Goldendoodle Lifespan: How Long Do Goldendoodles Live?
Your Goldendoodle will live with you for many years, so you’ll need to consider how routine health care, breeding, diet, and exercise may contribute to a longer lifespan. For any dog breed to live a long life, they must be protected from household hazards, have the best nutritional and supplemental options to boost immune health, and regular veterinary health checks.
The average lifespan for a Goldendoodle will range from 10 to 15+ years. To fully understand the basis for this and how you as a dog parent can extend your dog’s lifespan, you’ll need to explore both the Golden Retriever and the Poodle breeds. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the most common factors that affect a Goldendoodle’s lifespan, common Goldendoodle health issues, and how to choose a reputable Goldendoodle breeder for a healthy puppy.
The Goldendoodle thrives on affection, play, and fun! With that said, let’s take a look at the most common health problems that this hybrid breed faces and what you can do to try to extend a Goldendoodle’s lifespan.
Factors that Affect a Goldendoodles Lifespan
There are several known variables that affect a Goldendoodles lifespan and can help them live much longer. We will go over some of the main factors that can improve the average life expectancy of a Goldendoodle.
Breeder Genetic and Health Testing
Perhaps the biggest contributor to a Goldendoodle’s life expectancy is whether or not a breeder conducts genetic and health tests on their dogs. Since Goldendoodles are a trending dog breed and arguably the most popular crossbreed dog in the world, there have been several breeders not genetic or health testing their dogs prior to breeding. Typically, these are puppy mills and backyard breeders selling cheaper dogs.
This can dramatically reduce the lifespan of your Goldendoodle because they will be more prone to medical and hereditary issues later down the line. We’ve seen several issues living a shorter life expectancy due to genetic issues.
One of the biggest factors that affect a Goldendoodle’s lifespan is size. It’s a well-known fact that smaller dogs live longer than larger dogs if all the other variables are the same. Scientists have concluded that roughly every 4.4 pounds of body mass reduce a dog’s life span by 1 month. This is certainly no different for Goldendoodles. This is due to the fact that larger dogs grow at a faster pace and succumb to age-related illnesses faster.
Thus, a Mini Goldendoodles lifespan will be longer than a Standard Goldendoodles lifespan by roughly 1 to 2 years.
The Goldendoodle Association of North America (GANA) discusses hybrid vigor. It adds that “Hybrid vigor, the increased health benefits of crossing two completely unrelated breeds, gives the Goldendoodle the health and vitality that makes them, on average, outlive either one of their parent breeds.”
In other words, Hybrid Vigor is the result of two unrelated purebreds having puppies (i.e. Golden Retrievers and Poodles). This is because purebred dogs of the same bloodline typically pass genetic issues down from generation to generation. By introducing a new bloodline, you will pass less hereditary issues down to your offspring.
Thus, the generation of Goldendoodle that you purchase will affect its life expectancy. With each offspring, a Goldendoodle will get less and less Hybrid Vigor. Thus, a first-generation F1 Goldendoodle will be expected to live longer than a multi-generation Goldendoodle.
There are several other factors that will contribute to how long your Goldendoodle lives. Some of these factors are:
Regular veterinarian checks: This includes an annual physical, up to date vaccinations, and general screenings.
Nutrition: Not all dog foods are created equally. There are several dog foods that contain filler ingredients
Exercise, health supplements, socialization, etc.
Common Goldendoodle Health Issues
The Goldendoodle is a hybrid dog breed with genes from both the Golden Retriever and Poodle. These genes combine and sometimes express themselves in ways that sometimes even breeders cannot control. The Goldendoodle comes in three different standard sizes: miniature, medium, and standard. There are specific health issues that are common to the Goldendoodle and typically will vary by size.
Although Goldendoodles are generally a healthy dog breed, there are a few genetic health problems that may affect their lifespan. When purchasing a Goldendoodle puppy, you’ll typically want to get a health guarantee on the puppy. It would also be best if you discussed health conditions in the breeder’s bloodlines so that you can discuss them with your veterinarian.
Here are some of the most common health issues in Goldendoodles which may affect how long they live:
Eye diseases like progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, and glaucoma
How a Goldendoodle Breeder can improve life expectancy in puppies
All reputable Goldendoodle breeders will conduct a series of health and genetic tests. The most common tests are listed below:
Hip certifications from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA)
AFA heart clearance for standard-sized Goldendoodles
OFA knee clearance for small and medium-sized Goldendoodles
DNA test for progressive retinal atrophy
Before purchasing a Goldendoodle puppy, read up on the Red Ribbon and Blue Ribbon requirements set by North America’s Goldendoodle Association (GANA). It states that all breeders have to do specific health testing on their sires and dams used for breeding. Always verify any health and genetic testing from a breeder.
