Soft and fluffy, intelligent, loveable, and quirky, the Labradoodle and Goldendoodle breeds are full of traits that dog owners covet. But when it comes to Labradoodle vs. Goldendoodle, which breed is the better option for you?
Like you would when deciding on any dog to bring home to your family, it’s important to consider the full picture. What sets the Labradoodle apart from the Goldendoodle? Are there personality characteristics, care and/or health concerns that differ?
To help you decide whether the Goldendoodle or Labradoodle is best for you, we did our research, utilizing organizations like the Goldendoodle Association of North America (GANA) and experts like Miles Lewis, vice president of public relations for the Australian Labradoodle Association of America (ALAA).
Goldendoodle vs Labradoodle: What’s the Difference?
At first glance, Goldendoodles and Labradoodles appear very similar. And in many ways, they are. However, there are a few things that set each breed apart from the other.
Goldendoodles were created in Australia more widely in the 1990s as a mixture of a Golden Retriever and a Poodle. They come in four sizes — petite, miniature, medium, and standard — and their non- to light-shedding coats (often touted as being a better option for people who suffer from dog allergies) come in a variety of colors and patterns.
Created in Australia in the 1980s, Labradoodles are a mixture of a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle. While the Australian Labradoodle started the craze, Australian and American Labradoodles are very similar, with a few slight differences. American Labradoodles are made up of only Labrador Retrievers and Poodles, for example, while Australian Labradoodles tend to have a small percentage of Cocker Spaniel in them, as well.
Labradoodles can be miniature, medium, or standard in size, and their low- to non-shedding coats (also supposedly better for people with dog allergies) are either wool or fleece and come in a variety of colors and patterns.
Goldendoodle/Labradoodle Comparison Chart
Here’s a quick visual breakdown of some of the main characteristics of each breed.
|Average Height||Less than 14 inches (petite)|
14 to 16 inches (miniature)
17 to 20 inches (medium)
Over 20 inches (standard)
|14 to 16 inches (miniature)|
17 to 20 inches (medium)
21 to 24 (standard)
|Average Weight||25 lbs or less (petite)|
26 to 35 lbs (miniature)
36-50 lbs (medium)
51 lbs or more (standard)
|15-25 lbs (miniature)|
25-45 lbs (medium)
45-75 lbs (standard)
|Coloring||Golden Retriever ancestry brings shades of cream, apricot, and red.|
Poodle heritage brings shades of cream, apricot, red, black, chocolate (dark brown), silver, and gray.
Patterns in the colors include: Parti, merle, phantom, and brindle
|Official black-pigmented dogs are: Chalk, cream, apricot, gold, red, black, blue, silver|
Official brown-pigmented dogs are: Caramel ice, caramel cream, caramel, caramel red, chocolate, lavender, café, parchment
Patterns in the colors include: Parti, tuxedo, sable, phantom, tri-phantom, merle
|Coat Type||Low- to no-shedding curly, wavy, or straight||Low- to no-shedding fleece or wool (curly or straight)|
|Dog Breed Group||Hybrid mixture of Golden Retriever (sporting) and Poodle (non-sporting)||Hybrid mixture of Labrador Retriever (sporting) and Poodle (non-sporting)|
|Average Lifespan||10-15 years||10-14 years|
|Key Personality Traits||The breed is known to be friendly and trustworthy, as well as stable in most environments, including with children. They make excellent options for trained service and therapy dogs because of their reliable demeanor.||Bred to be service dogs specifically for people who suffer from dog allergies, this breed excels in terms of their loyalty and ease of training.|
History of Goldendoodles and Labradoodles
As far as dog breeds go, both Goldendoodles and Labradoodles are relatively new, and neither are currently recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Let’s get into more specifics about their origins.
History of Goldendoodles
Although the exact date of development is unknown, we do know that a handful of breeders emerged in the late 1990s with the hybrid cross of a Golden Retriever and a Poodle, creating the Goldendoodle. As their popularity grew, breeders started developing different size variations, which led to the four categories of sizes — petite, mini, medium, and standard — that we see today. These social, intelligent dogs have a low- to non-shedding coat, which supposedly makes them easier for people with dog allergies to live with.
History of Labradoodles
The Labradoodle was carefully developed in Australia starting in the 1980s and was bred over generations with a focus on temperament, coat quality, health testing, and planned mating. The Australian Labradoodle was created by a Royal Guide Dogs Association trainer to be an allergy-friendly guide/service dog, and their appearance and temperament has remained steady since then. They are a people-focused dog with a strong desire to please.
Goldendoodle vs. Labradoodle: Breed Characteristics
As with any breed, having a Goldendoodle or Labradoodle as a pet comes with pros and cons to consider.
