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What is the Difference between Labradoodle and Goldendoodle

Labradoodles and Goldendoodles have become two of the most popular hybrid dog breeds in recent years. However, there are some significant difference between Labradoodle and Goldendoodle – that we will talk about in this article. 

Both mixes were originally bred to be hypoallergenic guide dogs, combining the friendly and intelligent nature of the poodle with the loyalty and trainability of the Labrador retriever (for Labradoodles) or golden retriever (for Goldendoodles).

While Labradoodles and Goldendoodles share a lot of similarities, there are some key differences between these sister breeds. Read on to learn more about what sets these curly-coated companions apart.

Origins of Australian Labradoodle versus Goldendoodle

The labradoodle was the first of these two hybrids to be developed. The breed is credited to Australian breeder Wally Conron in the 1980s. Conron crossed a Labrador retriever with a standard poodle while working as a breeding manager for Guide Dogs Victoria. 

The goal was to combine the poodle’s hypoallergenic coat with the Labrador’s temperament to provide a guide dog suitable for people with visual impairments who also had dog allergies. The first planned labradoodle litter was born in 1989.

Though the labradoodle did not prove to be an ideal guide dog candidate long-term, it excelled as a friendly and intelligent family companion. Its popularity as a pet took off internationally, and it remains one of the most sought-after doodle mixes today.

The Goldendoodle followed in the 1990s and was also pioneered in Australia. Like the labradoodle, it was intended to be a hypoallergenic service dog hybrid by breeding a standard poodle and a golden retriever. Breeder Wally Conron (creator of the labradoodle) also helped advise on early goldendoodle breeding efforts.

While the Goldendoodle did not succeed as a service dog either, its cheerful and affectionate nature made it an instant hit. The Goldendoodle quickly caught on around the world as both a therapy dog and a family pet.

Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle Looks

labradoodle and goldendoodle

Since both Labradoodles and Goldendoodles are crossbreeds involving a poodle, they share a lot of similarities when it comes to appearance. However, some subtle differences set them apart.

Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle Size

Labradoodles are generally bred in three size varieties:

  • Standard Labradoodle: 45-65 pounds, 21-24 inches tall
  • Medium Labradoodle: 30-45 pounds, 17-20 inches tall
  • Miniature Labradoodle: 15-30 pounds, 14-16 inches tall

Goldendoodles come in four size varieties:

  • Standard Goldendoodle: 50-90 pounds, 20-24 inches tall
  • Medium Goldendoodle: 30-45 pounds, 17-20 inches tall
  • Miniature Goldendoodle: 15-35 pounds, 14-17 inches tall
  • Petite Goldendoodle: 10-20 pounds, 12-15 inches tall

So, while both have a good range of sizes from miniature to standard, Goldendoodles tend to be bred into one extra petite size category compared to Labradoodles. Goldendoodles also tend to have a broader potential range in weight for standards.

Coat and Coloring

Since poodles can produce a variety of coat textures and colors, the same is true for labradoodles and goldendoodles. However, some general tendencies for each breed include:

Labradoodle coats

  • Coat textures vary from straight to loose curly
  • Common colors include black, chocolate, cream, gold, apricot, red, silver, and cafe-au-lait

Goldendoodle coats:

  • Coat textures are often slightly wavier and shaggier than Labradoodles
  • Common colors include cream, apricot, golden, black, chocolate, red, gray, and gold/ white parti

So, while all colors and coat types are possible in both breeds, goldendoodles tend to have a greater range of coloring leaning more golden, while labradoodles often favor solid chocolate or black coats. Goldendoodles also frequently have the shaggy, golden retriever-influenced coat.

Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle Face

Both Labradoodles and Goldendoodles can vary in facial features, but some trends are seen:

  • Labradoodle: Slightly broader head, shorter muzzle, rounder eyes, and more square features inherited from the Labrador retriever parent. Ears are floppy.
  • Goldendoodle: Often a longer muzzle, narrower head, and almond-shaped eyes reflecting poodle and golden retriever influence. Ears may be floppy or hang slightly.

So, Goldendoodles tend to have a more slender, delicate head and facial structure compared to the blockier labradoodle look. But there is plenty of variation in both breeds.

