Updated: July 18th, 2022
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The Labrador retriever and golden retriever are two of the most popular dogs in the United States. They have a similar size, appearance, temperament, and fan base, so it was only a matter of time before someone decided to combine the two dog breeds. The result is the adorable, intelligent, and friendly Goldador.
These dogs make ideal pets for almost anyone as they are intelligent, friendly, and sensitive. They are also pliable enough for first-time owners and intelligent and sensitive enough to do very well with children, even young children.
These dogs do need lots of exercise, love, and affection to thrive, but providing your dog with those things is part of the joy of being a pup parent. Few dogs will bring greater joy to you and your family than a Goldador.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about this amazing crossbreed dog and decide whether they are the right pup to adopt into your family.
Labrador Golden Retriever Mix Main Characteristics
- 22 to 24 inches tall
- 60 to 80 pounds
- 10 to 15 year lifespan
- Usually golden in color
- Medium-to-high shedding coat
- Good with children
- Suitable for first-time owners
- High energy – needs around one hour of exercise daily
- Likes water and swimming
- Should not be left alone for extended periods
- Not suitable to work as a guard dog
- Suitable for disability assistance
What Is A Goldador?
The highly popular Goldador is a designer dog breed that was developed by crossing a purebred golden retriever with a purebred Labrador retriever. Created to be sensitive with a strong work ethic, Goldadors excel at working as guide dogs, service dogs, therapy dogs, search and rescue dogs, and bomb detection dogs.
To understand this mix, let’s look at both of its parent breeds first.
Labrador retrievers were originally developed in the UK from fishing dogs imported from Canada. They were bred to retrieve waterfowl, so they are comfortable in the water and love to swim.
Due to their intelligence, trainability, and loyalty, they quickly became popular working dogs, in particular taking on tasks such as disability assistance. They are also one of the most popular household pets in the United States.
Hailing from the Highlands of Scotland, the golden retriever was also bred to retrieve waterfowl. They share many of the same personality traits as Labradors and are intelligent, friendly, and loyal.
In addition to being popular family pets, they have also become popular working dogs, often working in disability assistance. Generally speaking, Goldens tend to be slightly more friendly and personable than Labs, but both are highly sociable and friendly. By the way, here are the main differences between Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever.
When you combine the two, you get a Golden Lab mix – an affectionate, patient, and people-loving dog with a strong work ethic.
Golden Labrador Appearance
The Goldador is one of the few designer breeds with a fairly predictable appearance, as both Labs and Goldens are similar in size and shape. You can expect your Lab golden retriever mix to have an athletic body and long legs. They usually have large square heads, floppy ears, and brown eyes.
Size, Height & Weight
When it comes to size, a fully-grown Goldador is a medium-to-large dog. They are usually around 22 to 24 inches high at the shoulders and weigh around 60 to 80 pounds. Female Goldadors are generally slightly smaller than their male counterparts.
Coat & Color
Goldadors should have a double coat with a short, thick, straight topcoat and a soft, dense undercoat; however, the coat can also have a slightly wavy texture. These dogs generally have a darker stripe in their fur that runs along their spine from the base of the neck to the tip of their tail. However, this trait is not always visible in black Golden Labrador dogs.
The most commonly seen colors are:
Labrador And Golden Retriever Mix Temperament
It’s hard to predict the exact temperament and personality of any mixed-breed dog, since there is no way to tell if your Goldador will take more after his Lab parent or vice versa.
However, since both dogs have similar personalities, their general character tends to be predictable, with subtle differences depending on how the different genetic traits of their parent breeds come together.
Due to its desire to please and work, the Labrador golden retriever mix will be one of the most obedient dogs you’ll ever own! This means they are very easy to train and are an excellent option for first-time owners.
The Goldador will excel at anything you throw their way, including obedience training, potty training, or learning tricks.
Note, however, that Goldadors are sensitive dogs that don’t respond well to harsh corrections, so don’t use physical punishment while training your dog. Instead, focus on positive reinforcement techniques and use treats, praise, and cuddles to reinforce your dog’s natural desire to be obedient.
The Labrador and golden retriever mix is a lively, energetic, and active dog that needs a lot of exercise and mental stimulation.
Exercise your Goldador for at least 30 minutes every day to keep their energy levels in check and maintain a healthy weight. If not properly exercised, your Goldador will become bored and destructive, chewing and clawing your furniture and belongings to stay occupied.
These highly-energetic dogs love to be outside and make ideal jogging partners, and they also love to swim and will take a dip whenever they can. While they are quite energetic, this mixed breed can live in smaller spaces like apartments and condos if properly exercised. Otherwise, you will need a large yard for your dog to run and play as much as he likes.
Considering that Goldens and Labs are both highly people-oriented and friendly, it comes as no surprise that their mixed offspring tend to be the same!
