A goldendoodle is not an official breed, but it is a crossing of a standard poodle with a golden retriever. Although the breed status may change in the future, these dogs are not currently recognized as standardized by any major kennel club in the world today. For many pet parents, that doesn’t matter because they love the quirky personality traits, unique body structure, and stunning coats that the “Doodle” tends to have.
The first goldendoodle was bred by Monica Dickens, who is the great-granddaughter of Charles Dickens, in 1969, but the cross-breed didn’t grow in popularity until the 1990s in the United States and Australia. Breeders were working on this project as a way to develop guide dogs for people with visual impairments who had severe animal allergies. Because the standard poodle is considered hypoallergenic, the hope was to create a dog with less dander without sacrificing the trainable attitude.
There is no guarantee that a goldendoodle will inherit the coat traits of the poodle, including the non-shedding coat. The guiding traits are not a given either. What you will discover in these pros and cons is that this cross-breed can make for an excellent family dog.
List of the Pros of Owning a Goldendoodle
1. Most goldendoodles see less shedding than a golden retriever.
Although some goldendoodles do not exhibit the hypoallergenic coat that you can find with the standard poodle, most of them do inherit less shedding as a common trait. The amount of actual shedding that you can experience varies from dog-to-dog, but there is typically less with this option compared to full breeds. Pet parents will need to incorporate regular brushing, the occasional bath, and some fur trimming to ensure that they are looking their best at all times.
2. There is less of an allergic response to goldendoodles.
Because there is less shedding with the goldendoodle, fewer dandruff flakes make their way from the body of the dog. That means individuals with allergies have a lesser response to contact with the animal. The actual response that a person experiences depends on the nature of the pup itself. There are still some heavy shedders with this cross-breed that could be problematic for some households. If you have concerns in this area, then you might want to consider a dog in the range of 1-2 years old instead of a puppy to gauge your reaction.
3. Goldendoodles have three primary coat types.
You have three different coat types from which to choose when deciding on a goldendoodle to add to your family. The most common option is the waxy coat, which provides a mixture of the poodle’s curls and the retriever’s straight coat. You can also choose from the curly or straight coats that trend more toward one parent or the other with this cross-breed. All of them provide the same allergic response and shedding benefits at some level, so you can keep looking for an option that suits your personal preferences.
There are multiple color options with the goldendoodle as well thanks to the coat variations found in the standard poodle. The most common colors are gold, cream, white, grey, red, black, and brown.
4. You can still enter goldendoodles in some performance events.
The established breed associations around the world, including the AKC, UKC, and CKC do not recognize the goldendoodle as a breed – which is the same approach they use to any designer cross that are used today. Despite this fact, most kennel clubs do allow for the registration of a mixed-breed dog to perform in agility or obedience events.
There is one exception to this rule. If you can produce paperwork for both of the parents of a goldendoodle, then the Continental Kennel Club accepts and grants a pedigree.
5. There are multiple size options available with this cross-breed.
You can find goldendoodles of almost any size if you look at all of your options. Miniature ones are usually under 20 pounds and the perfect size for apartment living. You’ll also find medium and large varieties that bring more energy to your home. Almost all of them work well with kids and other pets because of their intelligence and sociable nature, even if there are times when it seems like they might want some alone time.
If you see a small goldendoodle, then that typically means a breeder crossed a miniature poodle with a golden retriever instead of a standard poodle. You will still see the same generational status with this option.
6. Goldendoodles love a good snuggle.
Goldendoodles love to receive attention from their family. It doesn’t matter where you are either. You could be watching TV, trying to go to sleep, or even in the bathtub. You will find the pup nuzzling you for a head scratch. They love to be lap dogs whenever possible. Some puppies might resist the urge because of their adventuresome nature, but most of them love to spend time every day snuggling with you.
7. These dogs tend to be quiet most of the time.
Most goldendoodles limit their barking to the times when they feel threatened, when you walk in the door after being gone a while, or to let you know that they need something. Outside of those incidents, you’ll have a quiet pup on your hands. Even if the other dogs in the neighborhood are barking for some reason, yours prefers to stay quiet unless something exciting is going on – like a squirrel or an exciting game of fetch.
8. Your goldendoodle will love you forever if you take them swimming.
Goldendoodles inherit the swimming trait from both parents, which means you’ll have a dog that is good in the water and enjoys being there. If you have a pool at home, then this is where your pup will want to be most of the time. Your children will have an instant companion in the pool that can help them to develop healthy water habits too. Their speed in paddling is such an advantage that some organizations train this cross-breed to become rescue dogs.
9. Goldendoodles are excellent with children.
Although goldendoodles tend to be high-energy dogs that can forget about their boundaries when they get overly excited, there is still patience and gentleness practiced when they are around their people. This advantage is beneficial for families with children since they can still have antics that make you fall in love with them all over again. There can sometimes be a little nipping during play times, but these pups have the gentle mouth of their retriever parent. That means if you do encounter a little roughhousing, it won’t be a traumatic incident under most situations.
