What To Look For In A Goldendoodle Puppy: 1st Time Owners Guide

What To Look For In A Goldendoodle Puppy: 1st Time Owners Guide

Are you looking at buying your first Goldendoodle puppy? There are many great breeders out there that you can buy a puppy from. 

There are also so not so great places you can get a Goldendoodle.  When looking for a Goldendoodle puppy, this article will help you pick out your perfect puppy. 

There are many things that you need to consider. This will help make sure that your puppy is healthy and exactly the puppy that you want.

What to look for in a Goldendoodle Puppy?

There are a few things that you need to check out in order to make sure you are getting the best puppy for yourself.  These are:

  • Physical Health
  • Behavior around other puppies
  • Health and Genetic issues of the Parents
  • Personal Preference
  • Breeding Qualities

By checking all these out in your Goldendoodle, you will make sure that your puppy is perfectly healthy and exactly what you want. 

These puppies are going to be members of the family, and you want to make sure that they will fit in wonderfully and be as healthy as possible.

Physical Health Check

When you are looking at what puppy you want, you will want to thoroughly check over everything about the puppy that you are picking out. 

While most people who are buying these dogs are not vets so they do not know everything that you needed to look for these are common things that you should examine to make sure the puppy that you are picking out is as healthy as possible.

  • Energy Level: look at the energy level of your puppy.  If the Goldendoodle puppy is very active and playful, this will be their personality.  If they are lazier as a puppy, they may not be as energetic once they are grown.  Sometimes these dogs may be sleeping, but they are usually very active.  Also, make sure your dog is moving around.  If a puppy is sick, they typically are very lethargic and do not really come to see people when they come near.  
  • Eyes: look at your new Goldendoodle puppy’s eyes.  These will be bright and alert.  They should not be any matting or redness in the eyes.  If they have been adequately cared for, there should not be any dirty or eye discharge around their face.
  • Breathing: Watch your Goldendoodle puppy breathing.  They should be breathing at a regular rate.  You should also not hear any wheezing or noise when they are breathing.  If you notice that your Goldendoodle puppy is making a wheezing sound, they may have an upper respiratory infection.  Other sines
  • Ears: Look inside your new Goldendoodle puppies’ ears.  Make sure that they are clean and do not have an odor.  A dog with an ear infection or ear mites will have black debris in the ears, and they will have a very strong unpleasant smell coming from the ears.
  • Body Condition: Make sure that your puppy looks overall health.  They should be at a good weight and not look malnourished.  If your puppy did not eat a proper diet early in life, they could have a lot of health problems as they start to get older. 
  • Genitals: Look at the Goldendoodle puppies’ genitals.  There should be no redness or discharge.  If they are a boy, you should be able to feel both testicles.  If a dog only has one, the other one has not descended.  If this does not happen, your puppy will be cryptorchid.  This testicle that does not descend could turn cancerous and cause many problems for your Goldendoodle later in life.
  • Coat: Make that your Goldendoodle puppy has a beautiful shiny coat.  They should not have any fleas or ticks.  They should not have any bald patches of skin.  Sometimes puppies do play rough with each other, and they may have a minor scratch on them, but there should not be a large bald spot on your new Goldendoodle puppy.  If your puppy does have a bald spot, they can possibly have Demodex, a type of mange that they get from their mothers shortly after birth.  While this can easily be treated by your veterinarian, it can be very itchy for your puppy.  
  • Abdomen: Look at your puppy’s stomach.  There should not be a bulge around their belly button.  This would be an umbilical hernia.  These can easily be fixed by a veterinarian, but it would be an extra cost you would have to spend on your new Goldendoodle puppy.
  • Hearing: Some puppies can be born deaf. It is straightforward to test to see if your puppy can hear when your puppy is playing whistle very loud.  If your Goldendoodle puppy can hear, they will quickly turn around and come toward you.  Dogs who cannot hear will continue doing what they were doing.  
  • Vision: Vision problems are commonly seen in poodles.  Make sure that your new puppy can see.  You can observe your puppy running around and notice if they have vision problems.  Your new puppy should be able to quickly move around objects without running into them.

These are simple observations that you can quickly make about the puppies that you are looking at buying.  This will help make sure that you are getting a healthy puppy.  

You do not have to be a vet to be able to notice that there is something that is just not right with a puppy. 

Remember to trust your instincts when picking out a puppy; if it just does not seem right, it probably is not the right puppy for you.  

