Goldendoodle Generations Explained

Algebraic Method:

F1 = Golden Retriever x Poodle

F1b = F1 Goldendoodle x Poodle

F1bb = F1b Goldendoodle x Poodle

F2 = F1 Goldendoodle x F1 Goldendoodle

F2b = F1b Goldendoodle x F1 Goldendoodle

F3 = F1b Goldendoodle x F1b Goldendoodle or F2 Goldendoodle x F2 Goldendoodle

Multigen = Any Goldendoodle breeding consisting of F3 or higher dogs.

More thorough explanations below:

F1 is a pure bred Poodle crossed with a Golden Retriever. F1’s are low to non-shedding puppies. F1’s exhibit hybrid vigour (Generally healthier than both parent dogs). This generation can be good for those with mild allergies, but we recommend going to an F1b or higher generation for those with allergies.

F1b is a pure bred poodle crossed with a F1 dog. F1b’s are more non-shedding than the F1 cross. F1b’s exhibit less hybrid vigour but do still benefit from it. This generation is more suitable for those with more severe allergies.

F1bb is an F1b crossed with a Poodle. F1bb’s are non-shedding. Often if an F1b carries for Improper Coat and you are wanting puppies suitable for allergy sufferers, you can cross the F1b back to the Poodle to maintain a proper coat.

F2 is a F1 crossed with another F1. I do not breed F2’s. The only reason for this is 25% of the litter will have straight coats on average and this is not a trait that I want to breed into my dogs, as they will shed and not be good for allergy sufferers. That being said 75% of the litter have wavy to curly coats. F2’s can be anywhere from heavy shedding to low-shedding to non-shedding.

F2b is an F1 crossed with a F1b. If tested for Improper Coat, these should be non-shedding and good for allergy sufferers.

F3 is a F2 crossed with and F2 or an F1b crossed with and F1b. These when tested for Improper Coat, should be non-shedding and good for allergy sufferers. Most often you will see the F1b to F1b cross for F3’s.

Multigen is a any breeding consisting of two Goldendoodles bred together that have an F3 or higher parent. Ex. F3 to F3, F3 to F1b, F2b to multigen, etc…

It is important to understand generations so that we are producing puppies with consistent traits that are good for allergy sufferers and have proper coats, but generation is not as important as coat testing and focusing on specific traits of each individual dogs including structure and temperament.

Genetics do not work on a percentage basis. So, by breeding an F1 to an F1b you get an F2b which in theory you will get 62.5% Poodle and 37.5% Golden Retriever, but in reality you could have one puppy in that litter that took on majority of the Poodle traits  and one that took on majority of the Golden traits. This is why as a breeder you need to assess each individual parent for structure, temperament, health testing and coat testing. When breeding an F1b I would first test the dog for Improper Coat (IC), Curl and now the newly available Shedding gene. If that puppy came back carrying two Furnishings genes (No IC), two Curl genes and Two non-shedding genes, I would be able to breed that dog to a Golden Retriever, F1 Goldendoodle or any other Goldendoodle and have proper coats. So, I would next assess the dog’s structure and temperament. If this dog had a more active temperament and long legs and leaner structure of the Poodle, I would consider breeding to a dog with more Golden Retriever to get a thicker structure and calmer temperament. This could go the other way though too, if the F1b carried for IC and non-curl. I would not be able to breed that dog to a Golden or an F1 Goldendoodle, due to getting improper coats, shedding and allergy issues. I would then find an F1b or higher generation male that didn’t carry for IC or non-curl and would decide on that male based on structure and temperament. If the female was very active and had the long legs and lean structure of the Poodle, I would find a male that had more of the Golden structure and temperament.

Mendelian Method: 

