Understanding Goldendoodle Generations (F1, F1b, F2, F2b, F3)

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Goldendoodle outside in the snow.
My F1 Goldendoodle – Juno

Goldendoodle Popularity

Did you know Goldendoodles were first bred in 1969 so that we could use them as guide dogs for visually impaired people who suffered from allergies? In fact, their popularity soared in the 1990s as people recognized what loyal and easygoing personalities they had. This, coupled with the fact that they can be low to no shedding (not guaranteed – keep reading), great family dogs with a high tolerance for children, and make for wonderful therapy and service dogs, helped to boost their popularity.

Understanding Goldendoodle Generations – Why Does it Matter?

When selecting a Goldendoodle, you want the best fit for your family. Hence, why it is imperative that you understand the differences between the various Goldendoodle generations. In fact, the generation of the Goldendoodle can influence a Doodle’s physical characteristics, personality, and any potential health issues they may be at risk for.

This article is about Goldendoodles, but the comparisons of the generations would apply to any Doodle hybrid.

Infographic of Understanding Goldendoodle Generations
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Understanding Goldendoodle Generations – The Terminology

It’s true, understanding what the letters and numbers mean when labelling the different generations of Goldendoodles may seem confusing at first, but don’t worry. It’s easy once you see it all on a table, like the one I have for you below.

Table showing goldendoodle generations

F – Filial Hybrid

As you can see, each Goldendoodle generation begins with the letter F. In this case, the F stands for Filial Hybrid. Simply put, a Filial Hybrid is a dog that came from two purebred parents.

The Number

In addition, you’ll notice that each Goldendoodle generation contains a number. For example, A 1 means that it is a first-generation Goldendoodle, a 2 shows that it is a second-generation Goldendoodle, and a 3 means that it is a third-generation Goldendoodle. For reference, see the table above to better understand what this means in terms of parents.

B – Backcross

Last, you will see the letter b when describing certain generations of Goldendoodles. The b stands for BACKCROSS. A backcross is when the current Goldendoodle generation is bred back to a purebred Poodle. Although extremely uncommon, it can also show when the current Goldendoodle generation is bread back to the purebred Golden Retriever.

BB – Double Backcross

In the same way, sometimes a generation of Goldendoodle will have two b’s in the name. For example, an F1bb (not included in the table). Consequently, two b’s show that the Goldendoodle was backcrossed twice with a Poodle. In this case, it would mean that one parent is an F1b Goldendoodle and the other parent is Poodle.

Understanding Goldendoodle Generations – Shedding and Allergies

Woman hand using a sticky roller to clean fabrics - woolen knitted sweater from dust, hair, lint and animal fluff, top view, close up.

Indeed, genetics aren’t as calculable as breeders had hoped, making some generations of Goldendoodles more likely to shed and more prone to trigger allergies. Although, there is no guarantee of getting a non-shedding, hypoallergenic Goldendoodle, some generations of Goldendoodles are less likely to be shedders or to bother people with allergies. For example, although you may get more of the “Doodle look” with an F1 Goldendoodle, you do take a higher risk as far as shedding and allergy potential are concerned.

Understanding Goldendoodle Generations – Coat Type

Goldendoodle hair close up

It’s important to realize, Goldendoodle coats can be straight, flat, wavy, or curly. For instance, the type of coat is determined by the coat gene that the Goldendoodle inherits from its parents. Again, since this all comes down to genetics, it means that two wavy parents can still have curly puppies. Also, if a puppy receives a non-curl gene from its parents, it can have a straight coat. The difference between a straight coat and a flat coat is that the straight coated Goldendoodle is fluffier and still has furnishings.

What are Furnishings?

Furnishings refer to the longer facial hair (eyebrows, mustache) that gives some Goldendoodles a more scruffy look. On the other hand, a Goldendoodle without furnishings is said to have an “improper coat.” A breeder can test for coat type if the amount of curl is important to you. In addition, unlike the Labradoodle, all Goldendoodles carry a long hair gene.

