“Do Goldendoodles shed?” Finding the facts hidden in all the fluff
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve come across the question, “Do Goldendoodles shed?”, I could buy a Goldendoodle-friendly dreamhouse in the country where Goldendoodles could romp. And yes, there would be dust bunnies made of fluffy Goldendoodle hair tumbling along the wood floors and hiding in the corners of my dream home. Because the short answer to the question, “Do Goldendoodles shed? is “Yes, Goldendoodles do shed—just like all dogs shed.” So if you’ve heard the broad statement that “Goldendoodles don’t shed” it’s a misconception. But there’s more to the story.
Sorting through the FLUFF to get to the facts about Goldendoodle shedding
So let’s jump into this hairy topic and sort out the facts from the fluffy fiction behind the question, “Do Goldendoodles shed?”
According to an article by Dr. Patty Khuly, VMD, “the non-shedding dog is a myth.” All dogs, including Goldendoodles, shed to some degree. (For more information, please read Dr. Khuly’s article from VetStreet, 5 Most Common Myths About Pet Grooming.) However, it is a fact that some breeds shed very minimally.
I think the confusion about shedding comes from the interpretation of the word itself. Let’s face it, in general terms, shedding can be interpreted as hair covering every square inch of the sofa to a dust bunny dancing in the corner of the house. That’s a big disparity.
How much do Goldendoodles shed?
So now that we’ve determined that all dogs including Goldendoodles shed, let’s get to the “root” of the question, “How much do Goldendoodles shed?” This one’s a little trickier. To sort through the facts from the fluff, we need to understand a little bit about science.
First, let’s lay the groundwork.
Goldendoodles are a cross-breed between the friendly Golden Retriever and the intelligent Poodle. Therefore, they will have a mix of characteristics from the two parent breeds, including shedding. To understand the amount of shedding, we need to understand how much the two parent breeds shed.
The Poodle is a minimally shedding breed. The Golden Retriever breed maxes out on the shedding scale. So, in very general terms, if your Goldendoodle leans more to the Golden Retriever side of the family, the likelihood of shedding is greater. Likewise, if a Goldendoodle leans to the Poodle side of the family, the likelihood of shedding is lower.
Poodle + Golden Retriever = Goldendoodle
When a Golden Retriever is crossed with a Poodle, the Goldendoodle puppy is half Poodle and half Golden Retriever. This is called an F1 Goldendoodle. Theoretically, the chance of heavy shedding (like the Golden Retriever parent) and the chance of light shedding (like the Poodle parent) would be equal. However, genetics don’t play out that clearly.
The coat type could lean more “retrievery” (more shedding) or more “poodly” (less shedding). Likewise, if we cross an F1 Goldendoodle with a Poodle, the mix is now 25% Golden Retriever and 75% Poodle. This is called an F1b Goldendoodle. While the coat type still varies like the F1, the odds that the F1b Goldendoodle coat will shed less than an F1 are greater.
Essentially, when you choose a Goldendoodle puppy, you’re choosing a mixed breed dog. NOT knowing exactly how the little fluffy Muppet pup will turn out as an adult is part of the fun. When I think of the Goldendoodle puppy, I think of the Forrest Gump quote, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.” However, even though you don’t know exactly what surprise is inside the chocolate you’ve chosen, it’s still chocolatey goodness! Likewise, Goldendoodles are still golden.
Why are there so many different answers to the question, “Do Goldendoodles shed?”
So, you may have asked one mom if Goldendoodles shed and she says no. Another mom says that Goldendoodles do shed. What’s up with that? I think part of it is in perspective. If a dog owner has enjoyed the companionship of a Golden Retriever in the past, now has a Goldendoodle, and someone asks about Goldendoodle shedding, the point of reference for shedding was her high-shedding dog. The answer is quite likely, “what shedding?” On the other side of the coin, maybe a new Goldendoodle parent is a first-time dog owner. They’ve read about the fictional “non-shedding Goldendoodle” and find dust bunnies in the house and fur in the brush and say, “Wow! That’s a lot of hair! I wasn’t expecting this!” You see where I’m going with all of this.
So, I decided to track down the thoughts of people who attend to all kinds of dogs all day, every day. Which dogs would veterinary experts say are low-shedding dog breeds? Would Goldendoodles be part of the consideration set? Turns out, yes. According to VetStreet’s article, Vet’s Name 10 Dog Breeds That Shed the Least, Poodle mixes (including the Goldendoodle) ranked high with the 249 veterinary professionals that were surveyed. (However, since Goldendoodles aren’t truly a breed, they could not make the official top 10 list.) BTW, the intelligent, loveable Poodle was ranked #1 for low-shedding breeds.
Is there anything you can do to help the shedding?
Fur sure! From my experience as a Doodle mom, consistent brushing is the best thing you can do for your Goldendoodle’s hair care. It will release the loose hair that has shed or is ready to shed from the coat. Plus, it keeps the hair from matting. (For more about Goldendoodle grooming, check out my companion articles: The Best Brush for a Goldendoodle and How To Trim Your Goldendoodle’s Face: What I Learned from a Pro.)
How much does Goldendoodle Chloe shed?
Finally, here’s my personal experience as the mom of an adult Goldendoodle dog who’s my companion and inspiration. I would consider Chloe to be a low-shedding dog. There isn’t hair all over the sofa, there isn’t hair all over my black leggings (but some fabrics attract more hair than others), and when I pet her, I don’t get hair on my hands. However, there are dust bunnies on the floor, stray hairs here and there, and there is plenty of hair in Chloe’s hairbrush.
Doodles are golden, but no dog is a shedless miracle of Mother Nature. So let down your hair down and have a ball with your furry family member! Hug your adorable Goldendoodle doggo and let the good times (and some dust bunnies) roll!
Where does your dog fall on the shedding scale?
Please comment below.