Labradoodles vs. Goldendoodles | What’s the Difference?

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Picture of a labradoodle vs goldendoodle

What’s the Difference Between Labradoodles and Goldendoodles?

Many people think that Goldendoodles and Labradoodles are the same dog breed. Although very similar, Goldendoodles and Labradoodles are in fact not the same.

This article will look at the key differences between Labradoodles and Goldendoodles, with the goal of helping you choose which dog breed is the best choice for you and your family.

Labradoodles vs. Goldendoodles

The first difference between Labradoodles and Goldendoodles might seem obvious, but most people are actually surprised to learn that a Labradoodle is a Poodle/Labrador mix, while a Goldendoodle is a Poodle/Golden Retriever mix. So, contrary to popular belief, the name “Goldendoodle” has nothing to do with the color of their fur.

With this in mind, it becomes quite easy to identify the differences between these two Poodle mixes just by looking at the differences between labradors and golden retreivers. For example, just as Golden Retrievers tend to have longer fur coats, so too do Goldendoodles.

Let’s take a closer look at how the unique characteristics of Labradors and Golden Retrievers contribute to the differences between Labradoodles and Goldendoodles. Just keep in mind that these are just generalizations, and traits can vary from individual doodle to doodle.

Personality Differences between Labradoodles and Goldendoodles

Both Labradoodles and Goldendoodles are very well tempered and make great family dogs. However, there are some key differences that might affect your decision between the two.

Generally speaking, Goldendoodles tend to have more “zest for life” than Labradoodles. This is a classic trait of golden retrievers in general, as it’s often said that golden retrievers are unrelentingly happy and even “dopey.” As a result, Goldendoodles tend to be more enthusiastic about everything — from playing fetch to meeting new people.

If you were to put a Goldendoodle and a Labradoodle in a room with a new person, you’d notice right away that a Goldendoodle would not hesitate to run up to a new person and say hello, while a Labradoodle would be more stand-offish. Goldendoodles are not wary of strangers (or new dogs, for that matter) and can generally be described as having zero regard for “personal bubbles.”

Labradoodles, on the other hand, area little more stand-offish around new people or new environments. They tend stand back and observe until they’ve warmed-up to the situation. When a guest comes to your home, you can expect a Labradoodle to stand on the opposite side of the room and bark or carefully watch the new person for several minutes before coming into their personal space to say hello.

Both doodle types are exceptionally friendly, though. It’s just that Labradoodles tend to be less excitable and slower to warm up to new people.

Energy Levels

Both Labradoodles and Goldendoodles are considered high-energy dogs. Both dogs are classified as retrievers, so they both love to run and play fetch. They are also very fond of swimming. As a result, they need regular exercise to avoid behavioral problems that tend to result from “bored” dogs. In any case, there is not much difference between Labradoodles and Goldendoodles when it comes to energy levels.

Temperament

Both breeds are exceptionally mild mannered and make great family dogs. Between the two, Labradoodles are generally more protective.  Some people might see this as a positive aspect, while others may be concerned about their protective nature crossing the line into aggression. However, Labradoodles are definitely not considered an aggressive breed.

While both Labradoodles and Goldendoodles would make for poor guard dogs because of their friendly temperament, they do make pretty good watch dogs. You can count on either breed to bark at new comers as they approach the house in a loud and intimidating manner, just don’t expect them to do anything but kiss the person if they come inside.

Physical Differences between Labradoodles and Goldendoodles

There is not much difference in terms of size between Goldendoodles and Labradoodles, although Labradoodles tend to be slightly larger than Goldendoodles on average (here’s more information on Labradoodle sizes and Goldendoodle sizes).

Labradoodles and Goldendoodles also have very similar coats, which are typically curly and non-shedding. However, due to the fact labradors tend to have short and wiry fur, Labradoodle coats are typically not as long and wavy as Goldendoodle coats. Labradoodles also tend to have less color variation and tend to come in a very light cream color or black, while Goldendoodles can have shades of red, gold, and brown.  Here’s more information about Goldendoodle coat colors.

Which One is Right For You? Labradoodle vs. Goldendoodle

If you are trying to decide on a Labradoodle vs. a Goldendoodle, you’re not alone. Everyone wants to find the perfect dog and it’s natural to worry that you’ll make the wrong decision.

However, when it comes to choosing a between the two, you really can’t go wrong.  Their personality differences are subtle and they have far more in common than not.  Owners of both breeds are always head-over-heels in love and rarely have buyers remorse thinking about their chosen doodle breed.

If you want more information, please check out our ultimate Labradoodle Owner’s Manual (which also covers Goldendoodles) or check out these other articles:

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