy nose. His ears are medium in size and hang to his jawline. He has a long tail that he carries high in the air, showing off his feathering fur.
Coat & Colors
Goldendoodles are much-loved and renowned for their coat. There are three types of Goldendoodle coats: curly, wavy, and straight. The curly coat is curled like a Poodle’s coat. The straight coat is wavier than straight, which is a little confusing. And the wavy coat is neither loose nor curly – it falls somewhere in between the two other coats. His coat length is typically two to three inches.
Without getting too bogged down in the science behind it, his coat type is determined by the KRT71 gene. Some breeders will test for this gene, enabling them to better predict what type of coat their dogs will have. It’s important to remember, though, that this is not a guarantee. And ultimately, his health and personality are much more important than his curls.
The hypoallergenic dog term is given to low-shedding dogs that are better suited to families with slight allergies. One of his parents, the Poodle, is a low-shedding dog, and the Golden Retriever is not. The Golden Retriever is a heavy shedder! As a mixed breed, especially first-generation Goldendoodles, he could fall anywhere on the shedding spectrum. It’s a myth that some dogs are non-shedding.
If inviting a hypoallergenic dog into your life is important, you are better off sticking with a purebred hypoallergenic dog breed. Or, just like breeders can test for the curl gene, they can also test for the shedding gene.
Recent science has shown that the amount they shed is tied closely with the furnished look of Doodle mixes. Furnishings are the longer and bushier eyebrows, mustache, and beard. If they have these furnishings, they are likely to shed less. Again, we won’t get too sciencey here, but GANA explains it in more detail if you are interested in the facts.
The Goldendoodle enjoys a wide variety of colors. The main colors are cream, apricot, red, black, chocolate, silver, and gray. There are also several different coat patterns that he can pick from. These include ‘parti,’ which requires the coat to be at least 50% white with solid patches of another color. If the coat is less than 50%, the coat pattern is called ‘abstract.’
The ‘phantom’ coat is where the dog has specific markings on a solid-colored background. These markings include above each eye, on the sides of the muzzle, inside the legs, chest, and under the tail. And finally, the ‘brindle’ pattern appears in stripes. The ‘merle’ coat occurs where the merles gene suppresses solid coats, making a completely random coat pattern with different colors.
The standard-sized Goldendoodle is an active canine. He requires around one hour of daily exercise. This is something that you need to commit to. Otherwise, your Goldendoodle will become frustrated, mischievous, and behavioral problems will begin to develop.
He is an intelligent dog who will appreciate a mixture of activities throughout the week to stimulate his mind and body. He is bound to love water, so be sure to include a dip in the local lake or sea frolicking when you can.
In between exercise sessions, he will need mental stimulation throughout the day. Otherwise, he’ll probably take up lawn digging and sofa chewing as hobbies or constantly paw at you for attention. Invest in toys that target his favorite play type. Invest in a selection of toys to keep this intelligent pup happy.
As long as your Goldendoodle has room to wag his tail and humans to keep him company, he is a happy pup. He’ll do much better in a larger home and will appreciate a yard to roam. Ensure that your yard is secure and escape-proof because his curiosity will get the better of him. Small apartments are a no-no.
The Goldendoodle is a favorite family doggo, and that’s because he gets along with everyone. From young toddlers to grandma and grandpa, as long as he gets mental and physical stimulation and company, he’ll fit right in. He makes an ideal addition to multi-pet households too. So long as there are no ducks or chickens about, he gets along with most other animals.
The Goldendoodle is a very intelligent dog, and this makes him a dream to train. His Poodle parent is consistently ranked as the 2nd most intelligent dog breed, and the Golden Retriever is ranked the 4th. This hybrid is also super eager to please his humans. So, with the right training, your smart canine will pick up commands quickly. It also means he’s a great canine choice for first-time dog owners.
However, for him to become the well-balanced and lovely dog that we all know and love, he needs to be shown the way. Start your training as soon as you bring him home, and be consistent with rules and commands.
