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What is a First Generation Goldendoodle

What does “F1” mean? What does “F1B” mean? Why is there so much confusion about the term “First generation Goldendoodle” ?

It seems to me that many people are having problems understanding what constitutes a Goldendoodle as being a “First generation” hybrid. It’s quite easy to understand if you have some knowledge with basic genetics. It may seem complicated to those who do not understand the basics of genetics. Simply put, a First generation Goldendoodle is any Goldendoodle dog that comes from two parents who are not closely related, regardless of whether or not both Goldendoodles are Goldendoodles or if one parent is a Poodle and the other parent is a Golden Retriever or whether one parent is a Poodle and one parent is a Goldendoodle. The offspring are STILL considered Goldendoodles and they are STILL considered first generation when neither parent shares the exact same parents themselves. That’s it in a nutshell. Nothing complicated about it, but so many people…including breeders…..just can’t seem to grasp the concept.

Instead, some people believe that a first generation Goldendoodle only comes from a 50/50 mix…meaning, coming from one parent who is a Poodle and one parent who is a Golden Retriever or some people believe that Goldendoodles are “f1B” if a Goldendoodle is bred to a Poodle or Golden Retriever or to another Goldendoodle. I’m sorry to burst the genetic bubble, but that belief is not accurate at all. If you really want to get technical, lets first ask “First generation of what???”. What is the Goldendoodle a first generation of, exactly ? Are they the “first generation” upon their family tree? Are they the first generation to both of their parents? Technically and accurately speaking, if neither parent are directly related, the answer is YES. All offspring, in reality, that are born to two parents who are not directly related and who DO NOT share the same parents themselves, are FIRST GENERATION DOGS.

What exactly does the term “first generation” imply anyway?

When speaking of “generations” it is generally implied to mean parent/child. The parents have children and thus, their children are “first generation”. When those children have their own children, they then become “second generation”. When we speak of the Goldendoodle being a “first generation” it is implied to mean that the offspring come from two parents who are not closely related or who are not related at all….whether the same breed or different breed, the offspring are always “first generation” when neither parent are directly related to each other. I’ve had so many people try to convince me that a Goldendoodle isn’t a first generation Goldendoodle unless if comes from a Poodle/Golden Retriever parent. Again, I hate to burst your genetic bubble, but that’s not correct. With purebred dogs, both parents are the same breed and their offspring are first generation providing neither parent shares the same parents themselves or direct relatives within their first three generations of pedigree. If you bred two parents who were related, together, then their offspring would be “second generation” . When we speak of Goldendoodles being an “F1B”, the “B” means “backbred”. A very nice term for implying the dogs are inbred….backbred to a close relative. Just because a Goldendoodle is bred to a Poodle, does NOT imply the offspring are “F1B”. If a Goldendoodle is bred to a Poodle and the Poodle within the Goldendoodle’s genetic structure is NOT related or closely related to the other Poodle used for breeding, their offspring are “first generation”. If a Goldendoodle is bred to a Golden Retriever and the Goldendoodle used for breeding is NOT closely related or related at all to the Golden Retriever within the Goldendoodles’ genetic structure, their offspring is still a first generation.

Genetic diversity is very important when it comes to hybrid dogs, period. Due to the fact many purebred fanciers inbreed their dogs, the entire reason hybrid dogs have fewer health issues is due to the fact their genetic structure is wide and varying. A genetic “bottle neck” is created when two dogs are bred together and share the same lineage. It’s one thing to have similar ancestors or share similar ancestors down through the pedigree, its quite another to have the same exact ancestors down through the pedigree. We have created the Goldendoodle since 1999. We have been purebred dog breeders since 1996. We know for a fact that dogs are healthier and have entirely fewer genetic issues when they have a wider variance in their genetic structure. Goldendoodles who come from two related parents will have genetic issues much more often than Goldendoodles who come from two unrelated parents. When a breeder says they create “multi-generation” Goldendoodles….that means you’d better be careful of buying one of their dogs. Multi generation Goldendoodles are highly inbred dogs and are at a much greater risk for genetic issues. I definitely do not believe in multi-generation doodles or even purebred dogs. I’ve never agreed that even purebred dogs who are bred back to a direct relative is a good thing. Such dogs can be at a higher risk for behavioral issues; health issues and genetic issues. Many undesirable traits come from dogs who are born from parents who are too closely related.

