Posts Tagged ‘goldendoodle’

Check out the tail:

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Very cute. Like a field line golden with a beard;


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(Source for image).

This dog’s features tell us a lot about how Irish water spaniels could have evolved from crossing the poodle-type water dog with some variety of spaniel or proto-setter. He has a smooth muzzle (see this close up for verification) and a topknot.

It would not be impossible to breed a type of water spaniel with a long, curly coat and smooth muzzle through crossing a poodle-type with a spaniel-type.

Don’t ask me how they got the rat tail, but this is how you get the topknot and smooth muzzle.

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goldendoodle white

For the past five or ten years, a new fad dog has appeared on the scene.

I first heard of them in Bruce Fogle’s Encyclopedia of the Dog. That book had a section on what are now called “designer dogs.” Among them was a specially bred guide dog called a “Labradoodle.” It turns out that an Australian guide dog agency wanted to produced a guide dog that was hypoallergenic (which, of course, don’t exist).

Now, they could have used standard poodles, but I’m sure they already had a specially bred Labrador line for this work. Add a little standard poodle, the argument went, and you’d create a super guide dog that would not bother the visually impaired who also had allergies to dogs. (Today, there is actually a particular strain called an “Australian Labradoodle” that has other breeds crossed into it.)

Of course, it didn’t take long for people to start cross-breeding Labs and standard poodles in this country. And then it was just a slight jump to start crossing goldens and poodles. Because a lot of working strain goldens were deemed “pet quality,” I’m sure that lots of them wound up in the doodle breeding programs.  That was not a very good thing for working strain goldens, which already have some issues with genetic diversity.  If you want to know where many of the working-type goldens went, I’d look no further than the goldendoodles.

These dogs have been popular for a time, and because too many of them have been bred by people who have very little concern for health, the genetic conditions of both goldens and poodles have popped up in these dogs. Aggression issues that pop up in goldens also exist in goldendoodles.

In the next few years, the market for doodles is likely to get saturated. I would say that in the next ten years, there won’t be as many doodles as there are now. They are likely to follow the cock-a-poo or cockerpoo, which was the first “designer dog.” The fad will slowly fade, and the new “in” dog will be something else.

But what will happen to the lines of retriever that disappeared into the doodles?

Well, they will be gone.

I am not opposed to cross-breeding these dogs to make pets.

However, these dogs were never going to replace the purebred dogs.

I don’t think this fad has that much staying power.

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No, it’s just a goldendoodle. I’m sorry to get your hopes up. This pup even has the top-knot that screams water spaniel, but it is not.

However, this pup looks a lot like the Tweed water spaniel or Tweed water dog. The ones around Ladykirk in Scotland were said to be sandy or tawny in color, which is exactly why they were chosen to be crossed into the strain that became the golden retriever.

The Tweed water dog was said to look almost exactly like a reddish or yellow curly-coated retriever, which makes sense considering it was a cross between the St. John’s water dog and some strain of water spaniel, which is exactly how the curly-coated retriever got started.

Compare this curly-coated retriever puppy with the goldendoodle pictured above. They are quite similar, aren’t they?

Most poodle-golden crosses are recrossed back into the poodle. This increases the likelihood of not having much shedding. However, if you cross back into the retriever, well, you can get pups with golden-type coats, pups with poodle-type coats, and dogs that have some water spaniel characteristics. Both the water spaniels, then, rather obviously derived from the poodle-type English rough water dog crossed with setters and land spaniels.

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A few goldendoodles wind up having golden retriever features.

A few goldendoodles wind up having golden retriever features.

photo source.

Check out this photo of two goldendoodle puppies.

Generally, all goldendoodles shed, though not as much as golden retrievers. However, my guess is that if you get one with more golden features, the more shedding you’ll get. These golden-types are more common in F2 crosses, where the recessive genes that make up the golden’s coat can recombine.

My only problem with goldendoodles is that they are very often puppy-milled, and because the working-type golden is less valuable than the “white” ones, pet dog breeders are using working type  dogs to make goldendoodles. This reduces the number of working-type dogs in the population. (When I say working-type here, I don’t mean dogs bred by serious dog sport enthusiasts. Here, I mean backyard breeders who just happen on working-type stock. Where I live, this is much more common than you’d think.)

Of course, mixing in the very intelligent and energetic standard poodle with the very intelligent and energetic working type golden results in a dog that has both characteristics with a bit of hybrid vigor. And that’s why so many people can’t stand their “red goldendoodles.”

