How to prepare for a Goldendoodle puppy

April 19, 2024 - 7 min read
Happy woman with black hair wearing sweater with her goldendoodle therapy dog in library

Congratulations! You’re getting (or thinking of getting) a bundle of sunshine known as the Goldendoodle. Anxious about how to prepare? Relax–you've chosen a sociable, joyful, and highly trainable crossbreed. Plus, we're here to help.

So read on to learn the ins and outs of outs of Goldendoodle parenthood, from training guidelines to accessories–and more.

Research the Goldendoodle breed

Image of a Goldendoodle looking into the camera on a beige background

Research the breed first. You may think you've already done this–but it can't hurt to do more. Choosing the right breed for your needs can make all the difference, so don't rush this step. Learn about the breed's tendencies and common health conditions. You can even visit responsible breeders, meet their dogs, and observe the puppies' environment and interactions to see what they're like. You can also gain insights into the breed by connecting with current Goldendoodle owners through forums or local clubs.

Or you can start with our Goldendoodle page, which has a a lot of useful information.

Goldendoodle characteristics

As a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle, Goldendoodles bring a nice mix of loyalty and intelligence. They’re very affectionate, easy to train, and form strong bonds with their owners.

Owning a Goldendoodle is a joy if you want a dog who’ll feel like your best friend. But be aware: Due to their strong bonds with their owners, they’re prone to separation anxiety. You'll need to prioritize early socialization and obedience training.

Goldendoodle must-haves

A young, fluffy goldendoodle puppy sitting upright on a white background, with a gentle and slightly curious gaze

Food and water bowls for Goldendoodles

You undoubtedly know this already, but your new puppy will need food and water bowls.

If you don't know your pup yet, it can be tough to know exactly what size to get. Since Goldendoodles are 20-24 inches in size, you may want to get a bowl that's designed for medium-sized dogs. Or, if you're bringing home a Doodle puppy, it may be worth getting a smaller one and buying a bigger bowl as they grow.

Keep an eye on their eating style, both during puppydom and as they age. You may need to get a slow feeder or raised bowl to offset any bad habits. 

High-quality dog food for Goldendoodles

Dog food and pet nutrition aren't an exact science, but there are rules you can follow.

Paying more for dog food doesn’t necessarily mean you’re paying for better quality. Try to find something within your budget that provides your pup the right nutrients in the right amounts. Keep in mind that Goldendoodles are prone to obesity, so be careful not to overfeed them. For more info, read more about how to feed puppies.

Comfortable bedding for Goldendoodles

Even if you think your Goldendoodle might prefer to sleep in your bed, they’ll still need their own personal nap space. 

As you shop for a dog bed, there are a few things to think about:

  • Size and shape: Make sure it's not too big or too small.

  • Material: Make sure it doesn’t have any allergens or materials that can irritate your pup

  • Comfort: Make sure it can help your Goldendoodle enjoy a blissful stay in dreamland.

Leash and collar for Goldendoodles

It's impossible to overstate the importance of leash training for your Goldendoodle. At the risk of stating the obvious, you'll need to buy a leash. (A collar, too.)

The perfect collar depends on your dog’s size. As your Goldendoodle grows, that size will increase. So just make sure the collar doesn’t get too tight as they grow; you should be able to fit two fingers under it. 

You might also think about buying a harness to prevent strain on your pup's neck. There are pros and cons to doing so, but it's something to consider. For more info, read the ManyPets guide to deciding between a harness and a collar.

Goldendoodle identification tags

Your Goldendoodle's collar is vital for another reason: It's home to their ID tag. This tag is absolutely indispensable; if your pup ever gets lost, it may be help bring them back to you.

Try to pick an ID tag that:

  • Clearly has the dog’s name and your phone number

  • Is made of good, weather-resistant materials, like stainless steel

  • Is scratch-proof

Microchipping your pet can be helpful too. In a couple of states (California and Connecticut), it's actually a legal requirement for shelter-adopted pets.

Goldendoodle grooming tools

A brown Goldendoodle lying down on a dark green background

Good grooming is crucial for all dogs. It's one of the pillars of pet care that keeps furry citizens healthy and happy

You’ll want:

  • A good brush: Consider a high-quality slicker brush and a metal comb

  • Shampoo and conditioner: This is the stuff that actually cleans your dog's coat. Always make sure you're using shampoo that's made for dogs (or puppies).

  • Nail clippers and a file: This one is pretty self-explanatory. Just read our guide on how to cut dog nails if you need a helping paw.  

Remember, Goldendoodles have above-average grooming needs due to their thick, curly coats, which are prone to matting if they're not regularly brushed and trimmed. And they also need regular haircuts due to their low-shedding coats.

Goldendoodle toys and enrichment

Assorted colorful dog toys including a red bone, rope, and various textured balls on a white background

Every dog needs enrichment. Broadly speaking, dog toys come in four categories:

  • Plush: These help your Goldendoodle chillax

  • Interactive: For mental stimulation

  • Chew: To help promote dental health

  • Puzzle: For enrichment and stimulation. (There's plenty of overlap with the "interactive" category here.)

