How to Adopt a Goldendoodle

By Tammy Dray

Goldendoodles are a designer breed created by crossing a golden retriever and a poodle. When searching for a goldendoodle to adopt, keep in mind that they are not recognized by the American Kennel Club, which means there are no breed standards. Your goldendoodle color, coat type and look will depend on whether he takes after mom or dad.

Finding an Adoptable Goldendoodle

Designer breeds are relatively new, so finding a goldendoodle at your local shelter might be difficult. Still, it doesn't hurt to try or to scout adoption websites in search of one. Adopting from a shelter might be easier if you're open to taking an older goldendoodle, rather than searching for a puppy. For example, websites like Adopt a Pet allow you to search for adoptable dogs by breed.

Your best bet for adoption is through rescue groups. A good place to start is the Doodle Rescue Collective Inc. This nonprofit organization specializes in rescuing and finding homes for doodle dogs, including goldendoodles and labradoodles, a cross between a labrador and a poodle.

To adopt a goldendoodle through a rescue group you might need to fill out an application form, get a permission from your landlord if you rent your home, provide references and agree to phone interviews and possibly a home check. Many rescue groups don't adopt to homes with young children or first-time homeowners, so it's important that you check the requirements before applying.

Picking a Goldendoodle Puppy

If you have your heart set on a puppy, you might have to go with a breeder, rather than a rescue. Because there's no breed standard for goldendoodles, picking the right puppy from a breeder can be a challenge.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • If possible, buy from a local breeder so you can stop by and examine the condition of the parents, where the puppies are being raised and if things are kept clean and the animals look healthy.
  • Ask the breeder if he provides a warranty. He should be able to provide a contract with a health warranty┬áthat permits you to return the puppy if he has a congenital disease or other undiscovered health condition. If the breeder offers a warranty, there likely will be a time limit. While chances are you won't want to return the puppy even in that case, the warranty is a good faith statement that the owner is careful about breeding healthy dogs. If he doesn't provide a warranty, ask for health records of the parents and current vaccination records of the pup.
  • Make sure the puppy is properly socialized and has had human contact. Puppies raised in cages have difficulty adjusting to home life.