Goldendoodle Behavior Stages: Understanding Your Dog’s Development

Like any other breed, Goldendoodles go through various behavioral phases as they grow from playful puppies to dignified seniors.

Understanding the behavioral intricacies at each stage of their development is pivotal in fostering a great relationship. From the exuberant energy of puppies, to the trying adolescent years, to the calmness that graces their senior years, Goldendoodles exhibit a rich tapestry of behaviors that can be both endearing and challenging for pet owners.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve deep into the common behavior problems encountered at different life stages of a Goldendoodle and offer practical solutions to help you navigate these challenges with ease.

Whether you are dealing with a hyperactive puppy or a senior Goldendoodle facing the trials of aging, this article aims to equip you with the knowledge and tools to understand and address the unique behavioral patterns exhibited by this beloved breed.

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What are the Goldendoodle behavior stages?

Goldendoodles go through puppyhood (birth to 6 months), where they are highly curious and spend a lot of time biting and chewing. Following this is the adolescent stage (6 months to 3 years), a period marked by increased energy levels, testing boundaries, and heightened intincts. As they transition into adulthood (3 years to around 7 or 8 years), their behavior becomes more settled and predictable. Finally, in their senior years (7 or 8 years and above), they tend to slow down.

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Summary of Goldendoodle Behavior Stages

Life StageAge RangeTypical BehaviorsNotes
PuppyhoodBirth – 6 months– Nursing and sleeping (early weeks)– Critical period for socialization and introducing them to various stimuli.
– Beginning to explore and play with siblings– Puppy Culture program can be beneficial.
– Developing social skills and bonding with littermates– Important to handle them gently and expose them to different experiences.
Adolescence6 months – 3 years– Testing boundaries– A challenging phase where they are learning their place in the pack.
– Increased chewing due to teething– Essential to maintain patience and consistent training.
– Developing prey drive– Regular training and socialization are crucial.
Adulthood3 years – 7/8 years– More settled and predictable behavior– Good training and socialization result in a well-behaved pet.
– Possible onset of overprotectiveness– Advanced training in various fields can be initiated.
– May exhibit selective listening– Regular vet check-ups are recommended to monitor their health.
Senior Years7/8 years and above– Decreased activity and increased sleep time– They may slow down and prefer less strenuous activities.
– Possible sensory decline (hearing and vision)– Essential to provide them with a comfortable living environment and regular medical check-ups.
– Increased anxiety and potential for cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS)– Maintaining a calm environment and providing mental stimulation can be beneficial.

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Understanding Goldendoodle Behavior During the Puppy Stage

Birth to 2 Weeks: The Neonatal Period

During the initial two weeks post-birth, Goldendoodle puppies experience a whirlwind of nursing, snuggling, and sleeping, as their eyes and ears remain sealed.

This stage, known as the “neonatal period,” is pivotal for initiating Puppy Culture practices, which involve handling the pups and providing tactile stimulation, such as tickling their toes, to foster early bonding and healthy development.

2-4 Weeks: The Transition Period

As Goldendoodles transition into the 2-4 weeks stage, they undergo significant sensual development, acquiring early motor skills like walking and wagging their tails.

This “transition period” is a time of exploration and beginning to play with their littermates, setting the stage for more complex behaviors and interactions.

4-12 Weeks: The Socialization Period

The “socialization period” spanning from 4 to 12 weeks is crucial in shaping a pup’s emotional stability and receptivity to new experiences in the future.

During this time, puppies start recognizing their surroundings and the importance of positive interactions with humans and other dogs. Engaging them in play and introducing them to various stimuli, including different sounds and objects, can foster a well-rounded personality.

The Puppy Culture development program ensures pups receive a rich array of experiences, including exposure to water, obstacle courses, and diverse household noises. This approach nurtures well-socialized pups, ready to face the “fear period” that generally occurs between 8-10 weeks with resilience and courage.

Navigating the Fear Period

During the fear period, your Goldendoodle puppy might appear more sensitive to new experiences. It’s a transient phase that aligns with growth spurts, making many new experiences seem intimidating to your young pet.

However, with positive reinforcement, encouraging training, and a sprinkle of patience, your pup will grow out of it, embracing new experiences with a wagging tail.

The Golden Window of Training: Weeks 9-12

Between 9 and 12 weeks, often referred to as the “Golden Window” of training, your doodle is keen to please and eager to learn, looking up to older dogs and confident humans for guidance.

It is the opportune time to lay the groundwork for obedience training, instilling good habits and fostering a calm demeanor.

