Let's start with what a Goldendoodle is.
Goldendoodles' ancestry along both parent lines of Golden Retriever and Poodle is as water dogs and hunters. The appearance of the Goldendoodle is anywhere from a flat coat to shaggly-looking retriever to a relaxed-curl or tight-curl poodle - but, it's usually somewhere in between. There are a variety of colors, but most commonly, they are gold/cream/blonde. There are also reds, apricots, chocolates, blacks, parti, or merles. Poodles, whether Miniature, Moyen, or Standard, are used for the Goldendoodle breed. Unlike some Labradoodles, there is no other mix of breed in a Goldendoodle except for the Golden Retriever and Poodle. There are other doodles that do not have Golden Retriever in them, such as Aussiedoodles. Goldendoodles can range any where from Petite to Giant!Most F1 Goldendoodles are light to moderate-shedding, and most live easily with families with MILD allergies. Families with moderate to severe allergies often find that Goldendoodle backcrosses (F1b), second Generation (F2b) Goldendoodles or (F3) are better because the shedding might not be as prevalent as F1s. Please keep in mind that allergies can come from not only shedding, but saliva and dander. If you are concerned about allergies, you should spend time with a Goldendoodle first to see if they affect your allergies. Some people are even allergic to tight curl poodles because of saliva or dander particles.
The first generation (F1) standard size Goldendoodle was the first to be bred. It is the product of a Standard Poodle crossed with a Golden Retriever. Most first generation vary with shedding (some more than others).The backcross (F1b) Goldendoodle is produced by crossing a F1 Goldendoodle with a Poodle. F1b Goldendoodles will have a higher success rate for non-shedding, and are recommended for families with moderate to severe allergies.There are also some breeders who produce F1bb - that would be a F1b x Poodle, and these Goldendoodles will most likely have a lot of curl and be good with families that have moderate to severe allergies."Multigen"The second generation Goldendoodle (F2 or F2b) is produced by crossing the F1 Goldendoodle with a F1b Goldendoodle. They also have a higher success rate for non-shedding and are recommended for families with moderate to severe allergies.The third generation Goldendoodle (F3), is produced by crossing the F1b or F2 with another F1b or F2 Goldendoodle. They're like the F1b's and will have a higher success rate for non-shedding, and are recommended for families with moderate to severe allergies.F1 Goldendoodle = Golden Retriever x PoodleF1B Goldendoodle = F1 Goldendoodle x PoodleF1BB Goldendoodle = F1B Goldendoodle x PoodleGoldendoodle to Goldendoodle - can be called "Multigen"F2 = F1 x F1 F2B = F1 x F1B F3 = F1B x F1B; F1B x F2B; F2 x F2; F2B x F2B; etc.
Goldendoodles are very intelligent and a friendly family companion. They are everybody's friend and devoted. Many say it seems like they are frequently 'laughing' - they are quite happy dogs. They are friendly towards children, other dogs and pets, and easy with strangers. They are social dogs and happiest when with people. Goldendoodles are likely to get into mischief and develop behavior problems if they spend a lot of time alone. Their smartness can backfire on owners that are not keeping them busy, as they have been known to open doors and get into things. Their intelligence, eagerness to please, and love of learning make them very easy to train. Training is very important!
Flat-coated F1 doodle- An F1 Goldendoodle, for example, is not as likely to have the classic (somewhat curly) doodle coat that is desired by owners. F1 doodles are not necessarily 50% golden retriever and 50% standard poodle; which genes get passed down is determined by chance. So, an F1 doodle could have a flat, retriever-like coat that sheds, or a poodle-like coat (same principle theoretically applies to personality/temperament).
F1b Goldendoodles are friendlier to families with allergies than F1 doodles because genetically, they are more poodle than golden retriever. However, in some cases, the result is a puppy that is mistaken for a Poodle by their temperament, coat type, or both. This may be great for families who are very concerned about pet dander allergies.
An F2/multi-generation pup (F1 x F1) does not necessarily produce a somewhat curly doodle. The puppy could get mostly Golden Retriever genes from its F1 mother as well as its F1 father, resulting in a flat-coated Goldendoodle. This applies to temperament, coat type, health/genetic defects, or all of the above. We believe most people get a Goldendoodle because they are interested in the 'less shedding' dog that has the traits and temperament of the Golden Retriever and Poodle. Although all Goldendoodles (even flat coats) shed less than Retrievers, we would like a less shedding dog as possible.
So – why an F1, F1b or F2b or F1bb or F3b Goldendoodle? It is really hard to say which is best for you - there are different puppies in each litter that have varying coats - so, pick a puppy that you think is best for you in coat style and looks BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, in personality! The coat, temperament/personality, and intelligence are what make Goldendoodles so lovable!
Goldendoodles as a breed have only existed since the 1980s. So, there are relatively few of them compared to Golden Retrievers or Poodles or other pure breeds. Because Goldendoodles make such wonderful family pets, service animals, and therapy animals, they have quickly grown in popularity and desirability — they are in high demand! Therefore, Goldendoodles are both rarer and more costly than either of their pure-bred parents.A similar principle applies to the multi-generation Goldendoodle, which requires two Goldendoodles to mate. Because an F2b/multi-generation puppy requires technically 3 generations to produce (Golden x Poodle = F1; F1 x Poodle = F1b; F1b x F1 = F2b), they are more difficult to achieve, resulting in even rarer, and more expensive puppies than F1 Goldendoodles.
Since your pet will be a member of your family for the next 10-15 years, consider what it is worth to you to find just the right one, a pet that your whole family will cherish for years to come.
A note on shedding and allergies
If someone in your family has severe allergies, it is important to understand that no Goldendoodle is 100% hypo-allergenic or non-shedding. Poodle coats lack the the dander to which people are allergic. This is why many “designer dogs” and service animals are the result of a Poodle-cross. Further, there are no dogs that do not shed at all, but some shed significantly more than others. Golden Retrievers, like most dogs, have fur that grows to a certain length and then falls out. This happens year-round, and more so as the seasons change (this is called “flushing” their coats). In dogs with double coats, like labs, this adds up to a lot of fur (and a lot of vacuuming)! Poodles, however, have coats like people hair; it continues to grow and does not fall out. This means that Goldendoodles do require more grooming than some other breeds — anywhere from 2-6x per year they should be clipped, depending on how quickly the individual dog’s coat grows, and the “look” you are going for! Many doodle coats require semi-regular brushing in order to avoid matting, like most curly/wavy/long-haired dogs. While for many people this additional cost and time commitment in no big deal, consider these things when determining if it is the right time to bring a Goldendoodle into your family.It is important to understand that no one can be certain what a Goldendoodle’s permanent adult coat will look like until they are at least 18-24 months of age. Their coats can and will change color and type between birth and adulthood. They change a lot in the puppy’s first few months of life, and will go through 2-3 more distinct phases before reaching its permanent coat type. During these changes, you may experience some increased shedding.
Another great feature about a Goldendoodle coat is that if it gets a little bit muddy, you can just let the mud dry, and then brush the dirt out, and his or her coat will be remarkably clean again! Since they do not have a double coat, dirt and mud does not get trapped in their undercoat; the particles can be brushed right out once dry. Unless they roll in something stinky (every dog’s favorite past-time) or swim in a stinky creek, there is no need to bathe them every time they get in to something! Many people also notice that Poodles do not have as much odor as other dogs.