Many potential pup parents want to bring a cute, wriggling, loving furball into their family’s home. Sadly, some people are too allergic to hair and dander to have pets in their lives. That’s one of the primary reasons why hybrid Doodle breeds were created: to design a dog breed that doesn’t shed, allowing people with allergies to become pup parents. One of the most popular Doodle hybrids is the Goldendoodle, an adorable cross between a Poodle and a Golden Retriever. Many potential Goldendoodle pup parents want to know: do Goldendoodles shed, or are they hypoallergenic?
What is a hypoallergenic dog?
Hypoallergenic dogs are less likely to promote allergic reactions in people. Generally, it’s the protein particles in pet hair and saliva that cause allergies. Those allergic reactions can range from sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes to serious asthma issues.
When a dog licks herself, saliva sticks to the dander and is released into the home environment. Every time a dog shakes or scratches herself, the dander on her skin and coat is left behind. It often settles on the floor, the furniture, and in the air. However, a hypoallergenic dog is a pup that produces less saliva and dander than other breeds. Living with this kind of dog is manageable for allergy sufferers.
It’s important to note that even hypoallergenic dogs shed. They typically shed less than other dogs, but they still shed. There is no zero-shed dog, but hypoallergenic dogs’ saliva and dander usually remain on the hair follicle rather than entering multiple areas of a home. In other words, the cause of many people’s allergies — the dander and saliva — are trapped in the dog’s coat. Thus, even though they still shed, hypoallergenic dogs are excellent pets for people with mild allergies.
Do Goldendoodles shed if they are hypoallergenic?
The delightful Goldendoodle, a cross between the intelligent Poodle and the family-friendly Golden Retriever, is a hypoallergenic dog. So do Goldendoodles shed if they are hypoallergenic? Yes, they do, but how much depends on their genetics. For example, a Goldendoodle whose coat is curly takes after her Poodle heritage, while a pup whose fur is wavy is showcasing her Golden Retriever roots. If your Goldendoodle has more Golden Retriever in her coat, she will likely shed more than a Goldendoodle with curly hair inherited from her Poodle parent. So, how can you tell which parent your pup will take after in the coat department?
First-generation (F1) Goldendoodles are the product of a purebred Poodle and a purebred Golden Retriever. Poodles are light shedders, while Golden Retrievers are heavier shedders. An F1 Goldendoodle has a fifty-fifty chance of having some shedding; in other words, the puppy will shed less than a Golden Retriever but likely more than a Poodle. However, genetics are funny sometimes, so you may end up with a Goldendoodle who falls somewhere between a heavy and non-shedding coat.
First-generation backcross (F1b) Goldendoodles’ genetics will play out a bit differently. For example, an F1b Goldendoodle whose parents are a purebred Poodle and an F1 Goldendoodle will likely be 25% Goldendoodle and 75% Poodle, giving that puppy a higher chance of having a coat like a Poodle, and therefore, a higher chance that the pup will be a light shedder. Genetics are not black-and-white, so keep in mind that even a Goldendoodle with this parentage may be a moderate shedder.
If you want to avoid the chances of a medium to heavy Goldendoodle shedder, consider looking for an F1b Goldendoodle. Your pup may grow up to look more like a Poodle than a Golden Retriever, but you’re likely to vacuum up less dander around your home.
Do Miniature Goldendoodles shed more than the Standard size?
Goldendoodles come in two sizes, miniature and standard. Mini Goldendoodles grow between 13 and 20 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 40 and 50 pounds. Standard Goldendoodles range from 20 to 24 inches in height and 50 to 90 pounds. Does the difference in Goldendoodle size impact a dog’s shedding capabilities?
The size of the Goldendoodle has no bearing on how much she will or will not shed. Whether a Goldendoodle is a light or heavy shedder, or something in between, is entirely reliant on her genetics. Choose a puppy whose size will best fit your living space and lifestyle, and then talk with your Goldendoodle breeder about your puppy’s parents and heritage.
How can I tell if my Goldendoodle will shed?
Breeders can give potential Goldendoodle pup parents an idea of whether their puppy may be a light shedder — or not — by reviewing the breeding lines of that particular litter. DNA research shows that two genes may indicate how much your Goldendoodle will shed as she grows. Breeders use the MC5R and RSP02 genes to measure dogs on a “shedding index” with ranges from 0 (almost no shedding) to 4 (heavy shedding).
Goldendoodles who have the “A” variation of the MC5R gene are often low-shedding dogs, while the “G” variant typically indicates a high-shedding dog. Reputable breeders can now test for the “A” and “G” indicators in the MC5R gene. That gene, along with the RSP02 gene, determines how much a Goldendoodle puppy will shed as an adult dog.
Even with testing, genetics is not a sure thing, so be prepared to encounter some shedding as your puppy grows up. All Goldendoodle puppies are born with a single-layer coat of fur, and they shed that coat sometime between 5 to 10 months of age. Once your former puppy-now adult dog’s new coat comes in, you will have a better idea which parent your puppy takes after.
How to handle a shedding Goldendoodle.
Perhaps the Goldendoodle you bring into your family does end up shedding a year or so into adulthood. Here are some steps you and your family can take to limit the spread of dander and saliva in your home:
- Brush your Goldendoodle weekly to pull out loose or dead hair that has not shed yet.
- Feed your pup high-quality food that includes essential fatty acids and vegetables, both of which will keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy.
- Bathe your Goldendoodle with a dog-friendly oatmeal shampoo that will limit shedding. Be careful to avoid bathing your dog too much as you will strip the protective oils from her coat.
- Invest in a de-shedding comb, a useful tool that removes loose and dead hair from the layer underneath the topcoat.
Careful preparation and attention to your Goldendoodle when she sheds will help you stay in control of any excess dander in your home.
Do Goldendoodles shed? Yes, Goldendoodles do indeed shed, but their shedding levels vary depending on a puppy’s genetic background. This breed sheds less than traditional, purebred dog breeds, but as all dogs shed to some degree, understand that a hypoallergenic Goldendoodle doesn’t mean a dog who never sheds. Are you interested in learning more about Goldendoodle puppies? Find a low-shedding Goldendoodle today with help from Preferable Pups and an experienced, knowledgeable Goldendoodle breeder.