Goldendoodles – the most wonderful pets you could hope for. Unless, of course, they jump on you and knock you down. Or they chew through an electric cord. Or you're allergic and the endless shedding annoys you.
I've had my goldendoodles for three years now, and (like children) the delights outweigh the aggravations, at least most of the time.
The reason I bought goldendoodles to begin with was their (alleged) non-shedding, hypoallergenic status. Whereas for me, the allergy claim has been true, others in my family start sneezing and itching around them. As for shedding, my dogs must lack the right kind of poodle genes. Hair is everywhere, all the time. My kids now understand the purpose of lint rollers.
Regarding friendliness, goldendoodles can not be beat. My dogs have never met a human or canine they did not love. This does not make for good watch dogs, but at least they could lick an intruder to death.
Goldendoodles are certainly chewers, at least for the first few years. Mine chose to chew my door frames (when I was not looking). They are rambunctious puppies and can not be trusted to be left unattended for long periods. I think it probably would be easier if you have only one doodle. Like little boys, mine egg each other on in their mischief. We got two because I am gone at work long hours and they do keep each other company. I say "we" because they really belong to my children …
I have never known my dogs to snap at anyone, but my hand was snagged by a tooth when they were puppies, and the two dogs play roughly with each other at times. Even dogs that do not bite may accidentally do so if you introduce your hand where it should not be.
The biggest danger my dogs pose is that I have not trained them (yet) not to jump on people. This is not good for animals weighing 50 to 80 pounds. They could easily knock a child or older person off their feet. One of my dogs is naturally a jumper. She leaps into the air with joy at the prospect of seeing an old friend or new acquaintance. I'm hoping as she ages this changes, though training her is probably the better answer. This same dog loves to swim, and delights in diving into a swimming pool. However, a leaping, swimming dog is best avoided, especially around small children. Dogs have no idea that their claws can inflict harm while swimming, and instinct mandates that they keep their legs moving.
If you're looking for a dog to sleep with, a goldendoodle will jump at the opportunity (if you can stand it). If that's your plan, I suggest you have your goldendoodle groomed and washed regularly. The long hair (as long as 8 inches) collects all sorts of debris you will not want in your bed.
My son wanted a lap dog. That's what we have, an 80 pound lap dog. For companionship, goldendoodles make wonderful friends. They'll take as much love and attention as you can give, and still be ready for more.
We all learn from experience, and I'd advise that you spend more time than I have training your dog. Indulgence results in jumping, licking, chewing, hairy monsters … but I love them anyway.
Copyright 2010 Cynthia J. Koelker, MD