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Golden Retriever Labrador Retriever Mix: Goldador Breed Information

Can't decide between a Golden Retriever or a Labrador puppy? Then the Goldador might be the perfect dog for you! Read on to find out more about this awesome pup!

Emma Braby

Last Updated: September 11, 2020 | 15 min read

Goldador Shaking Off Water

The Goldador is the canine concoction of two of the world’s favorite dog breeds. This designer dog combines the Golden Retriever and the Labrador Retriever. With designer dogs enjoying a surge in popularity, this mix is becoming very popular for those who cannot choose between his parents. It’s a tough choice, but with the Goldador, you don’t have to choose.

He is slightly calmer than the Labrador, but a bit stockier and robust than the Golden Retriever. He is friendly with all, loyal to a tee, and a wonderful dog to have in the family home. But, there’s much more to this boy than his cute smile and friendly demeanor.

This breed information guide is a must-read for all those thinking about welcoming this pup into their life. From his personality to his appearance, and his exercise and grooming needs, and much more, we cover it all. So, let’s jump straight in and retrieve all the Goldador details.

Recommended For Families
  • Child Friendliness
  • Canine Friendliness
  • Training Difficulty
  • Grooming Upkeep
  • Breed Health
  • Exercise Needs
  • Puppy Costs

Parent Breeds

At some point in our lives, most of us have met a Labrador Retriever and a Golden Retriever. But do you know much about their history? Or what it takes to be a Lab or Golden mom or dad? Maybe not.

To understand what you can expect from the Goldador, it’s essential to really understand what both of his parents are like and where they come from. While both parent breeds have some striking similarities, they are also very different. Let’s jump in and look at each parent breed in a bit more detail.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever Dog Outoors at Sunrise
Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular breeds in the world.

In 2020, the American Kennel Club (AKC) has ranked the Golden Retriever as the 3rd most popular dog in America (one place behind the German Shepherd if you’re wondering). He hails from wee bonnie Scotland, and he is a traditional gundog. He is known for his gentle mouthing habits, and he loves the water.

The Golden Retriever is described as friendly, intelligent, and devoted. He is fun, but also a sweet and well-balanced dog who loves to be near to his family. Golden Retrievers stand 21 ½ to 24 inches tall and weigh between 55 and 75 pounds. His golden locks are his signature feature, and his sweet smile is enough to melt most hearts.

The Golden Retriever is famous in the hit films, Air Bud. Another famous Golden called Pinkie not only won Best In Breed at Westminster, but she raised three orphaned tiger cubs as her own. This sweet mom highlights just how loving her breed is.

Labrador Retriever

Black Lab Outside in Sun
Black Labs are also one of the most popular breeds for families.

The Labrador Retriever is from the other side of the pond, in Canada. But not from Labrador, as you might expect. Labradors are from Newfoundland, and he is a traditional water dog. He was his fisherman master’s canine of choice to collect the fish from that day’s catch, as well as ducks too. In 2020, and for the last three decades, he has been ranked as the number one dog breed.

He is described as friendly, active, and outgoing. He is a cheeky chap who is full of life and energy, and he needs a lot of exercise to satisfy his athletic and stocky body. Similar to the Golden Retriever, he stands 21 ½ to 24 ½ inches tall, and he weighs slightly more at 55 to 80 pounds. He has three coat colors to choose from, and his distinctive feature is his thick otter-like tail.

We all know the Labrador Retriever as the Andrex puppy and beloved Marley from the hit film Marley and Me. And he is widely chosen as the assistance dog of choice. He is loyal and intelligent, making him trainable in almost all professions. Because of their family-friendly nature, Labs are some of the most popular parents of many mixed breed dogs.

Goldador

Goldador Puppy Laying Down
The Goldador combines these two incredibly popular family dog breeds.

The Goldador is a mixed breed, and like all hybrid dogs, there is an element of uncertainty about which parent he might turn out like. Thankfully, the Goldador’s parents aren’t all that different, and he is usually a balanced blend of them both.

Temperament

Goldador Laying in Park
The Goldador has an incredibly balanced temperament, just like both parent breeds.

Both of his parents are known for being fantastic family dogs, and you can bet your bottom dollar that this guy is too. He is loyal, and his family is always the apple of his eye. Goldador’s don’t like to be left alone for too long, so ideally he should be homed with a family that can spend most of their day with him. He loves to snuggle on the sofa and to watch a film with his loved ones, so you best have room for one more!

