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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello from the DC metropolitan area. I don't have a golden retriever at the moment, but it's one of my dream dogs. I'm registering to the forum, so by the time I'm ready for a golden, I'll be more prepared as an owner.

And while I'm saying hi, let me pose a question: I'm currently living in a house whose owners are not okay with high-shedding dogs (they are okay with little to no shedding dogs, though). My cousin has a goldendoodle who is probably the sweetest and gentlest dog I have ever met (SO cuddly!) and well-behaved (despite the fact that her owners are not the best or consistent with her training). I would love a puppy right now, but I'm saving up for a home now and don't expect to move for the next couple of years at least; however, this would be excellent timing for me to get a puppy. I am considering getting a puppy from the breeder my cousin's goldendoodle is from (though the parents would be different), but it seems like goldendoodles are unpopular in this forum, so now I'm hesitating. Would it really be such a huge mistake to go through with getting a goldendoodle?
 

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Buying any crossbreed means you're delving into the unknown. With purebreds you have a long breeding history where some attention has been paid to creating dogs with known qualities. It's like McDonalds, in theory, you know that a Big Mac is going to be pretty much a Big Mac. Except apparently in India, according to the Indian character on "The Big Bang Theory". :)

One thing crossbreeds do have going for them is something called "hybrid vigor" which is a very old scientific observation that hybrids are sometimes healthier than their purebred parents, simply because the "bad" genes from one purebred line can be masked by good genes from the other purebred parent.

I had a purebred Golden who died in July at age 10. My current dog is 1/2 Golden, 1/2 Labrador, partly in hopes that hybrid vigor works to my favor and we have a long happy life together. Ten *is* a good number of years for a dog to live, and I was far luckier than some whose Goldens died far earlier, but still, I would give a great deal to have had another 5 years with my best friend. He's been gone 4 months and I still tear up writing about him.

And that's another thing you need to be aware of. Goldens are NOT just any dog. They weave their golden fur around your heart until you're hopelessly in love with them. And when they die... the pain and anguish is very intense. You need to be aware that buying a Golden, or even a half-Golden, puts an "x" on a calendar date far in the future where you'll be reduced to a blubbering idiot.

And lastly, this board is full of dog lovers. Some have had Goldens but do not currently, some have half-breeds, and some have another breed. All are welcome here. The only binding feature we have, if I speak correctly for the board, is that we love Goldens.
 

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Wendy
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I know people that have Doodles and they love them! Just keep in mind, they may, or may not be lower shedding. They all shed. I've seen some, that have the smooth longer coat and you'd swear they were mostly Golden. Also, with the curlier, coated ones, you do have to get them groomed, on a regular basis.

When my last Golden passed,way too young, I swore, I'd never get another one. So I got a mutt, who I love dearly, but 2 years later, I ended up getting another Golden. There is no other breed like a Golden Retriever!
 

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Welcome to the forum!

My personal complaint with doodles and other cross breeds is that the breeders are in it solely for money. Cross breeding does not follow the GRCA code of ethics, and it in no way "betters the breed." It's nearly impossible to find a breeder selling cross breeds who's completing all recommended health clearances. Another issue is the idea of "hybrid vigor." It really only helps if you have two species that have completely different genes, as a real hybrid would. If you breed two dogs together that are both at risk for hip dysplaysia, why would the risk be any less than a purebred dog? Poodles are not necessarily any healthier of a breed than Goldens. They actually are at risk for a pretty serious blood disorder called Von Wildebrands disease, it occurs in people as well as dogs.
https://www.hemophilia.org/Bleeding-Disorders/Types-of-Bleeding-Disorders/Von-Willebrand-Disease
Thinking the hybrid will be free from this disease, the breeder probably won't test for it and as soon as they're bred to another doodle or poodle, you risk them being affected. Lastly, you never know what exactly you're going to get. You hope it gets all the good parts from each dog but you may get the worst. If you love the golden temperament, I'd buy a golden or adopt an older dog. Be aware that when you are ready for a pup it can take months to find the right breeder and then bring your pup home. Most breeders have a wait list even prior to the breeding because they want to have the best homes for their pups.
 

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Welcome!

I'd say we are all dog lovers here, a bunch of us have more than one at a time (3 is our number) and while I love all my "kids", the Goldens are just sort of extra special. Whenever I meet a golden when I'm out and about I say to them "don't tell the other doggies, but there is nothing like a golden". Many dogs have "golden hearts" tho and that heart shines through, but there is just something about that golden heart in a golden wrapper.

