Goldendoodle Vs. Golden Retriever: Differences And Similarities

Goldendoodle vs. Golden retriever – what’s the difference between these two gorgeous dogs?

Are Golden retrievers or Goldendoodles better for families? Which breed sheds the most? And which breed makes a better pet?

Before you start searching for your perfect puppy, you need to understand what’s similar and what’s different about these two golden dogs.

Keep reading for the full lowdown on the beautiful Goldendoodle and the Golden retriever.

Key Differences Between Goldendoodles And Golden Retrievers

The Goldendoodle is a hybrid dog that’s created by breeding a purebred Poodle with a purebred Golden retriever, both of which must be registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC). 

A Golden retriever is a purebred dog that’s a member of the gundog group of working breeds.

Goldendoodle vs. Golden Retriever- A Detailed Comparison Of Both Breeds

Now, here’s a detailed comparison of these hugely popular breeds.

The Goldendoodle

Portrait picture of a Goldendoodle outdoors

Goldendoodles are currently just about the most popular dog breed for a family four-legged furry friend on the planet, coming second only to the Labrador retriever.

A Goldendoodle is commonly known as a “designer breed,” which is really just another name for a mixed breed. But these pooches are no mutts! In F1 or first-generation Goldendoodles, both parents are purebred dogs. And to be sure that every Doodle is healthy and long-lived, reputable breeders only use dogs that have been DNA tested and health-screened to rule out the hereditary health issues that could otherwise be passed onto the puppies.

Goldendoodles are friendly, sociable, happy-go-lucky dogs that fit best with an active, outdoorsy family, and they generally get along well with kids and other pets. One of the main reasons for the Goldendoodle’s popularity is that the curly-coated varieties tend not to shed much, making them a great choice for dog lovers with pet allergies.

Generations

Goldendoodle lying on the ground

So, an F1 Goldendoodle has a purebred Poodle parent and a purebred Golden retriever parent. You can also buy multigenerational Goldendoodles.

Multigen Goldendoodles are essentially the product of two Goldendoodles beyond the second or F2 generation. So, the puppy’s parents and grandparents will be Goldendoodles, not a Poodle or Golden retriever. Further crossbreeding using F1 Goldendoodles increases the breed’s most desirable traits, such as low shedding, color, coat type, temperament, etc.

As well as multigenerational Goldendoodles, you can get English or Teddy Bear Goldendoodles. These super-cute bundles of fluff are generally produced by using an English Cream Golden retriever somewhere in the puppy’s genetic lines.

The Poodle

A black poodle on a checkered tile floor

A Poodle is always one of the parents in a Doodle mixed breed dog. 

Poodles are often associated with France, although they’re actually thought to be German in origin. These dogs were originally bred to be used as bird dogs, specifically for duck hunting. So, the highly intelligent Poodle is a natural retriever and swimmer and usually thrives on training, being eager to please its owner. These days, Poodles are a popular breed as much-loved family pets and companions.

You can get Poodles in three different sizes; toy, miniature, and standard. So, depending on the size of the Poodle parent, you can find Goldendoodles in different sizes, too. Standard Goldendoodles are the largest, but it’s the smaller varieties that are most popular.

Now, let’s take a look at the other half of the Goldendoodle parentage, the Golden retriever. 

The Golden Retriever

young white golden retriever stand waiting on the seafront

There are three varieties of Golden retriever:

  • English Cream Golden Retriever
  • American Golden Retriever
  • Canadian Golden Retriever

In the US, the English Cream Golden retriever is less common than the other two types. In fact, the English Cream is not recognized as a breed in its own right by the AKC, although the UK and Canadian Kennel Clubs do acknowledge the breed as distinct from the American and Canadian varieties of Goldens.

Like Poodles, Golden retrievers are classified as working dogs in the gundog group. Goldens are friendly, loyal, intelligent, highly trainable, and full of fun, which is why they make such excellent family pets, as well as hunting companions.

Golden Retriever Breed History

All Golden retrievers are descended from a line of Scottish gundogs. 

These dogs are thought to be native to Russia, where they were bred for use as tracker dogs. In the mid-1800s, the modern Golden retriever breed was produced in Scotland in the UK by Baron Tweedmouth of the Dudley Marjoribanks estate.

Those early retrievers accompanied hunting parties, retrieving shot waterfowl and game birds from water and working the bleak highland mountain terrain. These dogs are powerful and athletic animals with boundless energy and stamina, making them ideal for working all day in such a challenging environment.

Also, Golden retrievers were bred with a flat, double coat. The underfur is thick and fluffy, providing warmth during cold weather and insulation against the heat during the summer. The outer coat of guard hairs are longer and flatter, helping to make the coat water-resistant and deflect harmful UV rays away from the dog’s skin.

In the 1920s, the Golden retriever came to the US and Canada. Here, differences in the breeding process created a few differences in the breed, producing the American and Canadian versions of the original dog.

Variations On A Theme

So, the most obvious difference between the English Cream, American, and Canadian Golden retriever is in their color. Generally, the English version has a much lighter coat, ranging from pale cream to light golden-yellow. The other varieties of Golden are darker in color and can have a dark auburn to pale golden coat. 