Labradoodle vs. Goldendoodle Temperament

What is the Difference between Labradoodle and Goldendoodle (1)

Since both Labradoodles and Goldendoodles were bred from retriever breeds crossed with poodles, they share a lot of fabulous personality traits including friendliness, intelligence, and family-oriented devotion. However, some subtle differences frequently seen are:

Labradoodle temperament

  • Energetic, playful, and mischievous – often has a clownish sense of humor
  • Loves games, toys, and activities that provide mental and physical stimulation
  • Bonds deeply with family members – often forms a particularly close connection with one person
  • Highly attentive and aims to please
  • Smart and highly trainable but can have moments of stubbornness

Goldendoodle temperament

  • Affectionate, gentle, and easygoing – often has a therapy dog aura
  • Loves being with family and thrives on ample human interaction
  • Sensitive and eager to please – more mellow and obedient than Labradoodles
  • Intelligent and picks up on training quickly – less stubborn than Labradoodles
  • Playful and energetic but usually calmer than Labradoodles – enjoys exercise but is often content with light activity

So, while both breeds make wonderful, loving family dogs, Goldendoodles tend to be a bit more gentle, sensitive, and laid-back compared to the higher energy, mischievous comedian labradoodle. But personalities can vary greatly in all doodles.

Labradoodle vs. Goldendoodle Grooming and Shedding

Since both breeds have a poodle parent, they often inherit the poodle’s signature curly or wavy low-shedding coat. This makes both Labradoodles and Goldendoodles a popular choice for those with allergies to dog fur and dander. However, grooming needs differ slightly.

Shedding

  • Labradoodle: Minimal shedding. 

Most labradoodles have the poodle coat but some may shed moderately if they inherit more of a Labrador coat.

  • Goldendoodle: Minimal shedding.

The wavy, shaggy coats are often more allergy-friendly than labradoodles. Shedding is very light.

So, Goldendoodles tend to be slightly better for allergy sufferers, thanks to those golden retriever genetics. But both breeds are still low-shedders compared to most dogs.

Grooming

  • Labradoodle: Requires brushing and combing every 1-2 weeks and professional grooming every 6-8 weeks. Coat is lower maintenance if kept trimmed short. Ears need regular cleaning.
  • Goldendoodle: Requires twice weekly brushing and combing along with professional grooming every 6-8 weeks. The longer, shaggier coat tends to mat more than a labradoodle’s. Ears need regular cleaning.

Goldendoodles generally require a little more regular coat upkeep to prevent matting and keep their flowing, feathered locks looking their best. But both breeds call for consistent brushing and grooming.

Labradoodle vs. Goldendoodle Health Issues

diseases in labradoodles and goldendoodles

Labradoodles and Goldendoodles are often touted for their “hybrid vigor,” meaning they tend to be healthier than their purebred parents thanks to increased genetic diversity. However, these breeds can still be prone to certain conditions, many of which overlap between the two:

  • Joint issues: Hip and elbow dysplasia, luxating patellas
  • Eye problems: Progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts
  • Ear infections: Both have floppy ears prone to yeast and bacterial buildup
  • Allergies: Inhalant allergies, food allergies
  • Obesity: Weight gain if overfed and underexercised
  • Bloat: Gastric dilatation volvulus, a life-threatening condition requiring emergency surgery
  • Hypothyroidism: Low thyroid hormone levels

Hip and elbow issues along with eye problems are common in both breeds. Goldendoodles may be slightly more prone to hip dysplasia while labradoodles are more prone to elbow dysplasia.

Otherwise, both share most of the same common health concerns. Consistent vet checkups along with a healthy diet and active lifestyle can help avoid many of these conditions.

Labradoodle vs. Goldendoodle Lifespan

Labradoodles and Goldendoodles share similar expected life spans, which are longer than average for dogs of their larger size categories.

  • Labradoodle lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Goldendoodle lifespan: 10-15 years

So, both breeds tend to enjoy longer than average life spans thanks to their hybrid vigor. Proper preventive care and an active lifestyle can help maximize a Labradoodle’s or Goldendoodle’s life expectancy.

Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle Price

These popular doodle breeds don’t come cheap. Expect to pay anywhere from $1000-3000 USD depending on breeder reputation, pedigree, coat color, and other factors. In general:

  • Labradoodle price range: $1000-2500 USD on average
  • Goldendoodle price range: $1500-3000 USD on average

So goldendoodles tend to cost slightly more than labradoodles, owing to their status as newer and more unique hybrids. Show quality dogs of either breed from premiere breeders run upwards of $3000.

Adopting an adult or retired service Labradoodle or Goldendoodle can provide a more affordable option for bringing one of these breeds home. Check with regional doodle rescues to see adoption dogs available in your area.

Key Considerations for Choosing Between a Labradoodle and Goldendoodle

If you’re torn between bringing home one of these friendly, floppy-eared breeds, keep these tips in mind:

  • Energy level: Goldendoodles often suit slightly lower energy homes than Labradoodles. However, individuals can vary greatly.
  • Coat maintenance: Goldendoodles require more frequent brushing and grooming overall.
  • Allergies: Goldendoodles tend to be marginally better for severe dog allergies.
  • Size: Goldendoodles come in an extra petite size category compared to Labradoodles.
  • Pricing: Goldendoodles are more expensive on average than Labradoodles.
  • Training: Labradoodles can be slightly more stubborn, while Goldendoodles aim to please.
  • Personalities: Labradoodles are goofier jokesters while goldendoodles are gentle sweethearts. But this varies by dog!

