English Goldendoodle Doodle Temperament
Temperament is affected by a number of factors including heredity, training, and socialization. Doodle Puppies with nice temperaments are curious and playful, willing to approach people and be held by them.
English Goldendoodles are a very adaptable breed which is a very good choice for novice owners. They are generally easier than most breeds, and they take to training better and are very easygoing.
They are also resilient enough to bounce back from most rearing mistakes, but they need consistency if you want your English Goldendoodle to become a well-mannered member of your family. They can at times be sensitive dogs, and they have a strong desire to please their people. They do not do well with aggressive, harsh training. They do best with positive reinforcement and reward-based training.
Some of our English Goldendoodles will let a stern reprimand roll off their backs, while others take even a dirty look to heart. Low-sensitivity dogs, also called "easygoing," "tolerant," "resilient," and even "thick-skinned," can better handle a noisy, chaotic household, a louder or more assertive owner, and an inconsistent or variable routine. Do you have young kids, throw lots of dinner parties, play in a garage band, or lead a hectic life? Go with a low-sensitivity dog. Our puppies are assessed weekly, and we can tell early on which puppies in the litter are low-sensitivity and which ones are high-sensitivity. It is our desire to match our puppies with the family that is THE best match for you.
Our RULE is that "Temperament RULES" !!!
It is always better to get the right temperament puppy for your family over color or gender. A pretty face will not matter much if you and your puppy do not work well together.
English Goldendoodles LOVE to be with their families, and they don't love being left alone for extremely long periods of time. Our Doodle pouts when she doesn't get to jump in the car or go on the golf cart everytime we walk out the door. It's even worse if she see's the suitcases being packed.
An anxious dog can be very destructive, barking, whining, chewing, and otherwise causing mayhem. They are most happy when a family member is a home during the day or if they can go to work. If they need to be home all day, it would be a good idea to have someone come back around lunchtime to let them out to go potty and to give them a good ole pat on the head. I also suggest leaving the television on for them to watch. They love watching Animal Planet and shows with lots of people.
They tolerate both cold and hot weather very similar to humans. They have very nice coats as well as an undercoat. They usually have an ample amount of body fat, and they LOVE colder weather and can tolerate warmer weather. They will need to stay indoors with you on warm or humid days, and you'll need to be extra cautious about exercising your doodle in the heat. They love swimming and retrieving and are very agile for a limited amount of times. They go hard quickly and they fizzle out just as fast. It's actually very funny to watch.
What's the best word to describe an English Goldendoodle?
"Friendly" would be the all around BEST word to describe our English Goldendoodle. They love everyone, and this is not a breed that tends to be aloof or only bonds with one person and is indifferent to others. They shower everyone they meet with affectionate, sloppy kisses, and they expect lots of belly rubs in return. Our puppies are raised around the clock with lots of people coming and going. We have a large family and lots of Doodle-loving staff. They are extremely comfortable with people, and that is why they bond so easy. Stranger-friendly dogs will greet guests with a wagging tail and a nuzzle; others are shy, indifferent, or even aggressive, however, no matter what the breed. Our puppies are exposed to lots of different types, ages, sizes and shapes of people which means that they will be friendlier to strangers as they grow up. This is why they make such wonderful therapy, service, companion and facility dogs. They are very kid-friendly and gentle with children and sturdy enough to handle heavy-handed pats and hugs. I suggest that you consider a larger, stockier puppy for younger children.
Please keep in mind that all dogs are individuals, and while we can't every guarantee how any puppy or dog will behave, these are generalizations based on our past experiences. All puppies have strong jaws, sharp pointy teeth, and may bite in stressful circumstances. We advise that young children and dogs should always be supervised by an adult.
Friendliness toward dogs and friendliness toward humans are two completely different things. Some dogs may attack or try to dominate other dogs even if they're love-bugs with people; others would rather play than fight, and some will turn tail and run.
The breed isn't the only factor; dogs who lived with their littermates and mother until at least 6 to 8 weeks of age and who spent lots of time playing with other dogs during puppyhood are more likely to have good canine social skills.
Our puppies are all assessed each week, and if we see a dog-aggressive puppy we have an immediate intervention and work on those negative behaviors while they are still with their littermates.
Tolerant Teddy Bears....
Take a look at these adorable doodles all dressed up. You know they've gotta be pretty tolerant to take the crazy stuff their families put them through. Most of them, there are a few exceptions, are pretty laid back and go with the flow. They love to be right in the middle of all of the family action. They love being snuggled with, and no matter how big they get, they always think they are lap dogs.
Click here to see the album of our "Couture Doodles all Dressed up".
