Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle – Which Is A Better Fit For Your Family?


I get it. You need a brand new puppy for the kids, a new companion to take fishing with you, or you’re just ready to extend the family. You’ve decided you want a doodle, but you haven’t decided which one. Labradoodles are similar to Goldendoodles, but how are they different?

Which is the best: Labradoodle or Goldendoodle? Neither! They are both wonderful pets, but there are a few differences. We’re going to focus on each of the qualities of the breed to come up with the best solution for your family’s needs.

Labradoodle Vs Goldendoodle Ancestry

Both the first generation Labradoodles and Goldendoodles have a Poodle in their lineage. The Labradoodle is the result of a Labrador and a Poodle, and The Goldendoodle is the offspring of a Golden Retriever and a Poodle.

A poodle’s qualities are intelligence and a non-shedding coat, but they are known for being a little high-strung or nervous. Nervous dogs exhibit behavior such as hiding and barking at everything (people, other dogs, air, aliens, etc.).

Poodle History

The standard Poodle originated in Germany and is one of the oldest purebred dog breeds. The name Poodle came from the German word “Pudelhund,” which roughly translates to “splash-about dog.” The Poodle was standardized in France and is one of the original water dogs that were bred to retrieve waterfowl. The tight curls of the coat make it water-resistant and aided in making it easier to swim.

The Poodle is bred in three sizes: the standard, miniature, and toy (aka teacup). The smallest of these was developed in 18th century England and became a favorite lapdog over the years.

The exact origins of the Poodle are not known but they resemble accounts of a curly-coated dog known as the Barbet. The Barbet appeared in artwork as far back as the 16th century and was represented as being an athletic dog with a distinctive beard, a long sweeping tail, and covered with curly hair.

Golden Retriever History

The Golden Retriever originated in the Highlands of Scotland in the late 1800s and owes its development to Dudley Marjoribanks, (later known as Lord Tweedmouth).

It 1865, Lord Tweedmouth purchased Nous, the only yellow-colored puppy from a litter of black retrievers from a cobbler near Brighton, England. He returned to his estate in Scotland with the puppy and later crossed Nous with a Tweed Water Spaniel named Belle. The Tweed Water spaniel is now either extremely rare or extinct.

The generations of descendants of this pair were meticulously recorded from 1868 and are now kept in the Kennel Club Library. There were some combinations along the way with wavy-coated retrievers and even a Red Setter in the mix.

The American Kennel Club officially recognized the Golden Retriever in 1932.

Labrador Retriever History

Originating in Newfoundland in the 1500s, this breed comes from a cross of a small water dog and the Newfoundlands. This created a breed called the St. John’s water dog, also known as the lesser Newfoundland. They were bred to work for fishermen to retrieve fish and to pull in nets. Their webbed paws made them excellent swimmers, and the coat was water repellent.

In the early 1800s, they were imported to Poole, England, by the Earl of Malmesbury. The Earl and Duke enjoyed using the St John’s Water Dogs for shooting sports and nicknamed them “Labrador Dogs” since they had come from Labrador. The name was adopted, and they began breeding Labradors. This hard-working strain became very popular with hunters in the United States in the early 1900s. The American kennel club recognized the Labrador retriever in 1917.

The Labrador Retriever today is an intelligent and affectionate companion to humans and is one of the most popular breeds around.

Labradoodle Vs Goldendoodle Temperament

Labradors and Golden Retrievers are more laid-back and friendly. This makes for a pleasant mix when the puppies inherit some of these qualities that counteract a poodle’s nervousness. Both of these breeds are super easy to train and are very sociable. Like the Poodle, both are very intelligent and learn commands and boundaries exceptionally well. Both are well suited to be guide and therapy dogs, although the Labrador is a bit more reticent in new situations.

Now to the differences between Labradoodles and Goldendoodles. The variations are slight but worth considering before committing one or the other.

The Goldendoodle is everybody’s friend and will greet each new acquaintance with equal vigor. The Labradoodle is a bit less energetic and more reserved when meeting someone they don’t know.

A Goldendoodle will be a bit calmer and peaceful, and the Labradoodle will throw a lot more energy into day to day activities and playtime. Labradoodle stick closer to family members and are not quite as outgoing as Goldendoodles are.

In short, families with small children might do better with a Goldendoodle’s calm playfulness. The Labradoodle will work off energy playing with exuberance and enthusiasm.

That being said, when it comes down to it, most people make their choice based on the appearance of the puppies coat and color.

