Raising a Goldendoodle is not unlike raising a child: preparation, diet research, and lots of love to glue it all together are just some of the things that must be considered and present. On this page, we'll help you to learn how to take care of a Goldendoodle puppy and get advice on maintenance as well as where to find care guides. There are also many tips and facts that will help you decide if one of these beautiful hybrid dogs is right for you!
The typical Goldendoodle growth rate develops at an average pace, and they are fully mature anywhere from 18 to 24 months of age. It will take this same amount of time before knowing exactly what kind of coat your 'Doodle will have, but there are many other aspects that must be attended. Below are some basic Goldendoodle puppy to adult stages:
|Dog Age||Development Milestone|
|3-4 weeks||Exploring their surroundings; behavior begins to take root; and the basics of biting and barking begin|
|5-6 weeks||Puppies are disciplined by mother and there should be no interference if she nips, growls, or pushes the puppies around|
|7 weeks||Puppies can be removed from "nest" if they are healthy; prior removal can create behavior problems for life.|
|8-10 weeks||Socialization and the most basic behavior training should begin; the puppies personalites will begin to emerge|
|11-12 weeks||The "fear imprint" period should end by now, and the puppies should be able to better handle things without future trauma|
|13-16 weeks||Full behavioral training should begin in earnest, and you should expect your Goldendoodle to test boundaries|
|4-6 months||Independence is eagerly explored; behavioral training must remain constant; strenuous exercise should begin|
|7-18 months||Sexual maturity blooms during this adolescent phase, and you can expect difficulties: she will disobey, males will try to fight, and both may attempt to escape|
|1 year||Full maturity is on the horizon, and a newfound confidence (after the ups and down of adolescence) may prompt unexpected aggression and behavior|
Goldendoodles require a good bit more exercise than the average dog. Although the two breeds used to produce a 'Doodle are very different in some ways, both are extremely active dogs that will have offspring who are no less so. There is also size, and this determines the amount of exercise. Two 30-minute walks daily and a weekly dog park visit is the bare minimum. Many Goldendoodle breeders and owners, however, will urge you to do three daily walks and 3-4 weekly dog park visits. Below is detailed information that will help answer, "How much exercise does a Goldendoodle need?"
All 'Doodles need to be kept on a leash when outside the yard or dog park. The smallest Goldendoodles, which can weigh as little as 10-12 pounds, can dart under moving vehicles or become prey to other animals if allowed to run freely. The larger ones, which can be as big as a Standard Poodle and weigh 70-75 pounds, can themselves become a threat to other dogs if not restrained. As puppies, they should not be rigorously exercised until they are about a year old. They should be allowed to build up strength and stamina along with physical maturity. Walks should be done in easy parts with lots of rest and time to relax until these dogs are physically ready for long, uninterrupted sessions. If they are extremely tiny dogs, they tend to get a fair amount of exercise just following you around the house and enjoying some playtime.
Because Goldendoodle size is an important factor regarding what and how much exercise, you should always make sure yours is up for the task. Consulting a vet or breeder is highly recommended so you don't overdo or, just as badly, neglect the amount of exercise. Barking, chewing, digging, aggression, and other bad behavior is very often a sure sign of too little exercise.
Here are some activities and exercise ideas for you and your Goldendoodle:
- Walking: This is good for 'Doodles of all sizes, but the amount and the environment should be adjusted to the dog's size. Here are some suggestions:
- Fetch: Great for the Medium and Standards, but with the Mini, you should be careful and not too rambunctious
- Jogging: Fine for the larger varieties but not for the Miniature Goldendoodle
- Treadmill: Like jogging, this will be good for the two bigger types of 'Doodle, but not recommended for the Minis.
- Swimming: Both parent breeds are historically attuned to being in water, and no matter the size of your Goldendoodle, she'll love it too!
- Agility play: The size and type of toy should be scaled to your dog's size.
- Diving: If you have a dock at a pond or lake, the bigger 'Doodles will love this activity!
There's not much you can do to reduce the amount of Goldendoodle exercise these dogs require. If you think you can't manage enough time to exercise your Golden Retriever Poodle mixed breed, you may want to seriously consider the kind of dog to adopt. As for alternative means to outdoor activities, a treadmill for the two larger types can work so long as they are closely supervised. If you decide to get two or more Mini Goldendoodles, they will always have each other for play. Of course, making sure your Goldendoodle — no matter the size or type — has a proper diet will reduce the amount of exercise needed to get them back into shape too. Regardless, always use playtime for behavior training and reinforcement by way of snacks, controlling the door (when going out for walk), and leading the activity.
