Marlow has a unique coat but we need to be clear that Marlow is NOT hypoallergenic. She is a “Goldendoodle” which means she is part Golden Retriever, a shedding dog. Marlow also requires regular brushing as her fur will easily mat up if not kept up. She sheds regularly, and her family should be prepared to take her to get groomed often. Regular trips to the groomer to keep her nicely trimmed will also be required. There is quite a bit of upkeep with this coat type and it can become a huge mess quickly so the time and energy to keep up this type of coat will have to be taken into consideration as well. This is quite the undertaking and not something everyone wants to take on or has the time or desire to do.
Marlow came from a puppy mill. When we picked her up for the first time, she was unable to walk on her own, and she was quite chubby, most likely from spending the majority of the first 5 months of her life in a kennel without walks outside. She was very shy, and took almost 30 minutes to come into the house on her own for the first time. She quickly made a close connection with one of our family members, and sought comfort in her presence around the house. Her favourite hiding place was this family member’s room – it took a lot of coaxing to spend time in other common areas of the house, such as the kitchen, living rooms, and basement, where she continues to slowly come out of her shell to explore more. She is still very skittish and will often retreat to her comfort room when she is unsure of a situation or feels threatened, such as an unfamiliar noise or a person she doesn’t know coming into the house.. She looks scared and nervous when she hears loud noises, such as the vacuum, other dogs barking, and cars, but she is also jumpy at smaller more common noises, such as doors opening or closing, music, or someone shoveling a driveway. Marlow has a ways to go still in regards to her confidence building but is making great strides and with patient, kind people who understand that you need to push her out of her comfort zones sometimes in order for her to move forward, she will flourish. She will not be a suitable dog for 1st time dog owners and requires someone expereicned with shy dogs who understands that babying her and keeping her at home is counterproductive to her confidence building and she needs to be challenged to face her fears, but not too much too soon. It’s a balancing act that requires knowledgeable people to undertake with kindness and patience. The pay off is huge though and the dog that Marlow is today is heads and tails more confident than the dog that arrived to our home, and she is only going to get better and more confident in time.
Marlow would be well suited in a home that can provide lots of chew toys! These would be most helpful in areas that she frequents, and even bringing one into the vehicle when traveling with her. Marlow is not a counter surfer and won’t go digging in the garbage, but anything small enough to fit in her mouth should be kept off of the floor. She is very much a puppy and puts everything in her mouth so supervision is key! Marlow is not being fostered in a home with children, and we are looking for an adult only home for her, She will find the noise, energy and activity of children to be too frightening. Down the road, in a few years where she has had her families time and focus and training, and is a confident girl, she could be a good family dog, but for now, what is best for her is a quieter home with adults. She also needs to be considered a flight risk so anyone in the home needs to ensure that all doors to the outside and yard gates are shut properly and that she isn’t allowed to be off leash outside of a secure fenced in area. Her home must have a secure fenced yard with minimum 5ft fencing and no gaps or loose boards. She is still learning about the world around her and as noises startle her, she would bolt when scared and would not come back. For her safety she needs to have responsible people who will ensure that her fenced yard is escape proof and that she is on leash at all times when outside of a secure fenced area.
Her current foster home has another dog, who is a confident role model and acts as her guide to how to react to things around the house and outside the house. She is timid around other dogs and people that she doesn’t know, but seems to have more confidence when the other dog is present and can scope out the person or dog first. She will require a home with a mild mannered, confident male dog that will be kind to her and be her new role model as this is what is best for Marlow. The two dogs are always walked together, she will walk quite quickly to catch up with the other dog, who she likes to walk directly beside. Our dog is trained with voice commands and treats for good behavior, and we have incorporated the same learning style into Marlow’s walks. Marlow walks with a Gentle Leader head halter to control her as she likes to pull. She is starting to love her walks and this is where she is truly happy! She loves nature walks and hikes and is quite active outdoors. She is responsive to her name when called, and she is learning to sit and “drop” anything she is not supposed to have in her mouth. She is a bit reluctant to go on walks, and needs encouragement and sometimes gentle guidance by her collar towards the door. Marlow needs a good walk in the morning and in the afternoon before she has her dinner. This way, she is more motivated to be on her best behavior to be rewarded with treats.
Marlow is crate trained and is doing well with her housetraining but still needs to be fully monitored in the home and taken out a lot. She doesn’t know how to let you know when she has to go so needs her people to take her out frequently. In summary, Doodles are mixed breed dogs and therefore exhibit a spectrum of behaviours that are present in the breeds of their parents, however there are some behavioural characteristics that are very common that people should make note of. First, Doodles have a tendency to be very social dogs that do much better with their people around and engaged with them more than not. A Doodle that is left alone for long periods of time regularly can develop depression, anxiety, become obsessive about certain activities and these can result in other destructive behaviours. Doodles also have a tendency to be high energy dogs that need an abundance of mental and physical exercise, especially as they are growing into adulthood. These are not couch potato dogs that are content with a few short walks a day. If you have a more laid back lifestyle and are a homebody, a Doodle will not likely be a great match for you. They are very intelligent dogs who like to work, so taking them beyond basic training is highly recommended to help them live their best life. They like to push boundaries and challenge you and many Doodle owners have claimed their dogs are always two to three steps ahead of them…and this all pretty much sums up Marlow! If you are committed to advanced training, patiently working with a shy dog to bring out her confidence, lots of physical exercise and exploring new walking/hiking spaces, if you have a goal of going through advanced training, then Marlow just might be the right gal for you…you will need to be sure you can keep up with her because she is a young girl on a mission on her walks and she does not have the time to mosey along.