Take time to research breeders thoroughly, evaluate your lifestyle, and ideally meet both breeds before deciding which is the better match.

Finding Healthy Goldendoodle and Labradoodle Puppies

Since Labradoodles and Goldendoodles have become so trendy, it’s extremely important to avoid irresponsible backyard breeders or puppy mills selling these popular crosses. 

Always steer clear of pet stores or sellers offering instant labradoodle and Goldendoodle puppies with no waiting periods. A reputable breeder will:

  • Have waiting lists and vet potential buyers carefully
  • Health and temperament tests of all breeding dogs
  • Provide proof of health clearances for hips, elbows, eyes, and thyroid
  • Allow you to meet at least the pup’s mother on-site
  • Offer a health guarantee against genetic issues

Be prepared to get on a waitlist of 4 months or longer for a conscientious labradoodle or goldendoodle breeder. This shows they care about breeding healthy, well-socialized litters.

Connecting with local labradoodle and goldendoodle breed clubs will help you find breeders conducting responsible breeding practices. Don’t get sucked in by Goldendoodle Labradoodle puppy scams – it’s worth the wait for a healthy, happy pup.

Finding a Labradoodle or Goldendoodle Rescue

rescue

If going through a breeder seems too expensive or time-consuming, adopting an adult labradoodle or goldendoodle can make for a rewarding alternative. Try contacting:

  • National breed-specific rescues like the Australian Labradoodle Rescue Association or Doodle Rescue Collective
  • Regional Labradoodle and Goldendoodle rescues found in most states
  • Shelters in your area for lab/golden mixes and poodle mixes that resemble these breeds

Many retired service dogs of both breeds also need adoption. Working with a rescue provides a way to give an adult dog a second chance while avoiding risks of unknown health and temperament issues in poorly bred puppies.

Just be sure to ask questions about the dog’s history and meet them before adopting if possible. Rescues aim to match each dog with the best home environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the main difference between a goldendoodle and a labradoodle?

The main difference is their lineage – labradoodles are bred from Labrador retrievers and poodles, while Goldendoodles are from golden retrievers and poodles. This results in some subtle variations in appearance and temperament. 

Goldendoodles tend to have a shaggier, golden coat while labradoodles have more solid black, chocolate, or cream coats. Goldendoodles are also usually calmer than the energetic, mischievous labradoodle.

Do labradoodles shed more than goldendoodles?

Both breeds shed minimally thanks to their poodle lineage. However, Goldendoodles tend to shed slightly less than Labradoodles, making them marginally better for severe allergy sufferers. 

Their coats seem to hold more of the poodle’s hypoallergenic, low-shedding qualities. But both shed significantly less than the average dog.

Which is better for allergies – a goldendoodle or labradoodle?

Goldendoodles are generally the best choice if allergies are a major concern. Their shaggy coats seem to trap less dander and cause fewer allergic reactions than the dense curly coats of labradoodles. But there are no guarantees with hybrid breeds. 

The best bet is to meet both breeds in person and have an allergic handler spend time with each other to test reactions.

The Bottom Line: Labradoodle vs. Goldendoodle

While Labradoodles and Goldendoodles share an origin story and so many qualities, from their curly coats to their affectionate natures, some key differences give each breed its unique charm.

Labradoodles live to make their people laugh and tend to have nonstop energy for playtime and adventure. Goldendoodles are gentle therapists-at-heart who thrive on bonding.

But there are plenty of exceptions within each breed. The most important thing is understanding your lifestyle and needs, and then finding a breeder committed to matching you with a happy healthy dog.

Whether you choose a labradoodle, goldendoodle, or another breed altogether, adopting a dog is a long-term commitment. Do your homework to ensure you find the perfect canine companion for your family. 

With their adoring personalities, both of these doodles can make fabulous additions to most homes when acquired responsibly.

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Jill Frost

Jill Frost is a dedicated lover of the doodle breed, especially her cherished Goldendoodle. With every wagging tail and joyful jump, she finds endless inspiration and happiness in these delightful dogs. Through her blog, Jill delves deep into the world of doodles, sharing her experiences, insights, and the boundless joy these furry friends bring into her life. From care tips to amusing antics, her platform is a haven for anyone smitten by the unique charm of doodles. Join Jill in celebrating the delightful world of Goldendoodles and all their doodle cousins!


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