Goldendoodles – the most wonderful pets you could hope for. Unless, of course, they jump on you and knock you down. Or they chew on an electrical cord. Or you are allergic and the endless shedding bothers you.

I’ve had my goldendoodles for three years, and (like kids) the pleasures outweigh the annoyances, at least most of the time.

The reason I bought goldendoodles to begin with was their (supposed) hypoallergenic, non-shedding state. While for me the allergy claim has been true, other members of my family start sneezing and itching around it. When it comes to shedding, my dogs must be lacking the right kind of poodle genes. Hair is everywhere, all the time. My kids now understand the purpose of the lint rollers.

As for friendliness, goldendoodles can’t be beat. My dogs have never met a human or canine that they did not love. This is not a good watchdog, but they could at least lick an intruder to death.

Goldendoodles are certainly chewers, at least for the first few years. Mine chose to chew on my door frames (when I wasn’t looking). They are mischievous puppies and cannot be trusted to be left unattended for long periods. I think it would probably be easier if it just had a squiggle. Like little children, mine goad each other in their antics. We have two because I go to work long hours and they keep company. I say “we” because they really belong to my children …

I’ve never known my dogs to bite anyone, but my hand got caught with a tooth when they were puppies, and the two dogs play roughly with each other at times. Even dogs that don’t bite can accidentally bite if you put your hand where it shouldn’t be.

The biggest danger my dogs pose is that I haven’t trained them (yet) not to jump on people. This is not good for animals that weigh between 50 and 80 pounds. They could easily knock over a child or an elderly person. One of my dogs is naturally a jumper. Jump into the air with joy at the prospect of seeing an old friend or a new acquaintance. I hope this changes as she gets older, although training her is probably the best answer. This same dog loves to swim and loves to dive into a pool. However, it is better to avoid a jumping dog than swimming, especially around young children. Dogs have no idea that their claws can cause damage while swimming, and instinct demands that they keep their legs moving.

If you’re looking for a dog to sleep with, a goldendoodle will jump at the chance (if you can handle it). If that’s your plan, I suggest you groom and wash your goldendoodle regularly. Long hair (up to 8 inches) collects all kinds of debris that you won’t want in your bed.

My son wanted a lap dog. That’s what we have, an 80 pound lap dog. For companionship, goldendoodles make wonderful friends. They will get all the love and attention you can give, and still be ready for more.

We all learn from experience and I advise you to spend more time than I do training your dog. Indulgence results in jumping, licking, chewing, furry monsters … but I love them anyway.

Copyright 2010 Cynthia J. Koelker, MD

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