Golden Retrievers are famously friendly and even-tempered. Poodles are well known as a highly intelligent, energetic, and loyal breed of dog. If the two breeds are crossed, will you end up with a superdog that has the best qualities of both parents? Read on to find out.
The Goldendoodle breed has been around for decades (more on that below), but these dogs really become commonplace in the 90s. In fact, Goldendoodles have grown to become one of the most popular designer breeds in the United States and the UK. People in city apartments and country cottages alike have fallen in love with these cute and playful animals. In fact, these hybrids are so widespread that there’s a good chance you’ve seen one in the last few weeks.
So how much do you really know about the Goldendoodle? This now-commonplace dog has a few surprises hiding under its fur.
17 Goldendoodle Facts That May Surprise You
1: Poodles and Golden Retrievers Were Originally Crossbred in 1969
In 1969, Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, and the Woodstock music festival cemented its place in history. Meanwhile, Monica Dickens (the great-granddaughter of Charles Dickens) was breeding the first Goldendoodles.
The hybrid didn’t take off in popularity back then. However, Monica continued pursuing her passion for animals. She was closely tied to a number of charities, including the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
2: Goldendoodles Have Been Trained as Service Animals
In the early 90s, many of these hybrids were considered for seeing eye dog training. Goldendoodles’ intelligence, patient temperament, and loyalty made them seem like a natural match for service use. The first seeing eye Goldendoodle was a dog named Richter. He ‘graduated’ from seeing-eye dog training on May 1st, 2005.
Nowadays, Goldendoodles are now more popularly known as family companions. However, some exceptional pups are still chosen for service animal training.
3: These Dogs Provide a Wide Variety of Services and Support
Goldendoodles make for versatile service animals. Some can be trained to guide people with visual impairments, as we just talked about. However, other dogs can assist elderly people with balance and doing tasks around the house.
A few have even been recruited to act as therapy dogs. These Goldendoodles have a special touch with humans. They offer comfort and emotional support to people with trauma, depression, and PTSD.
4: These Dogs are Great for People With Allergies
One of the reasons why the Goldendoodle was bred was in the hopes that the Poodle’s non-shedding coat would be passed on to the puppies. Although these dogs can inherit a range of genes, many Goldendoodles are indeed partially hypoallergenic.
People with mild to moderate dog allergies may be able to adopt one of these cute canines without triggering a reaction. However, pet dander is still present in a dog’s skin cells and saliva. People with severe or life-threatening allergies may want to be cautious when adopting a Goldendoodle.
5: Goldendoodles Have Many Different Fur Types
When you crossbreed two different dog breeds, the resulting puppies get a mix of genes from both parents. Some Goldendoodles take more closely after their Poodle parent. They may have lightly wavy to curly hair that doesn’t shed.
The pups that take after their Golden Retriever parent tend to have straighter fur. They may also shed. However, they shed less than a pureblooded Golden Retriever.
6: They’re a Colorful Designer Breed, Too
Goldendoodles come in many fur colors ranging from white to golden, red, and black. Some of these dogs are solid colored. Others have varying coat patterns. Part colored dogs are 50% or more white with solid patches of colors. Dogs that are less than 50% white may be described with different names. These include brindled for stripes of color and phantoms for a lighter blaze on the chest.
7: These Designer Dogs are a Natural Match for Kids
Friendly, playful, energetic, inquisitive are we talking about the dog or your kids? Just kidding! However, Goldendoodles do have a cheerful and child-like personality.
These qualities make them a great fit for families with young kids. Parents who have been worn out by their toddlers’ bottomless energy can ‘tap out’ and let the family dog take a turn entertaining the little ones.
8: Goldendoodles Aren’t for Every Purpose
There are limits to what you can expect from this general-purpose designer breed. Goldendoodles may not make excellent watchdogs due to their friendly and placid nature. They also might not do well in farm settings. The dogs’ fluffy and curly coats act as a magnet for burrs and sticks and can get quite matted.
Finally, many Goldendoodles have inherited that unfortunate Retriever habit of chewing on things when young. You’ll want to provide your puppy with plenty of toys that they can safely gnaw on. Otherwise, they may be tempted by your loafers.