PUPPYHOOD: Doodle Development Periods
Your puppy will pass through many stages as he grows and develops. Many puppy owners are shocked, surprised or downright freaked out about the way their cute little puppy is behaving. Just checking out what stage of development the little guy (or gal) is in explains a lot (like he isn’t crazy). Behaviors can be accounted for with these stages, but a lot of these behaviors are also not acceptable and you must train and lead the way.
The mother of your puppy will start the process by building the foundation. This responsibility will then be turned over to you. It can not be expressed enough times how important is for you to train and lead your puppy so that he/she will be a happy, well-adjusted member of your family for life. We STRONGLY recommend that all of our puppies enroll in our Doodle Prep School prior to coming home to ensure that your puppy gets the foundational training they need.
Puppy Toddler Period (3 - 8 Weeks)
“Mom teaches dog manners”
During the toddler period, the doodle puppies emerge on their own from the litter. They venture into the surrounding environment. These lessons learned in the toddler stage are CRITICAL. Puppies removed too early tend to be nervous, tend to bark a lot, and tend to bite simply because these lessons a mother and littermates usually provides were missed. Training problems and long-term behavior problems can often be attributed to a puppy removed from the litter much too soon.
Beginning at 3 weeks of age, what is going on:
The first lessons learned are dog-specific behavioral patterns
- They will learn various postures' meanings and their effects to their mother and littermates.
- They will learn how to bite and what it is like to be bitten.
- They will learn what barking and other vocalizations mean and their uses.
- They will learn how to establish social relationships with other dogs.
Beginning at 5 weeks of age, what is going on:
Vocalization and tempered activities (dog manners) usually are learned at approximately 5 weeks of age.
- They will learn how to be submissive to the leader of the pack.
- They will learn and refine additional postures, vocalizations, and acceptable dog interaction behaviors.
What the puppy’s mother will do:
The mother will growl, snarl and snap to communicate. With a few very clear signals and repetitions, the young puppy will learn quickly. At that point, a mother's glare or low growl is all that is needed to keep a young pup in line. Littermates also learn clear signals of communication to each other.
Socialization Period (7 - 12 Weeks) and First Fear Imprint Period (8-11 Weeks)
“Lasting impact, rapid learning”
Dogs that are denied socialization during this critical Socialization Period often become unpredictable because they are fearful or aggressive. It is during this time that your dog needs to have positive experiences. They need to be introduced to new things and begin the groundwork to a happy, well-adjusted dog.
Beginning at 7 weeks of age, what is going on:
- Short attention spans
- Things learned are permanent and will be resistant to change.
- Puppy will be eager to learn.
- What he does and learns now, he will do as an adult.
- Puppy’s temperament and personality will become more apparent.
- Puppy will be transitioning his education from his mother to his human environment.
Beginning at 8 weeks and ending at approximately 11 weeks of age, what is going on:
- Any traumatic, painful or frightening experiences can have a lasting impact.
What You Can Do:
- Gradually introduce your puppy to new things, environments and people.
- Make experiences positive (provide treats or toys).
- Don’t push your puppy into fearful situations – take things slowly and allow him to adjust and get used to the situation.
- Do not let others push your puppy or be forceful with them.
- Provide a secure comforting demeanor.
- Teach the puppy you are there to protect and lead.
Seniority Classification Period (12-16 Weeks)
“You’re not the boss of me!”
The puppy has been in the home now for a few weeks. He has been watching you and the family very closely. He is picking up on human behaviors and reactions. He is learning the pecking order of the pack. As he observes and learns, he will then attempt to figure out where exactly he stands in the pack order and also see if moving up in the pack will work. After all, he knows who the “weak links” are and will start at the bottom and try to move right up the pack. How could such a cute little pup be such a pistol?
What is going on:
- Puppy will begin to question authority.
- Puppy will attempt to move himself up in the pack order.
- Puppy will try to dominate.
- Puppy will grab leashes
- Puppy will try to determine what activities are going to be done and when.
- Puppy may growl.
- Puppy may put his mouth on you.
- Puppy can often become over excited.
What you can do:
- Learn how your actions and body language communicate to your dog.
- Do not play aggressive games during this phase (tug or wrestling).
- If the puppy becomes over excited, growls, or mouths you - stop all activity.
- Be very aware of how the puppy interacts with children – do not leave children unattended with the puppy.
- Enroll in a puppy kindergarten class to redirect some of the energy.
- Evaluate the whole family’s methods of interactions and corrections, and make sure that all are consistent and clear.
Flight Instinct Period (4 - 8 Months)
“Fly like an eagle, into the wind”
Your cute little puppy has been following you around for weeks now. He has been aware of where you are and would stay pretty close. During this period that same cute little puppy will decide that he is ready to go solo and take off running quicker than lightning. During this time, teaching the puppy that he must stay close by or come when called is critical. The failure to do this will result in a dog that will not be reliable to come or to stay close by as an adult and very well could lead the dog into a life or death situation.
