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What is a Golden Mountain Doodle?
The Golden Mountain Doodle is one of the newest and more unusual Doodle mixes around. With such a romantic sounding name conjuring up images of mountain ranges its hardly surprising that you might be wondering what this mixed breed dog is made up of.
Never fear we are here to help! The Golden Mountain Doodle, as the name suggests, is made up of three breeds. The ever-popular Golden Retriever, the beautiful Bernese Mountain Dog, and the charismatic, intelligent clown, the Standard Poodle. Most Golden Mountain Doodles are bred from a Goldendoodle parent and a Bernedoodle parent with the aim being to combine the striking looks and colorful (usually parti or tri-colored) coat of the Bernese, with the easy-going trainable nature of the Golden Retriever and the low shedding, often hypoallergenic coat and intelligence of the Poodle.
Golden Mountain Doodle Characteristics
Like all Doodles, the Golden Mountain Doodle can vary in appearance depending on generation. As this is a crossbreed rather than a pure breed even the puppies in a litter can be very different from each other.
In most cases the Poodles used to breed Golden Mountain Doodles are Standard size, so the Golden Mountain Doodle is a large dog ranging from around 30-40kg and standing 23” to 29” tall. It is possible to get Mini Golden Mountain Doodles though, bred by crossing a Miniature Bernedoodle and a miniature Goldendoodle. The Mini Golden Mountain Doodle usually weighs between 15kg and 24kg and stands 18” to 22” tall.
Generation also contributes to the appearance of the dog and (this is where it becomes confusing) an F1 Golden Mountain Doodle would be called an F2 if it were a Goldendoodle or Bernedoodle as each parent is an F1 Doodle, just of a different mix. So, although the offspring produced are technically F2 Doodles, they are in this situation, F1 as they are ‘FIRST GENERATION’ Golden Mountain Doodles.
If you have read any of our other articles about Doodle generations you may already realize that when we breed second-generation Doodles (by mating two F1 Doodles) some of the puppies produced will be unfurnished as they can inherit two copies of the unfurnished gene, one from each F1 parent. As neither Bernese Mountain Dogs nor Golden Retrievers are furnished there will be approximately 25% of puppies in an F1 Golden Mountain Doodle litter that will be unfurnished.
Make sure you choose a furnished puppy if you want the typical Doodle look and low shedding coat. The majority of furnished Golden Mountain Doodles have a loose wavy coat that does shed a little although this is very minimal compared to a Golden Retriever or Bernese Mountain Dog.
Some pups will have a more Poodle-like curly coat, and these shed very little and as already discussed, some will have a straighter coat without furnishings. These are likely to shed much more. Golden Mountain Doodles are not usually considered hypoallergenic, so if you do suffer from dog allergies, they may not be the most suitable Doodle mix for you.
All Golden Mountain Doodles require regularly brushing regardless of coat type or they will quickly become matted. Most also require clipping or trimming either at home or in the salon-like the majority of Doodles.
The idea behind this mix is to create Doodles that combine the best qualities of each of the three-parent breeds. So, a carefully bred Golden Mountain Doodle should have the gentle, easy-going, trainable nature of the Golden Retriever, the loyal, placid, lower energy of the Bernese Mountain Dog, and the intelligence, liveliness, and fun-loving personality of the Poodle. What could be better than an intelligent, placid, trainable, and fun companion?
The Bernese Mountain Dog himself although wonderful can be prone to stubbornness and can be a little shy so the outgoing personality of the Golden Retriever can help to combat this. The Golden Mountain Doodle is also slightly less of a heavyweight than the Bernedoodle so this mix can be slightly more suitable for people that like a large dog but perhaps not a giant dog.
Golden Mountain Doodle Colours
Golden Mountain Doodles come in a variety of colors due to being a mixture of three breeds. The most common colors are black or various shades of gold.
For a pup to be gold (we use the term gold for red, apricot, and cream also) both parents must carry gold. So, while gold is not possible in the first generation of Bernedoodle due to Bernese Mountain Dogs only coming in tri-color, it is entirely possible for the Golden Mountain Doodle if the Poodle parent of the Goldendoodle and the Bernedoodle carried gold.
If only one parent carries gold the most likely color of puppies produced will be black. The most desirable and usually highly-priced Golden Mountain Doodles are tri-colored like a Bernese Mountain Dog but due to the vast variety of Poodle colors it is also possible to find Golden Mountain Doodles that are sable, brown and white, and phantom (either black or brown with tan points).