9: These Designer Dogs Tend to be Healthier Than Their Parent Breeds
Sometimes crossing two unrelated breeds leads to pups that are healthier. This is called hybrid vigor. In the case of Goldendoodles, these dogs tend to outlive their parent breeds. They are also less prone to typical age-related illnesses.
However, we’re talking about averages here. A random Poodle, for example, might be healthier than a random Goldendoodle.
10: Goldendoodles Come in Several Sizes
Goldendoodles come in a range of sizes depending on which kind of Poodle was their parent. The Goldendoodle Association of North America puts these dogs into one of four size classes: Petite, Miniature, Medium, and Standard. You can adopt tiny Goldendoodles (under 14 inches high at the withers and under 25 lbs) all the way up to standard sized dogs (over 21 inches high and 51+ lbs). This lets you choose a dog size that fits your home and your lifestyle.
11: How Long These Dogs Live is Influenced by Their Poodle Parent
Goldendoodles typically live for 10 to 15 years. What’s behind this wide range? It partially depends on what size of Poodle was their genetic ancestor. Small breeds of Poodles have a gene that helps them live a few years longer than their larger cousins. If your Goldendoodle is descended from a smaller poodle, they may also have that gene.
Of course, this is all about averages. Nutrition, exercise, medical care, and sheer good or bad luck all affect a dog’s lifespan.
12: Goldendoodles Need Attention
This breed is loyal and quickly becomes attached to their owners and beloved family members. They also crave attention and socialization. These qualities make Goldendoodles vulnerable to separation anxiety if they’re left alone for too long.
Separation anxiety can lead a dog to bark incessantly, chew on items they shouldn’t, run wildly around, and other nervous behaviors. Giving your dog regular attention, lots of exercises, and maybe a companion pet can curb this anxiety.
13: These Dogs are Great for Training
The intelligence and desire to please that make this breed a good service dog can also be applied to owner-directed training. You shouldn’t have much trouble in housebreaking a Goldendoodle and teaching it basic commands.
Some ambitious dog owners take this a step farther and have trained their Goldendoodles to run races or leap and bound through obstacle courses. This is delightful to watch and helps the dog burn off extra energy.
14: Goldendoodles are Known by Several Names
Although this hybrid breed is best known as Goldendoodles, this isn’t set in stone. Different organizations and dog breeders may call these pups something else. There isn’t any real rhyme or reason behind the different names, such as for a certain size or coat color.
‘Groodle’ is one of the more common variations. You may have also heard ‘Goldenpoo.’
15: This Breed Has a Lot of Cousins
There are a number of ‘doodle’ designer dogs out there. In each case, the breeder wanted to mix a dog’s lineage with a Poodle. This is usually to enhance a dog’s breed with the Poodle’s non-shedding coat and overall intelligence. The Doodle crossbred family includes:
- Goldendoodles – Golden Retrievers and Poodles
- Labradoodles – Labrador Retrievers and Poodles
- Bassetoodle – Basset Hounds and Poodles
- Cadoodle – Collies and Poodles
- Sheepadoodle – Sheepdogs and Poodles
- Saint Berdoodle – Saint Bernards and Poodles
- Great Danoodle – Great Danes and Poodles
16: Some Associations Don’t Recognize Goldendoodles
Major associations like the American Kennel Club don’t recognize Goldendoodles. Why not? Some associations are concerned with preserving ancient, well-established breeds. Others have strict requirements for adding a name to their lists. This might include a certain number of these dogs being distributed around the country or the presence of a well-established breed club for responsible owners and dog breeders.
If you want to get involved in an association, you can still join smaller groups. The Goldendoodle Association and the American Canine Hybrid Club are two options. Want to get into dog shows? Some kennel clubs do accept hybrid breed dogs to join certain shows and events.
17: A Goldendoodle Ran the Maryland Half Marathon
Need proof that these dogs are full of energy? Dozer, a three-year-old Goldendoodle, managed to slip free of his owner’s invisible fence and went on an adventure. Attracted to the commotion of the Maryland Half Marathon, he joined the runners and had a great time along the track.
This energetic pooch wove to and fro among the people, occasionally stealing the show in photographs. He stopped to lap up water kindly provided by rest area volunteers and crossed the finish line at a respectable 2:14:24 mark. Dozer found his way home and was later awarded a medal by the race organizers.