What is the deal with Goldendoodle coats?
Three major types of coats
Many people have asked us, "What is the deal with the different types of coats we see when we look at a litter?" The main thing to know is there are three main types of coats in the Goldendoodle. While there is a possibility of a dog not falling into the neat category of one of the three types and being a bit of a mixture of the types, the issue can be understood by looking at these types as a general rule of thumb.
Using a common sense name for each type rather than a scientific name, the types are:
Shaggy to wavy coat. This is the most common type coat when you think of a Goldendoodle. Think of an English Sheep Dog for an example.
Curly coat. This looks like the Poodle side of the family. It is a less common type.
Straight coat. This looks more like the Golden Retriever side of the family. It is also a less common type. This type is becoming more common now and some people want a dog that looks more like the Golden Retriever side of the family.
The straight coat is the most uncommon of the three because, genetically, both the male and the female must pass a lower count of the "c" markers ("c" stands for curly) before their puppy will have the straight coat. To realize the beauty of this coat type requires a bit of patience as the the puppy grows it baby fuzz goes away and the straight coat will often look a bit awkward before the adult coat is fully revealed. (It is kind of like an adolescent boy in his awkward time of life before adulthood. 😁 ) But, look at how beautiful the adult dog is with the straight coat below.
The dogs we have produced with a straight coat have become beautiful adults and their owners love them. Some folks were so happy to have a Goldendoodle that looked more like the Golden Retriever but did not have such an incredible shedding problem that their mothers have. Also, they seem to be hypoallergenic as the other types of coats are in our experience. Some straight coats are not as hypoallergenic as the curly coated dogs. No one can guarantee that any single dog will not shed nor cause allergic reactions. The Goldendoodle breed is just not plagued with these problems normally.
Below we will show you examples of the coat types. Remember that every dog is unique and may be a mix of these coat type when it is fully grown.
Shaggy/Wavy Curly Straight Coat
There is another wrinkle in the coat type conundrum. There is a thing called "Improper Coat". This is a genetic thing also. I personally hate calling it "improper coat" because the dog is just as much a wonderful Goldendoodle as the others with a "proper coat". But we found that all dogs are judged in this manner.
What is the difference between an improper coat and a proper coat? If you look at the dogs shown above you will see something called "furnishings". These are the heavy eyebrows, mustache and foreleg hair. It also can mean a heavy beard. Every dog will show different levels of these heavy "furnishings"
In the heady world of standardizing dogs it was decided that "furnishings" were "proper" and smooth hair in these areas was "improper". Hence, a smooth faced dog, like the Golden Retriever has an "improper coat" and a Poodle has a "proper coat". The Goldendoodle, since it is descended from the Golden Retriever (improper with double "ic" genetic markers) and a poodle (looks proper but may have mixed genetic markers) can show the "improper" traits. Since poodles are most often gifted with the double "nc" markers but not always, there can be variations in a litter.
This happens when the sire and mother both pass down the "ic" gene. (improper coat gene). Each parent has two genes, "nc" (normal coat) or "ic" (improper coat). All Retrievers have two "ic" markers. So, it comes down to the Poodle who can have two "nc" markers or a mix of "nc" and "ic". If the poodle passes the "ic" down to the puppy, it will have an "improper coat". All dogs have two of these markers-- one from each parent. They can be double "ic", double "nc" or mixed. The mixed dog will show the "proper coat". Clear as mud?
If you are going to breed your Goldendoodle this genetic business becomes important if you want "proper" or "improper" coats in your puppies. The "proper" coated Poodle can be tested and if it is mixed you get up to a 50% chance of passing "improper coats" to the puppies. There is still a huge variation because it seems the mixed dog doesn't give a 50/50 mix of markers out to the puppies. What a mess. Don't worry about it if you aren't breeding. But now you know.
Regardless of which coat type your puppy has, they are all Goldendoodles at heart and fantastic companions. Our customers all love their dogs and they are so happy that they chose a Goldendoodle. You will too!