Labradoodle VS Goldendoodle – What’s The Difference?

Labradoodle vs. Goldendoodle – which is the right breed for you?

Both these breeds are similar in size and temperament, both make loyal, affectionate companions, and both have similar exercise requirements.

However, if you want a great family pet, we recommend the super-friendly Goldendoodle, whereas a Labradoodle would make a better working or service dog. There’s really not much to choose between the two breeds!

Read this guide to discover the differences and similarities between these two beautiful Doodles.

What’s the Difference Between a Labradoodle and a Goldendoodle?

In short, the difference between these two designer dog breeds is in one side of their parentage.

The Labradoodle is a cross between a Labrador retriever and a Poodle, whereas a Goldendoodle is a mixture of a Golden retriever and a Poodle.

In all cases, both parents are purebred dogs, as defined by the American Kennel Club (AKC), making the puppies F1 generation dogs.

Now, let’s find out more about the breeds to see why they make such a winning combination.

The Labrador Retriever

A labrador sits obediently with a mallard duck.

Labradors originate from Canada, where they accompanied their masters, retrieving shot waterfowl for hunters, and working on fishing boats. These dogs are strong swimmers that will make a bee-line for water whenever you’re out walking.

And you needn’t fear your Labrador’s teeth. These dogs don’t generally snap and are bred to have a “soft” mouth that won’t damage the birds they retrieve.

In the 1830s, the breed appeared in England, where it was quickly adopted by the aristocracy. In 1903, the Labrador Retriever was welcomed into the U.K. Kennel Club. These days, Labs are widely used in the hunting field as working dogs, and these friendly pups are also extremely popular as family pets.

The Golden Retriever

The golden retriever on the grass

The Golden Retriever is also a hunting dog that was bred to retrieve shot game birds and has the same “soft” mouth as the Labrador.

It’s thought that the Golden Retriever started life as a Russian tracker dog before being developed into the modern breed in Scotland by Baron Tweedmouth of the Dudley Marjoribanks estate. Goldens were bred to cope with the wet, rugged terrain and cold weather of the Scottish Highlands, having excellent stamina and being competent swimmers, too.

In 1903, the U.K. Kennel Club recognized the dogs as “Flat Coats” and as Retrievers in 1908.

The Poodle

A black poodle on a checkered tile floor

Poodles originally come from Germany or France, being seen in drawings as early as the 15th century. Although Poodles are also a working breed, they were kept as popular pets, notably by French royalty.

Poodles can be mini, toy, or standard, with the standard being the largest.

The Labradoodle

Labrador Poodle puppy wearing bow tie at park

The Labradoodle became popular after 1989 when the dogs were given to the Royal Guide Dog Association of Australia by Wally Conron, an Australian dog breeder.

The success of the breed working as service dogs led to the creation of the Australian Labradoodle. However, these dogs are a fifth-generation hybrid, requiring a percentage of American Cocker Spaniel genetics.

The Goldendoodle

Happy Goldendoodle inside.

Goldendoodles were first produced in 1969 by socialite and author Monica Dickens, who wanted to create a breed that didn’t shed.

Again, this Doodle didn’t gain popularity until the 1990s, when a hypoallergenic service dog was required. The dogs are not only easy to train, affectionate, and friendly, but their short, low-shedding coats make them ideal for working with people who have pet allergies.

Comparison of Labradoodles and Goldendoodles

Here’s a quick, at-a-glance comparison of these two wonderful Doodle breeds:

Summary Table

Features

Labradoodle

Goldendoodle

Height:

21 to 24 inches

22 to 25 inches

Weight:

45 to 75 pounds

45 to 100 pounds

Coat:

Tends to be short, wiry, and wavy. Low-shedding

Tends to be long and curly Low-shedding

Color:

Black, blue, chocolate, cream, gold, parchment, chalk, apricot, red, silver, lavender, and cafe

Black, white, brown, cream, gold, red, silver, and sable

Lifespan:

10 to 15 years

10 to 15 years

Health:

Patellar Luxation, Hip Dysplasia, PRA, Cataracts, Hyperthyroidism, Addison’s Disease

Patellar Luxation, Hip Dysplasia, PRA, Cataracts, Skin Conditions, Epilepsy, Cancer

Intelligence:

High

High

Temperament:

Trainable, sociable, friendly but aloof with strangers

Loves everyone! Affectionate, sociable, eager to please

Diet:

Depends on the size of the animal

Depends on the size of the animal

Exercise requirements:

Needs at least an hour of daily outdoor exercise. Loves swimming.

Needs at least an hour of daily outdoor exercise.

