If you are thinking of buying or adopting a Goldendoodle puppy, you may have a couple of questions, especially regarding their coats.
Do Goldendoodles shed? If they do, how much? And, are their coats really hypoallergenic?
Most people who are currently in your shoes or were looking for a Goldendoodle at some point in their lives might think that these dogs are truly hypoallergenic.
However, that is not entirely true. Although Goldendoodles are bred to be a low-shedding and somewhat hypoallergenic dog, you must know that no dog breed is 100% hypoallergenic.
To answer the other two questions, we will simply say that Goldendoodles can and do shed. They shed a lot less than a typical Golden Retriever, and the amount of shedding depends on the generation of the breed mix.
In all honesty, some Goldendoodles shed a lot while others shed very little, and some are almost completely non-shedding. There are some things you can do to help you figure out if your new puppy will shed or not.
In this article, we will cover those things, and everything there is to know about Goldendoodle shedding and their coats. So, to start our journey, let’s first see what a Goldendoodle really is.
What is a Goldendoodle?
The shedding frequency isn’t influenced by their size at all, but rather which parent breed they inherit their coat from.
The Goldendoodle is the most common mix of Golden Retrievers and is considered to shed the least compared to others.
This is due to the fact that their fur doesn’t stick to your clothes and furniture, but rather gets trapped in the rest of their fur.
These dogs inherit a wavy or curly feature to their hair, which comes from the Poodle side of the mix. This is why Poodles are one of the most popular choices for mixing breeds.
Grooming the crossbreeds becomes easier because they don’t shed all over your home like some other breeds (looking at you, Labrador Retrievers).
Goldendoodles are considered to be designer dogs, meaning they are not a recognized breed. This is why some people call them glorified mutts.
However, whether they are a recognized breed or not, they are as cute as a button and are bred for a purpose. The goal in breeding Goldendoodles is to fill a much-needed spot in the dog world.
Some people really want a dog, but suffer from allergies, and most dog breeds will cause them trouble.
This is where Goldendoodles come into the picture. People with allergies have stated that they do not have any problems with specific doodle dogs.
It should be noted that shedding is not the only cause of allergic reactions. Dander and saliva are both contributing factors in allergic reactions, so you should get tested for any of these before you get attached to a Goldendoodle.
Other people just don’t want to deal with the mess of dog hair running rampant around their house. They dislike the balls of fur that roll across the floor, and who can blame them?
So, it seems that almost any dog crossed with a Poodle might be a blessing for both of these types of people.
And, of course, there are people who want nothing else than a doodle. These people might be looking for a particular style, such as a teddy bear or a Goldendoodle with a Golden Retriever coat.
You can never know what someone else finds appealing, and after all, who are we to judge?
Hair vs fur
Hair and fur are basically the same; it is something that is made from a chemical called keratin. Hair can be long, short, straight, or curly and it comes in a plethora of colors.
The fur is usually smoother, finer, and shorter. There are also more follicles per square inch of skin with fur. Fur is also used as a term that describes and differentiates the undercoat in dogs that have a two-layered coat.
When it comes to Goldendoodle types, the biggest visible factor that can help determine whether there will be little shedding or a lot of shedding seems to correlate with the degree of curliness or waviness and how tight the curls are on your pooch.
In general, the more curls and/or waves it has and the tighter those curls are, the greater the chance of your dog being a low shedder.
Most dog breeds have two coats of fur:
• The longer, outer coat and guard-hairs
• The thick undercoat
The hair that covers most of your furniture and clothes comes from the ongoing and seasonal shedding of the undercoat mentioned above.
Poodles, however, lack this undercoat, but don’t think that because of this, Poodles don’t shed. They most certainly shed, but compared to all of the breeds usually crossed with them, they shed significantly less.
Typically, Poodles are not subject to seasonal shedding like the Golden Retriever, but they might exhibit this trait to a greater or lesser extent at some point(s) in their lives.
Most Poodle owners will tell you that their pet sheds very little. The same goes for a very large portion of Goldendoodle owners. However, absolutely zero Golden Retriever owners will say the same.
Goldendoodles are equipped with a thick undercoat, and because of the genetic mixing with the Poodle, their coat leans more toward the non-shedding type.
But, because of this, it is the responsibility of their human owners to keep their coats healthy and good-looking through regular grooming.
What are the chances of your Goldendoodle shedding a lot?
The type of coat your Goldendoodle has can be a factor in shedding. There are other reasons behind Goldendoodle shedding, but a general rule of thumb goes:
• Straight coat Goldendoodles will most likely shed
• Wavy coat Goldendoodles usually do not shed
• Curly coat Goldendoodles typically do not shed
But, to better understand whether a Goldendoodle will shed and how much, first, you must learn a little bit about genetics.
