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How Smart Is A Goldendoodle?

How Smart Is A Goldendoodle?

Goldendoodles are affectionate, obedient, fast learners, and, above all else, highly intelligent! In fact, it is this high IQ that allows Goldendoodle dogs to deliver on all their other key characteristics. If they weren’t smart, they wouldn’t be able to learn commands quickly, would they?

Luckily for this crossbreed, its parents are two of the greatest dog thinkers around! The Golden Retriever often ranks among the five most intelligent dogs regarding obedience and training. On the other hand, Poodles are often praised for having highly adaptive intelligence, which sees them employed in high numbers as guide and assistance dogs.

How much of the parent’s high intelligence is instilled in the Goldendoodle? Let’s find out!


Five Reasons Why Goldendoodles Are One Of The Smartest Dog Breeds

There are countless aspects to a Goldendoodle’s personality that would lead you to believe in the breed’s high intelligence. 

To kick things off, here are five aspects of a Goldendoodle’s nature that prove that the breed shares the high canine intelligence of its parent breeds:

1. Goldendoodles are good communicators

A dog’s ability to respond to human commands (verbal and gestures) and understand what is expected of it is a great way to determine its intelligence. Even if a command word hasn’t been learned for the action, a Goldendoodle can infer what an owner means through hand actions alone.

They will follow your gaze until they have figured out what you want from them while probably trying a few options along the way!

These advanced communication skills are a two-way street. Not only can owners communicate with Goldendoodles effectively, but Goldendoodles can communicate ideas to their owners.

For example, if a Goldendoodle wishes to play fetch with you, they will first grab your attention, either with their eyes or verbally, and lead you towards the ball. The same goes for when they desire a treat, want to go a walk, want to cuddle, and so on.

Not only are their dog-to-human communication skills advanced, but this breed is also great at communicating with other dogs. They can read other dogs’ emotions well and respond accordingly.

2. Goldendoodles are emotionally intelligent

Goldendoodles’ high communication skills allow them to be highly in tune with their owners’ and other pets’ emotions. If you’re giving off sad energy, your Goldendoodle will recognize this and comfort you – you’ll be one happy dog owner in no time!

Once a Goldendoodle gets comfortable in its environment, it gets keenly aware of the energy that surrounds it. This is reflected in its ability to know how to behave based on the mood of the room.

If it senses its owners are in the mood to play fetch, it will incite a game of fetch. If it senses its owners are in the mood to relax, your Goldendoodle will settle down with you.

Overall, these astute dogs display a high level of emotional intelligence.

3. Goldendoodles can learn commands easily

Goldendoodles can build an extensive and varied repertoire of commands quickly – more easily than the average dog breed. Not only can they pick up a range of commands, but they can also do so almost instantly. Many dog owners report that their Goldendoodle could pick up command words after hearing them only a few times!

Unlike other breeds, Goldendoodles can also store command words for a long time. Months could go by without them hearing the word, and they’d still be able to respond accordingly! This is partly down to their excellent memory and also influenced by their emotional intelligence.

Don’t limit your dog training to essential commands – give your Doodle some challenging words to work on! The more words they learn, the more you’ll be amazed by their uncanny ability to communicate.

4. Goldendoodles have instinctive intelligence

Although Goldendoodles weren’t bred specifically for a purpose, their parent breeds were. Golden Retrievers and Poodles were originally bred for hunting and retrieving game.

Instinctive intelligence refers to any natural ability passed down to a Goldendoodle puppy genetically. So, Goldendoodles of today can still demonstrate the intuitive hunting intelligence of their parent breeds.

Although it’s unlikely that you’ll need your Goldendoodle to carry out hunting duties (but you can if you want!), it does mean that your Goldendoodle will be proficient in other skills that they’ll likely get the chance to exercise.

For example, the Golden Retriever and the Poodle breed were taught how to retrieve game from water. This gives Goldendoodles an instinctive intelligence when it comes to swimming and playing fetch in the water.

5. Goldendoodles have high adaptive intelligence

Adaptive intelligence makes a Goldendoodle puppy one of the best family dogs around. This refers to the dog’s ability to adapt its personality to its surroundings. For one, this makes them settle into their new home quickly, but it also holds a lot of other benefits.