It’s in the Goldador’s nature to get along with everyone – people, children, cats, dogs, or even smaller critters like guinea pigs will become your dog’s best friend at first sight. Due to this trait, Golden Lab mixes are poor guard dogs and will, in the best-case scenario, lick the intruder senseless!
However, being highly social, the Lab and golden retriever mix likes to have company at all times and can develop separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time. Avoid adopting this breed if you have long working hours or have to travel a lot.
The affectionate and enthusiastic Goldador loves to interact with their people and often forms strong bonds with their owners. Being gentle and loving, this mix is an ideal choice for families with children or people of all ages.
They love to be cuddled and petted as much as possible, and you can expect to be licked and greeted by the front door with a hug when you come home from work. Your fun and enthusiastic golden Lab mix will return all the attention you give them tenfold and will always be around whenever you need a friend.
Golden Retriever Labrador Mix Health Problems
While mixed-breed dogs are generally healthier than their purebred counterparts, the Goldador is still prone to certain health problems that affect Goldens and Labradors.
The most common health problems seen in this mix are:
- Hip dysplasia
- Elbow dysplasia
- Progressive retinal atrophy
The best way to avoid these issues from arising is to get your Goldador puppy from a reputable breeder. Make sure to check if both parents have clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals for hips, elbows, heart, and thyroid. Additionally, ask the breeder to show you clearances from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation showing that the dog’s eyes are healthy and normal.
This mix has an average life span of 10 to 15 years, so don’t get one if you aren’t ready for a long-term commitment.
Feeding A Golden Lab Mix
The ideal diet for a Labrador and golden retriever mix is one that contains lots of proteins, fat, wholesome carbs, and essential vitamins and minerals. You should find high-quality food for large breed dogs and feed your mix two evenly-spaced meals per day and avoid free-feeding. Visit the complete, most updated Golden Retrievers’ feeding chart.
Please note, Goldadors have enormous appetites and will eat everything that is offered to them, which puts them at risk of obesity. Hence, don’t overfeed your dog, and don’t give him table scraps if you want to keep them at an ideal weight.
Golden Retriever Lab Mix Grooming & Care
Although they have thick double coats, Golden Lab mixes are only moderate shedders, so they won’t completely fill your house with loose hair. However, regular grooming is still necessary, and you should brush your mix three times a week with a curry brush. Your mix will shed more during the shedding season, during which time you’ll have to brush them every day.
When it comes to bathing, do it once every two months or as needed to keep your Goldador’s coat clean and shiny. For bathing, use only dog-approved shampoos that won’t dry up or irritate your dog’s skin. Furthermore, be sure to rinse your dog any time he goes swimming to prevent skin infections.
The rest of a Goldador’s grooming needs consist of fairly basic care and include regularly brushing their teeth, nail clipping, and ear cleaning. The Goldador can be prone to ear infections due to its large, floppy ears, so make sure to check and clean its ears weekly. If you’re ever in doubt, take your dog to a vet who can show you how to safely clean your dog’s ears at home using a good dog ear cleaner.
Should You Get A Goldador?
One of the great things about Goldadors is they are great dogs for almost anyone. They are great around children, including young children, so even families with toddlers can adopt one of these dogs. Still, though, bear in mind that small children should always be supervised with dogs, no matter how familiar they are.
These crossbreeds are also intelligent, trainable, and easy to please, so even first-time owners can manage a Goldador. Their naturally friendly nature also means that, as long as they are in a loving environment, they will be a personable and friendly dog. With this breed, you are incredibly unlikely to end up with an uncontrollable or aggressive dog on your hands.
But what are the other things to consider? Ask yourself the following questions before bringing home a Goldador.
Where Do You Live?
Goldadors are pretty big dogs, and they also have a lot of energy. This means they don’t generally do well in apartments, and you should only really consider keeping them in an apartment if you will be able to take them out multiple times a day. For example, guide dogs can live in an apartment with their charge, but they are also out and about with their owners most of the day.
Goldadors do best if they have a bit of outdoor space to call their own where they can blow off steam if they can’t get out to the park.
How Much Time Do You Have?
Goldadors are companion dogs at heart. They give a lot of love, and they also need a lot of companionship. Because they develop such strong bonds with their owners, they can develop depression and anxiety if they are left alone for extended periods on a regular basis.
If you need to leave them alone for a day once in a while when traveling, your Goldador will probably be OK, as will your house. However, if you leave them alone at home several times a week while you are at work, they are likely to develop stress and anxiety over time. This can manifest in annoying and destructive behaviors like chewing, scratching, and digging.
As a general rule, don’t get a Goldador if you will regularly need to leave them alone for more than six hours a day.
Do You Have An Active Lifestyle?