The really big time breeders (and you know what these are) have actually started breeding European line show goldens with poodles to produce a dog that is both cute and calm.  Of course, poodles don’t have that heavy-boned conformation and etremely calm temperament at all, and this results in a mixed bag with the temperament.

I have nothing against goldendoodles, provided the breeders are interested in producing healthy dogs. I would even be happy if they were breeding lines of working goldendoodles that could be trained to retrieve game (poodles can do it).

Perhaps using goldendoodles in some of the breeding programs as planned outcrosses could increase some genetic diversity. Poodles should not be under-estimated by anyone. They are every bit as intelligent as a retriever, and the standards often have drivey temperaments. After all, the standard poodle is a retriever, one of the original European water dogs.

However, if you want a dog that is low shed, go with the full standard poodle. Mixing in golden retriever makes this low-shedding characteristic hard to predict.

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President-elect Obama said in his acceptance speech Tuesday night that they were getting a puppy.

Speculation is rampant.

Malia Obama has researched the breeds and has decided she wants a goldendoodle. Malia has allergies to dogs, and there is some suggestion that goldendoodles are less likely to cause allergies because it has been proported that they do not shed. However, if she is allergic to dog saliva, it won’t matter which breed they choose.

And goldendoodles often do shed. Poodles don’t shed, but golden retrievers “blow coat” twice a year. The genetics of coat that comes across in the hybridization is actually quite interesting. Most have the poodle-type coat, but it is not unusual to find them with actual golden retriever coats, including the smooth fur on the muzzle and the forelegs. I’ve even see one that had a coat like an Irish water spaniel. 

Most goldendoodles and Labradoodles look like larger versions of the Barbet and Spanish water dog. I’ve read descriptions of the English rough water dog, which is ancestral to the water spaniels and the retrievers, and it really resembles the doodles. It is a large dog, with a shaggy coat that is low shed or nonshedding. This breed was absorbed into the water spaniels by the eighteenth century, and then the water spaniels were absorbed into the retrievers, except in Ireland, where the native Water spaniel survived.

PETA wants them to select a shelter dog.  Michelle Obama is also leaning toward rescuing a dog. That would be socially responsible, and it would be a new thing for US presidents. Since Gerald Ford, all the presidential dogs have been purchased from breeders. (Ford had a very well-bred golden retriever named “Liberty.”).

I would say that they should not get a puppy. They are going to be far too busy. If they want a golden or Labradoodle, I’m sure they can rescue one that already loves children. They just need to know that sometimes they get the field-type golden retriever’s high energy level, which some people misinterpet as “hyper.”


My suggestion is that they rescue a dog, even if it’s a designer a hybrid, such as this. I do know that this is a functional hybrid, and that some service dogs organizations use them. This cross reduces some of the allergies to canines that mobility challenged people might also have. So I’m not going to go into you shouldn’t cross breeds. If there is a reason to do so, then it should be accepted.

Poodles and golden retrievers are actually distant relatives in the water dog family. Standard poodles can be used as water retrievers, and the unusual clips used in poodles were first developed to aid them in the water. The long, wooly coat got bogged down in the water, so German hunters clipped the hair to make them more streamlined in the water. They left the coat long in certain areas so the dogs were still protected from cold water. Poodles are probably closely related to the English rough water dog, which is ancestral to the water spaniels and the retrievers. Poodles are related in some way to the Barbet and the Portuguese and Spanish Water dog. They are also related to the Schapendoes of the Netherlands, the Sheep poodle of Germany, the Puli (which can be used as a water dog), and perhaps the bearded collie and the Polish lowland sheepdog.

I just hope that the Obama’s dog doesn’t wind up like Harry Truman’s Irish setter puppy, which was given very poor care. The poor dog was fed only raw meat and hee developed rickets as a result.

 Bill Clinton’s Labrador was purchased solely as a photo-op. They chose the Lab because it was the most popular breed in America, but they chose a chocolate one because a black one wouldn’t photograph well enough and yellow would photo graph too well.

Ronald Reagan had a Bouvier des Flandres, but this dog had very strong herding instincts, and nipped nearly everyone in the White House.  This dog was sent to Reagan’s ranch and replaced with a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, which is a far more appropriate breed for an elderly couple with a very busy schedule.

I somehow think the Obamas are going to be more deliberate in their choice of a dog than those two presidents. They seem to be very deliberate about everything.

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