Derived from a cross between the Golden Retriever and the Poodle, Goldendoodles are bred to be a combination of the best qualities of both. Under the careful direction of an excellent breeder, it works like a charm. The result is that Goldendoodles have exploded in popularity in recent years because of their beautiful appearance, high intelligence and lovable nature.
You will notice in the previous paragraph that “excellent” breeders were singled out for praise. Along with the rising demand for doodles has come a wave of unscrupulous and/or inexperienced breeders looking to make a fast buck. Without understanding the proper breeding guidelines for this hybrid, they can produce puppies with serious health problems. Skilled breeders are aware of the potential health concerns and carefully match their breeding pairs to substantially reduce — if not totally eliminate — these risks.
What Health Problems Can Goldendoodles Have?
Let’s take a closer look at some of the primary diseases Goldendoodles can face when proper screening and breeding practices are absent. This informative article from Dog Zone has details:
Though cross-breeding can introduce hybrid vigour, thus improving the health of the offspring, Goldendoodles are at risk of developing some of the problems seen in their parent breeds.
Atopic Dermatitis – Allergic skin disease is common in many breeds, including the Goldendoodle. The offending allergens are generally either inhaled or absorbed through the skin, and cause a hypersensitivity reaction that manifests in the skin. Itching, redness, and malodor of the paws, ears, and perineum are classic signs of atopic dermatitis, but confirming the diagnosis requires a careful work-up.
Cranial Cruciate Ligament Rupture – The cruciate ligament is largely responsible for stabilising the knee joint during its hinged motion, and it takes a great deal of strain during exercise. Degeneration and rupture of the cranial portion of the ligament are very common causes of hindlimb lameness in Goldendoodles.
Epilepsy – Usually manifests for the first time between six months and five years of age, either as grand mal convulsive seizures or petit mal episodes involving muscular tics or behavioural abnormalities. Many epileptics do not require treatment; the frequency and severity of the seizures determines the appropriate approach.
Hip Dysplasia – Another cause of hindlimb lameness, usually first noticed in young dogs as the hip joints fail to develop normally. As the condition is inherited, all breeding animals should have their hips radiographically scored, and those showing signs of dysplastic changes removed from the breeding pool.
Patellar Luxation – In some Goldendoodles, slight anatomic abnormalities can cause the patella (or kneecap) to slip out of position during exercise. This is generally seen as an intermittent lameness, where the dog is temporarily unable to bear weight on one hindlimb. Feeling around the knee joint while flexing and extending the leg may allow the examiner to appreciate a “pop” as the patella moves. Surgical treatment generally gives good results.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy – Signs of night blindness, progressing to pronounced loss of vision in middle-aged Goldendoodles are often attributable to degeneration of retinal nerve cells – a common problem in many pedigrees and hybrids.
Von Willebrand Disease – A clotting disorder caused by poor platelet function that results in heavy bleeding, even from minor injuries.
As you can see, it’s critically important to deal with a knowledgeable, reputable breeder when you’re ready to select a Goldendoodle puppy for your family. Here at Blue Ridge Goldendoodles, our breeding dogs are always screened for Hip Dysplasia through the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and cleared before breeding. We also test them for problems with the elbows and heart, check for Patella Luxation and make sure that their eyes are Canine Eye Registration Foundation certified. The poodles are also cleared for Sebaceous Adenitis, a skin disease, and Von Willebrand Disease.
All of our puppies come with a full two-year health guarantee and lifetime support. Before they are released to their forever families, they have been thoroughly checked by our vet and given their shots. We send a detailed vet record with every one so there’s no question about the initial health of your new best friend or the treatments they’ve received.