The Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle dog debate is a lively one.
The Labradoodle is a cross between a purebred Labrador and a purebred Poodle.
Whereas the Goldendoodle is a mix between a purebred Golden Retriever and a purebred Poodle.
Both breeds are friendly, active, and loving. Although they seem similar, there are some subtle differences that you will want to learn. Is the Labradoodle or Goldendoodle the perfect dog for you?
Which Breed is Best?
Truthfully, there is no one “better” choice in this particular debate, since both dogs have a tremendous amount to offer to the right owner!
Your only task is to learn about each dog in turn and decide whether the Labradoodle or Goldendoodle will be a better fit for your lifestyle, family, available time, and interests.
What is the difference between Labradoodle and Goldendoodle dogs?
Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle History
Most mixed breed dogs are quite new. So it is hard to pin down their exact history!
But we can learn more about their history by looking at the parent breeds.
Some Goldendoodles or Labradoodles may still be used as working dogs, but the majority are bred to be family dogs and companions.
The three breeds involved in these two mixes are: the Labrador Retriever, the Golden Retriever, and the Poodle.
So let’s examine the history of these parent breeds.
Labrador Retriever History
The Labrador Retriever originated in Canada. They were used to retrieve ducks, and as a fisherman’s mate.
They were brought from Canada to England in the early 1800s and grew in popularity ever since then.
This breed was recognised by the Kennel Club in 1903 and first registered with AKC in 1917.
Golden Retriever History
Golden Retrievers were developed in the Scottish Highlands by Lord Tweedmouth.
He aimed to make a dog that would suit the wet climate and rough terrain. To achieve this he crossed a yellow retriever with the now extinct Tweed Water Spaniel.
Other breeds were also added to the mis, like the Irish Setter and the Bloodhound.
Goldens began to find their way into the world in the early 1900s, and really began to grow in popularity from the 1970s.
They were first registered by the AKC in 1925.
Poodles are often associated with France, where they are the national dog. But, they actually originated in Germany!
They were bred to hunt and retrieve ducks. Their coat was designed to protect them from the chill of the water but also allow them good movement.
The breed’s purpose later changed to that of a companion, and its smaller counterparts (the Miniature Poodle and Toy Poodle) were bred as lap dogs.
Although the Toy and Miniature developments were bred a lot later than the Standard Poodle.
Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle Appearance
You might think that these mixes are going to be really similar in appearance. But there are some differences!
It’s also important to remember that you can’t guarantee the appearance of any mixed breed.
A mixed breed puppy could inherit any of the characteristics of its parent breeds. So you really won’t know what your pup will look like until it arrives.
But let’s look at the parent breed to find out what we can estimate about their appearances.
Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle Size
The first important difference between Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle dogs is their adult size.
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.
So let’s look at some statistics.
What They Will Weigh
The size of your adult doodle can vary greatly depending on gender, birth order, genetics, size of the parent dogs, nutrition, and other factors. So what is the difference between Labradoodle and Goldendoodle size?
Labrador Retrievers reach 55 to 80 pounds.
Golden Retrievers reach 55 to 75 pounds.
And Standard Poodles reach 40 to 70 pounds.
So here again, you can see a great degree of variance depending on the size of each parent dog!
Every mixed breed is unique!
Mini Doodle Size
If you are interested in a mini Goldendoodle or mini Labradoodle, the same size variations apply.
The average adult mini Poodle will weigh anywhere from 10 to 15 pounds.
The first generation (mini Poodle cross with Labrador retriever) mini Labradoodle or Goldendoodle may not be nearly so mini as you might expect!
This is because you are crossing a 10 to 15-pound mini Poodle with a 55 to 80-pound Labrador retriever dog or a 55 to 75-pound Golden retriever dog.
If you have your heart set on a mini doodle, look for a F2 or F1b generation puppy breeder.
A F1b mini doodle will be a cross between a mini doodle and a mini poodle and is more likely to stay small in adulthood.
