A Goldendoodle is a “hybrid,” a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle. They have also been known by names such as Golden Poos and Groodles. This breed has what is known as “hybrid vigor”; the term refers to the phenomenon of a hybrid breed becoming stronger, healthier and more resilient than the original two.
They have been bred in North America since the early to mid-90s and are growing more popular with each year. In 2009, they were actually recognized by the AKC (big deal?) who only a year ago lambasted breeders of this breed as if they were heretics (hey they are popular now in spite of what we tried to do and say so let’s make some money).
Because the Goldendoodle is a cross between a Poodle and Golden Retriever, you might be wondering what they look like. Physical appearance can vary greatly according to what generation you have, as well as what parents they were bred from. They can vary in color from cream, gold, tan, brown, gray, black or a mix of any of these colors.
Their coat can vary from a shaggy retriever-looking coat to a curly poodle or anywhere in between. Most Goldendoodle are a fair mix in between the two and usually have low to no shedding which also makes them great for families with allergies or those with members at risk of allergies. It’s also great for those who simply don’t like pet fur everywhere. The length of the coat when left uncut usually falls between 3 to 6 inches.
When you talk with a breeder about getting a Goldendoodle, you might hear about the generations of Goldendoodle. This refers to how the dog was bred.
For example, a first generation Goldendoodle, known as F1, was the first to be bred. This comes from the Golden Retriever and a Poodle, both pure bred.
A backcrossed Goldendoodle, or F1b comes from crossing a first-generation Goldendoodle with a Poodle. You may have also heard about second-generation Goldendoodle or F2s. These come from a Goldendoodle bred with another Goldendoodle.
What is the best sized Goldendoodle?
It’s a good idea to make sure that the dog you choose to bring into your family is a good fit for your family and your family’s lifestyle. The beauty of today’s Goldendoodle is that they are now being bred in a variety of sizes to fit a variety lifestyles.
However, it is important to note that although available in different sizes, they are a hybrid of two working dog types that like to be stimulated. It’s totally different playing with a puppy that at six to eight months is 35 to 40 pounds, as opposed to one that is 10 to 12 pounds.
Our “little ones” are fun in the living room running, jumping and leaping around because they are small. We can’t even imagine that happening if they were 40 pounds — it would be total destruction.
So you have to decide, do you have the time, space and ability to be outside for an hour or so a day with one of the larger doodles? Or does your lifestyle dictate a smaller one where you can play indoors?
Various sizes of the Goldendoodle
There are different sizes of Goldendoodle, based on the parentage of the dog in question and the size of the parents. One way to predict the size of a puppy is to add the weight of the parents together and then divide by two. But this is certainly an imperfect science. This is just a general idea and there will be puppies that fall above or below this range.
Some standard Goldendoodle have grown to more than 100 pounds, but a rough average of sizes follows:
- Standard: A female Goldendoodle is 45 pounds to 55 pounds and a male is 55 pounds to 75 pounds or more.
- Mini: A female Mini Goldendoodle is 25 pounds to 35 pounds and a male is 35 pounds to 45 pounds. This doesn’t sound like a mini, right?
- Tiny: This isn’t a very common term. This is a Tiny Goldendoodle that is 15 pounds to 25 pounds if female and 20 pounds to 30 pounds if male.
- Toy or Micro Mini: This type of Toy Goldendoodle is 10 pounds to 20 pounds if female and 15 pounds to 25 pounds if male.
It’s very difficult to say with certainty what size your Goldendoodle will be as an adult. And its parents will not always determine the size of the Goldendoodle offspring. Large parents can produce a small dog and visa versa.
Some use a method similar to the one below to determine the approximate size of the “adult” size of a puppy. So far, it has worked out well:
- At two months, weight times four
- At three months, weight times three
- At four months, weight times two
Puppies grow rapidly from two months to four months, and that will begin to slow by the age of six months. Small to midsize breeds are usually considered fully grown by the age of 10 months to one year, while larger breeds may continue to grow until 18 months to two years.
In all breeds, large dogs can produce small offspring. For example, miniature and Toy Poodles came from the standard Poodle, but then breeders over time simply bred smaller and smaller Poodles.
Our F1b Goldendoodle are a result of an original breeding of a “smaller” Golden Retriever to a small poodle, and then those offspring were bred with a Mini Poodle and thus we have Goldendoodle in the 10-pound to 25-pound range.
Not all offspring will be small and some will be even larger than both parents. For this reason, you have to consider the fact that the small Goldendoodle parent had normal-sized parents and ancestors.
A Brief History of Domesticating Dogs
A person searching for the perfect Goldendoodle for themselves or family is going to find a wide range of information and much of it conflicting. Dogs have been with humans for tens of thousands of years and there have been various sizes since that time.
We believe in the beginning that dogs were used primarily to assist in the obtaining of food by the hunting of large and small game. So you have those dogs that point, retrieve, flush game and in packs, can bring down running game.
