These two dog breeds are very similar. But they are also vastly different. Do not mistake the Labradoodle for the Goldendoodle, and vice versa.
They might look the same, as they are both doodles, but they are not the same.
With that in mind, let’s talk about the difference between Labradoodle and Goldendoodle, and of course, which dog is for you.
The first main difference is in the name. One of the doodles is a cross between a Poodle and a Labrador, while the other is a crossbreed mix of Golden Retriever and Poodle. And from there on, every difference is due to the difference in parenthood.
Labs and Retrievers are very similar dogs, as they are both friendly and playful. But there are also differences between them in terms of personality, character, weight, and much more.
So, with that in mind, the Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle comparison is similar to the Lab vs. Retriever. It becomes easy to identify the differences between the Poodle mixes.
Before we go to breed comparison, we have to start with breed history. As we know, both of these are Poodle mix dogs.
With that in mind, let’s start with the history of Labradoodle. This Doodle breed was first bred in Australia in 1988 by Wally Cochran. He wanted to combine the good nature of the Labrador Retriever puppy, with the hypoallergenic Poodle dog. And his idea was to come up with a guide dog for a blind woman whose husband suffered from allergies caused by dog hair.
He spent enormous time and energy to come up with the right poodle for this mixed breed. He finally settled upon the Standard Poodle, and that is how the Labradoodle puppy was born.
On the other hand, the standard Goldendoodle puppy is a hybrid of Golden Retriever and Standard Poodle. This Doodle dog was first bred in the early 1990s, but the exact date is not known.
And if you want less dog hair in your home, it is worth noting that Goldendoodles shed lass than Golden Retrievers.
Last, but not least, the American Kennel Club has yet to recognize any Doodle breed. As we know, the AKC doesn’t recognize crossbreeds. They only accept purebred dog breeds.
Both of these doodle mixes are very well tempered and are great as a family dog. But there are some personality traits that can make the choice easier for some people.
For example, Goldendoodles usually have a bit more “zest for life”. That is because it is a classic trait of the Golden Retriever. Ask any owner, and he will tell you that the Golden Retriever is “unrelentingly happy and even dopey”.
That is why a mix with a Golden Retriever tends to be more happy and enthusiastic about everything. This applies to games like fetch and meeting new people.
Put the two doodle mixes in a room with new people, and the Goldendoodle will not hesitate to run up and greet the new person.
The Labradoodle will get there eventually, but he/she might be more stand-offish. Golden Retrievers are not wary of strangers, and that applies to both humans and animals.
Labradors, and Labradoodles for that matter, they are a bit more concerned around new people and new environments. They will stand back, observe, and once they have analyzed the situation, they will make their move.
That being said, both doodles are friendly, it is just that the Labradoodles are slower in that regard.
Next on our breed comparison list is training. These two have similarities, but there are also differences. And they come from their parent breed.
The good news is that every parent here is an intelligent dog breed. That applies to the Golden Retriever, Poodle dog breed, and Labrador Retriever.
Yet, between Goldens and Labs, the former are more willing to please. Labs can be a bit more independent compared to their Golden Retriever counterpart. And the same applies to Goldendoodle puppy vs Labradoodle dog.
Proper training is essential. And because they are both eager to please, you can do a lot with positive reinforcement dog training method.
How they handle a new home
This is another aspect where the friendly aspect of the Retriever comes to play. When entering a new space, the Labradoodle can be apprehensive.
They want to check the environment, sniff everything out, and then settle in.
On the other hand, with a Goldendoodle, you get everything from the get-go. They are happy from the moment they enter your home and radiate happiness and joy all around.
We said previously that both doodles are very friendly and energetic. Both are considered high-energy dogs and classified as retrievers. That means they love to run, they love to play fetch and other games that drain their energy.
And both Labradoodle and Goldendoodle are fond of swimming. Simply put, both breeds need a lot of regular exercises. That helps avoid behavioral problems that result from bored dogs who are highly intelligent.
If you want a lazy dog who will stay at your side at the house all day, these breeds are not for you. Of course, you can always train them to become such, but you are essentially killing their character.
Now let’s talk about energy and exercise needs. These two Doodle breed dogs are full of energy. They are suitable for families and owners who have the time and patience to exercise them.
And we are not talking about physical exercise only. As a responsible dog owner, you need to pay attention to mental stimulation as well.
Given their high energy nature, these mixed breed dogs need between 60 and 90 minutes of exercise per day.
Another aspect of the energy that is underrated is how good they are for working and doing chores. The Labradoodle is generally stronger. If you need a dog that can pull a load, or train him for physical service, the Labradoodle is a better choice.
That is why you see Labradors usually used for pulling off wheelchairs and helping elderly people.
The good news is both of these breeds make great family dogs. They are not aggressive, and will rarely manifest any form of aggressive behavior.
Between the two, Labradors can be more protective. That is a positive aspect, but be careful, as it might cross the line into aggression. Sometimes, their protective nature goes too far.
The bad news is that they are not much of a guard dog. Yes, both are great watchdogs. Your doodles will bark at newcomers as they approach your house. But once they come inside, they will kiss and play with the person.
As mentioned previously, Labradoodles tend to be slightly larger on average. But both have similar size and coats.
Looking at their parents, we can see how they are very similar.
- Labrador retriever reach between 55 and 80 pounds
- Golden retrievers reach between 55 and 80 pounds
- Poodles reach between 40 and 70 pounds
The size depends on gender, birth order, genetics, size of parent dogs, nutrition, and many other factors. In some cases, a Goldendoodle can be larger than a Labradoodle, and vice versa. And they might even come from the same litter.
Their coat is similar, and it is curly. Because Labs have short and wiry fur, the doodle mix does not have an as long and as wavy coat as the Goldendoodle.
Coat color options for Labradoodles include yellow, red, black, white, cream, chocolate, or even dual colors. Goldendoodles have smaller spectrum and goes from gold to caramel and red spectrum.
We also have to mention that there are always options like a mini Goldendoodle and mini Labradoodle. These are hybrid dogs mixed with a miniature Poodle, hence the mini size.
Do they shed?
Both Labs and Golden Retrievers shed a lot. Poodles do not shed, and they are considered a hypoallergenic dog breed. The mix, however, does have some potential shedding problems.
There is no such thing as 100% non-shedding or hypoallergenic dog breed. Regular grooming can help with shedding problems.
Also, it is worth noting that genetics also plays a role. Dogs that are the first generation shed more than dogs that are the second generation.
What does that mean?
A first generation is a doodle as a result of pairing between Poodle and Labrador/Golden Retriever. A second generation is a doodle as a result of the pairing of doodle mixes.
It is worth noting that mixed breeds are often healthier than their purebred parent breed. With that in mind, of the two, Goldendoodles live longer, between 10 to 15 years. Goldens are prone to eye problems, heart disease, cancers, and hip dysplasia. But those health risks are significantly lower than in a purebred Golden Retriever.
The Labradoodle is another Poodle mix that is healthier than its purebred dog breed. These doodles can suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia, and have some tendencies to cancer. Compared to Labradoodles, they have a life expectancy between 12 and 14 years.
Which one is best for you?
Now that we’ve discussed all the difference of Labradoodle and Goldendoodle, let’s see which one is the right for you. If you decided you want a family dog and you’ve narrowed the field to these two breeds, it can be tricky.
You are not alone in your dilemma. Many people want to find the perfect dog, and it is natural to worry that you might make the wrong decision.
The good news is that when choosing between these two, you cannot go wrong. They do have personality differences, but they are so subtle, that you might not even notice.
Owners of these two breeds rarely have any buyers remorse. So go with the one that you fall in love first.