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Goldendoodle Health Issues: Pet Insurance is a Must

Posted: 07/07/2023 | BY: Jenna Bruce | Categories: Dog , Health problems , Pet care

Thinking about getting a Goldendoodle? Wondering what Goldendoodle health issues you need to be aware of? Read on to learn why Goldendoodles are one of the most popular dogs in the country, and also why Goldendoodle parents should absolutely sign their pup up for pet insurance ASAP!

Goldendoodle health issues

Goldendoodle Personality

What’s 50% Golden Retriever, 50% Poodle and 100% adorable? The Goldendoodle of course! This mixed breed has gained in popularity over the past few decades and for good reason, they charm the pants off of you with their outgoing nature and super friendly personality. Goldendoodles are always happy and silly and seem to want to please you and make you laugh. They really are like big, fluffy toddlers. (And that can get them into some trouble, but we’ll get to that in just a minute.)

Because Goldendoodles are so friendly and playful and seem to get along with pretty much everybody, they have become known as one of the best family dogs. They also seem to have a lot of patience with little ones and are happy to run around with them all day long.

Having said that, dog personalities have a lot to do with training and socialization. So if you are bringing a Goldendoodle pup into your life and home, be sure to give them proper socialization and training to set them up for success!

Goldendoodle Health Issues

Before you decide to take care of any animal, it’s important to understand what kind of health issues that fur baby may be prone to. If you do a search for Goldendoodle health issues, as you’ve probably just done, you may find resources that state the Goldendoodle is a relatively healthy dog that can live as long as 10-15 years. And that is true, they can.

You may also read that Goldendoodles, being a mix of two sets of genetics – Poodles and Golden Retrievers – are prone to the same health conditions as these two breeds. That is also true. 

Goldendoodles are prone to the following health issues:

Hip Dysplasia  

A common health issue for larger breeds, hip dysplasia occurs when the hip joint has developed abnormally, resulting in a loose and painful joint. As the pup ages, mobility becomes affected.

Congenital Eye Issues 

Goldendoodles are susceptible to glaucoma and cataracts, which can be treated with either surgery or medication. However, if left untreated, both eye conditions can lead to total vision loss.

Heart Disease  

Goldendoodles are also prone to heart disease, particularly a congenital defect called subvalvular aortic stenosis (SAS). This is a condition when the heart’s aortic valve narrows, creating an obstruction in blood flow. SAS comes from the Golden Retriever side. If your pup is more Golden than Doodle, they may be at higher risk.

One thing to also mention is that with any congenital disease, it can take up to 18 months for them to present themselves. So while your young puppy may have gotten a clean bill of health at their first exam, you shouldn’t wait to get pet insurance until they get older. Once something has been diagnosed, a pet insurance policy will not cover the cost of care.

Goldendoodle health issues

The #1 Health Issue for Goldendoodles

The above health issues are all commonly reported. What’s not as well-known outside of the veterinary community but a major health concern for Goldendoodles is that they are the NUMBER ONE BREED seen in emergency clinics for ingesting foreign objects that result in GI blockages that require emergency surgery!

They’re like the poster child of foreign body obstructions,” said Katie Clark, RVT, Emergency Veterinary Nurse with Veterinary Emergency Group (VEG) in South Charlotte, NC

Goldendoodles (and actually any mixed breed with Doodle in the name) are notorious for ingesting socks. And not clean ones, USED socks! That seems to be their favorite. But they have also been seen in the ER having ingested dog ID tags, underwear (typically used womens’), hair ties, tampons (yep, used), bars of soap, rocks and corn cobs. And this is not even an exhaustive list of ingested items!

So why does this happen? For all of their intelligence (the Golden Retriever and Poodle both make the top 10 lists of most intelligent breeds), why is it that Goldendoodles seem to ingest things that other dogs don’t?

Well, if you remember, the Goldendoodle has been described as a childlike and fun-loving dog. They really are like giant, fluffy toddlers. And like toddlers, they are incredibly curious about their environment. The Goldendoodle seems to constantly be saying, “Hey, look at that!” ‘Hey, what’s that?” And like toddlers, every interesting item they find in their environment winds up right in their mouth!

Repeat Offenders

A good rule of thumb with Goldendoodles is, once they’ve ingested a foreign object, they’ll do it again. And again. And if given the opportunity – again. 

We had a Goldendoodle at our clinic whose first foreign body surgery was at 8 months. Then again at one year and then another one a few weeks later,” said Clark. 

Just like toddlers don’t understand “danger,” a Goldendoodle doesn’t understand their dangerous behavior either. It’s up to the pet parents to do everything they can to keep their Doodle safe.

