What type of dog should I get? Goldendoodles or Labradoodles? Which one is better?
Goldendoodles and Labradoodles are two breeds of dogs that look very similar. They both come from the same dominant parent breed, the Poodle. The difference lies in the second parent.
As the name suggests, Goldendoodles are a cross between Golden Retrievers and Poodles, while Labradoodles are a mix of Labradors and Poodles.
Doodle dogs have become much more popular in recent years thanks to their infectious personalities and loyal devotion to their owners. They’re also very cute to look at, which can’t hurt.
You might ask why would anyone want to choose either of these two types of dogs over the other. Well, they are completely different breeds. Each has its pros and cons. Today we are going to be giving you an in-depth comparison of the Goldendoodle vs the Labradoodle.
It might be impossible to pick between them, but we hope that our article helps you to make a firm decision on which one is best for your family.
Goldendoodle and Labradoodle origins
We think that it is incredibly interesting to know where and when a dog breed was first created. It helps you know a little more about the backstory of your dog and hopefully, will allow you to understand them even more.
Goldendoodles are a hybrid breed from a Golden Retriever and a Standard Poodle.
The first Goldendoodle was reported to have been bred around the late 80s to early 90s, although the exact date is not accounted for.
Golden Retrievers are known for their fierce loyalty and obedience to their owners, while Poodles are known for being incredibly smart.
Taking these characteristics into account, it’s not surprising that breeders wanted to combine these two breeds together!
Thanks to the properties of the Poodle, Goldendoodles also shed much less than Golden Retrievers. This is great news for allergy sufferers, as Golden Retrievers are notorious for shedding lots of hair.
The first Labradoodle was bred in 1998 in Australia by a man called Wally Cochran.
His mission was to breed a dog that would have the good nature of a Labrador as well as the hypoallergenic properties of a Poodle.
Wally set out on this mission to help give a blind woman a guide dog – which is why he chose a Labrador.
The woman’s husband, however, suffered from dog allergies which meant that she could not have a normal guide dog. That’s where the Poodle came in.
While researching potential mates for the Labrador, Wally sent the couple 33 samples of dog hair so that they could test them against the husband’s allergies.
They finally settled on the Standard Poodle, and Wally got to work breeding the Labradoodle.
Now that you know a little more about the Goldendoodle and Labradoodle origins, let’s take a look at where their parents come from.
Learning more about your future dog’s parents will allow you to know more about them, as a Doodle is going to be a mixture of traits from both of its parents.
The Poodle is the constant in both Goldendoodle and Labradoodle breeds, so you have to decide whether you want to have half of a Golden Retriever within your new dog, or a Labrador.
Hopefully, this section should help you out with this decision.
The Golden Retriever was first bred in the Scottish Highlands by Lord Tweedmouth, who wanted to create a dog that could withstand the Highland climate and difficult Scottish terrain.
To do this, he bred a Tweed Water Spaniel with a Yellow Retriever. His breeding was successful and created what we now know and love to be the Golden Retriever.
This breed was first registered in 1925 and Golden Retrievers were quick to become one of the most beloved dog breeds in America.
Golden Retrievers are medium to large dog breeds and weigh between 55 to 75 pounds, depending on their gender and parents. This breed is most known for being very friendly, easy to train, and happy all of the time.
Labradors are otherwise known as Labrador Retrievers and they were first bred in Canada to bring in ducks that hunters had killed.
They were created when St. John’s Water Dogs were bred with English hunting dogs.
This breed was first registered in 1903 and quickly rose to popularity. They are less used for hunting now and rather simply as friendly family dogs.
Most people love Labradors thanks to how easy they are to train, their obedient nature, their fierce loyalty, and how calming they are.
Finally, Poodles were first bred in Germany to chase and bring in ducks. Poodle coats were thought perfect for duck hunting due to their thickness yet movability.
They were then used as companion dogs instead of hunters, once people realized that there were better breeds for that purpose.
Still, the popularity for Poodles never dwindled and even grew stronger. In fact, the Poodle is now France’s national dog breed.
Poodles are very intelligent dogs and often considered to be one of the smartest breeds in the world. They are also hypoallergenic and therefore safe for dog sufferers, very friendly and trainable.
Breeding two dogs together
When breeding two dogs together, you never know quite what you’re going to get. You might get 50% Poodle and 50% Golden Retriever/ Labrador, although you could get a less even mixture.
Some Labradoodles look much more like Labradors than Poodles, with straight coats rather than the classic curly coat that the Doodles are known for.
