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How to Pick a Goldendoodle Puppy

How to Pick a Goldendoodle Puppy

A Goldendoodle is a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle that’s known for its outgoing and friendly nature. As an intelligent and trainable breed, Goldendoodles are obedient and excel at several activities. These include search and rescue, therapy work, and agility exercises. They are also sociable dogs that excel in family environments where they get given tons of attention and love.

If the above aren’t reasons enough to consider adopting a Goldendoodle puppy as a faithful companion, wait until you meet these pups, and you’ll need no further excuse. The biggest trick is to know which puppy to choose, as it won’t be an easy task.

In this article, we’ll help you to make your choice based on several factors.


What Generation of Goldendoodle Do You Want?

The first question you should ask yourself when looking for a Goldendoodle puppy is what you’re looking for. You could consider a first-generation (F1) Goldendoodle or an F1B Goldendoodle breed. The difference can be massive, so it helps to know the difference before you decide on your perfect family pooch, constant companion, faithful therapist, or passionate working dog.

F1 Goldendoodles

F1 Doodles are the resulting litter of breeding between pure-bred Golden Retriever and Poodle parents. As such, the puppies will all be exactly half pure-bred Poodle and half pedigree Golden Retriever. It’s no surprise when this happens, as this F1 breed is commonplace among recognized breeders. It could also be a result of accidental breeding.

Any ‘F’ classified dog is a cross-breed, meaning a puppy’s parents are different recognized breeds or hybrids. No pure-bred dogs ever carry an F label even though many of the currently recognized pedigree breeds didn’t exist even a couple of hundred years ago.

F1 Goldendoodles have certain characteristics, with new F1 Goldendoodles showing traits from either Retriever or Poodle. The litter you choose your fur baby from may have shedding coats like Golden Retrievers or be more like Poodles with non-shedding coats. Some of the characteristics you can expect from an F1 Goldendoodle puppy are:

  • A puppy’s personality can vary depending on the dominant genes, but with common traits of friendliness, intelligence, and trainability.
  • Health benefits resulting from the specific cross-breeding. Goldendoodles show a decrease of 75% in the risk of cancer compared to that of their parents.
  • F1 Goldendoodles can vary in size. This variance depends on the size of their parents, with a Miniature Poodle parent likely to bring down the puppies’ weight and size.
  • Goldendoodle pups could have wavy or curly coats that are typically non-shedding and hypoallergenic. Otherwise, they could have a straight, full-shedding coat.
  • Goldendoodles need lots of exercise and are active dogs. Their energy and exuberance levels can vary depending on whether Golden Retrievers or Poodles make up the dominant genes.

F1B Goldendoodles

F1B Goldendoodle puppies are not original cross-breeds. The ‘B’ stands for back-cross, with an F1 Goldendoodle crossed with one type of pure-bred parent. Most of these breeds are second-generation Doodles back-crossed with Poodles and not Golden Retrievers. Hence, they are 75% Poodle and only 25% Retriever.

This is the type of teddy bear-like Goldendoodle that is most likely to have a puppy coat that is hypoallergenic and non-shedding. These Goldendoodles are very popular, especially for the non-shedding qualities inherited from Poodle breeding. As a result, almost always, an F1B Goldendoodle purposefully bred as such will be a Poodle back-cross.

Of course, Retriever back-crosses could occur but your breeder or the animal shelter would mention this. Some of the most common characteristics of F1B Goldendoodles are:

  • Your F1B puppy will likely have the perfect Poodle-cross-Retriever personality, which isn’t excessively exuberant or overwhelming.
  • F1B Goldendoodles typically have more hypoallergenic wavy or curly coats that don’t shed.
  • An F1B Goldendoodle puppy will likely look like a cuddly teddy bear!
  • The hybrid vigor genetic basis means a Goldendoodle puppy will likely enjoy health benefits not experienced by its parents.

Contrary to many past beliefs, cross-bred dogs are less likely to experience genetic disorders like hip dysplasia or elbow dysplasia than many pedigree dogs do. Studies have shown that mixed-breed dogs don’t run as great a risk of conditions like elbow or hip dysplasia. This is good news for new Goldendoodle puppy owners.

You can visit our homepage for links to more informative and necessary tips about Goldendoodle health.


