What IS a "Goldendoodle?"
Have we ever gotten a lot of laughs when we're asked the breed name of our dog, Maggie, a "Goldendoodle!"
"Did you say your dog is a Snickerdoodle?"
"Or is it a Noodledoodle?"
"If you crossed it with another poodle, would it be an OodleDoodle?"
The real surprise comes when you explain that she's not an accidental cross-breed, but actually one of the newest "designer dogs," being bred with specific purpose and intent.
The American Kennel Club has ranked the most popular dogs in North America. Golden Retrievers are #4 and Poodles are #5 out of 148 different breeds. When ranking dogs based on intelligence, author Stanley Coren scores Golden Retreivers #4 and Poodles #2. Clearly, the hybrid of these two breeds produces outstanding family dogs who are friendly, intelligent, affectionate and easy to train. Many poodle crosses inherit the fur qualities of the poodle, but not the texture. This means that most don't shed, or shed lightly, and may not produce an allergic reaction.
So what IS a "designer dog?" This term (made popular in recent years) designates a cross between two purebred dogs. A purebred has been bred over many generations to ensure the purity of the breed. Each puppy that is born looks the same and has the same temperament and characteristics of each other. Most purebreed breeders must follow strict written standards, and only dogs which meet those standards may be bred. When you buy a certified, licensed purebred dog, you pretty-well know what you are getting. A risk that has developed with purebred breeds is the issue of hereditary abnormalities. It is possible that breeding within the same gene pool can cause genetic problems, and it is critical that breeders perform genetic testing on their purebreds before breeding them any further. By cross-breeding two strong and popular breeds, the resulting puppies, the "designer dogs," are likely to have a strong genetic base from which to grow. The characteristics of these popular breeds, the Golden Retriever and the Poodle, are blended together, providing genetic strength as well as attractive, intelligent, and lovable offspring.
The Origins of the Goldendoodle
Goldendoodles, also called Golden Poos, Goldie Poos, or Groodles, have been bred in North America and Australia since the early 1990's. As smaller poodle hybrids became successful (Cockapoo, Maltapoo, etc.) as being family-friendly and allergy-friendly pets, Golden Retriever breeders began breeding with standard poodles for a larger family pet. The quick rise of the popularity of Goldendoodles is due to the dogs themselves. They are a most marvelous hybrid.
The Goldendoodle's ancestry along both parent lines is as hunters and water dogs. Goldendoodles have a variety of looks which depend on what traits they take on from the parents. They might look like a wavy retriever, or closer to a poodle with loose curls. The coat color can also vary from light to dark (creamy, apricot, gold, light tan, chocolate, gray, to black). The length when left unclipped grows to about 4-8 inches. The color of the coat can be cream, gold, apricot, chocolate, gray and black. Many Goldendoodles have a Standard Poodle as a parent, and are standard sized, but recent developments and breeding with smaller Poodles have developed a line of Goldendoodles which are about 25-45 pounds and are called miniature Goldendoodles. Most Goldendoodles are light to non-shedding, and most live easily with families with MILD allergies. Families with moderate to severe allergies often find that Goldendoodle backcrosses (F1B) can work well.