For a deep dive into Goldendoodle-friendly playthings, read our detailed guide on safe toys for puppies.

Goldendoodle safety and travel accessories 

Close-up of a brown Goldendoodle lying on a fluffy white blanket, looking cozy and serene.Sometimes we need to travel with our pets, and safety needs to be the top priority. This is especially true of puppies, who aren’t used to the car yet.

Goldendoodle crate or carrier for travel

If you’re driving with a dog, it's wise to use a pet carrier or crate; harness your pet to the seat; or take other safety measures. Some states have even enacted pet seatbelt laws.

Not sure what carrier to pick? Generally, you should focus on:

  • Size: You’ll need make sure your Goldendoodle has enough room to stand up and turn around in the carrier. You may need to measure and weigh your pup first.

  • Safety standards: Since you’re using a carrier in a car, make sure the provider passes third-party crash tests

  • Style: Different styles of carrier are particularly suited to certain situations–or certain dogs.

To elaborate, carriers come in a few different styles:

  • Hard-sided: These provide good protection but are best for medium to large-size dogs. It’s perfect if your pup’s prone to chewing things, too.

  • Soft-sided: These focus on comfort, which is ideal for anxious or nervous pups. They're made for small to medium-sized dogs.

  • Wheeled: These have wheels to make traveling and moving it around a lot easier. They’re good if you’re planning on doing a lot of city walking or if you’re catching a plane.

  • Backpack: These are only suited for smaller dogs. They mean you can take your dog anywhere with you while they enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the great outdoors. These aren’t a replacement for a good carrier when you're traveling by car.

Seat belt harness for car safety

Seat belt harnesses can be a good replacement for carriers. You will have to buy a special attachment, though. Just try to research which ones have passed stringent third-party tests.

Doggy seat covers for protection

It's also smart to buy a good car seat cover for your dog. This can make things more comfortable for your pup, and prevent your car from getting too wrecked by muddy paws and scratching.

Goldendoodle reflective gear for nighttime walks

Man walking a dog at night wearing headlamp

You and your Goldendoodle both need effective, comfortable reflective gear to stay safe at night.

For more info, read our guide to walking your dog at night. And for gear, check out our article on night-time accessories for dog walking.

A first-aid kit for emergencies

You never know when an emergency, big or small, may strike. Having a first-aid kit will always help, and it doesn’t take much to assemble one. Your first-aid kit should have:

  • A spare collar

  • Towels

  • Surgical sticky tape

  • Bandages

  • Cotton wool

  • Sterile wipes

  • Blunt scissors

  • Sterile, absorbent gauze

To help stay prepared, make sure you read our first-aid tips article.

Goldendoodle training aids

The Goldendoodle’s intelligence makes it easy to train. They’re receptive to most positive reinforcement and obedience training. But all dog breeds enjoy some training aids, so make sure you’re stocked up.

Treats for positive reinforcement

Some dogs are very food-orientated, which makes treats the ideal reward. Now, a lot of this will depend on your Goldendoodle pup’s tastes, but most respond well to things like:

Use these as part of positive reinforcement training. Of course, don’t dish them out too much–pet obesity is a major problem, and those tasty treats soon add up.

Clicker for clicker training

Like most intelligent dog breeds, Goldendoodles respond well to clicker training. This is a type of reward-based training where a dog associates a sound (in this case, a click) with a reward (like a treat). Over time, the clicker sound itself becomes the reward.

You can buy any dog clicker for this, but first be sure to read our guide to basic dog training you can do at home.

Training pads for potty training

Nothing's more important than making sure your puppy is housetrained. Training pads can help. Pick one with lots of layers, as this will make sure nothing seeps through, making the clean-up process much easier.

Learn more about how to housetrain a puppy.

Puppy gates for containment

Puppies are inquisitive, and they love to explore. But sometimes they end up in places they shouldn’t!

The benefit of puppy gates is that they can section off your dog, without them feeling like you've left them out. They can still see you, so it won’t contribute to loneliness.

Pick a secure gate that's the right size, and you’ll soon have a way to keep your Goldendoodle away from any home hazards. It's a great tool not just for training, but for general puppy proofing. Make sure it’s tall enough to stop your zippy pup from hopping over it.

Training books or online resources

Good training tips will always help, but sometimes you need something specific. Each dog has its own unique personality, and some need specific guidance.

The truth is, you’ll probably be fine with general training advice. But if you do need intensive help, you might want to enlist a certified behavioral expert.

Puppy insurance for Goldendoodles

Puppy insurance is another important tool at your disposal; it can help reimburse you for accident and illness costs throughout your dog's life.

Learn what our Goldendoodle insurance covers, and how it helps devoted pet parents like you.

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A close-up of a concerned yellow Labrador Retriever with a gentle expression, receiving an examination by a veterinarian whose hands are shown holding a clipboard, in a clinical setting.