The Goldendoodle dog breed is a hybrid of two purebreds, the Golden Retriever and the Poodle, whether Standard or Miniature. Goldendoodles have gained sudden popularity as a great companion dog for families and individuals thanks to this new breed’s personality and temperament.
Goldendoodles are gentle, affectionate, and very intelligent, making them easy to train and even easier to love! But what does “second generation” mean when it comes to Goldendoodles? Why do pet stores and breeders now make this distinction?
In this article. you’ll learn everything there is to know about second generation Goldendoodles and what sets them apart from Goldendoodles on the whole.
THE GOLDENDOODLE, I.E. FIRST GENERATION
In order to understand what a second generation Goldendoodle is, you first need context, and so, let’s take a look at what defines a “first generation” Goldendoodle. As we mentioned, this new hybrid dog breed is a mix between the Golden Retriever and the Poodle purebred dog breeds.
Goldendoodle puppy litters that resulted from mating Golden Retrievers and Poodles first began in the 1960s for the purposes of breeding guide dogs for the visually impaired and blind.
The personality and temperament of these first generation Goldendoodles was soon esteemed so highly that by the 1990s, breeders sold their Goldendoodles as companion dogs and not only as service dogs.
The loyal, attentive, and affectionate characteristics of the Goldendoodle, coupled with its steadfast patience towards children of all ages, quickly earned the Goldendoodle a steadily rising position in the “family dogs” rank.
This is to say that the first generation Goldendoodle is the result of mating a Golden Retriever with a Poodle. First generation Goldendoodles have fur even though their Poodle parent is hypoallergenic. This is because when a Golden Retriever is bred with a Poodle, only nature itself will determine how much Golden Retriever genes versus Poodle genes are passed along. A first generation Goldendoodle can either be virtually hypoallergenic or a total shed monster!
For this reason, anyone who is sensitive or allergic to dog fur should get a first generation Goldendoodle that has had its fur tested for allergens. Or they should go with a second generation Goldendoodle. The hypoallergenic characteristic of second generation Goldendoodles makes it a better Doodle choice than its first generation parents, which we’ll look at in another section of this article.
SECOND GENERATION GOLDENDOODLES
Now that you know what constitutes a first generation Goldendoodle, it won’t be difficult to define what a second generation Goldendoodle is. We’ll cut to the chase. A second Goldendoodle is the result of mating 2 first generation Goldendoodles.
So, rather than having one Poodle parent and one Golden Retriever parent as the first generation Goldendoodle has for its pedigree, the second generation Doodle has two parents that are each 50% Poodle and 50% Golden Retriever.
For anyone interested in observing how “purebred” dogs come into existence, keeping an eye on second generation Goldendoodles can be exciting. The majority of today’s “purebred” dogs are actually a mix of two other purebreds. Often those purebred parent breeds no longer exist. Examples of this phenomena include the Golden Retriever, which is now a purebred dog, but originated as a hybrid between the Flat-coated Retriever and the Tweed Water Spaniel. If you haven’t heard of either of those parent breeds, you’re not alone. They don’t exist anymore.
We here at PuppyBuddy definitely don’t want to see the Golden Retriever nor the Poodle go extinct! But similar to the Golden Retriever, the Goldendoodle will live on, carrying the genes of the Golden Retriever and Poodle in the event that these parent breeds dwindle out. This process typically occurs when breeders continue to breed their hybrids, i.e. second generation dogs, together, foregoing breeding first generation dogs.
By breeding more second generation Goldendoodles, this new breed is becoming solidified as a legitimate breed, and before you may even discover that the American Kennel Club will assess the Goldendoodle for “purebred” status. Whether the Goldendoodle receives the status of a purebred dog classification in 50 years or 100 years is anyone’s guess. But that’s what makes this new breed so exciting!
FIRST GENERATION VS. SECOND GENERATION – WHICH IS BETTER?
The biggest difference between first generation and second generation Goldendoodles is their fur. As we covered in the first section of this article, first generation Goldendoodles, also referred to as F1 Goldendoodles, will or will not shed and will or will not have danger according to how their genes are dictated by nature. It’s not possible for breeders to predict whether their F1 Goldendoodle litters will be more like their Golden Retriever parent, and shed with allergy-causing dander, or be more like their hypoallergenic Poodle parent.
This isn’t the case with second generation, or F2, Goldendoodles. Due to the popularity of hypoallergenic dogs, F2 breeders can and do select their most hypoallergenic Goldendoodles to breed. This best ensures that their F2 puppies are more hypoallergenic. The degree to which the fur is hypoallergenic isn’t the only differentiator, so let’s take a look at the specifics that set the F1 and F2 Goldendoodles apart.