When Gregor Mendel began his hybridization experiments with pea plants in 1856, knowledge of how heredity works was limited. Experimenting with hybrids has been going on for many, many years. Many things had been guessed at or not exactly known as to how genetics + hybrids really worked. Some characteristics, called discrete traits, did not produce a state of being between two parents. The children of a brown-eyed father and blue-eyed mother do not end up with an intermediate eye color; rather, the children inherited the eye color of a single parent. This occurs with people. With dogs, it is quite different. The offspring CAN inherit an intermediate eye color and we’ve witnessed this with the Goldendoodle dog. In 2006, we bred two Goldendoodles together that were not closely related. They had a different Golden Retriever parent and a different Poodle parent. The only traits the Goldendoodle dogs had in common was that they had the same eye color (Blue); The same coat type (curly) and both were the same color (apricot). We intentionally bred both Goldendoodles together so that we could increase our chances of having blue eyed Goldendoodles. We were not sure what coat type would occur since both doodles had a curly coat. We were quite surprised to learn the following:

1. This pairing only produced 2 blue eyed doodle offspring.

2. Out of four offspring, 1 puppy had brown eyes. 1 puppy had green eyes. Two of the puppies had blue eyes.

3. Out of four offspring, 3 puppies had a smooth coat and 1 puppy had a shaggy coat. Not a single curly coat was born to parents who had a curly coat themselves.

4. Out of the four offspring, 2 puppies were cream. 2 puppies were apricot.

If we assume that each parent contributes a single chromosome to his/her offspring for a given trait, how is it that we had 3 smooth coat Goldendoodles born out of this pairing and neither parent had a smooth coat? How is it that we’ve seen a variance in size regarding the offspring, regardless of the sizes of either parent and how is it that we’ve seen a variance in eye color for the Goldendoodle offspring, regardless of the eye color of either parent? We personally have come to know that Goldendoodle dogs can inherit their traits, appearance, sizes, temperaments and coat or eye coloring from their entire lineage of ancestors. We have come to know that Goldendoodle offspring do not inherit traits exclusively from their parents. We know that their entire lineage plays a part of what and whom they become. Gregor Mendel proposed that some genes are dominant while others are recessive. Since 1999, we have come to realize that our Golden Retrievers Do carry the dominant genes. They dominate personality, color and at times, they dominant coat traits in our Goldendoodles. On occasion, we do see Poodle traits dominate in a select few offspring. For an experienced breeder, it is quite easy to spot the dominating gene. The inexperienced breeder will only be able to rely on information they obtain via the Internet and not all of the information is clear, precise or accurate. Hence, why there is so much inaccurate Goldendoodle information over the Internet. Much of it drives me crazy. Especially because I’ve dedicated an extensive amount of time documenting the coat changes; The many coat phases; the personality types; The coat types; The coloring and markings; I’ve lived, breathed and basically dreamt day in and day out, the Goldendoodle dog. It is very frustrating to try and explain the facts with regards to the Goldendoodle dog to inexperienced people who want to challenge what it is I’ve come to know through personal experience and my countless hours of research. There are some days, I just don’t even try. Some people don’t want to know the facts, they only want you to tell them what they want to hear and not what the facts are and I don’t like to try and teach someone about the Goldendoodle dog if they are not interested in actually learning and knowing facts vs. rumors or what they’ve “read” over the Internet. I LOVE writing about the Goldendoodle dog and what I’ve come to know. It’s quite obvious that the Goldendoodle dog is a passion of mine, given the fact my website is so extensive and comprehensive where the Goldendoodle is concerned.

I love talking about the Goldendoodle to anyone who wants to know…..and I might even get into some heated arguments with people about the Goldendoodle dog because I’m very passionate about what it is I’ve come to know to be facts and I am NOT one for believing rumors. The Goldendoodle dog is a very stimulating, entirely new field of study for me. I’ve created the Goldendoodle dog in nearly every imaginable way and my research has helped literally thousands of people over the years. Some people you just can’t convince and it is those people that really need to become breeders themselves or otherwise just shut up. That sounds harsh, but I’m very direct and honest. I don’t need to argue with an inexperienced doodle person who doesn’t know what they are talking about. They don’t know what they are talking about because they haven’t done the research on a personal level. They haven’t spent the time that I’ve spent, nor have they indulged themselves in documenting facts and taking thousands of photos as a part of their documentation.

