Breed Guide: Goldendoodle

Table of Contents

  • Introduction to Goldendoodles
  • Size of Goldendoodles
  • Characteristics of Goldendoodles
  • History of Goldendoodles
  • Goldendoodles Standard Information
  • Caring for Goldendoodles
  • Common Health Problems of Goldendoodles
  • Diet and Nutrition for Goldendoodles
  • Where to Adopt or Purchase Goldendoodles
  • Related Breeds
  • Pet Insurance for Goldendoodles

Introduction to Goldendoodles

Often referred to as a “designer breed” of dogs, a goldendoodle is a cross between a golden retriever and a poodle. These adorable dogs make wonderful companions and are often successful guide dogs and therapy dogs. As a relatively new crossbreed of dogs, goldendoodles come in a range of sizes. However, they are not officially recognized as a breed by any kennel club.

Size of Goldendoodles

Unlike well-established dog breeds around for many decades, goldendoodles are not typically the result of multigenerational breedings, so there are not well-defined goldendoodle breed standards yet. Goldendoodles can be miniature, medium, or standard (large) in size and all considered goldendoodes.

Here is what you can expect size-wise when your Goldendoodle reaches maturity.

Weight Chart

Male Goldendoodle28-35 lbs.35-45 lbs.65-75 lbs.
Female Goldendoodle 26-30 lbs.30-40lbs.55-65 lbs.

When fully grown, a standard-size male goldendoodle will be about 23 to 24 inches tall, and an adult female of the standard size will be about 21.5 to 22.5 inches tall. Mini goldendoodles are more in the 14-inch to 17-inch range for height. Medium-size goldendoodles can be anywhere in between the mini and standard ranges.

Characteristics of Goldendoodles

Goldendoodles have inherited some of the very best traits of both golden retrievers and poodles, including being affectionate, smart, and not big shedders. As you get to know a goldendoodle’s personality, here’s what you can expect based on his or her breed characteristics.

Breed CharacteristicLevel (High, Medium, Low)
Affectionate with PeopleHigh
Good with KidsHigh
Good with PetsHigh
Need for ExerciseHigh
Energy LevelMedium
Intelligence LevelHigh
Able to Be TrainedMedium
Amount of BarkingMedium
Amount of SheddingLow

In addition to these common characteristics, goldendoodles are moderately tolerant of hot weather, cold weather, and being left alone. Goldendoodles are also pretty easy to groom, don’t drool too much, and aren’t very mouthy.

These playful dogs need a fair amount of exercise, but don’t have a strong prey drive. Goldendoodles are very social and affectionate dogs that are gentle and versatile. They work well in household settings with families and are good dogs for guiding and therapy. However, these dogs are not good guard dogs and may not even bark if someone comes to the door. They are non-aggressive but do need good socialization to prevent being shy or fearful. Goldendoodles get very attached to their families and are known to have separation anxiety if left alone for too long.

History of Goldendoodles

Goldendoodles are a relatively new crossbreed of dog that only dates back to the 1990s. This crossbreeding picked up after the labradoodle and cockapoo crossbreeds started becoming more popular in American households. However, the first records of mixing golden retrievers and poodles dates back to around 1969 when Monica Dickens crossed the two breeds. Early breeders wanted to create a dog that was just as friendly and intelligent as the golden retriever, but shed less fur and had some desirable poodle characteristics too. Goldendoodles are particularly popular in the U.S. and Australia.

Most people choose to have goldendoodles as family dogs, although they are helpful working dogs as well. These dogs are favored because they get along with practically everyone and are easy to introduce into social settings. People with allergies also prefer them because of their low shedding qualities. Most goldendoodles are first-generation breedings because not enough time has passed for many goldendoodle-to-goldendoodle breedings to take place yet. Overall, the goldendoodle history is still being written since this is a new crossbreed that people are just learning about and embracing as one of the most popular emerging types of dogs.

Goldendoodles Standard Information

Goldendoodles are generally not considered to be a breed of their own, but rather a crossbreed of two different dogs. Therefore, the prominent kennel clubs have not established standards for goldendoodles. The appearance of goldendoodles varies a lot, which is understandable and acceptable given these dogs’ history. For example, the long coat of a goldendoodle can be curly like a poodle’s or straight like a golden retriever’s, and there is not much consistency in shedding from one goldendoodle to the next.

However, the Goldendoodle Association of North America (GANA) has created a registry to document Goldendoodles’ development and promote the improvement of these dogs. GANA has also established breed standard information as general guidelines for breeding this type of dog.


  • Top skull broader at back than front
  • Straight muzzle that is wider at stop than tip
  • Oval, moderately-wide-set- eyes
  • Low set or low hanging ears
  • Scissor bite
  • All colors of noses are common

Neck, Topline, Body:

  • Moderate length neck that is slightly arched and muscled
  • Level topline with slight dip behind withers
  • Short-coupled and well-balanced body with elliptical-shaped ribs and chest


  • Laid-back shoulder blades for balance
  • Four legs near-vertical to the ground


  • Strong muscles with croup sloped at 20 to 30-degree angle
  • Stifles well bent and hocks well let down


  • Curly, wavy, or straight hair are all acceptable
  • Low-shed or no-shed qualities


  • A range of white to orange-brown colors are common


  • Endurance trotter
  • Lively and fluid gait that appears nearly effortless

Caring for Goldendoodles

Because of goldendoodles easygoing temperaments and pleasant attitudes, these are generally well-rounded and reliable dogs that are easy to care for. Here are some general tips for taking the best care of a Goldendoodle.

