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So, you have decided to get a Doodle mix-breed dog. Maybe it is because of their hypoallergenic coat, their super cute furry face, or their intelligence.
But what type of Doodle should you get?
Today we present you with the ultimate showdown: Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle. Who wins in a head to head match up?
Both Labradoodles and Goldendoodles are very intelligent and super friendly, making them ideal as either family pets or working dogs.
The two breeds are very similar in temperament, size, and exercise requirements, so there is not much to choose between them beyond personal preference.
But if you do want to get into the nitty-gritty to decide which breed is best for you, here we will go through the fine details of each breed and how exactly they differ.
Spoiler Alert: by a small margin, if you are looking for a family dog, a Goldendoodle is probably the best choice, while Labradoodles make better working dogs. But there really isn’t much in it!
Contents & Quick Navigation
What Are Labradoodles And Goldendoodles?
The short answer to that question is that a Labradoodle is a mix between a Labrador and a Poodle, while a Goldendoodle is a mix between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle. There are different classifications of each animal depending on how it was bred.
When it is a 50-50 mix, for example, the result of mating a Golden Retriever or a Labrador with a Poodle, they are called an F1. The mother should generally always be the larger of the two dogs for safety purposes, so that father is usually the Poodle.
A Doodle mix is classified as a F1B when an existing F1 Goldendoodle or Labradoodle is mated with a full breed dog, so either a Poodle, Labrador, or Golden Retriever.
Finally, an F2 is when two F1 dogs mate, so it is the result of a mating between two Goldendoodles or two Labradoodles.
As well as standard Goldendoodles and Labradoodles, you also get Miniature Goldendoodles and Labradoodles, which is when a Labrador or Golden Retriever is mated with a Miniature Poodle.
This should not be confused with a Mini Goldendoodle, which is when a Goldendoodle is mated with a Spaniel. This is different again from the Australian Labradoodle, which is a mix between a Labrador, a Poodle, and an American Cocker Spaniel.
As is the case with most mixed-breed dogs, the result of the mating between the two breeds will be varied and can be unpredictable. The most consistent results are found with F2 dogs.
History Of The Breeds
Both Labradoodles and Goldendoodles were bred to make service dogs with the non-shedding coats of Poodles.
All three breeds are very intelligent, so the result is intelligent, trainable dogs that are as close to hypoallergenic as it is possible to get (though some can unpredictably be born with high-shedding coats).
Insider Information: I actually confirmed this about 15 years ago when I was talking to one of the trainers at our local Guide Dog school. I asked why the school started breeding Labradoodles and the answer was that Guide Dog handlers were complaining about allergies and requested dogs that did not shed.
However, more recently I noticed the school stopped breeding Labradoodles and again I asked why. The answer was when the Guide Dog handlers who were requesting Labradoodles found how difficult it was to groom and maintain the coats they suddenly were no longer allergic to the Labs and Golden Retrievers.
Let’s take a closer look at the history of the breeds.
Labradors, also called Labrador Retrievers or just Labs, originated in Canada, where they were used to retrieve ducks and worked as fisherman’s mates.
The breed then found its way to England in the 1830s, where a number of English patrons, including the Earl of Malmesbury, the Duke of Buccleuch, the Earl of Home, and Sir John Scott, worked on making the breed what it is today.
The breed was officially recognized by the UK Kennel Club in 1903.
Golden Retrievers are also hunting dogs that were bred to retrieve game.
While the originating breed is thought to have been a now extinct Russian tracker dog, the modern Golden Retriever was developed on the Highland Scottish estate of Dudley Marjoribanks, the first Baron Tweedmouth.
They were specifically bred to deal with the cold and wet terrain and the rugged landscape, and also to be able to retrieve from both land and water.
The dog was officially recognized by the UK Kennel Club in 1903 as the Flat Coats – Golden, and under the name Retriever in 1908.
The Poodle is a much older dog, and originates from France or Germany.
The breed is seen in drawings by German artist Albrecht Durer as early as the 15th and 16th centuries, and it was a popular pet in 18th century Spain and at the court of King Louis XVI of France.
The Poodle is ranked as the second most intelligent dog breed in the world, behind the Border Collie.
Labrador-Poodle crosses seem to have been around since the 1950s, but only came to prominence in 1989 when breeder Wally Conron introduced them to the Royal Guide Dog Association of Australia as a viable breed for this type of work.