What Size of Goldendoodle Do You Want?

The differences in size between Goldendoodles can vary a lot. Because of the cross-breeding element, you get Standard and Medium Goldendoodles. You get Mini Goldendoodles too, with the smallest being known as Teacup Goldendoodles and Toy Goldendoodles.

Just think about it. Do you really want a Medium or Standard Goldendoodle pup if you’re going to need to pick it up to bathe it or put it in the car? We think not! Consider what you’ll be doing with your puppy once it grows, and plan accordingly now before you’re left in a predicament later.

A bigger breed of Goldendoodle is far too heavy for an average doggie owner to handle alone! When you see Goldendoodle puppies for sale and make that call, ask about the sizes and weights of the parent dogs. This’ll give you some idea of whether your gorgeous little puppy will grow into a big dog or be able to keep sitting on your lap.


What You Might Find Important in a Goldendoodle Puppy

When you start your search for the perfect Goldendoodle puppy to join your household, it’s important that you watch out for certain things. Doing so will ensure it’ll enjoy a wonderful, long-lasting life within your home environment. Here are several important things to bear in mind when choosing that perfect pup:

The physical and genetic health factors of Goldendoodles

Before arranging to meet a Goldendoodle breeder, be aware of the different ailments and genetic factors that are common in your coveted breed. You’ll want to know what to look for when you receive the medical histories of your puppy’s parents.

In that way, you’ll be able to pinpoint any signs of diseases or conditions that could pass on to your puppy genetically. A good breeder will send their breeding pair for screens that will show up any genetic dispositions that are common to Goldens and Poodles. If you can get health certificates for the parents of your puppy, there shouldn’t be problems.

If you see any genetic disorders showing up on the reports of the parents, you should worry. The likelihood is that your new Goldendoodle puppy could be susceptible to similar problems. Watch out for the following:

  • Hip dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is caused by a deformity within the joint of the ball and socket connecting the hip bone and the femur. It is a distressing condition that can affect both a Golden Retriever and a Poodle, making it difficult for a dog to walk and stand up. Hip dysplasia also causes arthritis and can be very expensive to treat.
  • Elbow dysplasia: Elbow dysplasia is a similar affliction but occurs in the joint of the elbow in both Poodles and Goldens. Extra cartilage grows in the elbow’s socket, which causes displacement of the joint and instability for the dog. Elbow dysplasia results in inflammation and arthritis and causes Goldendoodles to limp. Sometimes they even resort to hobbling on three legs to avoid the extreme pain.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy: Progressive retinal atrophy is a degenerative eye disease common to Poodles. The retina starts to degenerate, which invariably results in total blindness as there is no effective treatment and no cure.
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy: Dilated cardiomyopathy is a heart condition typical in both Poodles and Retriever breeds. It is caused by a lethal expansion of the heart’s ventricles which causes overexertion when blood is pumping. Although there is no cure, the condition can be treated, but it comes at a high financial cost.

These conditions are common in Goldendoodles without proper breeding. As such, they are essential to look out for when you go about searching for your perfect pet.

The size of Goldendoodles

Goldendoodles are bred in three main size classes, although there are some size sub-categories in the smallest size class as well. The largest of these is the Standard Goldendoodle. Thereafter comes the Medium Goldendoodle, and finally, the Mini Goldendoodle. The Mini Goldendoodle class splits into two – the Teacup Goldendoodle and Toy Goldendoodle.

  • Standard Goldendoodle: On average, a Standard Goldendoodle class will begin at 40 pounds and the dog weighs in at 50 to 60 pounds when fully grown. It stands at around 22 inches in height and is requires a large, well-fenced yard. It’s a great companion to join you in your outdoor exercise routines.
  • Medium Goldendoodle: With good reason, a Medium Goldendoodle is a sought-after size. It is easy to control and an excellent exercise partner, and it’s also small enough to own if you’re in an apartment complex. It also won’t cost too much as it’s the most common size. This Doodle weighs between 30 and 40 pounds fully grown.
  • Mini Goldendoodle: The smallest of the three Goldendoodle size classes, the Mini, is a Doodle of under 30 pounds in weight. Although these tiny tots are very active, they need less space and are perfect for homes like RVs and smaller apartments. They’re divided into Teacup and Toy sub-categories. Let’s look at both:
    • Teacup Goldendoodle: You can hold a Teacup Goldendoodle in one hand. It’s a perfect lapdog, weighing only around 13 pounds and standing about 11 inches tall. Since this Doodle is tiny, it does tend to struggle from more genetic problems including heart defects. It’s originally bred from a Toy Poodle and a small Golden.
    • Toy Goldendoodle: Toy Goldendoodles are slightly bigger than the Teacup variety. They generally weigh about 20 pounds and stand approximately 14 inches in height. So you can compare your average Toy Goldendoodle to the size of a standard laptop or slightly larger.

