Understanding the different types of Goldendoodles can make a big difference in deciding what type of dog is best for your family. When we first started thinking about getting a Goldendoodle we were confused about what all the terminology meant. We heard about F1 Goldendoodles, F2 Goldendoodles, and Multigens, but we didn’t know they were different types of Goldendoodles within the breed.
We had heard that Goldendoodles were a great dog if you have allergies, and we thought they were all the same. We learned that there are different generations of Goldendoodles, depending on the mix.
Each type has some important characteristics. Especially when it comes to the type of coat.
There can be major differences between the different Goldendoodle variations. If you’re looking for a nonshedding or hypoallergenic dog, then it’s very important to understand the different types of Goldendoodles.
For example, our Goldendoodle, @ZumaTheDoodleDog, is an F1b Goldendoodle. That means she is 75 percent Poodle and 25 percent Golden Retriever. Her coat is extremely soft and fluffy, and she goes to the groomer every six weeks.
If she goes too long in between grooming, she will get matted around her ears and on her tail. Occasionally, we find tufts of her hair around the house, but it’s not much shedding at all. She’s sweet and calm like a Golden. She’s smart and responds well to training.
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Goldendoodles – A Hybrid Breed
Goldendoodles originated in 1969 as guide dogs. A hybrid breed, they are a cross between a Golden Retriever and Poodle. The Poodle’s intelligence and non-shedding coat combined with the Golden Retriever’s even-tempered personality have made Goldendoodles popular dogs.
They’re also a popular choice for guide dogs and therapy dogs. They are kid-friendly, smart, athletic and affectionate dogs, with the best qualities of both breeds.
As a rule, hybrid breeds have added health benefits because they are a cross of two unrelated purebred lines. When unrelated breeds are mated, the first generation offspring are more healthy both physically and mentally than the parent breeds. This is known as “hybrid vigor.”
Goldendoodles often have this improved health, if their parents are responsibly bred with no hereditary problems. But, hybrid vigor is reduced with each generation.
The Best of the Poodle and the Best of the Golden Retriever
Because they have purebred parents of two different breeds, there is no guarantee that Goldendoodles will be the same size, or have the same coat texture, color or temperament every time.
For the most part, it’s the Poodle gene that causes Goldendoodles to come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. Poodles come in several colors and three different sizes: Standard (22-27 inches tall), Miniature (13 to 15 inches tall) and Toy (10 inches and under).
As a result, Standard size Goldendoodles usually weigh between 45 to 100 pounds, Medium Goldendoodles are 30-45 pounds, and Miniature Goldendoodles weigh between 15 to 30 pounds. They can be cream, red, black, chocolate brown, white, gold, gray, or a combination with spotted markings.
Goldendoodles can have tight curly hair like their Poodle relatives, soft waves, or flatter and straight fur similar to Golden Retrievers. Although they usually don’t shed excessively, they need to be brushed regularly to prevent matting. In addition, they usually need regular trimming because their hair can grow over the eyes, around the tail, and between the toes.
Usually, the type of coat a Goldendoodle puppy has will depend on the variations of the parents, known as “generations.”
The different types of Goldendoodles are classified into these generations:
Golden Retriever + Poodle
The foundation of the different types of Goldendoodles is known as “F1,” which stands for first-generation. It’s the original cross between a purebred Standard Poodle and purebred Golden Retriever.
The genetics of F1 Goldendoodles are not as predictable as you might think. They don’t necessarily inherit 50 percent Golden Retriever traits and 50 percent Poodle traits. For example, they don’t always end up with a poodle coat, and their temperaments can vary between the even-keeled Golden and the high-strung poodle.
For this reason, F1 Goldendoodles are not always non-shedding dogs.
|Moderate to High; Coat grows to 3-5 inches and needs brushing and occasional grooming||Wavy or Curly||
Light shedding to nonshedding
F1 Goldendoodle + Poodle
Whenever you see the letter “b” in the different types of Goldendoodles, it stands for “backcross.” The mixture of an F1 Goldendoodle and Poodle, “F1b” Goldendoodles means they’re 75 percent Poodle and 25 percent Golden Retriever.
Generally speaking, the backcross makes it much more likely that the offspring will have the nonshedding Poodle coat. As a result, F1b Goldendoodles are usually more curly and require more grooming. They may also tend to have more of the Poodle’s personality traits.
|Moderate to High; Coat continues to grow long and requires regular grooming||Wavy or Curly||Very light shedding to nonshedding|
F1 Goldendoodle + F1 Goldendoodle
“F2” stands for second-generation, which means both parents are F1 Goldendoodles. Since they are a mixture of two hybrids instead of two purebreds, their appearance can vary widely. Therefore, some dogs may look more like Golden Retrievers while others may look more like Poodles.
|Varies depending on the type of coat||Can resemble a Golden Retriever, or be wavy or curly||Varies greatly from shedding to nonshedding; not recommended for families with allergies.|
F1 Goldendoodle + F1b Goldendoodle
F2b Goldendoodles are a second generation backcross. They are a cross of an F1 Goldendoodle and an F1b Goldendoodle. Generally speaking, they tend to have more Poodle genes, with wavy or curly coats and less shedding. As a result, they have a higher chance of being more high-strung like the Poodle and may need more grooming.
|Moderate to High; Coat continues to grow long and requires regular grooming||Wavy or Curly||Mostly nonshedding|
F3 Multi-Generation Goldendoodles
F1b Goldendoodle + F1b Goldendoodle
F2 Goldendoodle + F2 Goldendoodle
F1b Goldendoodle + F2b Goldendoodle
Also known as F3, Multigeneration Goldendoodles are a cross between two second-generation Goldendoodles. Because they’re 3rd generation, they may have less “hybrid vigor.” This is a natural result with more generations.
|Varies depending on coat type.||Some will have straighter coats similar to a Retriever, while others will have soft wavy or curly coats.||Straighter coats tend to shed more, while curlier coats shed less.|
To summarize, when you’re deciding between the different types of Goldendoodles, it’s important to beware of unethical breeders no matter what type you choose. You want to check the lineage of their puppies to ensure they are not breeding dogs who may be closely related.
As Goldendoodles become more popular, puppy mills and the risk of inbreeding goes up. Look for ethical breeders who create distant “lines” and don’t repeatedly breed generations of related dogs. Above all, it’s important to find a responsible breeder who is committed to breeding healthy dogs.
To find a professional breeder, visit the Goldendoodle Association of North America.
Why am I writing about Goldendoodles? Learn more here.