F1 Goldendoodles = Golden Retriever x Standard Poodle
F1 stands for the first-generation Goldendoodles. They are the result of mixing a purebred Golden Retriever with a purebred Standard Poodle.
Now, Poodles are typically non-shedding while Golden Retrievers are considered to be heavy shedders. As a result, genetics and mathematics both suggest that the offspring of this mix will have some chance of shedding. To be a little more precise, the offspring will shed less than a Golden Retriever, but more than a Poodle.
What are the chances of shedding?
The Goldendoodle puppy of the first-generation mix will have a 50% chance of light or non-shedding, and a 50% chance of heavy shedding. However, genetics is never black and white, so your F1 Goldendoodle will most likely fall somewhere between heavy and non-shedding.
F1B Goldendoodles = F1 Goldendoodle x Poodle
We already know that F1 stands for the first-generation, but what about the ‘B’?
The ‘B’ is there to indicate a backcross. This means that an F1 Goldendoodle has been mixed with a purebred Poodle; thus, leaving the F1b Goldendoodle with a slightly different genotype.
The resulting backcross is a dog that, in theory, has 25% Golden Retriever and 75% Poodle genetic makeup. As a result, this dog has a much higher chance of being a very light shedder.
This is due to the simple fact that the pup contains more genes from the Poodle side of the mix, and Standard Poodles are naturally light- to non-shedding. So, when you put two and two together…? Or, compare 25 to 75…? Anyway, you get the point.
What are the chances of shedding?
Basically, there are three possible outcomes:
1. If a heavy-shedding F1 Goldendoodle is mixed with a light- to non-shedding Poodle, the offspring (F1b Goldendoodle) should have a 50/50% chance of heavy shedding or light-/non-shedding.
2. If a light-shedding F1 Goldendoodle is bred with a light- or non-shedding Poodle, the resulting dog (F1b Goldendoodle) will have a 100% chance of light shedding.
3. If a somewhere-in-between shedding F1 Goldendoodle is mixed with a light- or non-shedding Poodle, their offspring (F1b Goldendoodle) will have between a 50 and a 100 percent chance of light shedding or no shedding at all. This is the most likely outcome.
Again, though, this is all in theory, and genetics is never black and white, so you should take these percentages with a dose of skepticism.
The whole uncertainty surrounding how much or how little any of these Goldendoodles will shed is simply a thing to be accepted with mixed-breed dogs.
They can lean to either side of their parent mix, and not even the most reputable breeders can control how the puppies will physically turn out.
Our apologies if all these calculations gave you a flashback of a maths exercise from second grade, but it was necessary. And, what did we learn from it?
If you are here because you want to introduce a Goldendoodle into your life, but cannot risk a heavy shedder, then your best bet is to look for an F1B Goldendoodle.
This mix of an F1 Goldendoodle and a purebred Poodle will give you the lowest amount of shedding. But, be aware that these dogs will also look more like a Poodle than a Golden Retriever.
How do you know when your Goldendoodle puppy is shedding?
All puppies are born with a single-layer puppy coat. They generally shed this coat at around five to ten months of age, but for some dogs, this process may take as long as a year.
Even with Goldendoodles, this is completely normal and is in no way an indicator that your pup will be a year-round shedder.
The first sign of your pup’s shedding will be when the base of your pet’s coat becomes a little coarser. This will indicate that the shedding will happen soon, but how and when shedding occurs is different in each dog.
You won’t know precisely what type of coat your Goldendoodle has inherited until it fully grows its adult hair. The adult coat will be stiffer, thicker, and longer than what it was in its puppy years, but this may not happen until your pup is two years of age.
Is your doodle shedding or just changing its coat?
Photo from: @rosieposiegd
You might notice an increase in the amount of hair roaming around your place in spring and fall. This is called seasonal shedding, and it happens even with low-shedding breeds like Goldendoodles.
Seasonal shedding is nothing more than a pup preparing for the weather conditions to come. Before summer, they lose their outer coat to prepare for hot temperatures. Similarly, when winter knocks on their doggy house doors, they grow a coat that will help them battle cold temperatures.
This is a completely normal phenomenon that is triggered by changing daylight hours. There is nothing you can do about it except brush them more often in order to prevent loose hair from spreading around your home.
The stages of Goldendoodle shedding
All dogs go through four cycles of hair growth, and Goldendoodles are no exception. These stages are the following:
• Anagen – This is the active hair growth stage. The hair keeps growing until it reaches a length predetermined by genetics.
• Catagen – This is a transitional phase. The hair stops growing and an outer wrapping attaches to the hair strands.
• Telogen – This is known as the resting phase.
• Exogen – This is the stage that affects us the most… The shedding stage. During this time, the hair falls out to make room for new hair.
Factors such as a dog’s breed, its nutrition, the number of daylight hours, the local climate, and whether the dog is stressed or unwell can all have an impact on the duration of each phase.
