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The Goldendoodle: What is Good and Bad about them

Updated 03/25/2024 – Have you ever wondered what makes the Goldendoodle such a popular breed? Among designer dogs, the Goldendoodle stands out, garnering significant interest. Drawing from my personal experience as a doodle parent, this post aims to explore both the good and bad aspects of the Goldendoodle, shedding light on what potential owners can expect.

Goldendoodles, a cross between the Golden Retriever and the Standard Poodle, are loved by families and individuals alike. The best of them will incorporate the intelligence and hypoallergenic traits of the Poodle, while inheriting the sociable and kind nature of the Golden Retriever.

This unique combination has skyrocketed them to fame as a sought-after designer breed. However, like any breed, they come with their own set of challenges and quirks that potential owners should be aware of.

In this post, we’ll take a close, unbiased look at what it really means to have a Goldendoodle as part of your family, considering both their positive traits and the challenges they may bring.

After all it’s not all about looks and charm; owning a Goldendoodle involves understanding their needs, temperament, and potential health issues.

The Goldendoodle: What is Good and Bad about them - Title pic with red Goldendoodle in light peach circle with dark peach background

Goldendoodles: Both the Good and the Bad

Let me start off saying I love Goldendoodles. Although I have a different type of poodle mix, I have been around many Goldendoodles over the years. Overall, they are fantastic dogs. In this section we are going to talk about all the good things about the Goldendoodle. And there are many good things to talk about.

All the Good Things About Goldendoodles

1. Adorable Looks

The adorable teddy bear appearance of the Golden doodle is undeniably one of its most endearing qualities. This breed, with its soft, curly coat and expressive eyes, captures the hearts of onlookers instantly.

Their charming looks not only make them irresistible family companions but also help in social situations, as their approachable and cuddly appearance often brings smiles and breaks the ice.

Close up of a Goldendoodle nose

2. Friendly Nature

Thanks to their Golden Retriever parent, Goldendoodles inherit a temperament that ranks them among the friendliest dogs. This makes them excellent family pets, as they are great with kids and other animals.

Their goldendoodle temperament also shines in public settings, as they interact well with new people and other pets, making outings like dog park visits more enjoyable and relaxed.

3. Come in a Variety of Sizes

The variety of sizes in which Goldendoodles come is a significant advantage, catering to a wide range of lifestyles and preferences. The Mini Goldendoodle, smaller and more compact, is perfect for those living in apartments or with limited space, offering the joy of a Goldendoodle in a more manageable size.

On the other hand, the Standard Goldendoodle, larger and more robust, is ideal for families looking for a more active companion, capable of participating in outdoor activities but requiring more space to roam.

If you are looking for something in between, you can now find medium sized Goldendoodles too.

Goldendoodle puppy in grass with a bone shaped toy in mouth

4. High Intelligence

Goldendoodles are considered to be highly intelligent dogs. These smarts are attributed to their Poodle parent which are renowned for their sharp intellect. This trait along with the Golden’s desire to please is often inherited by the Goldendoodle, setting them apart as exceptionally smart, trainable dogs.

5. Service Dogs

The high intelligence and eagerness to please of Goldendoodles make them not only easy to train but also highly capable as guide dogs or service dogs. Their ability to quickly learn and adapt to various tasks, combined with a keen sensitivity to their owner’s needs, allows them to excel in these important roles.

What is Good and Bad about them - Therapy Goldendoodle in library

6. Low to No Shedding Coats

Goldendoodles are often celebrated for their low-shedding coat, making them a top choice for those who dread the constant battle with pet hair in their homes. Having lived with a Golden Retriever, I can attest to the amount of fur they can shed. However poodle mix breeds tend to shed less, reducing the likelihood of finding dog hair on furniture, clothes, and around the house.

Their reputation as hypoallergenic dogs come from this low-shedding trait, as it minimizes the amount of dander and hair in the environment, which are common triggers for allergic reactions.

