Goldendoodles: Choosing a Goldendoodle

What do you get when you mix two of the most people-friendly, intelligent dog breeds, the Golden Retriever and the Poodle? You get the Goldendoodle, of course! The Goldendoodle is a mixed breed (also referred to as a hybrid or designer breed) that is thought to have originally gained popularity in Austraila, along with the Labradoodle (the Lab, Poodle mix), for his skills in assisting the disabled. The Goldendoodle, now a popular family pet, has found his way into the homes and hearts of people all over the world.

The Golden Retriever probably originated in Scotland in the 1800s as a hunting dog. A member of the sporting group, this breed joined the American Kennel Club in 1925. The Golden Retriever's strong swimming, retrieving, and tracking skills make him an expert hunter. Hunting is not the Golden's only talent; he is also an avid show dog, obedience performer, therapy dog, and assistance dog.

The Poodle is believed to have originated in Germany around the 13th Century as a water retriever. Poodles are famous for carrying supplies and messages during World War II and performing in circuses and French dog playhouses. Today the Poodle is very popular in the show- ring and as an assistance dog. He also has talents in obedience and trick performance. The AKC recognizes three sizes of the Poodle – the toy group's Toy Poodle and the non-sporting group's Miniature and Standard Poodles.

Size and color of Goldendoodles are variable because they are a mixed breed. The mix of the parenting dogs' characteristics allows for many trait combinations in the puppies. Based on which variety of the Poodle (generally miniature or standard) is used in breeding, the size of the Goldendoodle ranges from approximately 25 pounds, 13 inches tall to 90 pounds, 29 inches tall. The coat of this mixed breed ranges from a shaggy, retriever-type coat to a curly, Poodle-type variety. Most Goldendoodle coats fall somewhere in between. The color can be black, grey, chocolate, cream, gold, or multi-color. These adorable dogs have floppy ears and a long tail.

As with any mixed breed dog, the puppies can receive any traits of the parenting dogs; therefore, the personality and temperament of the pups is not necessarily predictable. Fortunately for the Goldendoodle, both the Golden Retriever and the Poodle are typically intelligent, well-mannered, people-friendly dogs. As a result, the Goldendoodle is a wonderful family pet, who is easily trained, playful, and affectionate. The breed's personality makes him a great dog for therapy, assistance, and obedience and trick training.

Because of the Poodle's low-shed, low-allergen coat, the Goldendoodle may be ideal for families with allergies, asthma, and other respiratory problems.

Care and maintenance of the Goldendoodle include regular brushing and visits to the groomer. Neglecting the breed's long coat can lead to uncomfortable matting. Exercise, playtime, and mental stimulation are also important for the Goldendoodle, as they are high energy and intelligence. Swimming, learning new commands, a game of fetch, jogging, and agility are just a few of the activities Goldendoodles enjoy with their families. Without this regular attention, the dog may become bored and possibly even destructive as a result.

The Golden and the Poodle are susceptible to some health problems which are listed below. Unfortunately, this means the Goldendoodle is also at risk.

Gastric torsion (bloat) is a life-threatening, sudden illness associated with the stomach filling with air and twisting.

Hip dysplasia is a malformation of the hip joint that results in pain, lameness and arthritis.

Epilepsy is a seizure disorder which develops between the ages of 2 to 5 years.

Hyperadrenocorticism is a disorder affecting the adrenal glands. When overactive, the adrenal glands secrete excessive cortisol, resulting in illness.

Diabetes is a disease of the pancreas related to insufficient amounts of insulin production.

Hemangiosarcoma is cancer that can results in bleeding tumors of the spleen, liver or heart.

The Goldendoodle's average life span is 10-15 years.

Please see PetPlace's breed profiles of the Golden Retriever and the Poodle to learn more about the Goldendoodle's parenting breeds.