The 9 Most Common Health Problems in Goldendoodles

Written by Maura Hoff
Published: November 18, 2023
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Goldendoodles are sweet, loyal, and intelligent dogs that make great family pets. A cross between a golden retriever and a poodle, goldendoodles inherited the best traits and qualities from each parent breed. Still, like all breeds, goldendoodles come with their own set of health problems. If you’re planning to introduce a goldendoodle to your family, prepare to research the breed. Read on to learn the nine most common health problems in goldendoodles.

#1: Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

Color Image, Cute, Horizontal, Nature, No People

A goldendoodle is a good choice as an allergy-friendly pet.

©Dajuana Jones/ via Getty Images

Goldendoodles are active dogs that are easily excitable. They need plenty of exercise and love to run, jump, and play. This behavior is common, but it is tough on their joints, and they are likely to develop hip and elbow dysplasia.

Signs of hip and elbow dysplasia include difficulty getting up or lying down, weak limbs, and limping.

#2: Hypothyroidism or Hyperthyroidism

A small Goldendoodle Puppy (Woody) sits upright underneath a standing larger Goldendoodle Puppy (Toby) in a backyard

People enjoy goldendoodles because they are a loving, loyal, intelligent dog breed.

©Deanna Oliva Kelly/

Goldendoodles have the potential to develop thyroid issues, which regulate their metabolism. Hyperthyroidism is an overactive thyroid that causes a fast metabolism. Hypothyroidism is an underactive thyroid, and it causes the metabolism to slow.

Symptoms of thyroid issues include weight gain without a stronger appetite, lethargy, and loss of fur. Also, be aware of intolerance to the cold, as this could be a sign of a thyroid condition.

#3: Cataracts

Young black and white Goldendoodle lying on the grass

Goldendoodles inherit various coats and colors from the poodle.

©Guy Banville/

Cataracts are a common health issue in poodles, and it was passed along to the goldendoodle as well. Cataracts cause cloudiness within the eyes, and the vision becomes blurry and dull. It is a disease that can eventually lead to blindness.

#4: Addison’s Disease

English Goldendoodle Puppy with dog toy

The goldendoodle breed is a cross between the golden retriever and the poodle.


Addison’s disease is one of the most common health problems in goldendoodles because it is also common in poodles. Also called hypoadrenocorticism, Addison’s disease occurs when the adrenal glands don’t produce the proper hormones within the dog. This causes hormone deficiency issues.

While testing is required for diagnosis, the disease is manageable with monthly medication injections and consistent vet appointments. Symptoms may include weight loss, lethargy, excessive drinking, vomiting, and diarrhea.

#5: Subaortic Stenosis

Goldendoodle, Puppy, Nature, Sitting, Small

The most common goldendoodle colors are gold and cream.

© Sgarlato

#6: Sebaceous Adenitis

Goldendoodle standing on grass

Goldendoodles thrive in an environment with their human companions with plenty of activity and exercise.

©Rena Schild/

Subaortic stenosis is a hereditary heart condition common in golden retrievers. Goldendoodles are also prone to this condition. Subaortic stenosis is the narrowing of the aortic valve that causes a blockage of blood flow to the heart. This causes the heart to work harder and leads to difficulty breathing, fainting, or cardiac arrest. In severe cases, it can also lead to sudden death.

Diagnosis requires X-rays, an electrocardiogram, and an echocardiogram from a cardiologist. Depending on the severity, heart medication can help regulate the disease. Surgery may be an option for extreme cases as well.

#7: Cancer

Goldendoodle Puppy in a Basket

Developed in 1969, goldendoodles became popular “designer dogs” by the 1990s.

© Sendra

A goldendoodle is a cross between a golden retriever and a poodle. Unfortunately, cancer is a common health problem in both parent breeds and is now prominent in the goldendoodle.

Common cancers in dogs include lymphoma, melanoma, and osteosarcoma. If you notice changes in your dog’s behavior or lumps forming on their body, please contact your vet immediately.

#8: Arthritis

Goldendoodle puppy playing with ball on beach

A goldendoodle makes a great service dog because of its sweet, loving demeanor and patience.

©W.H. Photography/

Arthritis is a common condition in dogs with an active lifestyle. Arthritis, or osteoarthritis, causes painful inflammation in multiple joints. A veterinarian can diagnose through physical examinations and X-rays.

Symptoms may include stiff walking and movements and difficulty getting up or lying down. You will also notice your dog will physically slow down during walks and activities. Many show reluctance to perform normal movements like jumping on the couch or walking up and down steps. While there is no cure for arthritis, the pain is manageable with proper nutrition, gentle movement, and medication.

#9: Ear Issues

It is common for golden doodles to struggle with ear issues because of their length and thick fur.

© Banville

Goldendoodles are prone to ear issues because their ears are long, furry, and floppy. This combination is the perfect environment to trap dirt and moisture in the ears, causing an ear or yeast infection.

Symptoms include scratching, rubbing the ears on the floor, and a yeasty smell. Manage infections with antibiotics and proper cleaning. To prevent these ear issues in your goldendoodle, consistent cleaning and ear inspections at home are key.

Summary of the Nine Most Common Health Problems in Goldendoodles

NumberCommon Health Problems in Goldendoodles
1Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
4Addison’s Disease
5Subaortic Stenosis
6Sebaceous Adenitis
9Ear Issues

The photo featured at the top of this post is © anetapics/

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About the Author

Maura Hoff is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is dogs, travel, and hiking. She has been writing for over 10 years and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Pennsylvania State University in 2016. When Maura isn't writing, she spends time with her husband and two Golden Retrievers, Basil and Sunny, in the Colorado mountains. Her passions are cooking, reading, music, and quoting her favorite show, The Office.

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