The best way to estimate how big your Goldendoodle pup will become is to establish the sizes of its parents. Your furry friend should fall between the weights of its parent dogs, but this isn’t always the case. It is a good way of gauging its potential growth, though. A smaller parent dog (like a Toy Poodle) will generally produce a smaller puppy.

The coat color of Goldendoodles

There is no shortage of variety when it comes to the color of a Goldendoodle puppy. Breeders can provide several different colors and sizes for new owners to choose from, sometimes including multi-colored ones! Goldendoodle breeders can carry out DNA testing to create various colors of Goldendoodle puppy coats.

All these different colors aren’t recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). The AKC only recognizes the golden, light-golden, and dark-golden colors of Golden Retrievers. In Poodles, they accept the apricot, gray, silver, brown, blue, cream, and cafe-au-lait colors. However, Goldendoodles of any color aren’t recognized by the AKC as they’re a hybrid breed.

The sociability factor in Goldendoodles

To gauge the sociability of your prospective new Goldendoodle puppy, you should spend time at the breeder’s property. Mix with the parent dogs and play with the pup so you’ll have an idea of how affectionate, energetic, and playful the young furball is. If you’ve got kids, take them along to track the puppy’s progress with a child’s energy.

Children are generally more vocal, so you’ll also be able to see the pup’s reaction to loud noises. The closer you are to recreating your home environment, the better you’ll gauge the puppy’s reaction and personality.

Also, watch the pup’s activity with its siblings. Does it get aggressive? Is it overly playful? It’s important that the puppy you choose isn’t displaying antisocial behavior if you’ve other dogs or young children at home. Also bear in mind, though, that the puppy is still very young, and much of its character and personality will be molded by the environment where it grows up.

All-in-all, there are various factors to consider when you’re buying a Goldendoodle puppy, and you should seek the breeder’s help wherever possible. These are people who spend much of their lives around these wonderful dogs and can give you clearer insights than most others could.


Identify and Get to Know a Responsible Breeder

Before you go ahead and choose one of the many adorable Goldendoodle puppies you’ll come into contact with, locate a breeder you feel you can trust. When preparing to choose a new pup, it’s important that you receive all the essential information to bring up your bundle of fur in the best way.

Breeder credentials

A responsible breeder will have the knowledge to guide you in your choice of which available Goldendoodle puppies will be perfect for you. The breeder will guide you on the genetics or social temperament of the puppies they provide.

A top breeder is well-versed in the treatment protocol for Goldendoodle puppies and will have certified CAER and OFA testing certificates for the parent dogs. You can be comfortable knowing you’ll take home a healthy and well-rounded Goldendoodle puppy.

Pedigree and treatment of parent breeds

Certified pure-bred Golden Retriever and pure-bred Poodle parent dogs will have less chance of having hip dysplasia or other genetic disorders. This means less risk of these carrying forward to your Goldendoodle puppy. A reputable breeder will also afford you the chance to meet the parent dogs. You’ll have a better impression of how the batch of Goldendoodle pups will turn out this way.

As a rule, the parent dogs should be at least three years old. The puppies should be reared by their Golden Retriever or Poodle mother for two months. This way, they can use their mother’s milk to develop better early on. Reputable breeders will keep the puppies and parent dogs in a spacious area that’s a comfy environment for them.

Visiting a breeder

If you’re only shown one new Goldendoodle puppy when you arrive at a breeder, don’t be shy. Ask to see the puppy’s parents and all the puppies in the Goldendoodle breeding area. You’ll get a clearer idea of the breeder, the other puppies, and their living quarters.

