Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle – it’s a tough choice! Without a doubt these are two of the best Doodle breeds for sociable, active homes. We will help you decide whether a Labradoodle or Goldendoodle is the best Doodle dog breed for your lifestyle and family setup. The differences between a Labradoodle and a Goldendoodle aren’t massive, but they can have an impact on the dog you end up raising.
Origins of the Labradoodle and Goldendoodle
The Labradoodle is a Lab Poodle mix. A cross between a purebred Labrador and a purebred Standard Poodle. Whereas the Goldendoodle is a mix between a purebred Golden Retriever and a purebred Standard Poodle. Both of these mixes are F1 generations, as Labradoodles and Goldendoodles aren’t their own breeds. Some breeders will back cross Goldendoodles or Labradoodles to a Poodle. This cross is called an F1b generation, and tends to result in dogs with an even curlier coat.
Both of these large Doodle breeds come from working backgrounds, which in recent years have split into show and working varieties. With some dogs heavier set and paler in color for the show ring, and others lighter and with more prey drive.
Goldendoodle vs Labradoodle Appearance
Although they come from very similar breeds, the Labradoodle and Goldendoodle do differ in their appearance. They tend to be the same height, but Labradoodles can be heavier than Goldendoodles in general. Labradoodles are likely to have shorter coats, and come in a bigger range of colors.
You are more likely to see a golden Goldendoodle than a Golden Labradoodle. If you want a black Doodle than a Labradoodle is a better bet, but if you want a white Doodle dog then looking for a Goldendoodle puppy makes more sense!
Which One Is Bigger?
Some breeders say that adult Standard Goldendoodles outweigh adult Standard Labradoodles and some breeders say that just the opposite is the case! However, when comparing weight extremes, if both parent dogs for either hybrid dog breed litter are full size, you can expect a Standard Labradoodle to slightly outweigh a Standard Goldendoodle in adulthood. Their size will be influenced by their individual parents. So, it’s best to take a look at them to predict exactly how big puppies will turn out.
Labrador Retrievers reach 55 to 80 pounds and Standard Poodles reach 40 to 70 pounds. So, at its biggest, a full grown Labradoodle can weigh up to 80 pounds. Generally, adults will be around 22 to 24 inches tall.
Golden Retrievers reach 55 to 75 pounds. So, they come in weighing a little less than a standard Lab. This means both parents are smaller than Labs, so it’s likely a Goldendoodle puppy will be smaller on average. At their heaviest, they could weigh up to 75 pounds. But, they’ll likely only grow to around 22 inches in height. There is a great degree of variance depending on the size of each parent dog!
You may have heard of the Giant Goldendoodle or Labradoodle. In fact, usual practice is to refer only to dogs weighing over a hundred pounds as ‘giant’ And this is unlikely to occur in a first generation Labradoodle or Goldendoodle. If you are looking for a giant doodle dog, then the Bernedoodle or Newfipoo might be a better choice, as these are among the largest doodle breeds.
Both the shaggy Labradoodle and Goldendoodle dogs can both have quite a variety of coats. Their fur can be anything from long and fluffy to short and curly. Some will describe a Labrador Poodle mix with a medium coarse curl as a wiry haired Labradoodle, and while this isn’t entirely accurate you can see where they are coming from!
In the Labradoodle coarse hair is quite common, and the fluffy Labradoodle puppy may grow up to have quite a harsh coat. In a Goldendoodle coarse hair is a little less likely though different Goldendoodle coats do vary. But coat texture and curl can be very hard to predict, as It will entirely depend on the traits the puppies inherit from their individual parents. The same can be said of their coat color. The Standard Poodle has a much larger spectrum of potential coat colors.
The following solid colors can be widely found in both breeds
- Brown (chocolate)
A chocolate Goldendoodle may be harder to find than a chocolate Labradoodle. And Goldendoodles are generally easier to find in shades of gold including cream through to red.
