Golden retrievers have long been a popular breed for dog owners because of their friendly disposition and docile nature. However, nipping at the retriever’s heels, figuratively and sometimes literally, is the poodle-golden mix known as the Goldendoodle. Both family-friendly dogs have wonderful dispositions, but there are some marked differences between them. Get ready for the golden retriever vs. goldendoodle showdown.
If you’re considering either of these dogs as pets, or are just curious about the differences between these wonderful breeds, read below for a comprehensive overview.
Golden retrievers are very popular and are ranked number three in pet registrations with the AKC. They’re often featured in television and films and many celebrities, including Lisa Vanderpump and Nick Jonas, proudly display goldens as part of their family.
Goldendoodles, however, are not far behind. Due to their friendly demeanor and low-shed coat, they are fast becoming a favorite in both the U.S. and around the world.
For many years, it was widely accepted that golden retrievers were descendants of Russian circus dogs who had been sold to an English gentleman by the name of Lord Tweedmouth. They were then thought to have been bred with a bloodhound to improve their already formidable hunting skills.
However, in the 1950s, Lord Tweedmouth’s papers were made public and revealed that he had bought a yellow retriever from a local cobbler and bred it with a Tweed Water Spaniel, resulting in the golden retriever we’re familiar with today. There is still some debate over the true origins of the breed.
Goldendoodles, on the other hand, came to be in more recent years. Inspired by the success of the Labradoodle hybrid, Goldendoodles appeared in the early 1990s, although the exact date of introduction is unknown.
Since goldens are considered one of the most loyal and obedient dog breeds, and poodles are known for their extreme intelligence, crossing the two breeds made perfect sense. Besides their wonderful personality traits, these dogs were bred to be hypoallergenic thanks to low-shed coats.
Golden retrievers are large dogs, with females weighing between 55 and 65 pounds and males weighing between 65 and 75 pounds.
They have double-layered coats, with the shorter inner coat meant to protect against cold weather. The longer outer coat is wavy and, true to the name, golden in color. The gold color can be light, dark, or plain golden. Some breeders have bred white goldens, known as English cream.
Goldendoodles can differ in appearance, depending on their parentage. The standard goldendoodle weighs anywhere from 50 to 90 pounds and usually stands around 20 to 24 inches in height. However, there are both miniature and toy Goldendoodles that range in size from 15 pounds to 40 pounds.
This variance also shows in their coat colors and textures. Depending on parentage, coats can be straight, wavy, or curly, and come in a wide variety of colors. The most common colors are black, brown, red, and cream.
Golden retrievers are known for their fun and friendly personality. These social dogs love to snuggle and spend quality time with their pet parents. They love children and are quite gentle, but because of their size might not be a great fit around very young children who can easily be knocked over by this playful dog.
Goldens are very social with family and strangers alike, usually greeting just about everyone with an excited wag of the tale.
Goldens are also known for their obedience and are easily trainable, making them a good choice for first-time dog owners. Because of their intelligence and hunting skills, goldens are often trained for rescue operations, as they are excellent hunters and trackers.
Goldens are also known for their compatibility with other dogs and animals. They are friendly and playful with their canine buddies and are always up for a romp.
Like their retriever cousins, goldendoodles also aim to please. They’re super-social dogs that love being around their humans and are at their happiest when providing companionship to their pet parents and family. They are extremely smart and thus are easily trained, but do not make good guard dogs due to their welcoming nature.
Golden retrievers are a sporting dog which means they require a fair amount of exercise. Owners should strive for about 45 to 60 minutes of hard exercise every day. They have energy to burn during those early puppy years so it’s wise to assess whether you have the time to commit to providing proper exercise before getting a golden.
They love to run, jump, and hunt, and are always up for and adventure. They are natural water dogs who love to swim or play fetch in a pool or pond. They do extremely well with obedience and agility training and are at their best when they are exercised both mentally and physically.
Goldendoodles are also active dogs that need moderate exercise. They need at least 20 to 30 minutes of exercise per day, but can also enjoy longer walks or hikes. These playful dogs also love water and enjoy a good swim, or better yet, a game of fetch in a lake or pond. They can thrive in both city and country environments as long as they can spend a good amount of time with their owners.
Thanks to their mixed parentage, they may be mellower than golden retrievers, though the temperament can vary.
Golden retrievers and Goldendoodles are both friendly, joyful, and loyal dogs who want nothing more than the companionship of their owners. Both breeds have much to offer to potential pet parents and families.
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