A thing to remember is that low shedding dogs like Poodles (this includes many Goldendoodles as well) have an anagen-dominated cycle.
This essentially means that the hair follicles in their coat stay in the growth stage for much longer periods compared to other breeds, and because of this, these dogs have almost continuously growing hair. So, it should come as no surprise that these dogs need regular trimming, yet they tend to shed less compared to their canine cousins.
Are there any problems that Goldendoodle shedding can cause?
Apart from annoying hair all over your clothes and furniture, the biggest issue that Goldendoodle shedding can cause is that it can trigger allergic reactions.
These allergic reactions are not really caused by the hair itself, but by a protein. This protein is often found in a dogs’ bodily fluids, such as saliva and natural oils found in their skin.
Dogs that are heavy shedders distribute a lot more dander all over the house. The dander or skin flakes contain allergens that trigger reactions in allergy sufferers.
With a low shedding dog, this dander is often caught up in their tight curls and released only when they are brushed through.
This is why Goldendoodles and other such breeds are better suited for people with pet allergies, even though none of those breeds is 100% hypoallergenic.
Caring for your dog’s coat
Goldendoodles will greatly benefit from light brushing every day with a slicker brush. But, brushing your dog once a week is usually sufficient unless it’s swimming or rolling in dirt and mud.
A Goldendoodle can quickly learn to look forward to a daily brushing routine. However, be prepared to brush firmly enough to clean their dense undercoat without allowing the steel bristles to contact or damage their skin.
You will be pleasantly surprised when you realize that Goldendoodles are creatures of routine. This means that they will ask for their daily brushing at approximately the same time every day if you stick to a regular schedule.
Regular brushing will remove loose hairs that are shed, and help maintain the undercoat from getting matted and tangled. Otherwise, these loose hairs will combine with bits of dirt and get tangled in the attached fur.
This can lead to matting, and if your dog likes swimming and rolling in dirt afterward, then matting can lead to an unexpected trip to the groomer. If your dog’s hair is already long, this can be especially problematic.
Give your Goldendoodle a bath from time to time, but make sure to not overdo it. A bath every month or so is good, but anything more often than that can disrupt the production of natural oils found on a dog’s skin.
Remember to always remove any tangles because if left unchecked, they tend to get tighter and ultimately lead to matting.
There are shampoos specifically designed for dogs that you should aim to use on your pooch. Just make sure to rinse all of it out before finishing the bath.
After you pat your doggie dry with a towel, try using a hairdryer and brush its coat to make it fluffy and soft. Dogs are usually alarmed by loud noises, so be prepared to endure some protesting from your Goldendoodle.
At the end of the day, you will have a healthier and happier dog that looks and smells great.
The last thing you should remember is to take your dog to a professional groomer every once in a while.
In order to remain healthy and look good, most Goldendoodles need a trip to the groomer every six to ten weeks.
Try not to deter too much from the grooming schedule as you might need to have your beautiful pup shaved to get rid of the mats that might form.
This is especially important if you have the F1 variety as their coats are usually long and shaggy if not kept in check.
Can brushing Goldendoodles stop their shedding?
Regular brushing will significantly reduce the amount of hair you need to deal with, but that is as far as it goes. Brushing cannot stop a Goldendoodle, or any other dog for that matter, from shedding.
That being said, there are relatively simple techniques you can follow at home to reduce the impact of a shedding doodle.
Grooming strategies to reduce the amount of shedding:
• Shampooing your pup every four to five weeks with an appropriate shampoo for your Goldendoodle. Try to look for natural ingredients that won’t interfere with the healthy natural oils in your Goldendoodle’s coat.
• Use a slicker brush twice a week in your grooming routine. We recommend that you go for a quality brush because it will save you a lot of hassle. If you want to avoid shedding more effectively, we recommend a high-quality medium or large slicker brush. This can make a huge difference in how successfully you deal with your dog’s hair.
• Consider adding a de-shedding tool to your arsenal. Although these tools are designed to de-shed through the top layer, they can be pretty useful even for long-haired straight-coat Goldendoodles.
• Cutting your dog’s hair can also be a temporary solution, especially during hot summer days. Note that shaving your dog completely is not recommended at any point in its life.
Goldendoodles are a fantastic mix. They inherit the best of both of their parents, and make our lives happier just by existing.
However, in this article, we aimed to provide you with a better understanding of this mixed dog breed, especially their coat.
The key thing to remember is that there are various generations of Goldendoodles and each one has a different genetic makeup.
We saw that the highest chance of low shedding and non-shedding is found in the F1b Goldendoodles. So, if shedding is your main concern, this generation is your best bet.
Also, even though they are not completely hypoallergenic, these dogs are great for people who suffer from allergies.
Lastly, even if you end up with a Goldendoodle that sheds a lot, you will also get a loving and loyal dog that will stay by your side for many years to come.