The Goldador is a Golden Retriever Lab mix, crossing two of the most popular breeds in the world. Goldadors are friendly, energetic and highly trainable.
The Labrador Golden Retriever mix is also a large dog. On average, they weigh from 55 to 85 pounds as an adult. Females tend to be at the lower end of this spectrum, and males at the higher.
Are you ready to find out if the Goldador is the perfect mix for you?
People Often Ask…
- Are Goldadors good family dogs?
- Do Goldadors shed?
- How do I find a Goldador Rescue?
- What are Goldador dogs?
What’s In This Guide
- Goldador At A Glance
- In-depth Breed Review
- Golden Retriever Lab Mix Training And Care
- Pros And Cons Of Getting A Labrador Golden Retriever Mix
Goldador: Breed At A Glance
- Popularity: On the rise!
- Purpose: Family pet and a variety of working roles
- Weight: 55 – 85 lbs
- Temperament: Friendly, smart, loyal
Golden Retriever Lab Mix Breed Review: Contents
- History and original purpose of the Goldador
- Labrador Golden Retriever mix appearance
- Golden Retriever Lab mix temperament
- Training and exercising your Goldador
- Golden Retriever Lab mix health and care
- Do Goldadors make good family pets?
- Rescuing a Golden Retriever Lab mix
- Finding and raising a Goldador puppy
Origin of the Golden Retriever Lab Mix
The Golden Retriever Lab Mix is a popular cross between two amazing breeds – the Golden Retriever and the Labrador Retriever.
This mix is not just popular with pet owners, but with Guide Dog societies too.
In fact, the Guide Dogs For The Blind Association state that they are the most successful guide dog of all! You can’t get much higher in praise than that.
There is no specific record of the Golden Retriever Labrador origins. But, we know that breeders have been mixing Labradors and Goldens for a long time, at least informally.
Gamekeepers and those involved in field sports have mixed the two working dogs for generations. Plus, there has been a deliberate breeding program, at least among service dogs, for a few years now.
As time goes on, the Labrador Golden Retriever mix is just growing in popularity!
What to Expect From a Goldador
As we know, a Goldador is a mix between a purebred Golden Retriever and a purebred Labrador Retriever.
Both parent breeds are gentle, friendly, loyal, and highly trainable. So, a Golden Retriever Lab mix is likely to be the same.
You’re also not likely to find a better working dog, for many roles. Both Goldens and Labs are known for their excellence in hunting, therapy, and service work.
With mixed breeds, you can never be certain what physical traits or temperament characteristics your dog will inherit from which parent. There are no guarantees as to how your dog will turn out.
Based on the expected height and weight of the Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever, a Golden Lab Mix can weigh up to 85 pounds.
Both breeds are almost identical in size. Females are a bit smaller, weighing 55 to 70 pounds. But, the males tend to range from 65 to 85 pounds.
Golden Retriever Lab males can measure up to 24.5 inches tall at the shoulder. Females will most likely mature to 23 inches or less.
So, if you’re not prepared to handle a medium to large-sized dog, then this dog is not for you.
But, don’t let their larger size intimidate you or your family. If you end up with a 24.5 inch tall, 80-pound Goldador, you are getting a lot of love and affection!
Like any mixed-breed dog, Golden Retriever Lab puppies may come out looking more like a Labrador than a Golden Retriever, or vice versa.
If Golden Retriever Lab puppies closely resemble their Labrador parent, then they may be born as one of the following:
If the puppies closely resemble their Golden Retriever parent, then they may be born as one of the following:
- Dark Golden Goldador
- Golden Goldador
- Light golden Goldador
Although the Golden Retriever parent has a longer coat with some feathering, a Labrador Golden Retriever mix will often inherit the Lab’s thick double coat.
The double coat has a soft undercoat below a rough top coat that is water resistant.
Golden Retriever Labrador mixes may have their Lab parent’s short coat length.
Or they may exhibit a slightly longer and wavier version of their Golden parent’s coat, but without as much feathering as a purebred Golden.
Since this is a hybrid or mixed-breed dog, it’s almost impossible to predict the exact temperament of every Goldador puppy.
