What is a Smooth Coat Goldendoodle?
Author: Dee Gerrish
A smooth coat Goldendoodle is of course, a Goldendoodle……but, a Goldendoodle with a very easy coat to maintain and a Goldendoodle that has a very similar appearance to the purebred Golden Retriever. There are, however, differences.
To set the record straight, the smooth coat Goldendoodle is NOT called “Flat-a-doodle” nor is there any such thing as a “Flat coated” Goldendoodle. Where that terminology came from is anyone’s guess. More than likely it came from the same area as the “Mini doodle” area..inexperienced breeders. The term “Flat-a-doodle” reminds me of a term I saw in my local newspaper advertisment regarding a breeder who was advertising “Double doodles”. It left me scratching my head!
The smooth coat Goldendoodle may seem to have a similar appearance as that of a purebred Golden Retriever, but you will notice their legs may be long like the Poodle…..their muzzle may be slender like the Poodle……..they may have some fluff about the ears and neck and of course, their bone structure may be more petite, similar to the Poodle. Not always, but sometimes.
Since beginning our Goldendoodle breeding program in 1999, we know that there are only three coat types for the Goldendoodle dog no matter how many variations a breeder attempts to create this lovely hybrid:
While there are varying lengths for the shaggy coat Goldendoodle, there is still only three coat types. Period. There is no such thing as a “Fleece” coat doodle or a doodle with a “wool” or “wooley wool” coat. Goldendoodles come in all coat colors and can have any markings any where on their body. There is absolutely no rare markings or coat colors. Thanks to the Poodle.
We achieved our very first smooth coat in 2007 when we decided to breed one of our blue eyed, curly coat Goldendoodles to one of our purebred Golden Retrievers. “Meeryn” (as seen up above in the photo) was our very first smooth coat Goldendoodle ever achieved from such a pairing. Our intention of this type of pairing for her parents was to have at least one blue eyed doodle puppy or one with multi colored eyes. It did not happen with this particular pairing.
We found it interesting as well that there was just 1 smooth coat Goldendoodle born in a litter of six. The pup was a female. The rest were males who had a shaggy coat. All turned out to be low shedding and low dander dogs. We were pleased to find out that the Golden Retriever temperament was set with the offspring of this litter.
Goldendoodle breeders have asked us how can they tell if their Goldendoodle puppy is going to be a smooth coat, curly coat or shaggy coat Goldendoodle and our answer has always been the same!
They will have to wait until their puppy is closer to six or eight weeks of age. But even four hours after birth, there are some tell “tail” signs when it comes to the shaggy or curly coat coat Goldendoodle. It’s a bit more difficult when it comes to the smooth coat Goldendoodle and even the most experienced breeder will have to wait.
An experienced breeder will know over time (And I do mean years) that if they use a particular method of breeding for their Goldendoodle dogs, they know exactly what they will achieve when breeding their dogs; they will have an idea of expected colors (although many times they will get a surprise in the package) and if they breed a Golden Retriever to a Poodle, they will never achieve consistancy with size in the offspring. Goldendoodles will stay closer in size as siblings if they come out of pairings from Goldendoodles to Goldendoodles; Goldendoodles to Poodles or Goldendoodles to Golden Retrievers. The sizes of offspring are too wide and varying when a Golden Retriever and a Poodle is paired together and the temperament is always questionable. This is why as a breeder, I personally moved away from this type of pairing.
The inexperienced breeder has to wait for the puppy to become closer to six or eight weeks of age. They can’t provide their clients with consistant information and they leave their clients in the dark. Hence, why over the years, we get all the phone calls from THEIR clients. Also another reason I now charge a “consult” fee for THEIR clients.
With the smooth coat, their body coat will appear to turn fluffy but there will be no evidence upon the face of the usual signs that a facial beard is forming. Their facial hairs will appear exactly as that of the purebred Golden Retriever. For the rest of their lives. All Goldendoodle puppies, except for the smooth coat, will have what we call an “upside down V shape” with the facial coat hairs, between the eyes down to the top of their nose from the time they are four weeks of age.
If you are looking at the puppy directly, start looking between the eyes and you should notice what looks like an upside down “V” shape that starts between the eyes and the little hairs will spread outwards away from the eyes and away from their muzzle. As a young puppy, the hairs will still be short, but if the Goldendoodle is going to be a shaggy coat, there will evidence of the facial beard forming with little hairs sticking out and away from the face.
As the puppy matures, the hairs will continue to grow outward and downward, until it forms a facial beard. Very similar to the Schnauzer and the Shaggy sheep dog. The smooth coat doodle is completely void of this usual facial beard. Their face will have the exact appearance of a purebred Golden Retriever. The nice thing about the smooth coat Goldendoodle is that they do not shed like crazy! They are still a low shedding, hybrid dog who may work out nicely for those who would love to have a Golden Retriever MINUS the extreme shedding hairs.
