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WHAT IS A GOLDENDOODLE? 100 Dog Owners Describe the Heart and Soul Behind These Loveable Doodles

two loveable doodles one red goldendoodle sitting next to a cream goldendoodle
Photo credit: Alyssa Berns Photography

What is a Goldendoodle? Loveable Doodles are more than just another sweet face

What is a Goldendoodle? There’s more to these muppet dogs than just a cute, fluffy doggo face. These loveable Doodles have captured the hearts of their owners—mine included. While the popularity of the Goldendoodle has grown since the time it was first conceived in the 1990s, the poodle-retriever mix is not without a little canine controversy.

Golden regrets...

According to an article from Psychology Today (and recently The NY Post), the man credited with inventing the Labradoodle (the crossbreed that preceded the Goldendoodle) regrets his decision. In fact, he believes he created a “Frankenstein” as declared by the article’s subtitle. But if this is the case, the loveable Doodle dogs are just too happy-go-lucky, positive, carefree, smart, and energetic to notice. And, so are the Goldendoodles’ people.

Doodle dog owners are donning T-shirts that express their happy “Doodle Dog Mom” or “Proud Parent of a Dood” affinity. They are joining Facebook Doodle dog communities, creating Instagram profiles, and participating in Doodle meet-ups and romps.

They’re even tackling Doodle care—from grooming fluffy faces to trimming their toenails. Dog moms and dads are having so much fun that I think it’s safe to say that they are living a new lifestyle…

…the Doodle life.

Together with their goofy, comical, and loveable Doodle dogs, they are bonding with each other and having a ball! (And if you’re a Doodle lover, check out Top 10 Signs You Might be a Doodle Fanatic.)

So what is a Goldendoodle, anyway?

If you’ve been searching Google for the 4-1-1 on the Goldendoodle, we’re happy you’ve landed here! As the mom of an F1B Goldendoodle, aunt to two F1 Goldendoodles, and a research hound, I’ve done my homework on these loveable dogs that some call a designer breed or mixed breed. (Personally, I like to call them Muppet dogs or teddy bears!) By the end of this article, you’ll not only have the facts about the Goldendoodle—parent breeds, size, coat types, etc.—but you’ll also learn the results of my survey on how dog owners describe their own Goldendoodles.

Golden Retriever + Poodle = Goldendoodle

First, let’s answer the question, “What is a Goldendoodle?” The Goldendoodle (sometimes called a Groodle) is a cross between a Poodle and Golden Retriever. Because they are a hybrid breed, traits like weight, coat type, and color are not as predictable as with other breeds of dogs.

I like to compare Goldendoodles to opening a box of Cracker Jack’s. You know there will be a fun surprise inside, but you don’t quite know what the happy outcome will be. That said, since the Poodle parent breed is known for intelligence and the Golden Retriever is known for friendliness, Goldendoodles tend to be smart, happy, friendly family pets. In fact, these traits are the reason why many Goldendoodle puppies grow up to become working dogs including service dogs, therapy dogs, or guide dogs.

As you’ll see in the survey results below, many parents describe their Goldendoodles as smart. Their intelligence means they are typically easy to train. However, an abundance of intelligence also means they need plenty of mental stimulation, or they will come up with other methods to satisfy their curiosity (i.e. eating socks or chewing sticks). (If your smart pup needs some brain games, check out my article, 14 Games to Play with Your Dog.)

Goldendoodle characteristics

Size: If you’ve seen one Goldendoodle who’s 100 pounds of lap-sitting love and then come across another who is a 30-pound mini teddy bear, you may be wondering why there is so much size variation in the Goldendoodle. Interestingly, the range in size stems from the Poodle breed. According to the American Kennel Club, the standard Poodle is over 15″ at the shoulder and the toy Poodle is no more than 10″ at the shoulder. Therefore, the Poodle parent breed brings the range of sizes— from standard Goldendoodles as the largest to medium Goldendoodles to miniature Goldendoodles as the smallest.