Darwin’s problem explaining “blending” and the preservation of variation was essentially solved. However, while Mendelian genetics provided a way to refute arguments concerning the lack of a mechanism for the preservation of variation through inheritance, Mendel’s results went largely unnoticed until 1900, when the laws were independently “rediscovered” by several geneticists — Hugo de Vries, Carl Correns, and Erich von Tschermak — some 34 years after Mendel’s original publication of his findings in 1866! Speaking of genetics, Let’s talk about genetics for a little bit.

Evolution can be described in many ways; one way to look at evolutionary change as a change in genotype frequencies over time. If organisms are considered evolutionarily successful if they have more offspring, and offspring are created from genes, then changes in gene frequencies (or more specifically, genotype frequencies) will reflect successful evolutionary phenotypes. Researchers in the field of population genetics examine populations in terms of differing proportions of particular genotypes in order to determine what, if any, evolutionary forces are active in that population. Genotype frequency and gene frequency are closely related variables, and both are easy to measure. The simplest case is one genetic locus with two alleles (A and a) and three genotypes (AA, Aa, and aa). Each individual has a genotype made up of two genes at the locus and a population can be symbolized like this:

Aa AA aa aa AA Aa AA Aa

This is an imaginary population with only eight individuals. To find the genotype frequencies we simply count the numbers of individual with each genotype. Thus:

frequency of AA = 3/8 = 0.375
frequency of Aa = 3/8 = 0.375
frequency of aa = 2/8 = 0.25

The extent of variation in natural populations is such that every individual must be genetically unique. Evolution from the origin, to the modern diversity, of life must have required more variation than existed in the original population.

Where did the extra variation come from?

Several processes can generate new variation in a population:

• Recombination between existing chromosomes produces new chromosomes with their own unique sequences and many new genetic variants of a character like body size were probably generated by recombination.

• Migration is an important source of new genetic variation: when individuals arrive from distant parts they will often have different genotypes from the local population; they thus provide new genetic variation.

Both recombination and migration work with existing allelic variation; they put existing variation into new genetic, or geographic, combinations. Important though this is, if there were no pre-existing allelic variation, recombination and migration would not generate new genetic variants. Recombination between identical chromosomes produces the same identical chromosomes over again.

• Mutation is the original source of genetic variation. Even in a population in which all copies of a chromosome were identical, new genetic variants would arise by mutation.

Random events in population genetics – What is random sampling?

Gene frequencies may change by chance

Even when natural selection is not operating, the gene frequencies may change a little from the previous generation just by chance. This can happen because the genes that form a new generation are a random sample from the parental generation.

Random sampling

Random sampling occurs whenever a smaller number of successful individuals (or gametes) are sampled from a larger pool of potential survivors and the fitness of the genotypes are the same. Random sampling works at every stage as a new generation grows up but it starts at conception.

In every species, each individual produces many more gametes than will ever fertilize, or be fertilized, to form new organisms. Using the female trout as an example, it has many thousands of gametes of which a tiny fraction will ever become zygotes.

The successful gametes which do form offspring are a sample from the many gametes that the parents produce. Provided the parent is a heterozygote, such as Aa , it will then produce a large number of gametes, of which approximately one half will be A and the other half a . If that parent produces 10 offspring, it is most likely that five will inherit an A gene and five a . But because the gametes that formed the offspring were sampled from a much larger pool of gametes, it is possible that the proportions would be something else. Perhaps six inherited A and only four a , or three A and seven a.

Random sampling can have important evolutionary effects such as genetic drift and the founder effect.

What is the Founder effect??

Using Polydactyly as an example……extra fingers or sometimes toes ….. is one symptom of Ellis-van Creveld syndrome. The syndrome is commonly found among the Old Order Amish of Pennsylvania, a population that experiences the “founder effect.” Genetically inherited diseases like Ellis-van Creveld are more concentrated among the Amish because they marry within their own community, which prevents new genetic variation from entering the population. Children are therefore more likely to inherit two copies of the particular recessive genes that lead to genetic disease. Because of their closed population stemming from a small number of German immigrants — about 200 individuals — the Amish carry unusual concentrations of gene mutations that cause a number of otherwise rare inherited disorders, including forms of dwarfism. Eastern Pennsylvania is home to beautiful farmlands and countryside, but it’s also a gold mine of information for geneticists, who have studied the region’s Amish culture for decades.