He is friendly and sociable with strangers too. This is great if you are also a sociable family who has an open-door policy with visitors. Not so much if you are seeking a guard dog to scare intruders away. Because unfortunately, this is not on the Goldadors list of traits. Instead, he’ll offer them a cup of coffee and welcome them in to give him good boy strokes.

He is an ideal blend of both calm and energy. The Goldador needs intense exercise every day, which we will run you through in the exercise section, but it’s more than most people think. He also needs playtime in the yard on top of this, which will keep his energetic mind busy. But if you can offer him this, he also knows how to relax in the family home and enjoy an afternoon snooze.

This balance of energy and calm is what makes him a great family pet. He is adaptable to most families and their environment just as long as he is kept company and is exercised. Whatever your favorite thing to do is, it’ll soon be his too. So, whether that’s long mountain hikes or swims in the local lake, he’ll be by your side. He is playful and fun, and he always does things with a cheeky canine smile on his face!

Because he always likes to be by your side, he can be quite an intense pooch. Not all like this canine trait and many prefer more independent dogs. But not the Goldador we’re afraid, so if you aren’t seeking a pawtner in crime, you should look at another less needy breed. He craves human companionship, and he likes to think of himself as more than just the family pet.

Size & Appearance

Golden Retriever Lab mix at Dog Park
The Golden Retriever Lab mix can vary widely in size and appearance.

The Goldador will weigh between 55 and 80 pounds, and he will measure between 21 ½ to 24 ½ inches tall, from paw to shoulder. This makes him a large-sized dog. His coat will usually be slightly longer than his Lab parent, but not as long as his Golden parent’s coat. He might inherit a little bit of feathering fur around his neck, ears, and tail, but not as much as the Golden Retriever.

If you are seeking a smaller dog, you should find a breeder who breeds Labs and Goldens both on the smaller side of the height and weight scale. But you need to be aware that you’ll never know what size he will be until he is mature.

He will be stockier than his Golden parent, and his muscles and athletic body will be more apparent thanks to his shorter coat. And again, his face will be less square than his Lab parents face. His tail will either be thick and straight like the Labs or longer and slender like his Golden parent.

The Goldador’s eyes, nose, and other features will be brown or black in color. His eyes will be large and round, and he’ll be forever whipping out the puppy dog eyes to get his own way. Overall, this mixed breed is usually a perfect blend of both of his parents. So much so, that one day you might think he looks more like a Golden, and on a different day, you’ll think he looks more similar to a Lab.

Coat & Colors

Long Haired Black Goldador
Goldadors can have any coat color that their parents do, and can have short or long coats.

Again, the Goldador’s coat is usually a perfect blend of both his parents. It will be longer than his Labrador parents coat, but shorter than his Golden parent’s coat. It will be thick and dense in texture and straight in the body. If he inherits any feathering fur around his ears or neck, it will likely have a little curl or wave to it.

His coat will definitely be a double coat, and as such, he is a moderate shedder all year round. We’ll explain his shedding schedule further down, but you can expect to find a lot of his coat on your clothes and furniture, as well as it floating around the house. If you do not like excess dog hair, you need to look at another breed altogether.

His dense double coat will be water-resistant and weatherproof, meaning he will happily live in cold climates. He could also live in warmer states, you just need to make sure he has plenty of shade to keep cool. Particularly if he is a black or chocolate Goldador. 

Puppies are more likely to be born with the yellow and golden coat shared by both of his parents. There is a chance that he could sport the chocolate or black jacket that his Labrador parent does. All litters will have a mix of colors, and although you can pick your favorite color from the litter, personality is always more important. 

His golden or yellow sheen could be pale white, especially if his parent is an English Cream Golden Retriever. Or, if his Lab parent is a Fox Red Labrador, his coat will likely be darker in color. Your Goldador may look even more unique if he has a Silver Labrador Retriever parent. Whatever color he inherits, his shedding and grooming schedule will be the same.

Remember that even if both of his parents are yellow or golden in shade, it doesn’t guarantee that their puppies will all be golden. They could still be a black or brown color carrier. Thankfully, once his genes have selected their coat color, they will usually stick to it. We say usually, because if he has a golden color coat, as he grows older, it can change shades of gold and turn paler or darker.

Exercise & Living Conditions

Goldador Running Outside
Goldadors generally need plenty of space to exercise outdoors.

The Goldador will need at least 60 minutes of intense exercise every day. If you cannot commit to this high level of activity, you should either pick another dog breed or hire a dog walker. Traditional working dogs, which both of his parents are, need daily exercise without fail. And without it, he will become unruly and problematic.