These dogs are desired because of their coats and because Goldendoodles shed very little if bred and groomed properly. There are those, however, whose shedding may be significant due to possible inheritance of the Golden Retriever coat. As for drooling, these hybrid dogs shouldn't slobber much if at all unless there is a health issue. These dogs are typically good for people who have allergies, as Goldendoodle shedding is easily manageable.
If your 'Doodle drools, determining the cause is ultimately up to your vet — but you can get an idea by the color, tackiness (is it like water or thick and slow-flowing?), and amount of slobber. It could be something as simple as nausea from riding in a car or eating something, or it could be more serious such as a dental concern or internal problem. If it's only when he drinks water, put a mat under the water and food bowls, and be sure to keep him hydrated during and immediately after walks and other exercise.
Shedding can be seemingly non-existent, to low, to moderate. Despite the definition of the term "hypoallergenic," there are no truly non-shedding Goldendoodles, just those whose shedding is so slight as to be all but invisible. There are also the periods of shedding the puppy coat (around 8-10 months) and then the once or twice annual seasonal shedding. Goldendoodles with curly coats will shed the least, while the straighter the hair, the more the shedding problem. Having light-colored furniture, keeping a lint-roller and hand-vacuum near at hand, and weekly grooming should help keep the hair at bay.
Knowing how much to feed your Goldendoodle puppy is a complicated matter. It depends on the size of the puppy as well as if he is a Mini, Medium, or Standard Goldendoodle. (This, of course, is dependent on the size of his Poodle parent.) For these dogs, it is best to get a reputable breeder to suggest a feeding chart, or perhaps advice from a vet who is known to have knowledge on this particular hybrid dog. Basically, the Miniature Goldendoodle should be fed a diet for small breeds whereas the Medium and Standard-size Doodles require regular and large-breed dog food diets, respectively. Below is a basic Mini Goldendoodle diet to give you an idea of what to feed the most popular type of the this hybrid.
|Dog Age||Dog Weight||Food Type||Amount||Frequency|
|6-10 weeks||5-6 lbs||moistened dry||1/4th cup||4 times/day|
|12 weeks||7 lbs||moistened dry||1/3rd cup||3-4 times/day|
|6-8 months||7-8 lbs||wet/dry||half-cup||3 times/day|
|10-12 months||10-14 lbs||wet/dry||1 cup||2 times/day|
|1-2 years||12-20 lbs||wet/dry||1 cup||2 times/day|
Over-eating and under-exercising will almost always lead to an overweight Goldendoodle, and even one or the other can cause obesity. Be sure to adjust your 'Doodle's diet if he is getting too big. If you want to cut back, you can do that immediately. If you want to transition to a different type of food, however, you must do so slowly. An abrupt change from, say, dry food to raw food, or average commercial food to a grain-free diet, can cause intestinal and stool issues. A period of 10 days to two weeks is recommended when changing from one dog food to another, and the new food should be introduced in small amounts that increase every few days. Along with a grain-free, high-quality diet as well as a bit more exercise, and your formerly fat Goldendoodle should be back in shape in short order!
The best dog food for Goldendoodles remains one of preference that is typically determined by budget, availability, age, the dog's health profile, and personal preference. Although there are many who will argue for different types of dry and wet commercial dog foods, it is often said that the best food for Goldendoodle puppies is a medium-calorie, relatively low-protein (no more than about 25%) diet. Furthermore, many breeders will say that the raw food diet is best for puppies, adolescents, and adults alike. The amount of protein, fat, and fiber will vary drastically for each of these stages, however.
In a manner of speaking, the Goldendoodle is both an indoor and outdoor breed. While these hybrids will need a good bit of outdoor exercise each day, they'll definitely be happier living inside with their human family members. And for the Goldendoodle, apartment living isn't a good idea. Simply put, Goldendoodles in apartments are simply too large and energetic for such confined spaces.
Another consideration for owners of a Goldendoodle: weather. These dogs are fairly adaptable to most climates, but might be uncomfortable in extremely hot or cold temps. Overall, Goldendoodles are best suited to life in mild climates.