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Goldendoodle or Labradoodle? Uncover the Surprising Differences

Looking for a new furry friend to join the household and wondering Goldendoodle or Labradoodle? Well, look no further, this is your comprehensive guide to the similarities and differences between Goldendoodles vs Labradoodles.

First, let’s understand what a ‘Doodle’ mix is. A ‘Doodle’ is a mixed-breed dog that combines the traits and appearance of a standard Poodle with that of another dog breed. In this case, a Labrador mixed with a Poodle creates a Labradoodle. And a Golden Retriever mixed with a Poodle creates a Goldendoodle.

Thanks to their loving natures and undeniably adorable appearances, the Goldendoodle and Labradoodle have become the most popular ‘doodle’ mixes. Both make wonderful additions to any family. Which is no surprise as the Poodle, Labrador, and Golden Retriever all make it onto the list of the best-behaved dogs.

You are one step closer to welcoming the perfect pup for you (and your family) into your home. So, let’s find out which of these Poodle mixes is best for you and your needs.

goldendoodle or labradoodle

1. Goldendoodle or Labradoodle: Origins

When picking out a doggo to join your clan, it’s important to know their parent breeds and how they came to be. It often gives clues as to their health and temperament as well as how they will behave in a household.

Labradoodle Origins

The Labradoodle mix was first bred in 1989 by breeder Wally Conron, who was working at the Royal Guide Dogs Association of Australia at the time. Conron received a request from a blind lady that needed a hypoallergenic guide dog as her husband suffered from dog allergies.

white labradoodle nose

Conron, therefore, combined the loyal-natured and easily trainable Labrador retriever with the hypoallergenic Poodle as a solution. This is how the Labradoodle was born and continues to be a firm favorite in many types of households today.

Goldendoodle Origins

The Goldendoodle (also known as the Groodle) is a mix of the loveable Golden Retriever and the Poodle and this much-loved designer mix breed rose in popularity in the 1990s. Many breeders and dog lovers equate the birth of the breed and its popularity to the success of the Labradoodle.

tan godlendoodle

Golden Retrievers are equally as loyal as the Labrador, so mixing them with the Poodle to create another type of hypoallergenic guide dog seemed like a no-brainer. This happy dog, with the best coat for those with allergies, has become a beloved family member for many. Its beautiful golden coat color keeps this doodle a firm favourite.

2. Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle: Appearance Differences & Similarities

Since both the Labradoodle and Goldendoodle have Poodle lineage, you might think that they look very similar, and sometimes they can. However, there are a few features that will help you differentiate between the two.

The distinct teddy bear look of both the Goldendoodle and Labradoodle is what’s won over the hearts of many who own these fluffy canines. However, there are notable differences in appearance between the two breeds mainly in their coloring and coat type.

Labradoodle Appearance

Labradoodles tend to be slightly larger than Goldendoodles, however, their size does vary and their parentage will give an indication of how big they can get. Typically, there is a mini Labradoodle (bred from a miniature poodle cross) whilst standard sizes have a height of 22 – 25 inches and a weight of 50 – 75 pounds when fully grown.

labradoodle on turquoise background

Usually, a Labradoodle will have shorter and more wiry fur than a Goldendoodle. Labradoodles come in a variety of colors, including part-colored coats. These include black, white, silver, chocolate, golden, red, and cream. They rarely shed and their coats are easy to maintain.

Goldendoodle Appearance

Goldendoodles come in a larger variety of sizes from teacup or toys to the mini goldendoodle and standard sizes. A standard Goldendoodle usually weighs between 50 – 65 pounds and has a height of between 22 – 24 inches when fully grown.

shaggy goldendoodle good bad

Goldendoodles have a lesser variety of coat colors and usually come in golden tones such as gold, caramel, cream, red, and sometimes darker chocolate and black. The texture of their coat can vary from straight, wavy, shaggy, and curly and this will depend on their parentage.

3. Groodle vs Labradoodle Temperament

If you are looking for a loveable companion, then you’ve come to the right place because that’s exactly what you’ll get in both these breeds. Since both of these purebred dogs have a Poodle as a parent these doggo’s are similar in many ways.