10. This cross-breed works well in homes with other pets.
Goldendoodles are rarely aggressive. The only time they might appear to be threatening is if a stranger in in their home and they don’t trust that person. If you have cats at home already, then your new pup will adopt them as part of their pack. These dogs are easy-going when meeting other doggos as well, although there can be some separation at first when figuring out who will be the alpha.
These dogs are easy to train too, which means you can use their eagerness to please as a way to encourage healthier behaviors.
List of the Cons of Owning a Goldendoodle
1. You will need to pay attention to the F-status of your goldendoodle.
When you start looking for goldendoodles to bring home, then you may notice that some animals have an F-status associated to their designation. This lettering is a generational designation that provides a better understanding of the lineage of each dog so that you can tell from a glance how much retriever and poodle is there in the mix. If you have an F1 goldendoodle, then that means it is the direct offspring of a golden retriever and a poodle.
If you see an F2 goldendoodle, then that means it is a second-generation dog that had two goldendoodles as parents. If you have an F3, then that is a catch-all term for any dog beyond the F2 without going backward from the 50/50 mix. If you see an F1B goldendoodle, then that means back-crossing occurred, which is usually done to get the softer, curly coat from the poodle. That gives you a 75/25 poodle/retriever mix. If you have a F2B goldendoodle, then that’s a two-thirds poodle mix.
2. There are issues with hip dysplasia with the goldendoodle.
When breeders take a knowledgeable approach to the goldendoodle, then the dogs tend to be rather healthy. Most will live 10-15 years with adequate care, medical help, and lots of love from their families. The problem that happens most often with this cross-breed is hip dysplasia since poodles and retrievers both encounter the issue in their genetic history. You’ll want to have a PennHIP or OFA exam on the prospective parents before breeding to minimize this issue.
If you are bringing a goldendoodle puppy home, then ask the breeder for the results of this exam before agreeing to any contract or price. When this information is not available to you, then you should treat the transaction as suspicious.
3. Goldendoodles can need a lot of exercise.
If the traits of the retriever are strong in your goldendoodle, then you will need to get that pup outside to get some exercise every day. Veterinarians prefer about 60 minutes of time each day for walks and supervised play. If you are unable to get outside for some reason, the intelligence of these dogs allows you to train them to use a treadmill. When the dogs keep their energy pent up, then it will usually release in an explosive burst of running around indoors. Because of this disadvantage, the medium and large varieties may not see much success in smaller homes.
4. Social anxiety is fairly common with this cross-breed.
Goldendoodles get very anxious when they are by themselves, even if they are in a familiar environment. If you leave them alone every day to go to work, then their worries or boredom can result in destructive behaviors. These dogs love to chew anything that is within their reach, so you might discover furniture vandalism, broken dishes, or shredded shoes waiting for you. Their intelligence will also lead them into curious situations, like figuring out how to open the refrigerator to “steal” their favorite treats.
5. Some people are still allergic to these dogs.
Although the goal of developing the goldendoodle was to create a hypoallergic alternative for people who need a support companion or a guide dog, there can still be problems with allergic reactions. Some of the dogs, especially the ones of larger size, can see even more shedding with their coat compared to what the golden retriever experiences during the changing of seasons. You will want to look at the miniature options in this category or pursue one with a B-status designation to reduce the risks of this potential disadvantage.
6. The popularity of goldendoodles makes them an expensive dog.
You can pay more for a goldendoodle from a reliable breeder than you would for a standard poodle or a golden retriever. The price for one is typically somewhere between $1,500 to $2,500 before you factor in the vet expenses and other care needs. That’s why you will want to see evidence of a dysplasia exam before purchasing. Additional health issues might include sebaceous adenitis, sub-aortic stenosis, and von Willebrand’s disease.
Conclusion of the Pros and Cons of Owning a Goldendoodle
The pros and cons of goldendoodles prove that they are friendly pups who only want to please their family and have a safe place to live. Their quiet personalities are far from introverted, but they are almost always gentle and kind. You will find a wide range of colors, coats, and sizes, which means this cross-breed can find a place in almost any home.
If you are looking for a goldendoodle to adopt today, then the first stop would be to check with your local shelter, adoption agency, and registered breeders. You can also become a new pet parent by browsing through sites like adoptapet.com.
Natalie Regoli, Esq. is the author of this post and the editor-in-chief of our blog. She received her B.A. in Economics from the University of Washington and her Masters in Law from The University of Texas School of Law. In addition to being a seasoned writer, Natalie has almost two decades of experience as a lawyer and banker. If you would like to reach out to contact Natalie, then go here to send her a message.