Due to the gene that causes fading in many Poodles your Golden Mountain Doodle may go through many different shades before he reaches adulthood so it’s important never to choose any Doodle mix based purely on color as a puppy. You could well end up with an adult that looks totally different from the puppy you brought home.
For many Doodle lovers, I included, this is all part of the attraction. What’s not to love about a Doodle of many colors. It’s almost like having several different dogs rolled into one wonderful package!
The Lifespan of a Golden Mountain Doodle
Something no dog owner likes to think about is the life expectancy of their beloved pet but sadly it is something that we need to consider. In my opinion, no dog ever lives long enough as even a lifespan that is on the longer side for a dog, perhaps 15 years, is nowhere near long enough. But, it is a sad fact that Bernese Mountain Dogs are among the shortest living of all our dog breeds.
Bernese Mountain Dogs do tend to only live for an average of 7 to 8 years and suffer from a number of possible health problems. The most common issues faced by Bernese Mountain Dogs are hip and elbow dysplasia and like most large breeds and bloat (gastric torsion).
All good breeders will have their dogs x-rayed and assessed for dysplasia and although this doesn’t guarantee that their offspring won’t be affected it does go some way towards breeding puppies that are sound.
Gastric torsion is not genetic and as such is not something that any breeder can help to prevent but as an owner of any large, deep-chested dog there are measures that you can take to help try to avoid this life-threatening condition. Never exercise your dog within an hour, either side of feeding him, and split his daily allowance into two or more smaller feeds rather than one large one.
Most importantly, seek immediate veterinary help if your dog shows signs of abdominal pain especially heaving without bringing anything up. We have a full article on gastric bloat, written by our resident vet nurse, which goes into full detail about this sometimes fatal condition.
In addition to these problems the Bernese does suffer from several forms of cancer which can’t be tested for, and it is for this reason that his life expectancy is below average.
It is not all gloom and doom however as although Golden Retrievers and Poodle are also prone to hip and elbow problems and can also fall victim to bloat the Poodle has one of the longest lifespans of all pedigree dogs with even large standards often reaching 14 years or more.
Golden Retrievers generally live for around 12 years. This gives the Golden Mountain Doodle an average life expectancy of 9 to 15 years. I know this may be a little vague but as the Golden Mountain Doodle is very much a new hybrid there are no larger case studies for us to go on.
Personally, I would rather concentrate on making each day of my dog’s life the very best it can be rather than dwelling on the fact that he may not be around for too long. There is a lesson here for us all. Be ‘more dog’ and make every day count.
How Much do Golden Mountain Doodles Weigh?
We touched on this subject briefly earlier in this article and it depends on whether you choose a Standard, Medium, or Miniature Doodle to be your pet.
A Standard Golden Mountain Doodle will be roughly 50% Standard Poodle, 25% Golden Retriever and 25% Bernese Mountain Dog and will weigh between 30 and 40kg. Some individuals will be slightly larger. They will stand between 23” and 29” tall.
The Medium Golden Mountain Doodle, which is bred by crossing a Standard Bernedoodle or Goldendoodle with a Miniature Doodle is a little harder to predict. He will be roughly 25% Standard Poodle, 25% Miniature Poodle, 25% Bernese Mountain Dog and 25% Golden Retriever. Mediums are usually between 18 and 30kg and stand anywhere between 18” and 28” tall.
The Miniature Golden Mountain Doodle is approximately 50% Miniature Poodle, 25% Bernese Mountain Dog and 25% Golden Retriever and usually weighs between 15 and 24kg and stands 18” to 23” tall.
As with all crossbreeds, these sizes are not guaranteed, and you could end up with a much larger or smaller dog than you expected. Especially if you choose the Medium or Miniature variety. With parent breeds of such different sizes, it is impossible to say which parent or grandparent will determine the size of the individual.
Are Golden Mountain Doodles Hypoallergenic? Do they Shed?
Many people choose a Poodle mix because they like the appearance of a particular dog breed but suffer from allergies or would prefer less dog hair in their homes. However, no breeder can guarantee (or should claim) that their pups are hypoallergenic and most Golden Mountain Doodles will shed lightly.
If allergies are a major concern, it is safer to choose a purebred Poodle as these are the closest to non-shedding and hypoallergenic of any dog breed. If you have your heart set on a Doodle but shedding is a factor in your choice, then your breeder will be able to advise you as to which pups in the litter will be likely to shed the least.