They are both friendly and loyal and make great family dogs. They also tend to be good with new people and could even make it as service dogs. Oh, and did I mention that they are both a breeze to train? All of these traits are some of the main reasons both breeds make such good guide dogs as well.

And while these happy pups have their similarities when it comes to personality, there are a few things that set them apart. This includes aspects such as energy and playfulness levels, which are important considerations when deciding which dog you’d like to bring home.

Groodle Temperament & Personality

Goldendoodles are known for their intelligence, friendliness, and playfulness. These designer dogs have bright personalities and lots of energy. If you’re having a bad day, this pup’s enthusiasm and larger-than-life attitude are sure to turn that right around.

These hybrid dogs will hardly ever get aggressive, especially if trained and socialized from a young age. They are also great with kids and you’ll be charmed by the special bond everyone in the family will make with your loyal Goldendoodle.

pale coloured goldendoodle

This pup breed is more independent than the Labradoodle and you’ll find that they are more open and trusting with strangers. Goldendoodles have a zest for life, so if you’re looking for a pal that will keep you on your toes (in the best way possible) then this is your match.

Labradoodle Temperament & Personality

Labradoodles are slightly more reserved than Goldendoodles and are less likely to quickly make as many new friends as the Goldendoodle. However, they are still energetic and playful dogs that love spending time with their owners. They’re just less likely to approach a stranger or new pup in the park, whereas a Goldendoodle will jump at the opportunity.

labradoodle in profile

Labradoodles are extremely intelligent and intuitive dogs, if you’re busy they’ll understand this and not bug you to play with them. These pups are also warm and loving and make for excellent therapy dogs for people suffering from disabilities, autism, or depression.

These teddy bear-like canines are loyal and have an eagerness to please, making them highly trainable and protective. These traits make the Labradoodle a slightly better guard dog than the Goldendoodle (who just wants to make friends with everyone that they see).

4. Goldendoodles vs Labradoodles: Are Both Breeds Easy to Train?

Both of these breeds are highly intelligent and attentive dogs, making them highly trainable for dog owners. And as we’ve already explored, these traits make them great therapy and guide dogs.

While both breeds are highly capable of figuring things out quickly, there are a couple of personality traits that make the training process slightly different for each pooch.

Training a Goldendoodle

As you know by now, Goldendoodles are extremely sociable dogs. This extroversion means that they can get easily excitable around new guests and strangers. So, it’s important to socialize, train and set firm boundaries with this pup from a young age.

goldendoodle with american flag kerchief

Their high energy levels also mean that if they do not experience physical stimulation they will get bored. By training your pup you are keeping them busy and also training them to behave correctly. This lessens the risk of destructive behavior (chewing furniture and barking constantly) due to boredom.

Be consistent with them when training, otherwise you might have difficulty reigning in the high energy levels. But don’t stress, these furry friends are extremely smart, and setting these boundaries and training your Goldendoodle will be an easy process. You’ll quickly see how this eager-to-please pooch will listen to your every command.

Training a Labradoodle

This popular breed will do anything to make their human happy and as such, you’ll find these smart dogs highly obedient and trainable. As with the Goldendoodle (and any dog for that matter), it’s important to start training from a young age when the Labradoodle is still a puppy.

The ability for this pooch to pick up things easily has its pros and cons. While it’s great when you are teaching them good habits and behaviors, it also means that these cuties pick up bad habits just as easily. So just bear this in mind and ensure you are dedicating enough time to their training.

face of white labradoodle

Given their gentle and affectionate natures, this breed does not respond well to aggression or shouting when being trained. So, make a concerted effort to be patient with your pup and always use positive reinforcements. This can be done with a doggie treat or verbal encouragement to build trust between you and your furry friend.

Similar to the Goldendoodle you’ll find that your consistency and patience when training will quickly result in an obedient pooch.

5. Activity Levels

Buying or adopting a new dog is a big responsibility and you need to plan accordingly. This means considering things like activity levels, pet insurance for unwanted vet bills, and considering the cost of food and maintenance.

