Goldendoodles make wonderful family pets. You will certainly have seen references to F1 Goldendoodles, but what’s an F2 Goldendoodle? And did you know that you can also find an F1b and F2b Goldendoodle?
These varieties of the famous teddy bear dog are often referred to as “multigen” Goldendoodles. But why do breeders create these super-designer dogs in the first place, and what are the differences between them?
In this guide, we review the characteristics and quirks of these Goldendoodle generations. So, you must read this article before you bring a multigen Doodle puppy home!
What is a Multigen Goldendoodle?
Essentially, a multigen dog is the progeny of two Goldendoodles beyond the second (F2) generations. That means both the puppy’s parents and grandparents are Goldendoodles rather than purebred Golden Retriever or Poodle.
In general, F3 generations and beyond are considered to be multigen by professional breeders and Goldendoodle enthusiasts.
Why Breed Multi-generation Goldendoodles?
F1 Goldendoodles are produced by crossing a purebred Golden Retriever with a purebred Poodle to create a dog with many appealing attributes.
Further crossbreeding using the original F1 dogs is used to further increase the breed’s desirable traits, such as coat types, coat colors, low shedding, kid-friendliness, etc.
What Do All Those Letters and Numbers Mean?
To get a clear understanding of multigen Goldendoodles, you need to understand what all those letters and numbers mean.
I provide full details of each multigen dog’s characteristics later in the guide, but here’s a quick breakdown:
- F1 Goldendoodle = 50% Golden Retriever x 50% Poodle
- F1B Goldendoodle = 25% Golden Retriever x 75% Poodle
- F1BB Goldendoodle = 12.5% Golden Retriever x 87.5% Poodle
- F2 Goldendoodle = 50% Golden Retriever x 50% Poodle
- F2B Goldendoodle = 37.5% Golden Retriever x 62.5% Poodle
- F2BB Goldendoodle = 18.75% Golden Retriever x 81.25% Poodle
F3 Goldendoodles are referred to as multi-generation Goldendoodles. Typically, several generations of Goldendoodle are backcrossed to the Standard Poodle to create an F3 dog.
Although Goldendoodles are sometimes advertised as hypoallergenic, that’s a little misleading.
Pet allergies are caused by dead flakes of skin that the dog sheds, not solely by its hair. An allergic reaction can also be caused by an animal’s saliva. So, the dog licks itself, sheds hair that’s coated in dried saliva, and triggers an allergic response in its owner.
Heavy shedders can produce more dander mixed in with the shed hair, so dogs that don’t shed or are very light shedders, such as Goldendoodles, are often referred to as hypoallergenic.
The F1 Goldendoodle is 50% purebred Golden Retriever and 50% purebred Poodle.
Although the F1 variety is the Goldendoodle that most people think of, the dog’s genetics can vary tremendously, leading to differences in how the puppies come out.
For example, you can have an F1 Goldendoodle that has a smooth coat, a wavy coat, or a curly coat, depending on which parent the puppy most takes after.
One massive benefit of F1 Goldendoodles is that they are termed “Hybrid Vigor.” That means the first cross will be healthier than a purebred dog. How so? Well, extensive inbreeding between purebred animals causes genetic defects. Goldendoodles are a hybrid, potentially inheriting only those genetic health problems that can affect both Poodles and Golden Retrievers.
F1 Goldendoodle Characteristics
Coat Type: Curly, straight, or wavy
Hybrid Vigor: Yes
F1B Goldendoodle/First Generation Backcross
The F1B Goldendoodle is 25% Golden Retriever and 75% Poodle, being a cross between an F1 Goldendoodle and a purebred Poodle or Golden Retriever.
Usually, the Poodle forms the other parent, as breeders are looking to produce a non-shedding or very light-shedding puppy. As an F1B is a mix between a Poodle and an F1 Goldendoodle, it’s referred to as a backcross; hence the puppies are called F1B.
F1B Goldendoodles tend to be very light shedders and also inherit some of the health benefits of being Hybrid Vigor. However, every subsequent generation of hybrid dog does lose some of the Hybrid Vigor qualities of the original F1 generation.
F1B Goldendoodle Characteristics
Coat Type: Curly or wavy
Non-shedding: Generally non-shedding
Hybrid Vigor: Somewhat
The F1BB Goldendoodle is 12.5% Golden Retriever and 87.5% Poodle, being a cross between an F1B Goldendoodle.
Most breeders tend to cross an F1B Goldendoodle with a 100% purebred Poodle in an attempt to reduce the dog’s shedding even further. As the F1BB is a second backcross between a purebred Poodle, a second B is added to the breed suffix, creating an F1BB Goldendoodle.
This multigen dog is the lightest shedder of all the first-generation Goldendoodles, thanks to the large amount of Poodle genes that are carried by the mix. That Poodle coat is usually extremely curly and will require daily brushing and regular grooming to prevent the silky fur from matting. However, that light shedding coat is excellent news for those with pet allergies and owners who don’t like to vacuum too often.
As an F1BB Goldendoodle is technically regarded as being a 3rd generation offspring, it won’t have the same Hybrid Vigor qualities of an F1 Goldendoodle or F1B Goldendoodle. F1BB Goldendoodles are considered to be multigen dogs, as they are beyond the second generation of progeny.
F1BB Goldendoodle Characteristics
Coat Type: Curly
Non-shedding: Very light shedders
Hybrid Vigor: Moderate
F2 Goldendoodle/Second Generation
An F2 Goldendoodle is 50% Golden Retriever and 50% Poodle and is classed as a second Filial generation of Goldendoodle.