F1 = Golden Retriever x Poodle

F1b = F1 Goldendoodle x Poodle

F2 = F1 Goldendoodle x F1 Goldendoodle

=  F1b Goldendoodle x F1 Goldendoodle

= F1b Goldendoodle x F1b Goldendoodle

= F1 Goldendoodle x F1bb Goldendoodle

= F1 Goldendoodle x F2 Goldendoodle

= F1 Goldendoodle x Multigen Goldendoodle

= F1b Goldendoodle x F3 Goldendoodle

= F1bb Goldendoodle x F3 Goldendoodle

= F1 Goldendoodle x F3 Goldendoodle

F2b = F2 Goldendoodle x Poodle

F3 = F2 Goldendoodle x F2 Goldendoodle

= F2 Goldendoodle x F3 Goldendoodle

= F2 Goldendoodle x Multigen Goldendoodle

= F2b Goldendoodle x F2 Goldendoodle

= F2b Goldendoodle x F3 Goldendoodle

= F2b Goldendoodle x F2b Goldendoodle

F3b = F3 Goldendoodle x Poodle

Multigen = F3 Goldendoodle x F3 Goldendoodle

= F3b Goldendoodle x F3b Goldendoodle

= F3 Goldendoodle x Multigen Goldendoodle

This method of doing generations comes from mendelian genetics. This was a great method for Gregor Mendel to identify dominant and recessive genes. This method however is misleading when being used for breeding dogs. The reason why this is misleading is when people in the breeding community think about an F2, they think of an F1 bred to another F1, which is a cross that many breeder avoid and is also 50% Golden Retriever and 50% Poodle. If we also label an F1bb bred to another F1bb as also F2, which is 87.5% Poodle as a percentage, but could be even more with a breeder that isn’t paying close attention to structure and temperament of each breeding pair. To label both of these matings as the same thing will ultimately be detrimental to the breed as a whole if people aren’t aware of the background of each mating.

Both Charts are Good and Bad:

There are so many different generation charts out there and every breeder seems to call each generation something different. This can be confusing and when there isn’t any consistency it can be misleading using a lot of these labels.

I think what we really need to start with as breeders is identifying what are goals are as breeders. My personal goal as a Goldendoodle breeder is to produce a dog with the stockier build of the Golden Retriever, with the the intelligence of the Poodle and more laid back temperament of the Golden Retriever. Also, long term I hope to have all my dogs have two furnishing genes, like the Poodle, but maintain a combination of wavy coats and loose curly coats. These goals are going to be slightly different for each breeder, but you will find the majority of breeders of Goldendoodles are looking for something along these lines.

One thing everyone can agree on is the first few generations, as follows:

F1 = Golden Retriever bred to a Poodle

F1b = F1 bred to a Poodle

F1bb = F1b bred to a Poodle

F2 = F1 bred to another F1

After the F2 generation there is debate on how to move forward with proper terminology.

There is a field of thought that we should use proper Mendelian genetics for naming each generation. This would go by the theory that each generation is characterised by one number higher than the parent breeds lowest generation. Ex. F2 to F2 = F3, but also F2b to F1 = F2, F7 to F1 = F2, F3b to F1b = F2, while this works genetically, this was used to identify inheritance of genes and was used with a model of breedings siblings together to identify genes. So a true F1 bred to another F1 producing F2’s would be siblings bred together to produce second generation offspring (F2), which is not what we want to do when breeding. I also feel with the amount of backcrossing to a Poodle that goes on in Goldendoodles would actually make this type of charting not helpful and can in some ways be misleading.

The other train of thought is to do generations using an algebraic method. By doing this an F1b to F1 = F2b, F2b to F1 = F3b, F3b to F1b = Multigen, etc. The problem with this method is it is not correct filial labeling either and we as breeders don’t want to put things our there that are genetically wrong.

I suggest that we do neither of these methods! Our focus needs to be less on specific generation and more on structure, temperament and DNA’d coat type to make future decision on what to breed to. Genes don’t work on a straight percentage basis. You will get some F1b’s that have taken on a lot of Poodle traits and some F1b’s that have taken on a lot of Golden Retriever traits. We need to sit down with each breeding dog and evaluate all their traits and what we feel they have taken after more to make proper breeding decisions. We also need to DNA test each breeding dog for coat traits, such as Furnishings and Curl (Can also do Shedding locus if wanted).

If I have an F1b that is long and lean and has a curly coat, that tests as two curl genes and two furnishing genes​, we know that this dog has taken on more Poodle traits than Golden Retriever traits, so making a decision to breed the dog to a Poodle, would not be a wise decision when you are striving for specific breeding goals.

My proposition for deciding on what generation to breed a dog to is to have an evaluation of each dog you wish to breed. Many breeders make these decisions based on mathematical generation and emotional attachment to their dogs. We need to take the emotional attachment away to make objective decisions. Then we need to look at the strengths and weaknesses of each individual dog and pair them with a mate that complements them based on structure, temperament and coat traits.

***Note: This is purely a discussion on breeding generations. We assume in all breeding decision that we are always making sure that each individual dog has passed their health testing thoroughly and is conformationally sound before any breeding every takes place.


58 thoughts on “Goldendoodle Generations Explained

  1. Hi Kent….I have an f2b boy wanting to possibly breed him later. What cost tests do I need and what do I want them to come out like?


    1. You will want to do a minimum of the Furnishings (IC) test. But, I would also recommend curl testing and the shedding locus (Assuming this is a Goldendoodle). If he comes from a short coated breed like a Labrador Retriever, then I also would do the short hair gene. These will give you the coat type you will need to properly pick a mate for him and ensure proper coats with the right amount of curl and shedding.


