July 13, 2022
14 mins read

The Groodle: The Complete Guide to the Poodle Golden Retriever Mix Breed

Goldendoodlepuppy
Fleece coated Goldendoodle puppy

The Groodle, also called the Curly Golden, GoldenDoodle, Curly Retriever, Goldenoodle, and Goldenpoo, is among the most popular Doodle breeds. Famous for their soft brown eyes and teddy bear looks, the Groodle dog is irresistible and can have you looking for Groodle puppies near you. 

Groodle Breed
The Groodle Breed is a popular family dog

But whether you are thinking of Petite Groodle, Mini Groodle, or the Standard Groodle, this wonderful breed is still not ideal for everyone. Although they are great family dogs with many sterling characteristics, it’s important to thoroughly research any breed to ensure it is the right dog for you.

What is the Groodle or Goldendoodle?

F1b groodle
This F1b groodle looks like a real life teddy bear. Goldendoodles like to cuddle on the couch.

A Groodle is a mixed breed dog that descends from the Poodle and Golden Retriever, two family favourites. They are known for liking cuddles and have been used as assistance dogs for people living with anxiety, de pression and PTSD.

A variation exists in the Petite Groodle where breeders have added Cocker Spaniel to achieve a slightly larger type of Cockapoo. The Groodle is immensely popular in the United States and Australia, and their breeding began in the 1980s.

The Goldendoodle is such a popular mix that most reputable breeders have bred them for multiple generations, creating a reasonably standardised dog breed. Unfortunately, they are not yet registered or recognised as purebreds.

Still, to better understand the Groodle, let’s look at the background of its parent breeds.

Poodle Background

There is some disagreement over whether the Poodle comes from France, where it is called the “caniche”, or Germany, where it is called the “Pudel”. It is more likely that the Pudel was the German version of Waterdog, while the Barbet belonged to the French. It was the perfect dog for hunting waterfowl, and their signature “lion’s mane” cut was to keep their organs and extremities warm.

poodlehistory
The Poodle is a versatile water dog that is completely non-shedding

Because of their high intelligence level, they were soon bred for circuses. Two smaller variations arose: the Miniature Poodle and the Toy Poodle.

Golden Retriever Background

Today’s Golden Retriever is well-known as one of the most ideal family dogs. However, just like the Poodle, these were originally hunting dogs. Originating in Scotland, Golden Retrievers were bred to retrieve both from water and land and still love to swim. They are known for their “soft mouths”, many being able to carry an egg without cracking it. This is part of how Retrievers were bred to carry hunted birds without damaging them. 

Goldens all descend from one ancestor called “Nous” and a variety of hunting dogs such as the Flat-Coated Retriever and the Tweed Water Spaniel.

What does the Groodle look like?

Groodle dog
Most Groodles are scruffy coated dogs that are medium to large in size depending on the amount of toy, mini or standard poodle in their background

Understanding Groodle Generations

Suppose a Goldendoodle is a first-generation or F1 Poodle Golden Retriever cross. In that case, their looks can fit widely on the spectrum between their two parents. Remember that Groodles with a Golden Retriever parent or grandparent may have a coat that is more prone to shedding but also tends to have smoother coats.

Second generation groodle
Second generation groodles can sometimes be smooth coated like this one. Their coats shed and are not hypoallergenic

F1B Groodles, which are 75% Poodle and 25% Golden retriever, tend to have much curlier coats like the Poodle. Mixes of F1 and F1B Groodles give us the F2 and F2B Generations. Each successive generation increases the likelihood of having a low-shedding dog with a curly coat. They also become more typically hypoallergenic.

The best Goldendoodle Breeders have been breeding for years, if not decades and have created a very recognisable and standardised dog. The typical Groodle has quintessential teddy bear looks, shaggy but soft curls and soft dark eyes. 

Their eyes are also occasionally green or blue. Some dogs may still have a slightly blocky face, like the Golden, and others may have a more pointed muzzle like the Poodle. The amount of “furnishing” or curls around the face area can also differ from puppy to puppy in the same litter.

In terms of colour, a Groodle may be:

  • Black,
  • Cream, 
  • Golden,
  • Grey, 
  • Silver,
  • Sable,
  • Blue,
  • Red, 
  • Blue or chocolate merle,
  • Phantom,
  • White
  • Or brown

How big does the Groodle get?

Groodlefleececoat
A full grown fleece coated f1b mini groodle weighing 15kg.

The Groodle comes in three sizes:

The Toy Groodle

Height: less than 13 inches or 35cm

Weight: less than 33 lbs or 15kg

The Miniature or Mini Groodle

Height: 13″ – 15″ or 35 – 38 cm 

Weight: 33 lbs – 50 lbs or 15 – 23 kg

The Standard Groodle

A big dog breed that requires a large backyard and is generally not suited to apartment living.