What is going on:
- The puppy will become more independent.
- A puppy that previously would never go very far will venture off.
- The puppy will ignore commands to stay close or come.
- How you handle refusal to come or stay will affect future reliability off leash.
- Puppy will be clever in attempts to run around loose.
What you can do:
- Leash on 100% of the time they are not in a confined area.
- Never allow dog loose in an unconfined area (Yes, this is redundant to the above, so it must be pretty important for us to say it twice).
- Being off leash outside of a confined area is reserved for those who have been well trained.
- Enroll in a training class that utilizes positive training techniques.
- Reinforce and continue to train your puppy the “come” command.
- Make coming to a very positive experience.
- Oh… and never allow your puppy to be off leash in an unconfined area.
Adolescence Period (7 - 10 months)
“Welcome to the Teenage Years – Enjoy the Ride”
This is one of the most difficult times for pet owners. They are so surprised when their puppy turns into “devil dog” or “Cujo”. This often is a time when many families start to worry that maybe they made a bad decision in getting a dog. Remember: you get what you put into it. If you take the time right now to teach good habits, you will have the dog you always dreamed of for many years. This work will payoff.
What is going on:
- The puppy will become a free and independent thinker.
- The puppy will continue to review the pack order.
- The puppy will be very energetic.
- The puppy will be exuberant and enthusiastic.
- They turn into clowns with teeth.
- They will delight in learning new and fun things.
What you can do:
- Appreciate the humor of it all.
- Have you read the book The Dog Listener yet? It will help.
- Understand that, despite the behaviors, it is your time to continue to train and reinforce the things you do want him to do.
- Reaffirm the family pack order.
- Be realistic about expectations (still very much a puppy in a big boy body)
- Channel all that energy into positive learning experiences.
- Continue with training classes; explore options for additional training opportunities.
Second Fear Imprint Period (6 - 14 Months)
“Yikes! What’s up with that?”
You have a puppy that is full of beans -- he runs around like a clown in search of his next show. But then, BAM, he refuses to walk down some stairs, he is shaking in the car, or he jumps at the sound of the neighbor’s music. Surprise! This is normal, but you must help your dog figure out how to deal with his fears or concerns. The skills of learning how to “shake it off and keep going” will be valuable to him for the rest of his life. It will also reduce the chances that the things he fears will not be permanently imprinted for life.
What is going on:
- The puppy that was so confident will suddenly become reluctant to new things.
- This period can be subtle.
- This period can come and go several times over this entire period.
- It may appear to be unprovoked or unrelated to any specific occurrence.
- Puppy can become frustrating to owners.
- You may notice this behavior more in males.
What you can do:
- Avoid extremes in your response (no anger or forcing or over comforting)
- Be patient and understanding.
- Be aware of surroundings and potential triggers.
- Work on desensitizing him with gradual introductions with rewards.
- Avoid too much reassurance or coddling (which is a reward for this behavior)
- Don’t overreact or correct the fearfulness – just make light of it and encourage him to deal with his fear (work through the fear).
- Praise with grand rewards for his attempts.
- Your dog will take his clues from you -- if you act frightened or concerned he will, too
Mature Adulthood Development Period (1 - 3 Years) “I shall protect thy kingdom!”
So the puppy is no longer an itty-bitty baby. He is pretty much fully grown in height. He will begin to fill out a bit and develop more muscle tone. But mentally the dog is still working out some last details of his life and what it means to him.
He is a member of a pack and now begins to find that his turf is worthy of monitoring and protecting. Sort of sounds nice to have your dog be protective, but don’t fall for it.
You do not want your dog to take over these responsibilities because, in no time, you too will be under the rule of the King Dog. This can lead to aggressive behaviors, protective to the point of creating fear or actually harming someone or another animal as he protects. This is bad news and often a reason a dog is taken out of the home. So, don’t allow your dog to be the King of the Castle. Assign him the role of court jester – he will be happier and so will your family.
What is going on:
- The dog may become more turf protective.
- Strangers may be greeted with barking.
- Barking at noises, birds, cars, butterflies, pretty much everything he believes is worthy of attention.
- Playing with other dogs may escalate to fighting.
- Same-sex confrontations of other dogs can occur.
- Once again, checking the pack order to see if he can move up.
What you can do:
- Reinforce how to greet strangers into your home.
- Teach your dog to ignore dogs he cannot be nice too.
- Practice or reinforce dog manners (utilizing non-threatening dogs)
- Learn to read your dog and other dogs. (Circling, walking on toes, stiff tail wags, tense facial expressions are the signs of aggressive behaviors)
- Rally your family to review that the pack order is clear and everyone is consistent with training and corrections.
- Reward him for good behaviors.
- Give that dog another job, therapy work, obedience classes, agility.
Special Thanks to IDOG for sharing this with us!