Doodles might sound like something your kid brings home from preschool, but they're actually a specific type of mixed breed. Doodles combine the best of both worlds: a poodle and another purebred dog breed. Doodles come in all shapes and sizes, and in recent years they've become quite a popular breed for first-time owners. This crossbreed is so favored that in some places, it can seem impossible to go anywhere without running into one. If you're drowning in doodles, you might have a few questions. What exactly are these dogs? Why do people love them? What's the difference between a labradoodle vs. goldendoodle? And do they actually make great pets?
The Labrador retriever was the first breed that contributed to the creation of the doodle. In 1988, Australian Wally Cochran mixed a standard poodle with the Labrador retriever to make the labradoodle. His goal was to take all of the family-friendly traits of the lab and mix them with the low-shed qualities of a standard poodle, creating the perfect dog for allergy sufferers. The Australian labradoodle was a theoretically hypoallergenic dog made for a blind woman whose husband had terrible dog allergies. The labradoodle began as the perfect alternative to a Labrador for a service or therapy dog, but quickly became a popular pet.
Meanwhile, golden retrievers are the ultimate family dog, with friendly dispositions and just the right amount of energy for most households. However, they have one major downside: constant shedding. All that hair does not bode well for allergy sufferers, and so the second most popular doodle was born. The origins of goldendoodles are a bit harder to trace; according to the Goldendoodle Association, they do not have an exact creation date. This designer dog first popped up in the late 1990s when a small cluster of breeders began to offer a mix of golden retrievers and standard poodles. Like the labradoodle, the goldendoodle's creation made furry friends available to dog lovers who typically have an allergic reaction to dogs.
So, which of the ever-popular doodles is right for you? Here's what to know about labradoodles vs. goldendoodles.
Doodle Coat And Size
Both labradoodles and goldendoodles come in various sizes and colors. The standard goldendoodle is generally between 55 to 70 pounds and stands around 22 inches tall. Mini goldendoodles are between 35 to 50 pounds, while the toy goldendoodle can weigh as little as 20 pounds. Their coat is typically wavy or curly and can come in many different colors, including cream, black, tan, gray, silver, white, chocolate, reds, apricots, and orange. Goldendoodle coats also come in a combination of patterns, such as parti, merle, phantom, and brindle. While they were thought to have a hypoallergenic coat due to their low levels of shedding, their locks still need some routine maintenance. Goldendoodles should receive daily brushing and need frequent trips to the groomer to keep their fur growth in check.
Similarly, standard labradoodles weigh 50 to 65 pounds, standing up to 24 inches high. Mini labradoodles weigh 30 to 45 pounds and stand 18 to 20 inches tall. The labradoodle coat has more variation than the goldendoodle and can be wavy, curly, shaggy, or straight. Their coat type depends on the parents and how much poodle each pup has in its lineage. Curlier labradoodles don't shed much but will still need the most maintenance, and dog owners should have a regular groomer to keep them from matting. The other labradoodle coat types also benefit from regular grooming but have a lower chance of tangling. Labradoodles come in 11 colors: cream, black, chocolate, abstract, red, phantom, parti color, parchment, blue, chalk white, or gold, caramel, and apricot variations.
Labradoodle vs. Goldendoodle Temperament
Goldendoodles are typically sweet, lovable pups that make for great family dogs. They are easy to train and want to be useful and attentive to their owners, making them the perfect companion dog. They're popular with new pet parents because goldendoodles are sociable dogs and get along with their family members and strangers alike.
Labradoodles have many of the positive personality traits that make a purebred Labrador retriever so popular. They are perfect family pets with loyal, friendly, and playful personalities. Labradoodles are highly trainable, but don't often make great guard dogs. (They will roll over for tummy scratches at first sight of a stranger!) They also are a bit higher energy than goldendoodles and puppies are known to get into mischief if left unsupervised.
It's important to remember that both goldendoodles and labradoodles are a mixed breed, so the behavioral characteristics praised in their purebred counterparts are not necessarily guaranteed in the crossbreed.
Labradoodles and goldendoodles are fairly healthy mixed breeds, but they do tend to have a few health issues. Labradoodles are prone to a genetic disorder called exercise-induced collapse (EIC) and can have weak muscles due to their Labrador lineage.
Both dog breeds can have issues with their heart, eyes, and hips. If the poodle line carries the genes for epilepsy or Von Willebrand disease, their offspring can develop these illnesses as well. Breeders can avoid many health concerns if they do genetic testing on their dogs, so it's important to choose a reputable breeder who focuses on breeding clean, healthy lines free from any genetic issues.
These doodles have similar average lifespans of around 12 years. Of course, genetics and lifestyle individual to each dog can affect how long a goldendoodle or labradoodle lives.
Labradoodle vs. Goldendoodle Cost
Although they're technically a mixed breed, doodles are one of the more expensive dog breeds. On average, a labradoodle will cost $1,500 to $3,000, while a goldendoodle puppy runs between $1,000 to $2,500. These pups can cost quite a bit more depending on their lineage, location, and the specific breeder. Some goldendoodles can cost up to $8,000 and as low as $500, while the ever-popular labradoodle can be upward of $5,000 for highly desirable colors and bloodlines.
Of course, buying through a breeder is not the only option for a labradoodle or goldendoodle. Potential owners can check animal shelters and pet rescues for the mixes, which are unfortunately frequently surrendered by unprepared pet parents, and the cost will be as little as a few hundred dollars.
Overall, the two dog breeds are very similar and the decision between a labradoodle vs. goldendoodle will come down to which dog better fits your lifestyle.
Which do you prefer, a Labradoodle or a Goldendoodle? Tell us on our Wide Open Pets Facebook page.
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