The Golden Doodle is a friendly, low-shedding cross between a Golden Retriever and a Standard Poodle. This breed has a terrific personality, combines the very best qualities of its parent strain, and is a wonderful addition to any family.
Since so many of our clients ask about this breed (and it happens to be one of the dogs that Dr. Keith Manning and his family own), we decided to answer any questions that you might have. If we miss anything, please add your additional thoughts in the comments section below!
How Did the Golden Doodle Get Its Name?
The name is analogous to the first Retriever/Poodle cross, the Labradoodle, a dog bred from a Labrador Retriever and a Standard Poodle. In Australia the cross is called a Groodle. Many breeders and pet owners abbreviate the name to just Doodle.
Where Did the Golden Doodle Originate?
The idea to cross Retrievers with Poodles originated when service animal trainers realized that blind people with allergies to dogs needed a low-shedding alternative to the standard Retriever guide dog. The animal was first bred in Australia in 1955, but it wasn’t until the late 1980’s that the breed really caught on when the Royal Guide Dog Association of Australia bred the dog for disabled people with allergies.
How Big Do Golden Doodles Get?
Golden Doodles and all other Retriever crosses are bred from Retrievers and either Standard, Medium, or Miniature Poodles. Thus, the breed comes in a range of weight classes from 15-100 pounds! There are no standards for the ‘breed’ since it is not officially recognized by any of the major dog organizations.
Are Golden Doodles Bred with Other Golden Doodles?
Yes. Breeders sometimes cross Labrador/Poodle hybrids with one another as they try to improve upon characteristics like temperament, size, coloring, coat, and vigor, but most breeders stick with a Retriever/Poodle parent set. If the offspring of a Retriever and a Poodle are crossed, breeders typically don’t breed beyond the second generation to avoid genetic issues related to inbreeding.
Are Golden Doodles Hypoallergenic?
Dogs like Golden Doodles that have a low shed rate are often referred to as hypoallergenic because people with allergies to dog dander (the skin cells and hair of dogs) tend to tolerate them well, but the tolerance is not true of all people. All dogs shed to some degree. Purchasing a dog that sheds less than other breeds reduces your exposure to the allergens that are causing to you to have your allergic reaction, but it doesn’t guarantee that you will be immune.
What is the Personality of a Golden Doodle Like?
In general, the Golden Doodle is a friendly, outgoing cross, but all personality traits are governed by genetics, parenting, and socialization. Puppies born to aggressive parents, especially if the mother is aggressive, tend to be aggressive. Puppies that are not socialized at a young age or that are mistreated also tend to grow up with behavior issues.
Aggression and poor temperament are the number one reason why families abandon their dogs or turn them over to shelters. If you have just acquired a Golden Doodle, or any other young dog, we invite you to come to East Side Animal Hospital where we can assist you with an understanding of basic dog training and get you started out on the right footing with your new pet. Dog crosses like the Golden Doodle are incredibly intelligent and respond well to training. They’ll thank you for investing the time into making them responsible members of your family.
Is the Golden Doodle an Active Breed?
Generally this breed requires an outlet for its exuberant personality and energy levels. If your lifestyle prevents you from exercising this dog, you should probably choose another kind of pet. Smaller Doodles usually aren’t as needy when it comes to exercise, but you should still expect to provide at least 4 hours of exercise and interactive time per day.
Do I Have To Have My Labradoodle Groomed?
It depends. Some Doodles inherit more of their parent’s Poodle coat and others the flat, short coat of their Labrador parent. Owners of very curly-haired Doodles often have their pets professionally groomed and the results are amazing. Already a beautiful pet, a professional grooming will really rock this dog’s look.
How Long Do Golden Doodles Live?
The average life expectancy of a Doodle is 12-16 years. Smaller dogs tend to live longer than larger dogs. As with any breed, preventative care, good nutrition, and exercise are imperative to a long, healthy life.
Do Golden Doodles Have Health Issues?
Generally, this is a robust breed with few health issues. The most common health issues that you are likely to have with a Doodle is obesity, dental disease (especially the smaller crosses), and arthritis with age. Since Retrievers are prone to hip dysplasia, you should bring your young Doodle to East Side Animal Hospital for a radiographic evaluation of his or her hips at a young age.
Doodles are also prone to skin growths as they get older. Though skin growths are often benign, a significant portion of them are cancerous and, unless removed, can grow, spread, and be fatal. Since nearly 20% of all skin growths are cancerous and almost all can grow to be quite large, they should be evaluated by an East Side Animal Hospital veterinarian as soon as you notice them.
Dr. Sue Ettinger is a boarded, veterinary oncologist and colleague of ours. Read her thoughts on skin growths on pets.
Where Can I Purchase a Golden Doodle?
East Side Animal Hospital encourages you to use services like Petfinder to locate a Golden Doodle that may available for adoption (see the links below). Adopting a Doodle can save you hundreds (or even thousands!) of dollars and save the life of a beautiful animal that will be eager to join your home and show off his or her gratitude for the rescue. Use the links below to explore Doodles that are currently up for adoption in our area.
Have a Doodle Story? Please Share!
East Side Animal Hospital veterinarian Dr Keith Manning owns a Golden Doodle and is especially familiar with and drawn to the breed. Share your stories below or use the contact form to reach out with any questions. He and his colleagues will be happy to help you out!