Ever since the first doodle appeared on the world scene, the so-called designer dogs (Goldendoodles, Labradoodles, cockapoos, etc.) have blossomed in popularity.
Poodle mixes like the Goldendoodle are trendy now in the United States, with many dogs fetching hefty prices for breeders.
The popularity of the Goldendoodle, in particular, is far from mystifying. Combining the intelligence of two of the smartest dogs in the world, the energy and loyalty of the golden retriever, and (significantly) the hypoallergenic coat of the poodle is a no-brainer.
If you’re looking to get yourself a Goldendoodle, you may have seen breeders advertising F1 and F1B Goldens. In this article, we’ll break down the difference between F1 and F1B Goldendoodles and go into a side-by-side comparison, looking at potential health problems, shedding, and price.
Dog Genealogy Crash Course: F1 vs F1B?
The designation “F” as in “F1” and “F1B” isn’t just particular to Goldendoodles: this is a designation given to all designer dogs. The “F” in the title stands for filial. Essentially what it means is that this is not a purebred dog.
The term filial in genetics comes from the cross-mating of two distinct parental types to create a hybrid breed. All Goldendoodles are hybrids of poodles and golden retrievers, but the magic of genetics is the composition and generation matter.
Breeders use the “F” designation, followed by some numbers and letters, to indicate the exact parentage that led to your particular dog. Let’s look specifically at “F1” and “F1B.”
What Does F1 Goldendoodle Mean?
The F1 Goldendoodle is the original Goldendoodle, the OG. Its designation, filial 1, tells us the parents are a purebred golden retriever and a purebred poodle. This Goldendoodle is the first generation of Goldendoodles.
What is an F1B Goldendoodle?
F1B, in genetics, means “filial 1 backcross.” In an F1B generation, the product of a cross-breed is mated with a purebred of one of the parents’ types.
In other words, the F1B Goldendoodle is a mix between an F1 Goldendoodle and a purebred parent, either a poodle or a golden retriever.
The cross tends to make the Goldendoodle closer in its physical traits to the purebred dog with which the F1B’s Goldendoodle parent was bred.
An important thing to note here is that both a poodle plus Goldendoodle and a golden retriever plus Goldendoodle are designated F1B. Almost all breeders will choose the first combination, mixing the poodle with the Goldendoodle. The combination of a poodle plus Goldendoodle brings out the hypoallergenic qualities.
Other Filial Designations
Goldendoodles are most popularly F1 and F1B, but you might see other designations. Here’s a breakdown of the most common ones.
F2, F3, etc.: In F2 and F3 generations, Goldendoodles are mixed. These dogs are still 50 percent poodle and 50 percent golden retriever, but new traits can develop in new generations.
F1BB: F1BB stands for Filial 1 Backcross Backcross. This doodle is the product of two backcrosses in the genetic line. An F1BB Goldendoodle may be, for example, 87.5% poodle and merely 12.5% golden retriever.
F1 vs F1B Goldendoodle: A Side By Side Comparison
So you’re trying to decide between an F1 and F1B Goldendoodle? While both will inherit elements of the hypoallergenic coat from their poodle papa (or mama), the differences between the two are significant enough to warrant careful consideration.
Appearance and hypoallergenic-ness can vary between F1 and F1B Goldendoodles.
Before we look into the details, however, we need to discuss one thing. Genetics are beautiful, and the zygote that results from the first union of a Goldendoodle’s parents may be wildly different from the zygote of those same parents’ second union.
That is all to say that each generation of Goldendoodle will vary in its traits. What we can offer here are merely guidelines, typical manifestations of each Goldendoodle generation.
Ready? Let’s take a look.
F1 vs F1B Goldendoodle Shedding
We will assume the breeder has chosen to mate a poodle with a Goldendoodle to make the F1B generation. When this is the case (which it most commonly is), the Goldendoodle is much less likely to shed.
F1 Goldendoodles, on the other hand, present no guarantee that they won’t shed. The wavy, shedding coat of the golden retriever just as often makes its way onto the resultant pups, and these pups will have some shedding.
Typically, F1B Goldendoodles have minimal to no shedding.