Coat color: You may have seen a lot of Goldendoodles sporting a cream or white coat, but did you know that there are almost a rainbow of coat colors? Since the Poodle breed brings a wide variety of coat colors (black, red, cream, apricot, ivory) to the mix and the Golden Retriever brings a range of golden coat colors (from red gold to cream), Goldendoodle coat colors include ivory, cream, red, apricot, black, chocolate (brown), and even parti (two-colors or a patchwork of colors).

Fluff: Finally, you may be wondering why some Goldendoodles look like a fluff ball and others have sporty or smooth coats. Since the Golden Retriever brings a smooth coat to the gene pool and the Poodle brings a curly coat, the Goldendoodle coat can range from curly to wavy to straight.

Finally, since the Goldendoodle is a Poodle crossed with the Golden Retriever, you won’t see Goldendoodles in competitions like the Westminster Dog show or other dog shows that focus on the conformation of purebred dogs.

Puppy health is #1

Of course, it’s fun to think about color and size and look at adorable pictures of Goldendoodle puppies, but your puppy’s health is a critical consideration when adding a new pup to your pack.

Whether you’re adopting from a shelter or a breeder, please do your homework. A reputable breeder is committed to your puppy’s health, the puppy’s parents’ health, and the long-term health of the breed. How can you tell whether a breeder is reputable? A red flag should go up if you’re asked to meet you in a parking lot, you receive vague answers about the puppy’s parents, and if there are a lot of puppies to choose from. Reputable breeders will often have a waiting list, will ask you to apply, and will have answers to health testing information. (For types of health testing, please visit the Goldendoodle Association of North America.)

But what is it really about these loveable Doodles?

So now that we have the Goldendoodle facts down, what is the heart and soul behind these comical canines? What do Doodle dog moms and dads see in their doodly family members?

I reached out to Goldendoodle owners on social media and asked them for one word that best describes their Goldendoodles. After receiving over 100 responses, it was clear that these dogs are undeniably loveable. And, just like every Doodle is unique, so were the answers!

How Goldendoodle parents describe the Goldendoodle in one word:

The word cloud below is a visual summary of how Goldendoodle owners described their loveable Doodle dogs in one word. The words in larger type were the most often repeated. Smart, loving, joy/joyful, goofy, and loyal were some of the most frequently used words to describe Goldendoodles.

loveable doodles are described by dog owners with words in shape of a dog
Words moms and dads use to describe their dogs, the Goldendoodle.

And I compiled the entire list of words Goldendoodle owners used to describe Doodle dogs here:

Best FriendBlessingBouncy
DeepDerpy (they’re cartoonish)Devoted
FunFurry SunshineGentle
Gentle GiantGooberGoofy
Precious AngelPure JoyPure Love
Pure Utter LoveOverwhelming JoyQuirky
SweetheartSpoiled LOL!Spunky
Unconditional LoveVivaciousWilling

So here’s to all the slightly derpy and completely loveable Doodle dogs!

What is a Goldendoodle? For me, if I had to choose one word to answer the question, I’d pick “happiness.” There’s rarely a time when Happy-Go-Doodle Chloe and I have been out and about together that she doesn’t bring a smile to a stranger’s face—simply by being her happy, slightly goofy self. And,as my fingers tap out this article on my laptop, she is “happiness” at my feet and “joy” warming my heart on a chilly day.

So here’s to all the happy, energetic, derpy, smart, silly, goofy, gentle, loveable Doodle dogs!

And here’s to all the Doodle dog parents who are loving on the cutest little Frankensteins the world has ever known!

Would you like to know more? Check out my additional articles:

What one word would you use to describe your dog?

Please comment below. We’d love to hear!

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Deb Burnight

Saturday 17th of August 2019

Thank you for sharing your Goldendoodle life!


Sunday 18th of August 2019

Our pleasure! And thank you for stopping by! We hope we shared a bit of the Goldendoodle happiness with you!

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