3-6 Months: The Ranking Stage

As your Goldendoodle enters the 3-6 months phase, they begin to understand the dynamics of submission and dominance, finding their place in the pack.

It’s a stage characterized by teething, which can lead to increased biting and chewing, a natural yet sometimes painful experience for the owners. Remember, this is a normal developmental stage, and with consistent training and redirection to chew toys, you can navigate this period successfully.

During this “ranking stage,” it’s essential to maintain a routine, encouraging good behaviors while gently discouraging undesirable ones.

As your pup explores their social environment, a secondary fear period might emerge around 16 weeks. Consistent positive socialization experiences can help them sail through this phase with increased confidence.

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Navigating the Adolescent Stage in Goldendoodles: A Guide to Understanding and Patience

The Adolescent Stage: A Period of Growth and Discovery

Goldendoodle owners must brace themselves for the adolescent stage, a pivotal phase that lasts from six months to a staggering three years. Retrievers take longer to reach maturity than some other breeds.

This period is a mélange of emotions and behaviors as your doodle transitions from the endearing puppy stage to a more mature adulthood.

Poodle Characteristics Coming to the Fore

During this time, the reserved and protective traits, a signature of their Poodle heritage, become more pronounced. Your doodle might exhibit a heightened sense of caution around strangers and a stronger instinct to guard their home.

It’s a time when the poodle characteristics deeply ingrained in their DNA start to surface, offering a glimpse into their evolving personality traits.

Intensified Retrieving Instincts and Prey Drive

As they grow, their retrieving instincts, a trait inherited from the both sides, become more dominant. This period sees them taking a keener interest in fetch games, showcasing an intensified prey drive.

It is imperative to guide this surge in energy and instinct positively, encouraging structured play and training to nurture good habits and curb potential aggressive behaviors.

A Testing Time for Training

Despite the training foundation laid during the puppy stage, adolescence can be a trying time for training adherence. Your previously obedient doodle might exhibit a stubborn streak, seemingly forgetting their training.

However, maintaining patience and consistency in your training approach can help steer them through this turbulent phase, fostering well-rounded personality development.

Resilience and Understanding: The Key to Nurturing a Happy Doodle

Sadly, many owners feel overwhelmed during this challenging phase, leading to an increase in pet relinquishments. We urge you to hold onto hope and understanding, recognizing this as a transient stage in your doodle’s life.

If you encounter a rescue doodle exhibiting hyperactivity during adolescence, bear in mind that with time, love, and appropriate training, they can evolve into calm and affectionate companions.


The adolescent stage in Goldendoodles, while trying, is but a temporary phase in your pet’s life journey. With understanding, consistent training, and abundant love, you can help your doodle navigate this stage successfully. Remember, the hyperactivity and boundary testing are fleeting; what remains is a loving, loyal, and delightful companion ready to share many joyful moments with you.

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Goldendoodle Adult Behavior: A Guide for Pet Owners

Understanding the Goldendoodle’s Temperament as They Mature

As Goldendoodles transition from adolescence to adulthood, pet owners witness a significant transformation in their temperament.

This period, often wondered by many as the “age Goldendoodles calm down,” is where their behavior solidifies, showcasing the results of the training and socialization they received during their younger years.

Training and Socialization: The Foundation of a Well-Behaved Family Pet

A well-socialized Goldendoodle, nurtured by reputable breeders, tends to grow into a well-behaved family pet. It is a testimony to the consistent training and positive reinforcement techniques applied over a period of time, shaping them into responsive and understanding companions.

During this stage, it is not uncommon to see a reduction in undesirable behaviors such as unnecessary biting or digging, assuming they have been handled well during their formative weeks of age.

The energy level that was once hyperactive during puppyhood gradually stabilizes, paving the way for a more calm and predictable demeanor.

Advanced Training Opportunities

With a solid foundation laid during their younger years, adult Goldendoodles are now ready to embark on more advanced training paths. This is the time when they can be trained for specialized roles such as hunting, service dog training, and agility courses.

Their responsive nature during this stage makes them excellent candidates for off-leash training, allowing them a sense of freedom while ensuring safety.

Engaging them in activities involving puzzle toys can be a great way to stimulate their minds, while games like tug-of-war can be a fun way to expend their energy.

Health Considerations for Adult Goldendoodles

As responsible pet owners, it is essential to keep a close eye on their health as they navigate adulthood. Regular vet check-ups, keeping up with necessary vaccines, and maintaining a balanced diet with the right amount of calories are crucial aspects to ensure their well-being.

Neutering or spaying can be considered during this stage, after consulting with your vet, to prevent potential health problems and promote a longer, healthier life.