What To Look For In A Goldendoodle Puppy: 1st Time Owners Guide

Behavior Around People and Other Puppies

When looking for a new puppy, you will want one that is great with people and other dogs. 

You can watch how the puppies act in different situations.  This will help make sure that your new puppy does not have any unwanted traits. You will want a puppy that is well rounded and approaches you as you walk near the puppies. 

Your new puppy may be hard to pick out as most Goldendoodle puppies tend to have a very outgoing personality. There are other tips that you can use when picking out a Goldendoodle puppy.

  • How does your puppy act with other dogs?  Watch your puppy around other puppies.  Make sure that it likes being around other puppies, especially if you have another dog in the house.  You can quickly see if your new puppy will be the leader or stand back and let other dogs take control.  You can also tell if a puppy is going to bully other dogs and continuously pick fights.   
  • Does your puppy like other people? If you spend a lot of time with friends and family, you will want to make sure that your new Goldendoodle puppies love to be around people. Watch as your dog interacts with you and other people who are around. 
  • Does your puppy like being touched? If you want a dog that loves to snuggle on the couch and be around you all the time, make sure your puppy also likes to be touched.  When you are sitting near all the puppies, the ones that come up to you and want to be in your lap usually turn out to be lap dogs.  The ones that are doing their own thing are often more independent and may want to spend their time napping in their bed rather than snuggled up to you on the couch. 

Pick up the puppies and see how they act.  Do they nip at your hands and wiggle around as soon as you touch them? 

By interacting with the puppies, you can quickly gauge their personalities.  Be careful not to pick the shy puppy of the littler.  These may be fearful, which is a behavior that is very hard to change.

  • Is your puppy sensitive to sounds? If you live in an area where there are a lot of thunderstorms or your house is noisy with the kids. You will want a puppy that is not sensitive to all these loud sounds.  If you clap your hands and your puppy runs away, they may be afraid of loud noises and would do best in a quiet house.  

Make sure that you are answering these questions when looking for a new Goldendoodle puppy. 

These will help make sure that your new Goldendoodle puppy is excellent around other people and dogs. 

Many times, you can help train your Goldendoodle to accept new people and pets, but if your dog already loves other people and pets makes it much easier.

If you are planning on getting a new Goldendoodle puppy and you already have a pet or kids, take your dog and kids with you to help pick out a new pet. 

Many times, it helps to know what puppy your dog and kids already bond with before bringing them home. 

Genetic Health

Many traits and problems can be passed from parents to offspring.  Before purchasing a puppy, look at the medical records of the puppy’s parents. 

If you see any genetic conditions in their health record, then you know that the puppies may also have these problems.  The breeder can test the parent for the potential to have any genetic conditions. 

Any reputable breeder will have their dogs tested for genetic conditions before breeding.  Common things that Goldendoodles are tests for before breeding are:

  • Hip Dysplasia:
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Eye Exam
  • Heart Exam

These tests will need to be done by a vet.  Some testing will need to be done by a specialist, and some can be done by your regular vet.  

Hip Dysplasia in Goldendoodles

Hip Dysplasia is a common orthopedic problem seen in both Golden Retrievers and Standard Poodles. 

This condition is usually inherited but can be due to poor nutrition, overweight, or inadequate amounts of exercise.

What is Hip Dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia is caused by abnormal development of the hip joints. The hip joint is a ball and socket type joint. 

A Goldendoodle with hip dysplasia is caused when the socket that is in the pelvis is not deep enough for the ball, which is part of the femur to stay in place. 

When the hip joint is shallow, the femur to continually come in and out of place, causing looseness and instability in the hip joint.  The femur will rub on the pelvis while moving in the socket.

This causes arthritis to build up around this joint. This arthritis can be excruciating.  

Goldendoodle’s with hip dysplasia usually will have trouble walking around. 

This will put extra stress on the knees and ankles, causing them even more orthopedic problems.

While there is a treatment to make this less painful, there is nothing that can reverse this condition.

How is Hip Dysplasia Testing done in Goldendoodles?

Dogs under two years of age can only be a preliminary screen for hip dysplasia. 

They cannot get their full hip certification until they are at least two years old.  Once your dog reaches two years of age, you can take them to your veterinarian for the entire test certification.

The hips will be grades as excellent, good, fair, borderline, mild, moderate, and severe. 

To pass OFA hip certification, your Goldendoodle will need to receive an excellent, good, and fair rating.  They will then receive a certification number.

Elbow Dysplasia in Goldendoodles

Elbow Dysplasia is similar to hip dysplasia, and they can inherit this condition from their parents. This can be seen in both Poodles and Golden Retrievers.

