There are different types of goldendoodle generations populating this planet, but did you know the differences between an F1, F1b, F2 and F2b goldendoodle? To better understand these generations, a good starting point is getting more acquainted with the goldendoodle most people are mostly familiar with, that is, the F1 goldendoodle. The F1 goldendoodle is simply the result of crossing (breeding) a golden retriever with a poodle. The term "goldendoodle" indeed derives from the union of the parent dog's breed names.
Different Types of Goldendoodle Generations
Goldendoodles are mixed breeds dogs equipped with several different coat colors and textures. The coat may range from flat to shaggy-looking, or with relaxed-curl or tight-curls. Coat colors may vary, but most goldendoodles are gold or cream colored dogs. Generally, goldendoodles weigh anywhere between 50 and 80 pounds once adult.
The purpose of creating such a mixed breed dog was to obtain a dog with a coat that was less prone to provoke allergies in allergy sufferers, and at the same time, with a good temperament so to make good service dogs for the visually-impaired suffering from allergies.
By crossing poodles with other breeds, breeders were hoping that they would obtain the poodle's non-shedding coat, (although with genetics, there are never guarantees the offspring would inherit the coat of the poodle), along with some desirable characteristics from the other breeds they were crossed with.
In the case of crossing poodles with golden retrievers, breeders were hoping to attain the best of both worlds: a mixed breed dog with the non-shedding coat of the poodle and the good-natured and friendly temperament of the golden retriever. Goldendoodles therefore became particularly popular in 1990's due to claims of them being hypoallergenic.
A Word About "Hypoallergenic Dogs"
The F1 Goldendoodle
The term hypoallergenic has become quite a hype in the dog breeding world. However, bold statements of dogs being 100 percent hypoallergenic require some skepticism.
Hypoallergenic dogs are often claimed to be less likely to trigger allergic reactions in allergy sufferers. Dog breeds included in this category are often those that tend to shed less. The problem with this theory though is the fact that dog allergies aren't only caused by dog hairs.
Allergy sufferers tend to have allergic reactions to proteins that are not only found in the dog's, fur but also in their saliva, urine, hair roots and in the skin flakes that are often sloughed off throughout the day.
On top of this, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology warns that dog hair or fur can also collect pollen, mold spores and other outdoor allergens known for triggering allergies. This means that even hairless dogs like the Mexican hairless dog still have the potential for triggering allergies!
Poodles Have Hair and Not Fur
And what about poodles? Poodles are thought to potentially cause less allergies because they do not shed hair like many other dog breeds do. For example, many dog breeds are equipped with double coats and shed their coats almost constantly throughout the year (with some peak times during which these dogs are said to "blow their coats.")
Poodles instead have a single coat and the coat is also curly. On top of this, they have hair rather than fur, which means that it keeps growing (just like us) compared to fur which grows up to the a certain length and then sheds after a resting period.
When a poodle's hair keeps growing though, it gets tangled and trapped in the surrounding curly hair, and therefore, is more likely to mat rather than shed. This explains why poodles require frequent grooming trips and why they are often clipped down into lower-maintenance cuts.
Although there isn’t any scientific evidence to suggest that dog breeds such as poodles are less likely to cause allergic reactions, some allergists have been suggesting that dog breeds that tend to keep their coat throughout the year may be a better option for allergy sufferers.
Before investing in a "hypoallergenic" designer dog with a hefty price tag, it would be therefore best for allergy sufferers to undergo allergy testing so to pinpoint what allergens they are sensitive to and make an informed decision on whether or not a goldendoodle is the right choice.
On top of this, it may be extra helpful to spend time with a potential goldendoodle so to have a rough idea on whether allergies are triggered. A word of caution is needed here though: goldendoodles get their adult coats when they are around a year or older, and therefore, it may be difficult to predict how a puppy's coat will turn out until it is older.