If you’ve got young children, these intelligent dogs can recognize the delicacy of these little family members. With this, they know to approach them carefully and avoid being overly rough with them. When around grown-ups, Goldendoodles realize they can be a little less careful and play rough if they want to.

Furthermore, this adaptive canine intelligence means that they are guaranteed to learn from mistakes. Although you should never tell a dog off, Goldendoodles can sense that you’re upset with them even if you don’t confirm it vocally or physically. They can learn to avoid doing things that make you upset.

Like their parent breeds, adaptive intelligence makes this mixed breed good service dogs.


Do Goldendoodles Make Good Workers?

As we’ve already stated, Goldendoodles are a top choice for service dog roles. Although not the world’s smartest dog breed, they are certainly more than qualified for service duties, being adaptive, easily trainable, instinctive, and having high communicative intelligence.

Their caring demeanor also sees them employed in many other areas of the professional dog world, including therapy dogs in hospitals and nursing homes. The dog’s ability to tune into human emotions makes them perfect for guiding sick or traumatized people through difficult situations.

Their keen command learning can also alert them to emergencies, such as when an individual has a seizure or an episode of low blood sugar.

Goldendoodles are highly active and harbor excellent problem-solving skills, making them ideal assistant dogs for the visually impaired.


The Advantages of Having a Smart Goldendoodle

So we’ve established that the Goldendoodle is one intelligent dog, but what does this mean for you, the owner?

Can learn advanced tricks

Thanks to their high intelligence, Goldendoodles can learning advanced tricks way beyond the basic commands. They are quick learners and have a great ability to retain information, making it easier for them to learn complex tricks.

That’s right, you can teach your Goldendoodle a variety of tricks to impress your friends and family! From opening and closing doors to fetching specific items, and even playing hide and seek – you’ll have hours of fun teaching this doggy genius fun tricks!

Makes a great service dog

We’ve seen how Goldendoodles are great candidates for being service animals due to their intelligence. If you need some extra help, you could get your Groodle trained as a therapy dog, emotional support animal, or assistance dog.

Easily trained

Due to their intelligence and eagerness to please, Goldendoodles are very receptive to training. They are quick learners and respond well to positive reinforcement methods such as treats, praise, and playtime.

They are also very adaptable and can learn to live in a variety of environments, from apartments to larger homes with yards. This means that with proper training and socialization, your Goldendoodle can be a well-behaved and obedient companion that is a joy to be around no matter where you live!


The Downsides of a Smart Doodle

So, your dog has great problem solving skills and can do all the cool tricks you can dream of, but it’s not all rosy. There are some downsides of being super smart in the doggy world:

Get bored quickly

How smart are Goldendoodles? Very. How bored are Goldendoodles? Also very, IF you don’t give them the mental stimulation and regular exercise they need to keep them engaged. If you don’t, they might become destructive and resort to chewing on furniture, digging holes in the yard, or engaging in other damaging behaviors.

Keeping your Doodle dog entertained can cost a small fortune – they may need to go to doggy daycare when you’re out, and they’ll need A LOT of toys and games.

They might behave badly

Like any dog, Goldendoodles can exhibit bad behavior if they are not properly trained and socialized. Without proper training, they may become overly protective, territorial, or aggressive. This can be particularly problematic in households with young children or other pets.

So, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got the time to dedicate to training your pup before you commit to bringing them home.


How To Enhance Your Goldendoodle’s Intelligence

Are Goldendoodles smart? Yes, but you must create an ideal environment to enhance this intelligence. Canine intelligence comes naturally to many dogs, but only if they are given the correct tools and experience to fully engage their brains.

Here’s how you manage your Goldendoodle’s intelligence:

Expose them to new experiences from a young age

Goldendoodles are naturally outgoing dogs who thrive on new experiences and unique social interactions. Socialization is vital to every dog’s development, but more so for intelligent dogs like Goldendoodles. The more new people and animals your Goldendoodle is exposed to, the more finely tuned its emotional intelligence becomes.

To encourage their natural sociability, take your Goldendoodle on walks with other dogs and let them play with strangers at dog parks.

Exercise their brain

Goldendoodles thrive on learning and like to go on new walks and play with new toys as much as possible. Sticking to the same walk every day will dull their smarts, so be sure to introduce them to new terrains they are unfamiliar with. This will help establish new memories in their brain as they memorize new routes.