What is Elbow Dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia is caused by one of three different problems. These are:

  • Fragment medial coronoid process of the elbow,
  • Osteochondritis of the medial humeral condyle and
  • Ununited anconeal process. 

In layman’s terms, this is the abnormal growth and development of the cartilage and bone in the elbow. 

This extra growth can lead to the elbow becoming displaced or out of the socket.  This can cause the elbow joint to develop abnormally, leading to a life of pain, inflammation, and arthritis in the elbow.

Goldendoodles with elbow dysplasia may have no obvious signs at all, but it can be so severe that your Goldendoodle is not putting any weight on that leg. 

There are many treatment options that you can do to help decrease the pain and inflammation if your dog does develop elbow dysplasia. 

How is Elbow Dysplasia Testing done in Goldendoodles

Elbow dysplasia testing is done very similar to hip dysplasia, where your vet will take 4 different radiographs of the elbows will be submitted to a veterinary radiologist. 

Just like with hip dysplasia,  your dog cannot get their full certification until after they are two years of age. Elbow dysplasia is graded as normal or abnormal with abnormal being broken down into 3 different grades:

  • Grade 1: Minimal bonny changes
    • Grade 2: a bonny proliferation of 2 to 5mm
    • Grade 3: a severe degenerative joint disease where bonny proliferation is greater than 5mm

Only dogs who have a normal elbow will pass certification and should be used for breeding.

How is Elbow and Hip Dysplasia Testing done on a Goldendoodle?

Elbow and Hip Dysplasia testing can be done on your Goldendoodle to see if they have the potential for developing hip dysplasia. 

The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), and your veterinarian, can use x-rays of the hips to help decide if your dog is predisposed for hip dysplasia. 

Goldendoodles who do have hip or elbow dysplasia should not be used for breeding.  These are genetic diseases that are passed from parents to offspring. 

When looking to purchase a Goldendoodle puppy, you should see if their hips and elbows are OFA certified.  This will help you determine if these will be problems that your new Goldendoodle puppy may develop later in their life. 

How is Elbow and Hip Dysplasia Testing Done?

For a Goldendoodle to be tested for elbow and hip dysplasia, they will need to see a veterinarian.  Not all veterinarians test for this disease, so call your veterinarian and make sure that they can test your Goldendoodle for hip and elbow dysplasia. 

Your dog would have to be sedated to get the perfect radiographs for submission.  Specific views must be taken of the hips and elbows.  To take these radiographs, your dog will not experience any pain but will need to be perfectly still.  

These radiographs will be sent off to for boarded radiologists to review.  It can take a few weeks for the radiologist to review the x-rays and get you the results.

What To Look For In A Goldendoodle Puppy: 1st Time Owners Guide

Eye Evaluation in Goldendoodles

Your Goldendoodle puppies’ eyes can be tested for any genetic conditions.  Poodles are known to get Progressive Retinal Atrophy.  This disease causes the retinal in the eye to slowly deteriorate. 

Once the retina is gone, your dog will be blind.  This is a no treatable or preventable condition. 

This disease is thought to be genetic, and dogs who have this problem should not be breed. This testing has to be done by a Veterinary Ophthalmologist.  

Heart Evaluation in Goldendoodles

Both Golden Retrievers and Poodles are known to have heart problems.  Most of the time, the dogs have a disease called Dilated Cardiomyopathy. 

This is when the heart does not function properly, causing the heart to overwork.  The ventricles of the heart will become dilated, causing the heart to have to work harder to get blood pumping all around the body. 

This is usually a fatal disease but can be managed with daily heart medications.  A veterinary cardiologist can examine your Goldendoodles parent’s hearts to see if they are predisposed to this disease.

All of these problems can be tested in your Goldendoodle puppy’s parents to see if they have this disease. 

If the Goldendoodle that you are looking at purchasing has these issues, it would be best to look at another breeding pair.  A responsible breeder will test for these traits and not breed any dog who has tested positive for any of these issues.  

Personal Preference

Many people have a personal preference for what they also want in a Goldendoodle puppy. 

Some people want a specific color or a particular hair type.  Some people want a big dog, while some like the smaller Goldendoodles.

By looking at how Goldendoodle puppies were bred will help you to pick out the perfect Goldendoodle puppy.

Breeding Qualities

There are a few different types of Goldendoodles.  These are all determined by what the parents are mixed with or if the parents are pure-bred dogs.

These are common ways that Goldendoodle puppies are made.