With designer breeds like the Golden Retriever Lab, you can only make an educated guess about their temperament based on the general demeanor of their parents as well as the temperament of the parent breeds as a whole.
One puppy may more closely favor the Labrador’s temperament. While another puppy from the same litter may have a happy mix of each parent breed’s personality traits.
But, as the Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever have very similar temperaments, it’s generally safe to make a few assumptions.
As highly sociable dogs, a Golden Retriever Lab mix won’t do well in isolated settings.
If they are left alone a lot, they may become very destructive to your home. They will chew out of boredom or anxiety.
Some Golden Retriever Labrador mixes can inherit the Lab’s excitability. As many Lab lovers know, these dogs do not know a stranger. They also aren’t afraid to show how excited they are about meeting new faces!
Finally, let’s not forget that because both Golden Retrievers and Labradors are retrievers.
So, their noses (and desire to chase after small and fleeting creatures) could lead them into mischief if they aren’t kept in a confined space when allowed outside.
Generally, this mix will get on well with children and other pets. But, it’s important to socialize them well to ensure your dog is as happy and confident as possible.
Socialization from an early age is important for any breed, including the Golden Retriever Lab. Even though it hails from overly friendly and sociable breeds, there are still no guarantees to the temperament of your dog.
Since training and socialization are both best started early on, puppy training classes can be a great way to both train and socialize your puppy at the same time.
Take a look at our articles for more information on socialization:
- 12 Great Place To Socialize Your Puppy
- How to Socialize Your Labrador Puppy
- How to Socialize An Older Dog
Training and Exercising Your Goldador
This breed has an easygoing and eager to please temperament that helps make them highly trainable. Owners should start training early, from the time their puppy comes home.
The parent breeds have a long history as service dogs, bomb detection dogs, hunting dogs, and now therapy dogs.
Obedience classes will help create a well-mannered dog but also strengthens the bond between the dog and owner.
Since Goldadors grow to be large dogs, obedience is also important to prevent them from jumping up at your guests!
For more training tips take a look at these articles:
- What Is The Best Age To Start Training A Lab Puppy?
- Best Dog Training Methods
- Puppy Potty Training Schedule
Energy and Exercise Needs
Golden Retriever Labrador puppies will grow into high-energy adults with a love for playing and a passion for retrieving! If you don’t love playing fetch with your dog, this breed will not be right for you.
If your Goldador doesn’t get enough exercise, boredom and pent up energy can turn into destructive tendencies.
As a very social breed, they do best as indoor dogs, but with a large, fenced in yard to run around. In addition to self-exercise, they need walks or other forms of daily activity with their owners.
Exercise is especially important for the health of this breed since both Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers have a tendency to develop elbow and hip dysplasia. Weight management is one way of combating these joint problems.
Best Types of Exercise
A Labrador Golden Retriever Mix makes a great companion for jogging, hiking, or cycling. This is a breed that also loves to swim.
Goldador Health and Care
All pedigree dog breeds are inbred to some extent. The measure of this is called the coefficient of inbreeding (COI).
The higher the COI, the greater the risks of health issues arising specifically from inbreeding. In general, health problems start to emerge if the COI is much greater the 5%.
In a crossbreed such as the Goldador, the COI is usually much lower than it is in a purebred dog, and this is a good thing.
To begin to look at the health and care of a Goldador we first need to consider the inherited health risks from both parent breeds (Labrador and Golden Retriever).
Labrador Retrievers are prone to a few hereditary health conditions and joint problems, as well as some health issues common to most dogs.
This includes the following.
