The Goldendoodle is a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle being a crossbreed that over the years has become one of the most popular family pets and companion dogs on the planet which is highly understandable given their good looks and charming, loyal natures. They are not recognised by The Kennel Club as a breed in its own right (July 2016), but many breed clubs have been established both here in the UK and elsewhere in the world to ensure these handsome dogs continue to be bred responsibly. Today, the Goldendoodle which is also sometimes referred to as a Groodle, remains not only a wonderful family pet, but they are also very versatile and highly valued working dogs too.
The Goldendoodle is one of the newest additions to the fast growing list of crossbreeds that have appeared on the scene over recent years. The idea behind crossing Poodles with Golden Retrievers was to create a larger "doodle-type" dog that also boasted being low shedding and a dog that was both highly intelligent and affectionate that would make them not only ideal pets, but assistance dogs too and more especially for people who suffered from allergies.
These charming dogs have become extremely popular in many countries of the world and more especially in Australia. However, as yet they are not recognised by The Kennel Club or other international breed clubs around the world (July 2016), but many local clubs have been established with an end goal being to continue to breed healthy Goldendoodles in the most responsible way and to achieve a consistency in their looks and personalities.
Height at the withers: Males 61 - 66 cm, Females 56 - 58 cm
Average Weight: Males 14 - 20 kg, Females 14 - 20 kg
Goldendoodles come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colours with puppies in a same litter looking quite different because it depends on whether they throw more to the Golden Retriever or to the Poodle. However, responsible breeders are trying to breed dogs that are not only healthy, but which have more consistency in their looks and natures too. However, there is no "breed standard" as such with some Goldendoodles having tight curly coats whereas other can have silkier, flatter coats that resemble more that of a Golden Retriever rather than a Poodle.
With this said, they are nicely put together with dogs having a kind and alert look about their eyes if rather mischievous at times. They have dark eyes surrounded with hair which forms charming eyebrows. The hair on their muzzles is long enough to form whiskers. Ears are set high and drop down close to the side of a dog's head being covered in tight or loose curls. The Goldendoodle has a strong jaw with a perfect scissor bite where their upper teeth neatly overlap their lower ones.
They have strong shoulders and nice straight and long front legs. Chest are well developed with dogs having nicely sprung ribs and slightly tucked up bellies which adds to their athletic appearance. They have nice level, strong backs and powerful, muscular back legs. Their feet are round and well-padded with strong nails.
When it comes to their coat, the Goldendoodle can have a tight or loose curly coat or they can have a straighter, flatter and silkier coats depending on whether they have thrown more to a Poodle or to a Golden Retriever. The most commonly seen coat colours are as follows:
Goldendoodles are highly intelligent and energetic dogs having inherited many of their parent breed's traits both in looks and personality. They adore being in and around water which means care has to be taken when they are being walked anywhere near any dangerous water courses just in case they decide to jump in.
They are also very playful by nature and love nothing more than being in a family environment where they are included in all that goes on around them. However, puppies need to be well socialised from a young age so they grow up to be more outgoing, confident mature dogs no matter where they happen to be taken. Their socialisation has to include introducing dogs to lots of new situations, noises, people, other animals and dogs once they have been fully vaccinated.
Their training has to begin early too and ideally puppies need to be taught the "ground rules" from the word go. Their education can start in earnest once they have had all their shots. These dogs love learning new things and a great way of starting their training and socialisation is to enrol them into puppy classes where they get to meet lots of other dogs and people while at the same time being put through their paces in a safe and controlled environment.
Goldendoodles are a good choice for first time owners because they are such clever characters that like nothing more than to please. However, owners need to be able to give their dogs the right amount of socialisation and training from a young enough age for them to mature into well-rounded and well behaved dogs. As such, Goldendoodles need to be handled with a firm, yet gentle hand so they understand who is the boss in a household. They are never happier than when they know who they can look to for direction and guidance.
Goldendoodles are smart dogs, having inherited their intelligence from both parent breeds. They also love to please and enjoy the one-to-one attention they get when they are being trained. As such, in the right hands and environment they are highly trainable learning new things very quickly. The downside being they often learn the bad behaviours just as fast. As such they need to be handled and trained with a firm, yet gentle hand so they understand who is the alpha dog in a household and what their owners expect of them.
They are quite sensitive dogs by nature and therefore they do not respond well to any sort of harsh correction or heavier handed training methods. They do answer well to positive reinforcement which always brings the best out of these clever and quick witted dogs.