The founder effect can occur in dogs when a breeder inbreeds their dogs and does NOT use a wider variation of genes to create their dogs’ offspring. Maybe not perhaps by having extra fingers or toes, but by other undesirable traits such as personality disorders, behavioral disorders or physical issues as well as internal issues. When dogs are too highly inbred, some do not even survive their first birthday. The female dog can miscarry the entire litter or one or two of the puppies can suffer from what is called the “fading syndrome”. Because defects can vary wide and greatly, it is of great importance that the Goldendoodle breeder become experienced in their selection of breeding methods. Some people can challenge me all they want with regards to the Goldendoodle dog, but we are up for the challenges and will argue with whomever wants to debate the issue regarding first generation Goldendoodles vs. F1B Goldendoodles. There isn’t a single advantage in creating a second generation Goldendoodle…much less an “F1B”. Breeders can argue amongst themselves or with others as to what the term “F1B” means, but we personally will never change our view that “F1B” means the Goldendoodle is an inbred dog. A breeder who creates the “F1B” Goldendoodle will create the Goldendoodle from a 50/50 mixture; meaning, the Goldendoodle comes from a Poodle/Golden Retriever mixture. They will then select one of the offspring and when that offspring becomes old enough to breed, they then breed that Goldendoodle BACK to its brother, sister, mother or father or close relative. Perhaps they even breed it to another Goldendoodle who shares its same ancestry. This is the true meaning of the “F1B” Goldendoodle. We have never created a Goldendoodle in this manner, nor would we want to. We have not ever created a purebred dog in this manner, but many show breeders have. Hence why so many purebred dogs have so many issues, today.

If individual dogs share the same parents or very close ancestry, there’s a greater likelihood that the recessive genes of the “founder” genes will come together in the cells that produce offspring. Thus diseases of recessive genes, which require two copies of the gene to cause the disease, will show up more frequently than they would if the two breeding dogs were not closely related. Further studies have been completed regarding inbreeding.


The fact there are hidden variations at the genetic level is yet another reason why inbreeding (creating F1B Goldendoodles) carries with it an increased likelihood of the expression of a deleterious or lethal allele. It is very likely that all individuals carry some deleterious alleles which are left unexpressed from generation to generation, primarily because the frequencies of these alleles in the whole population is very low. While outbreeding (creating offspring from two unrelated parents) (or exogamy) will significantly reduce the probability of a chance encounter between two individuals carrying the same deleterious alleles, inbreeding will significantly increase this probability on the basis of degree of relatedness. Again, this is why the Goldendoodle hybrid, when created properly by experienced breeders, is a much hardier, healthier dog than their purebred counterparts.

All dogs, as well as all living animals and plants, including humans are made up of living cells. Each microscopic cell is a building block of life that contains a specific set of “biochemical blueprints” called chromosomes. The complex molecules instruct the cell and make it possible for the cell to repair and reproduce themselves. As an example, whether a cell is supposed to be part of an organ such as a heart, or a part of your skin or whether or not its role is to grow hair upon your head, arms or legs. Breeders who study the basic concept of genetics, found out a long time ago that many traits, such as hair coloring of dogs, could be manipulated to produce new coat colors or even new eye colors by breeding two dogs that have one particular coat color or a particular eye color. Breeders found out they could also remove such coloring if they wanted to, in the offspring. A British mathematician/biologist named R.C. Punnett developed a straight forward, yet very powerful statistical tool called the PUNNETT SQUARE to predict the outcome/offspring of breeding individuals with known traits of various characteristics. Even though both parents may have a particular coat color…lets say “Black” (Bb), about 1/4 of the litter of puppies will have buff coat coloring. Why does this occur? Each parent’s pair of genes responsible for determining coat coloring has one recessive buff gene (b) that was passed along to the offspring by their parents and/or their grandparents and so on. This is how we explain eye coloring of the Goldendoodle dog. When a breeder has a puppy with an eye color that neither parent has, you can be sure the eye coloring came from a recessive gene that was a part of the parents’ lineage down through their heritage. This also explains the SMOOTH COAT Goldendoodle.