The 4 Life Stages of a Goldendoodle
Bringing a new puppy home is both exciting and a little frightening, especially if you have no idea what to expect. Your puppy doodle will probably be around 8 weeks of age when you bring it home. As with any puppy, they’ll be curious about all things. Puppy proofing your home is important, such as putting hazardous items out of reach and away and making sure there are no places your doodle can escape from the yard. Providing plenty of safe chew toys is a good idea and taking them outside to potty multiple times a day is also ideal.
The puppy stage is the critical time for training. Goldendoodles are highly intelligent, thanks to the smart genes passed down from their parents, but they still need training from you. Teaching them basic commands, like “sit,” “stay,” or “down,” goes a long way and introduces them to discipline.
Your puppy will be in the development stage, so limiting exercise time is important to prevent overexertion. At 3 months, aim for about 5 minutes of play twice a day. Don’t overdo it; their developing joints will be fragile, and they’ll lack a lot of stamina. As they grow, slowly increase playtime increments; at 3 months, 15-30 minutes a day, 4 months, 20-40 minutes, 5 months, 25-45 minutes, and 6 months, 30-60 minutes a day. Also, consider spaying/neutering your pup at 6 months of age.
As far as nutrition, feed you doodle pup kibble formulated specifically for puppies, preferable a large-breed puppy food. You can also check with your vet on how much to feed to ensure they’re getting the right amount of nutrition during this critical stage. You can go by the directions on the bag but consult with your vet to be safe.
Your Goldendoodle will reach maturity at around 8-12 months of age. Your doodle will keep growing at this age, usually reaching full-grown size at about 2 years old. Keep in mind, though, that they will continue to grow at this stage mentally.
They will need a lot of exercise at this stage and continual training to ward off unwanted behaviors, such as destroying a roll of toilet paper or getting into the trash. Positive reinforcement is the key to successful training. You’ll want to be firm, but not so much that your doodle will become afraid of you. Remember, Goldendoodles are highly intelligent, and they’ll get the gist quickly with persistence.
You’ll want to change their food from puppy to adult food, but don’t do it all at once. The best way to avoid tummy upset is to gradually replace the old food with the new. Start by giving ¾ cup of puppy food and ¼ cup of new food for 3 to 4 days. Then, ½ cup of puppy food and ½ cup of new food for 2-3 days, followed by ¼ cup puppy food and ¾ cup of new food for 2-3 days. After that, they should be good to go exclusively eating their new food.
By the time your doodle reaches this stage, they should be in a routine and know their place in the pack within your household. They will have stopped growing at this point but still have relatively high energy. You will, however, notice that they will be a little calmer than they were as a young adult.
Your doodle will need around 30 minutes of exercise a day at this point, split up into two sessions. Going for a walk or a trip to the dog park will suffice, or maybe even a quick dip since they love to swim.
This stage is where you’ll want to monitor your doodle, especially during exercise. They’ll begin to show signs of aging, such as grey hairs sprouting up on the face and getting up slower than they used to. Make sure to take them for regular checkups, and, at this point, you’ll probably want to change their food to a senior food that supports joint health. Keep their mind active with mental stimulation, and don’t overdo it with exercise.
It’s important to give them around 30-45 minutes of gentle exercises, such as a walk or a little swim. At 7 to 9 years of age, they will likely slow down a bit, and it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for any mobility issues, such as limping or behavioral changes. You’ll know your doodle the best, so if you feel your doodle isn’t feeling 100%, have your veterinarian do a checkup.
To ensure that your Goldendoodle lives a long and healthy life, you’ll want to find a reputable breeder. By finding a reputable Goldendoodle breeder, you’ll have a healthy GoldenDoodle puppy that has undergone health screenings. This helps to ensure that they will not inherit any genetic issues.
If you’re opting to adopt from a shelter, take your dog to a veterinarian to have a complete health check. Your vet will be able to spot any visible problems. By working together with your vet, you’ll be able to start up a preventative regime that targets specific health issues.
By doing this, you’ll be able to avoid many of the most common health issues. Keep in mind that your Goldendoodle has a life expectancy of between 10 to 15 years.
With regular veterinary care and exercise, a high-quality diet, supplements, and lots of socialization, they may live a much longer life. Good enrichment programs and great parenting with positive dog training are key to a happy-owner-pet relationship. We hope your Goldendoodle lives a long and healthy life!