Both Labradoodle and Goldendoodle hybrid dogs are very good-looking dogs!
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.
Are These Mixes Hypoallergenic?
While researchers have now established that there is no 100 percent hypoallergenic pet dog, the Labradoodle vs 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.
Low Shedding Dogs Aren’t 100% Allergy Free
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 doodles 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.
There’s No Guarantee
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.
Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle Temperament
Among doodle breeders, the general consensus is that 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.
Look at the breeds and how their differ. Natural instincts, how cooperative is the breed, how independent, tendencies to guard, or chase. Tendencies to aggression (link to sources) or bite, bite style and jaw strength where appropriate
Discuss which might be suited to families, new owners, etc.
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.
Because of their sunny, outgoing personalities, breeders pick Goldendoodles as the top choice for therapy dog and hospital/nursing home work.
Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle Guarding Tendencies
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.
Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle Training
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!
Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle Exercise
Both of these breeds have quite similar exercise needs.
They 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, both of these breeds will make a good choice.
Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle Health
Labradoodles and Goldendoodles are known to be generally healthy dogs.
However, a puppy from either hybrid dog line will only be as healthy as the breeder’s own genetic health testing program.
Labrador retrievers can be particularly prone to certain heritable health conditions, including hip and elbow dysplasia, exercise-induced collapse, and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).
Golden retrievers are particularly prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, cancer, eye issues, and heart disease.
Poodles can be prone to hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), patellar luxation (mini or toy Poodles), and other eye issues.
Other Common 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.
Choosing a Healthy Puppy
For this reason, it is wise to always ask to see the breeder’s parent dog health records to ensure breeding stock has been cleared of known heritable health concerns.
Reputable breeders typically provide an initial guarantee of health for 12 to 24+ months as well as a take-back guarantee should the puppy not work out for some reason.
Steer clear of any breeder that does not volunteer both as part of the process of purchasing a puppy!
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!
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. But Miniature Poodles lived 14.5 years on average!
So your dog’s lifespan will depend on a variety of things. But you can expect a standard sized Labradoodle or Goldendoodle to live to around 12 years!
Which Breed Makes A Better Pet?
We hope you have found the information in this comparison article helpful as you make your choice between these two wonderful hybrid dog breeds, the Labradoodle and the Goldendoodle.
Both of these breeds are great family dogs, but will need general care like grooming and regular exercise. Both are intelligent, friendly, and outgoing when socialized.
After reading through this information, which dog breed do you favor? Have you ever cared for a Labradoodle or a Goldendoodle before?
Which one will suit your family best?
Please drop us a comment to share your thoughts on your favorite hybrid dog breed and your reasons!
You might even want to take a look at our guide to the mini Labradoodle!
More Breed Comparisons
If you love learning about different breeds, you’ll love reading more of our breed comparisons.
Take a look at some of them below!
References and Further Reading
- CHIC, “Labrador Retriever: CHIC Health,” Canine Health Information Center Database, 2018.
- CHIC, “Standard/Toy/Mini Poodle CHIC Health,” Canine Health Information Center Database, 2018.
- O’Neill (et al), Longevity and Mortality of Owned Dogs in England. The Veterinary Journal, 2013.
- Farrell L. (et al), The Challanges of Pedigree Dog Health: Approaches to Combating Inherited Disease. Canine Genetics and Epidemiology, 2015.
- CHIC, “Golden Retriever: CHIC Healthh,” Canine Health Information Center Database, 2018.
- Oliver J. and Gould D., Survey of Ophthalmic Abnormalities in the Labradoodle in the UK. British Veterinary Association, 2012.
- Downs L. (et al), Genetic Screening for PRA-Associated Mutations in Multiple Dog Breeds Shows that PRA is Heterogeneous Within and Between Breeds. Veterinary Ophthamology, 2014.
This article has been updated and revised for 2019