|Ear Infections||Scratching, sensitivity, and redness are all signs of infections, and can generally be treated with medication from your veterinarian.|
|Dermatitis||If your dog is biting, licking, or scratching at an area repeatedly, they may need a special shampoo or skin treatment from your vet.|
|Hip and Elbow Dysplasia||Joint dysplasia is caused by structural problems within the joint and can lead to pain and inhibit mobility.|
|Gastric Dilatation (Bloat)||This condition occurs when the stomach balloons up to three times its normal size and twists, stopping blood flow and the exit paths from the stomach.|
|Progressive Retinal Atrophy||Signs often start from 3 to 9 years of age and within 1 to 2 years from onset, most dogs are completely blind. PRA is not a painful condition and is difficult to detect early on.|
|Cataracts||Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye clouds over, resulting in vision impairment or blindness.|
|Exercise Induced Collapse||This condition can exist in healthy looking, fit dogs and is only evident with intensive bouts of exercise.|
To help minimize the likelihood of hereditary health issues in your new pup, check that your breeder has followed the recommended testing for the Labrador Retriever breed:
- Hereditary Nasal Parakeratosis (HNKP)
- Centronuclear Myopathy (CN)
- Hip and Elbow Evaluation
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
- Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC)
- Hereditary Cataracts (HC)
Golden Retriever Health
Golden Retrievers have some of the same hereditary health risks that Labradors do. They are also prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, and hereditary cataracts.
But there are a few other health conditions that are common to this breed.
|Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis (SAS)||This is a congenital heart disease that is the result of a narrow aortic valve, which puts additional stress on the heart as it attempts to pump out blood.|
|Uveitis||This eye condition is caused by inflammation in the uveal tract of the eye. It can lead to blindness if left untreated.|
|Cancer||There has been a noticeable increase in cancer in Golden Retrievers. A study in 2018 found that 65% of the Golden Retrievers in their mortality study, passed away from some form of cancer.|
Recommended testing for Golden Retrievers includes:
- Hip and Elbow evaluation
- Cardiac Exam including an echocardiogram
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
- Hereditary Cataracts (HC)
- Ophthalmological exams (OFA & ECR)
Golden Retriever Lab mixes are most likely to inherit health problems that are common to both parent breeds. But, they are at risk of any of the above issues.
Ensure that your breeder has screened for PRA, hip and elbow dysplasia, and hereditary cataracts before you bring your new bestie home with you. These conditions plague both parent breeds and your puppy would be at high risk.
Choose a breeder that has proof of testing for all breed recommended tests for both parents to increase the likelihood of bringing a healthy puppy home.
Unfortunately, some conditions, like cancer and bloat cannot be screened for in the parents. Know the signs of these conditions and watch for them in your dog.
There is some evidence that the risk of bloat decreases with a varied diet and small, more frequent meals, rather than once a day feeding. Note that this was found to decrease, not eliminate the risk altogether.
Goldador Life Expectancy
Designer breed dogs generally live about as long as their parent breeds.
A Labrador Golden Retriever Mix often lives for around 10 to 12 years.
But, chocolate Labradors have been found to have around a 10% shorter lifespan than other Labs and also a higher rate of ear and skin infections.
Your new friend is going to shed, sometimes a lot.
Both parent breeds heavily shed their coats with the change of seasons twice a year. For the rest of the year, expect a moderate level of shedding.
Increased brushing during transitional times can help catch the loose hairs and stop them from spreading everywhere.
Golden Retriever Labrador mixes will need weekly brushing, likely more during shedding season.
Do Goldadors Make Good Family Pets?
Goldadors are popular family pets due to the friendly, loyal, and gentle yet playful nature of these dogs. They are known for getting along well with children and other animals.
Labrador Golden Retriever Mixes respond well to training and can be well mannered enough to work as service dogs and therapy dogs.
This mix makes a great family pet for those families with space and time to meet this dog’s exercise requirements.
Here are some other mixed dog breeds to consider if you are interested in a Golden Retriever Labrador mix.
Rescuing a Goldador
If you prefer to adopt or rescue your forever friends, then we suggest looking at your local animal shelters as well as various Golden Retriever and/or Labrador specific rescues.
Although some rescues focus on finding homes for animals of a single breed (usually in an effort to find homes for retired show or breeding stock), some rescues do take in mixed breeds related to their primary breed and place them for adoption.
It may be hard to find Golden Retriever Lab Mix breed puppies at a rescue. Many of the designer dogs that end up at rescues are adults or seniors, like a retired breeding stock that has been pulled from puppy mills.
Goldador Breed Rescues
Here are some links to get you started.
Finding a Goldador Puppy
Since the Goldador is a popular designer breed, you probably won’t have to work very hard to find a breeder near you with Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers ready to cross for puppies.
Goldador prices vary from breeder to breeder based on how much value they place on their dogs. Especially if their dogs are competitive and not exclusively bred as family pets.