I have met one goldendoodle in my dog sitting days - he very much had a golden personality, golden heart and soft, sweet golden eyes. He was a very good boy. They just aren't my "dog" as we tend to prefer long soft coats - but since we always have at least one rescue in the mix, I can't say for certain that one of these days when we are looking for a new family member that some soft, sweet eyes and golden heart in a totally "not our style of dog" wrapper won't strike us and steal our hearts.

Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue started including doodles and has now also branched out to labs since the number of goldens needing rescue was dropping. Some hard and fast golden owners frowned on that - I think it's a noble thing to do.

This is certainly a wonderful place to gather your info though and see some adorable photos and laugh and cry a little... enjoy!!!
 

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One other consideration, in favor of a half-breed golden, illustrates the point ArchersMom makes about hybrid vigor. This quote, from a blog devoted to dog cancers, says

At this time, the Golden Retriever is the breed most prone to cancer. It is estimated that up to 75% of Goldens will contract cancer during their lifetimes.

So it stands to reason that maybe, just maybe, crossing with ANY other dog breed might lower the cancer risk and give you some of the desirable golden traits. If you're concerned about cancer probability like I am, having lost a Golden to it, a cross breed may make more sense. You get "some" golden and hopefully, less likelihood of cancer down the road.

There are no guarantees. Even with purebred lines, cancer can lurk and fester. Since it often doesn't show up until later in life you can think a line is cancer free and then, at some time, it strikes.
 

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I say go for it. As long as they aren't priced super high and the dogs are family and are well taken care of at the breeders. Our golden retriever rescue here has taken in some awfully cute and good goldendoodles. As long as it isn't a puppy mill I say go get your puppy.
 

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My question is do you love Poodles?

If the answer is no, don't get a doodle. If the answer is yes, get a well bred Poodle. Or look into other low or no shed breeds like Portuguese Water Dogs.

Some other thoughts.

If you get a truly Poodle Coates Doodle are you aware of the cost the grooming upkeep will cost?
Find a local mom and pop groomer and go ask them about the Doodles they groom. I have found that the ones I know will dissuade anyone from buying them since they see so many issues with them grooming and temperament wise.

Set on a doodle? Finding a breeder who is health testing is nearly impossible. The parents should be tested for all their breed specific test. Since Poodles and Goldens share hereditary issues like dysplasia and epilepsy, cross breedings offer no benefit for these.

Poor quality parents both breed clubs prohibit cross breeding so no good breeder sells to doodle makers. Doodle breeders get their dogs form mills quite frequently.
 

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If you choose a mix like this, you need to be aware that it might resemble the poodle element of the equation more than the golden element, so you'd need to be ok with that. We own one of each - a golden retriever and a poodle - and they are very different in terms of personality type. The golden is a goofy, affectionate dog, while the poodle is a calculating machine on legs.

And it's also important to bear in mind that a non-shedding coat is often more difficult and time-consuming to care for than a shedding coat. Our poodle has to be brushed and combed frequently to prevent matting, he's washed at least twice a month (or he becomes smelly), and groomed in depth (clipped) about once every six to seven weeks. He's a toy poodle, so very small. The brushing and combing takes at least two to three hours a week, sometimes more, and the six-weekly grooming costs about $40. A friend of ours has a standard poodle, which is similar in terms of size to a doodle, and he spends four to six hours a week on brushing and combing, and has learned to do the in-depth grooming himself (half a day) to avoid the high costs. My golden, for comparison purposes, has a nice wash-and-wear coat that takes me about five minutes a day to maintain (brushing). He's a year old and has been bathed twice in that time.
 

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NO offense to anyone, but I thought Your main concern was "Shedding". They will shed, but not as much as one would think. Groom your dog on a regular basis, Keep Him or Her healthy, and vacuum your carpet at least twice per week. You are in for the most exciting, lovable, and smartest companion ever. Earlier in the "Thread", someone said that they will "Wrap their shredding hair around your heart", or words to that effect, "Truer Words, Have Never Been Spoken". "My Boy" "Celtic Squire of Clan-C" call name "Clancy", is my second Golden. My first "Spring Breeze Golden Girl Mariah" call name Mariah, blessed Me with 14 years. She was "The Love of My Life". It broke my heart when She passed away, but I wouldn't trade those 14 years for anything. My own "Personal Opinion", I don't much care for "Designer Dogs". A lot of people may disagree, and that's fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Wow -- thanks for the welcome and for your input! In terms of looks and temperament, the golden can't be beat. And I do understand that maintaining a more poodle-esque coat can be challenging in many ways -- however, the house owners unfortunately don't care about grooming challenges and do care a lot about heavy shedding (and I know they will consider goldens to be heavy shedders). They have dogs themselves that do shed, but very little as they are teeny dogs. Maybe I'm looking at goldendoodles with rose-colored glasses since the only one I know very well is my cousin's sweet Penny who has the heart of a cuddly golden through and through, complete with her forever puppy quirks. But everyone's comments do help me in understanding that mixing breeds makes for unpredictability...