Since the Goldendoodle is a perpetual toddler, it is recommended that pup parents take intensive measures to childproof their home to keep their pups out of trouble and out of the ER. 

Take extra precaution with dirty laundry. Dirty socks and underwear are the two main items the Goldendoodle ingests. Make sure your pup cannot gain access to your dirty laundry.

Get Them to the ER ASAP!

When a dog ingests a foreign object, that object will sit in her stomach for a little while before it passes into the small intestines. Once it is in the intestines, that is when a life-threatening blockage occurs.  

The sooner you can get your Doodle to the ER, the better the outcomes are going to be,” said Clark. 

We can’t stress this enough: if you KNOW your Doodle has ingested something she shouldn’t have, do NOT wait and hope that it passes. There is every chance that it will NOT pass but instead become lodged in your pup’s GI tract. And now they require an expensive surgery and will have a lengthy recovery time with possible complications.

Some clinics across the country have emergency endoscopy capabilities. This means if your pup just ingested something a short time ago, the vets can go in with a scope and pull out the object before it can pass into the intestines and cause a life-threatening blockage. 

Depending on what type of object it is, you may not even need an endoscopy procedure. Vets can induce vomiting so your pup can, well… puke the offending object right out.

Pet Insurance is Absolutely Necessary with Goldendoodles

As you’ve read, the Goldendoodle is notorious for winding up in the ER clinic having ingested a foreign object that can potentially lead to a GI blockage requiring surgery. And that surgery is expensive. With hospitalization, X-rays and other treatments, you can easily be looking at a bill of $5,000 or more. 

If you have a Goldendoodle, you’ll hopefully childproof your home and keep laundry and other harmful items out of reach. But even if you take every precaution, there are still those Doodles that will get themselves into trouble. 

Responsible pup parents of this lovable breed should enroll their Doodle into a pet insurance plan as soon as possible. This way they have peace of mind knowing they can afford life-saving surgery should their Doodle need it.

If you’ve never looked into pet insurance before, now’s the time. You may be surprised how affordable it really is and how high some of the reimbursement rates go. For instance, some plans reimburse for up to 90% of the vet bill!

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Goldendoodle FAQs

We got in touch with some experts on Goldendoodles to pick their brains about some of the most common questions people have about this awesome breed. Here’s what they had to say:

Q: Are Goldendoodles good first pets?

A: Goldendoodles can be excellent first dogs with their kind and friendly natures. They love nothing more than spending time with their family and friends. They are generally quite easy to train, and can be managed by a beginner, as long as training is kept engaging, consistent and with a positive reward at the end. It is important to make sure you have time to give these active and intelligent pooches. They need 1-2 hours of exercise a day as well as some mental stimulation for their big brains.

Goldendoodle pet parents need to keep up with their pups grooming needs too, with brushing, bathing and trips to the groomer, but this can be easily learned by a first-time pet parent, and a good groomer will advise you on how often you need to visit and any other top tips for grooming them at home. Borrowing a dog with BorrowMyDoggy can be an excellent way to find out if a goldendoodle is the pawfect breed for you.

Dr Jill McMaster BVM&S MBA MRCVS
BorrowMyDoggy’s inhouse vet

Q: Does the Goldendoodle shed a lot?

A: One of the biggest misconceptions about Goldendoodles is that they are non-shedding.  As a mixed breed, traits can vary considerably from litter to litter and dog to dog.  Many Goldendoodles are, in fact, non-shedding.  However, no breeder can guarantee this.

Since Golden Retrievers shed significantly while Poodles do not, the more Poodle DNA your Goldendoodle has, the better their odds of being low or non-shedding.  If you’re hoping to avoid your future dog shedding, consider a generation of Goldendoodle like the F1BB, which boasts a theoretical DNA split of 87.5% Poodle and 12.5% Golden Retriever.

Once a litter of Goldendoodles is born, you’ll have a much better idea of their coat type and potential for shedding.  Look for furnishings, which are longer hairs around a puppy’s eyebrows, nose, and mustache.  These hairs give this breed its signature “teddy bear” look while indicating that their coat type is less prone to shedding.  While furnishings are a very strong indicator of a low or non-shedding coat, you won’t know your Goldendoodle is 100% non-shedding until their adult coat grows in around 6-12 months old, as this can have different qualities as their puppy coat.

Thomas from PopularDoodle

Q: Are Goldendoodles Easy to Train?

