What kind of dog is that?

Nike and Athena

Edited June 16, 2021

In an effort to have well-socialized dogs, Athena and Nike go just about everywhere they’re allowed. Lots of people stop us to say hello, and almost every time they ask the same question.

“What kind?”

I’m going to run down both Athena and Nike’s breeds here. While the goldendoodle is already pretty well documented, the giant schnoodle is not so much. So, I hope that this article proves helpful to anyone wanting to learn about either breed!

Athena is a Giant Schnoodle.

Athena at 8 weeks.

Let’s start by talking about our girl, since she resembles any number of other breeds. People often try to guess what kind she is; common guesses are bernedoodle and labradoodle. However, nobody has gotten schnoodle on the first try! Often, they ask what that means when I tell them.

What does Giant mean?

There are several sizes of schnoodle, which are different combinations of schnauzers and poodles. For example, miniature schnoodles are a mix of miniature schnauzers and toy poodles. Athena is considered a Giant because her mom is a giant schnauzer and her dad is a standard poodle.

How much is she like her parents?

Athena at 8 months.

Both the schnauzer and poodle are hypoallergenic. They are also both incredibly intelligent breeds. Both of these traits tend to pass down to their offspring! Athena is non-shedding and extremely smart.

Some schnauzer characteristics are also likely in schnoodle pups. Stubbornness, protectiveness, and a digging habit are a few. Likewise, the poodle parent may pass down a love for water, athleticism, and a haughty attitude. Athena is luckily not much of a digger, but she does love water!

Any combination of traits is possible, but for the most part schnoodles are great companions. They have an affectionate, protective nature and learn commands almost immediately. Schnoodles also tend to pick a “favorite person” in a family who they are most clingy with. Finally, they’re fantastic with kids. Still be mindful, as they grow fast and love to jump!

I think the most interesting thing about Athena is that she is just about a carbon copy of her mom. Most people assume she looks like her dad, but she has almost no poodle in her, in my view.

Nike is an F1 Goldendoodle.

Nike at 8 weeks.

Like with Athena, people often try to guess what Nike is, though they are more often correct! The strangest guess I’ve gotten was bull mastiff. His unique colors are usually what throw people off.

What does F1 mean?

Most people already know what a goldendoodle is, but in getting Nike, I learned just how complicated they really can be. There are several “generations” of goldendoodle, and each has different properties because they are such-and-such percent poodle.

Nike is the simplest type of goldendoodle to breed, but surprisingly not the most common I’ve seen online: F1. This means his mom is a full-bred golden retriever, and his dad is a full-bred poodle, making him 50% poodle.

In searching for “goldendoodle” on Google, I can see why people don’t guess what he is. Most of them, from what I can tell, are F1B or F1BB. These generations are “back-bred” to a poodle. So, instead of two full-bred parents, an F1B goldendoodle has a full-bred poodle parent and an F1 goldendoodle parent.

This makes them much curlier and more likely to be non-shedding. Also, the temperament is a little harder to predict. Because Nike is a first-generation doodle, his traits were easier to predict, but he also has the potential to shed.

Is he more like his mom or his dad?

Nike at 6 months

We’ve already talked a little about poodle traits, but another to add here is color clearing. Retrievers tend to darken, but the poodle clearing gene overrides that most of the time with goldendoodles. Nike changes into a more golden-red color with each day!

As for the retriever side, doodles tend to inherit their happy-go-lucky nature. Nike definitely goes with the flow more than alert-dog Athena. Additionally, their mouths seem softer to me, but maybe I’m biased since I’ve been through puppyhood twice.

Also different with Nike is his way with people. While Athena definitely chooses favorites, Nike loves everyone equally and is incidentally much more independent.

Do they shed?

Although I covered this in each of their individual overviews, I get asked this question a lot, so I wanted to make it as clear as possible. Athena is 100% non-shedding, but Nike does shed a little. As he gets older and his coat continues to change, he may shed more or less. That’s just the way it is with a first-generation goldendoodle!

That’s about it.

I think I’ve covered almost every question I’ve been asked, but please feel free to leave your questions or comments below.

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