Dogs have been bred over the centuries to carry out tasks and for companionship. In fact mankind has been living with dogs for some 14,000 years, using them as hunters, guards, soldiers, herders, guides for the blind, and pets. The friendly Golden Retriever/Labrador Retriever and poodle breeds were bred to create a dog with a no-shed coat that was smaller in size; they were reduced in size more by producing a hybrid from a mini poodle, resulting in the miniature and petite Goldendoodles and Labradoodles. The minis weigh between to 35 pounds and the petites weigh between 12 to 18 pounds.
The retriever and poodle cross dubbed Labradoodles and Goldendoodles were first bred in 1989 by the Australian Guide Dog Association for Seeing Eye dogs that were also fairly hypoallergenic with no-shed or low-shed coats that would be comfortable for owners with allergies. Soon thereafter their reputation as healthy and low-maintenance pets spread to North America. The cute and friendly small dogs can live happily in confined spaces so apartment dwellers would do well to consider the miniature Goldendoodle and Labradoodle breeds when shopping for a pet. The petite Goldendoodles are even less complicated to care for with low food consumption and clean-up.
The coat types and shedding qualities of these hybrid classes has been formalized into a table by owners and breeders. Done in numbers, 1 to 6 is the “no shed” category, 7 to 15 is “very light shed”, 26 to 35 is “moderate shed”, and over 36 indicated “heavy shed”. The coats come in flat, wavy, or curly. As for allergies, family members should check for sensitivity to dog dander, saliva, or urine before making a purchase. There are really no 100% hypo-allergenic dogs, but the Lab and Golden Doodles are very close. A method of testing the amount of shedding is to brush the dog thoroughly then the following day you would put your hand in water and shake off the excess. Then stroke the dog from neck to rump three times with your wet hand, using gentle pressure. Then see how many hairs have come off in your hand.
To test for aggression you can roll the pup on its back and gently stroke or scratch its belly. There will often be some struggling at first but as the puppy becomes accustomed to the petting and should relax and become calm. When you stop the stroking, the puppy should stay there for a short time before getting back upright and rushing off to play some more. If the puppy has picked up aggressive traits it will continue to struggle and won’t get into a relaxed state.
Poodles and Golden Retrievers share a common feature: they come in a wide variety of colors. Poodles come in shades of dark brown, white, red, cream, and gold. Similarly, Golden Retrievers come in gold, copper, red, and light cream. Color and size depend on the parents; the size is primarily determined by the Poodle parent, and the smaller sizes would result from miniature Poodles rather than the standard sized. Whatever the size and color, these dogs are uniformly adorable, affectionate, and intelligent.