Of these, the activity levels of the dog is one of the major considerations. This will determine if your lifestyle is conducive to the amount of exercise a dog may need.

We know both the Goldendoodle and Labradoodle are active dogs, but let’s see exactly what this means in terms of daily exercise for each.

Labradoodle Exercise Needs

This breed is high-energy and needs lots of exercise. Labradoodles thrive in a home with a large fenced garden or yard. This way they can run around and exercise to their heart’s content. Because of this, these pooches aren’t typically suited for apartment living.

face of beige labradoodle

However, yard or not, these guys are going to need daily exercise in the form of a walk, run or hike with their owner. Try to get in at least 30-60 minutes to keep your little chap satisfied.

Due to their Retriever genes, they are also known to love the water. So, if you are walking in a park with a dam don’t be surprised if they run in for a dip.

Goldendoodle Exercise Needs

While still an energetic dog, Goldendoodles do generally not require the same level of exercise as a Labradoodle. Goldendoodles will be satisfied with 30-minutes of moderate daily exercise and also do better with a yard than in an apartment.

Goldendoodles can keep up with active families and also enjoy long runs and hikes. Like the Labradoodle, this pup also loves the water and a good swim. They’ll also always be up for a game of fetch in the water (or on the ground).

goldendoodle reclining on the grass

The Groodle loves to be with their owner so they make a great companion for single people heading out on trails alone. Even though both these pups have high energy levels, they can both sleep up to 50% of a day, so you’ll get your downtime too.

6. Coat & Grooming

One of the most desirable traits of almost all ‘Doodle’ mixes is their non-shedding coat (this is what makes them hypoallergenic). But don’t make the mistake of thinking that non-shedding means low maintenance as this is not the case.

Given the slight changes in coat textures and lengths, Goldendoodles and Labradoodles do have slightly different grooming needs. Let’s check them out.

Grooming a Labradoodle

As a puppy, the Labradoodle needs to be brushed regularly as they typically only grow into their adult coats at around one year old. Brushing the young hypoallergenic coat regularly prevents it from matting and keeps it healthy and shiny. 

If you would like a shorter trimmed coat, it’s best to start giving it regular trims only once it’s used to the brushing. If you are confident to trim the coat yourself, use scissors with rounded tips for your dog’s safety. If you’ve never trimmed a dog’s coat before, it’s always best to take them to a professional groomer, to avoid any doggie hairdo disasters.

black labradoodle

The number of times you need to brush your teddy bear-like companion depends on the texture of their coats. The curlier the coat, the more often it needs to be brushed. Labradoodles tend to have a curly coat which result in more regular grooming.

When fully grown, a Labradoodle will either need to be brushed daily or up to twice a week (depending on how curly their locks are). This may seem like a fair bit of brushing but it’s actually quite important to maintain a healthy coat.

Brushing helps prevent the formation of mats in curly fur. It also releases the hair that has fallen out of the curls and in turn creates less shedding around the house. And don’t forget to trim your Labradoodles nails once or twice a month. 

Grooming a Goldendoodle

Goldendoodles also require regular grooming. However, they do tend to have straighter coats in general which means that their luscious locks are less likely to mat as quickly as the Labradoodle.

The Goldendoodles coat does grow very quickly and you don’t want to hide the adorable features of the Goldendoodle behind long hair. Regular trims (it’s up to the owner exactly how short to go) are best for the Goldendoodle as a shorter coat has less chance of matting and shedding.

goldendoodle puppy

Not only is it easier to keep clean, but a short cut coat is also more comfortable for your Goldendoodle during the hot summer months. Both breeds need regular grooming but given the type of coat on a Goldendoodle, they may be slightly less maintenance.

It’s important to keep in mind that the parentage of the breed also makes a big difference. The more Poodle in the pup, the curlier the hair will be. So, essentially, the frequency of grooming and maintenance will always come down to the unique dog you bring home.

7. Health Problems and Life Expectancy in Both Breeds

The health and life span of a dog are very important considerations when deciding on welcoming a furry friend into your home. Both breeds have a similar life span of 10 – 15 years, but their health differs slightly.

