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Adding a Goldendoodle to Your Family

A Goldendoodle is a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle, combining their best features and qualities. With a variety of nicknames ranging from Goldenoodle to Groodle, the Goldendoodle is one the most popular designer dogs in America. If you are thinking of adding one to your home, here is what you need to know.

A Little History

In the early 1990s, Golden Retrievers were bred with Standard Poodles as an alternative to the Labradoodle. Breeders admired characteristics from each breed, and crossed them to yield a gentle, cheerful, and intelligent dog with a unique coat. In the US, designer breeds gained popularity throughout the 90s, but the Goldendoodle continued its surge through the early 2000s. In January of 2002, the first Mini-Goldendoodle was bred by crossing a female Golden Retriever with a male Miniature Poodle, paving the way for city-dwellers and apartment owners to welcome them home.  While the AKC, UKC, and CKC do not recognize Goldendoodles as a separate breed, the Goldendoodle Association of North America (GANA) sets breed standards so that purebred registries might one day recognize the breed.

What are Goldendoodles Like?

A Goldendoodle’s appearance and behavior can vary depending upon its type. F1 (first generation) Goldendoodles are bred from purebred Poodles and Golden Retrievers, while F2 (second generation) Goldendoodles are the product of two F1 Goldendoodles. These “multi-generational” pups possess more consistent characteristics, and tend to be more hypoallergenic. F1B (first generation backcross) Goldendoodles stem from breeding purebred Poodles with F1 Goldendoodles, increasing the chance that litters will possess more of the Poodle’s traits.

From one generation to the next, Goldendoodles can be slender or stocky, and their coats can be slightly wavy or full of tight curls. With 4 size classes (Standard, Medium, Miniature, Petite), their weight can range from under 25 pounds to over 50 pounds, and their height can range from under 14 inches to over 21 inches. Their colors include cream, gold, apricot, red, chocolate, brown, black, grey, and even multi-color (also known as “parti color”). Because the breed is still being defined, their temperament is not quite predictable, but they are generally regarded as energetic and cheerful pups.

Caring for Goldendoodles

Because Goldendoodles shed less than other breeds, you may need to brush them more often to help remove dying hair and prevent matting. An occasional bath will help to promote healthy skin and a conditioned coat. They may also benefit from trimming the hair around their eyes to help them see. Trimming their nails regularly helps to prevent splitting and cracking which can be painful. As with any breed, do not forget to brush their teeth to combat dental disease.

With a life expectancy of 10 to 14 years, these hybrid dogs benefit from hybrid vigor, a tendency of crossbred individuals to show qualities superior to their parents. Unfortunately, they also exhibit the same genetic tendencies for illness. Common conditions among Goldendoodles include progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), von Willebrand’s disease, elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, and patellar luxation.

The Cost

Adopting a Goldendoodle can cost as much as $2,500, and you will also need to spend upward of $500 on supplies and initial veterinary expenses. Each year after that, veterinary care can cost around $800 a year. Conditions such as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) can cost between $2,000 and $3,000 per eye when surgery is needed, while hip and elbow dysplasia can cost anywhere between $1,000 to $5,000. A policy from 4Paws Insurance helps to offset unexpected medical costs like these.

Sandy Says
Comments from our Chief Pet Officer

Designer breeds or hybrid breeds continue to build in popularity year over year.  If you are considering adopting or purchasing a Goldendoodle, they will need regular exercise.  They are very intelligent, affectionate dogs that will demonstrate a playful side.  They are easy to groom and even a new pet owner will fare well with this breed.  Many people are unaware that there are pet registries for designer breeds.  So, if having your pet registered is very important to you, click here.  Regardless, just like with any new pet addition to your family, do a little research to ensure you are getting the correct breed for your lifestyle.