Labradoodle Vs Goldendoodle – Which Mix Is Right For You?

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labradoodle vs goldendoodle

Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle – it’s a tough choice! These popular Poodle mixes are similar sizes, with similar coats and temperaments. But the Labradoodle is a cross between a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle. A Goldendoodle is a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle. So, how do these mixes differ? And which one is best suited to you? Read on to find out.

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Labradoodle Vs Goldendoodle Background And Purpose

Poodles are descended from the French Barbet. They have been popular in Europe since the 15th century. They were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1887 and were used for duck hunting as well as companion animals.

Labradors descend from the St. John’s Water Dog which inhabited Canada throughout the 16th century.

labradoodle vs goldendoodle

They were first crossed with the Poodle in 1988 by Australian breeder Wally Conron, with the intent of mixing the Poodle’s low-shedding coat with the Labrador’s temperament and trainability. They quickly became popular support dogs and family companions.

Golden Retrievers were bred in Scotland in the 19th century and were often used as gun dogs. The Goldendoodle mix gained popularity in the 1990s as guide dogs for visually impaired owners who also suffer from allergies.

Labradoodle Vs Goldendoodle Appearances

Because both the Labradoodle and the Goldendoodle are mixed breeds, there is no guarantee what they will look like. It’s impossible to predict which traits they’ll get from which parent breeds. The structural difference between Labradoodle and Goldendoodle dogs isn’t often noticeable, although Goldendoodles are likely to have a leaner build. Labradoodles typically have longer, broader legs and are more prone to obesity.

Labradoodle Vs Goldendoodle Size

Standard Poodles are around 15 inches tall and both Labradors and Golden Retrievers are around 21-25 inches tall. Therefore, both Labradoodles and Goldendoodles can range between 15-25 inches tall. But this totally depends on their parent’s sizes, and what they inherit. As with height, Labradors and Golden Retrievers are of similar weight, typically ranging from 55-80 pounds. Standard Poodles range from 40-70 pounds, so both mixes will weigh between 40-80 pounds.

Mini Labradoodle Vs. Mini Goldendoodle

We may talk a lot about the difference between Labradoodle and Goldendoodle mixes, but one thing they have in common is their ability to show up in much smaller size. Typically, Labradoodles and Goldendoodles are the result of breeding a Lab or Golden Retriever with a Standard Poodle, as these dogs are closer in size. But a mini Labradoodle or Goldendoodle is the result of breeding a Lab, Golden, or a mix — Labradoodle or Goldendoodle — with a Miniature or Toy Poodle.

The resulting pups will still be subject to the size variance that comes from both parents. In other words, no one can guarantee that a mini Labradoodle or Goldendoodle will actually be a “mini” size.

Coat Type

Poodles either have coarse, curly fur or tight, corded fur. Contrary to popular myth, Poodle coats are not hypoallergenic. But they do lose less hair than either the Labrador Retriever or the Golden Retriever.

Labradoodles will have a combination of the Poodle’s distinctive hair and the Labrador’s coarse and oily fur, whereas Goldendoodles will have thicker and longer hair. The Poodle can come in a huge variety of colors including black, brown, silver and red. Labradors only come in three colors – black, chocolate and yellow – so these colors may be passed on to the Labradoodle. The Golden Retriever only comes in varying shades of gold, so it’s likely the Goldendoodle’s coat will be partly golden.

Although all three breeds can have markings, it’s not that common. Therefore, it’s unlikely that either mix will have coat patterns.

Labradoodle Vs Goldendoodle Personality

The Poodle’s temperament is loving and proud, which should be seen in its mixes. They’re also very intelligent and active, and thus require a lot of stimulation.

As the #1 most popular breed in the US, the Labrador has a famously friendly and active temperament. With such loveable parent breeds, the Labradoodle’s temperament should be very pleasant and fit well into any family. Although their temperaments are naturally gentle, they can cause a lot of harm if aggressive due to their strong jaws. Because they’re the more reserved of these two mixes, they’re more inclined to show guarding tendencies, but this is unlikely if they are properly socialized.