It’s also important to socialize your Goldendoodle. Mix him with as many other dogs as you can and allow him to interact with them. Expose him to loud sidewalks and noises in the home, as well as other humans. This will increase his confidence and turn him into a polite dog.
The Goldendoodle will respond better to the positive reinforcement training method. This means that he will learn commands quicker when you praise him for doing good, such as performing a command or learning to pee on a pad. Most Goldendoodles crave your praise, so get your high squeaky voice on. And yummy treats will also go down well.
Many Goldendoodles become anxious when left alone for too long. Their love of human company means it’s in their nature to feel anxious without them around. Especially if they are never left alone during puppyhood. Crate training is a great way to alleviate anxiety by giving him a comfortable, safe space. Many dog owners say it’s the best thing they have ever done.
The Goldendoodle is a relatively healthy dog breed, and he typically enjoys a lifespan of 12 to 14 years. This is a lengthy lifespan for a larger dog. To keep him as healthy as you possibly can, exercise him regularly, keep up to date with vet checkups, and feed him the best nutrition your budget allows. Working with a responsible breeder increases the chances of your pup being healthy in the first place.
Like all dog breeds, whether mixed or purebred, Goldendoodles are more prone to some health concerns than others. These health concerns are likely to be the ones that the Poodle and the Golden Retriever breed are prone to. Although the below list is not exhaustive, it’s a good place to start your research and what to look out for.
Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
Both of the Goldendoodles parent breeds are prone to hip dysplasia, so this will be one of the most common conditions to look out for. His Golden Retriever parent is also prone to elbow dysplasia. Joint dysplasias occur when the joints form abnormally, usually as a result of rapid growth. The abnormalities cause excess wear and tear, resulting in painful mobility and arthritis. Struggling to stand, climb, or having general exercise intolerance are signs of joint dysplasia.
The Goldendoodle is prone to various eye conditions. The most common are juvenile cataracts, pigmentary uveitis, and progressive retinal atrophy. All conditions can lead to permanent vision loss. So be sure to look out for symptoms such as itchy eyes, redness, weeping or infected eyes, overall sensitivity, or bumping into things due to vision loss.
This is usually inherited from the Golden Retriever side. The main cardiac concern to be aware of is subvalvular aortic stenosis. This is characterized by a narrowing of the aortic valve in the heart. This puts extra strain on the heart, leading to increased harmful effects such as cardiac failure and shortening lifespans. Your vet should be able to detect this early by listening to his heart, which is why regular vet visits are super important.
This is an uncommon skin condition inherited from his Poodle parent. The hair follicles in affected dogs produce a reduced amount of sebum. And as a result, the dog will experience scaling and alopecia. Patches of dry and flakey skin and hair loss are the most common symptoms. It cannot be cured, but it can be managed with topical treatments and a good diet.
Your Goldendoodle will eat approximately three cups of dog food every day. This will depend on his size, age, energy levels, and what kibble you feed him. Follow the feeding instructions found on the packaging as these will give you tailored advice according to his weight.
Always feed your pup a kibble designed for large breeds as he has different nutritional needs compared to smaller breeds. As well as an age-appropriate kibble. This is especially important during puppyhood as it sets the foundations for a healthy body and lifestyle.
High-quality kibble is the best dog food option for your Goldendoodle. Not only will it meet all of his nutritional needs, but it will keep him fueled and feeling his best. Plus, better quality kibbles contain higher levels of omega-three and six fatty acids. These are important for cognitive and vision development. And a kibble rich in healthy fats is scientifically proven to improve coat health, especially for those prone to sebaceous adenitis.
The Goldendoodle’s low-shedding coat is one of his best assets, so it’s important to take good care of it. He needs brushing most days to keep mats at bay. Especially if he has a curly or wavy coat type. Use a slicker brush to tackle the undercoat and curls. Make sure the slicker brush has soft, rounded tips to avoid skin irritation. They are much less likely to shed than most other dog breeds, but they are not totally shed-free.