Transitioning to the Senior Stage

As Goldendoodles approach their senior stage, a noticeable change in their energy levels and activities is evident. They tend to play less, preferring long periods of time relaxing and enjoying a quieter life.

It is a time to embrace the calmness that comes with age, appreciating the serene moments spent together. Ensuring they have a comfortable space, possibly with crate training incorporated, can provide them with a safe haven to retreat and relax as they gracefully age.


Navigating the adult stage with your Goldendoodle is a rewarding journey, a testimony to the labor of love and commitment from their puppyhood to a mature family pet. It is a stage where the bond deepens, enriched with shared experiences and a mutual understanding that has blossomed over time.

Remember, the journey with your Goldendoodle doesn’t end as they grow; it only transforms, bringing in new experiences and joys at every stage. Embrace the journey with love, patience, and the right guidance to foster a lifelong companionship.

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Senior Stage in Goldendoodles: Cherishing the Golden Years

The Onset of the Senior Stage: A Time of Calmness and Rest

As Goldendoodles gracefully enter their senior stage, pet owners will notice a significant decrease in their energy level.

This phase is characterized by a slower pace of life, with your faithful companion enjoying longer periods of rest and sleep. While they may still find joy in their favorite activities, it is often with less enthusiasm and for shorter durations.

Maintaining Engagement with Familiar Activities

Despite the reduced energy, it is essential to keep them engaged to maintain a healthy lifestyle. They might still enjoy a game of fetch but with less vigor, or find pleasure in solving puzzles but perhaps with a bit more time.

Incorporating activities that require less physical effort, such as scent training, can be a great way to keep their minds active and engaged.

Health and Wellness in the Senior Years

As they age, maintaining good health becomes paramount. Regular vet visits become essential to monitor their health and manage any emerging health problems effectively. It is a time when they might require a different nutritional plan, possibly with a focus on managing calories to prevent weight gain due to reduced activity.

Pain management is a critical aspect of caring for an elderly Goldendoodle. Ensuring they are comfortable and free from pain is vital in keeping them active and happy during their senior years.

Adapting Activities for Goldendoodles with Limited Mobility

For Goldendoodles experiencing reduced mobility, it is still possible to enjoy life to the fullest. Swimming is a fantastic low-impact exercise that allows them to enjoy physical activity without putting strain on their joints.

Moreover, they might find joy in simple pleasures like car rides, where they can experience new sceneries and smells, bringing a sense of excitement and change in their routine.

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The senior stage in a Goldendoodle’s life is a time to cherish the calmness and the deep bond that has developed over the years. It is a period to shower them with love, care, and attention, adapting to their changing needs and ensuring their comfort at all times.

As pet owners, embracing this stage with empathy and understanding, while providing them with the necessary medical care and affection, can ensure that your Goldendoodle enjoys a happy and fulfilling life, filled with plenty of love and joyful moments, even in their golden years.

Goldendoodle Behavior Problems at Every Age

Common Goldendoodle Puppy Behavior Problems and Solutions

Biting and Nipping

Goldendoodle puppies often go through a phase where they explore the world through their mouths, leading to biting and nipping issues.


  • Provide them with plenty of chew toys to satisfy their biting urge.
  • Reinforce positive behavior by praising them when they chew on appropriate items.
  • If they bite you, make a firm but not loud noise and remove yourself to indicate that it is not acceptable.

Excessive Barking

Puppies can sometimes bark excessively due to various reasons such as fear, attention-seeking, or responding to other dogs.


  • Identify and eliminate or reduce the stimuli that cause excessive barking.
  • Train them to understand and respond to commands like “quiet” or “enough.”
  • Reward them with treats when they stop barking on command.


Goldendoodle puppies might develop a digging habit, which can become a problem if not addressed.


  • Provide them with a designated digging area in your yard and train them to use it.
  • Keep them engaged with other activities to divert their attention from digging.
  • Supervise them while they are in the yard to prevent unwanted digging.

Separation Anxiety

Being left alone can cause separation anxiety in Goldendoodle puppies, leading to destructive behaviors and excessive barking.


  • Start by leaving them alone for short periods and gradually increase the duration.
  • Create a safe space for them with their crate, including comfortable bedding and their favorite toys.
  • Avoid making a big fuss when leaving or returning home to reduce anxiety.
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Potty Training Issues

Potty training can be one of the most challenging aspects of raising a puppy, and Goldendoodles are no exception.


  • Establish a consistent potty routine, taking them out at regular intervals.
  • Praise them and offer treats when they do their business in the designated area.
  • Be patient and avoid punishment, as it can create fear and anxiety.