A: The goldendoodle is an incredibly easy (and very fun!) dog breed to train for nearly any prospective dog owner. With the poodle and golden retrievers both ranking in the top 5 smartest breeds, their intelligence makes them simple to train, even for the novice dog owner. Both

breeds, but especially the golden retriever have a high drive to please their owners, which makes the goldendoodle not only smart, but also motivated. There can be variance in trainability by the generation of the dog in terms of golden retriever to poodle percentage, and moreover, by the size of the dog. Typically, we see standard sized goldendoodles as simpler to train, and miniatures a bit more difficult due to their miniature poodle ancestry, with medium sizes lying in the middle. Additionally, males are generally more laid back and may take slightly more patience than females, who are typically more driven. All in all, goldendoodles are one of the simplest dogs to train and are excellent companion dogs for both experienced and novice dog parents who want an excellent companion who will be both fun and easy to train.

Jenna from JennaLeeDoodles

Q: Is the Goldendoodle a social dog?

A: The Goldendoodle is renowned for its sociability and is often dubbed as a “social butterfly” of the dog world. Their affable nature, inherited from their friendly and outgoing parent breeds, makes them great companions for families and singles alike.

They generally get along well with people of all ages, other dogs, and even other pets.

Their sociable personality extends to their love of play and their willingness to interact. This is why the popular family dog breed is also an excellent choice for therapy or service dogs. However, it’s crucial to socialize them early and consistently to foster these inherent traits.

If you’re seeking a dog with a heart as golden as its name, the Goldendoodle might just be your ideal pick!

Chris from OodleLife

Q: Can the Goldendoodle suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long hours?

A: Goldendoodles are personable and charming pets, beloved for their energy and friendly temperament. This makes them suitable for families. However, their tendency to form strong bonds with their owners can lead to separation anxiety, so leaving them alone for long periods isn’t recommended.Indicators of separation anxiety in Goldendoodles can range from mild signs of distress to destructive behavior. To help your pet, it’s crucial to recognize these signs of anxiety. Look out for changes in their behavior, such as excessive barking, inappropriate urination or defecation, destructive habits, and constant pacing when left alone.Preventing separation anxiety is essential and can be achieved through proper training from a young age. Even older dogs, or those accustomed to constant companionship, can learn to be alone with consistent training and routine. A well-balanced lifestyle, including a healthy diet, adequate exercise, a safe environment, and solid training, can also support your dog’s well-being.Creating a safe and inviting space for your Goldendoodle can help them feel secure. This could be a crate filled with their favorite toys and treats. If your pet is averse to crates, consider using baby gates to secure them in a safe area. Enrichment toys can provide distraction and create positive associations with your departures.Teaching your Goldendoodle new routines can also reduce anxiety. Try to avoid making a big deal about your comings and goings, which can create anxiety. If they exhibit anxious behavior when they see signs of your departure, consider changing these routines to break this association. This process requires time and consistency.If your Goldendoodle struggles to adjust to your absence, consider seeking professional help. A dog sitter or dog walker can provide companionship and activity in your absence. In more serious cases, enlisting the assistance of professional trainers or behaviorists may be beneficial.

Whitney Holt, Founder of

Q: Are Goldendoodles Smart?

A: While every Goldendoodle is an individual, well-bred Goldendoodles tend to be intelligent and eager to learn. To understand why Goldendoodles are at the head of the class when it comes to smarts, it’s helpful to look at the Goldendoodles’ parent breeds—the Poodle and the Golden Retriever. The Poodle ranks second on the list of most intelligent dogs and the Golden Retriever ranks fourth. With two highly intelligent parent breeds, it’s easy to see why the Goldendoodle breed tends to be smart and quick learners.

Anecdotally, we polled 100 Goldendoodle parents in our own unscientific study to learn how they would describe their Goldendoodle in one word. Unaided, the word “intelligent’ (or a variation like “smart”) was the second most frequently stated word coming in just behind “lovable,” which ranked #1.

It’s important to note that, with so much smarts wrapped up in these fluffy Muppet dogs, they do require mental enrichment, physical stimulation, and human companionship or they are smart enough to come up with their own methods to satisfy their curiosity. But isn’t giving them the enrichment and companionship they need the best part of being a dog parent? As humans, it’s a great feeling to care for, train, love and give a furry family member the best life possible.

Jenise Carl from Happy-Go-Doodle

This blog post was made possible through a collaboration with Katie Clark, Emergency Veterinary Nurse with Veterinary Emergency Group (VEG) in South Charlotte, NC.  Katie’s content can be found on her Instagram channel @katiethevetnurse and on her website







  1. “Goldendoodle Dog Breed Health and Care.”
  2. “Goldendoodle, the Essential Guide to Dog Breeds.”



The information contained on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's health care or treatment plan.

The authors of this blog are not veterinarians and do not claim to be experts in pet health. The information provided here is based on our own experiences and research, as well as information from reputable sources. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.

We encourage you to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health.

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