Then as humans began raising animals like sheep, cattle and goats, they were bred to herd, protect and control the other animals. As mankind evolved so did their trusted companions who were taught to help with pulling a wagon or sled, and eventually even entertaining through tricks in carnivals and circuses. In some early civilizations they were even worshipped as gods.
And today, they’ve evolved to the point where they assist individuals with disabilities by providing eyes for the blind, ears for the def, and help for those confined to wheelchairs. They can open doors, turn on and off lights, warn danger and know when a stoplight is red or green. They can even retrieve items from the refrigerator at the direction of their owner.
They are providing comfort for children in hospitals and seniors in nursing homes, and even have a calming effect with those with emotional disorders. They have evolved with, for and beside mankind since the beginning of time, and it’s hard to imagine the world without them.
And as mankind evolved to the point of not needing them for acquiring food or protection they began to be breed solely for their appearance, temperament, color, size and more.
Then, being human, we began creating standards by which they could be judged. Sometimes for good reasons, like the preservation and health of a breed, and sometimes for other reasons, like so some owners could feel happy knowing that their dog is better than someone else’s.
Before long, associations and clubs were formed around dog breeding. In the beginning, it was probably due to a common interest in a breed or dogs in general, but eventually, like many other organizations, it was for making of large sums of money.
Kennel Clubs were soon created and decided what would best define the ultimate dog, for those who wanted to show off their dogs to the world and compete against each other. Centuries past before dogs were refined and defined by size groups and breed type. The same will hold true for the “ultimate” hybrid, like the Cockapoo, Maltipoo, Labradoodle, Goldendoodle and more.
Living Conditions and Exercise Requirements
The Goldendoodle is fairly easy to breed and to care for, which is another reason they are so popular. They require a regular but moderate amount of exercise and fairly low coat maintenance, depending on the type of coat.
They love toys are naturals at playing fetch and tug-o-war with a rope toy. They also have a natural love of learning, and we suggest enrolling them in a puppy class at six to eight months. If you can, take them all the way through the advanced classes and you may even consider training your Goldendoodle to be a therapy dog.
You will enjoy them more the better they are trained, and due to their love of learning and pleasing, they will be happier as well. As a side benefit, you will be very proud when you see your Goldendoodle compared to the other breeds in the class. They’re usually at the top of the class.
They are very social dogs and love people. They’re also known for being great with children. The Goldendoodle can live in a city high-rise or in the suburbs with just as much comfort and ease.
Health Concerns and Life Expectancy
Because of the “hybrid vigor,” Goldendoodle are generally very healthy. They are stronger than their parent breeds and live longer. The average life expectancy is around 15 to 17 years although some have been known to live longer.
There are no major health concerns for this breed but minor concerns include CHD, PRA, Von Willebrand disease (VWD), elbow and patella disorders. It is suggested that you have regular tests on the hips, eyes and for VWD to detect possible problems early on.
Goldendoodle need regular grooming and coat-care as all dogs do, but for most part, the maintenance is minimal. For short- to medium-length coats, you will need very little care. Regular bathing and brushings will do just fine. Goldendoodle are usually low-allergen risk and safe for most families with mild allergies.
If you have a smaller one like the Goldendoodle we specialize in, you can bathe them in the kitchen sink. Our Goldendoodle’s love it so much, they lay peacefully in the warm water; one even falls asleep in the bath.
If you have a Goldendoodle with a longer, curlier coat like a poodle, it may require more grooming care to prevent “matting.” Matting generally occurs under the arms and around a collar. Also, if something gets into their hair like a small twig or piece of a leaf, the hair mats around these. Simply and carefully separate as much of the hair away from the mat as possible, and then cut it off. being careful not to cut too close to the skin.
Many owners enjoy styling the coat of their Goldendoodle, and that works fine if properly cared for. Regardless of which type of hair your Goldendoodle has, you will have to trim the hair around the eyes, between the toes (or pads) and the genitals and anus should also be neatly trimmed to keep anything from being stuck. A regular brushing will keep the coat shiny all over and is great therapy for both you and your new best friend.
Goldendoodle are a very friendly, happy and social breed. They love human interaction and are most likely to get into trouble or have behavior problems when they are left alone with little human contact.
So be sure to set aside some time every day for a short walk, a game of fetch or tug-o-war. it’s good for you both, and you’ll have a much more content puppy. Goldendoodle also have a strong desire to please, which makes them easy to train, very loyal and always fun to be around.
Goldendoodle are an excellent, well-tempered breed that is suitable for almost any home with or without children or other pets. Any owner will testify to how easy they are to live with, provided you spend time with them and teach them how to be good pets.
We believe you should always talk to your new Goldendoodle when you interact with them. Over time, you will be stunned at how much they begin to understand you and what you are saying.