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Question about Goldendoodles/Labradoodles

I had a lab mix for 12 years and he was the perfect dog...It's been almost 2 years since he died and am thinking of getting another dog.  I would like the lab personality but much smaller since Jake was over 110 pounds.  Am looking at mini golden and labra doodles.  Am really wanting a dog that will retrieve and in general be a playful dog.  I knew a doodle puppy and he didn't really play or do too much of anything, didn't retrieve, and mostly was scared of things and want to make sure being laid back and kind of nonchalant is not a common trait. This one mostly liked to cuddle with his owners.

I talked to a breeder and she said that generally you have to teach retrieving and that the puppies that she has are about 8-10 weeks old and they don't retrieve at that age.  I always thought retrieving was an inherent trait and you didn't have to teach a dog that.

A couple of questions:

1.  Do most of your doodles retrieve and like water?

2.  Did they always retrieve or did you have to teach them?

3.  Anyone that has lots of experience with doodle puppies, is what the breeder saying true and you have to train them to retrieve?  Or they don't grow into that until what age?

Thanks so much...just trying to do as much research as possible on this breed before making a lifetime commitment.

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Comment by Jo Bill on February 10, 2014 at 9:08pm

I CANNOT imagine a Doodle that isn't playful!!!  Gizmo is a 2 1/2 year old standard Goldendoodle and he is SOOO puppy!  He is very tall and weighs 77# (at the vet's office today).  He bounces all over the place.  He LOVES to fetch and run.  He did have to be taught to drop the ball/toy, but there is no problem with him wanting to go get it.  He plays that game inside the house cuz it's too cold outside and snow is waaaay too deep.  He does like the snow, too, though.  He likes to "chase" it when I'm shoveling and throw it off the path.  He also likes when I throw snowballs ... he can't figure out where they are when they hit the ground.  LOL  Doodles are very, very smart!  Gizmo was a devil dog as a puppy ... I wasn't sure I would survive him.  But I did and now he is the most loving, sweet companion ever!  Yes, he does still get the zoomies (running in circles all over the house) ... and he does do naughty things, but he has a reason when he's naughty ... he wants our attention.  He knows exactly what he's doing and that he shouldn't be doing it.  Doodles are the very best dog ever.  Gizmo is an F1 and does not shed.  It's awesome. 

Gizmo picked us out.  He was in a pack of 4 males.  The other three ran off away from us and played with each other.  Gizmo went with them, but came right back to us and jumped up on our legs and pulled our pant legs.  He really wanted our attention.  That was the one we picked ... the one who wanted us.  Good luck in your quest for the perfect companion. 

Comment by Harrison, Brodie & Kris on February 5, 2014 at 1:45pm

I am personally not a fan of any breed being a mini. Friends who have mini dogs seem to have more health issues with the dogs, because of the breeding.  That being said, I would go with just the Goldendoodle.  My sister in law has the Australian Labradoodle and he is so high strung and out of control.. The trainer we talked with confirmed that, they are much more high strung and high energy compared to golden doodles. I can tell you that Harrison lacks no energy not being an Australian. I wish you could meet and spend some time with him, he is so awesome and so smart... He has not had any accidents in the house and learned to use the doggie dog in an afternoon..

Good Luck

Comment by Brian on February 5, 2014 at 11:31am

Thanks for all the feedback....such a tough decision given it's about a 15 year commitment :)

Am planning to go to Mueller's Doodles in Missouri this weekend.  Am hopeful that the puppy itself will help identify which one is the right one for me.  I think it leads me to another question I may pose on the board.....Mini Australian Labradoodle vs. Mini goldendoodle...

Comment by Harrison, Brodie & Kris on February 4, 2014 at 8:21pm

Goldendoodle is the way to go. My sister in law has an Australian labradoodle who is very high strung and doesn't listen at all. We love our Harrison. He is 8  months old and weights 65 lbs. He loves fetch and is smart enough to get the color ball we ask for. He does think he is a lap dog sometimes but he is always gentle about it. We have a small dog as well who is older and Harrison is gentle with her when he plays. We are working on being a therapy dog and he gets it. He has been the best dog and the easiest to train. We have a pool and he loves to swim regardless of the water temp. We have to block the steps unless we are out there or he will just jump in. To get around the barricade, he is smart enough to drop his favorite ball in the pool so that he has a chance to go get it. We are working on him not swimming unless we are outside with him. 

Harrison has never chewed on anything but his toys, I wish I could say that about my sister in laws dog. He is 2 months older than Harrison and is still chewing on their shoes and other things.

Goldendoodles I think are the best breed ever. I will never own any other breed..

Be careful about the smaller Goldendoodle breed. Vets say that they can sometimes have health issues. Research the breeder you are thinking of getting a dog from carefully. Look for references and see how they like their dogs before you purchase.

Best of luck

Best of luck

Comment by Administrator Jan on February 4, 2014 at 9:10am

PS - one of my dogs likes to cuddle (the one that gets bored with playing fetch), the other really doesn't (she'd rather retrieve).

Comment by Administrator Jan on February 4, 2014 at 9:07am

1. Both my mini (45 pound) Labradoodles "retrieve" (although, since I'm not a perfect trainer, that often means going and getting the ball and then playing a bit of "keep-away").  Water - no experience personally, but know of many that do like it.

2. At first, both would go get the item tossed, but not return at all with it.  I got my pups at 9 weeks of age.  The older one is obsessed with retrieve games, the other gets bored with it and will lay down and chew on the ball instead of bringing it back.

3. Retrieving is somewhat natural, but they do need to be taught to return the item.  For what it is worth, there are at least two labradoodles that have been trained to hunt with the owner - http://goldendoodles.com/Labradoodles/coco.htm and http://goldendoodles.com/Special_Stories/hunting_labradoodle.htm

They are serious retrievers. ;)

Whatever you decide, please read "Choosing a Breeder" at: http://goldendoodles.com/choosingbreeder.htm before putting down that deposit.

Best wishes.

Comment by Lois - Izzi on February 4, 2014 at 12:56am

Izzi is not a natural retriever ..... she only likes her 'orange ball'....  she is great as far as  following me everywhere, loves a run in the park, cuddles anytime...  she is near 60 lbs.   She will also let me know if strangers come near the house, but has trouble deciding which breed she is in trait; golden vs poodle..  Great, great child's dog and could easily be trained for special needs... 

Comment by Dianne and Dulcie on February 3, 2014 at 10:11pm

Brian, I have a mini-medium doodle.  She weighs 37 lbs. at 2 years.  The true minis can be very small, more like lap dogs (well, Dulcie can be a lap dog, too, but a big one!).  I think she is perfect, because I can still easily pick her up   She fetched on her own and has been doing it for as long as I can remember (I got her at 8 weeks - the picture with the stick was shortly after!) and LOVES to chase a tennis ball. I take her to a farm 2 or 3 times a week to play with her lab mix and golden retriever buddies and she outlasts and outruns them every time.   She loves the water, also, but prefers shallow stuff.  She is one of the most energetic and trainable dogs I have ever owned and needs lots of exercise. I would never have known how fast that she can run had I not taken her to a place where she could run free.  I promise you that she runs like a greyhound and can't wait to get out and play, although she can be laid back in the house.  From the posts here, I think that they adapt to the lifestyle you raise them in.  I can only speak for my girl, but she is amazing and I adore her.  She is keeping me young!  Good luck with making your choice!

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