The perfect goldendoodle pup is a wonderful addition to many families. Their devoted nature, eager-to-please personalities, intelligence, and hypo-allergenic, very low- or non-shedding coats make them excellent family pets, even for families with mild-moderate allergies to pet dander. These same characteristics also lead many people to choose goldendoodles as service dogs and therapy dogs. In fact, this is how the breed goldendoodle came to exist in the 1980’s. In addition, their athletic bodies and innate retrieving and swimming skills help them excel at trained sporting/athletic events such as agility and obedience competition.
All puppies are cute, but not all goldendoodles are the same! It is important to understand where your puppy comes from.
Why buy an F2b/multi-generation puppy?
Since genetic expression is random, all goldendoodles land somewhere on the spectrum between golden retriever and poodle. Understanding the genetics of an F2b goldendoodle can help predict more reliably where a goldendoodle will fall on that spectrum. Investing in an F2b/multi-generation puppy gives you the strongest chance for a goldendoodle who lands near the middle of the spectrum, allowing the desirable goldendoodle characteristics to shine through for years to come. Because it is a multi-generation pup, we can predict with more certainty what the puppies will look like, what their temperament will be, and that they will be healthy and intelligent. And, we can be surer that their coats will be more allergy-friendly than some other goldendoodles’ coats.
Flat-coated F1 doodle and F1 goldendoodle, for example, is not as likely to have the perfect 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 worth it to families who are very concerned about pet dander allergies. Further, if the breeder is not prudent and thorough in researching the genetic history, it may be more prone to genetic weaknesses of the poodle.
Even an F2/multi-generation pup (F1 x F1) does not necessarily produce the ideal 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 similar the one pictured above. This applies to temperament, coat type, health/genetic defects, or all of the above.
So – why an F2b goldendoodle? Well, for all the reasons you want to own a goldendoodle in the first place! The coat, temperament/personality, and intelligence are what make goldendoodles so lovable!
For the best chance of owning a goldendoodle with everything you are looking for — that classic goldendoodle look; an allergy-friendly, very low- or non-shedding coat; and the character traits and intelligence so desired in a goldendoodle — an F2b/multi-generation pup is your best option, your safest bet.
Why are they more expensive than other goldendoodles?
Goldendoodles as a breed have only existed since the 1980’s. 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 expensive 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 or F1b 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 an 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 moreso 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, 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 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. With an F2b goldendoodle, their coats are more predictable from puppy to puppy and from litter to litter. An experienced breeder can make some predictions about adult coat type and color of a puppy based on observations of past litters of the same parents.
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.