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Goldendoodle vs Labradoodle: Which is Better?

Are you looking for a doodle but can’t decide which one to get?

Well, we are here to help.

Two of the most popular doodles are the Labradoodle and the Goldendoodle.

Both of them have great qualities, but you might be wondering which doodle is the best choice for you.

Join us as we compare the Goldendoodle vs Labradoodle.

Goldendoodle vs Labradoodle: Which is Better?

Goldendoodle vs Labradoodle

When looking at the two dogs in the above picture you might be thinking that they a lot look alike. You might even be surprised to find out that one of the doodles is a Goldendoodle and the other one is a Labradoodle. Do you think you could tell tell which one is which? Stick around and we will reveal the answer later in this post.

While the two doodles in the picture may look alike there are subtle differences that might make one doodle a better choice for you. Keep reading to find out what those differences are.

Breed Heritage

But before we look at the Goldendoodle vs Labradoodle we should first look at the parent breeds that make up theses doodles. This will allow us to get a better understanding of where the dogs come from.

If you are looking at getting a doodle you probably already know that all doodles are part poodle, so let’s start there.

Poodle Puppy

The Poodle

Although there is some disagreement about which country poodles were first developed everyone agrees that the Poodle got its start as a water fowl retriever. Their woolly, curly coat is perfect for keeping them warm while diving into cold water to retrieve a hunter’s catch. Plus the curly coat is water resistant, allowing the water to run off the coat instead of soaking through to the dog’s body thus lowering their internal temperature.

Like all retriever type dogs, Poodles want to be with their people all the time. They are very loyal to their family.

In addition to being a great family dog, the poodle is also known as the second most intelligent dog breed, right behind the border collie. This makes poodles easier to train, which is great for first time pet owners.

If that wasn’t enough good things about the poodle, the poodle is also considered to be hypoallergenic, making them an excellent choice for families with young kids or people with allergies. It’s no wonder that the poodle has been on the American Kennel Club (AKC) top ten lists since at least 2013. That is as far back as I could find the yearly lists.

The downside of Poodles is the coat maintenance. Since poodles have hair instead of fur they need regular professional grooming. This includes daily combing and they need to have their hair trimmed regularly. Another distraction is that some people do not like the look of their tight curly coats.

Labrador Puppy

Labrador Retriever

The Labra in labradoodle stands for Labrador Retriever. A wonderful family dog.

The Labrador Retriever has been the most popular dog for 29 years in a row according to the American Kennel Club. Why you may ask? According to breeders they are extremely versatility, have a good temperament, are friendly, trainability, and athletic. I will also add that they are very family friendly and easy going.

Originally breed to support hunters in the fields and lakes, the Labrador also wants to be by the side of their people all the time. They are a hard working breed that likes to be busy. Although not considered to be as smart as the Poodle, the Labrador is easy to train and wants to please their people.

Labradors have a short double coat that repels water and insulates them from the cold. They also have webbed feet and an otter tail that makes them great swimmers. A Labrador’s short fur makes for easy maintenance. All they really need is a bath from time to time and an occasional brushing. Unlike the poodle the Labrador does not need regular grooming but they do shed when they go through a seasonal coat change. Brushing them regularly during this time will minimize the amount of hair laying around.

Labradors are also not considered hypoallergenic. This is why they were first bred with poodles in Australia to create a hypoallergenic guide dog.

Golden Retriever puppy

Golden Retriever

Much like the Poodle and Labrador Retriever, the Golden Retriever was bred to retrieve a hunter’s catch. Originating in Scotland as a water fowl retriever, the Golden was developed to have a thick under coat and a long water resistance outer coat to protect them from the damp Scottish weather.

The Golden has also been on the top ten list dog breeds for many years now. Although bred to be a hunter’s working dog and companion the Golden makes a great family dog. This is because of their relaxed, friendly nature. If you are looking for a guard dog do not look for a Golden. Most Golden Retriever’s have never met a person they did not like.

Goldens are also not consider to be hypoallergenic. Their long thick fur sheds regularly, but is worst during the change of seasons. Goldens do need a bit more grooming then Labradors but not nearly as much as poodles. An occasional brushing and a bath will do.