You don’t want to be drowning in vet bills because of common health issues in a breed. Luckily both the Goldendoodle and Labradoodle are generally very healthy dogs. But, like all dogs, there are some health issues that they are more prone to, given their specific breeds.

It’s important to remember when buying any dog, to ask the breeder for a health guarantee certificate. This just means that the puppy and both their parents are healthy and there’s a smaller chance of your pup inheriting any health issues.

Goldendoodle Health Concerns

As mentioned, the Goldendoodle is generally very healthy and when kept active, well-groomed, and fed, you shouldn’t have too many issues.tanda

With that being said, there are a couple of common issues to look out for:

  • Eye problems
  • Heart disease
  • Elbow and hip dysplasia
  • Tendencies to cancer

Labradoodle Health Conditions

Similar to the Goldendoodle, the Labradoodle is considered to have great general health. As long as you keep these active pooches satisfied with daily activity and a good diet it’s unlikely that you’ll have too many issues to worry about.


As with all dogs, it’s beneficial to know what common problems they could be exposed to:

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Elbow and hip dysplasia
  • Tendencies to cancer

8. Food Consumption

Here’s something that doesn’t differ drastically between the two breeds. Below is a general guideline as to what you should feed your Doodle mix and how often.

It’s important to first note that you should always consult your vet or breed owners on what to feed your dog. This is because feeding can differ depending on the size of the dog, parentage, and other factors.

As a general guide, good quality dry food should meet all your doggos nutritional requirements as well as keep their teeth in good condition. 

goldendoodle on the run

Typically both Goldendoodle and Labradoodles will eat between 1-3 cups of dry food a day. The amount depends on the size of the dog and how much exercise they’ll be doing. It’s best to ask your vet how much you should be feeding your dog. 

Both these breeds love food and will eat as much as they can when given the opportunity. Monitor your pup’s food intake and weight to ensure that they are not overeating and thus avoid the risk of your pooch becoming overweight.

9. Cost of Labradoodles vs Goldendoodles

While neither of these doodle mixes makes it onto the list of the most expensive dog breeds, they certainly aren’t cheap either. Labradoodles and Goldendoodles fall into the same price range and this cost can typically vary from $1500 to $3500.

The cost of a Goldendoodle puppy depends on several factors such as the health tests performed on the parents, the breeder’s reputation, location, and health guarantee certificates for example.

goldendoodle face

If you are serious about adding one of these cuties to your home, always try and rescue one before purchasing. Due to the rise in popularity of both these breeds in recent years, it shouldn’t be hard to find a pup to rescue. Just visit a shelter near you and enquire.

If you have your heart set on purchasing a pup in either of these breeds, make sure you contact a reputable and ethical breeder. Ensure that they are well-reviewed and well known and can produce all health guarantee certificates.

There’s usually a waitlist for these popular hypoallergenic breeds, so adopting from a shelter will allow you to welcome your pup home sooner.

10. Do Doodle Mixes Suffer From Separation Anxiety?

The answer to this one is, yes. Both the Labradoodle and Goldendoodle love being around their owners at all times and suffer from separation anxiety when their humans aren’t around.

If you know that you will be working long days with your pooch at home all alone for extended periods of time, a Doodle mix might not be for you. They are prone to barking, crying, whining,  and panicking if left alone for too long.

black and white goldendoodle

A solution to managing this behavior is crate training your pup from a young age so they feel safe when you leave and they stay in their dog crate. Another option if they are going to be alone for an extended period of time, is to organize for someone to give your pup some company.

Deciding between a Labradoodle or Goldendoodle

So, there you have it, all that you need to know about the Goldendoodle and Labradoodle from health and food consumption to temperament and training. Both dog breeds are friendly, loving, and loyal and either would be a wonderful addition to your family.

Making the best choice all comes down to personal preference, this could be in appearance or the amount of daily exercise your pup needs. If you think another doodle mix could be a better choice for you, check out the Golden Mountain Doodle.

golden mountain doodle brown

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