However, it’s important to note that no dog breed can be guaranteed to be completely hypoallergenic. While the Goldendoodle may be a better option for allergy sufferers as compared to many other breeds, individual reactions can vary.

For those with severe dog allergies, spending time with a Goldendoodle before making a commitment is the best way to gauge personal sensitivity.

7. Active Companions

Goldendoodles are active and energetic, making them the perfect choice for those who lead an active lifestyle or are seeking a furry companion for their outdoor adventures.

From the moment they are goldendoodle puppies, these dogs exhibit a zest for life and an eagerness to engage in physical activities. This boundless energy continues as they grow, rendering them ideal jogging partners, hiking companions, or participants in outdoor games when they are fully grown.

Goldendoodle jumping off dock into lake with mountains in background

8. Adaptable Dogs

Goldendoodles are highly adaptable dogs, capable of thriving in various living environments, which makes them great family dogs. Whether it’s in a spacious house with a big yard or a cozy apartment setting, they adjust remarkably well to their surroundings, as long as their mental and physical needs are met.

9. Great Therapy Dogs

Goldendoodles are affectionate dogs whose friendly and intuitive nature predisposes them to be excellent therapy and support animals. Their innate ability to understand and respond to human emotions makes them a great choice for those in need of a compassionate companion.

As therapy dogs, Goldendoodles offer comfort, support, and a calming presence to individuals in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and even in therapy sessions.

Their affectionate demeanor and gentle approach can significantly alleviate stress, anxiety, and loneliness in people, making a real difference in their mental and emotional well-being.

10. Longer Lifespan

Goldendoodles often enjoy a longer lifespan compared to purebred Golden Retrievers, a benefit attributed to the concept of hybrid vigor, which arises from crossbreeding them with a poodle.

By introducing genetic diversity through a different breed, in this case, Goldendoodles are less likely to inherit some of the health issues common in purebred dogs. This genetic mixing can lead to a stronger, more robust constitution, potentially extending their lifespan and improving their overall health.

Goldendoodle puppy biting shoe

The Bad Things About Goldendoodles

In this section we are going to talk about the things that are not so great about the Goldendoodle. While they may be deal breakers for some, most of them are just things you should be aware of before adopting a Goldendoodle.

1. Not a Purebred Dog

The fact that Goldendoodles are not considered purebred dogs is sometimes seen as a downside. Especially to people who do not agree with cross breeding dogs.

As a designer dog, a mix between a purebred Golden Retriever and a Standard Poodle, Goldendoodles lack the official breed status that purebred dogs have. This means they are not recognized by prominent organizations like the American Kennel Club, which maintains strict breed standards.

While the Goldendoodle Association of North America does provide some support and recognition, the absence of purebred status can lead to variability in traits and characteristics, making it challenging to predict aspects like size, coat type, and temperament with the same certainty, even within the same litter, as one would with a purebred dog breed.

White and red Goldendoodle sitting in snow

2. High Maintenance Grooming

While many people are attracted to the Goldendoodle’s fluffy coat, it requires a lot of time to keep it looking its best. Regular grooming is essential to prevent their fur from becoming matted.

Matting is not just a cosmetic issue; it can lead to skin irritation and discomfort for the dog. Grooming involves brushing their coat several times a week and also regular baths, haircuts, and ear cleaning to maintain their overall health and appearance.

Neglecting the grooming needs of a Goldendoodle can result in a host of problems. Mats can pull on the skin and cause pain, and tangled fur can hide skin conditions or parasites. Moreover, a poorly maintained coat can lead to a lessened ability to regulate body temperature.

Before committing to a Goldendoodle, it’s important to consider the time, effort, and expense involved in proper grooming. Professional grooming cost can easily range between $100 to $150 a session for a standard Goldendoodle.

3. Requires a Lot of Exercise and mental stimulation

Goldendoodles are known for their high energy levels, which can be overwhelming at times, particularly for less active owners or those with young kids. These energetic dogs require not just ample physical exercise but also consistent mental stimulation to stay balanced and happy.