Jumping Up on People

Goldendoodle puppies are friendly and enthusiastic, which can sometimes lead to jumping up on people.


  • Train them to greet people politely with all four paws on the ground.
  • Encourage visitors to turn their back on the puppy if they jump up, to discourage this behavior.
  • Reward calm behavior with praise and treats.

Chewing on Furniture and Other Inappropriate Items

Puppies often chew on furniture and other items, which can be both destructive and dangerous.


  • Puppy-proof your home by removing or protecting items that might be tempting to chew.
  • Provide them with appropriate chew toys to satisfy their chewing urge.
  • Use deterrent sprays on furniture and other items to discourage chewing.


Goldendoodle puppies are known for their loving and friendly nature, but like all puppies, they can exhibit some common behavior problems. By understanding these issues and implementing the solutions mentioned above, you can foster a happy and well-behaved Goldendoodle as they grow.

Common Goldendoodle Adolescent Behavior Problems and Solutions

Stubbornness and Testing Boundaries

As Goldendoodles enter their adolescent stage, they often become more stubborn and start to test the boundaries set by their pet owners.


  • Maintain a consistent routine to foster a sense of security and predictability.
  • Reinforce training regularly to instill good habits and obedience.
  • Use positive reinforcement techniques, rewarding them with treats and praise for good behavior.

Increased Chewing Due to Teething

During adolescence, Goldendoodles go through a teething phase where they have an increased urge to chew on things.


  • Offer a variety of chew toys to alleviate the discomfort associated with teething.
  • Puppy-proof your home to protect your belongings from their chewing tendencies.
  • Encourage them to chew on appropriate items and praise them when they do so.
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Prey Drive and Chasing

Adolescent Goldendoodles might develop a strong prey drive, leading them to chase after small animals, cars, or even people on bikes.


  • Keep them on a leash during walks to prevent unwanted chasing.
  • Train them to respond to commands like “leave it” or “stay” to control their impulses.
  • Provide them with plenty of exercise to burn off excess energy and reduce the urge to chase.

Jumping on Furniture

Adolescents might develop a habit of jumping on furniture, which can be a nuisance and potentially dangerous.


  • Train them to understand and obey commands such as “off” to discourage jumping on furniture.
  • Provide them with their own comfortable space to lie down and relax.
  • Reward them with treats and praise when they choose to lie in their designated area instead of jumping on furniture.

Resource Guarding

Some Goldendoodles may start to exhibit resource guarding behavior, where they become protective of their food, toys, or space.


  • Train them to understand the “leave it” command to prevent resource guarding.
  • Socialize them with other dogs and people to reduce possessiveness.
  • Consult with a professional trainer if resource guarding behavior escalates.

Excessive Barking

Adolescent Goldendoodles might bark excessively due to various reasons, including seeking attention or responding to stimuli.


  • Identify the triggers for excessive barking and try to eliminate or reduce them.
  • Train them to respond to a “quiet” command to control barking.
  • Reward calm behavior with praise and treats to encourage quietness.


Adolescent Goldendoodles are known for their energetic and playful nature, but they can also exhibit some common behavior problems during this stage of development. Understanding these issues and implementing the appropriate solutions can help in raising a well-behaved and happy Goldendoodle.

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Common Goldendoodle Adult Behavior Problems and Solutions

Selective Listening

As Goldendoodles mature into adults, they might develop a tendency to exhibit selective listening, ignoring commands they previously followed diligently.


  • Reinforce training regularly to ensure they adhere to the commands.
  • Use positive reinforcement techniques, rewarding them with treats and praise for good behavior.
  • Maintain consistency in commands to avoid confusion.


Adult Goldendoodles can sometimes become overprotective, especially towards their family members, which can lead to aggressive behaviors.


  • Socialize them regularly with different people and environments to reduce overprotectiveness.
  • Train them to understand that not all strangers are threats.
  • Consult with a professional trainer if the behavior escalates to aggressive tendencies.

Excessive Digging

Some adult Goldendoodles retain their digging habit from their younger stages, which can become a nuisance in your garden or yard.


  • Provide them with a designated digging area and encourage them to use it.
  • Distract them with other activities to reduce their urge to dig.
  • Reward them when they refrain from digging in unwanted areas.

Separation Anxiety

Even as adults, Goldendoodles can experience separation anxiety, leading to destructive behaviors when left alone.


  • Create a safe and comfortable space for them to stay when you are not around.
  • Keep departures and arrivals low-key to reduce anxiety.
  • Consider crate training to provide them with a secure space.
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Pulling on the Leash

Adult Goldendoodles might develop a habit of pulling on the leash during walks, making the experience less enjoyable for both the dog and the owner.