The Goldendoodle needs bathing once every six to eight weeks. Use a gentle doggy formula that is made from natural ingredients, such as soothing oatmeal. If he is a pup, use a tear-free puppy product. Brush his teeth at least twice a week to prevent periodontal disease. And clean his ears weekly with an ear-cleaning product as his floppy, hairy ears are prone to infections.
Expose your Goldendoodle to his grooming schedule as soon as you can. Touch his feet regularly to desensitize them and make every grooming session positive by rewarding him.
In addition to the above, many owners send their pup to a professional groomer once every six to eight weeks. Depending on your location and your dog’s size, coat type, and behavior at the groomers, a cut can cost anywhere between $75 and $150.
Breeders & Puppy Costs
The Goldendoodle is a popular designer dog breed. This means that you shouldn’t have to travel too far to find a top-quality breeder. Top-quality breeders are likely to have waiting lists, so plan far enough in advance. But distance and time are no object if it means finding your perfect pup!
It’s important to work with a responsible breeder if you want a puppy from a healthy and happy bloodline. A great place to start your search is with Goldendoodle breeders registered with GANA.
An expected price for a standard-sized purebred puppy is anywhere between $2,000 and $3,000. Depending on your location, the breeder you choose to work with, and demand, the price can fluctuate.
If you find a puppy for any less than this, there is a high chance that they are not a responsible breeder or part of a puppy mill. Always do your research, and do not be tempted by lower prices. You’ll only end up paying more in vet bills and behavioral classes in the long run.
Signs of a good quality breeder include meeting you in person and inviting you to meet the pups in their home environment. They’ll answer any questions you have, and in turn, ask you lots of questions about the home and lifestyle you can offer their pups. They will take good care of their puppies, including veterinary attention and socialization training. Always ask to see the health certificates too. Research their business and look for reviews online, as this can be telling.
There are other costs involved when buying a Goldendoodle puppy. The initial cost includes setting up your home with things like beds, crates, and harnesses, as well as securing your yard. You also need to factor in the ongoing lifetime costs of owning a dog. Such as vet bills, pet insurance, toys, and food. Costs are a big factor to consider when becoming a dog owner.
Rescues & Shelters
If you want a Goldendoodle but it isn’t the right time for a puppy, there are other alternatives to buying a puppy from a breeder. Goldendoodles aren’t common in local rescue shelters, and when they appear, they often get snapped up quickly. So, if you find the right one that comes up for adoption, do not hang around!
There are also breed-dedicated rescue organizations to consider. These pups dedicate their time solely to the Goldendoodle or other Doodle mixes. The cost of rescuing a dog is usually much lower than buying a puppy from a breeder too.
As Family Pets
- The Goldendoodle is a favorite family pet.
- They typically get along well with everyone.
- He has a well-balanced personality that is energetic and lots of fun.
- They are typically gentle and calm in the home with proper exercise.
- He is loving and affectionate too, which is why he makes a great therapy dog
- He adores his family and likes to spend every minute with them.
- This is why they are known as Velcro dogs.
- This also leads him to become anxious when left alone for too long.
- They typically need around 60 minutes of exercise a day.
- Most will do well with playtime in between exercise sessions.
- He is very friendly with strangers, and he gets along well with dogs
- He needs daily grooming, but this makes for great bonding time
- The Goldendoodle is a very intelligent, obedient, and trainable dog
The Goldendoodle is a popular designer dog breed that is a top favorite in the U.S. And as you can see, that’s for a good reason! He is loving, fun, clever, sweet, and affectionate. And did we mention cute as heck?
You’ll be the apple of his eye, and he’ll be the best canine companion anyone could wish for, as long as you can offer him the basic dog necessities. As well as the exercise and company that he needs and craves, he is bound to make a great four-legged addition to your family!