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Labradoodle vs. Goldendoodle: Breed Differences & Similarities

Two designer breeds steadily growing in popularity are the Goldendoodle and Labradoodle. If you are looking to add a canine companion but can't decide between these two mixes, read on to find out what each dog has to offer - besides smiles and friendship!

Kelly Wilson

Last Updated: June 21, 2021 | 11 min read

Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle Dogs

Though their silly-sounding names may suggest that the two are interchangeable, Labradoodles and Goldendoodles are very much two different dog breeds. These dog breeds share many similarities, but they do have several differences that set them apart from one another.

Each of these pups was created as designer dogs from their American Favorite counterparts, the Lab and the Golden Retriever (which is basically a Lab with long hair). These are two of the most popular poodle mixes, and are widely seen as family companion dogs across the world.

Today, we will compare these breeds: their size, temperament, training tactics, and more. Let’s delve into what makes each of these breeds unique in their own way as we compare the Goldendoodle vs. the Labradoodle in more detail.

Breed Comparison

Labradoodle

  • Height 13-24 Inches
  • Weight 15-65 Pounds
  • Temperament Friendly, Affectionate, Energetic
  • Energy High
  • Health Average
  • Lifespan 10-15 Years
  • Puppy Prices $1,000 and Up

Goldendoodle

  • Height 13-24 Inches
  • Weight 15-100 Pounds
  • Temperament Affectionate, Kind, Fun
  • Energy Affectionate, Kind, Fun
  • Health Average
  • Lifespan 10-15 Years
  • Puppy Prices $1,000 and Up

Breed History

Every dog breed will have its differences, no matter how closely related they are. Since the Labradoodle and the Goldendoodle each share one of the same parent breed, the Poodle, they are bound to have some similarities. Let’s take a look at their history and how they link up to one another.

Labradoodle

Fluffy Brown Dog With a Ball
The Labradoodle is a mix between a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle.

In the canine world, the Labradoodle is a relatively recent designer doggy creation. As you probably already know, he is a mix of the Labrador and the Poodle. The Royal Guide Dog Association in Australia was asked to create a guide dog for a blind woman who had allergies in 1989. The Labrador Retriever and the hypoallergenic Poodle were selected as they would be gentle on allergy sufferers but still retain the qualities of an assistance dog.

His Poodle parent comes in three different sizes; toy, miniature, and standard-sized. And this is also seen in the Labradoodle pool. Size doesn’t just determine the dog’s size; it will also affect the personality and energy levels. The Poodle comes from Germany, and he is a hunting dog who specializes in duck hunting. So he has lots of sporting energy and a love for water and ducks.

His Labrador parent is the world’s favorite dog breed, and he is also a sporting dog with lots of energy. Like the Poodle, he is favored for his love of the water and the ability to collect ducks and other birds from the shallows for his master. He is also skilled at driving fish into his master’s nets thanks to his webbed feet and otter tail. His eagerness to please his master means that he makes a fantastic assistance dog.

The Labradoodle cannot be registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC), as he is not a purebred pup. He can be registered with the Australian Labradoodle Association of America (ALAA). He is quickly becoming one of the most popular designer dog mixes out there. Celebrities including Jennifer Anniston and Tiger Woods are Labradoodle lovers, and after reading this guide, you’ll easily see why.

Goldendoodle

Fluffy White Dog in Grass
Goldendoodles are a fluffy mix of Poodle and Golden Retriever.

The Goldendoodle’s exact history is unknown, but it is thought that the concept of the Labradoodle inspired his creation. The Goldendoodle became popular in the 1990s. Like the Labradoodle, he cannot be registered with the AKC. Still, he can be registered with the Goldendoodle Association of North America (GANA). GANA is dedicated to promoting the Goldendoodle breed into official AKC recognition.

Because the Goldendoodle shares the same Poodle parent, like the Labradoodle, he also comes in three sizes, toy, miniature, and standard. And he usually inherits the hard-working, water-loving traits of the Poodle. The other half of his parentage is the Golden Retriever. He is a gun dog from Scotland, United Kingdom, also created to retrieve his master’s quarry. Mixing these genes and characteristics creates a very energetic dog with a high prey drive.

