Many animal lovers would dearly love to welcome a furry friend into their lives but, for some people, pet allergies make that an impossible dream.
But is a Goldendoodle the answer to allergy sufferers’ prayers?
Goldendoodles are reputed to be hypoallergenic, but is that true? Do Goldendoodles shed? And how much do Goldendoodles shed?
Read this guide to find out!
A Goldendoodle is a mixed-breed dog that has a Poodle and a Golden Retriever as its parents. Although Golden Retrievers are double-coated dogs that shed quite a lot, Poodles are single-coated and are very light shedders. A Goldendoodle puppy coat will shed more or less, depending on which parent’s genes are most dominant in their offspring.
Are Goldendoodles Hypoallergenic?
The term “hypoallergenic” refers to something that is below or slightly below average allergenic. So, if something is described as hypoallergenic, it means that it causes less severe or fewer allergic reactions.
The bad news for those with pet allergies is that there are no dog breeds at all that can be described as hypoallergenic, including Goldendoodles. Even hairless dog breeds are not hypoallergenic.
Well, it’s not the dog fur that causes the allergic reaction. It’s the “dander” that’s produced by the dog’s skin that triggers allergies in people who are susceptible. Dander comprises dried saliva and dead skin flakes.
You don’t even have to touch the dog to experience an allergic reaction to it. In the home, dander falls from the dog onto the carpet. Whenever someone walks through the room, the dander floats up into the air. Anyone in the room inhales the dander and suffers an allergic reaction.
That said, whenever your dog sheds hair, some dander is attached to the hair roots. So, if your clothes and furniture are covered in dog fur, that will kick off an allergic reaction in sufferers who come into contact with it.
Goldendoodles have a double coat. The undercoat is thick and fluffy, helping to keep the dog insulated so that it’s warm in winter and cool in summer. The outer coat is made of wiry, water-repellent guard hairs that provide protection from the elements.
In spring and fall, the old undercoat is shed, and a fresh one grows in its place. So, in spring and fall, you can expect the dog’s coat to shed more than at other times of the year.
As well as seasonal shedding, there are a few things that can make your Goldendoodle shed more.
Some Goldendoodles suffer from separation anxiety. Others find traveling in a car quite frightening. Both those situations cause your dog to become stressed, and that can increase the amount of shedding.
Allergies and Skin Problems
Skin allergies are quite common in Goldendoodles, and a dog with dermatitis often sheds more than one with healthy skin.
Also, bacterial infections and parasite infestations can set up skin problems that can trigger excessive shedding.
A poor diet that doesn’t meet your dog’s nutritional requirements can cause excess shedding.
Goldendoodles are playful, adventurous types that love to be outdoors, getting down and dirty. Although that’s fun at the time, such behavior often leads to frequent baths, which can trigger shedding.
Also, using the wrong kind of shampoo is a frequent trigger for skin problems and excess shedding.
How To Minimize Allergic Reactions
Thankfully, there are some things you can do to minimize allergic reactions to your dog.
Many people assume that a Goldendoodle’s short, curly coat doesn’t need much maintenance. That’s not true! The dog’s fluffy undercoat will very quickly become matted and tangled if you don’t brush it frequently.
Brushing your dog every day with a high-quality grooming tool is necessary to prevent matting and can help to reduce shedding, too.
Many Goldendoodle owners like to have their dogs clipped every few weeks to keep them looking smart and to prevent mats and shedding.
There are quite a few different styles of a clip that you can choose for your Doodle. Clipping can be an excellent idea if you have a dog that tends to get dirty and can help to reduce shedding. That said, you still need to brush your dog every day to make sure that mats don’t form in the undercoat.
As previously mentioned, unless your dog gets especially filthy while out on a trip to the park, it’s only necessary to bathe him once a month or so. If you bathe your dog too often, you risk stripping his skin of the natural oils it secretes, which keep the skin supple and healthy.
When you bathe your dog, always use a shampoo that’s designed for use on canines. Human shampoo is not suitable for your dog, as cosmetics for people usually contain soaps and detergents that are too harsh for a dog’s sensitive skin.
If your dog has a skin allergy or very sensitive skin, ask your vet to recommend a suitable product for use on your pup.
Feeding your Goldendoodle a nutritious, balanced diet is essential for the health of your dog’s skin. That means buying your dog the best quality food that you can afford. Many cheap dog food products contain padding and fillers that have little or no nutritional value and can even be harmful to your pet.
