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Goldendoodle/Labradoodle - What’s the Diff?

by Gwendy Joysen  2006

The information contained on this site is in no way intended to replace that of proper veterinary advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is meant to provide resource, so that we can better understand canine health related issues.
“Should we get a Labradoodle or a Goldendoodle?”  Or better yet, “What is the difference between the two?”  These questions are common and are both simple in some ways and complex in others.  Go figure.  To sum up, I could easily say, if you perfer Labradors or Goldens over the other, chances are you would prefer the same dog crossed with a Poodle over the other.  Of couse, that is a generalization and only true most of the time.  And if you aren’t familiar enough to have a preconceived preference, the answer is not so easy.  So let’s put them under a microscope for a few minutes. First off, let me clarify that I am not discussing Australian Labradoodles in this article since their breeding lines consist of several other parent dog breeds and are therefore significantly different than the Labradoodles we know here on our continent.  Also this question of differences and similarities is as individual as the people who own these dogs.  You can see that clearly in listening to people discuss the issue, as some people notice very little difference while others view the two hybrids as night and day.  To really investigate this fully, I would advise that we first look at the parent breeds. When I say “parent breeds” I am speaking of the entire breed as a whole.  Knowing the literal parents of your pup, the habits of the breeder and the environment your pup is born into will tell you as much about wyo your pup will become as the overall breed will.  Also, notice I am speaking in general terms throughout this article.  Again, you will learn more about your particular pup by knowing her/his parents than by going strictly by generalizations.  Every bit of knowledge is helpful and I suggest you take the time to accumulate as much as possible since you’ll be spending the next 15 years with this dog. Both the Labrador & and the Golden are wonderful family oriented, loyal, friendly, multi-purpose hunting dogs and therapy, service and health detecting dogs.  All in all, both are so popular and well known because they are excellent dogs.  According to the AKC intelligence chart, the Golden is notably higher in regard to teachability and therefore in their rankings.  As a Canine Educator, I have noticed this factor occasionally in regard to both the parent dogs as well as their Doodle crosses. Here’s where parentage matters most.  As many of you now I have done a great deal of Aggression Rehabilitation over the years.  Two of the most common breeds I have worked with are Chocolate Labs and Goldens.  Part of this is most likely because the people who get these breeds have a lower tolerance for aggressions than some breeds and mixes so they are quicker to seek help.  Buy why do I see these breeds at all, much less so often?  Experience has a LOT to do with it.  Frequently the dogs I work with are owned by women who want a friendly dog who will also protect them so the dog is inappropriately the leader and terribly insecure and confused while putting on his tough face for the world.  But just as often, it is bad breeding.  Too many dogs are bred because of the label they carry rather than their quality as a stud or bitch.  This is even more common among Doodle breeders.  So KNOW your breeder, know your pup’s environment, experience & early education and be sure you know what temperaments the parents are.  Because regardless of if your old Lab was gentle and awesome as Labs usually are or your friend’s Golden was the best dog you have ever known, if you get the son of a monster,  chances are you will have a dog what doesn’t even resemble the wonderul characteristics of the dogs you knew.  The parents of your pup will reflect largely in the dog you are about to bring into your home. Ok, so let’s talk generalities.  First there is appearance.  Coat differences in the 2 breeds are notable.  Numerous F1 Labradoodles have this great terrier like coat.  For the person who loves the easy to manage, shorter, wiry coat who doesn’t have an allergy problem requiring a non-shedding coat, this dog is fabulous.  Some F1 Labradoodles are curly but you can easily find a wiry coated dog.  The F1B and some F2 litters are more likely to be curly but I’ve heard from breeders that even F1B litters will produce at least one moderate shedding, terrier type coated pup while as F2 litter will have several.  F1 Goldendoodles, on the other hand, have a pretty consistant low to no-shed coat, some being curlier than others.  Some breeders say it is not recommended to breed the F1B or multi-generation Goldendoodle as they are much more likely to have a heavy, tight curl that is a lot of work to maintain.  Besides, breeding multi-generation dogs is an awful lot of work that creates an awful lot of potentially homeless dogs and the outcome is no real improvement on the extraordinary original.  The 1st generation cross of F1 Goldendoodle seems to be a consistant, fairly easy to keep, low to no- shed coat.  Of couse some people want the guarantee of a tight heavy curly coat for the ease of selling pups to people with allergies, so there are certainly exceptions and preferences outside those guidelines.  