Why Is My Goldendoodle Lethargic? 5 Reasons

Goldendoodles are a Poodle Mix breed famous for their zest for life and energetic personality. 

If your Goldendoodle is usually a ball of energy and excited to eat, play or spend time with you – this is the standard you should expect to continue.

If your Goldendoodle starts acting lazy or doesn’t want to get out of its crate, or just wants to sleep all day – that can be a sign that something is off. Let’s find out why a Goldendoodle is lethargic?

Eating, drinking, playing and talking to you (well barking and responding to you) are normal. If you Goldendoodles does not want to do these normal things, it may be lethargic.

We are more than just masters or best friends to our Goldendoodles, we need to pay attention to out of the ordinary behaviours. Our pets might be able to tell us they need food or want to go outside to pee, but they find it more difficult to tell us when they are unwell.

are goldendoodle puppies good with kids
From puppyhood to a adulthood, Goldendoodles are known for being good with children and high energy!.

In this article we describe what lethargy is in a Goldendoodle, the signs of dog lethargy, and the difference between a Goldendoodle that is lethargic, or just tired. We briefly mention how lethargy is treated by professionals.

Let’s energetically dive into this chat about Goldendoodle lethargy!

What are the signs of a Lethargic Goldendoodle?

If your Goldendoodle sleeping heaps more than usual, no longer wants to eat, or is refusing to go for walks – there might be lethargy.

We need to remember that dogs do sleep an awful lot, due to the type of sleep they go into being less deep than humans. Dog sleeping behaviours and questions like “Why do dogs sleep at the end of the bed? are answered in this fascinating article.

If your dog is sleeping more than usual or slowing down and has less energy – that is called lethargy. 

Lethargy in a Goldendoodle without any obvious cause is often an indication of a problem. It might be an early warning sign to a very serious condition or illness. You need to book an appointment with your Veterinarian if your Goldendoodle seems lethargic for no apparent reason.

Because lethargy is an early warning sign of a health issue for a dog, there are SO many reasons a dog might exhibit the signs and symptoms. The complete list of possible causes would be extremely long and not particularly useful! 

We narrowed the list to the five most likely causes of Goldendoodle lethargy. And your second (of four) reminders that if your Goldendoodle is exhibiting lethargy with no obviously explainable cause – you need to seek Veterinary help as soon as possible. 

Goldendoodle soaking in the sun
The dog seems lethargic under the sunlight. (Image: Instagram/@radleythedoodle)

Whether Goldendoodle Is Lethargic or just lazy?

Before you diagnose your dog with lethargy, take stock and think about your Goldendoodle.

Some dogs are just… lazy. Puppy’s can sleep up to 20 hours per day. Even adult dogs sleep up to 50% of the time.

We know dogs sleep a lot because they don’t sleep as deeply as humans. Some dogs are also just a bit lazy. Just like humans, there are dogs that will be more difficult to coax off the couch.

If your Goldendoodle is living the good life and snoozing and chilling, there is chance they are just built to be a little lazy. This is no problem! It is when there has been a change in behaviour that we get worried.

The difference between a low-energy (a kinder way to say lazy) dog and a lethargic dog is the rapid change in behaviour. We are talking about a quick change, over days not weeks or months.

French bulldog puppy
French Bulldogs are an amazing dog breed, but are typically lower energy than a Goldendoodle.

Dogs often get more low-energy as they age. Certain breeds (French Bulldogs looking at you) are also more likely to be low-energy than sporting dogs like the Golden Retriever, Goldendoodle or Labradoodle.

If in the course of just a few days your dog becomes tired and unmotivated, it may be experiencing lethargy.

Is my Goldendoodle lethargic or just tired?

It is more difficult to identify the difference  between lethargy and Goldendoodle that is just… tired

When identifying a dog that is lethargic vs lazy, one needs to look for change that occurs in days rather than weeks or months.

If the change occurs in a couple of hours, your Goldendoodle may just be tired. Sometimes dogs and puppies just need a good sleep. Their routine may have been disrupted, even if you didn’t notice something keeping them from sleeping properly.

For peace of mind, call your Vet office for advice.

Be mindful of other symptoms like whining, not eating, vomiting, or signs of fever and distress. These are obvious red flags that something is amiss. Grab that phone, call your Vet.

tired Goldendoodle prefers to sleep
A tired dog sleeping on his bed. (Image: Instagram/@radleythedoodle)

What Are The 5 Most Frequent Causes of a Lethargic Goldendoodle?

  1. Mental wellbeing and Age
  2. Obsesity
  3. Anaemia
  4. Medications and Poisons
  5. Infections

Mental well-being and age causing lethargy in a Goldendoodle

Boredom, depression, and old age can cause a lethargic state in a Goldendoodle. Even if you are exercising your Goldendoodle for the usual amount of time, there are things you may be overlooking.

A dog with a zest for life like a Goldendoodle needs to be mentally enriched and stimulated. Treat traps, puzzles, or frozen Kongs are great ways to mentally enrich your dog. Check out our ultimate list of 35 indoor dog games and activities to prevent your dog from becoming bored.

Depression in dogs is a common cause of rapid onset lethargic behaviour. Depression in dogs can hit any breed, even the effervescent and happy Goldendoodle.