When choosing food for your dog, look for nutrients such as Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids that are excellent for coat and skin health.
A supplement can be excellent for the health of your Goldendoodle’s skin and coat.
If your dog’s regular food contains Omega fatty acids, you might not need to supplement him. However, dogs with very dry skin can benefit from taking a good fish oil supplement. These vitamins come in the form of liquid that you mix with the dog’s kibble or wet food, tablets, and palatable chews.
You can also buy dog treats that contain a blend of vitamins and fish oils that can help to promote a healthy coat and skin.
If your Goldendoodle has a very thick double coat, a deshedding tool can be a godsend, especially during prime shedding periods.
A deshedder works by raking through the thick undercoat to tease out loose and dead hair that a regular brush might miss. However, I advise caution when using a deshedder on your dog. These can be aggressive tools, and it’s possible to overdo their use, leaving your dog’s skin feeling sore.
How Much Do Goldendoodles Shed?
The answer to that question is much like the answer to “how long is a piece of string!” The amount of shedding that your dog does is dependent on his size and his coat type.
Generally, if you have a standard or large Goldendoodle with a straight coat, you can expect vast quantities of shedding, no matter what generation the dog is. These types shed all year rather than just seasonally, with a definite increase in shedding in the springtime as they lose their winter coats.
However, even a small Doodle that has a straight coat will deposit a large volume of hair all over your home.
The color and sex of your Goldendoodle have no bearing on how much he will shed.
Which Generations of Goldendoodle Shed?
So, which generations of Goldendoodles shed the most?
Well, that all depends on genetics. It’s actually possible to accurately predict the amount of dander production and hair shedding by carrying out genetic testing. So, breeders who go down that route are able to tell you how much shedding you can expect from your puppy.
However, genetic testing is quite expensive and does require some knowledge of genetics. For that reason, not many breeders bother with it.
There are other ways of predicting how much a Goldendoodle will shed, although those methods are not as accurate. For example, if you know your Goldendoodles parentage, that goes a long way toward figuring out how much your dog will shed.
Which Coat Types Shed?
As a general rule of thumb:
- Curly-coated Goldendoodles generally don’t shed
- Wavy-coated Goldendoodles generally don’t shed
- Straight-coated Goldendoodles usually shed. A lot!
Do F1 Goldendoodles Shed?
First-generation, or F1 Goldendoodles, have one purebred Golden Retriever and one purebred Poodle parent.
In these crossbreeds, you can expect the puppy to carry some of each parent breed’s genes. However, how much of each parent’s genetic material is carried by the puppies varies between individuals.
So, your F1 puppy might shed a lot if he takes more after the Golden Retriever and only a little if the Poodle parent’s genes are dominant.
What About F1B Goldendoodles?
F1B Goldendoodles tend to shed the least. An F1B puppy is created when you crossbreed an existing Doodle with another Poodle. That gives you a puppy that is around 75% Poodle and 25% Golden Retriever. Hence, you’ll get a dog that doesn’t shed much at all since the Poodle is a single-coated breed that sheds minimally.
Which Goldendoodles Shed The Most?
The Goldendoodles that are the most serious shedders of the bunch will be a combo of coat type and generation, creating the perfect shedding storm!
The Goldendoodles most likely to shed are:
- Straight-coated, unfurnished F1 Goldendoodles
- Straight-coated F1 Goldendoodles or straight-coated Goldendoodles
- Straight-coated F1B Goldendoodles
- Unfurnished wavy-coated Goldendoodles of any generation, although these are rare
The size of the dog has no influence over the amount of shedding, although a large dog will produce more hair and dander than a very small one.
Which Goldendoodles Shed The Least?
If you have an allergy sufferer in your home and you want a dog that sheds as little as possible, you need to consider the following types of Goldendoodle first. However, you must remember that even if a dog doesn’t shed much, he will still produce dander, and it’s dander that causes pet allergies.
So, the Goldendoodles that shed the least are:
- Curly-coated F1B Goldendoodles
- Wavy-coated F1B Goldendoodles
- Curly or wavy-coated F2 multigenerational Goldendoodles that have been genetically tested
Goldendoodles do shed, but how much depends on the generation and coat type of the dog. Obviously, a very large dog will drop more hair all over your home (and you!) than a Mini Goldendoodle, although the degree of shedding is governed by the same rules. Essentially, a curly-coated F1B Goldendoodle is the way to go if you want a dog that sheds very little hair.
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