Unfortunately, this is a big reason why both of his parents end up in rescue centers because people come to realize that they cannot provide them with the exercise that they need. The Goldador doesn’t stay a cute and cuddly Andrex puppy forever, and he’ll soon grow up to be an energetic workaholic.

When he is a puppy, his exercise shouldn’t be too intense, because you need to protect his joints from heavy impact as he develops. Instead, stick to long walks and swimming. As he becomes more sturdy, he makes a great jogging partner, frisbee catcher, or agility course participant.

The Goldador has an intelligent brain, and as such, you need to vary his exercise routine. He’ll quickly become bored with daily walks. Especially if you don’t take him swimming or to the local doggy park to catch up with his friends.

He also needs daily playtime in the yard to keep his mind stimulated. You can join him in his fun and games, or you can leave him to it if he has plenty of toys to entertain himself with. But being a needy pooch, he’ll be much happier if you join in the fun.

The Goldador makes a great addition to any family, just as long as they can provide him with company and exercise. He doesn’t mind whether it is a young family or retired couple, and he’ll happily slot himself into their life. He makes a great addition to families with young children. And young children tend to love him as he is a traditionally cute dog.

As long as he is socialized well as a pup, the Goldador will get along with all types of creatures. Be that other dogs, cats, or larger farm animals. Maybe except for ducks, so keep these guys separate. While we are on the duck subject, if you live near water, be sure not to let him off-leash during duck season. Because he’ll probably go back to his duck-hunting roots.

Training

Black Goldador playing in Grass
Like both parent breeds, these pups are easy to train and training should start early.

Both of his parents are highly trainable dogs, which is why they are both chosen to be assistance dogs, as searchers and rescuers, and in law enforcement. Thankfully, whoever he takes after, he’ll inherit a lot of intelligence. Because he is also eager to please and loyal to his master, he is relatively simple to train.

But, you still need to train him, and a lot of hard work and effort goes into training his parents. So don’t expect a polite pooch without any input.

Positive reinforcement training is always the best way to train dogs. Set him rules, be consistent with your training, and when he gets it right, reward him with his favorite treat. He’ll likely enjoy a mix of edible treats and object rewards such as tennis balls. If he doesn’t perform well, ignore or correct his manners, but he is a sensitive dog who doesn’t like being shouted at too much.

Thankfully, you don’t need to be an experienced dog owner to create a well-trained Goldador. His loyal nature means that he picks up commands quickly. This is why he is always the top choice for assistance dogs. Because he isn’t stubborn, it’s unlikely that he’ll ever have an off-day. Meaning if you are after an obedient mixed breed, the Goldador is a fantastic choice.

As the Goldador hates to be left alone, it is advisable to crate train him as a pup. Before you welcome him into your home, set up a crate that he can call his own straight away. Not only will this space reduce his anxiety when you have to leave him, but it will also mean he cannot get at your furniture to pay you back for leaving him alone.

Health

Goldador Puppy
The Lab Golden Retriever mix will generally have fewer health issues than both parent breeds.

The Goldador is a reasonably healthy dog who will enjoy a lifespan of 10 to 12 years. He can inherit health concerns from either breed, so it is best to make yourself aware of them all so that you can look out for any symptoms.

Hip and elbow dysplasia: both of his parents suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia, which both of his parents should be tested before having pups. Joint dysplasia is where the joints do not form properly, which will eventually lead to mobility issues later on in life.

Eye conditions: both of his parents suffer from a variety of eye conditions. The most common are progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, and pigmentary uveitis. If left untreated, each condition can lead to sight loss.

Exercise-induced collapse: also known as EIC, this primarily affects his Lab parent. This is where dogs will collapse after intense exercise, so you must learn how to deal with this just in case it happens to your pup.

Cancer: cancer is more prevalent in the Golden Retriever breed, and it is crucial to work with a breeder who knows that their dogs haven’t had cancer before. This doesn’t eliminate the chances of him developing cancer, but it can improve his chances of not getting it.

Gastric Torsion: Also known as bloat, is a common health condition in large dog breeds. This is where a dog’s stomach twists, and it needs immediate veterinary attention as it is a life-threatening condition. Avoid feeding your Goldador immediately before or after exercise, and spread his daily food intake across several sittings to avoid one large meal.

Nutrition

Labrador Golden Retriever mix outside sitting
Your Lab Golden Retriever mix should eat a life stage appropriate, high-quality dry kibble.