The popularity of the Labradoodle as a service dog in Australia led to the breeding of the Australian Labradoodle, which is even more well-suited to that type of work.
To be an Australian Labradoodle, not only does there need to be American Cocker Spaniel in the mix, but they need to be a fifth generation Labradoodle.
The Goldendoodle was first bred by Monica Dickens in 1969, who hoped to create large breed dogs with the Poodle’s non-shedding hair.
Again, the breed does not seem to have become popular until the 1990s when, alongside the Labradoodle, it was bred as a service dog that was also considered to be hypoallergenic.
|SIZE:||22-25 inches||21-24 inches|
|WEIGHT:||45-100 pounds||40-75 pounds|
|COAT:||Likely curly and low-shedding, tend to be long||Likely curly and low-shedding, tend to be short, wavy and wiry|
|COLR:||Commonly: black, white, brown, cream, gold, red, silver, and sable||Commonly: chocolate, cafe, parchment, cream, gold, apricot, red, black, silver, chalk, lavender, and blue|
|LIFE EXPECTANCY:||10-15 years||10-15 years|
|HEALTH ISSUES:||Hip Dysplasia, Patellar Luxation, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Cataracts, Skin Conditions, Epilepsy, Cancer||Hip Dysplasia, Patellar Luxation, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Cataracts, Hyperthyroidism, Addison’s Disease|
|TEMPERAMENT:||Always friendly and sociable, likes to complete tasks||Tenacious when it comes to completing tasks. Usually sociable and friendly, but can be wary of new people|
|DIET:||Around 1,200 calories per day depending on weight||Around 1,200 calories per day depending on weight|
|EXERCISE:||High: 12 miles per week and 60 minutes of outdoor time each day||High: 12 miles per week and 60 minutes of outdoor time per day. Enjoys swimming.|
Size And Weight
The two breeds are very similar in size and weight. Standard, adult Goldendoodles are usually between 22 and 25 inches long and weigh anywhere from 45 to 100 pounds. Labradoodles are possibly a bit smaller, being between 21 and 24 inches long, and they do not tend to weigh more than 70 pounds.
However, size and weight varies greatly on an individual basis. The best way to predict the size and weight of a Goldendoodle or Labradoodle is to take the average of their parents’ size and weight.
Coat And Color
Whether a Doodle will emerge with the coat of a Poodle or not is a game of chance, though most do seem to inherit the curly poodle coat, which leaves them looking a bit like oversized teddy bears.
These coats tend to be low-shedding and take the form of a double coat, which means that they have a dense under layer and a thin outer layer.
While this differs greatly from litter to litter, as a general rule, Goldendoodles tend to have longer, wavy hair and Labradoodles tend to have short, wiry hair.
Both dogs can come in a range of different colors.
Common colors for Goldendoodles include black, white, brown, cream, gold, red, silver, and sable.
You will often see Labradoodles in chocolate, cafe, parchment, cream, gold, apricot, red, black, silver, chalk, lavender, and blue.
Both Goldendoodles and Labradoodles have a life expectancy of around 10 to 15 years and tend to suffer from similar health issues.
Like most large breeds, they can suffer from Hip Dysplasia, when the cartilage in the hip is incorrectly formed, or Patellar Luxation, when the knee joint is incorrectly formed.
Both issues may need to be managed with pain medication or, in serious cases, they require an operation.
Both Goldendoodles and Labradoodles also have a tendency to develop eye issues, including Progressive Retinal Atrophy, which will eventually lead to blindness.
Labradoodles may also have a tendency towards hypothyroidism and Addison’s disease, while Goldendoodles can be more likely to develop skin conditions, epilepsy, or cancer.
Both breeds of dog are highly intelligent, which in turn, makes them highly trainable. This means that they make great service dogs as search and rescue dogs, guide dogs, or medical assistance dogs.
They are particularly popular among people who need service dogs but suffer from dog hair allergies, as their low-shedding coat means that they give off less of the dander that triggers allergic reactions.
Both breeds, but especially the Labradoodle, enjoy retrieving and will happily play fetch with you all day if you let them.
This makes them ideal for search and rescue type work, which may require dogs to seek out objects over vast distances and difficult terrain for several hours.
Both dogs have a friendly temperament and are never aggressive. They are very unlikely to bark or snap at people if they have been properly raised and socialized.
