What is a Golden Doodle? A Goldendoodle or Golden Doodle is a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle. A Standard Poodle is usually used because they are similar in size to a Golden Retriever. Goldendoodles are not purebred dogs and they are not registered by the American or Canadian Kennel Clubs or by the United Kennel Club. They are “hybrid” or “designer” dogs. They are mixed breed dogs who are intentionally bred. If you’re thinking of buying a Golden Doodle, here’s what you need to know.
Why are Golden Doodles bred?
Originally people bred Labradoodles, and to a lesser extent, Golden Doodles, in an attempt to create a good service or assistance dog for the blind and disabled. Labs and Goldens are often used for this purpose. Poodles are highly intelligent and they don’t shed much, if at all because of their single layer, curly coat. The thinking was that if these retriever breeds, which do shed a great deal, were crossed with the non-shedding, intelligent Poodle, a superior service dog could be created.
Of course, the result was not so simple. Some Golden Doodles have the desired non-shedding coat but many do not. They are not being used as service or assistance dogs, at least by any organizations in North America. They don’t “breed true” so they aren’t reliable for these organizations to use them.
Golden Doodles are popular with hybrid and designer dog breeders to breed and sell as pet puppies. They are intelligent and they have a nice temperament for pet owners. They are usually easy to train. However, they tend to be large dogs and they do require a lot of daily exercise. If they don’t get enough exercise they can exhibit the same behavior problems as other big dogs that don’t get enough exercise: chewing, barking, digging, destroying things in the house.
In appearance, the Golden Doodle is usually about the size of the Golden Retriever so they stand about 22-24 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 50-70 pounds. However, some Golden Doodles can be much larger. They have been known to weigh as much as 90-100 pounds. (This is based on a cross with a Standard Poodle parent. It is possible to breed Golden Retrievers with Miniature of even Toy Poodles to produce smaller Golden Doodles.) Since Poodles can be any color, Golden Doodles can also be many different colors. Their coat can be curly, shaggy, or straight. Some shed and some don’t. They are not always a good choice for people with allergies.
As stated, Golden Doodles are hybrid dogs or mixed breeds. They are not purebred dogs. They are not registered by the AKC, CKC, or UKC. They do not “breed true.” This means when two Golden Doodles are bred together, they do not produce puppies that look like Golden Doodles. They produce puppies that look like Golden Retrievers and Poodles, or some variation of them. It takes many generations of careful breeding to produce breeds that breed true and Golden Doodles have not reached this point. If you buy a Golden Doodle it will likely be a first generation Golden Doodle (Golden Retriever x Poodle). Some people are trying to breed Golden Doodles to Golden Doodles and aiming to create a real breed, but so far they have not succeeded. They will need to get the dogs to breed true before a well-known kennel club will recognize them.
In the meantime, there are some registries that register Golden Doodles: the American Canine Hybrid Club, the Designer Dogs Kennel Club, the Dog Registry of America, Inc., the International Designer Canine Registry, and the Designer Breed Registry.
Like many designer dogs, Golden Doodles often cost as much as show dogs, without any real reason to back it up. The public seems to hear the term “designer dog” and thinks it means something important when, in fact, it’s a sales term. It’s a gimmick. The dogs are intentionally bred and the parents may be well cared for, but the dogs are mixed breeds. You can find good mixed breed dogs at your local shelter for much less money.
Hybrid dog breeders sometimes claim that Golden Doodles and other designer dogs have “hybrid vigor” but these dogs are subject to the same health issues as the parent breeds such as hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, thyroid problems, and cancer. You won’t find any special hybrid vigor in Golden Doodles or other designer dogs.
Golden Doodles are one of the most popular of the designer dog crosses and they can make nice pets. However, if you want a dog that is good for people with allergies, they do not always have a non-shedding coat. If you are interested in getting a Golden Doodle, remember that they are not purebred dogs. They are a mix of breeds. They cannot be registered with one of the older, established breed registries. They are not a rare breed, though breeders often charge high prices.