Trainer Tip

“Goldendoodles are moderately easy to train with their high intelligence and eagerness to please. Because they are so social, they thrive with positive reinforcement and in most family dynamics. Because of their easygoing temperaments, they are often trained as therapy or guide dogs. They need at least 30 minutes of exercise but are just as happy to play fetch in the yard, as they are to go hiking with you. ” — Sarah-Anne Reed, holistic dog trainer, and owner of Pack Dynamics, LLC ®.

Best Living Environments:

  • City settings with small yards
  • Country settings with substantial open space
  • Indoors with family members
  • Crated while owners are out of the house to prevent destructive behavior

Type of Exercise:

  • Playtime with family members in a yard
  • At least 30 minutes of exercise per day
  • Swimming in a safe body of water since goldendoodles love water

Mental Enrichment:

Photo by Jay Wennington on Unsplash

  • Playtime with children and other dogs
  • Lots of engaging toys to play with
  • Take a goldendoodle to parks and to meet neighbors

Training Strategies:

  • Start socialization early to expose the goldendoodle to different dogs and people
  • Invite visitors over to interact with the dog
  • Use positive reinforcement instead of harsh corrections to boost confidence

Grooming Tips:

  • Brush coat every 1-2 weeks
  • Cut coat every 6-8 weeks
  • Keep coat short and trimmed
  • Brush teeth daily or at least three times per week
  • Bathe only sparingly and when really necessary to avoid dryness
  • Trim nails twice per month or when you hear them clicking on the floor
  • Clean ears once per week while checking for any odor or redness

Common Health Problems of Goldendoodles

Goldendoodles have relatively good general health because of their genetic diversity, but they still have some common issues with the crossbreed.

These are some of the most common health issues that arise with goldendoodles:

  • Hip dysplasia, which is genetic
  • Ear infections because of the floppy ears that keep moisture inside
  • Progressive retinal atrophy, which is an eye disease that can cause night blindness
  • Hypothyroidism, which leads to many different conditions in dogs
  • Gastric dilatation-volvulus, a bloat-like condition that is life-threatening

To predict possible health issues with goldendoodles, veterinarians often look to what poodles and golden retrievers commonly suffer from.  Common poodle diseases include Addison’s disease that affects a dog’s ability to produce hormones, epilepsy, bloating, a skin condition called sebaceous adenitis, and von Willebrand’s disease that interferes with blood clotting. Golden retrievers often have issues with cataracts, Addison’s disease, hip dysplasia, and a heart condition called subvalvular aortic stenosis. However, by mixing the two breeds, goldendoodles often have fewer of these conditions than their parent breeds.

The life expectancy of this hybrid dog is between 10 and 15 years. With plenty of room to move around and play, daily opportunities for exercise and a high-quality diet, pet owners can enjoy many wonderful years with their goldendoodles.

Diet and Nutrition for Goldendoodles

Miniature goldendoodles only eat about one cup of food per day, while large standard goldendoodles can eat up to four cups per day. The food can be divided up into morning, afternoon, and evening meal portions. Goldendoodles are prone to bloat and may benefit from three smaller meals per day than just one or two meals. At a minimum, meals should be split into two per day.

The type of dog food you buy your goldendoodle matters as you monitor the dog’s weight and daily level of activity. Recommended food for goldendoodles includes:

  • Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Breed Adult Dry Food
  • Castor & Pollux Organix Grain-Free Organic Canned Food
  • Taste of the Wild Ancient Prairie Roasted Bison and Roasted Venison Recipe.

Look for goldendoodle adult dog food with at least 18% protein and 5% fat, but choose foods with higher percentages if your pup is very active and has lots of energy to burn.

Where to Adopt or Purchase Goldendoodles

Many reputable breeders offer goldendoodles because of how popular these dogs have become. Steer clear of puppy mills with questionable breeding practices, and choose responsible breeders that provide health certifications and take excellent care of their dogs. The Goldendoodle Association of North America is the first and only official breed club established for goldendoodles. There is a “Find a Puppy” feature on the GANA website to help you find a puppy from a good breeder.

To adopt a goldendoodle rescue, check the websites of PetFinder.com and Adoptapet.com to search for dogs in your area. The website AnimalShelter.org can also help you find a goldendoodle in your home region.

Related Breeds

The goldendoodle is most similar to the golden retriever and the poodle since these breeds created them. However, there are other “doodle-type” dogs.

Another one of the most well-known doodle dogs is the labradoodle, a cross between a Labrador retriever and a poodle. Cockapoos are mixes of cocker spaniels and poodles, and these are considered the earliest doodle dogs since they first started being bred around the 1950s. Other popular mixes are schnoodles (schnauzers + poodles), shepadoodles (Old English sheepdogs + poodles), and whoodles (Wheaten terriers + poodles).

People often select doodle dogs for their non-shedding characteristics, adorable looks, and pleasant personalities. For breeders, the goal of breeding doodle dogs is to bring in the best qualities of two desirable breeds. However, there are no guarantees of how mixed breeds will turn out because each dog has a unique personality and genetic makeup.

Pet Insurance for Goldendoodles

One of goldendoodles and other hybrid breeds’ best characteristics is that the cross creates an often healthier dog than both original breeds. However, medical issues still arise with goldendoodles, and accidents can always happen with these fun-loving pups. This is why many responsible pet owners choose to protect their goldendoodles with pet insurance from Healthy Paws.

Check out our website to compare the different insurance options from various companies and to read customer reviews to learn more about why Healthy Paws gets a 9.8 out of 10 customer satisfaction rating among pet owners and goldendoodle lovers like you.

Related Post
How to Save up to 90% on Vet Bills

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance covers up to 90% of vet bills for your dog or cat—don't miss out!