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Labradoodle vs. Goldendoodle – Which Breed Makes A Better Pet For You?

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
If you are looking for a friendly family dog with a low shedding you have probably already come across both the Goldendoodle and Labradoodle. This article explores all the differences and similarities between these two breeds. Read on and discover what are the main differences.

Labradoodle and Goldendoodle are one of the most popular breeds nowadays.

They are great with people, easy to handle and above anything else they are extremely cute. So, Labradoodle vs. Goldendoodle – what is the difference?

Well, in short, the Goldendoodle is a result of mating a Poodle with a Golden Retriever. On the other hand, a Labradoodle, like the name suggests, is a result of mating a Poodle with a Labrador.

Also, Labradoodle and Goldendoodle tend to confuse people because of a Australian Labradoodle. However, we will focus here on the typical Labradoodle.

Labradoodle vs. Goldendoodle

These two breeds are very similar in appearance and behavior. But they are also very different and they shouldn’t be mistaken – don’t ever mistake the Goldendoodle for the Labradoodle, and vice versa.

They may look the same and people usually mix them because they are both doodles, but the truth is that they are not the same.

That being said, you should know the traits of both breeds and the exact difference between Labradoodle and Goldendoodle, and of course, which dog is right for you. The first and most obvious difference is in the name.

One is a crossbreed between a Labrador and Poodle, while the other one is a mix of Golden Retriever and Poodle. From there on, every difference is due to the difference in parenthood.

Overall, both Labradors and Retrievers are similar dogs, in terms of playfulness and showing their friendly side toward people and other animals. But there is much more than differences them in terms of weight, character, personality, and much more.

Basically, the comparison between the Labradoodle vs. Goldendoodle is similar to the comparison Labradors vs. Retriever. Interestingly, both Goldendoodle and Labradoodle are easy to difference. Let’s see how long they live, how much do they shed, and do they enjoy staying home alone.

SizeMini 14-17″, Standard 20-26″Mini 14-17″, Medium 17-20″, Standard 21-24″
Weight15 – 100 pounds15 – 65 pounds
Lifespan10 – 15 years10 – 15 years
Breed TypeCrossbreedCrossbreed
Color VariationsGold, Caramel, RedBlack, Red, Yellow, White, Cream and Chocolate
Good for families5/55/5
Kid friendly5/54/5
Suitable for apartments1/53/5
Easy to groom4/54/5
General health3/54/5
Amount of shedding2/53/5
Exercise needs4/55/5

Labradoodle vs. Goldendoodle: Popularity

The popularity of these two breeds is growing each day and it’s not surprising that so many people share their interest in these breeds. Both are similar in many ways especially in terms of temperament, trainability, and appearance.

Their similarity is also seen in:

  • social and friendly nature
  • love toward spending time with their families
  • easy-going attitude

Both breeds are hybrids and at the moment neither is recognized by any Kennel Clubs, although both have been recognizes by the International Designer Canine Registry since 2009. Both breeds originated in the States and they were bred to be loving, service and even-tempered family dogs.

To understand Labradoodle and Goldendoodle you need to understand their parents breeds history and nature first.

Poodle Dog History

Originally, the Poodle is from Germany where was bred as a duck hunter. The poodle is also the National dog of France. This breed is known for being highly intelligent, with great ability to swim distance and to be the best companion of hunters. Poodles went a long way from being used in hunting sessions to lapdog surrounded with luxury.

Nobility went crazy about this breed and from that moment on the Poodle become one of the most popular dogs on a global scale. The standard was bred down to a miniature, due to their genetic diversity and the toy appeared in the States in the early 20th century. To this day, the Poodle comes in three sizes:

  • Standard Poodle
  • Mini Poodle
  • Toy Poodle

We can thank the Poodles for the varying hybrid sizes when comparing Labradoodle vs. Goldendoodle.

Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever: History

For decades Retriever’s have been one of the most popular breeds. People love Golden due to their friendly nature and devotion, and similar reasons make Labrador Retriever so popular, although Labrador Retriever is always slightly more popular than Golden Retriever is. So, when we comparing the Labradoodle vs. Goldendoodle from a popularity perspective, the Labradoodle has a small advantage.

Originally, the Golden Retriever was bred in the Scottish Highlands to suit the rainy climate and rugged terrain. With time, the result was a beautiful working dog with a gentle and friendly temperament.

On the other hand, Labrador Retriever was a traditional dog of Newfoundland. Back in the days, they were spotted by traveling English Nobles and they found their way to Britain, where the breed was further developed. Furthermore, the breed was first registered in the States in 1917, topping the list for popularity in 1991 and has remained there ever since. It’s no surprise that when the parent line is so remarkable, that we end up with two equally impressive hybrids.