Height: 19″ – 28″ or 50 – 70 cm

Weight: 55 lbs – 99 lbs or 25 – 45 kg

 

General Care of the Groodle

How much exercise does a Groodle need?

The Groodle is typically a high-energy dog, and you can prepare for about an hour of exercise a day. In addition, they are intelligent dogs that thrive on the challenge of some kind of obedience training or sport activity. Regular playtime is also essential for their quality of life.

Raising a Groodle puppy

groodletemperament
Groodles are intelligent dogs that need mental stimulation or they can become destructive and anxious

Raising a Groodle can be difficult and lead to problems if owners aren’t aware of their needs. Find a professional canine behaviourist near you to assist with any issues before they become stressful problems. These tend to be hyperactive puppies that need a significant investment of daily activity, exercise, training, socialisation, and playtime. 

Pet parents who cannot put in the early work to shape their active minds and channel their high energy levels may struggle with behaviour issues. These could include barking, destructive chewing and digging. Sometimes this means simply having dogs so hyperactive they are challenging to manage, making everyday activities such as walks a frustrating experience. 

However, once past the adolescent phase (6-18 months of age) they usually mature naturally at around 18 months and are really not a “difficult” or “challenging” breed. However, neglecting to invest in consistent early training, exercise, and socialisation can lead to problems that can sour your relationship with your dog.

Another aspect to be aware of is that these are often “velcro” dogs. They want to be in the midst of their family as much as possible. If you work long hours with no one at home for most of the day, then a Groodle puppy is probably not the dog for you, and it’s better to look at a more independent breed.

If you work full time and don’t properly train your groodle for the independence that this requires, you might end up with behaviour problems like separation anxiety and noise complaints from neighbours. Finding a positive dog trainer or dog behaviourist can help resolve these issues before they become a problem. 

Groodle Grooming Requirements

Perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects of getting a Groodle is the time, and care one needs to invest in their grooming. It is possible to clip their coats in warmer climates to make them easier to manage. However, most people base at least part of their reason for wanting a Groodle on the adorable teddy bear looks that come with well-maintained longer coats.

You can groom your groodle at home but you will need some quality tools; clippers, blades, scissors, a drier, grooming table and nail cutters.

Aside from regular visits to the dog groomer, Groodles should be brushed and combed a minimum of three times a week. They should also be brushed after activities like swimming, where they may be more prone to tangles and matting. 

The smaller Groodles can be particularly prone to periodontitis, so regular dental care is essential. Feeding raw meat bones is a natural way to encourage your doodle to keep their teeth clean. Vets charge hundreds of dollars for a thorough dental clean, avoid these unnecessary vet bills by feeding bones.

Also, remember to clean their ears regularly to prevent ear infections and trim their nails so you can’t hear them clicking against a hard floor.

Groodle Space Requirements

Miniature groodle
Miniature groodle

A miniature or medium Groodle can adjust to a smaller space or apartment, provided you are home most of the time. They will also need frequent walks and activities throughout the day. Do not leave a Groodle home alone for extended periods. Larger Groodle will enjoy a yard to romp in, in addition to frequent outings.

 

Groodle Health Concerns:

Some Golden doodle potential health problems to watch out for include:

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease
  • Taurine-deficiency-related dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)
  • Epilepsy
  • Bloat
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Patella luxation
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) and other eye conditions.
  • Panosteitis (growing pains for large breed Groodle puppies)

Groodles may also inherit the Golden Retriever’s high food drive and could be prone to obesity. Because of the threat of obesity-related illnesses and their predisposition to joint developmental problems, keeping them lean from puppyhood and managing their weight is vital.

 

What is the Groodle’s life expectancy?

The Groodle typically has a lifespan of between 10 and 16 years. On average, the miniature Groodle will live longer than the Standard version.

Groodle Temperament

GroodlebreedersNSW
The best groodle breeders raise their puppies in the family home.

Goldendoodles are generally highly playful, intelligent, and highly trainable. They tend to be extremely attached to their family and can develop separation anxiety if left alone for long periods. These are empathetic dogs that are extremely good at learning their new behaviours. This makes them ideal as assistance, service, and family dogs since they are deeply attuned to the people around them. Groodles excel in therapy dog training courses and have improved the quality of life for people in nursing homes, hospitals and at home.

However, their deep sensitivity also means they are “handler soft” or do not respond well to chaotic and stressful environments and harsh treatments. These dogs are designed to be a “best friend” who will accompany you everywhere and learn impeccable behaviour as long as their owner invests time in their training and socialisation.