As a rule, the curlier and more Poodle-like the coat is then the less the dog will shed. Puppy coats do shed more than adult coats and your pup will get curlier when he gets his adult coat.
Golden Mountain Doodle Grooming Requirements
Golden Mountain Doodles do require a great deal of maintenance to keep their magnificent coats matt-free and looking their best. You do need to commit to daily brushing and combing right down to the skin. This doesn’t have to take long if done daily.
He will also need clipping or trimming every 8 weeks approximately depending on how committed you are to grooming and your preference regarding coat length. You can learn to do this yourself at home or you can take him to a professional salon.
If you decide to groom at home, you will need professional quality clippers and at least two blade lengths. Remember the difference between a bad clip and a good clip is only about two weeks and practice makes perfect. So, if you do groom yourself and don’t like it don’t worry his crowning glory will grow back before you know it.
How Much Does a Golden Mountain Doodle Cost?
This is a tricky question to answer as there is no definitive answer. However, at the time of writing, most range from $1500-$3000. This depends on the parents, the breeder, and also the location.
Most breeders that have carried out extensive health testing on their dogs and have put everything into producing top-quality healthy puppies will charge on the higher end of the scale. You must take into consideration the costs of buying top-quality dogs in the first place, raising them to adulthood, paying for genetic testing and hip/elbow evaluations, and then providing top-quality food and facilities for their dogs to ensure optimal health for breeding.
We then have to think about the costs of raising puppies to eight weeks old, vaccinations, microchips, and worming, etc not to mention weeks of going without sleep and spending 24 hours a day caring for the pups and their Mom.
So, while you might think the higher end of the scale is a lot for a puppy, buying a cheaper pup that might not have had the greatest start in life can be a false economy and lead to expensive veterinary treatment and heartbreak.
I always think that we would often spend $3000 or more on a summer holiday that lasts 2 or 3 weeks so spending a similar amount on a family member that will hopefully be with us for around 12 years is not so bad. You must decide what you feel is reasonable.
Golden Mountain Doodle vs Goldendoodle
When choosing a Doodle to suit your lifestyle the variety can be overwhelming so let’s take a look at the differences between the two. These 2 Doodle mixes are very similar, and you won’t go far wrong with either but there are a couple of key differences to consider.
The Bernese Mountain Dog is a very large, sometimes even giant dog so any Doodle with Bernese heritage is likely to be slightly larger and stockier than a Goldendoodle crossed with a similar-sized Poodle.
Goldendoodles are typically rather high energy as both parent breeds were originally working gundogs. The Bernese Mountain Dog was originally a general-purpose farm and draft dog and is typically placid and a little aloof.
The Golden Mountain Doodle due to his Bernese blood is generally a medium energy Doodle and whilst he will still enjoy a good hike or play session, he is a little more inclined to be happy chilling at home or in the garden than his Goldendoodle cousin.
The Goldendoodle is very easy to train and wants to please whereas the Golden Mountain Doodle can inherit some stubbornness from the Bernese so is less likely to be seen taking part in obedience or agility competitions.
Appearance-wise these Doodles are very similar although you would struggle to find a tri-colored Goldendoodle unless you were looking at multigenerational. This may be another factor that influences your decision.
All Doodles are great dogs and whichever you choose you will not be disappointed. If you really can’t decide then perhaps you will end up with 2 dogs eventually.
Golden Mountain Doodle Pros and Cons
As a Doodle fanatic and breeder myself, it’s hard to imagine any Doodle having any ‘cons’ whatsoever but being practical we must consider both sides of the coin.
The downside, in my opinion, of a Golden Mountain Doodle, is that as this is a mix of 3 rather than 2 breeds it is a little harder to predict how your dog will look like as an adult and which parent or grandparent your dog will take after.
It is also difficult to judge whether he will have a long lifespan like the Poodle or sadly, a much shorter one like the Bernese. In the worst-case scenario, he could suffer from the health issues found in all of the parent breeds in his pedigree.
On the flip side, if your Doodle inherits all the best qualities of his ancestors, you will have a placid, intelligent, highly trainable, low shedding, and incredible Doodle with whom to share your life.
He might have the beautiful looks of the Bernese Mountain Dog, the wonderful coat of the Poodle, and the affable nature of the Golden Retriever and live much longer than a purebred Bernese.
Choose your breeder and your puppy carefully and do your research long before you are seduced by a beautiful bundle of fluff, and you won’t go far wrong. Most of all love your dog however he turns out and remember, Doodles are addictive and you could well end up with more than one in your life.