You can also find Parti-colored doodles where the coat has patches of two different colors. The Parti gene comes from the Poodle parent and Parti doodle dogs can be very striking in appearance. Then there are rarer color mixes including mottled shades of one color, as in the rare chocolate merle goldendoodle
The Labradoodle typically has shorter hair that is wavy and wiry. Coat colors can vary quite a bit. Black, red, yellow, white, cream, chocolate, and dual or tri-colors are common in Labradoodles.
The Goldendoodle’s hair tends to be longer and may either be straight or wavy/curly. Coat colors do not vary quite so much in this hybrid dog breed, tending to stay in the gold/caramel/red spectrum. But, there is such a thing as the black Goldendoodle.
Is One Stinkier Than The Other?
All dogs in the hunting group that Retrievers belong to have quite a distinctive ‘doggy’ aroma to their coat when they are wet. This is not true of Poodles. However, it is difficult to predict whether or not your dog will inherit this tendency.
Regular bathing can keep your dog smelling sweet, though it may reduce your dog’s ability to keep themselves warm if they swim a lot in cold water. That’s because shampoo removes natural oils that waterproof your dog’s coat. So you may need to compromise on that one!
Are Labradoodle or Goldendoodle Dogs Hypoallergenic?
While researchers have now established that there is no 100 percent hypoallergenic pet dog, the Labradoodle or Goldendoodle hypoallergenic comparison delivers two dogs that come about as close as you can get to being hypoallergenic!
Many owners don’t realize that pet shedding is not the true allergy trigger. The trigger is a protein called Fel D 1 that is present in dog saliva, skin, and hair. When your dog sheds, this protein is shed out along with the discarded hair. You then come in contact with the protein as you clean and that causes the allergic reaction.
For this reason, selecting a dog that sheds less copiously and less frequently can help control the severity and frequency of pet allergy symptoms. Weekly grooming can also help with this!
The best way to ensure you select a close-to-hypoallergenic doodle is to work with a second-generation (F2) or f1B breeder. In the F2 generation, the breeder is crossing two parents who are true doodles, rather than a Standard Poodle with either a Labrador Retriever or a Golden Retriever.
Crossing two Doodle breeds is the best way to control for coat shedding in puppies. You can ask the breeder if their puppies are F1 (Standard Poodle cross with Lab/Golden retriever) or F2 (two doodle parent dogs). This will ensure your new puppy has the lowest likelihood of shedding. But remember you can never guarantee the qualities your pup is going to inherit. If you have allergies, the best way to see if one of these pups will suit you is to spend lots of time with it before you can bring it home.
Grooming a Labradoodle vs a Goldendoodle
The specific care needs for your Labradoodle or Goldendoodle dog will vary depending on the traits they inherit from their parents. But, all dogs will need regular grooming to control shedding and keep their fur from tangling. Knots and tangles can be painful for dogs, so make sure to gently work them out each grooming session.
- Goldendoodle Grooming
- Labradoodle Grooming
If they have the curlier fur of the Poodle parent, things like dirt can get caught in the tight curls. So, check them over after they play outside. Check your Labradoodle or Goldendoodle’s ears for wax, infections, or parasites whenever you groom them. Make sure you also clip their nails regularly.
Labradoodle and Goldendoodle Temperament
Labradoodles and Goldendoodles are both very loyal, loving, active, friendly pups that can make great family pets. However, if your interest in selecting a doodle is to involve your new dog in a specific type of work, such as farming, hunting, service, or therapy dog work, each hybrid breed has some important temperament differences.
Labradoodles have a slightly higher energy level with a more reserved personality than Goldendoodles. They also tend to be slightly stronger and more active than Goldendoodles. For hunting/farm work or public service, this combination of traits makes the Labradoodle an overall better pick. Breeders also pick Labradoodles as the top choice for guide dog, seeing eye dog, and service dog work.
Goldendoodles tend to have calmer yet more outgoing personalities overall than Labradoodles. They have a lower overall energy level with unflagging happiness and joy that can make them the life of the party. And no, they are not generally hyper, though of course all puppies will have their moments!
Because of their sunny, outgoing personalities, breeders pick Goldendoodles as the top choice for therapy dog and hospital/nursing home work.
