Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle – it’s a tough choice! They are similar weighs and heights, and their coats are very alike. The Goldendoodle might be slightly less bouncy, and the Labrador comes in a wider range of colors.
The Labradoodle is a cross between a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle. A Goldendoodle is a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle.
The Poodle is the 7th most popular dog in the US, so it’s no surprise that they’re often used for creating mixed breeds. Part of their popularity comes from their low-shedding coat.
So, how do these mixes differ? And which one is best suited to you? Read on to find out.
Labradoodle Vs Goldendoodle History
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 originate from the St. John’s Water Dog which inhabited Canada throughout the 16th century.
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 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 Appearance
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.
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.
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.
Goldendoodles and Labradoodles often don’t differ hugely in their structure, although Goldendoodles are likely to have a leaner build. Labradoodles typically have longer, broader legs and are more prone to obesity.
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.
Find out more about the golden Labradoodle here.
Goldendoodle Vs Labradoodle Temperament
The Poodle’s temperament is loving and proud, which should be seen in its mixes. They’re also very intelligent and active, so 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 mix, 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.
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 Training
As they’re more relaxed, Goldendoodles may be slightly trickier to train than Labradoodles. However, both breeds are very smart and cooperative, 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 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.
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
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, neither of these mixes are for you.
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.
Goldendoodle Vs Labradoodle Health
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.
Lifespan And Care
The lifespan of Poodles, Labradors, and Golden Retrievers is around 12 years, so you can expect this for both mixes assuming they’re in good health.
Although both mixes are low-shedding, regular grooming is recommended to maintain healthy coat condition.
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, so keep an eye on portion sizes and don’t go crazy with the treats.
Which Breed Makes A Better Pet?
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.
References and Resources
- 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.
- Oliver J. et al. “Survey of ophthalmic abnormalities in the labradoodle in the UK”. Veterinary Record, Volume 170, Issue 15.
- The American Kennel Club. “Official Standard of the Poodle”. AKC Website. 1990.
- The American Kennel Club. “Official Standard for the Labrador Retriever”. AKC Website. 1994.
- The American Kennel Club. “Official Standard for the Golden Retriever”. AKC Website. 1990.
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.
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