So, if you’re planning on breeding two of these dogs together, be aware of the fact that you might not be getting an even mix between them.
The good news is that all three of these dogs – Golden Retrievers, Labradors, and Poodles – are all dogs with great traits and good temperaments.
However, if you’re hoping that they look a certain way, you won’t be able to be sure of this until they are born and maturing.
Both Goldendoodles and Labs are small dogs with medium sized heads. However, there are some differences between the sizes of each breed that might influence your decision in which to adopt.
These dogs weigh anywhere between 55 to 70 pounds, depending on the size of their parents. Their height is on average 22 inches from the ground.
Miniature Goldendoodles, however, can weigh between 35 and 50 pounds. Toy Goldendoodles can be even smaller, some weighing as little as 20 pounds!
For a full breakdown of Goldendoodle varieties by weight and size, check out this informative guide.
The standard size of a Labradoodle is between 50 and 65 pounds, although this can vary depending on the weight of their parents. The average height of a Labradoodle is around 23 inches.
Medium Labradoodles tend to be smaller than Standard Labradoodles, with a weight of 30 to 45 pounds and a height between 18 to 20 inches. See our Labradoodle size chart for more information.
Differences in their coats
Another big difference between Goldendoodles and Labradoodles is their coats. When looking for a Doodle, you’re more than likely going to be looking at their coats to influence your decision somewhat.
All Doodles are teddy bear dogs, meaning they have the distinct features of a teddy. This includes a soft and cuddly coat.
However, there still are differences between their coats, so take these into consideration.
Goldendoodles are known for their gorgeous wavy or curly coats. It is super soft, perhaps due to the fact that you have to brush it daily, and it will hardly ever shed.
This breed of dog can come in a variety of colors, such as silver, black, cream, tan, white, orange, and gray. The texture and color of a Goldendoodle’s fur will depend on their parentage.
Unlike a Goldendoodle, Labradoodles can have straight or shaggy coats as well as wavy or curly ones. This can make the Labradoodle look less groomed if you don’t keep on top of it.
However, this isn’t a bad thing, as straight coats tend to get matted less than curly ones.
While you will still have to brush your Labradoodle regularly, it might not have to be everyday depending on how curly their coats are.
Labradoodles can also come in a variety of colors depending on their parents, and they shed very little thanks to being hypoallergenic.
If you’re looking for a puppy, then you’ll want to know what kind of personality he/she has before making any decisions about adopting one. You should know whether the Doodle likes to play rough or gentle.
Do they like to be alone? Or would they prefer to be part of a pack? These questions are important when choosing a puppy because you need to know what kind of life they’ll lead once you bring them home.
Like most puppies, Goldendoodles love to play and run around. They enjoy playing fetch, tug-of-war, and other games.
They do best when they’re given plenty of exercise, but they can also be content lounging around indoors.
If you live somewhere where it gets cold outside, then you may find that your Goldendoodle loves to snuggle up under the covers.
Goldendoodles are friendly and attentive to their owners. They are in touch with your feelings and are able to tell when you are feeling down.
Some Goldendoodles even mimic their owner’s feelings, so if you’re feeling sad your dog might exhibit these feelings too.
A Goldendoodle is an excellent companion and they are easy to train. Due to all of these characteristics, Goldendoodles make great first pets for new dog owners.
They’re also very good guide dogs for people suffering from disabilities, and they have been known to work alongside police as sniffer dogs.
Goldendoodles are excellent family pets thanks to their calm temperament and the fact that they get along with everyone, including adults, kids, and even strangers.
However, this means that they are likely not great guard dogs.
The Labradoodle is a wonderful pet for families who want a playful, energetic dog. They are highly intelligent and eager to please.
Their personalities are strong and independent. They are loyal and affectionate towards their owners.
They are extremely friendly towards children and other animals. They are often described as “cuddly” by their owners.
They are also very active and require lots of exercise. Because of this, they are usually happiest when outdoors with lots of room to run around.
While they can adapt to living inside, they won’t thrive unless they have plenty of space. They have been known to chew things when bored and not getting enough exercise or attention.
Labradoodle puppies are smart and eager to learn. They are easily trained and respond well to training techniques such as clickers and rewards.
They are also quick learners and are capable of learning tricks and commands quickly.
Because of their intelligence, Labradoodles are great therapy dogs. They can help those dealing with depression and anxiety through their unconditional love and companionship.
They are also great service dogs for those who suffer from disabilities.
Again, Labradoodles are friendly to everyone – including their family and strangers – alike. This means that they won’t be good as a guard dog.