The Golden Retriever has a smooth coat. The Poodle has a curly coat. When we bred a blue eyed curly coat Goldendoodle to a smooth coat Golden Retriever, interestingly enough, all of the offspring had brown eyes and all of the offspring had a shaggy coat except for one smooth coat who looked like a carbon copy of her purebred Golden Retriever mother. The shaggy coat was a recessive gene carried by the Goldendoodle sire who had littermates himself, as well as ancestors with a shaggy coat. As with the Goldendoodle to Goldendoodle pairing who both had a curly coat and yet did not produce a single curly coat in their offspring, we know that the parents themselves both carried the recessive genes to create the blue, green and brown eyed doodles who had the shaggy coat and smooth coat.

The origin of the Goldendoodle

Goldendoodles originated from the crossing of a Poodle and a Golden Retriever. Some argue that the Aussies (Australians) created the Goldendoodle first and some argue that the Canadians created the Goldendoodle first. Who actually started the Goldendoodle doesn’t matter.
What matters is the fact that Goldendoodles have actually been around much longer than most people realize. Dogs have been mating outside of their own breed since the beginning of man. Every purebred dog in the world began as a mixed breed dog or came to be as a result of many mixtures of other breeds. Lets say that we give the Golden Retriever the letters (GR) to represent the gene pair for the Golden Retriever and the Poodle (PP) to represent the gene pair of the purebred Poodle. The offspring that comes from this pairing is quite accurately predicted by the Punnett’s Square:

GR+PP=GD (Goldendoodle)

Predicted Breed outcome of the litter= 100% Goldendoodle.

When a purebred Golden Retriever is bred to a purebred Poodle, the entire litter of puppies produced is composed of first generation Goldendoodles (GD). They become adult dogs whose physical appearance can be much different than either parent including a variance of physical traits that neither parent dog has, itself. For example, neither Golden Retriever or Poodle has a full facial beard trait that their children, the Goldendoodle, has itself. Neither the Golden Retriever or the Poodle has a shaggy coat that the Goldendoodle child has. But the Goldendoodle dog DOES carry some physical traits and attributes as that of their parental dogs. The Goldendoodle does have almond shaped eyes similar to its Golden Retriever parent. The Goldendoodle may have either a Poodle temperament or a Golden Retriever temperament, depending upon which gene was more dominant. One of two of the pups may have a curly coat that is similar to its Poodle parent. Some of the offspring may have very long, slender legs that is similar to its Poodle parent and some may have shorter legs that are more similar to its Golden Retriever parent. Sometimes the coat type or length of coat is determined by the Golden Retriever. Again, we have come to know by experience that it all depends upon the dominating gene.

Although most Goldendoodles exhibit a favorable combination of their traits and characteristics from both of their parental breeds, they will still retain those alleles (meaning variations) from their parents that were NOT expressed within their first generation. These hidden variations/recessive alleles are analogous to the “buff” coat color discussed up above regarding coat coloring. This is why you may see Goldendoodles that come out of the same litter, have different colored eyes or different coat colors or who have different characteristics amongst each other such as a variance in sizes. While some Goldendoodle breeders believe they can “purify” the Goldendoodle by creating multi-generations or by backbreeding and inbreeding, it doesn’t seem statistically possible to “purify” the outcome of further generational breeding beyond 50% Goldendoodle. Applying the three “unique” gene pairs (GR, PP, GD) created in the Punnett Square which predicted the second generations….it just doesn’t all add up when you go beyond that range. The Punnett Square can not take into account the selective breeding methods being used by Goldendoodle breeders who are involved in attempting to establish this hybrid as a “recognized purebred dog”. It could technically require up to 15 generations (or more) of very fine selective breeding of unrelated Goldendoodles to guarantee ALL subsequent generations of the puppies the same “statistical/genetic purity” as the first generation litter that come from a Golden Retriever/Poodle mixture.
Although the Goldendoodle dog IS recognized as a registered hybrid with many kennel clubs, we older breeders may never see this hybrid as an AKC recognized purebred dog, in our lifetime because it will require an extensive amount of breeding from a select few breeders who then create their own kennel club to create their own Goldendoodle standards just as the breeders did for the purebred dog back in the very early days of man.
I can’t think of too many breeders who desire to keep 15 generations or more, of Goldendoodles, just so they can attempt to “purify” this hybrid.

The Goldendoodle dog is quite a unique dog as it is now and I don’t see why we as breeders need to change this. Those who desire to argue what makes a first generation doodle, a first generation, can argue all they want. Genetics determines what a first generation is, whether plant, animal or human and this fact can not be removed, despite the arguments.



Special thanks to: Jim Gladden
Webmaster, for giving us permission to use parts of his article at

Source by Dee Gerrish

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