Did you know? Combinations of alleles at three genes generate seven different coat variants in dogs. These seven coat variants include: short hair, long hair, curly hair, wiry hair, curly wire hair, long hair with furnishings and curly hair with furnishings. The three genes responsible are the RSPO2 gene, FGF5 gene, and the KRT71 gene.
The term F1 (short for Filial 1 hybrid) is a term often used in botany to depict the first generation obtained by crossing two distinctly different parents.
In the case of goldendoodles, F1 therefore refers to the first generation obtained from crossing a golden retriever and a standard poodle. As mentioned, this is the classical goldendoodle that most people think of when hearing about goldendoodles.
Ideally, such crosses would yield that so-desired poodle non-shedding coat and the the appealing golden retriever temperament, but F1 generation goldendoodles are not necessarily always 50 percent golden retriever and 50 percent standard poodle.
Do doodle dogs shed? Genetics aren't always as predictable as hoped. What genes are passed down after each crossing is only determined by chance, and therefore, you end up with a mixed bag of genes. This means that an F1 goldendoodle won't always inherit the poodle coat, but may end up with the shedding coat of the golden retriever. The thing same applies to temperament. There are chances the puppies may inherit the high-strung temperament of the poodle, rather than the temperament of the golden.
Therefore, contrary to what many breeders may claim, not all F1 Goldendoodles are non-shedding. They may vary between being light to moderate-shedders, which therefore can make them suitable for people with mild allergies.
The F1b Goldendoodle
In this case, F1 still stands for first generation, but the letter B in this case refers to the word "backcross." Backcross is a fancy term meant to depict inbreeding, in other words, the practice of backcrossing (crossing back) to a close relative. A filial generation offspring is therefore bred back to a P-generation purebred.
In the case of an F1b goldendoodle, this simply means that an F1 goldendoodle is crossed back to a poodle. What does such a cross accomplish? Generally, such cross should yield puppies that are 75 percent poodle and 25 percent golden retriever ( 3/4 Poodle and 1/4 golden). The goal of backcrossing in this case, is therefore, to intensify traits found in the poodle.
Because an F1b goldendoodle is likely to be 75 percent poodle, this crossing has a higher chance of yielding the so desired non-shedding coat. The coats produced are mostly curly. An F1b may therefore be a better choice for people suffering from moderate to severe allergies.
The trade off though is that, with an emphasis placed on poodle traits, F1 goldendoodles may be a bit more high-strung and the curly coats may require more grooming.
The F2 Goldendoodle
F2 in this case, refers to the second filial generation. In this case, the F2 goldendoodle is the result of crossing two F1 goldendoodles. Generally speaking, F2 generations produce specimens that are somewhat similar to the F1 generation, being that they are half Poodle and half Golden Retriever, only that they are obtained by crossing hybrids instead of purebreds.
The biggest disadvantage though in this cross is that offspring may be genetically varied and the coats obtained may be quite unpredictable. Offspring produced may have puppies that resemble retrievers while others will resemble more poodles.
The F2b Goldendoodle
An F2b is the second generation obtained by crossing an F1 Goldendoodle and an F1b Goldendoodle or an F1b Goldendoodle + F1b Goldendoodle. The dogs produced by this crossing are 62.5 percent Poodle and 37.5 percent Golden Retriever.
Generally, in this cross there is less vigor compared to the earlier generations, but there is still enough hybrid vigor. Since there is a backcross with a poodle, poodle characteristics tend to be prevalent.
Since there is a return of poodle genes in the mix, the coat in these dogs are mostly wavy or curly, this leads to desirable less shedding, but the trade off is a higher need for grooming care. With poodle genes being prevalent again, there are chances again for some high-strung specimens.
Multi Generation Goldendoodles
Generally, multi generation goldendoodles include anything F3 and above. An F3 is simply a breeding between F2 to F2. Multi-generation goldendoodles require a warning: these dogs are highly inbred (born from parents who are closely related) and this predisposes them to inheriting genetic issues. Hybrid vigor is lost the more generations are produced.
Different Types of Goldendoodle Generations