As Forrest Gump once famously said “Life is like a box of chocolates”. Having a mixed breed dog is much the same in that you’re never quite sure what you’re going to get. There is no ‘one’ look for a Goldendoodle, or for any Doodle for that matter. This is down to the many different variants that two purebreds can produce. So be prepared to accept a look you maybe weren’t expecting (or vice versa).
A reputable and experienced breeder, whilst never guaranteed can make it more likely for you to achieve the coat type or color of choice. But what about beards? Is the facial hair a failsafe? Are there steps a breeder can take to make it more likely or do you just have to wait and see? Let’s take a look!
Genetics dictate that your Goldendoodle will most likely have a beard although an F2 will need their parents genetically tested to guarantee this. You will typically know by a few weeks old if your Goldendoodle will have furnishings.
What are the advantages of a beard in a Goldendoodle? Are they just aesthetic? Do they require extra grooming? Who would have ever imagined a dog’s furnishings could pose so many questions? Let’s see what answers we have.
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Why do Goldendoodles have Beards?
Quite simply, genetics!
The official name for your Goldendoodle’s beard is its furnishings. This covers all the longer hair on their face so the beard, mustache and the eyebrows. The Golden Retriever has what is known as an open face or incorrect coat. These are terms used to describe short facial hair.
Furnishings are genetic and occur when the gene which is responsible is dominant. This means that only one copy is required to produce the facial hair. For those amongst us who may be a little more scientific that gene is known as RSPO2 gene.
Poodles carry two of the furnishing gene (FF) and Golden Retrievers cary two of the non-furnishing gene (ff). An F1 Goldendoodle will inherit one gene from each parent. Unless there is a quirk of nature (which we all know can happen) then an F1 Goldendoodle will always have furnishings.
When breeding F2 Goldendoodles if one or both parents have the dominant gene then the puppies will have furnishings. If the recessive gene is present in both F1 Goldendoodle parents, then the puppies may have an incomplete coat.
On average a breeding pair of F1 Goldendoodles where both carry the none furnishing gene will produce a puppy with an incorrect coat around 25% of the time.
An experienced breeder can ensure that they breed Goldendoodles with the required facial hair by having their parent dogs tested. By knowing if the relevant gene is present from the results of these tests the breeder can determine whether the breeding pair will be guaranteed to produce a litter with furnishings.
Does a Beard Mean a Goldendoodle will shed more?
Quite the opposite. The primary reason from cross breeding the Golden Retriever with the Poodle is for hyper-allergenic purposes. When your Goldendoodle has an incomplete coat then they will have more Golden Retriever traits than Poodle. The result of this is that a hairy faced dog is likely to shed much less than one who resembles their Golden Retriever lineage.
If you or anyone in your family have allergies, then a Goldendoodle with an incorrect coat is probably not going to be the best choice for you.
Will my Goldendoodle be Born with a Beard.
No, at birth your Goldendoodle puppy will not have any signs of coat type or furnishings. It will be impossible to tell completely what their coat style will be or if any furnishings will develop. That said, because the beard is based on genetics it’s safe to assume that you can take a fairly educated guess based on what their parents and even grandparents look like.
Most Goldendoodles will have furnishings purely because of the genetic make-up of their parents but some won’t. Unless the genetics are already known due to testing then you won’t truly know this until your puppy’s coat matures.
At What Age Will my Goldendoodle Start to Grow Their Beard?
Goldendoodles have to grow into their facial furnishings just like they grow into their coats. However, their beard and mustache is usually evident by the time you bring them home. In some extreme cases it has been known for it to take much longer to develop.
Some breeders suggest that you can determine the type of coat your Goldendoodle will have based on their early furnishings. There are three types of coat and the following facial characteristics around the muzzle are an indication of each:
- Curly Coat
- A prominent mustashe
- Straight Coat
- Little hair but tidy
- Wavy Coat
- Bushy beard
Always remember though, that even though we can surmise what is likely or not likely to happen with your Goldendoodles’ furnishings and coat that nature is at play and She always has the final say. A surprise could always be around the corner.
Are there Advantages of an Unfurnished Goldendoodle?
Unless that is the look you prefer then the main advantage of an unfurnished Goldendoodle is that they are going to be much lower maintenance on the grooming front. This is because their coat is likely to be flatter and without the curl. Less matting and less brushing.
However, this does mean that they are more likely to shed too. Probably not as much as their original non-Poodle parent breed although this is the kind of thing that can never be guaranteed. As previously mentioned too, should any of your family be allergy sufferers then you are going to be better with a furnished Goldendoodle.
The coat of an unfurnished Goldendoodle can also be quite unpredictable as they grow. Their adult coat can change dramatically as it transitions from the puppy coat and it can continue to change as they age. It may become wiry and unkempt looking or they may remain sleek with the odd scruffy sprout of hair. It’s a game of chance.
That said, they will cost you less time in brushing and less money from grooming. They are less likely to get dirty as general everyday mud and burs don’t stick to the kind of coat that they have. Due to their lack of furnishings there will be not have smelly, wet and messy beards to clean and trim. There will be no hairy ears to pluck which actually reduces the risk of ear infections. The lack of hair over their eyebrows will ensure them a visible path at all times so no bumping into the table leg every time they walk through the room.
If it’s a Goldendoodle that you want but don’t want to commit to the grooming schedule that most often than not they come with then the unfurnished Goldendoodle is the one for you.
How do I Care for my Goldendoodle’s Beard?
Your Goldendoodle will need their furnishings tended to as part of their grooming regime. A Grizzly Adams kind of beard is going to attract MESS! Food, water, dribble, mud! If that isn’t kept on top of then your Goldendoodle is going to be a Smellydoodle. If their beard is too long there is also the danger of them depositing all kinds of dripping detritus around your home. It’s a high maintenance job of being a Goldendoodle owner.
However, a beard trim is something that you can take care of yourself. Invest in a pair of blunt tipped scissors, a steel comb and a pair of thinning sheers and arm yourself with some research. There is a good selection on YouTube to watch and learn from or you can speak to your groomer for tips and advice.
Of course, you may prefer your Goldendoodle to have shorter and tidier furnishings or you may like the Wookie look. Outside of taking care of their hygiene needs it’s all about preference. One of the beauties of Goldendoodles in the first place is their uniqueness but it’s something you can add to with a personalised beard trim.
Your head may now be a little full of F1’s, F2’s b’s and genetics and it can all become a little confusing. So, in summary let’s keep it simple. You can guarantee it by using a breeder who has had their parents genetically tested which also works if you are looking to purchase an unfurnished pooch. You just need to remember and embrace that your Goldendoodle will be unique and with that, make them all the more special to you.
How Often Should I Bathe my Goldendoodle.
This will largely depend on their coat type. If their coat is more Poodle, then they will need to be bathed less than if their coat favors the Golden Retriever. On average you will need to bathe them anywhere from every month to every three months.
When do Goldendoodles shed their puppy coat?
Goldendoodle puppies will start to shed their puppy coat from around 6 months. This transition can happen quickly, or it can take a few months. Their adult coat is normally denser and firmer than their puppy coat. Find out what other changes happen in a Goldendoodle’s first year here.