Golden Retrievers are well known for their lovable personality.
When the Goldendoodle gained popularity in the 1990s, breeders hoped they would inherit these personality traits.
But how similar are these two dog breeds?
Let’s look at what is known about these dogs’ personalities and determine how alike they really are.
Written by The Editors.
The Golden Retriever Breed
According to the American Kennel Club, the earliest known records of the Golden Retriever breed date back to Scotland in 1835.
The breed was first developed as a hunting dog that could be trained to retrieve waterfowl.
Golden Retriever’s eagerness to learn made them highly trainable hunting dogs.
Golden’s are easy to work with and highly dependable.
Their strong work ethic has made them the breed of choice for seeing-eye dogs and therapy dogs.
While Golden Retrievers are still used as hunting dogs, they have become a favorite among families.
They are calm and affectionate with kids. Yet, they still know how to have a good time.
The Goldendoodle Breed
Goldendoodles first gained popularity in the early 1900s with the rise of other poodle crosses.
The poodle crosses were coveted for their low shedding hair coats.
However, breeders hoped that the Goldendoodle would inherit the Golden Retriever personality.
Much like the Golden Retriever, the Goldendoodle has become a popular family pet. They are known for their love of people and friendly demeanor.
Because of their poodle genetics, Goldendoodles come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. You can read more interesting Goldendoodle facts here.
How Much of a Role Does Breed Play on Personality?
Many dog owners pick a dog based on their general knowledge of the breed.
But how much can you know about a dog’s personality from their breed?
A group of comparative psychologists tried to find out.
They conducted a study to determine how much of a dog’s personality is determined by genetics.
The study was based on the Canine Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionnaire.
The questionnaire asked owners specific questions about their dog’s personality and was completed by over 50,000 dog owners.
Psychologists compared the results of the questionnaire to the genetic data for multiple dog breeds.
The study found that approximately 15% of a dog’s behavior is a result of genetics.
What Does This Mean for Goldendoodles and Golden Retrievers?
Although they are different breeds, the Golden Retriever and Goldendoodle share many genes. Because of this, it’s reasonable to assume that they would share some personality traits.
While this research shows that genetics plays a role in personality, there are still many other factors to consider.
What About Individuality?
Although breed plays a role in a dog’s personality, it is not the only determining factor.
Like us, dogs are individuals with unique personalities.
Aside from genetics, environment and training can play a significant role in personality development.
Which one is more important is the classic nature vs. nurture debate.
However, veterinary behaviorists believe all of these factors are significant.
A great example of individuality is how a dog interacts with people.
While you can make generalizations about a breed, some dogs are just more outgoing than others.
An individual’s unique personality traits can sometimes be observed when the dog is young. However, they can also be a result of the dog’s unique life experiences.
Because of the shared genetics between Goldendoodles and Golden Retrievers, there are many shared personality traits.
These shared traits are one of the top reasons Goldendoodles are so popular.
The most striking similarity between these two breeds is their friendly nature.
Much like the Golden Retriever, Goldendoodles are quickly becoming a favorite dog for families. Both breeds are great with kids and love being around people.
What Makes Goldendoodles Different
While there are many similarities between the two breeds, there are some essential differences.
Separation Anxiety – Why You Shouldn’t Leave Your Goldendoodle Alone
Although both breeds enjoy human attention, Goldendoodles seem to have a greater need for it.
Many Goldendoodle owners report that their dog needs to be by their side at all times.
While this is sometimes nice, it can lead to problems.
There is a fine line between a strong personality and a behavioral problem.
Separation anxiety is one of the biggest behavior problems seen in Goldendoodles. In general, this breed does not do well when left alone. They require lots of attention and can act out when they do not get enough.
Dogs with separation anxiety frequently engage in destructive behavior when left alone. This can include chewing household objects and attempting to break out of their enclosure.
Veterinarians recommend specific training to help dogs dealing with separation anxiety.
While it is often a treatable problem, it is something to consider before getting a Goldendoodle.
Excitability – How Excited is too Excited?
While the Golden Retriever is known for its calm demeanor, Goldendoodles tend to be a more excitable breed.
A great example of this is how Goldendoodles socialize. Like Golden Retrievers, Goldendoodles are highly social dogs. However, their social skills are often quite different.
In a dog park, Golden Retrievers tend to make friends easily and casually wander about.
Goldendoodles are more like the hyped-up kid on sugar.
It is common for them to run around wildly looking for someone to be their friend.
Although Goldendoodles can learn to curb their excitement, it can be a difficult task. For dogs who need to remain calm and focused, like service dogs, Goldendoodles may not be the top choice.
Golden Retriever’s calm demeanor is much better suited for that line of work.
Does This Make Golden Retrievers Better Dogs?
Personality is an issue of personal preference. Dog owners may find that certain breeds are better suited for specific jobs because of their personalities.
However, this does not mean their personality makes them better dogs.
Some of the issues seen with Goldendoodles can be seen in Golden Retrievers and other breeds.
While they may be inconvenient at times, all of these things can be improved with proper training.
Photo by Eugene Chystiakov.