For example, a Goldendoodle dog is a cross between a golden retriever and a poodle.
It’s a hybrid breed and it also handles most tasks better than either breed alone. So it tends to be good at training and obedience, but not so good at herding. And even though it has a lot of intelligence, it is still not very intelligent by purebred standards.
It might be easier to train than either of those breeds if you want to do obedience work but if you want the dog for shepherding or herding it’s probably a little too much work for you.
What is a Goldendoodle?
I was recently at a jiu-jitsu dojo with my Goldendoodle, who just so happened to be the event’s host. One of the first things I noticed was that he is a very good-natured dog.
He scooped up someone other than me and hid him in his mouth, which is something dogs do quite often. He did it not because he wanted to be gentle on the person — although that may have been part of it — but because he was curious and wanted to see what would happen.
And while he might not have been able to show any real aggression toward the person, I could tell from his body language that he was clearly upset by it.
While we all go through moments in life where our dogs will act out, this kind of behavior is common and not necessarily connected to our dog’s breed or training style. Frequently, however, it does relate to how we are treating our dog: as a pet rather than an end in itself.
When we are too harsh on them (e.g., throwing rocks at them and scaring them) they tend to react with more aggression than they would if we treated them with kindness (e.g., giving treats after every interaction). And when we treat them with anger or impatience they will react even more aggressively (while still being unprovoked by it).
When your dog acts this way you can take steps to change it: take him for walks more often; talk more gentley when you’re interacting with him; give him attention without yelling; try playing less often; and so forth.
However, if you think that your dog’s behavior is caused by his breed (or some other reason unrelated) you should probably stick with what works for you regardless of what your animal does or doesn’t do.
The best thing is probably just talking about your experience in front of your dog so you both understand why certain behaviors happen and how to avoid similar situations in the future (and maybe even re-frame the conversation around teaching him instead).
Pros & Cons
Advantages of a Golden Doodle
Talk about a Catch-22! Where do you start? How do you get started? How do you decide which dog breed is right for you? What are the pros? Which are the cons?
As a newbie, I’ve been asked these questions repeatedly. I’ve heard from people who have had their dogs perform in competitions and won them, or those who have had their dogs compete against other breeds, but who ended up with better scores than the competition.
Others find that their dogs aren’t good enough or don’t have enough energy to compete against other breeds, but they can beat off-type dogs that aren’t used to competing (like huskies). More often than not, people are looking for either a little bit of both (as long as it doesn’t conflict with their other interests) or they want something that they know will work out just great.
A golden doodle is an adorable little dog with a well-known conformation pageant pedigree. There are two main types of golden dogs: the miniature and the standard size. The miniaturization of the standard size dog means that it has slightly more body fat than a real-sized dog (about 1/3rd to 1/2) — this means that it doesn’t need as much food to replace its own body heat as a real-sized dog would (which is why it can help keep your house warmer in winter). The miniature version also has slightly longer legs and less shoulder-width — again, this gives it more space for movement.
Miniaturization makes them easier to train for agility because they can be trained with minimal space between them instead of having to cross gaps between them like normal size dogs would (they also tend to be smaller so there aren’t too many places where they could trip over leading to injuries)
The second type is called standard size because most miniature Golden Doodles actually start out as standard size dogs before being re-sized into an adorable little miniature. A standard size Golden Doodle looks like any other small Golden Doodle — short nose, dark eyes and brownish coat color — except that it comes in two sizes: miniaturized and standard sized. Miniaturized ones usually weigh about 35 – 40lbs., while standard-size ones usually weigh about 50 – 55lbs., although some can weigh up to 70lbs. This leads us to some important differences.
- A fairly predictable temperament in comparison with other mixed designer dog hybrids. This is an affectionate, friendly crossbreed, playful, and even goofy at times. They make great family pets.
- If you find the right dog that can be trained to serve as an aid dog, and with a hypo-allergenic coat to boot (take note that not all Goldendoodles may fit this profile!), it is a priceless combination of the best of two purebred dog qualities
- Goldendoodles live for a fairly long time, which means that the initial investment of a purchase price can be worth the companion of a lifetime
- This is an intelligent breed, fairly easy to train, and eager to please their human families. Both Poodles and Golden Doodles have a long history of great camaraderie and loyal devotion to their human families.