  • Train them to walk nicely on a leash using commands like “heel” or “easy.”
  • Reward them with treats and praise when they walk without pulling.
  • Consider using a no-pull harness to discourage pulling.

Barking at Other Dogs

Some Goldendoodles might bark excessively at other dogs, either due to excitement or perceived threats.



While adult Goldendoodles are generally well-behaved, they can still exhibit some common behavior problems. Understanding these issues and implementing the appropriate solutions can foster a harmonious relationship with your furry companion, ensuring they remain happy and well-adjusted as they grow.

Common Goldendoodle Senior Behavior Problems and Solutions

Decreased Hearing and Vision

As Goldendoodles enter their senior stage, they may face issues related to decreased hearing and vision, which can affect their responsiveness to commands and their surroundings.


  • Be patient and use hand signals along with verbal commands to communicate with them.
  • Ensure their living environment is safe and accommodates their changing sensory abilities.
  • Regular vet check-ups to monitor their hearing and vision health.

Increased Anxiety

Senior Goldendoodles might experience increased anxiety due to changes in their physical health and environment.


  • Maintain a calm and stable environment to reduce anxiety triggers.
  • Offer them a comfortable and secure space where they can retreat to when feeling anxious.
  • Consult with a vet for appropriate anxiety management solutions, including possible medication.


Incontinence can become a problem in senior dogs, leading to accidents in the house.


  • Increase the frequency of potty breaks to prevent accidents.
  • Use dog diapers or protective coverings for furniture to manage incontinence.
  • Consult with a vet to address any underlying health issues causing incontinence.

Arthritis and Joint Issues

Many senior Goldendoodles suffer from arthritis and other joint issues, affecting their mobility and comfort.


  • Provide them with a comfortable bed that supports their joints.
  • Engage them in low-impact exercises, such as swimming, to maintain mobility without straining their joints.
  • Consult with a vet for appropriate pain management and treatment options.

Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS)

Senior Goldendoodles might experience Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome, which can lead to confusion, disorientation, and changes in sleep patterns.


  • Maintain a consistent daily routine to reduce confusion and stress.
  • Provide them with mental stimulation through puzzle toys and scent training to keep their brain active.
  • Consult with a vet for appropriate treatment and management of CDS symptoms.

Decreased Appetite

As they age, Goldendoodles might face issues with decreased appetite, affecting their nutritional intake.


  • Offer them palatable and nutritious meals to encourage eating.
  • Consult with a vet to identify any underlying health issues affecting their appetite.
  • Consider adding supplements to their diet to ensure they receive all necessary nutrients.


Senior Goldendoodles might face a range of behavior problems as they age. Understanding these issues and implementing the right solutions can help in ensuring their comfort and well-being during their golden years. It is essential to approach these problems with patience and empathy, providing your elderly companion with the love and care they deserve.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the behavioral issues of Goldendoodles?

Goldendoodles are generally friendly and social dogs, but like any breed, they can exhibit some behavioral issues. Some common behavioral issues that Goldendoodles may have include separation anxiety, excessive barking, and jumping up on people. However, proper training and socialization can help prevent or reduce these issues.

At what age does a Goldendoodle calm down?

Goldendoodles typically calm down around 2-3 years of age, although this can vary depending on the individual dog. It is important to note that Goldendoodles are energetic dogs and will likely always have a playful side, even as they age.

What is typical Goldendoodle behavior?

Typical Goldendoodle behavior includes being friendly, affectionate, and playful. They are known for being good with children and other pets, making them a great family dog. Goldendoodles also tend to be intelligent and easy to train, making them a popular choice for service and therapy work.

At what age do Goldendoodles go through puberty?

Goldendoodles typically go through puberty around 6-8 months of age. During this time, they may become more independent and stubborn, making training more challenging. It is important to continue training and socializing your Goldendoodle during this stage to ensure they develop into a well-behaved adult dog.

When do Goldendoodles stop biting?

Goldendoodles typically stop biting around 6-8 months of age, once they have gone through their teething phase. However, it is important to continue training and redirecting any biting behavior to ensure they do not develop bad habits.

How does Goldendoodle behavior change as they age?

As Goldendoodles age, they may become less energetic and more relaxed. They may also become more independent and less reliant on their owners for attention and affection. However, proper exercise and mental stimulation can help keep them happy and healthy in their golden years.

PuppyPlayful, energetic, and curious
AdolescentMore independent and stubborn, may test boundaries
AdultAffectionate, loyal, and well-behaved
SeniorLess energetic, more relaxed, and may require more rest

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