A Family-Friendly Dog
The Goldendoodle was first created in the late 1990s in the United States as a wonderful solution for families with allergies. As most know, one of the most popular family dogs, the Golden Retriever, is a profuse shedder, which makes them incompatible with those who have allergies to shedding dogs. The quick growth in the popularity of the Goldendoodle can be attributed to the breed’s minimal to non-shedding coats and reliable temperament with children and their families that makes Golden Retrievers so popular. Now families with allergy concerns can have that same temperament in a similar dog without all the shedding.
Developing the Doodle
For the first few years, only the F1standard was available, which is the result of crossing a Golden Retriever and a Standard Poodle. As more people became familiar with the Goldendoodle, I began receiving requests for a smaller dog with that same adorable fluffy coat and the fun-loving temperament. The first litter of F1 mini Goldendoodles arrived in January 2001 and was the result of crossing a Golden Retriever and Miniature Poodle. That was 14 years ago and I still have a dog (Pebbles) from that litter laying by my feet as I type. Pebbles became the icon for the breed and I could not begin to keep up with the demand for more puppies like Pebbles. Now there are hundreds of breeders producing Goldendoodles in smaller sizes and the demand continues to increase.
With F1 Goldendoodles, only about half of each litter will have non-shedding coats. Because my client base had become mostly those with allergy concerns, I began working on the creation of a Goldendoodle with a better success rate in the non-shedding category. After all, I had never had someone ask me to be sure to match them with a puppy guaranteed to shed! Crossing the F1 Goldendoodle back to a Poodle essentially meant infusing the non-shedding gene (since that comes from the Poodle) into this next generation. This generation is called the F1B Goldendoodle and has maintained a 90% non-shedding success rate. However, most of these puppies would have a curly coat and a build more similar to a Poodle. This prompted me to start crossing Goldendoodles with a good balance of both breeds to other Goldendoodles with that same balance. This produces what is called the multigenerational Goldendoodle, which is essentially created the same way any purebred breed is produced – two of the same breed bred together.
Promoting a Healthy Breed
Poodles and Golden Retrievers can be plagued with many health issues, which are the same health issues that can be prevalent in Goldendoodles. It is important that dogs used for breeding are proven to be clear of these health issues. The issues of concern are hip and elbow dysplasia, heart issues, Von Willebrand’s Disease, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, luxating patellas, and cataracts. This was the driving force in my creating the Goldendoodle Association of North America. “GANA’s primary objective is to promote and guide the development of the Goldendoodle to achieve breed standards while maintaining optimum health.” Only breeders that complete an array of health testing on their parent dogs are accepted as members of GANA. A list of these approved breeders can be found at www.GoldendoodleAssociation.com.
About the Author: This article was written by Amy Lane of Fox Creek Farm, a founding breeder of the Goldendoodle, the creator of the mini Goldendoodle, and the founder of the Goldendoodle Association of North America.