Goldendoodles are known for being cuddly and affectionate. But before you adopt this teddy bear of a dog, it’s important to know whether the goldendoodle temperament would be a good fit for your household and lifestyle.
Because, let’s face it — a lifestyle match is one of the most important factors when deciding on whether to get a new pet.
We at betterpet want you and your pet to have the happiest, most fulfilling life possible with furry friends. With that in mind, we’ve put together a comprehensive resource to guide your decision-making process.
So, let’s answer the question: Is the goldendoodle temperament right for you?
Let’s start with the basics: What is a goldendoodle?
The goldendoodle is a hybrid created by crossing the golden retriever and poodle breeds. By combining the intelligence of the poodle with the friendliness of the golden retriever, goldendoodle breeders have produced one of the most popular designer dog breeds.
And the goldendoodle is definitely popular for a reason! According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), both of the goldendoodle’s parent breeds are within the top ten most popular breeds — golden retrievers rank third while poodles rank seventh.
However, because the goldendoodle is so popular, it’s often an expensive pet to add to your family. Depending on its size and pedigree, a goldendoodle can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000.
Of course, as with all pets, there are also ongoing costs with owning a goldendoodle, including food, grooming, veterinary care, and training.
But don’t count out the goldendoodle because of the cost – consider adopting through a rescue or a shelter instead of purchasing from a breeder. Despite their popularity, goldendoodles can sadly still end up in these situations.
Goldendoodles can range in size from tiny to extra large. While most golden retrievers are standard size, poodles are recognized in three sizes: toy, miniature, and standard.
The size of your goldendoodle — miniature, medium, or standard — will depend on the ratio of poodle to golden retriever when bred:
- If you are looking for a miniature goldendoodle, you’ll want a higher ratio of toy or miniature poodle in the breed history.
- Looking for a standard goldendoodle? You’ll want to make sure that your goldendoodle’s parentage is standard poodle and golden retriever.
The size difference between male and female goldendoodles isn’t as pronounced as it is in other breeds. However, female goldendoodles tend to be slightly more petite, with smaller heads and shorter muzzles.
This difference is due to males having a bigger bone structure and larger paws. Other than that, the two sexes have similar physical characteristics.
Goldendoodle coats can come in any color from white to black, with the most common being cream, golden, red, apricot, and chocolate. Since the goldendoodle is a mixed breed, the type of coat and amount of shedding in each dog depends on their parentage.
Poodles have curly, wiry hair with a soft undercoat and shed very little. Golden retrievers have a dense, long overcoat with a soft undercoat. They shed heavily once or twice a year and moderately all year long.
The larger the percentage of poodle in your goldendoodle, the likelier you’ll have a low-shedding pet (though regardless of the percentage of each breed in your dog, you’ll need to do lots of grooming!).
The life expectancy of a goldendoodle is typically 10 to 15 years. With proper care and nutrition, these dogs typically enjoy long, healthy lives.
The goldendoodle temperament: What should I expect from this crossbreed?
As with any pet, goldendoodle personalities aren’t “one size fits all.” Yes, many of these dogs have similar inherent characteristics. However, as studies have shown, we can’t discount other factors related to temperament, such as the dog’s environment and relationship with its owner.
Temperament and personality
Temperament and personality are often used interchangeably, though there is a bit of a difference between them. Temperament is innate and not learned, whereas personality includes both temperament and the factors mentioned above (the dog’s environment and relationships).
The goldendoodle personality can be somewhat unpredictable since it’s a crossbreed. Depending on your goldendoodle’s age when you buy or adopt it, you may have to wait to find out if they’ll have a more golden retriever or poodle-like base temperament.
Goldendoodles in general are known for their loving, loyal, and intelligent temperaments. They tend to bond quickly with their families and form strong relationships with them that last their lifetime.
This loving attitude blends seamlessly into their loyalty. Once they join your family, they’ll never question their status as a family member. The unconditional love that comes from the goldendoodle personality makes it a great addition to most families.
Goldendoodles also have a high energy level and often enjoy playing fetch, running around the park, and taking long walks with their families. You’ll notice quickly that your goldendoodle will be extremely curious and will want to explore the world around them.
This mix of intelligence (which they get from both their golden retriever and poodle parents) and an easy-going, fun-loving nature tends to spark curiosity in them everywhere they go.
The goldendoodle is social at its core. As such, they’re happiest when they’re around people. Due to their golden retriever background, they’re gentle as well as social. For this reason, goldendoodles typically do well with children.
Because of their friendly nature, the goldendoodle isn’t typically a good guard dog (unlike a rottweiler, for example, a breed known for its guarding instinct). They’re more likely to greet a stranger at the door like a new pal rather than see them as a threat. The same goes for most new animal friends.
Goldendoodles typically have a low prey drive, so they often see new animals (cats, squirrels, etc.) as new friends to play with. Keep in mind, though, that the prey drive can vary between individuals, so your goldendoodle may need to be trained not to chase smaller animals.
With all that said, goldendoodles don’t like being alone for long periods, as they need human companionship to feel safe and secure. As a result, they may develop separation anxiety if their family is away for too long.
What are the goldendoodle’s care needs?