The breeder I'm looking at (Old Mill Doodles in Staunton, VA) does breed poodles and golden retrievers (as opposed to two goldendoodle), and claims to have health clearances. However, I don't quite know what I'm supposed to be looking for or asking for in terms of those clearances or certifications. Also, as an FYI, these doodles cost about half of what I've been finding purebred golden retrievers in my area, which I think is fair (I've seen other breeders charge over $2K for a doodle, which I think is pretty unreasonable).

I'm still not completely sold on getting a goldendoodle, but I'd like to do my due diligence before I make up my mind. If you have any other helpful tips or info, I'd really appreciate it! Or if you know of any good golden breeders in or near the DC/Northern VA area, I suppose I could think about getting on one of those long waiting lists instead...
 

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You'd need the dogs registered name or AKC number to check clearances on the OFA website. If you had that information I'd be happy to help check. I'd be leery of "Old Mill." According to their website, they have over 30 adult dogs and 3 different breeds they're using for their mixes. That makes my head scream "puppy mill!"
 

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The breeder I'm looking at (Old Mill Doodles in Staunton, VA) does breed poodles and golden retrievers (as opposed to two goldendoodle), and claims to have health clearances. However, I don't quite know what I'm supposed to be looking for or asking for in terms of those clearances or certifications.
Here is the information for Poodles
http://www.caninehealthinfo.org/brdreqs.html?breed=PO&variety=STD
For goldens I will attach an infographic and a screen shot for the Goldens.

If you really want a doodle, why not reach out to a doodle rescue? Your probably not going to get a puppy but you will be able to see the temperament, trainability, and what the coat will be like. Then in a few years when you have a different place then you could add a Golden puppy.

Just to let you know grooming a standard size doodle in Arizona is between 70-130 depending on groomer and condition of the coat. Something to think about when you will want to budget 500-1500 for grooming depending on the cost in your area and how often you want to have the doodle done.
 

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While you're in the hunt for a future pup, come join the Potomac Valley Golden Retriever Club (PVGRC)--check out pvgrc.org for events. We're entering a quiet period as the year wraps up, but there are still a number of shows in the area. The club has a diverse membership that represents the diversity in the breed with active participation in many venues: field, obedience/rally, conformation, tracking, dock diving, nose work...Getting involved, meeting owners & their pups to include several who are also breeders, you'll be able to develop an eye for what you like (and don't) for both looks & working ability (they are sporting dogs after all). It also is a perfect opportunity to network. Then, get on a list & wait. Seeing the difference between a pup bred to the standard versus these BYBs & high-volume kicking out pups for profit is eye opening. Take your time, learn & then take the plunge in getting on a list once your home situation settles.

Conformation show this weekend 3-4 Dec at Howard County Fairgrounds and there is what I hear will be a great show in Fredericksburg VA mid Jan--I plan to attend that one to show in rally & get experience for my newest pup getting used to the show environment. You also could look into Rappahannock River Retriever Club which is field/hunt training for retrievers that continues to train throughout the winter. Great group of people & the ability to see goldens w/ varying pedigrees (along w/ labs) in action.
 

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HI! I have a six year old golden, Lola who is a red color and just adopted a 3 year old golden/ irish setter mix named Zazu. He is gorgeous! I have several pure breed Irish setters in the past. They have a much higher energy level than goldens. They tend to be leaner and taller. Zazu is very tall and long like an irish, with a big golden head not the typical Irish head.. His color is definitely Irish setter burgandy red and his coat has all the beautiful feathering and is very shiny. He has the sweet gentle personality of a Golden, and like many goldens, he does not bark. Most of my Irish setters were huge barkers. I think this mix of what they now call Golden/Irish is a great mix!
 
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