The Goldendoodle dog breed is a hybrid cross between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle. Not every Goldendoodle will have the same characteristics because one may have more traits from the Poodle parent and another may inherit more similarities of the Golden Retriever. Breeders make an attempt to standardize the appearance by breeding multigeneration crosses for consistency sake.
Australian and North American breeders began crossing standard poodles with golden retrievers in the 1990s. The goal was to establish a breed for the purposes of serving as guide dogs for the visually impaired. The uniqueness of this particular cross was that the hair would be more hypoallergenic and it would be the most suitable for people with allergies. The Goldendoodle is less likely to shed their hair and his is desirable for people who have an allergy to pet hair, yet need to rely on the assistance of a trained guide dog.
Goldendoodles in general will have hair that ranges from shaggy or wavy and is golden in color. Some breeders will breed a Goldendoodle back to a Golden Retriever or back to a Poodle to get specific characteristics such as wavier hair or a deeper golden color that is less wavy.
- American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC)
- Designer Dogs Kennel Club (Dog Registry of America)
- International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR).
- The name was first conceived in 1992.
The majority of Goldendoodles have a low shed rate. This does not apply to all members of the breed, but in general, this is the positive result that comes from the hybridization. Because of genetics derived from the Poodle, shedding is usually kept to a minimum and the Goldendoodle has a lower shed rate than a Golden Retriever, which is a top pick for guide dog trainers. The coat of a Goldendoodle does require grooming to avoid matting of the hair, which is similar to the needs of a Poodle. Goldendoodles are known to shed less pet dander, which is the main source of allergens for sensitive people. This breed comes the closest to being a hypoallergenic dog.
Goldendoodles start out with a coat that is flat when they are puppies. As the dog ages, the hair becomes curlier. This hybrid may have one of three different coat characteristics, depending on the distribution of the genetics from each parent. Some may have hair that is more like a poodle with curls and a lighter coloring, others may have a flat coat with straight hair that is more of a golden color. Others may have a coat that is somewhere in the middle between the two parents.
There are three specified Goldendoodle sizes. These are miniature, medium and standard. The size of the hybrid depends upon the size of the parents used for breeding. Miniature poodle crosses will produce a smaller Goldendoodle. The average standard sized Goldendoodle will reach a weight of between 60 to 100 pounds with a medium weighing between 30 to 45 pounds and a miniature between 15 to 30 pounds
There is a wide range of Goldendoodle colors and these are inherited from the parents. They are gold, red, apricot, cream, black, gray and a mixture of the colors from each parent. Some dogs will inherit more traits from one parent that can strongly influence the color and texture of the coat, making them appear to look more like one breed or the other.
In order to get a Goldendoodle with specific features and characteristics, breeders resort to selective breeding. Some may stick to first generation breeding and then apply a series of cross backs to achieve specific hybridized traits from one breed or the other. The danger of keeping the bloodlines too pure in canine breeding is that a lack of genetic diversity an lead to illnesses or medical conditions that are passed down through the bloodline. This is why breeders must introduce new bloodlines into their breeding strategies.
So long as the breeders observe standardized practices for tipping the genetics scale too far, Goldendoodles are known to be a healthy breed in general. Some inherited conditions which are passed down through bloodlines are hip dysplasia which are common in both poodles and golden retrievers. This makes it difficult to eliminate this known health issue through selective breeding. Breeders who are trying to limit the incidence of this occurring in their puppies have both parents tested for the condition prior to breeding and this strategy has proven to be somewhat successful.
Routine screenings also include checkups for eye and ear infections and Von Willebrands disease which is a bleeding disorder that is more common in poodles. The average lifespan of a Goldendoodle is between ten and fifteen years.
Goldendoodles are commonly used as guide dogs for the visually impaired who have allergies to pet hair. The uniqueness of their coats make the majority of this breed prone to hair shedding and they have a minimal amount of dander shedding. They are also prized for their use as therapy dogs because of their warm and affectionate nature. Goldendoodles are also used for search and rescue dogs because of their size and agility.
The combination of intelligence from the poodle and training ease from the golden retriever makes them ideal for use in all of these applications. The popularity of this breed for the above stated purposes has become increasingly stronger since 2005 to current.
Non-recognition of Goldendoodle breed
The traditional registration associations of the world do not recognize the Goldendoodle breed. These include the Continental Kennel Club, The American Kennel Club and the UKC. The CKC does offer a pedigree if both parents of the dog are fully registered.
The Goldendoodle is a hybrid breed that has only been around since the early 1990s. Since this time it has made its mark as a breed that is useful for service to humans and a pet for providing comfort and love. The breed continues to undergo refinements through selective breeding, but it is becoming more popular with the passage of time.