Golden Retrievers are another naturally friendly breed and are rarely aggressive if socialized properly. Goldendoodles are likely to be more laid back than the Labradoodle. This makes them better suited to first-time owners, although they still require lots of exercise. They’re slightly more independent than the Labradoodle but can be just as loyal and loving.

Labradoodle Vs Goldendoodle Trainability

The Poodle, Labrador, and Golden Retriever are all very cooperative breeds, which is what makes both the Labradoodle and Goldendoodle such popular assistance dogs. Eagerness to work and high intelligence can be seen in both mixes, and aggression is unlikely if properly socialized and trained.

labradoodle vs goldendoodle

As they’re more relaxed, Goldendoodles may be slightly trickier to train than Labradoodles. However, both breeds are very smart and eager to cooperate with their humans, so there shouldn’t be any serious issues. Potty training is highly recommended for both breeds, and you can use our potty training guide to help keep you on track. In the meantime, you might want to cover carpeted areas and restrict access to rooms you don’t want to be used.

Crate training is also a good idea. This will reduce any stress during car journeys and will keep the house tidy when you’re not in. You can read more about crate training here.

Socialization

Socialization is the process dogs go through in their early weeks of life to make them suitable family companions. It exposes them to new people and stimuli to reduce fearfulness and aggression later in life. Both the Goldendoodle and Labradoodle are generally friendly and good-natured animals, so they should take well to socialization. But their easy temperament doesn’t make this training any less important!

If you get a Goldendoodle or Labradoodle that has been improperly socialized, definitely consider behavioral training, as their large size and strong jaws can cause nasty injuries. Positive reinforcement works best for these mixes.

Labradoodle Vs Goldendoodle Exercise Needs

Both mixes require a high level of activity, making either a good fit for active owners. Both will benefit from long walks, hikes, or swims. If you can’t provide lots of exercise on a daily basis, neither of these mixes are for you.

labradoodle vs goldendoodle

Something to bear in mind is that Labradoodles are at risk of having exercise-induced collapse (EIC), a potentially fatal genetic syndrome triggered by strenuous exercise. Parent dogs can and should be tested to confirm that they are not carriers of this disease before they are allowed to breed. A good breeder will show you certificates to prove the results.

If you adopt an older dog, you can request the test from a vet, and get advice on how to best support their needs if the results come back positive.

Labradoodle Vs Goldendoodle Potential Health Problems

Goldendoodles and Labradoodles are both generally healthy mixes but are vulnerable to a few predisposed health problems. As previously mentioned, Labradoodles are at risk of having EIC, which can be potentially fatal. They’re also more likely to have muscle weaknesses passed down by the Labrador parent.

Both mixes have a high chance of developing hip dysplasia, eye conditions and heart conditions, as all the parent breeds involved suffer from these issues. Poodles are genetically predisposed to epilepsy and von Willebrand’s disease, so there is a possibility both mixes will inherit these problems.

A lot of the issues mentioned can be avoided with genetic testing. A responsible breeder will be happy to give you a dog’s genetic history and will get tests done.

Labradoodle Vs Goldendoodle Lifespan

Given that the three breeds we’re discussing have so many similarities in size, weight, and health expectations, it may not be surprising to learn that the lifespans of Poodles, Labradors, and Golden Retrievers are also very similar. The average expected lifespan of each breed is around 12 years. Therefore, you can expect about the same for Labradoodles and Goldendoodles.

Labradoodle Versus Goldendoodle General Care

Although both mixes are low-shedding, regular grooming is recommended to maintain healthy coat condition. For more information on grooming a Lab mix like the Labradoodle, take a look at our Labrador grooming guide. Or you could check out our guide to Goldendoodle grooming.

Dental care such as providing dental treats and tooth brushing is also advised. As both mixes have floppy ears, you should check them for any foreign bodies to avoid infections.

The nutritional requirements of each mix depends on their life stage and health status. Both should thrive on a high-quality commercial food diet, or you may prefer to provide a vet-approved home-made diet. Both mixes are vulnerable to obesity, with Labradoodles more so, so keep an eye on portion sizes and don’t go crazy with the treats.

