One good look at a Goldendoodle’s loving eyes and slightly curly hair is enough to understand why these dogs are so popular at the moment.
The demand is huge and if your dog is expecting, some of your friends might be already asking you if they can have a puppy.
How big a Goldendoodle litter size is depends on a variety of factors, most of them having to do with genetics.
In this article we’ll examine what determines the size of your dog’s litter and at what age the new puppies are ready to move to a new home.
What is a Goldendoodle?
A Goldendoodle is the cute child of a Golden Retriever and a Poodle. It’s not a breed in itself, but a designer dog created especially so the resulting puppies can inherit the best traits of their parents.
Since Golden Retrievers and Poodles are among the most popular dog breeds in the world, it is easy to see how Goldennoodles have become so popular in such a short time.
Goldendoodles belong to the large ‘Doodle’ family, which includes all dogs born through mating a Poodle with a dog of another breed. Doodle dogs are preferred by many pet owners because they shed very little so they’re considered hypoallergenic.
They’re also very sociable and easy to train, which makes them perfect not only as pets, but also as guide or therapy dogs.
The first known example of a Doodle is the Cockapoo, which first appeared in the 1950s, the result of the happy union between Poodles and Cocker Spaniels.
Goldendoodles only appeared in the 1990s and at the moment they seem set to become the number one Doodle dogs.
How many different types of Goldendoodle are there?
Basically, there are two types of Goldendoodle, and this depends on the size of the Poodle in the mix.
If a Golden Retriever mates with a standard Poodle ((22-27 inches tall), their offspring will be a Standard Goldendoodle. However with a miniature Poodle (13 to 15 inches tall) or a toy Poodle (less than 10 inches tall), the result is a Mini Goldendoodle.
On average, Goldendoodles are 20 – 24 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 50 and 90 lbs.
What is the average Goldendoodle litter size?
To understand this we must first talk about how the size of a dog affects its litter size. Large dogs tend to have larger litters simply because their body is big enough to carry more puppies at a time.
This explains why Chihuahua and Pomeranian females have 1-3 puppies on average, while a big Bullmastiff averages 5 – 13 puppies per litter.
For crossbreeds, like the Goldendoodle, the litter size is the average of the breeds of the parents.
For Golden Retrievers the average litter size is 8 puppies. Since this is the average number, you can expect a Golden Retriever to give birth to as little as four puppies or an impressive 12 puppies at a time.
With Poodles, the average litter size depends on the type of Poodle. Standard Poodles have six puppies on average, miniature Poodles have five, while a toy Poodle might have 1 – 3 puppies per litter.
Mini Goldendoodles can produce 3 – 8 puppies per litter, which takes us to an average of five. Standard Goldendoodles can have more than five puppies per size, but you must understand this is not an exact science and there are other factors that come into play.
For instance, a female’s first litter is usually smaller in size than the subsequent litters. While older females tend to produce larger litters, the same cannot be said about the father.
An older dog might be affected by sper mobility issues so the litter that comes from such a union might be small.
How old should a Golden Retriever/ Poodle be when they have their first litter?
In general, a female dog is fertile the first time she goes into heat, which happens between 6 – 12 months of age. However, most experts agree an owner should wait until the second or third fertile cycle before allowing the dog to mate, so she’s fully grown and her body can handle a pregnancy.
For Golden Retriever it is recommended that they mate for the first time around the age of two, which corresponds to the third heat cycle. The same goes for Poodles of any type.
A female that does not mate until the age of five will generally have small litters for the rest of her life.
Technically, a female can have puppies every time she goes into heat, but breeders are encouraged not to force their dogs to go through one pregnancy after another as that can affect the female’s health.
In some cases, it is recommended to mate a female twice in a row and then give her a break for a cycle or two to allow her to regain her strength.
These are general recommendations that apply to all dog breeds, including Goldendoodles.
How old should a Golden Retriever/ Poodle be when they have their last litter?
A female dog can have puppies throughout her life, but it is not recommended. As far as Golden Retrievers or Poodles are concerned, a female should only be mated until the age of 8 at the most.
In fact, most dog clubs won’t register a dog if the mother was over the age of 8 to discourage continuous breeding. After the age of 7-8, a pregnancy can have complications, putting the life of the mother in danger.
What is the difference between first generation and second generation Goldendoodles?
When you decide you want a Goldendoodle and start to do a bit of research on these dogs you’ll run into weird questions like “Which is better F1 or F2?”
That refers to the generation the dog belongs to.
To put it simply F1 means first generation Goldendoodle. It’s parents were a pure 100% Poodle and a pure 100% Golden retriever.
F2 means second generation Goldendoodle. A standard F2 dog is still 50% Poodle and 50% Golden retriever, and its parents were both F1.
The main difference between F1 and F2 is that first generation Goldendoodles benefit from the so-called Hybrid Vigor. Since we’re dealing with the mix between completely different sets of genes, their offspring will be healthier than second generation dogs, which manifest various degrees of inbreeding.
On the other hand, with F1 Goldendoodles it is more difficult to predict what traits they will inherit from their parents, in terms of appearance or personality.
An F1 might have a smooth coat like a Golden Retriever or a curly one, typical of Poodles. There’s also no telling how much an F1 will shed.
Some still shed quite a lot, like their Retriever parent, while others are hypoallergenic and barely shed at all.
F2 Goldendoodles are more predictable and they tend to shed less than first generation dogs.
If you’re interested in hypoallergenic dogs, you should look for a F1B Goldendoodle. The letter B in its name stands for back cross, and this means an F1 dog crossbred with a 100% pure Poodle.
The result is a dog who is 75% Poodle and 25% Golden Retriever and they don’t shed at all.
At what age should a Goldendoodle puppy be weaned?
If you have a litter of brand new Goldendoodles you might be wondering when they are going to grow up a bit and be less dependent on their mother. In general, Goldendoodle puppies start the weaning process when they’re about 4 weeks old.
It’s a gradual thing, so be prepared for this stage to last about two weeks. By 6 weeks a puppy should be completely weaned.
At what age will a Goldendoodle puppy be ready to go to their new home?
Many people wonder if it’s OK to send a Goldedndoodle puppy to their new home as soon as they’re weaned. True, in terms of feeding needs puppies are ready to move on at around 6 weeks of age, but they should not be separated from their mother and their siblings quite so early.
What you need to keep in mind is that this period is crucial in terms of socializing and a dog starts doing this with his siblings. For instance, by playing with his siblings a puppy learns it’s not OK to bite too hard.
It is also a period when a puppy learns about getting and sending signals to other dogs, and this is very important for their future training as well as for their ability to interact with other dogs later in life.
Generally, the socialization stage of a puppy takes place between 3 and 12 weeks of age, so it’s preferable not to separate a puppy from the litter until he’s around three months.
Goldendoodle are designer dogs and they’re a crossbred between a purebred Golden Retriever and a purebred Poodle, at least if they’re first generation Goldendoodles. Typically, these dogs are bred to take the best traits from their parents.
If you want a cute dog that looks very much like a Golden Retriever but doesn’t shed as much, a Goldendoodle is the perfect pet for you.
You must keep in mind that there’s no guarantee what your puppy will look like and what traits they will inherit from their parents.
Even inside the same litter, puppies can vary widely. If you’re interested in a dog with more predictable traits you should go for a second generation Goldennoodle.