The curly coat Goldendoodle has a facial beard as well, but their coat is curly from the nose to their tail and the beard, while there, is not as pronounced as that of the shaggy coat. The curly coat Goldendoodle, if standing side by side with a purebred Poodle, could literally PASS for a Poodle. The only dead give away would be the undocked tail. I would love for a Goldendoodle breeder to “spoof” AKC with a curly Coat Goldendoodle by entering their dog into a show event and winning! Would that be fun or what ! That sure would show their high and mighty butts!
The inexperienced Goldendoodle breeder has difficulty at times, understanding the coat changes all Goldendoodles go through. A Goldendoodle will go through as many as ten to fifteen different coat changes from the time they are born up until the day they turn one year of age with the exception of the smooth coat Goldendoodle.
The smooth coat Goldendoodle will go through fewer coat changes than the shaggy coat or the curly coat Goldendoodle. The curly coat Goldendoodle seems to be curly right up until around ten to twelve weeks of age and then their coat will appear to have “flat” patches, but this is merely a coat change. As the curly coat Goldendoodle continues to mature, their curls will reappear once again. Many times an owner will panic and believe their puppy’s hair is falling out and that something is wrong. Calm down. Your doodle is simply going through a phase.
The Goldendoodle’s coat will stop maturing at the age of one year. For all three coat types. The coat the doodle has at the age of one year, is what it is. Many inexperienced breeders tell their customers that their doodle who is void of a facial beard, will grow it by the time they are a year old. This is not accurate at all. A smooth coat Goldendoodle will never have a facial beard at anytime during its life. A Goldendoodle that does not have any evidence of a facial beard by the time it is eight weeks of age, will never have one. We have come to know that the facial beard, even if the hairs are short, will be evident at a very young age.
The shaggy coat Goldendoodle’s facial hairs sprout out and away from the face even at the age of eight weeks. The smooth coat Goldendoodle will appear to have a fluffy coat at the age of eight weeks, but they will have no evidence of a facial beard. Not one single strand.
The body coat will eventually slough off through its multiple coat changes and will become very similar to the purebred Golden Retriever. However, there will be evidence of feathering around the legs, underbody and the tail that is very similar to the purebed Golden Retriever. The smooth coat Goldendoodle has a beautiful plume tail as an adult; Can have curls about its ears; can even have curls about its head, neck and body. We always type a doodle by its face. Never the body.
A family had sent us the photo up above who had purchased their doodle from a different breeder and had questions about whether or not their doodle was a smooth coat or shaggy coat. Because I was not sure of the exact age of the doodle in the photo up above, it appeared this doodle was approx. four to six months of age. In our particular shaggy coat doodles, we would have already seen evidence of a facial beard and a much shaggier coat. The owners to the doodle up above told me that their doodle was a 50/50 mixture…meaning, one of his parents was a Poodle and the other parent was a Golden Retriever. If this was the case, then my answer to them would be that perhaps their doodle is a late bloomer. I have personally never seen a Goldendoodle be completely void of a facial beard by this age, coming from a 50/50 mixture but I do remember that a doodle we had sold many, many years ago…Riley….did take longer to get a shaggy coat and his facial beard because he had picked up so much Golden Retriever that he himself was a “late bloomer”.
We saw further evidence from photos the owner had sent to us (and those photos can be found at our Goldendoodle World website under the link “Meet Riley”) that he did indeed finally get his facial beard and his shaggy coat, even though his shaggy coat was shorter than we had seen in our shaggy coat Goldendoodles. When genetics sway closer to the Golden Retriever, it is possible for the doodle to obtain a facial beard later as the Goldendoodle ages, but my own personal experience with the smooth coat Goldendoodle has proven that if the dog does not achieve this facial beard by age six months, it will never have one at any time in its life.
*Footnote: This article has been updated here on wordpress and was originally written by me on articlesbase.com years ago. I have changed this article for the sake of updating my own information about the smooth coat Goldendoodle because since the original creation of this article, I have since had more smooth coat Goldendoodles born and I have come to know more about them. **
There are many people who want a Goldendoodle that has more of a Golden Retriever appearance, so this look is always acceptable. There will of course be some shedding issues with Goldendoodles who pick up more Golden Retriever genes. We have found, however, that the shedding is still by far less than the purebred Golden Retriever…..but it is more than a shaggy coat or a curly coat.