Labradoodle Vs Goldendoodle Puppy Price

Both Labradoodles and Goldendoodles are popular designer dogs, so you probably won’t have any trouble finding a puppy of either mix. However, because they’re in such high demand, you can expect to pay more than for other, less-popular mixes. You may pay an estimated $1000-$3000 for a Labradoodle puppy. And while most estimates for a Goldendoodle puppy also start at about $1000, you may find them going for $5000 and above!

The Labrador Handbook by Pippa Mattinson

Ultimately, however, the difference between Labradoodle and Goldendoodle puppy price isn’t likely to be the deciding factor. The price you pay for a Labradoodle or Goldendoodle puppy depends on the breeder, the demand, the parentage, show-worthiness, size, and even the coloration. It should be noted, however, that it’s important to avoid breeders who offer these popular pups for a “too good to be true” price.

Backyard breeders, pet stores, and puppy mills should be avoided at all costs. Only work with breeders that are willing to answer questions, show health certificates, and let you tour their kennels and meet the parent dogs.

Labradoodle Versus Goldendoodle – Which is Best?

Goldendoodles and Labradoodles are both pleasant mixes that will make great pets. If bred responsibly and well cared for, they should be healthy and have a good quality of life. They do require a lot of exercise, so only consider these mixes if you’re able to meet their needs. As they’re slightly less intense, Goldendoodles are better suited to first-time owners. Whichever mix you’re considering, make sure to do genetic testing so you can learn how to best support your new family member.

Do you have experience with a Labradoodle or Goldendoodle? What do you find to be the difference between Labradoodle and Goldendoodle dogs? In your opinion, who wins in the Labradoodle versus Goldendoodle debate? Let us know in the comments!

References and Further Reading

  • Malnick E. “Breeder’s regret over creating Labradoodle”. The Telegraph. 2014.
  • Clark A. “The International Encyclopedia of Dogs”. Howell Book House. 1995.
  • Glickman L. et al. “Non-dietary risk factors for gastric dilatation-volvulus in large and giant breed dogs”. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 2000.
  • Lust G. et al. “Joint laxity and its association with hip dysplasia in Labrador retrievers”. American Journal of Veterinary Research. 1993.
  • Maki K. et al. “Population structure, inbreeding trend and their association with hip and elbow dysplasia in dogs”. Animal Science, Volume 73, Issue 2. 2016.
  • Gough et al. “Breed Predispositions to Disease In Dogs and Cats”. Wiley Blackwell. 2018.
  • O’Neill et al. “Longevity and Mortality of Dogs Owned In England”. The Veterinary Journal. 2013.
  • Oliver J. et al. “Survey of ophthalmic abnormalities in the labradoodle in the UK”. Veterinary Record, Volume 170, Issue 15.

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

2 COMMENTS

  1. Well, having had two pure-bred golden retrievers who both died of cancer at around 10-11 years of age, I’m not so sure that PURE BREED dogs are the best choice. Goldens have a cancer death rate between 60% to 70%! Don’t get me wrong, they are wonderful dogs, but because they have been so popular, they were overbred and many have hip dysplasia and eye problems as well. I also owned a yellow lab, and she was also a wonderful dog. But the goldens and the lab both shed like crazy! I now have a miniature labradoodle and she is the best dog I’ve ever owned. She’s has the same sweet personality that my goldens and yellow had, she’s every bit as intelligent and easily trainable, but she doesn’t shed and I think she will be less likely to have health-related issues. I also appreciate her smaller size (she weighs 28#). I put her in a crate on the back of my fat tire eBike and we go for long bike rides all along the California coastline. She LOVES it! As I am now 65 years-old, she is also easier to handle than the full sized goldens and labs. But she definitely keeps me active! I have lost a considerable amount of weight since I got her two years ago as I walk her multiple times a day and walk her on the beach late at night before we go to bed. In summary, I have loved all of my dogs with all of my heart, but this little doodle, ‘Amazing Grace’ (AKA ‘Gracie’) has really got me wrapped around her little paw. I highly recommend labradoodles.

  2. How about a PURE BREED Golden Retriever or Labrador. At least you know what you’re getting (temperament, looks, etc). Most Pure Breed breeders do all the necessary tests & dna for those breeds. Do Mutt, Xbreed, mongrel, etc do that??!!?? NOOOOO.

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