The two most common causes of dog depression are both related to change. The loss of a companion dog or loss of an owner are commonly seen triggers for dog depression. There are treatments available and a Veterinarian will be able to advise on further steps if this is what is causing your Goldendoodle’s lethargy.

Age will slow down every dog – eventually. The changes to the energy level of a Goldendoodle as it ages should be gradual though.

do goldendoodles swim
The question isn’t “Do Goldendoodles swim” – It is how do we get them AWAY from the water!

Obesity Causing Lethargy in Goldendoodles

More than 50% of dogs in the US are overweight or obese. What a staggering statistic! Carrying extra pounds (kilograms) has an effect on your dogs health.

Both the physical and mental strain of being overweight can tire a dog and make them not want to bother with normal activities.

The vast majority of pet weight issues are caused by overfeeding. If you are concerned that the size of your dog might be causing lethargy, modify the diet to fit the nutritional requirements of the size of dog you have.

A Teacup Goldendoodle will of course require less food than a full size standard Goldendoodle. 

If you have two dogs with different nutritional requirements, meal time can see the smaller dog eating more than its share. Monitor your Goldendoodle to make sure they are only eating what is appropriate.

Teacup Goldendoodle what is an oodle dog
Teacup Goldendoodles are a miniature size petite dog. They can be easily carried around even as full grown Teacup Goldendoodles.

Anaemia Causing Lethargy for Goldendoodles

An illness that causes the number of red blood cells to reduce can cause anaemia. If your Goldendoodle is experiencing lethargy, they might be anaemic.

Tiredness after exercise and a general reduction in enthusiasm to exert are common traits of an anaemic dog.

If there is an illness or condition, some simple tests at your veterinarian will pick up on this. Do not commence supplementation without Vet guidance, this is extremely dangerous for dogs.

feeling weak Goldendoodle
Seek a veterinarian if you always see your dog feeling weak. (Image: Instagram/@khai_sofly)

Medications or Poisons Causing Lethargy

Adverse reaction to a new medication can cause the same effects as a poison. If you have started your dog on new tablets, treatments or supplements and notice a lethargic change – call your Vet. Immediate action is taken. Poison stle reactions can result in permanent damage to dog organs!

Dogs love to eat… pretty much everything. If your Goldendoodle has eaten something dangerous, it could experience a degree of poisoning. Dogs can eat some human foods like carrots or capsiscum, but grapes, chocolate, crackers or coffee can give trouble.

Even a brief exposure of some chemicals can result in a very sick dog. A common cause for an active breed like the Goldendoodle that loves exercising and swimming is pool or garden chemicals.

As always, call your vet if you suspect this serious exposure is a cause of your Goldendoodle. Be on the lookout for tell tale signs like excessive drooling or vomiting.

How to tell what type of coat a Goldendoodle will have. More dog videos on our Oodle Life YouTube channel.

Infection can also present with lethargy

An infection of any size in a Goldendoodle can present with some degree of tiredness or lethargy. The dog’s body is using all energy supplied to fight against the infection!

Check for temperature, drooling, diarrhea, vomiting and dizziness as other signs of infection. Just like humans, a Goldendoodle with an infection will need treatment by a qualified professional. Left alone, infection can get worse and permanently damage the dog.

How do you treat a Goldendoodle with lethargy?

If your dog is truly lethargic and not just tired or lazy, there will be a cause. If the cause is simple then some behaviour or diet modification can do the trick and perk up your pooch.

If your dog is not eating, or not responding to commands, then the cause is serious and priority steps need to be taken to seek medical care.

For many lethargic dogs the cause will be boredom or diet related.

Carefully consider the amount of exercise both physical and mental your dog gets daily.

A Goldendoodle will require up to 60 minutes of exercise every day. Both English Goldendoodles and American Goldendoodles have this high energy burn requirement. 

You Goldendoodle also needs mental enrichment. Consider simple DIY games like the Muffin Game or check out our list of 35 Indoor Dog Games and Activities.

The Muffin Tin game is an easy game to play at home with your dog. Keep them mentally stimulated to prevent boredom. More dog videos on our Oodle Life YouTube channel.

Also consider the diet of your Goldendoodle

An overweight or undernourished Goldendoodle may present with lethargy. Consider a simple balanced approach to Goldendoodle diet from puppy to adulthood. Diet is a key factor that determines how long a Goldendoodle lives for. 

No more than 10% of the calories in a dog diet should be made up of snacks. Consider natural low calorie snack alternatives and the total volume of snacks your Goldendoodle gets daily.  

For other causes of lethargy you will likely need to see your Vet as prolonged lethargy will only result in issues.

Even simple pain and discomfort from indigestion or a minor paw injury or irritation may result in lethargy. Paw injuries in Goldendoodles often present as licking or chewing of the paw.

Lethargy in Goldendoodles Conclusion

True lethargy is Goldendoodles needs an explanation. A very tired dog might need an extra sleep – but the exuberant personality of your Goldendoodle needs to return.

Any extended period of laziness that is out of character needs to be remedied. If in doubt, check with your Veterinarian because this early warning sign may be an amazing blessing to prevent an issue from getting worse.

For more Goldendoodle information check out