Without adequate outlets for their energy, Goldendoodles can sometimes exhibit destructive behavior, a common response to under-stimulation or boredom in intelligent and active breeds.

Large Goldendoodle in tent

4. Health Issues

Like many breeds, they can have health problems. Here are a few of the health conditions they are prone to:

  • Hip Dysplasia: A common joint issue in larger breeds that can affect mobility.
  • Ear Infections: Their floppy ears can create conditions that lead to infections.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy: A degenerative eye disorder that can result in vision loss.
  • Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (Bloat): A potentially life-threatening stomach condition.

A reputable breeder plays a crucial role in minimizing the risk of inherited health problems as they typically conduct health screenings on the parent dogs to reduce the chances of passing on genetic conditions.

Potential Goldendoodle owners should still be prepared to address these health concerns, recognizing that while reputable breeding can reduce risks, it does not eliminate them entirely.

Regular veterinary check-ups, a proper diet, and an awareness of the signs of these health issues can help ensure that Goldendoodles live a healthy and happy life.

Red Goldendoodle lying in grass

5. Not Always ‘Hypoallergenic’

I touched on this above but it is worth stating again, despite their low-shedding coat, Goldendoodles are not always hypoallergenic.

Allergens can be found in a dog’s dander, saliva, and urine, not just their fur. Therefore, even with a Goldendoodle’s reduced shedding, individuals with severe allergies might still experience allergic reactions.

6. They Are Expensive

Goldendoodles are expensive, both in the initial purchase and ongoing care. The cost of a Goldendoodle puppy from a reputable breeder can be high due to their popularity and the costs associated with breeding designer dogs.

Additionally, their ongoing care, including grooming, veterinary check-ups, and potential health issues, can add up over time, making them a significant financial commitment for their owners.

Red Goldendoodle in grass

7. Need Constant Companionship

Goldendoodles are very social dogs that often require constant companionship. They are prone to separation anxiety when left alone for long periods of time. This trait makes them less suitable for individuals with busy lifestyles or those who are away from home frequently.

8. Not Good Guard Dogs

Goldendoodles, known for their friendly and sociable disposition, typically do not make effective guard dogs.

Their inherent friendliness towards both familiar faces and strangers means they are more likely to greet intruders with a wagging tail rather than a protective stance.

9. Are Prone to Weight Gain

Goldendoodles have a hearty appetite and are prone to weight gain if their food intake is not carefully monitored. This breed’s love for eating, combined with their sociable nature, can often lead to overfeeding, especially if they manage to charm extra treats from doting family members.

Weight management is crucial, as being overweight can lead to a host of health issues, including joint problems, diabetes, and heart disease.

White Goldendoodle puppy with red bow

10. Can Be Stubborn

Though Goldendoodles are intelligent, some goldendoodle owners state they can exhibit stubborn streaks, necessitating patience and consistent training.

This stubbornness means that while they are capable of learning quickly, they might occasionally test boundaries or resist commands, requiring a steady and persistent training approach to guide their behavior effectively.

Deciding if the Goldendoodle is Right for You

As we look back at all the good and bad that is associated with Goldendoodles, it becomes clear that they embody a delightful blend of traits from their parent breeds. Despite the challenges of high grooming needs, potential for weight gain, and their need for constant companionship, the affection, intelligence, and low-shedding coats of Goldendoodles make them a top choice for many.

While they come with their share of responsibilities, from grooming needs to their demand for companionship and exercise, the joy and love they bring to a household are immeasurable. For those considering adding a Goldendoodle to their family, it’s essential to weigh both the good and bad about them carefully.

If you feel ready to embrace both the joys and responsibilities of owning a Goldendoodle, reaching out to trusted breeders or Goldendoodle rescue organizations could be your first step towards welcoming a new, loving companion into your home.

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