Goldendoodle Labradoodle Socialization
The Labradoodle, with its overall more reserved, somewhat guarded approach to new spaces, new situations, and new people, may present a slightly higher risk to display guarding tendencies. Especially if this dog is not well socialized. Labrador Retrievers can sometimes display behaviors like biting and rough play that can be mistaken for guarding tendencies or aggression, simply because these dogs (especially the English/show dog line) often take longer to mature.
However, neither Labradoodles or Goldendoodles tend to display problematic guarding or aggression behaviors so long as consistent training is introduced and maintained. You’ll need to socialize both Goldendoodle Labradoodle mix dogs well from a young age to get the best temperament from them.
Which Doodle makes a better family pet?
Friendliness is a constant characteristic in both Doodle types, especially if they are socialized well. They are generally family friendly dogs, although they both suffer a little for their size being a bit of a liability around small children or frail adults. But usually only accidentally!
There really isn’t much to separate the two when it comes to negatives here either, like separation anxiety. A common issue to both breeds due to their intense loyalty and eagerness to be together. Although you can help to avoid this happening by gradually teaching them to be happy to spend time alone.
At home, chewing can be a problem for both breeds with a history of sporting dogs that are bred to pick things up and carry them. A big selection of chew toys of different textures will help with this.
How Much Exercise Do They Need?
Goldendoodle Labradoodle breeds have quite similar exercise needs. Although they may be a little calmer in temperament the Goldendoodle energy levels will be similar to that of the Labradoodle. Both these breeds will suit active families best, as they do need regular exercise. If you’re looking for a breed you can take on hikes and adventures outside with you and your family, either of these doodles could make a good choice.
Like most Doodles, these two dogs have high activity levels. They thrive where they have lots of opportunity to keep their bodies, and brains, busy.
Goldendoodle vs Labradoodle Training and Intelligence
Both Labradoodles and Goldendoodles are very smart! In fact, the parent dogs – Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Poodles – are also very intelligent. All three parent dogs come equipped with a strong desire to please “their” people and strong inborn incentives to partner with people in daily life. This can make Labradoodles and Goldendoodles quite easy to train and they are very fast learners! These dogs both respond best to positive training methods.
Potty training a clever, medium to large sized dog is usually fairly straight forward. They are neck in neck here too! Their large size means they will have fairly good bladder control at a relatively young age. And their intelligence means they will be quick to draw connections between the right places to pee and poop. Just make sure you give them lots of opportunities to go outdoors.
Is One Healthier Than The Other?
Goldendoodle Labradoodle mix dogs are known to be generally healthy. However, a puppy from either hybrid dog line will only be as healthy as the breeder’s own genetic health testing program.
Poodles can be prone to hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), patellar luxation (mini or toy Poodles), and other eye issues. Other less severe health concerns can include allergies, skin conditions, and thyroid disorders. Any health issue in the parent dog line can in theory be passed along to the puppies.
Labrador Retrievers can be particularly prone to certain health conditions, including:
Golden Retrievers are particularly prone to:
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Eye issues
- Heart disease
The Goldendoodle age span in particular may be affected by cancer, which is prevalent in Golden Retrievers. It’s worth looking at the longevity of the relatives of the Golden Retriever parent as not all Golden Retrievers carry genes that predispose them to cancer.
Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle Lifespan
If you’re choosing a dog to become a part of your family, you’ll also want to know how long they’ll be with you for. Labradoodle Goldendoodle mix dogs can make great family members! The difference between Labradoodle and Goldendoodle lifespans is not much at all on average.
A study into the lifespan of dogs in England suggests that Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers actually have the same average lifespan – 12.5 years! It found that Poodles live on average, 12 years. The expected Golden or Labradoodle lifespan will depend on a variety of things. But you can expect a standard sized Labradoodle or Goldendoodle to live to around 12 years!
Nutrition and Feeding
Once again, we are level pegging with this category too! Due to being similarly sized, active, intelligent dogs, they need good food designed for busy breeds. Choose one aimed at larger breeds, which is high in protein and fat and low in carbohydrates. Follow the instructions on the bag for the amount, but put some aside every day to use as training treats. Both breeds are quite greedy, so don’t be tempted to over feed them when they give you those puppy dog eyes!