However, if you want a family pet to play with and give lots of cuddles, the Labradoodle could be the one for you.
Both breeds need regular grooming. The Goldendoodle needs more grooming than the Labradoodle because its coat grows faster and is often more curly so will get matted quicker.
Both of these breeds do not shed much hair at all, meaning that both breeds should be brushed regularly to avoid matts.
If you’re a busy family who doesn’t have time to groom your pets often, you might want to reconsider your decision to get a Doodle.
While one of these dogs might require grooming less often than the other, they will both need at least some consistency within their grooming routine.
The Goldendoodle’s hair is soft and silky, but it will either be curly or wavy. This means that the coat is more likely to matt together and cause potentially painful areas on the dog’s coat.
This means that you should really brush a Goldendoodle’s hair everyday to avoid it getting tangled together.
A slicker brush will be best to groom your Goldendoodle, as this will remove all of the hair that is trapped within the curls. It should also remove any tangles without hurting your dog too much. If you are looking for a good brush to make this process easier then see our review on the best brushes for Goldendoodles.
A Goldendoodle’s coat will grow long and untamed if you don’t trim it on a regular basis. This breed should probably have their coats trimmed every one to two months to keep them looking their best.
Due to Goldendoodles inheriting the Poodle’s ear, they are at risk of having hair grow into their ear canal. This can cause bacteria to get trapped within the ear and cause infections.
Ensuring that your Goldendoodle is regularly groomed can prevent this from happening.
The Labradoodle’s coat is smooth and shiny. This makes it easier to groom and care for, as long as you are grooming it on a regular basis.
Labradoodles can have straight, shaggy, wavy, or curly coats, so it depends on how much grooming is required for them.
Straight-haired Labradoodles will need less grooming than those with curly or wavy hair, but this doesn’t mean that you won’t have to brush them at all.
Much like their Goldendoodle cousins, the Labradoodle will need regular maintenance to keep its hair in prime condition. If you would like to know how to groom a Labradoodle, then we have a step by step guide.
Labradoodles also tend to be more active than Goldendoodles. This means that they’re likely to be found running around parks at high speeds for long periods of time.
This exercise will certainly affect how matted their coats become – even if they have straight coats.
Again, Labradoodles have inherited the Poodle’s ear and therefore are susceptible to ear infections. To avoid these as much as possible, regular grooming and maintenance is a must.
Bear in mind that straight haired Doodle dogs are associated with the highest amount of shedding.
This means that you might not be able to get a Doodle with less grooming requirements if you need a hypoallergenic dog.
Both breeds need plenty of exercise. They may be small enough to fit inside a house, but they still need plenty of space to run around and play.
If you live in an apartment, then you’ll need to make sure that there is plenty of room for your pet to move about freely.
If you do live in a house, then you’ll need somewhere where they can safely run around.
You could consider putting up a fence around your garden or yard, or you could just leave them outside during the summertime.
If you want to take your pets for walks, then you’ll need something sturdy to keep them near until you have safely trained them to remain off the leash.
Goldendoodles usually require a decent amount of exercise, usually ranging from 30 to 60 minutes of moderate exercise a day.
This could include hikes or simple walks around the park, or even bike rides with the whole family.
This breed of dog loves the water and therefore swimming could be a great option to get their activity level in. Playing fetch into the water is sure to tire them out and leave them happily fatigued.
Goldendoodles are happy with a 30 minute walk a day, so they might be better for people living in an apartment without a garden.
If you have an apartment and are planning on keeping a Goldendoodle in it, however, it is vitally important that they get their exercise everyday.
Labradoodles don’t need much specialized exercise, although they do need a lot of it to remain happy and content.
Labradoodles have more energy than Goldendoodles and therefore will need to be taken on long walks and hikes every day to release their energy.
Like Goldendoodles, Labradoodles also love water and therefore will be more than happy to swim for a while to get their exercise in.
If you lead a busy lifestyle and don’t have time to take your Labradoodle on long walks everyday, a fenced garden should suffice for some of it.
You can take your dog out for a 30 minute walk everyday and allow them to roam the garden to get the rest of their energy out.
Bear in mind that Labradoodles don’t mix well with apartments, unless you’re prepared to take them out on walks at least twice a day.
They need room to move their bodies and breathe fresh air, so it might not be fair taking them in an apartment setting.
If your Labradoodle isn’t getting enough energy, they might begin to cause mischief around your apartment by chewing on things other than their toys.
Both breeds need a diet rich in protein. Protein helps build strong muscles and bones, which is essential for both breeds.