English Cream Golden retrievers are often a little smaller and stockier in stature than the American and Canadian versions. They have rounder eyes, a broader head, and a straighter back. 

Goldendoodles vs. Golden Retrievers: The Bottom Line

Now, here’s an at-a-glance overview of these two gorgeous golden breeds:

Summary Table

Features

Goldendoodle

Golden Retriever

Tan Goldendoodle dog laying down on grass.
The golden retriever on the grass

Height:

20 to 24 inches

23 to 24 inches

Weight:

50 to 90 pounds

55 to 75 pounds

Color:

Red, cream, apricot, black, chocolate, parti

Cream through to dark auburn

Coat:

Straight, wavy, or curly

Straight

Life expectancy:

Up to 15 years

10 to 12 years

Health:

Hip dysplasia, Cancer, Elbow dysplasia, Eye problems, Skin conditions, PRA, Epilepsy

Hip dysplasia, Cancer, Elbow dysplasia, Eye problems, Skin conditions

Intelligence:

High

High

Temperament:

Amiable, loyal, energetic, and eager to please

Sociable, energetic, happy-go-lucky, trainable

Exercise requirement:

Needs at least one hour of daily outdoor exercise, games, training, etc

Needs at least one hour of daily outdoor exercise, games, training, etc

Price:

From $2,000

Up to $3,500

Goldendoodle

Tan Goldendoodle dog laying down on grass.

Height:
20 to 24 inches

Weight:
50 to 90 pounds

Coat:
Straight, wavy, or curly

Color:
Red, cream, apricot, black, chocolate, parti

Life expectancy:
Up to 15 years

Health:
Hip dysplasia, Cancer, Elbow dysplasia, Eye problems, Skin conditions, PRA, Epilepsy

Intelligence:
High

Temperament:
Amiable, loyal, energetic, and eager to please

Exercise requirement:
Needs at least one hour of daily outdoor exercise, games, training, etc

Price:
From $2,000

Golden Retriever

The golden retriever on the grass

Height:
23 to 24 inches

Weight:
55 to 75 pounds

Coat:
Straight

Color:
Cream through to dark auburn

Life expectancy:
10 to 12 years

Health:
Hip dysplasia, Cancer, Elbow dysplasia, Eye problems, Skin conditions

Intelligence:
High

Temperament:
Sociable, energetic, happy-go-lucky, trainable

Exercise requirement:
Needs at least one hour of daily outdoor exercise, games, training, etc

Price:
Up to $3,500

Goldendoodle vs. Golden Retriever – A Direct Comparison

Now, here’s a side-by-side comparison of these two gorgeous goldens.

Average Size and Weight

Goldendoodles can vary in size, depending on the size of the Poodle parent dog. However, Golden retrievers are generally the same size, although females tend to be slightly smaller than males.

Golden Retriever Size

Golden retrievers can stand from 23 to 24 inches in height from paw to shoulder, weighing between 55 to 75 pounds.

Goldendoodle Sizes

3 goldendoodles lying down

Goldendoodles come in quite a wide variety of sizes.

Mini Goldendoodles

A miniature Goldendoodle is produced by crossbreeding a Golden retriever with a Toy or Miniature Poodle.

Mini Doodles are the most popular variety of these dogs since they are a good fit for apartments and small homes and the cost of keeping them is slightly lower than it is with a larger variety.

Miniature Goldendoodles weigh between 15 and 35 pounds, standing from 13 inches to 20 inches tall. 

Medium Goldendoodles

Medium Goldendoodles are between 17 inches and 20 inches tall, weighing around 40 pounds to 50 pounds.

Standard Goldendoodles

Standard is a larger Goldendoodle. These larger breed dogs can stand from 20 inches to 24 inches tall from paw to shoulder, weighing between 50 pounds to 90 pounds when fully grown.

Coat Type

Goldendoodles can have straight, wavy, or curly coats. The more Poodle DNA the puppy inherits from the parent dog, the curlier its coat is likely to be.

Golden retrievers have straight or wavy coats.

Shedding

It’s the Doodles minimal shedding that makes them so popular for families that have allergy sufferers in their household.

Goldendoodles are generally regarded as very light shedders. Dogs with curly coats tend to shed less than those with straight or wavy coats, and that quality is largely down to how much Poodle DNA the puppy inherits. 

Golden retrievers shed hugely pretty much all year round! That’s why the Poodle makes such a great crossbreed, as they hardly shed at all. So, the more Poodle DNA a Goldendoodle puppy has, the curlier its coat will be and the less it will shed.

If you choose a Golden retriever for your canine companion, your vacuum cleaner will be your other best friend!

Goldendoodle vs. Golden Retriever Grooming: How Much Do They Require?

Professional groomer handle with pets

Goldendoodles and Teddy Bear Goldendoodles both have similar grooming and coat maintenance requirements.