Goldendoodle vs Labradoodle Comparison

Now that we looked at the individual breeds that go into the two most popular doodles, let’s look at what that mix means

Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle: Temperament

When looking at the individual breeds that create these two doodles, we see that they are all a type of retriever that likes the water. This means both the Labradoodle and the Goldendoodle will also like being around water. In addition they are all high energy dogs that want to be around people, though Golden Retrievers are a bit less active than a Labrador. Both the Goldendoodle and Labradoodle are people pleasers. They want to make you happy so they are both easy to train.

Labradoodle on left and Goldendoodle on right

Where they might differ is in how they interact with other people outside of the family. While Labradoodles might be a little less friendly to strangers and a little more protective of their families, a Goldendoodle wants to be everyone’s friend. But both dogs make great family dogs and companions.

Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle: Fur types

What type of fur your doodle will have depends on the generation of your Doodle. Doodle generations that have a higher percentage of Poodle in them will have a curlier and softer coat. Because of this it makes comparing a Goldendoodle to a Labradoodle a little difficult. For this reason we are only going to look at first generation doodles. So a doodle that is 50% Poodle and 50% retriever.

A first generation labradoodle may have a wiry coat that is closer to a Labrador’s coats but with waves. A first generation Goldendoodle will have a soft, longer coat that may be curlier that the Labradoodles coat. These differences generally go away in later generations as the genes skew more towards poodle, but can still pop up from time to time.

Which one sheds less, the Labradoodle or Goldendoodle?

To answer this question I asked a group of Doodle Parents if their doodles do not shed as claimed by breeders. Here is what I found.

  • The majority of people with a Goldendoodle stated that their dog did not shed regardless of the generation
  • Only a couple of Goldendoodle parents said their doodle shed.
  • The majority of people with Labradoodles also stated that their dog did not shed.
  • But there were more labradoodle parents that stated their Labradoodle did shed as compared to a Goldendoodle
  • Also the Labradoodles that shed were mostly F1 Labradoodles.
  • No one with an Australian Labradoodle stated that their doodle shed, but they were all multi-generation doodles.

So if a non shedding dog is important to you, a Goldendoodle or a F1B Labradoodle might be the best choice. It seems that F1 Labradoodles have the greatest chance to shed. But a lot depends on the breeder and what genes are passed down from the parents.

It also appears that the curlier the coat the less they shed. But as one Doodle mom pointed out they mat more than a doodle with a straight coat.

This information was derived from a small group of people who responded to the question. It does not guarantee that the doodle you chose will follow the same path.

Below you can find our chart on the Doodle Generation Classifications to help you understand the doodle generations. This information was compiled through multiple breeder’s websites.

To learn more about doodles check out our post Oodle Dog Guide – What You Need to know

Which one is Hypoallergenic

Since both the Labrador and the Golden are not considered a hypoallergenic breed both hybrid dogs can cause allergies.

On the other hand Poodles are considered to be hypoallergenic. But remember hypoallergenic means that it is “relatively unlikely to cause an allergic reaction“. It does not guarantee that it will not cause an allergic reaction.

For allergy sufferers the best bet is to go with a later generation doodle that has more Poodle in them than retriever. However everyone is different and so is every dog. If you have allergies you should spend time with the puppies before you take them home. There are no guarantees that just because they are part poodle you will not be allergic.

Goldendoodle vs Labradoodle Size Comparison

The size of your doodle will depend on the size of the poodle bred with the retriever. Both Goldens and Labs can be bred with Standard, Moyen (Medium) or Mini Poodles. Dogs breed with a mini poodle are called Mini Goldendoodles or Mini Labradoodles. Below you can find a comparison of the size ranges for each size category.

Since both the Golden Retriever and the Labrador Retriever are close in size, the Goldendoodle and Labradoodle will also be close in size. However it is interesting to note that the Goldendoodle and the Labradoodle seem to have a tendency to grow larger than the parent breeds.