If the quarters are too small or dirty, and the Goldendoodles are lethargic or unkempt, you might want to find your new pet elsewhere. In breeding areas, you’re also able to gauge how much the breeders love dogs. You’ll know whether the new puppy they show you is the one you want, and be able to choose another dog if you see fit.

Watching the other dogs in their natural environment gives you insight into whether the Poodle and Golden Retriever parent dogs are relaxed and comfortable with human interaction. You can assess for yourself whether the other puppies seem in good physical health.

Generally, with good breeders, you won’t even encounter these circumstances. They’ll love dogs and welcome you by introducing you to the whole Goldendoodle puppy litter. You’ll also meet the Poodle and Golden Retriever parent dogs without any prompting.

Depending on how long they’ve had the puppies, they’ll probably show you proof of the first deworming and vaccination round as well. You also know you’ve found a good breeder if they answer these questions about your Goldendoodle puppy without any prompting:


Questions to Ask the Goldendoodle Breeder

Good breeders should be forthcoming with all of the following questions. It’s still an idea to have them on hand in case you need to find out something that you don’t get told. Keep these in mind to make sure you’re getting the perfect Goldendoodle and how to care for your new puppy in a way your most recent best friend deserves!

  • How long have you been breeding Goldendoodles?
  • Do you have health certificates for the Goldendoodle puppy and the parent dogs?
  • Are the parents a pedigree Golden Retriever and a pure-bred Poodle?
  • Is there any history of hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, or genetic diseases in the parent dogs?
  • Do you provide a health guarantee for the Goldendoodle puppy? If so, what does it cover?
  • Can you provide some information on the temperament of the parent dogs?
  • Can you introduce the parent dogs and display where the puppies are kept?
  • Can you provide references from previous puppy buyers?
  • Has the new Goldendoodle pup been vaccinated and dewormed?
  • When should the new puppy be vaccinated (or vaccinated again)?
  • What has the new puppy been eating?
  • What nutrition plan do you have for the new Goldendoodle puppy? Is it recommended to continue with the current formula or food?
  • What time have the Goldendoodle pups been sleeping and for how long?
  • How do you socialize the puppies before they go to their new homes?
  • How sociable and excitable is the Goldendoodle pup with its siblings and parent dogs?
  • What advice can you give for taking care of a first Goldendoodle puppy?

We suggest you also keep your breeder’s contact details in case you forgot something while you were fetching your new Goldendoodle puppy. The right breeder will have no problems with any follow-up calls. They care about the future and continued health of all their Goldendoodle pups.

Like all different breeds, your new Goldendoodle puppy’s physical health and temperament will be defined, firstly, by its genetics, and then by its environment. Finding a decent, caring breeder is imperative to ensuring your new puppy starts life as a healthy, happy, and loving Goldendoodle. Your continued love will ensure it’s the perfect Goldendoodle for you.



How do I find a reputable Goldendoodle breeder?

You can do online research on breeders and read any reviews you find. Identify breeders who display transparency about their breeding practices. These will focus on the well-being and health of their litters.

You can also check with organizations and breed clubs. The Goldendoodle Association of North America (GANA) has a list of approved breeders on its website. Then ask your veterinarian and any contacts you have for recommendations.

When should I bring my Goldendoodle pup home?

Goldendoodle puppies can typically leave their mother and siblings when they are around eight weeks old. Any earlier than this could be detrimental to both your pup’s physical and social development. The first two months spent with its littermates provide excellent socializing time.

It’s also during this period that its mother teaches it valuable social skills and its physical growth is aided by its mother’s milk.

How should I prepare for my Goldendoodle puppy’s arrival?

To prepare for your Goldendoodle puppy’s arrival at its new home you should consider the following steps:

  • Puppy-proof your home by removing its access to any hazardous items like electric cords or poisonous plants. Remember it’s likely teething and will want to chew, so buy a chew toy or two.
  • Buy everything you’re going to need for your new pup, like bedding, food, and containers for both food and water. You might want a litter box to start too, and treats for training purposes.
  • Before you fetch your new pet, schedule a visit to the vet for an introductory examination once your Doodle pup arrives.
  • Set up a training program to start as soon as your puppy arrives. The sooner you’re able to help it learn the necessary behaviors and skills, the easier it’ll adapt to its new environment.