However, neglected Groodle can quickly become a nuisance, as these are active dogs with high needs for companionship, exercise, and mental stimulation. However, they respond tenfold if you are ready to meet their needs. 

Does the Groodle get along with other animals?

Some Groodles can inherit a bit of a prey drive or a tendency to chase smaller animals, so these are not always the ideal dogs for homes with small pets like rabbits or chickens. Still, they are generally very friendly and usually get on well with other animals, provided their pet parents invest in their socialisation early.

Are Groodles good dogs for families?

Groodlepuppy
A well raised Groodle puppy makes an excellent family dog

The Groodle is generally an excellent dog for stable families where at least some family members are home most of the day. Remember, although Groodles usually love children, dogs and children should always be supervised and taught how to interact safely to avoid accidents.

How much does a Golden Retriever Poodle Mix cost?

Your average Groodle costs between $3000 and $6000. If you are looking for a Groodle puppy near you, avoid going for the cheapest option or puppies in pet stores and from backyard breeders. A reputable groodle breeder should provide the proper health screening to help you get the best possible dog. Alternatively, you can look for Groodles in shelters and rescues online such as the RSPCA.

FAQ about Groodles

Goldendoodlepuppy
Fleece coated Goldendoodle puppy

Are Groodles good family dogs?

When trained using positive reinforcement and raised by a reputable breeder – Groodles make excellent family dogs. Buying a puppy from a puppy mill or pet shop can result in a doodle that has anxiety, reactivity, behaviour and health problems.

Ethical golden doodle breeders undertake health testing such as DNA tests, temperament testing and hip scoring on their breeding dogs. They also take great care in how their breeding dogs are kept and how their puppies are raised.

We have previously discussed the importance of the time from conception to when a puppy leaves their breeder’s home. Any trauma that the mother experiences during her pregnancy will be passed down to her puppies through the transfer of stress hormones.

Similarly, puppies that are not exposed to early neurological stimulation, socialisation, proper nourishment and experiences of positive human connection – will struggle to develop into good family dogs. Early experiences form the patterns on which the groodle’s brain will develop and can create a dog that is prone to anxious and fearful responses to what we would consider normal environments and events.

Puppies raised in puppy farms and by backyard breeders come pre-programmed to be less resilient to stress and have ingrained fears and phobias that will stay with them for a lifetime. 

What is wrong with groodles?

Groodles (both standard and mini) can suffer with health problems associated with the standard, mini and toy poodles along with golden retriever related illnesses.

Being a hybrid cross, they are generally resilient however they will only be as healthy as their ancestors. The best groodle breeders in Australia offer health guarantees on their puppies and provide the health testing of both parents in their puppy packs.

What’s the difference between a Goldendoodle and a Groodle? 

There is no difference between the goldendoodle and the groodle. They are names that are used interchangeably to describe the designer dog that comprises the golden retriever and poodle mix breeds. The goldendoodle name implies that the colour of the dog is golden, however groodles come in a variety of colours but the most common color is cream, white, golden or red. 

Cavoodles and toy or mini groodles are generally better for apartment living and for families with small children. The standard and miniature groodle are both larger than the cavoodle. Mini cavoodles reach a maximum weight of around 12kg while toy cavoodles can be as small as 3kg. Standard groodles can be as heavy as 45kg when full grown! Both poodle mix breeds require weekly brushing and a visit to the groomer every 6 weeks or so.

Being smaller, cavoodles are better suited to apartment living however an owner that works from home, could manage a groodle in an apartment setting with multiple daily walks and visits to the park. Cavoodle owners report that they can be yappy, while golden doodles being larger are less prone to barking at all passers-by and noises. 

Miniature cavoodles and mini groodles are a good option for families with small children. They are robust enough to manage being handled by small children, without the fragility of the toy cavoodle. Similarly, these mini poodle mixes are not so large that they can knock a small child off their feet, like a standard groodle can. 

Goldendoodles can be good watch dogs; they will bark if someone comes to the door or if something strange is in their yard. They are not prone to barking without reason but this can become a problem behaviour if they are left alone for long periods of time. For this reason, crate training is recommended to encourage independence. 

Groodles are not naturally an aggressive designer dog. When you buy your groodle puppy, meet both parents or at least see how the parents interact with other dogs and people via video.
Problem behaviours like resource guarding, reactivity and separation anxiety can be genetic.
 
Similarly, puppies raised in mills and commercial dog breeding farms can be more prone to being fearful and reactive because of the way they were raised and the stress their mothers endured during pregnancy.
 
The best family dogs are a combination of sound genetics, ethical puppy rearing practises and ongoing training using positive reinforcement. 
Scientific studies have shown that dog training that involves the use of force and punishment can increase aggression and should not be used.
 