  2. I have a female pure breed golden retriever and my question is if she is bred with a f1 Goldendoodle what would her puppies be?


    1. Technically they would be F1b, because ‘b’ just means backcross, but my worry with that is that it would be misleading to the public because most people consider the backcross in Goldendoodles to be to a Poodle not a Golden Retriever. I would just be up front with that information right away, so as to not confuse anyone.


    2. 25% would have Golden Retriever coats, 25% would have no furnishings, but some curl in the longer body hair of the coat, 25% would look like an F1 and 25% would look like a straighter coated F1.


  3. Hi! My daughter is thinking of getting a F2b to breed. What are your thoughts. She is wondering if she got the F2b what would be the ideal mate for the best puppies?


  4. I have several questions. First, who do you use to do the testing that you mentioned? 2nd, I have bred my F1 who has strait hair, and does shed some, with my Standard poodle. It looks like the gene was not passed on to the puppies. Does this sound right?


    1. I do majority of my testing with Paw Print Genetics. What exactly do you mean by straight hair? Does she lack furnishings or have weak furnishings or does she just not have a curl gene? It is possible to have an F1 that has a flatter looking coat, but produce fluffy coats in all the puppies because of the Poodles proper coat genes. If you could send me a picture that would help.


  5. I have just bred an F1b to another F1b. Both have 2 furnishing genes and 2 curl genes. One tested as low shedding with long coat the other tested as high shedding with short coat but carries long coat. I haven’t noticed any shedding other than when they were losing their puppy coats. My questions are, what generation would the puppies be and would you give me your thoughts on their shedding possibilities?


    1. Generation at that point depends on who you talk to. Personally the most accurate is best described as multigen because you could get any variation of genes with that cross. Some people would describe it as an F3 though. The ones with short hair genes can shed more, but with two furnishing genes on both parents they shouldn’t shed much.


  6. My toy goldendoodle’s paerents are both f1b’s
    What does that make him? His mom was 7.5lbs, dad was 12lbs, and he has passed both of his parents weights right now at 4.5 months old At 13 lbs. He has always had shorter fluffy hair and new coat is coming in now. His new coat is wavy along his back. His ears and the rest of his body is kind straight and has no facial beard at all. Can you tell me anything about my pup? Can I send you a picture?


    1. You can send me a picture for sure, but depending on what traits you puppy took after from both parents and what the parents inherited from their parents, you puppy could be any combination of coat types with this combination. I personally would consider this generation a multigen simply because at that point depending on what the breeder was breeding for, you could have any combination of traits, but some would refer to your puppy as an F3.


    1. Because an F2 can be any combination of genes depending on what they get from each parent, the puppies can be many different combinations bred back to the F1 parent, at that point, I would call it a multigen and more specifically describe to the families the litter based on the traits exhibited in the parents. It is less about the generation and more about the specific traits that the breeder is breeding for. This combination could have puppies that are similar to an F1, F1b or even a partial litter of Golden Retriever genes predominantly. There are many that would consider that an F3 litter, but I prefer to focus more on the traits and less on the generation.


    1. Allergies are complex and don’t necessarily correlate with generation. A multigen if bred specifically with dogs that have been tested to be more likely to be better for allergies, would be better than and F1 or F1b generation in theory, but if a breeder is not selecting for those traits and testing along the way, they could actually be worse for allergies than an F1 or F1b puppy. It is important to look at the genetics instead of generation.


  7. What kind of coat would you get by breeding an F1B with a Golden Retriever? Would that mess up the coat or would that bring it back to the coat of an F1??


    1. It would depend on the coat that the F1b had. If they tested back as having two furnishing genes and two curl genes, you would get coats like an F1 litter from that cross. If they didn’t have two furnishings, you would get some coat that looked more like a Golden Retriever. If they didn’t have two curl genes, you would get some that had straight coats (which in Goldendoodles is similar to a wavy coat).


  8. Hello,

    I am getting an F1bb puppy and we would like to breed her in 2 years. What should we breed her with to produce the most desirable puppies?


    1. It is less about generation and more about health testing, coat testing, structure and temperament. I would start with evaluating her structure and health testing your girl, if everything passes, then coat test her. If she comes back with two furnishing genes, you can breed to any generation, but if she comes back with one furnishing gene, you will need to get a stud with two furnishing genes. Ideally because she has a lot of Poodle in her and probably has more Poodle traits, I personally would look for a stud with the most Golden Retriever traits.