As a trainer & rescuer, I acknowledge the need for the dog to fit the family in all regards but emphasize temperament and trainability over coat. Golden pups tend to be a bit more excitable and mouthy (biting hands, grabbing at clothes, etc.)  but then oddly enough they tend to be more mellow as adults than Labs.  Emphasis on “tend to be”.  On the other hand, Labs tend to be more chewers (couches & carpet rather than your fingers) with a bigger physical dynamic, meaning they tend to be a little more athletic as well as being more likely to clear your end table off with his tail.  And if a Lab touches you, he does so deliberately.  A Golden is more likely to greet strangers with a kiss but less likely to bombard your personal space with force.  A Lab may be more standoffish, shy or protective than a Golden, which is why some are excellent at warning us of strangers around the house but others cross the line into aggression problems.  A Lab is more likely to obey or act instead of think, which can be problematic but can also come in handy if you need a bold action-oriented dog.  A Golden is more likely to think outside the box and be creative with his efforts. Throw a Standard Poodle into the mix and you get joyful, lighter bodies and even smarter variations of these same traits.  Throw in a miniature poodle and it is a bit more inconsistant.  A Standard Poodle will bring to the table very consistent hunting & tracking abilities, intelligence, curiosity, sense of humos and family loyalty.  They are actually very much like both Retrievers in many ways.  Unfortunately the smaller the style of poodle, the further they stray from the proud, clean, consistent heritage from which they came.  Of course there are exceptions here as well and I’m glad to say I have met some very well bred toy poodles.  But when I speak of impeccable poodle breeding, it is regrettably limited to the Standard and only about 1/2 of the Miniatures I’ve seen.  This only means as we look for miniature doodles, we must be more careful, selective and informed as prospective puppy owners.  But shouldn’t we always be? So to sum up, the Goldendoodle and the Labradoodle are both excellent running & walking partners, family companions, therapy dogs and community canine citizens.  The Labradoodle is more likely to be bold, boisterous & athletic and the litters wil yield more pups with wiry shedding coats.  Goldendoodles are more likely to be friendly without reason; slightly more trainable and litters are more sonsistently wavy curly coats.  Puppyhood struggles may vary but if you find a puppy-play-mate and lots of toys for the first 6 months, both are good to go.
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Made with Xara
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The information contained on this site is in no way intended to replace that of proper veterinary advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is meant to provide resource, so that we can better understand canine health related issues.
Fun Stuff Care & Feeding Forum & Community Grooming
“Should we get a Labradoodle or a Goldendoodle?”  Or better yet, “What is the difference between the two?”   These questions are common and are both simple in some ways and complex in others.  Go figure.  To sum up, I could easily say, if you perfer Labradors or Goldens over the other, chances are you would prefer the same dog crossed with a Poodle over the other.  Of couse, that is a generalization and only true most of the time.  And if you aren’t familiar enough to have a preconceived preference, the answer is not so easy.  So let’s put them under a microscope for a few minutes. First off, let me clarify that I am not discussing Australian Labradoodles in this article since their breeding lines consist of several other parent dog breeds and are therefore significantly different than the Labradoodles we know here on our continent.  Also this question of differences and similarities is as individual as the people who own these dogs.  You can see that clearly in listening to people discuss the issue, as some people notice very little difference while others view the two hybrids as night and day.  To really investigate this fully, I would advise that we first look at the parent breeds. When I say “parent breeds” I am speaking of the entire breed as a whole.  Knowing the literal parents of your pup, the habits of the breeder and the environment your pup is born into will tell you as much about wyo your pup will become as the overall breed will.  Also, notice I am speaking in general terms throughout this article.  Again, you will learn more about your particular pup by knowing her/his parents than by going strictly by generalizations.  Every bit of knowledge is helpful and I suggest you take the time to accumulate as much as possible since you’ll be spending the next 15 years with this dog. Both the Labrador & and the Golden are wonderful family oriented, loyal, friendly, multi-purpose hunting dogs and therapy, service and health detecting dogs.  All in all, both are so popular and well known because they are excellent dogs.  According to the AKC intelligence chart, the Golden is notably higher in regard to teachability and therefore in their rankings.  As a Canine Educator, I have noticed this factor occasionally in regard to both the parent dogs as well as their Doodle crosses. Here’s where parentage matters most.  