Dog trainers that use fear and intimidation in their training will promote the use of tools such as slip leads, prong collars, electric E-collars and check chains. All of which have the potential to increase aggression in groodles. 
 

A standard groodle and a standard labradoodle are generally similar in size. However poodles can vary greatly in size, therefore potential exists for a lot of variation in the size of these cross breeds. Labrador retrievers and golden retrievers are similar in size and therefore the most significant variable affecting the full grown size of either poodle mix is the poodle parent.

Obviously a mini groodle will be smaller than a standard sized labradoodle and vice versa. Therefore as with all doodle mixes, it’s important to take into consideration the size of the parents of the puppy you’re interested in adopting.

Responsible breeders will provide this information and based on their experience with their bloodlines, should be able to provide a fairly accurate estimation of how big your dog will be when full grown. 

Why you shouldn’t buy a Goldendoodle?

You shouldn’t buy a goldedoodle if you don’t have the time to commit to training, grooming, socialising, playing with and caring for them.
 
To maintain the teddy bear coated look that everyone loves, requires extensive weekly brushing and combing. This can be hard work; failure to comb through the hair and ensure you’re getting down to the skin of the dog, will result in matts.
 
If you take your groodle to the groomer with matts, they will either have to shave the dog down or if the matting is not too bad, they will charge a hefty bill to work through the matts to save the coat. 
 
If you have small children you should be cautious buying a standard groodle. The combination of high energy (particularly during adolescence) and being a large dog, when excited they have the ability to knock a small child over and potentially injure them, unintentionally. 

Are Goldendoodles healthier than Golden Retrievers?

When bred by responsible breeders, Goldendoodles are generally healthier than their golden retriever relatives. Golden retrievers are particularly prone to hip dysplasia (hip scoring has improved this situation), heart disease and cancer which are less common in purebred poodles.
 
Golden retrievers also carry many genetic diseases that are unique to their breed, as does the poodle. Therefore this mix enjoys the hybrid vigour inherent in crossing the breeds because by cross breeding, breeders are less likely to double up on potentially harmful recessive genes associated with each of the respective breeds.
In order for a dog to develop a recessively inherited disease it must inherit one copy of the disease from each parent. First generation cross breeding ensures that the doubling up of these recessive genes is less likely.
 
DNA testing for the following diseases is recommended for the golden retriever –
  • Congenital Eye Malformation (Golden Retriever)
  • Degenerative Myelopathy
  • Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (Golden Retriever Type)
  • Generalised PRA 1 (Golden Retriever Type)
  • Generalised PRA 2 (Golden Retriever Type)
  • Ichthyosis A (Golden Retriever)
  • Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis NCL (Golden Retriever Type)
  • Osteogenesis Imperfecta (Golden Retriever Type)
  • Progressive Rod Cone Degeneration (prcd) – PRA
  • Skeletal Dysplasia 2 (Mild Disproportionate Dwarfism)
  • von Willebrand’s Disease Type I

In contrast, the DNA testable diseases for the standard poodle are as follows –

  • Congenital Macrothrombocytopenia
  • Degenerative Myelopathy
  • Elliptocytosis B-spectrin (Labrador Retriever/Poodle Type)
  • Neonatal Encephalopathy (Poodle Type)
  • Osteochondrodysplasia (Min Poodle Type)
  • Progressive Rod Cone Degeneration (prcd) – PRA
  • rcd4-PRA (Late Onset)
  • von Willebrand’s Disease Type I

This comparison of genetic diseases highlights why the first cross between the golden retriever and the poodle, would be potentially healthier than a purebred golden retriever.

The two breeds are both affected by degenerative myelopathy, PRA and von willebrand’s disease. Armed with this information, breeders who DNA test can make sure they’re not breeding two carriers of the respective diseases.

This ethical breeding practice ensures that the resultant goldendoodle puppies will be unaffected by these diseases.

When breeding purebred dogs, they are more likely to share the same diseases and therefore more work needs to be done by breeders to ensure they’re not breeding two disease carriers together.

This shrinks the gene pool available to them and subsequently the genetic diversity of the breed. Lower genetic diversity increases the risk of extinction through inbreeding depression

Conclusion

The Groodle is one of the most popular doodles for a reason. These make wonderful family dogs with picture-perfect looks and a soft, playful, devoted demeanour. They are healthier than the golden retriever, enjoying the many benefits of hybrid vigour. If you are prepared for regular grooming sessions and quite a bit of daily exercise, this may be the doodle for you.

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I’m Tres!

A dog lover and nerd at heart. Helpful checklists, puppy training tips, breed, behaviour and care information for puppy buyers and dog owners. Sharing the art and science of ethical breeder practises & honest 'oodle' breed information. You'll find exclusive discounts on the best dog products!

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