Make sure you pick an experienced and ethical breeder that has carried out all the health tests relevant to both breeds and has looked for Golden Retriever lines that lived longer with lower than average rates of cancer.
An older Golden Retriever stud dog may be ideal as he is more likely to have avoided the cancer gene.
A responsible breeder is your best option for a healthy puppy. Avoid pet stores and online ads where the dogs have a much higher likelihood of health issues and often have a more challenging temperament.
There are always a number of unethical breeders with bad breeding practices. Especially for designer dogs. These breeders focus on financial gain rather than the health and wellbeing of the dogs they produce.
When you are looking for a breeder, look for someone who cares about the wellbeing of the puppies they are selling. Plus, they should ask you questions to make sure this breed is a good match for you.
Visit the breeder and see the environment your puppy lives in. Ensure that it is clean and well maintained and that the puppies all look active and healthy.
Ask to see the parents to ensure they look healthy and to observe their temperament. Well treated dogs should be friendly and not aggressive or anxious.
A responsible breeder should be happy and able to answer all your questions and show you evidence of all the health testing completed on both parents.
Goldador Products and Accessories
Preparing for a puppy is a long process. You’ll want them to have something to chew on that isn’t your favorite pair of shoes. Here’s some helpful information on toys for large breeds and active dogs:
- Best Toys For Golden Retrievers That Love To Play
- Indestructible Dog Toys
- Interactive Dog Toys
- Best Indestructible Dog Beds
- Best Dog Toys For Large Breeds
Is A Goldador Right For Me?
A Golden Retriever Lab mix is a loveable but bouncy breed that has a few health concerns and breed-specific needs to consider.
- A few potentially serious health issues
- A sociable dog that doesn’t do well when isolated
- Is prone to destructive behaviors without sufficient exercise and stimulation
- A large and active breed that needs space to run around
- Requires a lot of exercise
- High shedding
- Friendly, social, and loyal
- Great family pet, service dog, or therapy dog
- Gets along well with other animals
- A good companion for active individuals or families
- Highly trainable
- Lower risk of health issues arising than purebred dogs
In conclusion, this breed is a bundle of energy and affection that is ideal for an active family with a yard and lots of time to walk and play with their furry family member. If you don’t mind a little hair, this gentle giant could be the pet for you!
Do you have a Golden Retriever Lab Mix? We’d love to hear all about them in the comments below.
References And Resources
- Gough, A. (et al), ‘Breed Predispositions to Disease In Dogs and Cats’, Wiley Blackwell (2018)
- O’Neill (et al), ‘Longevity and Mortality of Owned Dogs In England’, The Veterinary Journal (2013)
- Adams, V. J. (et al), ‘Results of a Survey of UK Purebred Dogs’, Journal of Small Animal Practice (2010)
- Duffy, D. (et al), ‘Breed Differences in Canine Aggression’, Applied Animal Behaviour Science (2008)
- Adams, V. (et al), ‘Evidence of Longer Life; a Cohort of 39 Labrador Retrievers’, Veterinary Record (2018)
- McCullagh, M. ‘Exercise Induced Collapse Syndrome in Labrador Retrievers’, Animal Medical Center of Southern California (2019)
- Barnette, C. ‘Aortic Stenosis in Dogs’, VCA (2019)
- Beynen, A. ‘Diet and Canine Gastric Dilatation’, Dier-en-Arts (2019)
- Guerra, R. (et al), ‘Cataracts in Labrador Retriever and Jack Russell Terrier From the United Kingdom: A Two-Year Retrospective Study’, Topics in Companion Animal Medicine (2018)
- Kent, M. ‘Association of Cancer-Related Mortality, Age and Gonadectomy in Golden Retriever Dogs at a Veterinary Academic Center (1989-2016)’, Plos One (2018)
- Ontiveros, E. ‘Congenital Cardiac Outflow Tract Abnormalities in Dogs: Prevalence and Pattern of Inheritance From 2008 to 2017’, Frontiers in Veterinary Science (2019)
- Ujvari, B. (et al), ‘Genetic diversity, inbreeding and cancer’, Royal Society (2018)
The Labrador Site Founder
Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.
She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program
Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website