That’s a cross between two F1 Goldendoodles. The F2 generations generally produce puppies that are similar to those of the F1 generation because they have the same parentage of purebred Poodle and Golden Retriever.
However, F2 Goldendoodles are not generally used for breeding purposes because this generation is very unpredictable in terms of what kind of coat type and shedding the puppies will have.
F2 Goldendoodle Characteristics
Coat Type: Highly unpredictable and variable. Can be curly, straight, or wavy
Hybrid Vigor: Yes, but not as much as F1 generation puppies
F2B Goldendoodle Second Generation Backcross
F2B Goldendoodles are 37.5% Golden Retriever and 62.5% Poodle, being a cross between an F1 Goldendoodle and an F1B Goldendoodle.
Some breeders prefer to breed two F1B Goldendoodles, resulting in the F2B offspring being 25% Golden Retriever and 75% Poodle. Thanks to a large amount of Poodle genes in the mix, F2B puppies tend to have mostly curly or wavy coats and, consequently, less shedding. However, it’s important to remember that there are exceptions to that.
F2B Goldendoodle puppies are generally referred to as multi-generation Goldendoodles, as they are 3rd generation offspring.
F2B Goldendoodle Characteristics
Coat Type: Curly or wavy
Non-shedding: Probably, but there are exceptions
Hybrid Vigor: Yes, but not as much as F1 generation puppies
F2BB Goldendoodle Second Generation Backcross
F2BB Goldendoodles are 18.75% Golden Retriever and 81.25% Poodle, being a cross between an F2 Goldendoodle and a purebred 100% Poodle. This hybrid is a second-generation backcross and therefore has a second B in its suffix.
Thanks to the large percentage of Poodle genes in the mix, F2BB Goldendoodles tend to be the lightest shedders. That said, the coat is usually curly and needs daily brushing and regular grooming to prevent mats.
F2BB Goldendoodle puppies are referred to as multi-generation dogs because they are the 4th generation of offspring. In fact, you will most likely find F2BB puppies advertised by breeders as multi-generation Goldendoodles.
F2BB Goldendoodle Characteristics
Coat Type: Curly
Non-shedding: Lightest shedder of 2nd generation Goldendoodles
Hybrid Vigor: Yes, but not as much as F2 and F2B,since F2BB are 4th generation
F3 Goldendoodle or Multigeneration Goldendoodle
F3 Goldendoodles are also referred to as multi-generation Goldendoodles. That’s the 3rd generation or greater of Goldendoodle. Usually, F3 Goldendoodles are crossed with an F1B dog and some other variety of F1B Doodle. F3 dogs contain a large quantity of Poodle genes, making them very light shedders.
The term multi-generation Goldendoodle is used to refer to any dog whose breeding is beyond the 2nd generation, including F1BB, F2B, and F2BB. As many breeders simply list these dogs as multi-generation Goldendoodles, you must ask to find out what generation your puppy is.
F3 Goldendoodle or Multi-generation Goldendoodle Characteristics
Coat Type: Typically, curly
Non-shedding: Usually, yes
Hybrid Vigor: Not much as a later generation
Which Generation is Right for Me?
The generation of Goldendoodle puppies that would suit you best depends on what you want from your pet.
If you’re looking for a dog that doesn’t shed and has some Hybrid Vigor qualities, I recommend one of the following generations:
- F1B Goldendoodle: 25% Golden Retriever x 75% Poodle
- F2B Goldendoodle: 37.5% Golden Retriever x 62.5% Poodle
- F1BB Goldendoodle: 12.5% Golden Retriever x 87.5% Poodle
However, if shedding isn’t your main concern, your decision may be swayed by the likely coat type and color of the puppy. Generally, the more Poodle genes the puppy has, the curlier its coat will be. A puppy with a straighter coat that sheds more will have more Golden Retriever genes, so you should go for an F1 or an F2 Goldendoodle.
Do Goldendoodles Need to Be Groomed?
Yes, Goldendoodles do need to be groomed and clipped regularly to prevent their coats from becoming matted and tangled. Also, if the hair around the dog’s face becomes overlong, the area around the muzzle and eyes can become unhygienic.
If your puppy turns out to have a very long curly coat, you’ll need to brush him two or three times each week to keep shedding to a minimum and prevent the coat from becoming tangled.
How Much Does a Multigen Goldendoodle Cost?
Goldendoodles of any generation are quite expensive due to their continuing popularity.
Generally, you can expect to pay around $2,500 for a well-bred Goldendoodle puppy. That said, if you want an unusual color, you can pay a lot more than that.
Beware Puppy Farms!
If you see Goldendoodle pups that seem very inexpensive, don’t be tempted to buy one! What seems like a good deal or a bargain is most likely to be a dog from a so-called “puppy farm.”
Puppy farms are also called puppy mills, and they are in the business of churning out as many puppies as possible, cheaply and quickly. Unfortunately, the parent dogs are often treated like breeding machines and are kept in dreadful conditions, never seeing the light of day.
Puppies are often not vaccinated, and when the unwary buyer parts with their cash and their heart and takes a cute little bundle of fur home with them, they are often falling in love with a diseased, sickly puppy.
So, avoid the heartbreak and huge vet bills, and always buy your puppy from a licensed, reputable breeder.
Although all Goldendoodles tend to have the same friendly, outgoing, lively personalities, they aren’t all the same when it comes to coat type and Hybrid Vigor.
By choosing a multi-generation Goldendoodle, you can find a puppy that won’t shed much and avoids many of the hereditary health problems that can come with the parent breeds.
If you have a Goldendoodle that’s not an F1 pup, we’d love to hear about your pet. What generation is your dog, and why did you choose him?
Tell us your story in the comments box below, and please share this guide if you loved it!