In the 1990s, breeders in both North America and Australia began crossing golden retrievers with standard poodles. The original purpose of the cross was to attempt to develop guide dogs suitable for visually impaired individuals with allergies. The goldendoodle is sometimes called a designer dog. The Encyclopedia Britannica traces the term "designer dog" to the late 20th century, when breeders began to cross purebred poodles with other purebred breeds in order to obtain a dog with the poodle's non-shedding coat, along with various desirable characteristics from other breeds.
Although not all goldendoodles exhibit the non-shedding coat type of the standard poodle, most goldendoodles do have a low to non-shedding coat. The goldendoodle is usually tolerable for people with allergies, especially a goldendoodle with a completely non-shedding coat. The goldendoodle may shed less than a golden retriever, but the degree of shedding will vary from dog to dog. Grooming requirements are as varied as coat types, but most doodles require regular brushing to avoid matting. A dog with a coat that sheds less will require more grooming than one that sheds more often. While some breeders claim that the goldendoodle is a hypoallergenic dog, no studies have proven that any canine is completely hypoallergenic.
There are three main coat types. There is the straight coat, which is flat and resembles more of a golden retriever coat. The wavy coat type is a mixture of a poodle's curls, and a golden retriever's straighter coat. The last coat type is curly, which tends to look more like the poodle coat. A goldendoodle's size is generally somewhere between that of its poodle parent and golden retriever parent. The ranges of size include standard, medium, and miniature (if the poodle parent was miniature). Upon reaching adulthood, a standard goldendoodle will often weigh 60 to 100 pounds. A medium goldendoodle will weigh between 30 to 45 pounds and a miniature goldendoodle will weigh approximately 15 to 30 pounds. The standard in height at the shoulder for a male goldendoodle is about 24-26 inches. For females, it is 22-23 inches. Often, taller goldendoodles inherit more from the golden retriever and will weigh substantially more. It is very common for the goldendoodle to inherit the "golden retriever bump" on top of his/her head. Common coat colors include white, cream, apricot, gold, red, and sometimes gray and black (also called phantom). Goldendoodles may also be black or a light sandy brown. They are classified into types according to the breed of its parents. An F1 goldendoodle is the offspring of a poodle mated with a golden retriever. An F1B goldendoodle is the offspring of a poodle with an F1 goldendoodle. An F2 goldendoodle is the offspring of an F1 and another F1 goldendoodle, and an F2B goldendoodle is the offspring of an F1 and an F1B goldendoodles.
Because poodles and golden retrievers are both highly intelligent, golden doodles are also very trainable. Goldendoodles are usually very affectionate with people and other pets. They are human-oriented dogs, and tend to develop a strong bond with their owners and companions. Most goldendoodles are calm and easy going, but they are active dogs that do require exercise.