Breed Guide: Goldendoodle
Reviewed for accuracy on March 30, 2021 by Brittany Kleszynski, DVM
Table of Contents
- Introduction to Goldendoodles
- Size of Goldendoodles
- Characteristics of Goldendoodles
- History of Goldendoodles
- Goldendoodles Standard Information
- Caring for Goldendoodles
- Common Health Problems of Goldendoodles
- Diet and Nutrition for Goldendoodles
- Where to Adopt or Purchase Goldendoodles
- Related Breeds
- Pet Insurance for Goldendoodles
Introduction to Goldendoodles
Often referred to as a “designer breed” of dogs, a goldendoodle is a cross between a golden retriever and a poodle. These adorable dogs make wonderful companions and are often successful guide dogs and therapy dogs. As a relatively new crossbreed of dogs, goldendoodles come in a range of sizes. However, they are not officially recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club or the United Kennel Club.
Size of Goldendoodles
Goldendoodles can be miniature, medium, or standard (large) in size. When your Goldendoodle reaches maturity, miniature dogs weigh between 15-35 lbs and standard dogs weigh between 45-100 lbs according to Hill’s. Medium-sized dogs would generally fall between these ranges.
Here is what you can expect size-wise when your Goldendoodle reaches maturity.
|Male Goldendoodle||28-35 lbs.||35-45 lbs.||65-75 lbs.|
|Female Goldendoodle||26-30 lbs.||30-40lbs.||55-65 lbs.|
When fully grown, a standard-size male goldendoodle will be about 23 to 24 inches tall, and a standard-size female goldendoodle will be about 21.5 to 22.5 inches tall. Mini goldendoodles are generally between 14 to 17 inches in height. Medium-size goldendoodles can fall anywhere in between these ranges.
Characteristics of Goldendoodles
Goldendoodles have inherited some of the very best traits of both golden retrievers and poodles, including being affectionate, smart, and not big shedders. As you get to know a goldendoodle’s personality, here’s what you can expect based on his or her breed characteristics.
|Breed Characteristic||Level (High, Medium, Low)|
|Affectionate with People||High|
|Good with Kids||High|
|Good with Pets||High|
|Need for Exercise||High|
|Able to Be Trained||Medium|
|Amount of Barking||Medium|
|Amount of Shedding||Low|
In addition to these common characteristics, goldendoodles are moderately tolerant of hot weather, cold weather, and intervals of solitude. Goldendoodles are also easy to groom, don’t drool too much, and aren’t mouthy.
These playful dogs need a fair amount of exercise, but don’t have a strong prey drive. Goldendoodles are very social and affectionate dogs that are gentle and versatile. They work well in household settings with families and are good dogs for guiding and therapy. They are non-aggressive but do benefit from good socialization and training classes. Goldendoodles get very attached to their families and prefer to be part of the pack most of the time.
History of Goldendoodles
Goldendoodles are a relatively new crossbreed of dog that only dates back to the 1990s. This crossbreeding picked up after the labradoodle and cockapoo crossbreeds started becoming more popular in American households. However, the first records of mixing golden retrievers and poodles dates back to around 1969 when Monica Dickens crossed the two breeds. Early breeders wanted to create a dog that was just as friendly and intelligent as the golden retriever, but shed less and had some desirable poodle characteristics too. Goldendoodles are particularly popular in the U.S. and Australia.
Most people choose to have goldendoodles as family dogs, although they are helpful working dogs as well. These dogs are favored because they get along with practically everyone and are easy to introduce into social settings. People with allergies also prefer them because they shed much less than other breeds. Overall, the goldendoodle history is still being written since this is a new crossbreed that people are just learning about and embracing. Goldendoodles are already becoming one of the most popular dog breeds.
Goldendoodles Standard Information
Goldendoodles are generally not considered to be a breed of their own, but rather a crossbreed of two different dogs. Therefore, the prominent kennel clubs have not established standards for goldendoodles. The appearance of goldendoodles varies a lot, which is understandable and acceptable given this breed’s history. For example, the long coat of a goldendoodle can be curly like a poodle or straight like a golden retriever.
However, the Goldendoodle Association of North America (GANA) has created a registry to document Goldendoodles’ development and promote the improvement of these dogs. GANA has also established breed standard information as general guidelines for breeding this type of dog.
- Top skull broader at back than front
- Straight muzzle that is wider at stop than tip
- Oval, moderately-wide-set- eyes
- Low set or low hanging ears
- Scissor bite
- All colors of noses are common
Neck, Topline, Body:
- Moderate length neck that is slightly arched and muscled
- Level topline with slight dip behind withers
- Short-coupled and well-balanced body with elliptical-shaped ribs and chest
- Laid-back shoulder blades for balance
- Four legs near-vertical to the ground
- Strong muscles with croup sloped at 20 to 30-degree angle
- Stifles well bent and hocks well let down
- Curly, wavy, or straight hair are all acceptable
- Low-shed or no-shed qualities
- A range of white to orange-brown colors are common
- Endurance trotter
- Lively and fluid gait that appears nearly effortless
Caring for Goldendoodles
Because goldendoodles have easygoing temperaments and pleasant attitudes, they are generally well-rounded and reliable dogs that are easy to care for. Here are some general tips for taking the best care of a goldendoodle.