F1: May shed, not guaranteed
F1B: Likely no shedding
F1 vs F1B Goldendoodle Hypoallergenic
As a rule of thumb, a Goldendoodle is hypoallergenic relative to the amount that it sheds. When a Goldendoodle doesn’t shed at all, it is less likely to irritate those with allergies. Conversely, a shedding Goldendoodle tends to be a problem for those with dog allergies.
F1: may be hypoallergenic. Not guaranteed.
F1B: likely hypoallergenic.
F1 vs F1B Goldendoodle Grooming
The grooming of F1 vs F1B Goldendoodle depends on the nature of the doodle’s coat. If your Goldendoodle has a coat closer to that of a Golden Retriever, you may want to follow the grooming guidelines closer to those of shedding dogs.
F1B Goldendoodles tend to have a coat closer to a poodle, meaning you should follow a grooming regimen closer to that of the poodle. This means regular trips to the groomer for hair cuts and semi-frequent baths.
F1: If shedding, brush down twice a week with a slicker brush. During seasonal shifts, brush every day. Give occasional baths to keep it clean.
F1B: Take to the groomer every six weeks to two months for a bath and a trim. In the wintertime, allow the hair to grow out to keep the dog warm. In the summertime, trim the hair short to keep the dog from getting too hot.
F1 vs F1B Goldendoodle Appearance
The appearance of F1 and F1B Goldendoodles can vary enormously. Many F1 Goldendoodles have the wavy hair of the golden, but there are also many F1 Goldendoodles with that characteristic curly coat we expect to see on poodles.
F1B Goldendoodles are much more likely to resemble a poodle, wearing that curly poodle coat all year round.
Both generations of Goldendoodle tend to be between apricot and tan, although they can also be black, brown, and even white.
F1: may have a wavy, flat golden retriever coat or may have a curly poodle coat.
F1B: likely has a curly poodle coat.
Both: vary in color between white, red, black, and everything in between.
F1 vs F1B Goldendoodle Health Issues
Generally, hybrid dogs may have fewer health risks than their purebred parents, as the genetic diversity inherent in their parentage tends to give Goldendoodles robust genes. Goldendoodles are, however, big dogs, and like all big dogs, they can face a slew of health issues.
Be on the lookout for hip dysplasia, gastric torsion, Addison’s disease, and other health problems. Note: many of these diseases are genetic. It never hurts to ask your breeder about the health issues of previous generations.
F1 vs F1B Goldendoodle Price
The F1 and F1B Goldendoodle price can vary widely from region to region, although F1 and F1B Goldendoodles don’t differ significantly in price on local markets.
Depending on where you live and the demand for Goldendoodles, these dogs may attain a price tag of $3,000 or more. On the lower end of the spectrum, Goldendoodles might sell for under $2,000 — but not too much less than that.
A Note: Goldendoodle Breeders
Due to the tremendous growth of popularity of the designer breeds (amongst which Goldendoodles are one), several breeders have cropped up on the scene. Because the AKC (American Kennel Club) doesn’t officially recognize Goldendoodles as a breed, these breeders often require no certifications or credentials to peddle their wares (or poodle their wares, as the case may be).
Many Goldendoodle breeders are ethical, looking out for the health and happiness of the mother and the puppies. However, just as many are animal abusers looking to make some money off the burgeoning popularity of designer breeds.
Here are some warning signs of a bad breeder:
- They won’t let you see the parents
- Selling three or four different kinds of dogs (F1, F1B, cockapoo, labradoodle, for example)
- Selling the puppies before they reach eight weeks of age
- High frequency of litters for sale; advertising often
Check out some more warning signs here. With Goldendoodles, do your best to source from a responsible breeder because there are no official regulations in place to keep Goldendoodle breeders ethical.
Furthermore, the act of sourcing responsible breeders isn’t just about the health and well-being of the parents, it’s about the health of your dog. If the breeder doesn’t keep up with the health conditions of previous generations and mates, say, Addison’s disease-prone pups, the offspring has a much lower chance at longevity. In this situation, you may find yourself paying $3,000 for a dog who only lives for four or five years.
It’s not difficult to understand the success of the Goldendoodle. Generally healthier than either poodles or golden retrievers, often with a poodle’s coat and a golden retriever’s sunny disposition, Goldendoodles are an excellent choice for anyone — whether a single doggy parent or a whole family.
If you’ve decided to get a Goldendoodle, congratulations! We wish you a loving, long-lived, and (if you’re into it) hypoallergenic companion.