Golden retrievers and Goldendoodles both have double coats that need frequent brushing and regular baths to prevent tangles and mats from forming in the dog’s fluffy undercoat. Basically, a curly coat needs thorough brushing every day, whereas a straighter coat can be combed and brushed every other day.

Temperament

Goldendoodles and Golden retrievers both have similar personality traits. Both breeds make wonderful family-friendly dogs, being friendly, loving, loyal companions that generally get along very well with children and other pets.

Happy Goldendoodle getting a belly rub

In fact, one of the few downsides of both Goldendoodles and Golden retrievers is that they don’t make very good guard dogs. If a stranger enters your property, he’s more likely to be licked than bitten!

Exercise Requirements: Goldendoodles vs. Golden Retrievers

Both the Goldendoodle’s parent breeds are working dogs that thrive on having plenty of mental and physical stimulation every day to keep them happy and healthy.

Ideally, you should provide both of these breeds with at least an hour of outdoor exercise every day, as well as some interactive playtime and training. Both breeds love swimming, trips to the dog park, and accompanying their owners on hikes or even hunting trips.

Be aware that a bored dog that doesn’t get enough exercise will become destructive and disruptive, chewing things in your home and barking constantly.

Golden Retriever vs. Goldendoodle: Health Issues

One of the many plus points of owning a mixed breed dog is that they are generally pretty healthy and long-lived.

Some common hereditary health problems that can be experienced by Goldendoodles include:

Golden retrievers can also carry a few serious hereditary health conditions, including:

  • Cancer
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Patella luxation
  • Skin conditions
  • Eye disorders
  • Thyroid problems

You can take steps to ensure that your dog remains healthy and doesn’t have any inherited health problems by buying a puppy from a reputable breeder who has their breeding dogs health-tested.

Never buy a puppy from a puppy farm!

These operations are solely there to produce as many puppies as possible as quickly as possible, and the dogs used for breeding are seldom health-screened. So, although the cheap prices offered by puppy mills can be tempting, you could be buying an unhealthy puppy that will cost you much more in vet bills in the long run.

Training

Golden retrievers are bred to work, so obedience and a willingness to learn are hard-wired into their DNA. You’ll find a Golden retriever rewarding, fun to train, and eager to please.

Goldendoodles are also highly trainable and very smart, taking after both parent breeds. As previously mentioned, training and mental stimulation are crucial for keeping your dog well-balanced, happy, and healthy.

Your Golden dog will enjoy obedience training and agility, but these dogs have a high energy level, so including training as part of your pet’s daily exercise regimen is a good idea.

Diet And Nutrition

Dog food in a bowl

Golden retrievers are large dogs with appetites to match! To keep your dog’s teeth and digestive system healthy, feed your dog a basic diet of high-quality dog food or kibble rather than wet food.

Goldendoodles tend to have sensitive stomachs, so make sure that you don’t give your Doodle human food. 

In both cases, feed a high-quality, well-balanced diet as recommended by your vet. Don’t overfeed your dog, as both these breeds can become obese if they are overfed and given insufficient exercise.

Goldendoodle vs. Golden Retriever – Price

Golden retrievers are generally more expensive than Goldendoodles, especially if the dog has an excellent pedigree. English Cream Golden Retrievers are pretty unusual in the US, so their price is consequently quite high. On average, you can expect to pay around $3,500 for a Golden retriever puppy.

Goldendoodles aren’t as expensive, starting at around $2,000 for a well-bred puppy.

What Are The Main Differences And Similarities Between Golden Retrievers and Goldendoodles?

Although there are lots of differences between the Golden retriever and the Goldendoodle, the two breeds have some similarities too.

Here’s a summary:

  • Goldendoodles come in several different sizes, whereas Golden retrievers don’t.
  • Both breeds are kid-friendly and get along well with other pets.
  • Both breeds are highly trainable and eager to please their handler.
  • Goldendoodles tend to have fewer health issues than Golden retrievers.
  • Golden retrievers are generally more expensive than Goldendoodles.
  • Golden retrievers are heavy shedders, whereas Goldendoodles can be light shedders.
  • Both these breeds of dog need a lot of daily exercise.
  • Goldendoodles can have straight, wavy, or curly coats, whereas Golden retrievers are straight or wavy coated. 

In Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed our comparison between the Goldendoodle and the Golden retriever. If you found the information helpful, please remember to share it!

So, now you know that Goldendoodles and Golden retrievers are quite similar in some ways but totally different in many other ways, too. I’m sure you’ll agree that both these breeds make excellent family pets, as well as companions for those who enjoy outdoor pursuits since both breeds need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and content.

However, Golden retrievers are major shedders, and they produce lots of dander, so if you have allergy sufferers in your household, a Golden is not the best choice of pet for you. Goldendoodles tend to shed less, especially the curly-coated variety.

We’d love to hear what breed you would choose! Why not tell us your decision in the comments box below.

Meet our writer

Alison Page was brought up with dogs and various other pets! For a few years, Alison worked as a Practice Manager in a small animal veterinary clinic. Alison is now a full-time writer, specializing in creating articles on the care and training of dogs, cats, and fish.

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