Paden, up above with his blue toy, is a green eyed smooth coat Goldendoodle from our Goldendoodle World who has a chocolate (liver) colored nose, eye trim and pawpads. He resides with his happy family in Maryland. Paden came out of a litter of three smooth coats and one shaggy coat. Surprisingly enough, we did not get a single curly coat from the litter that came from two curly coat blue eyed doodles we had paired together. Theoretically, a breeder would assume that if they paired two curly coat blue eyed doodles, that they would obtain curly coat blue eyed offspring. This was not the case in our experience. What we did see was one brown eyed shaggy coat, two blue eyed smooth coats and one green eyed smooth coat (Paden). The brown eyed shaggy coat male was our typical Goldendoodle that we generally see coming out of our 50/50 Goldendoodles.
We were very surprised to see three smooth coats coming from two curly coat Goldendoodles. We did, however, see two of the smooth coats have blue eyes and the one cream smooth coat, Paden, have green eyes. The Goldendoodle dog has always fascinated us because they seem to break every genetic rule we’ve read thus far. It does prove our point that we’ve said since 1999, that the parents of a Goldendoodle does NOT play a 100% role in the outcome of the doodle offspring, rather the entire lineage of the doodle offspring plays a very important role in their appearance, their coat type, their eye color and so on. We have literally seen offspring turn out to look very different from each other and we’ve seen offspring turn out to look nearly identical. A Goldendoodle breeder can never say for sure, before the offspring matures, what exact appearance their doodles will have because Goldendoodles break every rule that we purebred breeders have come to know from years of experience. It is also the same that the Goldendoodle breeder can never say that all of their doodle offspring will be the same exact size…per litter…based on the size of the parents. They will be wrong every time. Goldendoodles can vary in height and weight amongst each other in any given litter and the weight difference can be dramatic or it can be slight. This is why Goldendoodles can never be placed into size categories. Purebred dogs can be lumped into size categories because it has been the general experience of purebred dog fanciers that the offspring of purebred dogs will generally turn out to be very close to the size of one parent or the other, regardless of gender. Because it is true that males and females are not particular sizes based on gender, it has always bewildered me as to why most kennel clubs will show the males being larger than the females when in fact, we’ve seen some purebred females weighing more than their brothers, as an adult dog. With Goldendoodles, every individual puppy in any given litter will either weigh more or less than each other, regardless of gender.
We did, however, see that doodles will be closer in size to each other if they come from two Goldendoodles being bred together or if they come from a Goldendoodle bred to a Poodle or a Golden Retriever. Why this is, we can only assume that its because the Goldendoodle already has both breeds in its genetic make up and when paired up with another purebred dog that is already in its DNA, this may be why the doodle offspring stay closer to each other in size. Only a true DNA analysis of each individual puppy would reveal the actual answer.
We do know for a fact that the smooth coat Goldendoodle can be of any color; can have any eye color and will more than likely ONLY occur with the following pairings:
1. Two Goldendoodles bred together, regardless of coat type.
2. One curly coat Goldendoodle bred to a purebred Golden Retriever.
3. One shaggy coat Goldendoodle bred to a purebred Golden Retriever.
A smooth coat Goldendoodle is extremely rare and more than likely NOT possible, coming from a 50/50 pairing. Meaning, crossing a Golden Retriever with a Poodle canine. I would highly encourage a buyer to request a DNA test from both parent dogs if a breeder has told them that one parent dog was a Golden Retriever and one parent dog was a Poodle. Since 1999, I have never witnessed a smooth coat Goldendoodle come from such a pairing.
We do know that the temperament seems to be set that is very similar to the purebred Golden Retriever for a Goldendoodle, that comes from a Goldendoodle and a purebred Golden Retriever pairing. We, ourselves, prefer the temperament of Goldendoodles that come from a Goldendoodle/Golden Retriever pairing simply because we are Golden Retriever fans and enjoy the temperament of the Golden Retriever.
More can be read about the smooth coat Goldendoodle by visiting our website at http://www.goldendoodleworld.com
Author/breeder: Dee Gerrish of Goldendoodle World. This article is copyright protected 2008. This article may not be copied, republished or redistributed for commercial or personal use without the expressed written permission of its author, Dee Gerrish. Any portion copied for usage, by others, must first obtain permission by contacting Dee Gerrish at firstname.lastname@example.org .
About the Author
Dee Gerrish has been a private hobby breeder since 1996. She founded Goldendoodle World in 1999 and has written about Goldendoodles extensively since 1999. Her Goldendoodle World website at http://www.goldendoodleworld.com is very educational, extensive and shows a comprehensive look at the Goldendoodle hybrid. Dee Gerrish is the first breeder to register the Goldendoodle hybrid with a kennel club in the United States at http://www.universalkennel.com . Dee is also one of the original founders for the Goldendoodle dog for the entire southern region of the United States.