Goldendoodles embody the phrase “a man’s (and woman’s) best friend.” They’re loyal and loving and make excellent family pets, thanks to the combined genes of their Golden Retriever and Poodle parents.
But if you’re asking yourself, “What does a Goldendoodle look like?” the answer is more nuanced than you’d expect. So, I’ll share the most common characteristics and their variations here.
Goldendoodles are an adorable breed with curly coats that shed little. The American Kennel Club (AKC) doesn’t recognize Goldendoodles as an official breed, given that there are many variations when mixing Golden Retrievers and Poodles.
These dogs range in size from 15 to 100 pounds and stand anywhere from 13 to 24 inches high, depending on the size of their Poodle parent.
Several solid and patterned coats exist on the Goldendoodle. The most common colors are cream, apricot, and tan. But you can also find these dogs in black, cream, and white colors.
Goldendoodles have delightfully floppy ears, a button nose, and big round eyes that give them a teddy bear-like appearance.
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What Is a Goldendoodle?
A Goldendoodle is a cross between a Golden Retriever and Poodle. These hybrid dogs share several similar characteristics, especially with their friendly, family-oriented personalities.
When comparing Poodles and Golden Retrievers, Poodles have more variation in size and color. Therefore, it’s common for Goldendoodle puppies within the same litter to look different from each other.
But that doesn’t mean the Golden Retriever doesn’t play a role in the Goldendoodle’s appearance; Goldendoodles have a softer, adorably shaggy coat, thanks to the Golden Retriever’s influence.
Nevertheless, while Goldendoodles share several similar characteristics, each dog has unique traits. So, you’ll never know what they’ll look like until the mother gives birth to her puppies.
Golden Retriever Characteristics
Before we explore the question, “What does a Goldendoodle look like?” let’s first assess the characteristics of the Goldendoodle’s parents, starting with the Golden Retriever, so that you can get a better feel for where the Goldendoodle inherits its features.
Golden Retrievers weigh between 55 to 65 pounds and can grow up to 21.5 to 24 inches tall. In both cases, females are almost always smaller than males.
Since most dogs over 55 pounds fall into the large dog category, Golden Retrievers are large dogs, with some teetering on the side of a medium-sized animal.
Golden Retrievers have medium-length fur. They have a double coat, meaning that they have a dense layer of soft short hair and a top coat of sparser, coarser, and longer hair.
Lots of shedding is a classic characteristic of Golden Retrievers, so their owners need to brush them frequently.
The AKC recognizes the following three colors for Golden Retrievers:
- Dark golden
- Light golden
That said, you may also encounter copper, black, or white Golden Retrievers. But these dogs are rare, and the AKC doesn’t recognize them as true to the Golden Retriever breed. These dogs have a uniform color throughout their bodies, without specific markings.
Golden Retrievers are muscular dogs that are eager to please. They have a straight muzzle and a broad head that offers plenty of room for their large, dark brown eyes.
Short, floppy ears are a classic characteristic of Golden Retrievers. They have a long tail with feathery hair that flows down from it, making their graceful gait appear even more alluring.
Their long legs, lean bodies, and double coats make them ideal candidates for swimming without getting cold. But because these dogs shed so much, they’re not a good fit for people who suffer from dog allergies.
Now, let’s move on to the Poodle’s role in the Goldendoodle’s characteristics.
Poodles come in three sizes, with their height and weight varying accordingly. The sizes are as follows:
- Toy Poodle: No taller than 10 inches; 4 to 6 pounds
- Miniature Poodle: 10 to 15 inches; 10 to 15 pounds
- Standard Poodle: Over 15 inches; 50 to 70 pounds
Breeders can combine any of these Poodle sizes with Golden Retrievers when creating the Goldendoodle.
The benefit of Poodles having hair instead of fur is that they don’t shed as much, making them a good fit for many people with dog allergies. However, they require regular trips to the groomer for clippings. Like Golden Retrievers, they need frequent brushings to prevent their coat from becoming matted.
The AKC recognizes 11 different Poodle colors. These colors can be in the form of solid black, apricot, brown, cream, and white. Alternatively, some more unique Poodle coat colors include solid blue, café au lait, and silver beige.
In addition to their solid colors, Poodles can also come with black points, black masks, and white masks. That said, some Poodles have a combination of colors that the AKC doesn’t recognize. So, you can find Poodles in a near-endless array of colors and patterns.
Poodles are notorious for their long features and refined appearance. Regardless of the Poodle size, they all share the same characteristics, including flat cheekbones, a pointed nose, and floppy ears.
Despite their reputation for being dainty dogs, Poodles are muscular and strong swimmers. Many Poodle owners enjoy experimenting with the different clip styles for their dogs, with the Continental and Sporting clips being two of the most popular varieties.
So, we’re finally ready to explore the question, “What does a Goldendoodle look like?” Below are the iconic characteristics—and variations—of the Goldendoodle.
Goldendoodles vary drastically in their size, depending on their lineage. Although Golden Retrievers have little variation in their height and weight, you can encounter Goldendoodles significantly shorter than their Retriever parents if they have Toy or Miniature Poodle in their genes.
Alternatively, mixing a Golden Retriever with a Standard Poodle generates a larger dog. However, most Goldendoodles are shorter than Golden Retrievers, given that the Standard Poodle size starts several inches below the shortest Golden Retriever.
As a rough estimate, Goldendoodles can vary in size from 13 to 24 inches tall and 15 to 90 pounds.
The bottom line is that knowing the lineage of a Goldendoodle puppy can help you determine how large it’ll grow. However, it’s impossible to know how big your Goldendoodle will get until it reaches its adult size.
Goldendoodles come in four coat textures, depending on the gene they inherit. These textures are as follows:
That said, all Goldendoodles have long coats, thanks to a recessive gene. Goldendoodles have a softer coat than Poodles due to their Golden Retriever parent’s influence.
Goldendoodles come in a range of colors, primarily influenced by their Poodle parent. The most common and popular Goldendoodle colors you’ll encounter are solid forms of apricot, cream, and tan.
However, solid black, blue, gray, and silver Goldendoodles also exist. You can even encounter Goldendoodles with multiple colors and patterns, such as the merle and sable Goldendoodle. Breeders often price Goldendoodles based on the rareness of their color, so expect to pay more for such colors and patterns.
Goldendoodles have floppy ears and a muscular build, given that these are features of both the Golden Retriever and Poodle. Some Goldendoodles have long tails with feathery hair, like the Golden Retriever, while others lack this feature.
All Goldendoodles have floppy ears and large brown eyes. People value these dogs for having hypoallergenic properties. While a hypoallergenic Goldendoodle isn’t a guarantee that it won’t cause allergies in an allergy-prone person, it reduces the chances.
The generation of Goldendoodle you purchase will also impact its degree of hypoallergenic properties, as well as whether the dog has a higher chance of acquiring greater Poodle or Golden Retriever genes.
Typically, people tend to breed multi-generation Goldendoodles with Poodles to reduce shedding and have more flexibility with the dog’s size and colors.
Unless you bring home an adult Goldendoodle, you can estimate the size your puppy will grow to if you know their lineage. But the reality is you’ll never know the true size until their growth plates stop growing at around one year old.
The beautiful thing about Goldendoodles is that they come in many colors and patterns. But despite these variations, I can assure you of one thing: They’ll fill your home with lots of love and laughter.