Both Goldendoodles and Labradoodles also need a balanced diet of carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
It’s very important that you feed your dog a healthy diet as this will help prevent any health issues later down the line.
Goldendoodles and Labradoodles can eat the same type of food thanks to them being relatively similar in characteristics.
With that being said, the two breeds might have different dietary requirements because of their different personalities.
Labradoodles tend to be more energetic and active, whereas Goldendoodles are calmer and less active.
Goldendoodle diets should contain mostly protein and carbohydrates with the least amount of fat.
The percentages of these macronutrients will differ depending on what type of food you choose to give your dog.
For example, if you want to feed your dog a raw diet, then you would need to increase the amount of protein and decrease the percentage of carbs and fats.
It’s best to feed your dog a high quality kibble rather than feeding them cheaper dry food or canned food.
Cheap dry foods lack fiber and nutrients, whereas canned foods are full of preservatives and additives. Kibbles are also easier for your dog to digest, making them healthier for them.
You’ll find that most Goldendoodle owners prefer to feed their dogs a raw diet. This is because it contains all natural ingredients and doesn’t contain any preservatives or chemicals.
If you decide to go this route, make sure you buy only organic meat from reputable suppliers.
Always look for foods that contain no filler ingredients such as wheat. These do nothing for your dog rather than filling them up with useless components.
Look for foods with primary sources of meat rather than meat meal, as this is full of fewer benefits.
Goldendoodles should have between 1 and 2 cups of kibble a day. More than that could leave them at risk of becoming overweight.
Dogs will eat more than they need if given the chance, so don’t go by how much they’re willing to eat at a meal. This is a good way of allowing them to overeat.
Another thing to consider with Goldendoodles is that they are typically susceptible to allergies. The most common allergies for Goldendoodles include wheat, dairy, corn, and soy.
Feed them grain-free food to prevent them from having an allergic reaction.
If you are interested to know more, then we have created a blog with all our recommendations on the best dog food to feed your Goldendoodle.
Labradoodles’ diets should contain approximately the same amounts of macronutrients as Goldendoodles. Again, these percentages vary depending on what kind of food you choose to feed your dog.
As with Goldendoodles, it’s best to feed your Labradoodle a high quality kibble. Canned foods are full of preservatives, additives and fillers, and dry foods are low in nutrition.
Your Labradoodle needs to eat a diet containing a lot of protein. As they age, they become slower and need to consume a higher proportion of protein in order to keep up with their body weight.
Your Labradoodle can eat a variety of foods including chicken, beef, lamb, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, grains, and even some dairy products.
As Labradoodles are more active than Goldendoodles, they will benefit from a higher amount of protein and carbohydrates.
Protein will fuel their muscles and aid their recovery time quicker, while carbohydrates will give them enough fuel to burn off all of their energy.
Similar to Goldendoodles, Labradoodles require between 1 and 2 cups of good-quality kibble a day. However, they might need slightly more due to how much energy they’re burning off.
If your dog still looks hungry, try giving him half a cup more of kibble and seeing if that calms his hunger.
Again, Labradoodles are notorious for wanting to eat more than they need, so be careful not to overfeed them with kibble and treats.
For top tips on what to give your Labradoodle to keep them fit and strong, see our guide to the best dog food for Labradoodles.
A slightly more somber note now, it is important to know the average lifespan of any dog that you’re planning on welcoming into your house.
This will let you know how much of a commitment they are and how long you will be caring for them.
Of course, we hope that the lifespan of these animals is as long as possible, but it is still important to be prepared by knowing this information.
The average lifespan of a Goldendoodle is 12 years, or between 10 and 15 years.
They do tend to suffer from health concerns during the later years of their life, though, including hip dysplasia, eye issues, and heart disease.
Goldendoodles might also have a predisposition to some cancers, which can become more risky as they get older.
Just like Goldendoodles, Labradoodles have an average lifespan of 12 years, or between 10 and 15 years. They too often develop problems such as arthritis, kidney stones, and cancer as they age.
Labradoodles also suffer from health concerns such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy, joint dysplasia, and they might be prone to certain types of cancer.
Both breeds are very similar in terms of size, temperament, and personality. Both are great dogs and both are wonderful companions. The only differences are their parentage and their activity level.
Both the Goldendoodle and the Labradoodle are excellent breeds of dog for new dog parents. They’re easy to train, loyal, intelligent, and extremely loving.
You’ll find yourself spoiling them just because they’re so adorable!
No matter which Doodle dog you pick, you and your family are bound to receive many loving years from your new furry companion.
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