Labradoodle

Height:

21 to 24 inches

Weight:

45 to 75 pounds

Coat:

Tends to be short, wiry, and wavy. Low-shedding

Color:

Black, blue, chocolate, cream, gold, parchment, chalk, apricot, red, silver, lavender, and cafe

Lifespan:

10 to 15 years

Health:

Patellar Luxation, Hip Dysplasia, PRA, Cataracts, Hyperthyroidism, Addison’s Disease

Intelligence:

High

Temperament:

Trainable, sociable, friendly but aloof with strangers

Diet:

Depends on the size of the animal

Exercise requirements:

Needs at least an hour of daily outdoor exercise. Loves swimming.

Goldendoodle

Height:

22 to 25 inches

Weight:

45 to 100 pounds

Coat:

Tends to be long and curly Low-shedding

Color:

Black, white, brown, cream, gold, red, silver, and sable

Lifespan:

10 to 15 years

Health:

Patellar Luxation, Hip Dysplasia, PRA, Cataracts, Skin Conditions, Epilepsy, Cancer

Intelligence:

High

Temperament:

Loves everyone! Affectionate, sociable, eager to please

Diet:

Depends on the size of the animal

Exercise requirements:

Needs at least an hour of daily outdoor exercise.

Labradoodle vs. Goldendoodle – Nose-to-Nose

So, how do these two breeds compare? Check out this nose-to-nose comparison!

Size and Weight

The Labradoodle and Goldendoodle are very similar in overall size.

Goldendoodles are generally between 22 and 25 inches tall, weighing between 45 and 100 pounds. In contrast, Labradoodles are a little smaller, standing between 21 and 24 inches tall and typically weighing less than 70 pounds.

The size of the dog depends largely on which parent the puppy takes after the most and the size of the Poodle that was used. So, a Standard Poodle will usually throw a larger Goldendoodle or Labradoodle puppy than a Mini Poodle would.

Home Suitability

Mini Golden doodle hanging out at home

These are both quite large, lively breeds that don’t tend to fare well in an apartment or very small home. Ideally, you need a large house that has some outside space to accommodate one of these Doodles.

Labradoodles and Goldendoodles are not happy if kept outside 24/7 in a kennel. These are friendly dogs that become stressed and suffer separation anxiety if kept away from their human family. So, your dog should live indoors with you and your tribe, where he can be part of the family.

Coat Type

A Doodle’s coat is something of a lucky dip! However, most seem to inherit the short, curly coat of the Poodle parent, which gives the dogs the characteristic teddy bear look for which both breeds are renowned.

Labradoodles and Goldendoodles have a double coat. That means the coat has a dense, fluffy underlayer for insulation and a thin outer layer of water-resistant guard hairs. Generally, Goldendoodles have longer, curlier hair than Labradoodles, whose coats are shorter and wirier.

Hypoallergenic?

Neither Labradoodles or Goldendoodles are truly hypoallergenic, and they do shed to some extent, losing their fluffy undercoat in the spring and fall in line with the changing seasons. However, Poodles have a single coat, and that element of the crossbreed minimizes shedding and means that the Doodles’ undercoat is relatively thin.

It’s actually the flakes of dead skin, called dander, that the dog sheds along with the hair that causes an allergic reaction in some people. You can control the amount of shed dander by grooming your dog at least once a week. That’s important for Goldendoodles, whose undercoat can become matted if neglected. Most Goldendoodle owners clip their pets every four to six weeks to keep the coat manageable and prevent tangles.

Coat Color

Goldendoodles and Labradoodles both come in a range of pleasing colors.

Goldendoodles can be white, cream, black, brown, sable, red, and silver. Labradoodles can be parchment, café, chocolate, cream, red, gold, apricot, black, lavender, blue, silver, and chalk.

Health

Both breeds have a relatively long lifespan of between ten and 15 years, and they are both vulnerable to a similar range of health problems.

Joint conditions, including hip dysplasia and patellar luxation, are quite common, requiring drug therapy to manage pain or surgery in more severe cases.

Veterinary placing a few drops of eye drops dog Golden Retriever

Eye problems such as PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) are also a potential problem, which can eventually cause blindness.

Goldendoodles tend to contract skin problems and can be vulnerable to certain cancers and epilepsy. In contrast, Labradoodles can develop Addison’s disease and hypothyroidism.

Intelligence

Labradoodles and Goldendoodles are both extremely intelligent and highly trainable. That makes these breeds ideally suited for a career as a service dog, working in fields such as medical assistance, guiding, and search and rescue.

