The Labradoodle and the Goldendoodle are two of the most popular mixed breed dogs.
Poodles, Labs and Goldens all have several things in common, which make Labradoodles and Goldendoodles similar to each other too.
But these two Doodle mixes may also vary in terms of size, temperament, coat, and potential health problems.
Labrador Retriever vs Golden Retriever Origins
One way to understand the differences between the Labradoodle and the Goldendoodle is to take a look at the history of the parent breeds.
Labradors originated as water retrieving dogs in Newfoundland, Canada.
In the early 19th century, they were spotted by visiting English nobles who were impressed with their working ability and took them back to the UK.
Around the same time, Golden Retrievers were being established as a gundog breed in the Scottish Highlands.
They started out as a cross between a Yellow Retriever and a Tweed Water Spaniel. The aim was to create a dog suited to the damp climate and rough terrain of the Scottish Highlands.
Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle Origins
Labradoodles were one of the first designer dogs.
A breeder named Wally Conron bred a Labrador with a Standard Poodle to create a guide dog for a blind lady whose husband was allergic to dog fur.
Although her husband could tolerate one of the puppies from that first litter, Labradoodles aren’t safe for everyone with allergies. In fact, there really is no dog that’s completely free of allergens.
However, dogs that inherit the curly Poodle coat do tend to shed less than many other breeds. Which is why this cross with the ever-popular Labrador quickly gained attention and surged in popularity.
Goldendoodles first appeared in the United States in the 1990s.
It’s likely the success and popularity of the Labradoodle was the inspiration for combining a purebred Golden Retriever with a purebred Standard Poodle.
Both dogs are sometimes seen as alternatives to their retriever parents, for people who don’t want a dog with a shedding coat.
However, the contribution of the Poodle to both mixes shouldn’t be overlooked. As we shall see.
Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle Size
Standard Poodles weigh from 40 to 70 pounds and stand about 24 inches tall.
Labradors weigh in the 55 to 80 pound range, while Goldens are 55 to 75 pounds.
Height for these two breeds is generally in the 22 to 24 inch range, but Labs tend to be on the larger side.
This means Labradoodles tend to be larger on average than Goldendoodles too.
Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle Coat
The biggest difference between Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle appearance is usually their coat.
This is because the Lab’s and the Golden’s fur are quite different.
Labradors have a double-coat that includes a short, thick, sleek topcoat, and a softer, lighter weather-resistant undercoats.
Golden Retrievers also have a double coat, but their topcoat is made up of longer wavy fur.
Although the hair follicles are thinner than a Lab’s, they have more of them, which gives them a fluffier appearance.
So the Labradoodle’s hair is typically shorter than the Goldendoodle’s with a wavy, wiry texture.
And a Goldendoodle’s hair tends to be longer and either straight, wavy, or curly, but with a lighter, feathery look.
The standard Labrador colors are black, chocolate and yellow.
Golden colors include all shades of cream, caramel, gold, or red.
But since Poodles come in a vast array of shades, you can getLabradoodles and Goldendoodles in a rainbow of colors.
Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle Grooming
Depending on the type of coat, Labradoodles and Goldendoodles could have different grooming requirements.
If either of these Doodles inherit the curly Poodle coat they will require daily brushing to prevent matting and tangling.
Labradoodles whose coat more closely resembles the Labrador may only need to be groomed twice a week.
However, during shedding season this will likely increase to daily brushing.
Bear in mind that it’s impossible for a breeder to foresee or guarantee exactly what coat type their litter will have once grown up.
So, only take on one of these mixes if you’re happy to embrace any eventuality.
Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle Temperament
A survey of over 5,000 Labradoodle and Goldendoodle owners found that their personality most commonly falls on a scale between each of their parents.
So a Labradoodle will have a Labrador-like temperament in some ways, and be more Poodle-like in others.
Whereas Goldendoodle temperament is somewhere in between that of a Golden Retriever and that of a Poodle.
Since all three breeds are generally considered intelligent, energetic, trainable, and loving, that’s what you can expect from these mixes too.
However, the same study found that owners of Goldendoodles were more likely to report problems with behavior, than owners of Labradoodles.
If you’re looking for a working dog or an active companion to run with you, the Labradoodle may be the better choice. They tend to be slightly bigger, stronger, and more energetic.
Poodles differ from both Labs and Goldens in the sense that they’re less likely to approach all new people like a long lost friend. So, Labradoodles and Goldendoodles should both be socialized thoroughly as puppies.
This will give them more confidence around unfamiliar people when they’re older.
Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle Exercise
Both of these will be smart, high-energy dogs that require lots of exercise and mental stimulation.
This means daily walks as well as play sessions with family where they can run and burn off energy.
Both breeds will love to swim and play games.
Fo Labradoodles, their energy level may be partly determined by whether they have an English- or American-type Labrador parent.
American-type Labradors tend to have significantly more energy, whilst English-type Labs are more placid.
Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle Training
All three parent breeds are intelligent and eager to please.
Both the Labradoodle and the Goldendoodle are normally easy to train and learn quickly.
Training sessions are also a good time to burn off extra energy while bonding with their owner.
Positive reinforcement training that uses treats and praise to reward them when they perform correctly is key for getting the proper response from any dog.
Early socialization is incredibly important. All dogs need to be introduced to a variety of people, places, animals, and situations from a young age in order to not become guarded or fearful.
Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle Health
Both the Labradoodle and the Goldendoodle will be at risk for health conditions that affect the Poodle.
This includes idiopathic epilepsy and von Willebrand’s disease.
Thanks to breeders who test their breeding stock, Poodles tend to live long lives with a lifespan that ranges from 10 to 18 years.
Labradoodles will be at a higher risk for illnesses that affect the Lab. Such as heart disorders, hereditary myopathy and a condition called exercise induced collapse (EIC).
Goldendoodles could be prone to cancer since Golden Retrievers have a higher-than-average incidence of this deadly disease.
Both mixed breeds are also prone to hip and elbow dysplasia and eye conditions, including progressive retinal atrophy.
Each of these conditions should be genetically tested for.
Labradoodles and Goldendoodles have a comparative lifespan of 10 to 15 years.
Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle – Which Dog is Right for Me?
Both the Labradoodle and the Goldendoodle make great family pets who will need plenty of exercise.
Since these dogs are quite similar in appearance and temperament, it can be tough to decide.
But when it comes to these two mixed breeds, you really can’t make a bad choice.
References and Further Reading
Vredegoor, D. Can f 1 levels in hair and homes of different dog breeds: Lack of evidence to describe any dog breed as hypoallergenic. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2012.
Randolph, JF, et al. Factor XII deficiency and von Willebrand’s disease in a family of miniature poodle dogs. The Cornell Veterinarian. 1986.
Petersen-Jones, SM. A review of research to elucidate the causes of the generalized progressive retinal atrophies. The Veterinary Journal. 1998.
Taylor, SM, et al. Exercise-Induced Collapse of Labrador Retrievers: Survey Results and Preliminary Investigation of Heritability. Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association. 2008.
Kent, MS, et al. Association of cancer-related mortality, age and gonadectomy in golden retriever dogs at a veterinary academic center (1989-2016). US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. 2018.
Shouldice et al. Expression of Behavioural Traits in Goldendoodles and Labradoodles. Animals. 2019.