The golden Labradoodle is a mix between a purebred Standard Poodle and a purebred Labrador Retriever.
Gold is just one of the many coat colors this mix can have. Other than their fur, they will be very similar to any other Labradoodle.
Some breeders may also use terms like apricot and caramel rather than gold. So, try to view puppies in person if you’re looking for a particular shade of gold Doodle.
What is a Gold Labradoodle?
Labradoodles are the most popular crossbred dog breed of modern times.
In fact, they are well on their way to recognition as a breed in their own right, complete with breed associations, a breed standard, and recognized coat color charts.
“Gold” simply refers to the color of the dog’s fur. And, some breeders and proponents of the Labradoodle breed won’t use the term to describe any color of coat.
Instead, they may say:
And more. But, rest assured, gold is a standard coat color for Labradoodles. This shade just has quite a variety thanks to the genetics necessary to produce it.
Gold Labradoodle Genetics
All dog colors come from two pigments. These basic pigments can be found in every dog breed, both pure and mixed.
- Eumelanin (black pigment)
- Pheomelanin (red/yellow pigment)
Different shades and colors show up in your dog’s coat depending on the gene variants (alleles) that act on these base pigments.
For a gold Labradoodle coat, we need to focus on pheomelanin.
The Red Pigment
Pheomelanin is the pigment that makes the yellow/red color. This pigment is red at its base level, but it defaults to yellow/gold when no other genetic influence is present to change it.
Neither parent breed comes in a standard ‘gold’ color.
But, the Labrador Retriever comes in yellow. And the standard Poodle comes in apricot and cream. So, these shades could translate to a gold tone in a Labradoodle mix.
The genes your Labradoodle inherits from their parents can also impact how light or dark the gold tone in their coat is.
So, mixing a very pale yellow Lab with a cream Poodle could result in a pale, creamy gold tone.
Yellow Coloring is Recessive
To get a gold colored coat, a Labradoodle puppy needs to inherit some specific gene variants from their parents.
These gene variants are found at the E Locus and the D Locus.
The E Locus carries the genes responsible for creating coat colors in the red/yellow color spectrum.
But, only the recessive form of the gene controls for the red/yellow color spectrum. So, Labradoodles must inherit a copy from both parent dogs to show up as gold.
The D Locus controls the genes responsible for diluting or lightening the red/yellow color spectrum.
This is another recessive variant. So, Labradoodles with this gene from both parents will have a lighter gold coat than those without.
What Do Golden Labradoodles Look Like?
The golden Labradoodle is not just a single coat color. Instead, golden Labradoodles can show off a wide range of golden tones, from a deep reddish gold, to a light, creamy gold.
Other than this, golden Doodles will be like any other Labradoodle. And, the predictability of their appearance will depend on the generation of breeding.
First generation Labradoodles are a cross between a purebred Labrador Retriever and a purebred Poodle. They could inherit any blend of traits from their parents, so they can look quite different from one another.
Some may be more like a Lab, and others more like a Poodle.
To get a more predictable appearance, choose a second (or later) generation mix.
Finding a Golden Labradoodle Puppy
If your heart is set on choosing a golden Labradoodle puppy, you will do best choosing a reputable breeder that breeds later generation puppies.
This will increase your chances of getting a golden Doodle coat, as breeders will often breed healthy parents with the same traits.
Make sure that your breeder shows you clean health certificates from the dogs used to create your golden Doodle.
And, remember that breeders might not use the term “gold” to describe their Labradoodle puppies, particularly to avoid confusion with the Goldendoodle breed.
So, look out for apricot, caramel, yellow, and cream puppies, or speak to breeders to let them know exactly what you’re after.
The Greying Gene
Another thing to be aware of with the golden Labradoodle is that some Labradoodle puppies may inherit the greying gene from their Poodle parent.
This gene causes a dog’s coat to lighten and progressively turn prematurely grey as the dog ages.
To avoid this, Labradoodle breeders will usually try to avoid Poodle parents that have this gene.
But it can be tough to predict if your puppy has it, as their coat will not lighten until they are older and already established in your home.
Do You Love the Golden Labradoodle
Are you thinking about adding a golden Labradoodle puppy or dog to your family? Perhaps you already have one at home!
What shade of gold is their beautiful coat?
References and Resources
- Gestes, T. ‘The 14 Different Australian Labradoodle Coat Colors’, Archview Labradoodles (2021)
- Roussi, H. ‘Labradoodle/Goldendoodle/North American Retriever Color Genetics’, Westwood Labradoodles (2021)
- Buzhardt, L. ‘Genetics Basics – Coat Color Genetics in Dogs’, VCA Animal Hospital (2021)
- Lewis, L. ‘Labradoodle Coat Colours’, Australian Labradoodle Association of America (2021)
- Coopshaw, K. ‘Labradoodle Coat Colors’, Worldwide Australian Labradoodle Association (2020)
- Armstrong, J. ‘Color Genes in the Poodle’, Dogenes (1999)