Labradoodle Vs Goldendoodle Appearance

Coats

Labradoodles usually have fur that is short and wiry, and their coats are not as long and wavy as a Goldendoodle coat. A Labradoodle coat also has more color variation, while the majority of Goldendoodles are Gold, Caramel, and Red.

Labradoodle Coat Colors

Labradoodle coats come in a variety of shades, including Chalk, Caramel, Apricot, Red, Chocolate, and Parti-Color (having a predominant color broken by patches of one or more other colors).

Labradoodle and Goldendoodle Coat Texture

The texture of the coat will be Wool, Fleece, or Hair.
The most common coat is the Fleece. It is wavy or shaggy fur that is low to non-shedding. The next most common is the curly Wool coat, and this is the tight curls like a poodle and non-shedding. The Hair coat is flat and mostly straight and will be shed periodically.

Labradoodle Vs Goldendoodle Sizes

Labradoodles and Goldendoodles are pretty close in size, but the Labrador leans toward a larger and stronger physique. Genetics will always play a role in this, but your breeder should be able to give you an estimate of the puppy’s eventual size based on its parents.

Labradoodle Sizes

  • Standard – Approximately 50+ pounds 
  • Medium – Approximately 30-50 pounds
  • Small – Approximately 15-30 pounds

Goldendoodle Sizes

  • Standard – Female Approximately 50 – 60 pounds 
  • Standard – Male Approximately 55 – 70+ pounds
  • Medium – Approximately 35-50 pounds
  • Small – Approximately 20-35 pounds

Labradoodle Vs Goldendoodle Health

These conditions are rare and shouldn’t be used to influence your desire to welcome a Doodle into your family. They are only listed here as some of the conditions to watch for and make sure of the parent’s health records.

Some of the health issues that are shared by both Goldendoodles and Labradoodles are as follows:

Ear infections

Because both breeds have floppy ears that cover an l-shaped ear canal, bacteria can grow and cause infections. Both should have periodic ear cleanings to prevent any problems, especially after a bath or playing in the water.

Hip And Elbow Dysplasia

This is usually a genetic disease and, In the case of hip dysplasia, is a result of a malformed hip socket. In the elbow, it is caused by abnormal growth and creates a weakened joint. Symptoms of dysplasia can be lameness, stiffness, and can result in arthritis.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

This disease is the gradual deterioration of the retina. Early symptoms are night blindness, and as the disease progresses can lead to blindness.

Von Willebrand’s Disease

This is the most common inherited bleeding disorder in both humans and dogs. It is a form of Hemophilia – a lowered blood clotting protein resulting in bruising, nosebleeds, and wounds that will not scab over. If your pet shows any of these symptoms, testing for the Von Willebrand factor will be needed. This test is vital before any surgery performed.

Allergies

Labradoodles and Goldendoodles both are prone to allergic reactions from three sources: Food, topical and contact.

With contact allergies, lawn treatments such as fertilizers and weed killers can be the cause for your pet’s rash or excessive scratching or licking of feet.

Food allergies are easier to manage. Aside from the things your puppy will inevitably get into, a diet restriction will control this condition once the foods are identified.

Thankfully, allergies are treatable and your veterinarian can diagnose and prescribe medication to handle these challenges.

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus or GDV is the condition where food and gas cause the stomach to dilate or expand to the point that neither can be expelled. It can progress to the point where the entire stomach rotates (called volvulus) within the abdomen and restricts blood flow to vital organs.

An in-depth article on symptoms and treatment may be found at the American College of Veterinarian Surgeons website.

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is an over-active thyroid and symptoms include loss or thinning of the fur, excess shedding, weight gain, diminished activity and decreased ability to tolerate cold weather. This condition is rare and usually signals thyroid cancer. It is associated with large breed dogs and commonly affects Golden Retrievers and Irish Setters.

In Conclusion

Goldendoodles are friendly and outgoing forever-puppies. They love people and are calm in disposition. Labradoodles are a little lower on the sociability scale owing to their reluctance to run right up to just anybody. 

Goldendoodles may be the best choice to be around young children owing to their calmer demeanor. The Labradoodle often have only 2 speeds…fast and off and might be best for teenagers and adults. 

Both will require about an hour of activity to get rid of that pent up energy. 

Chuck Wilson

I am a dog parent in Hot Springs Village, Ar. with over 45 years of raising and training dogs. I created this site to help fellow Doodle owners with up-to-date information and tips for raising your puppy right!

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