One might think it’s rocket science choosing between two of the most loved Doodle breeds: the Goldendoodle and the Labradoodle. The fuss is not at all hard to imagine. They are both huggable teddy bears with loveable personalities. Plus they have hypoallergenic coats!
Torn between these amazing furballs? Let’s find out more about them.
The Doodles’ Origin
Goldendoodle is a mix between American Kennel Club (AKC)’s 3rd most popular breed, the Golden Retriever and the 7th in spot, the Standard Poodle. It was first bred by Monica Dickens in 1969 and wasn’t popular until the 90s. The great-granddaughter of the famous author, Charles Dickens, combined the Golden Retriever’s friendly and devoted demeanor with the Poodle’s smart and active temperament.
Labradoodle is also a crossbreed from a Standard Poodle but this time with the most popular breed, Labrador Retriever. In 1988, Wally Cochran cross-bred the outgoing and friendly Labrador with the hypoallergenic Poodle. It was meant as a guide dog for a blind woman in Hawaii. Because her husband suffered from allergies, a low-shedding dog is essential. He tested 33 samples of dog hair before giving birth to the Labradoodles we love today.
All About Appearance and Grooming
It’s a tough job pointing a Goldendoodle from a Labradoodle at a glance but here’s what you should know about their charming looks.
Goldendoodles have a strong, lean and athletic stance. They appear to be tall for their weight because of their long legs. Basically, Goldendoodles come in three sizes:
● Standard (Large)- can grow from 20 to 21 inches and weigh 50 to 70 lbs
● Mini (Medium)- height ranges from 16 to 19 inches and weigh between 30 to 45 lbs
● Toy (Miniature)- small at 12 to 15 inches and light at 15 to 20 lbs
Coats of Goldendoodles are straight, shaggy and curly depending on their dominant parent. Their colors also come in many shades from apricot, red, cream, dark brown, gray, silver, blue, white and even black. With their abundant but thinner hair follicle, they look fluffier compared to Labradoodles.
Because of their curlier and longer coats, they require frequent grooming and everyday brushing to avoid matting. Their coats can grow as long as 8 inches and shorter hair is recommended during summers.
Labradoodles have typically longer and broader legs. This designer breed also comes in three sizes and it is slightly bigger than its cousin:
● Standard (Large)- can grow at 20 to 25 inches and weigh between 50 to 70 lbs
● Mini (Medium)- height is between 17 to 20 inches and weigh from 30 to 45 lbs
● Toy (Miniature)- petite at 12 to 16 inches and light at 15 to 25 lbs
Just like with its relatives, its coat types are also straight, shaggy and curly. In terms of color, it has a wider spectrum from black, chocolate, red, cream, white, yellow and particolored coats; where tri-color is common. Just like Labradors, it has shorter and wirier hair.
Grooming a Labradoodle requires two or three times a week brushing. To stay true to their Labradoodle appearance, when grooming, use long blades to trim the bulk of the coat to give it fuller-looking legs.
Thanks to their Poodle gene, both shed very little and recommended for those suffering from allergy. Be warned though: there’s no 100% hypoallergenic dog as all shed dead skin cells and dander.
Goldendoodles and Labradoodle Personality
Although these Doodles come from different other halves, they share a lot of similarities including their temperament. They also have notable differences. Let’s take a look at both.
Goldendoodles are very friendly, attentive and smart. Labradoodles are also known to be loyal, warm and intelligent— they know when their “hoomans” are too busy to play. Well-tempered when trained, both Doodles love socializing and they crave human attention. In fact, they are eager to please their owners. They are both non-aggressive making them perfect with kids.
Neither are renowned barkers and are generally quiet. Coupled with their friendly demeanor, they don’t pass for guard dogs. They can be good watchdogs, though. Strangers will be barked at but once they’re inside, it’s a different story.
Coming from their Poodle side of the genes, they have a tendency to suffer separation anxiety when left alone for too long. If ever they needed to be left alone, entrust them to a friend or a dog walker.
They are clever at entertaining themselves. That said, they can get mischievous so make sure there are chewing toys around (unless you want them to be chewing furniture instead).
Both are approved for first-time owners.
Goldendoodles are literally furballs of sunshine! They are enthusiastic and their energy levels last long like an energizer bunny. They almost never stop wagging their tails. Labradoodles meanwhile are more reserved.
While both are friendly, Goldendoodles are quicker to approach strangers. They make instant friends! Meanwhile, Labradoodles will take time to warm up and that usually takes a lot of sniffing. Labradoodles are also uncomfortable in new environments.
Goldendoodles are more outgoing and calmer. As such, they make good therapy dogs. They are also laid back and slightly more independent than Labradoodles.
In contrast, Labradoodles are more active and have higher energy levels. They are also more protective of their owners and are smarter. Because they are slightly stronger than Goldendoodles, they are perfect as service dogs. Yet, this teddy bear takes longer to mature than its cousin.
Fun and Play: Goldendoodle vs Labradoodle Activity Level
Goldendoodles require less exercise compared to Labradoodles but don’t let that thought fool you. They are still little balls of energy that require moderate daily exercises. They can keep up with an active family. They love to swim, hike, run and play a game of fetch.
Labradoodles are much more active in that aspect. They are high energy dogs that love showing off their energies. Aside from long walks and runs, they enjoy agility training, tracking and even herding. Because of their retriever genes, they love a good dip in the water. Note though that over-exercising may expose them to exercise-induced collapse, a potentially fatal genetic syndrome.
Both breeds love an active lifestyle to varying degrees! A good exercise will put them in a good mood. Be sure they have enough space to roam and play around.
Training the Doodle
Because Goldendoodles are more relaxed, they tend to be slightly trickier to train. However, it’s not really a major issue. Poodles, Golden Retrievers and Labradors are known for their intelligence thus they are both easy to train and they learn fast!
Learning the basics, even complex commands are no brainer for them. Both of them learn best through reward-based dog training techniques. Reward them with treats for a great job but avoid giving them treats very often. Positive reinforcement will also pay off.
Start training and socializing them when still young. Establish to them that the pack leader is none other than you. They are also a creature of habit and structure so make sure to train them regularly.
If you have kids at home, make them understand that pulling the dog’s tail, shouting near their ears and being too rough is a no-no.
Who is Mr. Popular?
With almost the same level of oozing adorableness, one might ask who is the most famous of them all? Both of them are popular given their temperament and hypoallergenic coats. However, since Labrador Retriever is in the no. 1 spot among the most popular dogs, it gives them a slight advantage.
Doodle Health and Lifespan
Goldendoodles and Labradoodles have almost identical lifespans of 10 to 15 years provided they are fed properly and well taken care of.
Watch out for common health problems between the two which are hip and elbow dysplasia and eye diseases. They are also predisposed to common diseases of their breed.
When feeding them, base it according to their recommended diet as they tend to get obese. A good indicator that they are not is when you can feel their ribs but not see it. Make sure they get regular visits to the vet, too.
Reputable dealers will always test against diseases so always deal with them. Learn about their parents’ health to spot warning signs.
The Winner Doodle
So between a Goldendoodle and a Labradoodle, which one makes a better pet? Honestly, they are both amazing and wonderful. You can really never go wrong with any of them.
Goldendoodles are good therapy dogs while Labradoodles are good working dogs. If you have a very active lifestyle, go for Labradoodles but remember that Goldendoodles need to be active, too. Your lifestyle and the role you want them to play will help you decide which one fits you the most.
Regardless, whether it’s a Goldendoodle or a Labradoodle, you sure will have a perfect best friend who will love you to bits and pieces.