The Goldador will eat approximately three cups of food every day. It is important to feed him a high-quality kibble, and always pick the best quality food that your budget will allow. High-quality kibbles will provide him with a balanced diet, as well as being convenient for you too. By giving him a good diet, you increase the chances of him being both healthy and happy.

Feed the Goldador a kibble that is designed for large breeds, because they will control the calcium and phosphorus levels that manage rapid bone growth. This is important for large breeds such as the Goldador, who grow quickly in a short space of time. Research has shown that this can decrease the chances of him developing joint conditions, such as hip and elbow dysplasia, that his breed is prone to. Dog food that’s specifically formulated for Labradors, or made for Golden Retrievers will do just fine for your Goldador.

His nutrition should also be life-stage appropriate. Meaning that if he is a puppy, you should feed him kibble designed for puppies, and if he is a senior, you should feed him senior kibble. They are targeted for his specific nutritional needs, and they will ensure that he develops as he should as a puppy. Or that he doesn’t put on too much weight in his senior years.

While we are on the subject of weight, if he takes after his Labrador parent, he’ll likely inherit his enormous appetite. So, for the sake of his health and your monthly food bills, keep all foods, both doggy and human, under lock and key. This also means that if he puts on too much chunk, you should switch him to a weight management kibble to avoid obesity.

Grooming

Black Goldador in the Woods
Goldadors need regular grooming, and their coat length will depend on which parent they take after.

The Goldador has a dense double coat that will shed moderately throughout the year, and heavily during shedding season. When it comes to shedding season, he will blow his coat. Which basically means 90% of his coat will drop in just a few weeks. This means that he needs brushing several times a week throughout the year and every day during the shedding season. Goldadors will shed about the same amount as their Labrador parent. It may feel like they shed more though. Even though their Golden Retriever parent sheds about the same frequency, it will feel like they shed more if they take after their Golden Retriever parent’s longer coat.

You will need a slicker or a pin brush for his general day-to-day brushing. You’ll likely need a deshedding tool for shedding season. Yes, you are likely to spend a significant time grooming your Goldador.  Doing so will save even more hours of vacuuming and cleaning. It will help to keep his coat healthy, spread his natural coat oils, and it’ll be a bonding session for you both too.

Bathe him once every 8 to 12 weeks, but never more frequently than this. Otherwise, you risk damaging his natural coat oils. As you groom him, look for any lumps, changes in his body, or his eyes. Other grooming routines, such as nail clipping, dental brushing, or ear cleaning are the same as any other pooch.

Breeders & Puppy Costs

Black Goldador Puppy
Expect to pay upwards of $800 for a Goldador puppy.

The average cost of a Goldador puppy from a reputable breeder is upwards of $800. It is always essential to work with a reputable breeder because not only do they screen for healthy dogs, they also raise puppies with love. Meaning that your chances of raising a loveable and polite pooch are increased too.

Puppy mills should be avoided at all costs because they usually breed unhealthy dogs. They simply pump out as many pups as they can to maximize their profit. They trick unsuspecting soon-to-be dog owners by offering the puppies at a lower price. But trust us when we say, it really is not worth it.

Rescue & Shelters

Yellow Goldador Playing With Ball
You may also get lucky and find the perfect Lab Golden Retriever mix at a local shelter or rescue center.

If you are thinking about rescuing a Goldador, be sure to head out to your local rescue centers and speak to the staff there. You may be able to put your name down for future Goldadors. They may also be able to put you in touch with another center who already has one.

Alternatively, you could check out the Golden Retriever Club of America website, where they list rescues state by state. Or you could contact the American Lab Rescue. They both rescue their dedicated breeds and mixes, doubling your chance of finding a Goldador.

As Family Pets

  • The Goldador is a friendly and sociable pooch who loves to be the center of attention
  • He is loyal and obedient and trainable even by inexperienced dog owners
  • The Goldador is loyal and adores his family
  • He hates to be left alone and can be needy
  • Ideally, Goldadors need a large home with access to a yard
  • The Goldador gets along well with all animals if socialized well
  • He needs one hour of exercise every day, and plenty of brain games to play        
  • The Goldador is a moderate to heavy shedder, who will lovingly cover your home in hair

Final Thoughts

The Goldador is a fantastic family dog! They are a beautiful blend of two of the most popular dog breeds in the world, the Golden Retriever and the Labrador Retriever. Goldadors are adaptable and can fit right into most families. As long as you have the time to exercise him and be with him for most of the day, you will both enjoy a rewarding relationship.

And, as long as you train and socialize him, he will be the ideal family dog that everyone knows him to be. So, if you are struggling to choose between the two breeds, this guy makes your decision far easier.

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