Goldadors have lots of energy and need lots of exercise, or a minimum of an hour of physical activity each day. On top of that, these dogs will thrive when they have an active lifestyle that involves things such as hiking and swimming on the weekends.
Does that align with your lifestyle? Do you like to keep active in your free time, or are you more of a couch potato?
Do You Have Allergies Or Asthma?
Goldadors tend to shed a lot. This, unfortunately, makes them problematic dogs for anyone with dog hair allergies because their hair is almost impossible to avoid. If anyone in your home has an allergy, they will not cope well with a Goldador.
Their excessive shedding can also exacerbate asthma. While regular brushing can help manage this, they are best avoided for children with asthma or anyone with very severe asthma.
Golden Retriever Lab Mix FAQs
What does a golden retriever Lab mix look like?
There is no telling whether a Goldador will take more after their Labrador retriever or golden retriever parent. However, it is more likely that they will have the squarer face of a Lab rather than the slightly longer face of a Golden.
Goldadors also tend to have lean and athletic yet sturdy bodies. Floppy ears and brown eyes are also consistent characteristics.
You can generally expect a Goldador to be golden in color, as the breed is usually achieved by mixing a golden retriever with a yellow Lab.
How do you train a Goldador?
Goldadors are highly intelligent, so they will usually learn a new command after only seeing it a few times. They are also eager to please, so they do especially well with positive reinforcement training.
Positive reinforcement training means you reward the dog when they display the behavior that you are looking for, in turn teaching them that good things tend to happen when they give a particular response to that command.
It is best to avoid punishment when training any dog, as they often find it confusing and therefore don’t learn what it is that they shouldn’t be doing. For example, if you punish your dog when they pee in the house, rather than learning not to pee inside, they might just learn not to pee when you are around and start finding secret places in the house to do their business.
Punishment can also be especially problematic for Goldadors as they tend to be very sensitive. They can develop negative behavioral traits such as aggression when exposed to harsh punishment.
Do Goldadors shed?
Yes, you can expect your Goldador to shed quite a lot! Both golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers tend to be high shedding dogs, so this is a trait that their pups will inherit. They shed a moderate amount on a regular basis, and they also have a high-shedding season every year. Regular brushing is the best way to keep control of the large amounts of hair they tend to leave lying around.
What is a Golden Lab?
A Golden Lab is one of the various names for the mixed-breed dogs that are the result of crossing a Labrador Retriever with a Golden Retriever. They are most commonly referred to as Goldadors.
Are Golden Labs hypoallergenic?
No, Golden Labs are not hypoallergenic. In fact, they tend to shed a lot, which means having one around is bad for anyone with dog hair allergies, and they can also be problematic for anyone who suffers from serious asthma.
If you are looking for a hypoallergenic breed, it is better to consider a Labrador mixed with a poodle, a Labradoodle, or a golden retriever mixed with a poodle, a Goldendoodle. This is because poodles have a wiry low-shedding coat that they often pass along to their children.
Poodles are just as intelligent and companionable as Labradors and Goldens, so when you mix them together, you tend to end up with a similarly loyal and intelligent pup.
Can Goldadors be left alone?
Goldadors are highly companionable dogs that want to be part of their family. They like to be in the thick of things, and so they are happiest when there is someone around to keep them company, even if they aren’t actually doing anything together.
For this reason, it is not advisable to leave Goldadors alone for extended periods of time. A well-trained Goldador won’t cause too much destruction if you have to leave them at home for a day in an emergency.
However, if they find themselves alone on a regular basis, for example for 10 hours a day while everyone is at work, they will often develop depression and anxiety, which usually manifests as destructive chewing, scratching, and digging.
These dogs do best in households where there is someone around most of the time. If you need to be out, having someone pop in and just spend half an hour or so with your dog can make a big difference.
The Verdict On Goldadors
If you are looking for the perfect dog, you might just find exactly what you want in a Goldador. These pups are intelligent, obedient, and highly trainable, which makes them great working dogs and loyal companions.
Still, though, their fierce loyalty and obedience don’t mean they are all work and no play. They are also highly affectionate and friendly, which makes them ideal family dogs. Just don’t count on them to act as a guard dog. They tend to be more curious and friendly than wary and territorial when it comes to strangers.
Overall, these dogs are:
- Energetic and athletic
- Highly loyal yet sensitive, meaning they can’t be left alone for long periods of time
- Friendly towards anyone they meet
Bringing a Goldador into your life is a big commitment. Not only do they need lots of exercise, but they also need lots of attention. They are companion dogs that will offer you love and loyalty, but they also need that in return to be happy. This means you’ll need to avoid leaving them at home for hours on end, as they tend to develop separation anxiety.
However, if you are ready to make the commitment to caring for such a large dog, you won’t regret it. The love and affection that you receive in return will be more than worth it.
Do you have experience with Goldadors? Share your thoughts with the community in the comments section below.