Goldendoodles have grown in popularity thanks to their social, outgoing nature. Their people-pleasing personality and intelligence make them easy to train. On the flip side, Goldendoodles need a lot of stimulation to help keep them from becoming destructive and getting into trouble. Their social personality can also make them more prone to separation anxiety, and they tend to be considered more energetic and hyper than the Labradoodle. Additionally, their low-shed coats can be curly, wavy, or straight in a variety of colors and patterns.
Labradoodles are very social with people and other animals alike, and they’re great with kids. Their above-average intelligence also makes them easy to train. As previously mentioned, they are a low- to no-shedding breed that can have one of two types of coat: wool or fleece. Wool coats resemble lamb’s wool and are typically a wavy (not too curly texture, while fleece coats are very soft and can be straight, wavy, or spiral-curly.
Goldendoodle vs. Labradoodle: Caring for Your Doodle Dog
Both Goldendoodles and Labradoodles come with their own special set of care instructions and potential issues to look out for.
Goldendoodle Care and Feeding
The health issues that you would normally find in Golden Retrievers and/or Poodles may be found in Goldendoodles as well, like hip dysplasia. Because of the structure of their ears, they may also get ear infections. Many Goldendoodles are prone to having sensitive stomachs, so it’s best to avoid changing their diet frequently or giving them food other than what’s specifically formulated for dogs and/or their health needs. This breed tends to have a life expectancy of anywhere from 10 to 15 years.
Labradoodle Care and Feeding
Labradoodles that come from registered, quality breeders should have few serious health considerations. Things to ask if your breeder has tested for include hip dysplasia and eye disease. Like all floppy-eared dogs, the Labradoodle is prone to ear infections, and proper maintenance and grooming is needed to keep their ears — as well as the rest of their body — healthy. Some Labradoodles have also been known to have sensitive stomachs, but in general they are a breed that’s shown that they can self-regulate their diet well. (In other words, they don’t tend to overeat.) They have a very similar life expectancy to the Goldendoodle, typically living to be 10 to 14 years old.
Goldendoodle vs. Labradoodle: Grooming
When it comes to Labradoodle or Goldendoodle grooming, don’t let the “minimal/no shedding” nomenclature fool you. Both doodle mixes require extra grooming and coat care to stay healthy. It’s also worth noting that while there’s no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic dog, these two breeds are known to be less likely to shed and to produce less dander.
Goldendoodle Grooming Needs
Whether they have curly or straight fur, Goldendoodles should be combed daily and groomed either monthly or every six to eight weeks (for long-haired Goldendoodles). Brushing or combing every day helps spread natural oils that keep the dog’s hair shiny and hydrated and prevent matting and tangles, which they are prone to get.
Labradoodle Grooming Needs
To keep their coats healthy, Labradoodles require heavy grooming every five to six weeks, along with frequent brushing in between. Wool-coated Labradoodles have a tighter curl that is sometimes coarser, as well. Some people find their allergies tend to better with the wool coat type. The loose, wavy fleece coats, however, have become more popular and tend to be associated with the traditional Australian Labradoodle. Both coat types can be better for people with allergies, but it really depends on the individual dog and owner. If you have severe allergies, consider interacting with a specific Labradoodle to test your response before bringing them home.
Goldendoodle vs. Labradoodle: Which Breed is Most Popular?
Both Goldendoodles and Labradoodles have grown in popularity over the past decade, and with popularity comes a rising price tag. Since neither Doodle breed is recognized by the AKC, it’s hard to follow exact statistics to say which is more popular, but both breeds have the characteristics that make them great options for families.
“Labradoodles are so lovable, mostly because of their wonderful disposition and their great looks,” says Lewis. “Paired with a snuggly personality, they have been steadily increasing in popularity as they have become known as the ultimate family dog.”
Sharing so many similar characteristics, the Goldendoodle has also been charming pet owners since it arrived on the scene a few decades ago.
Goldendoodle vs. Labradoodle: Which Breed is Right for You?
With all the above considerations in mind, it should be a little bit easier to determine if the Goldendoodle or Labradoodle is a better fit for your family’s needs.
The next step is finding the right breeder. Start with one that’s in good standing with a breed club, like the ALAA or GANA, and just know that a shelter may not be the best place to look for your Doodle. “Healthy and well-temperamented Labradoodles are often very difficult to find in a shelter situation, as many of the breeders of Labradoodles require buyers to sign a contract that a dog never be surrendered to a shelter,” explains Lewis.
When it comes to your living situation, keep in mind the overall size of the dog you choose (Labradoodles tend to be a little larger than Goldendoodles, but it depends on the type of you go with) and remember that Goldendoodles may have a bit more energy than Labradoodles, which tend to be more reserved. Both breeds, however, require mental and physical stimulation to stay out of trouble, as well as the proper grooming to keep their coats healthy and shiny.
You really can’t go wrong with either a Goldendoodle or a Labradoodle. Now it’s just a matter of deciding which intelligent, friendly, furry ball of love you’d prefer to bring home.