Goldendoodles are a hybrid cross of Poodles and Golden Retrievers. They have exploded in popularity, and rightfully so! When they are bred meaningfully and raised with intention, Goldendoodles are (in our opinion) the “Cat’s Meow”.
Let's have a look at the two breeds that make up the Goldendoodle and what they bring to the hybrid.
Poodles are ranked as the second most intelligent breed of dog, right behind the Border Collie. Poodles are used in hunting, retrieving, as Service Dogs, Therapy dogs and many
other purposes. Poodles are also different from most dogs in that they have HAIR instead of FUR. Their hair does not shed in the traditional sense. Just like when we humans brush our hair and see some hair in our brush, the same happens with Poodles. They need to be brushed and get regular haircuts - just like us! Because they are a hair dog, and not a fur dog, many people with dog dander allergies can tolerate the poodle!
One of the downsides to poodles is that, because of their high intelligence, they are not suitable for all people. They need a higher amount of high quality training than many other breeds, longer training than most other breeds and can have serious behavior issues if these needs are not met. They are both smart and athletic. They need mental stimulation and games in addition to daily exercise. If Poodles are left to their own devices, they can become destructive and anxious. Poodles also have a bit of a reputation for being “snobby”. I think this is a human perception of their aloofness. Poodles, in our option, are like cats...you never know quite what personality you are going to get.
Enter the Golden Retriever….arguable the most LOYAL and LOVING of all canines. The Golden Retriever has been selectively bred over the generations to retrieve during hunts. In the last several decades, though, they have gone in the direction of just being the perfect family dog. They star in movies, serve as working dogs across all genres of the class and probably grace the covers of more dog related products than any other breed. Golden Retrievers are the All-American dog. The one negative is that they have enough shedding hair to knit a sweater! It is not only an annoyance to many, but a
serious health issue to anyone who suffers from dog allergies.
What makes a Goldendoodle so special?
The first “Doodle” was an experiment to try to get the personality of a Golden, with the coat and intelligence of a Poodle for Service work. There have been many variations since then, and you can find almost every type of dog mixed with a poodle these days. They are NOT all created equal, and sadly, many so-called breeders perpetrate the myth that all doodles are “hypoallergenic”. There is even an interview with the “creator” of the Labradoodle stating that he regrets his creation.
I can see why. We get stories of Goldendoodles and other doodles purchased from less-than-reputable breeders with a slew of health and behavior issues. People will put any dog that looks like a doodle or poodle together, slap a high price on it and laugh all the way to the bank. This is NOT the original intent, and certainly not the intent of ethical and responsible breeders such as Sweethaven and many more like us!
A well bred Goldendoodle IS special! With the science of genetic testing, we can pretty accurately predict what type of coat two potential parent dogs will have. We can also eliminate testable genetic diseases from the genepool and carefully breed for the greatest genetic diversity possible, thereby introducing “hybrid vigor” to the mix. With the help of testing, we can produce amazing, low to no shedding Goldendoodles in an array of gorgeous colors and patterns. With the help of modern studies in dog psychology, we can also raise our puppies in such a way to produce calm, sound puppies who excel at training and are useful to people who have special needs and to families who just want the perfect pet!
While there are different generations of Goldendoodle who will have varying coats, you can expect a 50%-100% reduction in shedding from the Golden Retriever! They also have the Most adorable, fluffy faces that we all adore!
Well bred Goldendoodles are eager to please, athletic, low to no shedding, healthy and extremely loyal. The caveat is that they will still need training. All dogs need training. Our mantra at Sweethaven Kennels is “Train early, Train often”. The effort that you put into your Goldendoodle puppy for that first year will reward you with years of a loyal companionship.
Goldendoodles and Children
Much like the Golden Retriever, the Goldendoodle is a perfect dog for families with children. We are firm believers that children should grow up with pets - it teaches them empathy, kindness and responsibility, not to mention the feeling of unconditional love and adoration! Goldendoodles are amazing with kids. They are loyal, playful and loving, but not snippy and bitey like some other well known breeds. That being said, all puppies go through biting phases, and it is fundamentally important that all interactions between a dog and a baby/toddler be carefully supervised. With great training (of the puppy and the child), they will form a bond that they will carry with them their entire lives!
Goldendoodles and other Animals
In our experience, Goldendoodles do amazing with other animals. I have had puppies go to homes with cats, dogs, horses, birds, rats and likely other pets that I wasn’t told about! Goldendoodles are SO loving, that they will easily bond to other animals and people very quickly. In fact, we have had some families come back to Sweethaven for their second and even THIRD Goldendoodle!
So, when looking for your newest family member, ask yourself these questions:
-Am I looking for a loyal, loving companion?
-Do I want a dog with less shedding than average or even no shedding?
-Am I looking for a goofy, fun-loving breed?
-Do I want a family-friendly puppy?
-Am I willing to brush their hair and get occasional haircuts?
-If you answered yes - then a Goldendoodle puppy might be in your future!