Goldendoodles are relatively new to the dog breed scene, but are quickly becoming very popular for many great reasons. Cross-breed just about any dog with a poodle and you’ve got yourself a “doodle”. They’re not all the same, though.
Every dog comes with his/her own unique personality and characteristics. Poodles are highly intelligent dogs that are easy to train. They’re fun, energetic, and easily recognized by their curly fur and elegant stance.
Golden retrievers are also intelligent and energetic. They’re also kind of goofy, funny, loving, and soulful.
You can’t help but laugh at the sheer enthusiasm of a golden retriever. Combine that sweetness with the intelligence of a standard poodle, and you’ve got an amazing pet.
Confusion comes into play when you start adding titles like F1, F2b, F3, and so on. If you’re wondering what it all means and what the differences are between a first-generation Goldendoodle and a second-generation Goldendoodle, keep reading.
This post will break down the details in an easy-to-understand format. By the time you’ve finished reading you’ll have a better understanding of the titles along with the best reasons for owning a second generation Goldendoodle.
Goldendoodles By the Numbers
Goldendoodles are a cross between a standard poodle and a purebred golden retriever. If it were just that simple, we could end the post here. There are so many ways of inter-mixing this designer dog breed that it’s important to have an understanding of the differences.
What better way to identify the differences than by assigning titles? Let’s start with a description of the following Goldendoodle generations:
An F1 Goldendoodle is a first-generation cross between a golden retriever and a poodle.
An F1b Goldendoodle is a backcross between a Goldendoodle puppy and a purebred parent.
You get an F2 Goldendoodle when you breed two F1 Goldendoodles. In other words, both parents are from the first generation of Goldendoodles.
Technically, F2 Goldendoodles are still a 50/50 mix of their poodle and golden retriever parents. It’s a lot a harder for a breeder to predict what kind of puppies they’re going to get, however, because of the deeper breeding.
When we talk about an F2b Goldendoodle, we’re really getting into the weeds. This breed is a second generation backcross. They have an F2 Goldendoodle parent and a purebred Poodle as the other parent. The result is a dog that tends to have more characteristics (and DNA) of the Poodle.
Multi-generational Goldendoodles occur when you start breeding Goldendoodles beyond the second generation (F2).
Many breeders offer a choice of Standard or mini doodles. The titles as they are described above can also be applied to the miniature variety of Goldendoodles. The only difference is their size and stature, which is significantly smaller than a standard Goldendoodle.
There are lots of great reasons for owning a Goldendoodle, especially if you want to bypass the shedding. Goldens still need to be groomed to keep their coats nice and healthy.
In general, Goldendoodles are:
- Good for allergy sufferers because they are considered more hypoallergenic
- Low maintenance
- Quick to learn
- Perfect companion
- Get along well with children
- Get along well with strangers
- Get along well with other dogs or pets
- Low shedding
- Intelligent dog
- Make good therapy dogs
Hybrid Vigor: Truth or Myth?
Hybrid vigor means that the offspring of Goldendoodles (especially the first generation) are less likely to develop genetic health conditions. However, that’s only true if the two parent breeds are healthy and free from genetic conditions.
It’s important for breeders of Goldendoodles to use parents that do not have known genetic concerns. This is because the puppies can inherit traits from both parents.
Which Goldendoodle Should I Get?
Have you found a reputable breeder yet? If you’re looking at the various breeding websites, you may notice that they don’t always mention the lineage of the puppies. If it’s important to you, you can always ask for more information.
There are a few differences between the generations that may or may not impact your puppy buying decision. For example,
The F11 Goldendoodle is 50% Golden Retriever and 50% Poodle. They are thought to have fewer health problems because they have a purer heritage.
The only “problem” with F1 Goldendoodles is that you can get puppies that shed a lot or puppies that barely shed at all. You’ll also likely get a mix of colors and hair types from flat, retriever-type coats, wavy coats or curly coats that are closer to the poodle parentage.
You may want an F1 Goldendoodle if:
- You want your puppy’s characteristics to be predictable
- You want a dog with hybrid vigor (in theory, healthier)
- You want your puppy to look more like a Golden retriever than a poodl
Don’t Opt for an F1 Goldendoodle if:
- You need a dog with a more hypoallergenic coat
If you’re interested in a low-shedding puppy, you may want to consider an F1B Goldendoodle. In this case, you will likely end up with a puppy that has a few more poodle traits.
3 Reasons Why You Can’t Find an F2 Goldendoodle
It’s not impossible to get an F2 Goldendoodle, but if you search breeder websites, you might notice that the most common types being bred are the F1b or multigenerational breeds.
F2 Goldendoodles are notoriously harder to find for 3 reasons:
Can’t Guarantee Color
People looking to become pet parents often have an idea of what they want their dog to look like. Although they all have that same teddy bear look when they’re puppies, their fur color may not be what you want.
Colors can all be different from the same litter. For example, one litter could have puppies with cream, brown, and even red coats, or mixtures of those colors.
Can’t Guarantee Coat Type
F2 puppies can come in a variety of colors and coat types in the same litter. The least sought after hair type is the flat coat. This coat is common in F2 Goldendoodles and resembles that of the Golden retriever. It’s easy to maintain, but not as pretty as the curly coats known to doodles.
More Likely to Shed
The genes of an F2 Goldendoodle are mixed even further than the F1 generation. Consistency of coats range from curly hair (like the Poodle) to wavy or smooth coats (like the Golden Retriever).
If you have allergies or want a dog that doesn’t shed, you will have better luck opting for an F1B Goldendoodle or an F2B if available.
Which Goldendoodle Should I Get?
Ultimately, it boils down to preference and requirements. If you love the characteristics of a poodle, you may want a breed that leans more heavily in that direction. If you’re perfectly okay with the flat hair coat of a golden retriever, you may want to invest more time into looking for an F2 breed.
Ultimately, it’s nearly impossible for a breeder to determine how many puppies will have the traits you’re looking for. It’s much easier for a breeder to stick with the F1 and F1b back-crosses in order to have a better idea of the litter type.
When in doubt, don’t be afraid to question various breeders. Check out this blog post from “Travelling with a Dog” for a directory of Goldendoodle breeders in your area: Goldendoodle Breeders in the US.
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At the end of the day, any Goldendoodle is going to fill your home with love and joy. With the high intelligence of the poodle parent and the ultimate lovability of the retriever, you really can’t go wrong.
The trick is finding the right one for your needs. If you don’t have the time or patience for shedding fur, talk to a breeder about the best dog to avoid that. This is especially important if you (or a family member) suffer from allergies.