Goldendoodles are a great choice as family pets because they are so kind natured. However, any interaction between younger children and dogs should always be well supervised by an adult to make sure playtime does not get too boisterous which could result in a child being frightened or hurt, albeit by accident.
They are known to get on well with other dogs, more especially if a Goldendoodle has been well socialised from a young enough age. If they have grown up with a family cat in the home, they usually get on well together, but a Goldendoodle would think nothing of chasing off any other cats they come across. Care should always be taken when they are around smaller animals and pets, just in case.
The average life expectancy of a Goldendoodle is between 10 and 15 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.
Being such a new breed, it's hard to say if the Goldendoodle has inherited some or all of the hereditary health issues that affect the parent breeds. With this said, all stud dogs should be tested before being used in a breeding programme. For the moment the conditions that may affect them the most are as follows:
As with any other breed, Goldendoodles need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. They also need to be given regular daily exercise to ensure they remain fit and healthy. On top of this, dogs need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives.
A Goldendoodle can have many different coat types depending on which of the parent breeds a puppy has thrown to with some dogs having wavier and curlier hair than others and this can be seen in puppies from the same litter. Their coats are usually around 5 to 8 cm long with the hair being longer on a dog's body, ears, legs and tails which can be slightly feathered. The hair tends to be that much shorter on a dog’s head and muzzle although Groodles have charming whiskers which need to be wiped after a dog has finished eating.
Although they are thought to be non or low shedding dogs, Goldendoodles still need to be groomed on a regular basis to keep things tidy. Their coats also benefit from being clipped by a professional groomer several times a year which makes it easier to keep them in good condition and tidier in between visits to the grooming parlour. It’s a good idea to trim the hair on a dog’s feet on a regular basis paying particular attention to between their toes and their pads.
It's also important to check a dog's ears on a regular basis and to clean them when necessary. If too much wax is allowed to build up in a dog's ears, it can lead to a painful infection which can be hard to clear up. In short, prevention is often easier than cure when it comes to ear infections.
The Goldendoodle is a high energy, intelligent dog and as such they need to be given the right amount of daily exercise and mental stimulation for them to be truly happy, well-rounded dogs. They need anything from 40 to 60 minutes exercise a day with as much off the lead time as possible. If they are not given the right amount of mental stimulation and exercise every day, a Goldendoodle would quickly get bored and could even begin to show some destructive behaviours around the home which is their way of relieving any stress they may be experiencing and not necessarily because they are being “naughty”.
A shorter walk in the morning would be fine, but a longer more interesting one in the afternoon is a must. These dogs also like to be able to roam around a back garden as often as possible so they can really let off steam. However, the fencing has to be extremely secure to keep these energetic dogs in because if they find a weakness in the fence, they will soon escape out and get into all sorts of trouble.
With this said, Goldendoodle puppies should not be over exercised because their joints and bones are still growing. This includes not letting a dog jump up and down from furniture or going up or down the stairs. Too much pressure placed on their joints and spines at an early age could result in a dog developing serious problems later in their lives.
If you get a Goldendoodle puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.
Older dogs are not known to be fussy eaters, but this does not mean they can be fed a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It's also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years so it's important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.
Because Goldendoodles have been known to suffer from bloat, it is really important for them to be fed twice a day instead of giving a dog just one larger meal a day. It's also a good idea to invest in a stand for their feed bowls which makes it easier for them to eat comfortably without having to stretch their necks down to reach their food. Dogs should never be exercised just before or just after they have eaten either because this puts them more at risk of suffering from gastric torsion.
If you are looking to buy a Goldendoodle, you would need to pay anything from £400 to over £900 for a well-bred pedigree puppy. The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Goldendoodle in northern England would be £22.01 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £41.75 a month (quote as of July 2016). When insurance companies calculate a pet's premium, they factor in several things which includes where you live in the UK, a dog's age and whether or not they have been neutered or spayed among other things.
When it comes to food costs, you need to buy the best quality food whether wet or dry making sure it suits the different stages of a dog’s life. This would set you back between £40 - £50 a month. On top of all of this, you need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a Goldendoodle and this includes their initial vaccinations, their annual boosters, the cost of neutering or spaying a dog when the time is right and their yearly health checks, all of which quickly adds up to over £900 a year.
As a rough guide, the average cost to keep and care for a Goldendoodle would be between £70 to £100 a month depending on the level of insurance cover you opt to buy for your dog, but this does not include the initial cost of buying a pedigree or other puppy.
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