  9. Hello, I have a F2b female that I plan on doing genetic and health testing on before I breed her. Where do you prefer to have this testing done? I have also found a potential stud for her who is a F1. If I need her with him what would the puppies be considered?


        1. Often I see them grow in, but it takes longer for them to grow in and sometimes their coat is not as fluffy, but a bit wirey, but generally it grows in fluffy and looks like the rest of their litter by 6 to 8 months old.


  10. hey there! I have a litter of F1BB golden doodles and are wondering, if i was to keep one to breed her, what would be the best generation be to breed back too? I want that curly coat, non-shedding, hypoallergenic traits. I know it has to do with the genetics more so than it does the generation.


    1. I would personally recommend breeding back to a dog that has more Golden traits because there is already a lot of Poodle traits in your dog, but start with testing your Goldendoodle for furnishings and curl and evaluating her structurally, then go from there to pair with another Goldendoodle. It is less about generation and more about structure and testing.


  11. I had some F1b puppies where 30% had a much longer snout (they also happened to be the ones that appeared to have a weak furnishing gene). Do you know of any connection between snout length and furnishings? Stud poodle is CC for muzzle length/Gene BMP3.


    1. Those traits are independent of each other, so should not affect each other, so probably more of a coincidence. It is possible that they looked longer though due to having weak furnishings because they didn’t have as much thick furnishings to make the nose look wider.


    1. I like both, but prefer the way that Paw Prints tests, using two different methods, especially for common diseases found in the breed. Embark is nice for research based testing to see if there is anything new popping up in the breed though. I actually use both.


  12. Hi!! What type of coats would you expect if breeding an F1b to a Golden Retriever? Is it not as desirable? I can’t seem to find info on breeding back to the retriever, only the poodle.


    1. It will entirely depend on the F1b’s coat genetics. If the F1b has two furnsihings and two curls, they will look just like F1’s coat wise. But, if there is only one furnishing gene, you will get half improper coats, etc. To answer this question properly, I would need coat testing results.


  13. I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned from you and the articles you’ve written. I’m the proud owner of a Merle Doodle and your articles are always the best & most accurate. You’ve helped me twice even though you’re very busy. Keep up the good work. My 1st litter of Goldendoodles are beautiful. Even though Zoey carries the Phantom Gene and was bred to a Phantom you pointed out Zoey carried a blocker. Told me it was possible but highly unlikely she’d produce a Phantom. You were right again!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Genetic help needed please. I have an f1bb female I think. She is an f1b bred to a poodle. I’m curious what I should breed her with to get the most desirable offspring. Is there a way to get back to f1b? Thank you!


    1. It would depend on what she took after from both parents. She would need to be tested for furnishings and curl and go from there to find the right stud. Ideally adding more Golden in to the lines is better with how much Poodle. But, some F1bb’s have more traits for the Golden and some have more traits from the Poodle. Genetics don’t work in percentages like that. Beyond coat too, there are other way more important things like health testing, temperament and structure that will come into play first.


    1. Technically whenever you breed back to a poodle you add a ‘B’, but given that an F2b could have many genetic combinations depending on how the breeder bred the dog, some would also use the term multigen, but describe what type of multigen.


  15. Hi I have a goldendoodle f1b what Ill get a goldendoodle f2b . Girl 75 percent poodle and boy 66percent poodle? It can still be f2b?


    1. At that point I would call them a multigen because the puppies could have any combination of genes. It depends on what you are breeding for at that point for what traits were selected in each parents, etc.


  16. Hi,
    I found your post on genetics very interesting! Thank you!
    I’m considering getting an F2b – from poodle dad and F2 goldendoodle mom. The family that’s breeding them did health testing but not genetic testing. Do you think a puppy with (theoretically) 75% poodle will have “enough” golden to have the traits they’re so known and loved for?

    I’m trying to decide between this litter and an Australian Labradoodle.


    1. It really depends on the traits of the F2. An F2 can take on many different versions of the traits of the parent breeds. The breeder could have selected for Golden traits or Poodle traits. So, it is hard to say without evaluating the F2 and also the puppy to see what side the puppy took after more. This is why once you breed past the F1b generation, it is important to know what your breeders goals are.


  17. Hi, what would be your thoughts on breeding an f1b stud to a Golden Retriever bitch. I loved my 2 Goldens and really hate to get further away from the Golden personality. I got my boy in part to get away from shedding. He is an awesome team mate and we love to compete in sports. He has titled in Obedience, agility and other things. I think he is a good stud prospect.


    1. If all his temperament, conformation and health testing is good, I love the combination of an F1b to a Golden Retriever. I have actually bred one of my multigens, that would be similar to an F1b genetically to a Golden Retriever before.


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