Regularly get them new dog puzzles to figure out and play with, and add new elements to their exercise routine. These are no average dogs and you’ll need to tire them out accordingly!

Let them sniff

Sniffing offers an overwhelming amount of mental stimulation for dogs and can help strengthen canine intelligence. Goldendoodles have hundreds of olfactory receptors that help them memorize scents and categorize new ones.

From one sniff, your Goldendoodle puppy can recognize the presence of a family member, the closeness of another dog, or whether or not they’ve been in a place before.

Sniffing is a big deal for your pup, so you should let them sniff as much as possible!

Start training early

Like Golden Retriever pups, Goldendoodles are ready to learn from the get-go. Give your pup plenty of attention so they can start unlocking their emotional intelligence.


Are Goldendoodles Smart Compared to Other Dog Breeds?

A Goldendoodle’s parent breeds are amongst the smartest pure dog breeds around. This would suggest that Goldendoodles are very intelligent in comparison to other smart dogs.

It is difficult to say how smart Goldendoodles are in comparison to other breeds – no scientific studies have been conducted on the topic. However, there have been comparative studies conducted on several pure dog breeds – including, usefully, Golden Retrievers and Poodles!

One study that stands out particularly is published in Stanley Coren’s book, The Intelligence of Dogs. In this, Coren assessed over 100 breeds on how quickly they learn new tricks as well as how long they can perform the tasks they know. With this testing, Coren concluded the instinctive intelligence and the working intelligence of each dog breed.

Coren then categorized each breed based on its performance level. Both Golden Retrievers and Poodles both reached the top category, titled ‘brightest dogs’. Poodles came in second place overall, while Golden Retrievers came in fourth.

This put both Poodles and Golden Retrievers ahead of such breeds as Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers, and Australian Cattle Dogs in terms of brains. If we were to assume that Goldendoodles inherited the smart genes from their parents, then Goldendoodles have above-average smartness when compared to other dogs.


How to Tell if Your Goldendoodle is Smart

Based on Stanley Coren’s approach, one of the best ways to find out if your Goldendoodle is smart is by testing how long it takes them to learn a new trick. The quicker it takes your Goldendoodle to learn a trick, the smarter you can assume them to be.

Another good indicator is how long your dog can remember this trick. Particularly if, after a few weeks without it, they can still perform the trick on command. This is a positive sign that your Goldendoodle has an excellent memory. Additionally, if your Goldendoodle displays a love of completing dog puzzles, this is another sign that they’ve got their parents’ brains!

Lastly, if your Goldendoodle likes to comfort you when you’re upset, this is a strong sign of emotional intelligence. This is especially the case if you’re particularly good at concealing your emotions.



Can Goldendoodle service dogs “smell” diseases?

Research has shown that highly trained dogs can sniff out certain illnesses and conditions with great accuracy. Dogs have successfully signaled the presence of diseases like cancer and narcolepsy. However, bringing canine intelligence into conventional hospitals is still a long way off.

How do you use AAC devices with Goldendoodles?

AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) devices have been used for years by people who can’t communicate verbally – people who need an alternative communication method. In recent years several people have begun to use AAC technology to teach their dogs to communicate by pressing buttons in response to simple questions.

To train your dogs with these buttons, you should say the word, do the action, and press the button at the same time. For example, say ‘outside’ and press the corresponding button just before you go outside. Your Doodle will learn what these buttons mean in no time!

Is a Goldendoodle one of the smartest dogs?

Goldendoodles are one of the smartest dogs given that their parents rank highly for intelligence. Poodles and Golden Retriever dogs both perform exceptionally well in terms of instinctive and working intelligence. Given that both parents fit the category of a smart dog, it’s safe to assume that Goldendoodles have above-average intelligence.


Final Thoughts

Goldendoodles may not be at the top of the world’s list of the smartest dog breeds, but they’re certainly not far away! This crossbreed inherits sharp working intelligence from its parent breeds, making them intuitive, adaptive, caring, communicative, and much more!

Their high canine intelligence makes them one of the best dog breeds to fulfill therapy and care roles. However, like all dog breeds, they need a good upbringing and environment to unlock their canine intelligence.

Goldendoodles need plenty of socialization and new experiences from a young age to stimulate their brains and it’s up to Goldendoodle owners to provide that.