“Goldendoodles are moderately easy to train with their high intelligence and eagerness to please. Because they are so social, they thrive with positive reinforcement and in most family dynamics. Because of their easygoing temperaments, they are often trained as therapy or guide dogs. They need at least 30 minutes of exercise but are just as happy to play fetch in the yard, as they are to go hiking with you. ” — Sarah-Anne Reed, holistic dog trainer, and owner of Pack Dynamics, LLC ®.
Best Living Environments:
- City settings with small yards
- Country settings with substantial open space
- Indoors with family members
- Crated while owners are out of the house to prevent destructive behavior
Type of Exercise:
- Playtime with family members in a yard
- At least 30 minutes of exercise per day
- Swimming in a safe body of water
- Playtime with children and other dogs
- Lots of engaging toys to play with
- Trips to parks and to meet neighbors
- Start socialization early to expose the goldendoodle to different dogs and people
- Invite visitors over to interact with the dog
- Use positive reinforcement instead of harsh corrections to boost confidence
- Brush coat every 1-2 weeks
- Cut coat every 6-8 weeks
- Keep coat short and trimmed
- Brush teeth daily or at least three times per week
- Bathe monthly to avoid drying out coat
- Trim nails twice per month or when you hear them clicking on the floor
- Clean ears once per week while checking for any odor or redness
Common Health Problems of Goldendoodles
Goldendoodles have relatively good health, but their genetic composition puts them at increased risk for several medical conditions.
The following list includes some of the most common health issues that can be found in goldendoodles:
- Hip dysplasia, which is a genetic, orthopedic condition that may affect gait
- Patellar luxation, which is a genetic, orthopedic condition that can cause intermittent limping
- Ear infections, which are due to their floppy ears trapping moisture
- Progressive retinal atrophy, which is an eye disease that can progress to blindness
- Hypothyroidism, which is an endocrine disease resulting from lack of thyroid hormone production
- Gastric dilatation-volvulus, which causes bloat and is a medical emergency
- Addison’s Disease, which is an endocrine disease resulting from low cortisol production
- Heart disease, which can lead to high blood pressure and congestive heart failure
- Cancer, which can affect many body systems
- Cataracts, which is an eye disorder that can progress to blindness in old age
- Epilepsy, which is a condition resulting in seizures and usually requires long-term medication
To predict possible health issues in goldendoodles, veterinarians often look to what poodles and golden retrievers commonly suffer from. Common poodle diseases include Addison’s Disease, epilepsy, bloat, sebaceous adenitis which affects the skin, and von Willebrand’s disease which interferes with blood clotting. Golden retrievers often have issues with cataracts, hip dysplasia, heart disease, cancer, and other orthopedic issues. However, by crossbreeding, goldendoodles often have fewer of these conditions than their parent breeds.
The life expectancy of this hybrid dog is between 10 and 15 years. With plenty of room to exercise and play, a high-quality diet, and regular veterinary care, pet owners can enjoy many wonderful years with their goldendoodles.
Diet and Nutrition for Goldendoodles
Miniature goldendoodles eat between 1-2 cups of food per day, while large standard goldendoodles can eat up to four cups per day. The food should be divided into three meals per day. Goldendoodles are prone to bloat and benefit from three smaller meals per day rather than just one or two larger meals.
Young goldendoodles (<1 year of age) should be fed a dry kibble specifically formulated for the growth stage to meet their higher caloric and nutritional requirements. Adult goldendoodles should be fed a dry kibble formulated specifically for adults (not a puppy or senior formula) to help regulate their weight and maintain their health. A large breed formula will help support bone and joint health in standard-sized goldendoodles as well. There are many quality brands to choose from, but it is recommended to choose a diet that is well-balanced and AAFCO approved. You will find this statement of approval on the back of the bag of food, which certifies that the diet meets quality standards and that it is nutritionally complete.
Where to Adopt or Purchase Goldendoodles
Many reputable breeders offer goldendoodles because of how popular these dogs have become. Steer clear of puppy mills with questionable breeding practices, and choose responsible breeders that provide health certifications and take excellent care of their dogs. The Goldendoodle Association of North America is the first and only official breed club established for goldendoodles. There is a “Find a Puppy” feature on the GANA website to help you find a puppy from a reputable breeder.
To adopt a goldendoodle from a rescue, check the websites PetFinder.com and Adoptapet.com to search for dogs in your area. Marvelous Dogs has a directory of goldendoodle rescues by state. The website AnimalShelter.org can also help you find a goldendoodle in your home region.
Several other doodle breeds exist. One of the most well-known breeds is the labradoodle, which is a cross between a Labrador retriever and a poodle. Cockapoos are a cross between cocker spaniels and poodles, and these are considered the earliest doodle dogs since they first started being bred around the 1950s. Other popular mixes are schnoodles (schnauzers + poodles), shepadoodles (German shepherds + poodles), and whoodles (Wheaten terriers + poodles).
People often select doodle dogs for their non-shedding characteristics, adorable looks, and pleasant personalities. For breeders, the goal of breeding doodle dogs is to combine the best qualities of two desirable breeds. However, it is important to remember that each dog has a unique personality and genetic makeup.
Pet Insurance for Goldendoodles
Medical issues may arise with goldendoodles, and accidents can happen with these fun-loving pups. This is why many responsible pet owners choose to protect their goldendoodles with pet insurance from Healthy Paws.
Check out our website to compare the different insurance options from various companies and to read customer reviews to learn more about why Healthy Paws gets a 9.8 out of 10 customer satisfaction rating among pet owners and goldendoodle-lovers like you.