One of the most famous Goldendoodles ever is Samson the Dood. He has over one million followers on Instagram. So if you’re looking for some Goldendoodle love, be sure to check him out. Celebrity Goldendoodle owners include Perez Hilton and John Travolta

Appearance

Handsome Dogs Outdoors
These two dogs look similar, almost like teddy bears.

Labradoodles and Goldendoodles tend to be around the same size. At their maturity, both can be between 13 and 24 inches tall at the shoulder. Depending on their size (miniature, medium, or standard), these breeds can be anywhere from 15 to more than 100 pounds. These varieties exist in both the Labradoodle and the Goldendoodle. Most standard-sized Goldendoodles will be bigger than the standard Labradoodle.

Goldendoodles can reach as much as 100 pounds, while a Labradoodle will likely grow to no more than 65 pounds. However, their ranges are similar enough where you could find a Goldendoodle and Labradoodle of the same size. For example, both miniature breeds of these dogs tend to stay around the same size. Standard and medium Labradoodles will most often be smaller than standard Goldendoodles.

Goldendoodles tend to boast gold, caramel, or red coats. Labradoodles have a wider range of colors, including black, yellow, white, chocolate, and more. Their coats are both pretty low on shedding, and they each have curly fur.

However, Labradoodles tend to take on the details of their Labrador half in terms of fur. Though their poodle half is curly, their Labrador half is short and wiry. This combination usually leads to shorter, less curly fur. A Goldendoodle takes on the traits of a Golden Retriever, who has long, thick fur. This results in longer, thicker, and curlier fur on the Goldendoodle.

Temperament

Black and White Fluffy Puppies
Though they share a parent dog, they have slightly contrasting temperaments.

As similar as the Labradoodle and Goldendoodle are to one another, they certainly have their differences. Even the fact that the Goldendoodle and Labradoodle share the same parent breed won’t change that. Because one pulls half their traits from a Labrador and the other from a Golden Retriever, they will have varying traits.

The Labradoodle is the more protective of the two breeds. While it is certainly not considered aggressive, its loyalty is evident in their concern for their master. That being said, neither of these dogs would make very good guard dogs. They may bark here and there, but in the end, they both direct their affection to anyone who comes into your house.

In The Home

A Labradoodle may seem a little standoffish upon meeting strangers, but they typically warm up eventually. Goldendoodles are more likely to run up to anyone, making as many friends as possible. Both of these dogs are known to be very loyal, friendly, and affectionate to their masters. While their levels of initial apprehension will vary on the individual dog and his personality, in the end, they make great pets for families due to their loving nature.

They both do well with strangers, as they are very social and love to interact with those around them, including other dogs. The Labradoodle tends to be more energetic, meaning it will need more playtime and exercise. The Labradoodle is usually also the smarter of the two.

Though they are energetic and friendly, you may find that your Labradoodle seems a little more reserved and cautious than the Goldendoodle. Once they warm up, they’re happy to join in the fun. But for some, it can take a little time.

Because of this trait, you may find that your Goldendoodle has a little more zest and less timidity. A Goldendoodle will give anyone a great time of playing and laughter. But a Labradoodle will always be reliable and eager to please.

Exercise

Running Dogs Outdoors
Both designer breeds need about an hour of daily exercise.

Like we have mentioned, the Labradoodle is slightly more energetic of the two, but not by that much. Both of these guys need at least an hour of exercise every day. Unless, of course, you have a toy doodle. Then their little legs will need around 30 minutes. The Labradoodle is likely to need more intensive exercise to wear him out compared to the Goldendoodle. But overall, they both need to be placed with an active family.

They are both intelligent dog breeds, meaning that their exercise regime should be mixed and varied to challenge their brains. Otherwise, they’ll eventually get bored, especially the Labradoodle. Considering how much they both love the water, it’s a great idea to include the local lake or paddling pool into his exercise schedule. Another fab activity is to take them down to the local doggy park so that they can have fun with their canine besties.

Training

Fluffy Dogs Looking Up
Both of these guys are easily trained and make excellent companions.

Labradoodles and Goldendoodles are both very intelligent pups who are considered easy to train and teach. Though they are both pretty easily trainable, the Labradoodle is known to be the smarter of the two. They tend to have a little more loyalty and reliability towards their owners, which makes training them a breeze.