This makes them great family dogs to have around children, but terrible guard dogs!
While they are generally very friendly with children, they can be a bit unconscious of their size and weight, and they may want to flop down on you or your kids.
For this reason, kids should still be supervised when playing with either breed.
Both Goldendoodles and Labradoodles also tend to get on well with other pets, as long as they have been properly socialized together.
Goldendoodles are a little bit better in this respect, and Labradoodles can sometimes be a bit more stand-off-ish with new pets or new people.
This means that if you are looking for a pet to fit in with you family, including children and other pets, Goldendoodles can be a slightly better choice.
Bear in mind that neither breed likes to be left alone for long periods of time, and may act out if left in the house alone for several hours.
Diet And Exercise
These two dog breeds are very similar in terms of their dietary and exercise needs.
Their exact calorie intake depends on their size, but the average sizes Goldendoodle or Labradoodle will need about 1,200 calories per day, which should be split over two or three meals.
Lively animals, both Labradoodles and Goldendoodles need a lot of exercise. At a minimum, they will need 12 miles of exercise per week, including 60 minutes outside every day.
Both breeds, but especially Labradoodles, enjoy swimming and are also ideal to take on other outdoor activities such as hiking and sailing (though, don’t forget to get them a doggy life-jacket).
As can be seen, the Goldendoodle and Labradoodle are very similar dogs, but there are some key differences.
First, Goldendoodles tend to have longer coats, while Labradoodles have a short wiry coat. But the main difference is in their personalities.
While both are friendly, Goldendoodles tend to be more enthusiastic and excitable and more easy going with people and other pets.
Labradoodles display very similar behavior but can be more wary when coming across new people and animals for the first time.
While both breeds are also very intelligent and highly trainable, Labradoodles tend to be more tenacious when it comes to completing tasks and love the stimulation of working.
This tends to make them better working dogs in terms of activities such as search and rescue.
Benefits Of A Doodle Breed
Whether you decide to go for a Labradoodle or Goldendoodle, there are a lot of benefits to getting a Doodle breed:
- Being part Poodle, Doodles tend to be low-shedding, which means that they leave behind less of the dander that triggers allergies. This makes them as close to a hypoallergenic dog as you are likely to get. Plus, less dog hair to be cleaning up!
- Both Goldendoodles and Labradoodles tend to be quiet most of the time, and you won’t have to deal with a ruckus every time someone walks past your house.
- Labradoodles, and especially Goldendoodles, are family friendly and will enjoy playing with the kids and will get along with other pets in the home.
- Both breeds love the great outdoors and will love accompanying you on your hiking, trekking, and even boating adventures.
- Doodles are highly trainable, so they are great if you are looking for a working dog or just want a dog that can do cool tricks.
However, there are also a few things to look out for:
- Labradoodles and Goldendoodles don’t like to be left alone for long periods of time, and they might get into mischief if you leave them alone in the house for more than about four hours.
- Both breeds need lots of exercise, so you need to make time in your busy schedule to take them out to play.
Both Labradoodles and Goldendoodles make excellent dog choices, especially for anyone who has issues with dog hair as they tend to be low-shedding.
Both are intelligent, friendly, and highly trainable. This makes them great pets for families as they will fit in with kids and other pets quickly, and will appreciate always having someone to play with.
Their trainability and docile nature also makes them great service dogs, easily able to comprehend the required tasks and able to venture into public spaces without causing a nuisance.
Both breeds also need a lot of exercise and attention, so make sure you have enough time in your schedule to care for them properly.
While the decision on whether you should get a Labradoodle or Goldendoodle is down to personal preference, by a small margin, Goldendoodles are probably better as family pets, and Labradoodles better as service dogs.
Labradoodles tend to be more tenacious when it comes to learning tasks and love always having something to do, but they can also be more wary or strangers.
Goldendoodles treat everyone they meet as their best friend and have the right temperament for being in the home.
A QUICK NOTE: I’ve seen a lot of Labradoodles and Goldendoodles come through our daycare and training facility. Unfortunately, a lot of the wonderful traits mentioned in this article are not showing up in all the doodles we’re seeing at daycare due to poor breeding.
Make sure you do your due diligence when looking for one of these dogs and find a breeder who knows exactly what they are doing with their doodles.
Do you have a Labradoodle or Goldendoodle?
What are your thoughts on the showdown: Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle?
Tell us about your dog in the comment section below.
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