Understanding Goldendoodle Generations – Grooming Needs

cream toy poodle puppy in bathtub

As expected, different coat types have different grooming needs. All Goldendoodles require regular grooming, as they have hair instead of fur. Goldendoodles need to be groomed every 6-8 weeks. However, you may go an extra week or two between grooms if you opt for a very short Doodle cut. In addition, daily brushing with a slicker brush and metal comb is needed for some Doodle coats to prevent matting of the hair. Although sometimes, like with my F1, I can brush her every few days and this is enough to keep away the mats.

Understanding Goldendoodle Generations – Hybrid Vigor

a veterinarian wearing a face mask operating on an animal

Yes, shedding and allergen potential, coat type, and grooming needs are all important when it comes to understanding Goldendoodle generations. However, something else one must consider when choosing a Doodle is hybrid vigor. In short, hybrid vigor has to do with health. By definition, it is the improved or increased function of any biological quality in a hybrid offspring. For example, because of Hybrid vigor, an F1 or first-generation Goldendoodle should be healthier than either of its purebred parents. Other generations decrease their level of Hybrid vigor, and therefore it is essential to require genetic testing from the breeder to rule out any genetic diseases. To learn more about health issues and diseases that affect Goldendoodles, click here.

Understanding Goldendoodle Generations Chart

The chart below identifies the different generations of Goldendoodles. For each generation, the shedding amounts, allergen potential, coat-types, grooming needs, and hybrid vigor (heterosis) are compared.

GenerationF1 – First GenerationF1b – First Generation BackcrossF2 – Second GenerationF2b – Second Generation BackcrossF3 (Third Generation) & Multigenerational
ParentsParent 1 – Golden Retriever
Parent 2 – Poodle
Parent 1 – F1 Goldendoodle Parent 2 – PoodleParent 1 – F1 Goldendoodle Parent 2 – F1 GoldendoodleParent 1 – F1 Goldendoodle Parent 2 – F1b GoldendoodlePossible Parent Combos:
SheddingLow shedding to heavy sheddingThe F1b’s shedding can go either way. 50% will inherit the same shedding as the F1 parent (low to heavy) and 50% will be non-shedding (inheriting poodle trait)75% chance of shedding puppies – 25% will be a full poodle (non-shedding), 50% will be low to heavy shedding, and the other 25% will be a full golden retriever (heavy shedding)It varies – Non-shedding (25-50%), low to heavy shedding (50%), full shedder like a pure-bred golden retriever (0-25%). It depends on the genetic coat type of the F1b parentWith genetic coat tests, it is possible to get a litter with zero shedding
Allergy PotentialCan be fine for people with mild allergies, but not recommended for those with moderate to severe allergies50% chance of being hypoallergenic – can sometimes be known a few weeks after birth with a coat testNot recommended for families with allergies due to the high chance of sheddingUnlikely to be hypoallergenicGenetic coat testing can result in hypoallergenic puppies
CoatStraight, flat, wavy, or curlyStraight, flat, wavy, or curlyStraight or flat, wavy, or curlyStraight or flat, wavy, or curlyStraight, flat, wavy, curly – usually wavy or curly for the non-shedding factor if genetic tests are done on parents
GroomingModerate to high requirementsModerate to high requirementsVaries significantly depending on the genetic mix the individual pup inheritsModerate to high requirementsModerate to high requirements
Hybrid Vigor (Heterosis)Decrease in health risks that may be associated with pure-breds.Hybrid vigor is present but these litters have an increased chance of inheriting a disease from the blood-line – genetic testing becomes more importantVariesGenetic testing is very important as two parents of the same breed ancestry are mixedGenetic testing can weed out undesired traits such as shedding and allergy-producing coats

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are many factors to consider when deciding on which Goldendoodle generation is right for you. With genetic testing, you can learn a lot about curl type, shedding, allergy potential, and hybrid vigor. For example, with an F1, the likelihood of shedding is increased, but there are decreased health risks. To learn more about the health risks that affect Goldendoodles, click here.


Happy Tail Wags. xo

Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love can make him wag his tail.

Kinky Friedman
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