As many of you now I have done a great deal of Aggression Rehabilitation over the years.  Two of the most common breeds I have worked with are Chocolate Labs and Goldens.  Part of this is most likely because the people who get these breeds have a lower tolerance for aggressions than some breeds and mixes so they are quicker to seek help.  Buy why do I see these breeds at all, much less so often?  Experience has a LOT to do with it.  Frequently the dogs I work with are owned by women who want a friendly dog who will also protect them so the dog is inappropriately the leader and terribly insecure and confused while putting on his tough face for the world.  But just as often, it is bad breeding.  Too many dogs are bred because of the label they carry rather than their quality as a stud or bitch.  This is even more common among Doodle breeders.  So KNOW your breeder, know your pup’s environment, experience & early education and be sure you know what temperaments the parents are.  Because regardless of if your old Lab was gentle and awesome as Labs usually are or your friend’s Golden was the best dog you have ever known, if you get the son of a monster,  chances are you will have a dog what doesn’t even resemble the wonderul characteristics of the dogs you knew.  The parents of your pup will reflect largely in the dog you are about to bring into your home. Ok, so let’s talk generalities.  First there is appearance.  Coat differences in the 2 breeds are notable.  Numerous F1 Labradoodles have this great terrier like coat.  For the person who loves the easy to manage, shorter, wiry coat who doesn’t have an allergy problem requiring a non- shedding coat, this dog is fabulous.  Some F1 Labradoodles are curly but you can easily find a wiry coated dog.  The F1B and some F2 litters are more likely to be curly but I’ve heard from breeders that even F1B litters will produce at least one moderate shedding, terrier type coated pup while as F2 litter will have several.  F1 Goldendoodles, on the other hand, have a pretty consistant low to no-shed coat, some being curlier than others.  Some breeders say it is not recommended to breed the F1B or multi-generation Goldendoodle as they are much more likely to have a heavy, tight curl that is a lot of work to maintain.  Besides, breeding multi-generation dogs is an awful lot of work that creates an awful lot of potentially homeless dogs and the outcome is no real improvement on the extraordinary original.  The 1st generation cross of F1 Goldendoodle seems to be a consistant, fairly easy to keep, low to no-shed coat.  Of couse some people want the guarantee of a tight heavy curly coat for the ease of selling pups to people with allergies, so there are certainly exceptions and preferences outside those guidelines.  As a trainer & rescuer, I acknowledge the need for the dog to fit the family in all regards but emphasize temperament and trainability over coat. Golden pups tend to be a bit more excitable and mouthy (biting hands, grabbing at clothes, etc.)  but then oddly enough they tend to be more mellow as adults than Labs.  Emphasis on “tend to be”.  On the other hand, Labs tend to be more chewers (couches & carpet rather than your fingers) with a bigger physical dynamic, meaning they tend to be a little more athletic as well as being more likely to clear your end table off with his tail.  And if a Lab touches you, he does so deliberately.  A Golden is more likely to greet strangers with a kiss but less likely to bombard your personal space with force.  A Lab may be more standoffish, shy or protective than a Golden, which is why some are excellent at warning us of strangers around the house but others cross the line into aggression problems.  A Lab is more likely to obey or act instead of think, which can be problematic but can also come in handy if you need a bold action-oriented dog.  A Golden is more likely to think outside the box and be creative with his efforts. Throw a Standard Poodle into the mix and you get joyful, lighter bodies and even smarter variations of these same traits.  Throw in a miniature poodle and it is a bit more inconsistant.  A Standard Poodle will bring to the table very consistent hunting & tracking abilities, intelligence, curiosity, sense of humos and family loyalty.  They are actually very much like both Retrievers in many ways.  Unfortunately the smaller the style of poodle, the further they stray from the proud, clean, consistent heritage from which they came.  Of course there are exceptions here as well and I’m glad to say I have met some very well bred toy poodles.  But when I speak of impeccable poodle breeding, it is regrettably limited to the Standard and only about 1/2 of the Miniatures I’ve seen.  This only means as we look for miniature doodles, we must be more careful, selective and informed as prospective puppy owners.  But shouldn’t we always be? So to sum up, the Goldendoodle and the Labradoodle are both excellent running & walking partners, family companions, therapy dogs and community canine citizens.  The Labradoodle is more likely to be bold, boisterous & athletic and the litters wil yield more pups with wiry shedding coats.  Goldendoodles are more likely to be friendly without reason; slightly more trainable and litters are more sonsistently wavy curly coats.  Puppyhood struggles may vary but if you find a puppy-play-mate and lots of toys for the first 6 months, both are good to go.

Goldendoodle/Labradoodle - What’s the Diff?

by Gwendy Joysen  2006