However, it is key to remember that both of these breeds’ parents are also very trainable, so you shouldn’t have much of a problem with either. Both Golden Retriever and Labradors make excellent, smart pets who know how to follow commands.

It’s also worth noting that since Goldendoodles are so friendly, in addition to being pretty easy to train, they are often used as service dogs in hospitals and nursing homes. Not only are they good for cheering up patients and residents, but they’re smart enough to listen to the commands of the trainers that bring them in. Since they like to play and have a friendly nature, it’s good to socialize them and get them outside as much as possible.

It’s also important to remember that they will both need plenty of playtime and lots of exercise to be happy and ready to learn new tricks. Despite their parentage, they are both considered companion dogs as opposed to other breeds that are often used for labor or hunting. So, if that’s what you are looking for, you are best off sticking to the purebred Labrador or Golden Retriever.

Health

Fluffy Walking Outdoors
Both the Golden and Labradoodle are fairly healthy, even healthier than their parent breeds.

You may have heard that certain dog breeds are more susceptible to health issues than others. This is absolutely true, and it’s something important to consider before you choose your breed. While finding the right dog food for a breed like the Goldendoodle might help prevent health issues, ultimately, the parent’s health is usually the best indicator for the future health of your dog.

Because both Labradoodles and Goldendoodles are hybrids, there is always going to be a little bit of a question mark concerning their physical, emotional, and health traits. All hybrid dogs have some potential to develop genetic health problems. The two doodle mixes also have a similar life span expectancy. They each can live anywhere from 10 to 15 years.

Labradoodles

Labradoodles are more susceptible to ear infections. You must keep your Labradoodle’s ears nice and clean, especially after they have had any contact with the water. Additionally, if you have a smaller breed, you should pay special attention to their dental health.

Small dogs are often more prone to periodontal disease. Labradoodle can pull other health issues from both its Labrador and Poodle sides: hip and elbow dysplasia, eye disease, and bleeding disorders. These health issues can be very uncomfortable for your pup, and they will cost you a pretty penny.

Goldendoodles

Goldendoodles can also contract a variety of health problems, especially if they didn’t come from a very careful and knowledgeable breeder. With that being said, because they are a mixed breed pup like the Bernedoodle, they do tend to be healthier than other purebreds.

Some health issues to look out for in a Goldendoodle are allergic skin diseases, knee and hip injuries, and epilepsy. This breed can also show signs of night blindness referred to as progressive retinal atrophy.

Nutrition

Happy Dogs With Tongues Out
It is very important to feed your dog high-quality kibble packed with nutrients.

How much you feed your Goldendoodle and Labradoodle will depend on many factors. These include his size, age, energy levels, and the brand of food that you pick. Making it difficult to compare these guys. Overall, toy-sized doodles will eat much less than standard-sized doodles. Larger doodles will eat between two to three cups of food, and toy-sized pups sometimes eat as little as half a cup a day.

When it comes to nutrition, the most important thing you can do for your Labradoodle or Goldendoodle is to feed them the highest-quality kibble you can afford. High-quality kibbles are nutritiously balanced and tastier for your bestie. It’s also important to feed your pooch an age and size-appropriate food. Both of these guys love food, but Labradoodles love food and are more likely to be the greediest of the two breeds. To avoid obesity, it’s important not to overfeed him.

Grooming

Handsome Dogs Being Groomed
These precious pups shed less than the average pooch.

The Labradoodle and the Goldendoodle pretty much have the same coat, meaning that their grooming regimes are very similar. Poodles are a popular option for mixing because it is a hypoallergenic breed.

Because both designer breeds share the same poodle parent, they tend to be much easier on allergy sufferers. Bear in mind that because neither the Labrador nor Golden Retriever parent is hypoallergenic (far from it!), you cannot be guaranteed your Goldendoodle or Labradoodle pup will be hypoallergenic.

Goldendoodles don’t shed much and neither do Labradoodles when compared with their Golden Retriever and Labrador parents. Which is a huge appeal of both of them for many families. Because their hair is usually longer and wavy, they’ll need brushing several times a week to prevent their coat from matting.

