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The Goldendoodle, thanks to “hybrid vigor” has a healthy life expectancy of about 15 years. Breed size ranges, with miniature Goldendoodles weighing 15 to 30 lbs and growing up to 20 inches; small standard Goldendoodles weighing 40 to 50 lbs and reaching 20 inches; and large standard Goldendoodles weighing 40-50 lbs and reaching 24 inches. Litter size is variable, depending on the type of breeding.
The combined temperament of the Poodle and the Golden Retriever are what has made this relatively new hybrid a desired pet. The Goldendoodle is said to have inherited many of its parent breeds’ positive traits. That being said, the Goldendoodle is still a relatively new breed, and consistent personality traits and behavior are yet to be established. As it stands, there may be a wide variation in temperament from dog to dog; as well as unanticipated behavioral tendencies due to the newness of both the breed and breeding practices. The following details about temperament are compiled from the information that is currently available about the Goldendoodle, though like the breed itself, it is subject to change.
Goldendoodles are intelligent, affectionate, and outgoing. They are described as “super friendly” social butterflies. Goldendoodles love people. They do not normally show aggression or suspicion towards strangers. They want to get to know everyone and will happily greet a new visitor. The Goldendoodle has a cheerful and warm personality. This is a breed that does well with families, even those with young children. They are an excellent pet for a variety of people, and seem to be fairly adaptable.
The Goldendoodle does have a high level of energy. After all, one of its parent breeds was a hunting dog bred for stamina and endurance. The breed is said to be extremely active, and loves to go for walks and romps in the dog park. This breed also loves water and looks forward to any opportunity to swim. Highly trainable, the Goldendoodle also excels at canine sports such as flyball, frisbee, and agility. The Goldendoodle will also enjoy plenty of play sessions with lots of fun toys.
The Goldendoodle is not a watchdog. While it may watch people arrive at your home, it is more likely to wag its tail with enthusiasm than bark loudly to give you a warning. The breed also does not demonstrate animal aggression. Thus far, it is reported to get along well with other canines and other pets, including cats and smaller animals.
The Goldendoodle, because of its companionable nature, is said to suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time. This can manifest in a variety of ways, including negative behavior, nervousness, or personality changes. Because the breed is highly active, it also has a tendency towards mischief if it does not receive enough exercise and activity. While most of this “mischief” can be playful, sometimes it can be destructive.
As for other negative behavioral traits, it depends on the dog and the breeder it was purchased from. As the Goldendoodle is a newer hybrid, it does not necessarily have a breeding standard, nor are there many records. Dogs coming from a breeder who uses less than ideal practices (inbreeding, overbreeding; disregard for type, traits, or health) may exhibit some behavioral tics or problems that are a result of its genetic makeup. These can include aggression, territorial or possessive behavior, fearfulness, timidness, or excessive barking. While there is no guarantee, the best way to avoid these difficulties is to go through a breeder who is reputable and can explain their breeding practice; as well as introduce you to the parent dogs and give you some information regarding history.
The Goldendoodle has a coat that is considered to be light shedding and low dander; like that of its parent dog the Poodle. However, there is no guarantee that this will be the case. The coat usually grows to about 2-3 inches in length, and can be straight, wavy, or tightly curled like the Poodle. Because they are not heavy shedders, Goldendoodles do require frequent brushing to remove dead hair and neaten up the coat. Bathing should take place every few months. The breed does not require a great deal of grooming, though the hair around the eyes and on the feet should be trimmed. Regular toenail clipping and dental care is also recommended.
The Goldendoodle is considered to be fairly healthy and hardy, thanks to what is called “hybrid vigor.” It is believed that when two purebred dogs are crossed, the health of the hybrid improves over that of its parents, as genetics rule out some of the health problems. That being said, thus far, the breed does have a tendency toward a few health conditions inherited from its parent breeds. These include, but are not limited to: minor skin ailments, eye ailments, joint problems, and a tendency toward obesity.
As stated before, the Goldendoodle has a high level of energy. It is considered to be an active breed and will require daily exercise. A fenced in yard is recommended, though the breed can do well in an apartment setting provided it remains active. This breed loves all types of activity, including swimming, running, long hikes, play sessions, and canine sports.
Training is important for the Goldendoodle. It is a dog that trains well, and does not present any difficulties with housetraining or following commands. The only thing that slows up the training process is its playful personality and tendency toward mischief. Despite this, the breed is eager to please and a successful learner.
Owning a Goldendoodle
The most important thing that a potential Goldendoodle owner can do is research the breeders that sell the puppies. As the breed is in its early stages and there is not a lot of oversight, it is highly important to make sure that the puppy being purchased is healthy and has a good family history. Though new, Goldendoodles do occasionally turn up in shelters, making adoption possible as well.