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In short, yes. Goldendoodles can make great hunting dogs when bred and trained correctly.
You may be asking yourself, “What is a Goldendoodle anyway?”. Goldendoodles are a mix between the well known and loved Golden Retriever, and the Standard Poodle. Both of these breeds fall into the Gun Dog (Bird Dog) or Retriever category.
Yes, that’s right, the Poodle is indeed a born hunter, drawn naturally to activity and the water. To understand more about the Goldendoodle, we first must get to know it’s ancestors and their origins.
I assume most people are familiar with this popular companion dog. The American Kennel Club (AKC) Ranks the Gold Retriever #3 in popularity out of a total of the 195 breeds they recognize. This is most likely due to their puppy-like behavior, well into adulthood. They are known to be eager to please and decently easy to train.
The oldest records of this breed come from a set of record books dating from 1835 to 1890 kept by the gamekeeper at the Guisachian Estate of Lord Tweedmouth in Inverness-shire, Scotland.
Being outgoing, friendly, and energetic, makes this breed the ultimate family pets. In addition to being amazing companions and great for the family, they were bred and born to be eager gun dogs. They’re primary purpose while hunting is to retrieve waterfowl and to be able to sustain this hard work for long periods of time. They have a muscular and sturdy build great for hours of swimming and “fetch” in any capacity.
Often seen in the United States as a pretty classy pup, with funny hair-do, this breeds nature is energetic and has award-winning agility. Originating in Germany, their name comes from the German word “pudel” or “pudelin meaning; to splash in the water. Or puddle.
Their funny hair do’s are cut for function rather than fashion. Shaving their hair makes them more efficient in the water though more vulnerable to the cold. Leaving the hair around the joints and vital organs make them better swimmers while protecting them from cold water. Poodles also have naturally curly and coarse hair, not fur.
Meaning they don’t shed like most dogs, their hair continues to grow until it is cut. This requires frequent brushing to keep from matting. They are one of the smartest breeds and can be trained not only to hunt, but to be service and therapy dogs as well.
The United Kennel Club (UKC) recognizes the Poodle as a sporting breed and since its establishment in 1984, several have received the highest marks in the Retriever Field Tests and Europeans have always considered the Standard Poodle a Bird Dog and was once even classified as a Spaniel.
However, in the 19th century the American Kennel Club (AKC) was established and lumped the Standard Poodle into the Non-Sporting category and making into what Americans view the Poodle to be today. Canada Kennel Club also classifies the Poodle as a Retriever… Anyway, Poodles by nature are energetic, attentive, agile, and loyal, hunting dogs, therefore the Goldendoodle has inherited some of those qualities as well.
We have an extensive guide written on hunting with a Poodle here.
So now that we understand how the Goldendoodle was bred, we can go a little deeper into what makes them good hunting dogs, and great companion dogs as well.
While this dog may be bought and sold as a “Designer Breed” they can be hard-working dogs too, and love a good walk in the woods. Being a mix- breed, they are less likely to inherit genetic issues that are common in their parent pure-breeds and are therefore generally a healthier breed and can live anywhere from 10 to 15 years.
Depending on their parents, Goldendoodles can range anywhere from 50 pounds to 80 pounds. They’re usually waved coats come in a variety of colors including black, copper, white, cream, gray, golden, apricot, and red. Some breeders have undertaken the task of seeking out Poodles and Golden Retrievers with the most appealing hunting qualities, resulting in dedicated and well-built hunting Goldendoodles, and with proper training can even be service dogs.
No matter how well the breeding is done, genetics are unpredictable, making it impossible to know exactly which traits you’ll get from the Poodle, and which will come from the Golden Retriever, but if you have a good selection, to begin with, I think their temperaments are pretty comparable, so chances are you’ll come out with a good hunting dog, and great family dog.
Goldendoodle as a Hunter
Goldendoodles have been trained to hunt everything from quail and geese to small game. Their ancestry comes from 2 Retrievers that both rank in the top 5 smartest dog breeds. They are known for retrieving waterfowl, as well and being efficient upland flushers. Intelligent and loyal, Goldendoodles will take pride in bringing you your prize! They get their stamina from the Golden Retriever and agility from the Poodle, making them fast, efficient, and good for a long trip.
Goldendoodles as a Companion and Pet
Many know the Golden Retriever to be a boy’s best friend, so it’s no surprise the Goldendoodle is a great family pet and some still think this is all it is. Their easy-going temperament and adaptability to things like hot and cold weather make them easy to train and great for first-time dog owners.
These dogs are happy to accompany you lazying around on the couch, or energetically participate in a family walk through the woods or on the beach. Goldendoodles are extremely affectionate and kid-friendly.
They have a playful nature and bring that to the forefront when making new dog friends. Despite their loyalty, they are tolerant to strangers as well, and an all-around well behaved dog with proper training. That playful nature will have you finding them often carrying a t