Labradoodle vs. Goldendoodle: Appearance

You may think that these mixes are going to be extremely similar in appearance, but there are some noticeable differences. After all, with mixed breeds, you can’t guarantee the appearance of any mixed breed. A mixed-breed puppy could inherit any of the parent’s characteristics, so until your puppy arrives you can’t know for sure what your puppy will look like.

Luckily, opposite to other mixed breeds when we don’t know the parents, with these breeds we know the parents so we can assume the puppy’s appearance.

Labradoodle vs. Goldendoodle: Size

This is the first difference between Labradoodle and Goldendoodle – their adult size. For some Goldendoodles seem bigger once they reach their adult size, while for others Labradoodles are bigger. The truth is that when you compare weight extremes, you can expect a Standard Labradoodle to outweigh a Standard Goldendoodle when they reach adulthood.

The size of your adult doodle may vary on gender, genetics, size of the parent dog, nutrition, birth order, and many other factors. So, what is the exact difference between Goldendoodle and Labradoodle size?

  • Golden Retrievers can reach between 40 and 70 pounds.
  • Labrador Retrievers can reach between 55 and 80 pounds.
  • Standard Poodles can reach between 40 to 70 pounds.

So, the size of your mixed dog will depend on the size of each parent dog. Mixed breeds are always unique!

If you want a mini Labradoodle or a mini Goldendoodle, the same size variations apply. The average adult min Poodle can weight between 10 to 15 pounds. Bear in mind that the first generation mini Goldendoodle or Labradoodle may not be so mini as you might expect. Why? The reason lies in the fact that you are crossing a 10 to 15-pound mini Poodle with a significantly larger dog, a 55 to 75-pound Golden retriever dog or a 55 to 80-pound Labrador retriever dog.

If you insist on having a mini doodle, look for an F2 or F1b generation puppy breeder, or just for F1b generation, because this stands for a cross between a mini doodle and a mini poodle. This mini doodle is more likely to stay small in adulthood.

Labradoodle vs. Goldendoodle: Coat Type

Both Goldendoodle and Labradoodle are easy to spot dogs, especially thanks to their interesting coat and general lovable appearance. Some would say that they are good-looking dogs due to all the attention that they are getting. The Labradoodle will come with shorter hair that is wiry and wavy, while the coat color may vary from black, red, white, cream, yellow, chocolate, and even dual or tri-colors.

Surprisingly, tri-colors are common in Labradoodles. When it comes to Goldendoodle’s their hair tends to be longer and can be curly/wavy or straight. Coat colors do not vary a lot in this hybrid dog breed and tend to star in the red/gold/caramel spectrum.

Labradoodle vs. Goldendoodle: Are They Hypoallergenic?

First thing first, no dog is 100 percent hypoallergenic, but the Labradoodle vs. Goldendoodle hypoallergenic comparison delivers two dogs that come as close as can get to being hypoallergenic. People usually think that shedding is the number one reason for triggering the allergy. However, that’s not the case and the trigger is a protein called Fel D1 present in dog skin, hair and saliva. When your dog sheds this protein is shed along with the discarded hair.

You can easily come in contact with the protein and that causes the allergic reaction. If you are suffering from any form and type of allergies select a dog that sheds less in volume and frequency, because it will help you control the frequency and the severity of pet allergy symptoms. Regular grooming can help with this. The most reliable way to ensure a close-to-hypoallergenic doodle is to work with a second generation (F2) or f1B breeder.

F2 generation means that the breeder is crossing two doodle parents, rather than a Standard Poodle with either a Labrador retriever or a Golden retriever. Crossing two doodles is the best way to control for coat shedding in puppies. You can always check with your breeder if the puppies are F1 (Standard Poodle cross with Lab/Golden retriever) or F2 (two doodle parent dogs). This is the most secure way to ensure if your new puppy has the lowest shedding or the chances of shedding.

Bear in mind that there is no guarantee that your crossbreed won’t affect your allergies. The best thing that you can do is to try to spend as much time as possible with your puppy before you bring him home. Better later, than sorry.

Labradoodle vs. Goldendoodle: Personality

The consensus, among doodle breeders, is that Goldendoodles and Labradoodles are both active, loving, loyal, and friendly that makes them great family pets. These are great treats if you are looking for a family dog. On the other hand, if you are looking for a working dog and you need a canine to be your right hand in a specific type of work, such as service, therapy dog or even farming, you should bear in mind that each hybrid breed has some important temperament differences.

Both Goldendoodle and Labradoodle are not aggressive dogs and rarely will manifest any form of aggressive behavior. However, between the two, Labradors can be more protective. Although this is a positive trait it can easily slip into overprotection that can further lead to aggression. Simply said, their protective nature goes too far sometimes.

If you are looking for a guard dog these breeds are not your match, they are more of a watchdog. You can expect your doodles to bark at any newcomer or anyone that comes close to the house. Once you let the newcomers in, they will play with them and kiss them.

Did you know that Labradoodle is one of the best breeds when it comes to protecting children with autism? That’s right, thanks to their many great traits, these dogs are great emotional support for children with autism, keeping them calm and loved.

