Both the Golden Retriever and Goldendoodle dogs are excellent choices for families and they are one of the most popular companion dogs. But how to choose which is better fit for you? What are the similarities and differences between these two dogs? Do they differ a lot in their temperament? What about their size, coat and overall appearance? I will answer you all these questions and i will tell you all you need to know about the Golden Retrievers and Goldendoodles.
Lets start with little bit of history and lets talk about the ancestry and development of Golden Retriever and Goldendoodle. If you will understand the origins of these dogs, than it will be easier to understand the similarities and differences of these two dogs as well.
The Golden Retriever is established and recognized breed and it belongs into the most popular dogs all over the world. It is a Scottish breed developed in late 1800s for gentlemen hunt by crossing Flat Coated Retrievers with Tweed Water Spaniels and later some other breeds. Even though the Golden Retriever is not an ancient breed, it gained quickly a lot of popularity.
The Goldendoodle on the other hand, is not a purebred dog and it is not recognized by any major kennel clubs yet. It is a so called designer dog breed, which is basically a fancy term for a cross-breed and it is a cross of a Poodle and Golden Retriever, which is why these two dogs have a lot in common. The Goldendoodle was introduced in 1990s, but just like the Golden Retriever, it has grown in popularity quickly.
So this is a comparsion of a purebred dog and a crossbreed. And while the purebred dog typically have very stable appearance and temperament, crossbreeds are always a little bit of mystery and lottery and you truly never know what you will get.
And as you can probably imagine, the pure Golden Retriever and Golden Retriever cross – the Goldendoodle will have a lot of similarities in temperament and appearance. And they certainly do, but there are important differences as well. Lets start with the appearance comparsion!
The body type and structure is similar. Both breeds have relatively strongly built body, broad head, strong neck, deep chest and well sprung ribs. The main appearance differences are in their size and coat type.
The difference in size is caused by the crossbreeding with Poodle. As you might know, Poodles come in three different sizes, toy, miniature and standard. And because of that, the size range of Goldendoodle is huge. The Standard Goldendoodle is typically 50-78 lbs heavy and 20-24 inches tall, which is 22-35 kg and 50-60 cm, but the miniature Goldendoodle type is only 15-40 lbs heavy, which is 7-18 kg and considerable shorter than the standard version.
Unlike the Goldendoodle, whose appearance is unpredictable, the Golden Retriever is very consistent when it comes to appearance traits and according to the breed standard, the height of Golden Retriever is between 51-61 cm, which is 20-24 inch and weight is usually between 25-34 kg, which is 55-75 lbs. Females tend to be slightly smaller than males.
And what about the coat? Well the coat of Golden Retriever is again, predictable, as it is always a combination of long, flat or slightly wavy outercoat and very dense undercoat, that is providing weather resistance. The coat color is always some kind of a shade of gold or cream.
On the other hand, the Goldendoodle can inherit the coat type either from the Golden Retriever or Poodle, or it can be combination of both coats. But the most common coat type is very different from the Golden Retrievers coat, as most often you will find Goldendoodles with tight curles and they can also come in different color other than gold or cream and there are even black Goldendoodles.
The coat is actually one of the main reasons why Goldendoodles were bred in the first place. Most often the breeders aim to develop a dog with the sweet temperament of the Golden Retriever, but with the non shedding Poodles coat. It is because the Golden Retrievers have one of the best personalities for companion dog, but their coats shed a lot, so in theory, the Goldendoodle would be the perfect combination of both – the Golden Retriever and the Poodle. But genetics does not always work like that and some Goldendoodles truly are non shedding, but some others will shed some deal.
If you want to know how much your Goldendoodle will shed, you can always just look at the coat type and you will get the idea of the ammount of shedding. Good identification sign for goldendoodles are their facial hair and face in general. If the dog has a lot of furnishings such as mustache, goatee and visible eyebrows, they will most likely have the Poodles low shedding coat. On the other hand, if they lack this furnishing and they have open face like Golden Retriever, than they have much higher chance of shedding. In general, the more curly the coat is, the less it sheds. If it is wavy, than it might shed more.
So now you know what is the difference between these two dogs in their apperance. But what about the temperament? And most often, the temperament of both dogs is very similar. Both dogs are considered as gentle natured, very affectionate, quite lively, intelligent and extremely tolerant.
The Goldendoodle might not have as high retrieving instincts, but most of them do love retrieving just as much as Golden Retrievers.
There was a behavioural study in 2019, which states that Goldendoodles compared to their parent breeds, on average displayed greater dog-rivalry, dog-directed aggression, dog-directed fear, and stranger directed fear than purebred Golden Retrievers or Poodles.
But i do not believe that the difference in the temperament is that big. And it is also important to remember, that the temperament is not only about the genetics, because factors such as socialization, training and experiences are maybe even more important than the genetics itself.
Grooming and maintenance is another area, where you can find some differences between the Golden Retrievers and Goldendoodles. The Golden Retriever grooming routine is quite simple. Regular brushing is more than enough to minimize the shedding, redistribute the natural oils and to keep the coat tangle and mat free.
On the other hand, the grooming of Goldendoodle depends on the coat type they inherit. If they have flat and long Golden Retrievers coat, than the grooming is the same as with its parent breed. But if they have the more common, curly and Poodle like coat, than the maintance is little bit harder.
Than it is recommended to go to the groomer for a trim regularly, approximately every six to eight weeks. Doing this step will prevent their curly hair from growing too long or getting tangled.
So it is true, that on average, the Goldendoodle sheds considerably less than the Golden Retriever and some of them are almost non shedding, but the grooming is little bit harder and more expensive.
The last area i will mention in this video is health. It is only logical, that Goldendoodles might be prone to the same health issues as its parent breed, the Golden Retriever. Those mainly include health problems like hip and elbow dysplasia, cataracts and other eye problems, bloating and some skin allergies.
There is a theory, that the crossbreed, in this case the Goldendoodle, should be healthier than the purebred dog, due to the larger gene pool. But in reality, crossbreeds are very often bred poorly by backyard breeders, which is causing serious health issues. Of course, even the pure Golden Retriever can be bred by bad breeder and you should always buy the puppy only by reputable breeders.
It can be said, that the standard sized Goldendoodle has similar health issues and lifespan as the pure Golden Retriever, which is around 12-14 years. The miniature sized Goldendoodle will have slightly longer lifespan around 15 years. This is typical for all the dogs and in general smaller dogs live longer than larger ones.