No, your eyes do not deceive you. I know it may seem completely unimaginable to Doodle aficionados like us but there are people out there who just fail to see the appeal of the Goldendoodle (and often any Doodle for that matter).
While it is a viewpoint that seems completely alien to us, in the interest of fairness we will take some time to investigate the less favorable opinions on the Goldendoodle.
While the Goldendoodle’s teddy bear like coat and boundless energy make them irresistible to some, equally some purebred aficionados become irrationally angry at the mere existence of this hybrid. They scorn at their “designer dog” status and find them ugly and unpredictable!
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Why are Goldendoodles so Ugly?
They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and while some find the Goldendoodle’s shaggy appearance adorable some definitely do not.
A common criticism aimed at Goldendoodles is the belief of some people that mixing purebred dogs to make hybrids or crossbreeds should not be considered a good approach to dog breeding. The most critical would call them mongrels or mutts.
The Goldendoodle comprises of the Golden Retriever and the Poodle. Purebred enthusiasts would counter that years of selective breeding had to occur to hone the best bits of a Poodle and a Golden Retriever and that mixing them together makes for very unpredictable offspring.
Poodle lovers would say the Goldendoodle ruins the infamous Poodle’s tight curls while Golden Retriever fans would say the hybrid makes the Golden’s coat unnecessarily unmanageable and prone to matting.
It can’t be ignored that unethical breeding practices which have been driven, in part, by the popularity of Goldendoodles have led to some dogs which face health complications due to being the result of badly matched parent dogs.
If both the Poodle and Golden Retriever parents are not screened for hip dysplasia, then this is one of the health conditions that can negatively affect the appearance of the Goldendoodle. If their hips are misformed not only will this potentially be painful for the dog but can give them an unusual appearance and awkward gait.
The other contributor to a wonky-looking Goldendoodle can be the preoccupation some breeders have with creating ever smaller Toy or even Teacup Goldendoodles. This is incredibly difficult to achieve well. Fundamentally the Golden Retriever is a medium to large dog and trying to mix in the smallest of Poodles to reduce the size is unlikely to create a consistent litter. This can result in Goldendoodles that appear out of proportion.
Of course, these physical mishaps are generally the exception to the rule and can be avoided with ethical and well-matched breeding practices.
What are the Negatives of a Goldendoodle?
Others may allow unfavorable feelings about a Goldendoodle’s temperament or perceived media attention/marketing to color their overall opinion of this dog.
Low Shedding or Maintenance Headache
It doesn’t take a lot of research to find accounts from dog groomers who bemoan the poor Goldendoodle. Not necessarily unfairly either. There is no disputing that crossing the silken mane of a generally flat-coated Golden Retriever with the tight curls of a Poodle will create a need for regular brushing and maintenance.
Unfortunately, not all Goldendoodle owners will be as prepared or committed as they should be. This will result in a Goldendoodle that quickly matts! This can make them appear neglected. The bigger or denser any matting gets and the more likely it is that the matts will incorporate skin cells and other debris which is likely to begin to exude a pungent smell.
As the Goldendoodle will usually be low shedding, they require their humans to brush out any dead hairs or dander that will get quickly caught up.
It is the image of the rather whiffy, matted, and dirty Goldendoodle that requires to be shorn super short at a groom room than can put many off this dog.
Designer Dog Status
Just as some see their Goldendoodle as the ultimate lifestyle accessory, the negative connotations of owning a “designer dog” can be a major turn-off for some. Unfortunately, the Goldendoodle suffers some from its own popularity! Numerous social media accounts showcasing Goldendoodles that appear to be used more as a fashion than a companion can make many shy away from this hybrid.
As mentioned above, some purebred enthusiasts may incur some good-natured teasing at best and genuine scorn at worst from their kennel club friends if they were to introduce their very own Goldendoodle.
Many will just refuse to believe that any dog, never mind a crossbreed, merits the price that some Goldendoodles can attract. The popularity of the breed means the prices have been ever-increasing. Some people will make a point of saying they would not purchase a Goldendoodle as it just feeds the unscrupulous breeders that drive up pricing.
Crossing two working breeds, the Golden Retriever and the Poodle, results in a hybrid that is high energy and will have higher exercise needs than some. While some people fall in love with the cute face of a well-bred Goldendoodle they may quickly feel overwhelmed by their seemingly never-ending energy levels.
While Golden Retrievers are known as almost universally one of the friendliest breeds in the world, the Poodle can often be a bit more reserved, even aloof with strangers. Trying to blend these two temperament types can prove challenging. Unless socialized early a Goldendoodle can exhibit elements of anxiety both engaging with other dogs and separation anxiety from their owners.
Now we have no problem, standing up and admitting our bias here at Know Your Doodles and proudly proclaiming that even with the challenges listed above that can befall the Goldendoodle we would still scoop every single one of them up in a heartbeat.
It is worth remembering that much of the criticism pointed at the Goldendoodle is out of this poor pup’s control. They cannot help that their teddy bear like appearance makes them so adorable that they are in demand. Likewise given the sheer volume of Goldendoodles out there, there are in some cases making their way into rehoming or rescue centers. Making sure to check if you can rescue first also reduces the demand for breeders.
The issues regarding coat type and health issues can easily befall any dog who is seen as popular and attracts the attention of less then desirable breeding practices. The Poodle and Golden Retriever themselves can face health challenges through backyard breeding in their parent lines so it does appear a little unfair that the Goldendoodle takes on so much flack for this.
We would always say that doing your homework on any breeder and really looking into whether the temperament, exercise needs, and grooming requirements fit your life is the best way to ensure you get the best possible Goldendoodle experience.
In summary, while the Goldendoodle has its fair share of critics, they constantly top polls of the most popular pets in both Europe and the United States, which makes us think that some of the naysayers may in fact just be jealous that they don’t have their own to love!