Labradoodle vs. Goldendoodle: Guarding Tendencies

Between these two, the Labradoodle is more reserved and has a guarded approach to new spaces, new people and even new situation. The Labradoodle can show a higher risk when it comes to guarding tendencies, especially if your Labradoodle is now properly socialized. On the other hand, Labrador Retrievers can sometimes show behaviors like rough play or biting.

People tend to mistake this behavior with aggression or guarding tendencies. The reason for this behavior lies in the fact that Labrador Retrievers take longer to mature and this is more common in the English show dog line.

All in, neither Goldendoodles or Labradoodles tend to display guarding issues or any type of behavior that may be linked with aggression, if they are properly trained and socialized.

Labradoodle vs. Goldendoodle: Training

If you are looking for an intelligent dog you can’t go wrong with any from these two breeds. Both Goldendoodles and Labradoodles are highly intelligent. Their parents are also highly intelligent. Furthermore, they come with a strong desire to please their people and use most of their day around people. This makes them easy to train and very fast learners.

Both breeds respond best to reward-based dog training techniques, so make sure that you praise them and reward every time they do something good. Dog’s are known for learning through the consequences of their behavior, so a positive approach means that they are more likely to repeat that behavior. Avoid the use of aggressive dog training techniques at all costs – they don’t work and create problematic behaviors. You for sure don’t want to turn this gentle and loving dog into a fearful and stressed dog.

  • Start training early – start training your dog while he is a puppy, teach him basic commands and encourage positive behavior. If your dog demonstrates unwanted behavior ignore it when it’s safe to do so.
  • Socialize early – this is the key if you want a well behaved dog. Let him meet other people and other dogs, safely. Introduce him to new places and sounds in a way that won’t scare him.
  • Train him – make training sessions interesting, fun, and regular. Make sure that you do recall training properly and that you keep him on a leash when outside.

Labradoodle vs. Goldendoodle: Exercise

Both of these breeds have similar exercise needs. They both need plenty of exercise and play. They love spending their time outside, and if they miss their daily walk they will show you how unhappy they are. Between these two the Goldendoodle is just a slightly calmer, but he will still need an active home. They require a minimum of 60 minutes of physical exercise per day to keep them healthy and busy.

If you spend a lot of time outdoors and enjoy nature, while hiking or swimming regularly you may find your adventure buddy in one of these breeds, as they are suited for outdoor adventures. Even more, if you are looking for a family dog that will follow your family’s active lifestyle, you can’t go wrong with any of the dog that you choose.

Labradoodle vs. Goldendoodle: Health

In general, both Goldendoodles and Labradoodles are known to be generally healthy dogs. Not surprisingly, because of the vivid similarities in the breeds, both the Goldendoodle and Labradoodle suffer from similar health problems, including:

  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia – this condition occurs when there is abnormal development in the joint, causing pain, stiffness and lameness.
  • Patella Luxation – this condition is common in Mini and Small mixes. Smaller Poodles are prone to having the kneecap dislocates.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy – this genetic disease is found in Goldie’s and Labradors. In most cases it results in vision loss and eventually blindness.

Both breeds can have less severe health concerns that may include thyroid disorders, allergies, or skin conditions. In theory, any health issue in the parent dog line can be passed along to the puppies. At any time, tests can be carried out on the parents of any potential litters to establish the likelihood of these conditions appearing.

Labradoodle vs. Goldendoodle: Lifespan

Welcoming a dog to your family means that you will have an additional family member for years to come. But for how many years exactly? You probably want to know how long your Goldendoodle or Labradoodle will be with you for. Your dog’s lifespan will depend on a variety of things including parents lifespan, nutrition, dog’s size, overall health, and living surrounding.

  • Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers have the same average lifespan – 12.5 years.
  • Poodles live on average 12 years.
  • Miniature Poodles on average 14.5 years.

Overall, you can expect your Goldendoodle or Labradoodle to live on average 12 years. To extend dog’s lifespan for as long as possible make sure that you feed him well, that you keep his gums healthy and that you provide enough exercise and outdoor time.

Which Breed Makes A Better Pet?

Do you know now which dog you will choose – Goldendoodle or Labradoodle? This is not an easy decision nor it should be determined lightly. You need to take into consideration your lifestyle and characteristics both of the Labradoodle and Goldendoodle to make a call.

Fast fact: These breeds are only two members of wide Poodle mixes family that has over 50 different mixes

Both are quite similar in personality and temperament, they are both very social, easy-going and friendly. Moreover, they are eager to please and easy to train.

The main difference lies in energy levels, as Goldendoodles are slightly calmer, while Labradoodles are a little more energetic. Also, Labradoodles can be more reserved with strangers, while Goldendoodles will run up to everyone. They are both active and will happily co-habit with kids another pets when raised with them.