Disadvantages of a Golden Doodle
This is one of the most common arguments for and against owning a golden retriever, and one of the most common arguments for and against owning a Goldendoodle.
The arguments are often circular, with the same points being made in different ways. For example, if you’re arguing that Goldendoodles are dogs, then your dog is a golden retriever because it is a retriever. However, if you’re arguing that they’re not dogs, then your dog is not a retriever because it is not a retriever.
And on it goes:
• Is golden retriever better than golden doodle?
• Golden doodle better than golden retriever?
• Golden doodle has more personality than Goldendoodle?
This doesn’t come up much in real life (where we can only watch people argue about this kind of thing) but members of Slack have argued about this for years. In fact, I am pretty sure that I heard someone say “Goldendoodle has no personality whatsoever” at least once during my tenure there… although I don’t think anyone actually thought it was true (I did however hear someone say that Goldendoodles were an overrated breed). But even so, it does create an argumentative environment where egos get bruised. And yet… we all know that our dog or cat or dog or cat aren’t necessarily better or worse than any other animal so long as they make us happy (and sometimes even better).
So what reason could there possibly be to believe that owning a golden retriever would make you happier? None at all! But the problem isn’t just bias here; it’s also ignorance.
Many people have seen only one type of dog and mistakenly assumed that they are all the same (or even worse than each other) when in reality there are many different breeds with different characteristics and methods of training — some very successful indeed — and others less so (often due to bad breeding practices). So we should take care to avoid giving anyone reason to believe otherwise.
In fact, we should take great care not to give anyone reason to believe otherwise unless absolutely necessary. And even then we should be blinking as hard as we can lest someone overhear us: “Oh I certainly didn’t mean for my comment about…” And if you’re definitely wrong about something like this one — well!
- Goldendoodles can be fairly high maintenance in terms of grooming – aside from regular brushing, you will probably also have to pay a visit to a professional groomer every couple of months or so.
- Goldendoodles, as a breed, are unfortunately at risk of contracting a great number of health conditions or diseases – congenital traits from both Golden Doodle and Poodle breeds. The risk can be minimized through responsible breeding programs and a battery of health checks, but the possibility of a wide range of illnesses will still be there.
- Goldendoodles are not always hypo-allergenic, which means they are not always a feasible choice for people suffering with allergies. And because of the varying results of crossbreeding while this breed is still relatively new, even puppies with hypo-allergenic coats may not always be temperamentally suited to being guide dogs. There is still an element of uncertainty and unpredictability in the kind of Goldendoodle you will be getting (as opposed to the predictability of purebreds)
- This is an expensive breed, which in itself might be off-putting to some.
- Goldendoodles are not recognized by any international dog organization or association. Being a relatively new crossbreed, there is much that is still unknown about Goldendoodles, which consequently decreases the factor of predictability in what you are getting with one of these dogs.
I recently bought a young Goldendoodle. I’ll break it down into pros and cons:
The first thing you might notice about a goldie is that it does not have a voice. It has no voice, nothing to say. You can’t talk to this dog until you talk to your dog. And even then, if you try to engage it in conversation, it will freeze in place, not bothering to answer or move. This lack of expression may seem odd at first, but once you get used to living with the dog (which takes some time), you start to recognize that there is no need for speech.
You can communicate with your dog by giving and receiving rewards (and some other methods). But communication requires expression — and this is just what a goldie lacks.
This lack of communication is one of its most important qualities in terms of its effectiveness as a pet — unlike any other dog breed out there, which can be trained with gentle voice and hand signals via housetraining. Some people think that having an intelligent animal like this would make them more social, but I think not.
Those behaviors are simply extensions of their natural instincts, and I don’t see them improving much by being given artificial support systems or training programs that attempt to mimic their natural behavior.
So why do we give goldies voice? Because they deserve it! They are intelligent animals who need care and attention like any other sentient person on earth; they deserve those things just as much as any other animal on earth does!
They also deserve more than what we give them naturally; we should provide them with at least some form of training program that helps them learn new skills and also teaches them new social skills (or teach us how to teach ourselves). Add in special treats for learning new tricks or behavior modification programs for lazy behavior — these things aren’t just playing games or doing