There’s no way around it: your fun-loving goldendoodle needs exercise. These dogs love playing games like tug-of-war or catch and going for long walks. Goldendoodles will play with any member of the family — both other pets and human family members.
It’s important that your goldendoodle doesn’t get bored, as boredom can lead to destruction as the dog looks to make their own fun.
The amount of exercise your goldendoodle needs will depend on its age and size, ranging from 30–120 minutes per day. Larger goldendoodles may need closer to 120 minutes, depending on their age, whereas smaller goldendoodles (and puppies) may need less. Check with your vet for more specific information on your particular pup.
Fun fact: Goldendoodles love to splash and swim in water — it’s in their blood. Both the poodle and the golden retriever are water dogs!
Coat and grooming
Many people are attracted to the goldendoodle because of their soft, curly coats. This coat, however, does require lots of maintenance. Goldendoodle owners will often keep their dogs trimmed to cut down on this maintenance.
You’ll want to brush your goldendoodle at home regularly to keep matting in their double coat at bay. You should also avoid giving your dog too many baths, as frequent bathing can dry out their skin.
And because their coats grow constantly, goldendoodles typically need professional grooming every 6–8 weeks, depending on your preferred coat length. You can also do your own dog’s grooming if you so choose.
And, just like all dogs, you’ll need to check your goldendoodle’s nails monthly to see if they need a trim and see if their teeth need a good brushing.
The amount and type of food you should feed your goldendoodle depends on the size of your pet (toy, mini, medium, or standard), their age, and their exercise routine.
Typically, though, goldendoodle puppies should be fed in small amounts three to four times a day, and a full-grown goldendoodle should be fed every 12 hours at a minimum. Make sure you are choosing a high-quality food that contains a balance of lean proteins, whole grains, and other sources of healthy fats.
Goldendoodle puppies will typically need more calories and protein, so check with your vet for types of food, exact amounts, and when to switch from puppy food to adult dog food.
Are goldendoodles easy to train?
Yes! Goldendoodles are naturally eager to please, and they typically respond well to positive reinforcement. As a bonus, since they love attention, training them to do tricks is a great way to entertain guests.
Consider starting your goldendoodle’s training when the dog is young to help keep them from picking up bad habits from the get-go. If you have young children in the house, you should also teach your children how to interact with your goldendoodle to ensure that they all develop positive relationships with each other.
Always remember that a bored goldendoodle can get themselves into trouble. So be consistent in your expectations, and provide them with plenty of entertainment when you are away.
What are some common health issues for goldendoodles?
Goldendoodles are prone to similar health concerns as other breeds.
Here are a few things to look for from the chart above:
- Bloating: Bloating in goldendoodles occurs as it does in humans, with air building up in the stomach. If this happens, you might notice your dog drooling more than usual, and their belly might be tender to the touch.
- Flea bites and food allergens: These things can cause skin reactions in goldendoodles. You may need special shampoos or medications to treat these allergies.
- Eye conditions, such as cataracts or glaucoma: Older dogs are typically more prone to these issues than younger dogs. Take your goldendoodle in for regular eye exams with your veterinarian.
- Ear infections: These are common in goldendoodles and other floppy-eared breeds, so checking your dog’s ears regularly and keeping them clean is important.
- Hip and elbow dysplasia: Many larger dogs develop hip dysplasia. Typically in this condition, the ball and socket of the hip joint don’t fit together properly. This can cause pain, lameness, and, ultimately, arthritis. Elbow dysplasia is similar, but it affects the elbow joint instead of the hip.
Don’t let the list above scare you, though. As a hybrid, goldendoodles are typically less prone to health issues than purebred dogs. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s health.
Take your goldendoodle to the vet for annual checkups, regular parasite prevention treatments, and vaccinations. It’s also important that you brush your goldendoodle’s teeth regularly and trim their nails as needed.
Is my living situation appropriate for a goldendoodle?
Probably. Goldendoodles are great for most types of homes. You’ll definitely want to consider your space limitations (if you have any), though, as your goldendoodle needs room to play and roam. It may go without saying, but due to the goldendoodle’s activity level, active families typically make the best type of family for this breed.
Children and other pets
Goldendoodles are typically great companions for kids, including toddlers, due to their playful, easy-going nature and patience. The goldendoodle’s tendency for loyalty can also lead to an incredible bond as they and the child(ren) in the family grow together.
Furthermore, as mentioned above, goldendoodles also love having other pets as playmates.
The goldendoodle’s temperament makes them adaptable to most environments. One thing to consider, though, is the amount of space in your home and yard — goldendoodles tend to have a bit more difficulty in apartment situations due to their need for exercise.
If this describes your living situation, a smaller goldendoodle, such as a toy or mini, might be a better fit for you than a standard one.
Is the goldendoodle temperament the right fit for you?
The goldendoodle popularity is growing, and that teddy bear appearance is hard not to swoon over. But, as you know, there is so much more to consider than just the goldendoodle’s looks.
Can you provide the space and activity your pup will need?
Will your schedule as a household allow for the social time that a goldendoodle craves?
If you answered, “yes” to these questions, then consider making this sweet, cuddly friend a part of your family. And if you want more resources to research a potential pet’s needs, visit betterpet today for all your pet needs.