First generation Goldendoodles have medium-length, curly fur in general, but thanks to the huge differences between their purebred parents, the actual fur type and quality of a particular F1 Goldendoodle can vary widely.
The shedding of F1 Goldendoodles can range from light to heavy. There is no way of predicting where a particular Doodle will fall on this spectrum.
Due to not being able to predict the shedding potential of a puppy, the F1 Doodle is not recommended for people or families with dog allergies or moderate sensitivities to dog fur dander. This is because the potential for triggering allergies is too great with the F1 generation.
Due to the fact that Poodle hair continues to grow unless it’s cut, the F1 Goldendoodle’s fur has the potential to grow as long as 5 inches. This requires daily brushing and more frequent grooming than the F2.
The F1 has moderate to high grooming requirements due to its longer, less predictable fur.
Second generation Goldendoodles are the result of breeding two F1 parents. Breeders can target the lowest shedding F1 parents to aim to breed the most hypoallergenic F2 Goldendoodles, but this isn’t an exact science. Though we won’t cover F3, or third generation, Goldendoodles in this article, the F3s, when bred specifically for hypoallergenic fur, have the best chances of being hypoallergenic.
Due to the way the F1 parents’ genes mix to produce the F2 litter, each F2 puppy will have a 25% chance of being non-shedding, a 50% chance of being low-to-heavy shedding, and a 25% chance of being a guaranteed shedder, like their Golden Retriever grandparent genes provide. For this reason, we recommend that you ask the pet store or breeder if they’ve tested their puppies’ fur for its hypoallergenic percentage. Many puppy breeders will have had this testing done, and so the results will be available to you upon request.
If you or anyone in your family has dog allergies, we recommend that you definitely ask to see the fur test results of the puppy you’re considering, and only bring that puppy home if he’s deemed low-to-no shedding and virtually hypoallergenic. When this testing has been done, you will be able to select a F2 puppy that has a 25% chance of being non-shedding.
Due to the greater mix of genes of the F2 Goldendoodles, a Doodle can have either straight, wavy, or curly fur, and this isn’t always obvious during puppyhood. As a general rule of thumb, the curlier the fur, the more Poodle genes have influenced the fur, and this could be an indication that the dog will be on the hypoallergenic side of the spectrum. Similarly, straight fur is a gene that comes from the Golden Retriever DNA, and so could indicate greater shedding and dog dander. DNA and genes are far more nuanced than this oversimplification, but it should give you an idea.
The F2 Goldendoodles will have easier to predict grooming needs, which result from their fur type, whether it’s curly, wavy, or straight. As a new parent of an F2 Goldendoodle, you will quickly discover how much brushing and grooming your puppy needs as it matures and grows. If you want to be able to predict this before you commit to an F2 Goldendoodle, however, then again we recommend that you talk to the pet store or breeder about the parent dogs, whether or not there are fur and hypoallergenic test results for the puppy, and see how you and your family “react” when handling the puppy at the pet store.
SHOULD YOU GET AN F1 OR F2 GOLDENDOODLE?
Goldendoodles, whether F1 or F2, are adorably gentle, cuddly, companion dogs, who will make a wonderful addition to your family. There’s a reason that this hybrid dog has become hugely popular in recent years. This breed embodies all the loyalty and friendliness of the Golden Retriever, and possesses the high intelligence, trainability, and obedience of the Poodle.
Though predicting the specific personality of any given Goldendoodle can be tricky, we promise you’ll wind up with a true friend if you bring home this lovable breed. What gives us so much confidence? Well, both parent (or grandparent) breeds, the Golden Retriever and Poodle, are wonderful animals. So, wherever your Goldendoodle falls on the Golden Retriever – Poodle spectrum, it’s sure to be affectionate, intuitive, loving, and gentle!
The biggest qualifier of which generation to get will have to do with whether or not you and your family have allergies or sensitivities to dog fur. People who are authentically allergic to dogs shouldn’t necessarily get either an F1 or an F2, since all dogs, even hypoallergenic ones can pose risks to people who are diagnosed as allergic to dogs.
However, if you have mild sensitivities to dogs, then we recommend you aim for an F2 Goldendoodle. But be sure to spend time with the puppy before you take him home to make sure you don’t react. We invite you into PuppBuddy in Boca Raton to meet our Goldendoodles! We have both F1 and F2 Goldendoodles who will warm your heart. Stop by to meet them and all the breeds!