Goldendoodles are one of the original designer dogs. Bred in 1969, they were created when poodles were crossed with golden retrievers to provide guide dogs for visually impaired people with allergies. If bred correctly, these dogs have hair instead of fur and don’t shed, which minimizes their risk to allergy sufferers. They’re also usually loyal and adorable companions with easygoing personalities and a high tolerance for children.

Doodles became popular in the 1990s because, in addition to their proficiency as service and therapy dogs, they’re wonderful pets for families with allergies or those with an aversion to dog fur in their lovely homes!

Why Are There Different Generations of Goldendoodle?

Unfortunately for breeders, genetics aren’t as predictable as they would hope. First-generation doodles (F1s)are 50% poodle and 50% retriever, but can vary significantly, inheriting different traits from both breeds. The first-generation goldendoodle will always inherit the shedding gene from their golden retriever parent, shedding anywhere from some to just as much as a full Retriever.

Because F1s should most always shed, we recommend going for a genetically coat-tested multigenerational doodle if your search for a hypoallergenic dog is a priority.

F1 – First Generation

An F1 is the direct result of breeding a golden retriever with a poodle. Due to being first-generation hybrids, they have the health benefits that come hand-in-hand with a phenomenon known as “hybrid vigor.” Scientifically known as heterosis, it refers to the improved function of biological functions due to genetic diversity. The mixture of genes tends to lead to a decrease in the health risks that may be associated with purebred specimens.

  • Shedding – The majority are light-shedding to heavy-shedding.

  • Allergy Potential – This iteration is sometimes fine for families with very mild allergies but not recommended for those with moderate to severe allergies.

  • Coat – Their coat can naturally grow from 3 to 5 inches and requires combing as well as weekly grooming. You can opt to get the fur cut back every couple of months to make your pooch lower-maintenance in the upkeep department. They can have straight, curly or wavy coats.

  • Grooming – Moderate to high requirements.

F1b – First Generation Backcross

Backcrossing is breeding a hybrid back to one of the breeds it originates from. Genetically, this means they’re still first-generation. However, the traits of either the retriever or the poodle can be intensified. Breeders tend to cross a doodle back with a poodle to increase chances of a lower shedding litter. Hybrid vigor is still present, but since multigenerational litters have a greater chance of inheriting diseases from the same breed line, genetic health testing becomes more important to rule out disease carriers.

  • Shedding – 50% of F1b puppies are non-shedding (inheriting non-shedding Poodle traits from both parents), but 50% of F1b puppies should inherit shedding traits from the F1 parent, which means shedding levels would reflect that of an F1 (low to heavy shedding).

  • Allergy Potential – 50% chance of being hypoallergenic. 50% chance of being low to heavy shedders. (If the breeder coat tests the puppies, sometimes this factor can be known a few weeks after birth)

  • Coat – The appearance of this generation’s fur depends on the traits inherited from its F1 parent. It may range anywhere from 3-5 inches or longer and can be straight, wavy or curly. If you’re worried about the frequency of brushing they require, you can opt to get their fur clipped back to save time on grooming and keep your dog comfortable, especially in winter.

  • Grooming – Moderate to high requirements.

F2 – Second Generation

These guys are the result of breeding two F1 goldendoodles together. This combination is generally recommended against by reputable breeders because there is a 75% chance for shedding puppies. Because both parents carry both Poodle and Retriever genes, there is a 25% chance that the shedding Retriever genes will unite in puppies, causing them to shed as much as a purebred Retriever (even more than both parents) Due to the way the genetics work, you can end up with either full poodles or full golden retrievers when crossing two doodles.

  • Shedding – 25% should be non-shedding, 50% should be low to heavy shedding, 25% should be fully-shedding, just like a purebred Retriever.

  • Allergy Potential – We wouldn’t recommend these little guys to families with allergies due to the high chance of shedding, unless coat testing has been performed and the genetic makeup of your specific puppy were known by the breeder.

  • Coat – F2 coats can be straight, wavy, or curly. Please know that the coat texture of young puppies is not a reliable indicator of future shedding level, as the curl gene is distinct from the shedding gene.

  • Grooming – This varies significantly according to the genetic mix the individual pup inherits.

F2b – Second Generation Backcross

Crossing an F1 doodle with an F1b creates an F2b. As a first generation doodle, the F1 parent carries a predictable mix of coat traits (both shedding and non-shedding genes), however the F1b is a mystery. Unless genetic testing is performed on the F1b parent, the litter could result in a litter similar to an F1b litter or F2 litter (see above). Genetic screening for health diseases also becomes more important whenever two parents with the same breed ancestry are mixed.

  • Shedding – The F2b puppy can be anywhere from non-shedding (25-50%), low to heavy shedding (50% odds), or shed as much as a full-retriever (0-25%). It depends on what coat genes the F1b parent carries.

  • Allergy Potential – Working with a breeder who coat tests parents or puppies would be the safest way for a family with allergies to adopt an F2b puppy. Otherwise, the odds of bringing home a hypoallergenic pet are not in your favor.

  • Coat – Coats may be straight, wavy, or curly.

  • Grooming – Moderate to high grooming requirements.

F3 and Multigenerational

F3s are produced by breeding an F1B to an F2B, F1B to an F1B, two F3s, two F2Bs or an F2 to an F2. When it gets to this stage, breeders often refer to them as multi-generational. At this stage, traits from either breed line can be emphasized either positively or negatively. At this stage, genetic testing and careful breeding makes it possible to weed out disliked traits, like shedding, for a 100% full litter of non-shedding pups.

  • Shedding – If the breeder coat tests, it’s possible to intentionally breed two parents with zero shedding potential for a full-litter of non-shedding puppies. If the breeder does not know the genetic makeup of the parents, some guesswork is still at play, and puppies of any shedding level can be created.

  • Allergy Potential – Working with a breeder who is familiar with genetic coat testing is the safest way for a family with allergies to adopt a Multigenerational puppy.

  • Coat – Coats may be straight, wavy, or curly. Although it is rarer to produce non-shedding puppies with straight coats, it is still possible. Usually, multigenerational coats are wavy or curly.

  • Grooming – Moderate to high grooming requirements.

Pride & Prejudoodles can help you find the pup of your dreams. If you’ve chosen which generation suits you and your families’ needs the best, or still have questions, contact us today.