A slicker brush is ideal for both of these guys, so be sure to invest in one. Again, the only difference will be between a toy-sized pup and a standard-sized pup because grooming time will be much quicker for the smaller doggos.

Both of these dogs will benefit from a bath once every two months or so. They tend to have sensitive skin and do better with a gentler doggy formula made from calming ingredients, such as oatmeal. The Labradoodle and Goldendoodles hair can grow quite quickly, and so many dog moms and dads send their pups to the groomers for a regular trim. This will be more expensive the larger your dog is.

Puppy Prices

Black and White Fluffy Puppies
Labradoodles are typically more expensive than Goldendoodles.

If you’re concerned about price, it may be worth it to mention that Goldendoodles tend to be the more affordable of the two breeds. From a breeder, you can expect to pay around $1,000 for a Goldendoodle. Labradoodles often go for anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500.

Of course, these prices will vary by breeder and location. You also need to remember that there are ongoing costs of dog ownership on top of the initial puppy price.

At the same time, you can always try your luck rescuing a Goldendoodle or Labradoodle at your local rescue shelters. There’s no guarantee you can find exactly the breed you’re looking for. But you never know when you’ll find a Labradoodle or Goldendoodle in need of a loving home. Rescuing a dog is often a lot less expensive than buying a brand new puppy.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, both Labradoodles and Goldendoodles make excellent pets for individuals and families. They are friendly, loving, and loyal, as well as smart and easily trained. The Goldendoodle tends to be the friendlier pup out of the two (although they are both super sociable). And the Labradoodle tends to be the more intelligent and boisterous of the two breeds.

However, you should keep in mind that they are hybrids, and while they may come in a lovely package, there’s no telling exactly what’s on the inside. Every hybrid dog will present a varying host of personality traits along with physical traits. A breeder can breed the best Poodle and Golden Retriever or Labrador they have, but there’s no telling which traits the puppies will pick up.

The best thing you can do for yourself and your new dog is to be well-informed. Educate yourself on the breed, as well as the two breeds that created your dog. Being in the know is what will keep you and your pet the happiest you can be. And know that whatever doodle mix you pick, you’ll find a loving, loyal, and fun canine companion to spend many happy years with.

Leave a Comment

6 Comments

Ed Stearns Sr

May 1, 2021 at 12:34 pm

I am having a little problem with training my Goldendoodle. I have three other dogs in my house, do I need to train him alone without the other dogs being around? I am his master, and he listens to me but my wife not so much. She does love on him, but I think she sort of too easy on him. We don’t hit him, but have to yell at him quite a bit. I love the way he is so loving. I would recommend this breed to anyone that wants a loving and faithful dog!!!

Reply

Kelly Wilson

May 3, 2021 at 3:20 pm

Hi Ed! Every dog is different. My recommendation is definitely to try training alone, at first with you, your wife, and your dog. Then gradually introduce the other dogs. Training with distractions can be difficult for any dog, regardless of the breed. If you run into training challenges when your pups are just 1 on 1, I'd recommend hiring a local trainer to work with you and your pup. Good luck, and thanks for sharing!

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Teresa Wall

June 8, 2020 at 3:54 am

I love what you write about the golden doodles. I have one he is standard poodle mix. 4 months old. He's had allergies since I brought him home. He comes to and cries for me to scratch him. Vet is worried about medication because he is so young. I would love for you to write up big about allergies and how to relieve the itch. It makes me so sad for any dog. Thank you if you can do that!

Reply

Kelly Wilson

June 10, 2020 at 2:05 am

Thanks for the comment Teresa! We will talk this over with our Vet that writes for our site to see if we can come up with an article about this sometime soon! We do have an article on shampoos for itchy skin if that helps!

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Barbara Geno

March 7, 2020 at 5:10 am

Do you have suggestions of a breeder in Missouri that raises Medium or Large Labdoodles? Please list their name and phone numbers. I have had four Labs and had to put my Lab down in December. My heart has been broken without him.

Reply

Kelly Wilson

March 7, 2020 at 1:52 pm

Hi Barbara! So sorry to hear about your pup. Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any breeders in your area. I'd encourage you to check around local rescues on Facebook to see if any Labradoodle rescues have dogs available, and if you can't find one there, then use both social media and/or Google searches to find a reputable breeder in your area. Good Luck!

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