  • F1 Goldendoodles.  These Goldendoodles are made by mixing a pure-bred Poodle with a pure-bred Golden Retriever.  These make Goldendoodles that are 50% poodle and 50% Golden Retriever.  These dogs have all of the traits that many people think of when they think about a Goldendoodle.  These dogs will be shaggy and curly. They will have the teddy bear look that most people want.
  • F1B Goldendoodles.  You will get this mixture when you cross an F1 Goldendoodle with a pure-bred poodle.  These dogs will be 25% Golden Retriever and 75% Poodle.  These Goldendoodles do not shed and tend to have hair that is more like the poodle.  This breeding is the most hypoallergenic of all the breeding possibilities.  If you have horrible pet allergies, this breeding would be best for you.  You will also see more color variations in this breeding.  The hair type commonly seen with this breeding is more like a poodle.
  • F2 GoldendoodlesF2 or second-generation Goldendoodles are made by breeding two F1 Goldendoodles.  These dogs tend to have hair more like a Golden Retriever and usually shed a little more but nowhere near as much as a Golden Retriever does.  These

Size of your Goldendoodle

The size of your Goldendoodle will also depend on the parents.  While most Golden Retrievers are 60 to 70 pounds, Poodles come in many different sizes such as

  • Toy: 6 to 9 pounds
  • Minature: 15 to 17 pounds
  • Standard: 45 to 70 pounds

If you want a smaller Goldendoodle, make sure that the poodle parent is also smaller. 

If you want a Goldendoodle that is on the larger size, make sure that the poodle parent is a Standard poodle.  Most people have Goldendoodle, around 30 to 50 pounds. 

Some as they are breeding a miniature poodle with a Golden Retrieve.  Some people love the tinny Goldendoodles and will look for a toy poodle that was bread with a Golden Retriever.

By looking at the breeding of the parent, you should be able to pick out the perfect traits that you want in a Goldendoodle.  Most of these traits can be very easily predicted by just looking at the parent’s genetic history.

When should you take your Goldendoodle to the veterinarian for the first time?

As soon as you get your puppy, you should take them to the vet for a checkup. 

Most reputable breeders and other adoption organizations will allow you about 72 hours to return your Goldendale puppy. 

They will usually allow you to exchange the puppy for another one if there is a health problem that your veterinarian notices. 

It is advised to make a vet appointment the day your plan on picking up your puppy to help quickly identify any issues that your Goldendoodle puppy may have.

 

Your veterinarian will perform a complete physical exam on your Goldendoodle. 

These are the steps veterinarians take to examine your new Goldendoodle puppy.

·      They will listen to their heart for any heart murmurs,

·      Look at their eyes and into their ears. 

·      Examine their teeth, mouth, and gums. 

·      Palpate their abdomen and check for any hernias. 

·      Examine their skin looking for fleas, ticks, or other signs of parasites. 

·      Test a fecal sample to make sure that they do not have any internal parasites. 

Not only will your veterinarian completely examine your dog and let you know of any potential problems, but they will also check the records that the breeder provided you for your Goldendoodle puppy. 

They will give your puppy any vaccines they need and prescribe heartworm and internal parasite deworming. 

At this visit, it is a great time to discuss any potty training and other questions that you may have on the health of your new Goldendoodle puppy.

By starting your new Goldendoodle off with a trip to the vet will get them set up on a great schedule to keep them healthy. 

Your vet can advise you on diets, feeding, and spaying and neutering your new Goldendoodle puppy.

NEW GOLDENDOODLE PUPPY, A Vet's guide to getting your first Goldendoodle or Mini Goldendoodle Puppy! #dogs, #puppies #Goldendoodles

FINAL THOUGHTS

Buying your first Goldendoodle puppy can be very excited.  There are many different things that you need to consider.  Do you have kids? Here’s a Parents Guide To Goldendoodles and Kids!

This guide should help you make the correct choice when picking out your new puppy. 

By looking at the overall appearance of your puppy and taking into consideration the breeding and potential genetic testing, you will be able to pick out the perfect Goldendoodle puppy for your family. 

Making sure that your new Goldendoodle puppy is healthy and happy will start you out on the right track to a healthy and long life with your new furry friend. 

Dr. Sara Ochoa

I am a graduate of St. George's University with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. I have been practicing Veterinary Medicine for the past 5 years treating small animal and exotic animals. I own a dog, cat, rabbit, and tortoise. I have extensive knowledge treating all species of animals with a passion for surgery.

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