As pets, both breeds are ideal for outdoorsy families that enjoy spending time hiking or just want a dog that will happily play “fetch” for hours in the park.

Temperament?

Both breeds are well-known and loved for their relaxed, friendly nature, although Labradoodles can be a little wary of strangers.

Provided that your puppy is properly socialized and trained sympathetically, it’s highly unlikely that he will bark or become aggressive. That makes both Labradoodles and Goldendoodles excellent kid-friendly family dogs, although they won’t win prizes as guard dogs!

However, I do recommend that you supervise any dog around small children, as these heavy pups can be bouncy and rambunctious, and over-exuberant play sometimes results in accidents.

You should know that both breeds can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long periods and may become destructive if stressed.

Pet-friendly?

Both these Doodle breeds get on very well with other pets. That said, you do need to socialize your puppy properly so that he learns not to chase the family cat!

Goldendoodles come out top in this respect, as Labradoodles can be more aloof with new pets.

Exercise

Both breeds need a similar amount of exercise.

Remember that both Labradoodles and Goldendoodles are directly bred from working breeds that are genetically adapted for days spent in the hunting field, covering substantial distances over varied terrain. So, these dogs tend to be active and lively, needing at least an hour’s walk and outside playtime every day.

Swimming Labradoodle poppy with tennis ball

Both breeds love water and will happily plunge into a lake in pursuit of a ball or come sailing with you (safely kitted out in a doggy life jacket).

Diet

The caloric intake of the dog depends entirely on its size and the amount of daily exercise the animal is getting.

On average, Goldendoodles and Labradoodles need around 1,200 calories every day, given over two or three meals. When deciding how much to feed your dog, always refer to the manufacturer’s directions on the food packaging, and don’t overfeed your dog. An overweight dog is more prone to joint problems and arthritis in later life.

What Are the Main Differences Between Goldendoodles and Labradoodles?

Both breeds are quite similar, but there are some important differences that you need to be aware of as a potential owner:

  • Goldendoodles generally have longer coats, so they need more grooming.
  • Goldendoodles are more excitable and exuberant but are also easy-going and relaxed around strangers and other pets.
  • Labradoodles can be more aloof and wary of new animals and strangers when meeting them for the first time.
  • Labradoodles love to work, which makes them somewhat more trainable than Goldendoodles, and they are, therefore, more suitable as working dogs.

What are the Benefits of Doodles?

No matter which of these two super breeds you choose, there are lots of benefits to be had with a Doodle, including:

  • All Poodle crossbreeds are low-shedding, so they leave behind less dander that would trigger allergies in sufferers. That’s good news for families with allergy sufferers and is easier on your vacuum cleaner, too!
  • Both Labradoodles and Goldendoodles are pretty quiet dogs, so you won’t have to contend with too much barking, which is perfect for you if you work from home or like to take your pet into your workplace with you.
  • Both breeds are kid and pet-friendly.
  • Both these Doodles love the outdoor life and make the perfect canine companion for those who enjoy walking and even boating.
  • Labradoodles and Goldendoodles are usually easy to train, making them ideal as working dogs or simply if you want an obedient pup that can learn cool tricks to impress your friends.

Are There Any Downsides to Doodles?

Along with the many benefits of these Doodle breeds, there are a few downsides:

  • Both breeds can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for too long, often becoming destructive and chewing things. That could be an issue if you’re out at work all day, leaving your furry friend home alone to wreak havoc in your home.
  • These are both lively breeds that need plenty of exercise to keep them mentally and physically happy. So, if you’re not into walking in the rain, snow, etc., and prefer staying at home in front of the fire, neither of these breeds would be the best choice for you.
  • Both of these Doodle breeds are quite large, lively dogs that don’t lend themselves to apartment living. Ideally, you’ll have a large house with some outside space if you take on one of these pups.

In Conclusion

Both Goldendoodles and Labradoodles make wonderful family pets, especially for families that spend a lot of time outdoors, hiking, or trekking. These pups are highly trainable, too, making them perfect for a working role, maybe as service dogs. But both dog breeds need lots of exercise, so you must be prepared to spend at least one hour per day walking your dog and playing with him too.

If you have allergy sufferers in your family, either of these low-shedders would be a suitable family pet.

What breed of Doodle you decide to welcome into your home is a matter of personal preference. However, we think that the Goldendoodle is probably best-suited to a role as a family pet, whereas a Labradoodle would make a better service dog or a working pet to accompany you on hunting trips.

Do you own a Goldendoodle or a Labradoodle?

Tell us about your pet in the comments box below, and don’t forget to share this article if you enjoyed it.

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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