*Size comparison is based on breeder information and information gathered from Goldendoodle and Labradoodle owners. Actual size will depend on parent dogs

Looking for a name for your large dog? Check out our list of Big Dog Names: 300+ Names From the Classic to the Unique

Color Comparison

Labradoodles

Labrador Retrievers come in either Black, Yellow or Chocolate. Poodles come in Black, Brown, white, Blue (Gray), Silver, Apricot, Sable, and Cream. Your doodle can come in any of these colors. Look at the parents to determine what color your doodle may be.

Goldendoodles

Golden Retrievers come in either dark red, light golden or cream color. Like the Labradoodle, the Goldendoodle can come in any of the regular Golden Retriever or Poodle colors (see above), but the light red or cream colors seem to be the most common Goldendoodle colors available.

Lifespan Comparison

The average Goldendoodle’s lifespan is 10 to 15 years. As a comparison a Golden Retriever will live on average between 10 to 12 years and a Poodle will live between 12 to 15 years.

A Labradoodle can be expected to live on average between 12 to 15 years

Cost comparison

The cost of a Labradoodle that has been fully health tested is around $3,000 to 3,500. A fully health tested Goldendoodle cost about the same. You can find both doodles for less, but if it is much less the parents will most likely have not had the proper health testing. Health testing helps to protect you from buying a doodle that will have future health care costs.

An alternative to buying a doodle is to adopt one from a rescue. To learn more about where you can adopt a Labradoodle, Goldendoodle or other types of doodles look here:

Health Concerns

Note: Health Information and testing information was gathered from the Embrace Insurance webite. I am not a veterinarian. Nor should anything in this post be considered legal or medical advice.

Labradoodle

Labradoodles can develop health conditions that are common to both the Labrador Retriever and Poodle. These include;

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Progressive retinal atrophy, a eye disease
  • Patellar luxation
  • Von Willebrand’s disease, a bleeding disorder.

To minimize the risk of buying a dog with health issues ask the breeder for proof of health testing on both the parents.

Possible tests include:

  • Hip and elbow certifications from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
  • DNA test for progressive retinal atrophy
  • Certification from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation that the eyes are healthy.
  • A DNA test for von Willebrand’s disease
  • For small or medium-size Labradoodles, the OFA patella (knee) clearance.

Goldendoodle

Goldendoodles can also develop health conditions that are common to the Golden Retriever and Poodle. Health concerns include:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Sebaceous Adenitisa, a skin disease
  • Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis, a heart condition
  • Addison’s disease
  • Eye diseases such as progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts and glaucoma.

To minimize the risk of buying a dog with health issues ask the breeder for proof of health testing on both the parents.

Possible tests include:

  • Hip certifications from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals,
  • OFA heart clearance
  • Certification from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation that the eyes are healthy.
  • An OFA elbow clearance for standard Goldendoodles,
  • An OFA knee clearance for small or medium-size Goldendoodles
  • A DNA test for progressive retinal atrophy.
  • For more information, see the Ribbon requirements set by the Goldendoodle Association of North America.

Only buy your doodle from a reputable breeder that puts the health of the parent dogs and future puppy over profit. To do this you should not buy a puppy from a breeder that cannot provide you with written, verifiable documentation that the parents were cleared of health problems that affect the breed. A “vet check” is not a substitute for genetic health testing.

Is the Goldendoodle the right dog for you? Join us to find out why the Goldendoodle is not for everyone

Goldendoodle vs Labradoodle Final Thoughts

In many ways the Goldendoodle and labradoodle are a lot alike. Especially if you are getting a later generation doodle that has more poodle in them. They are both great family dogs that are easy to train and want to be with their families. Neither doodle is suited to be left alone for long periods of time and may get into trouble.

The main differences between the two are that the Goldendoodle may be a little more friendly than the Labradoodle and a little less active. But both will need proper socialization as puppies, regular daily walks and exercise to keep them healthy and happy.

In the end both dogs make wonderful companions as long as they are socialized and properly trained. To learn more about how to train your new puppy check out our other posts on puppy training.

Which doodle is which?

Have you figured out which of the two doodles in the top picture is the Labradoodle and which is the Goldendoodle? As it turns out the one on the left is a Labradoodle and the one on the right is a Goldendoodle.

Goldendoodle vs Labradoodle Resources