Goldendoodle vs. Golden Retriever (Which Dog is Better?)

If you’re looking for a new dog and considering choosing between a Goldendoodle and a Golden retriever, you’ll want to know the differences between these two breeds so you can pick the best dog for you and your household. They’re both terrific breeds, but which dog is better: Goldendoodle or Golden Retriever?

Goldendoodles are extremely intelligent and affectionate but prone to barking, while Golden Retrievers are loyal to a fault and easy to train but require more social interaction. Neither breed is territorial, and they can be brought into families with other pets without too many issues.

Because a Goldendoodle is a cross between a purebred Poodle and a purebred Golden retriever, there are many similarities between Goldendoodles and Golden retrievers, but there are also several important differences.

Throughout this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the characteristics of Goldendoodles and Golden retrievers. We’ll discuss their care requirements, potential illnesses, cost of each breed and tell you how easy (or difficult) they are to train.

Goldendoodle vs Golden Retriever: Which is the best dog?

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Common Traits of Golden Retrievers and Goldendoodles

When comparing these beloved breeds, it’s essential to consider their height, weight, and life expectancy. These three attributes often determine the right dog for a person or family. Nobody wants a pup who doesn’t live long, but big breeds tend to have shorter lifespans due to heart, joint, and muscle problems.

Let’s explore a Goldendoodle’s and Golden retriever’s size and life expectancies below.

TraitGolden RetrieverGoldendoodle
Expected Lifespan10 to 12 years old12 to 14 years old
Average Weight55 to 75 pounds20 to 100 pounds
Average Height21.5 to 24 inches13 to 24 inches

(Sources: American Kennel Club & Vet Street)

Goldendoodle vs Golden Retriever: How Big Do They Get?

You might be wondering why Goldendoodles can range from 20 to 100 pounds, as seen in the table above. A Goldendoodle mixes a Golden retriever and a Poodle, but poodles come in many different sizes, including a Miniature Poodle, a Medium Poodle, and a Standard Poodle.

Therefore a Goldendoodle created from a Standard Poodle can be 80 pounds heavier than a Goldendoodle bred using a Miniature Poodle. When purchasing a Goldendoodle, it’s essential to ask the breeder how big they’ll be. The last thing you want is to get what you think is a mini Goldendoodle, and it turns into a 100lb pup!

  • Miniature Goldendoodle (aka Mini Goldendoodle) – 20 to 35lbs / 13 to 20 inches tall
  • Medium Goldendoodle (aka Small Standard Goldendoodle) – 40 to 50lbs / 17 to 20 inches tall
  • Standard Goldendoodle (aka Large Standard Goldendoodle) – 50 to 100lbs / 20 to 24 inches in height

On the other hand, Golden retrievers generally fall into a pretty standard size range. They typically don’t vary more than a couple of inches in height, but males can weigh up to 20 pounds more than females. Goldens are almost always referred to as a large dog breed.

So if you get a Golden retriever, you can expect a medium to large dog, while a Goldendoodle can be anything from a tiny 20-pound pup to a massive 100lb ball of energy and excitement.

Life Expectancy of Goldendoodles and Golden Retrievers

The average life expectancy of Golden retrievers and Goldendoodles average around 12 years old. Golden retrievers might only make it to 10 years, whereas Goldendoodles can sometimes reach 14 years or more.

The reason Goldendoodles live longer is that Poodles (one-half of the mixed bred) can live to well over 15 years. Again, big Goldendoodles typically don’t live as long as small Goldendoodles.

Recommended Reading: How Long Do Golden Retrievers Live? (5 Tips for a Longer Life)

Golden Retriever vs. Goldendoodle: Temperament

A Goldendoodle running with a tennis ball.
A Goldendoodle running with a tennis ball.

Discover how to train your Golden Retriever by playing games: 21 games to play with your Golden that will make them smarter and better behaved!

While Golden retrievers tend to be focused on their owners, Goldendoodles are usually much more curious about other things. Their natural intelligence leads them to wonder and wander, so it’s best to keep an eye on them while they’re young. Goldendoodle puppies are prone to sneaking off and causing mischief while looking for new places to go and things to play with.

This trait sometimes makes Goldendoodles chew on shoes, cords, and other household items. Make sure you set firm boundaries and correct them when necessary. Thankfully, they’re easy to train and will quickly learn from their mistakes. You don’t have to worry about this issue being a long-term problem if you’re consistent with redirecting them.

Golden retrievers are typically quite relaxed but socially dependent on their owners and other pets. If they’re living with other dogs from their litter, there’s a high chance they’ll be with them around the clock. These dogs latch onto people and pets, quickly forming long-lasting relationships that they rely on for the rest of their lives.

If you choose a Golden retriever, you should expect them to be playful, silly, and affectionate. They’ll often lay near you or on you, even if you’re not playing with them. Golden retrievers want nothing more than to have fun with their owners and friends.

Recommended Reading: How Do Golden Retrievers Show Affection? (Find Out Here!)

Training a Golden Retriever or Goldendoodle

Training your Goldendoodle or Golden retriever will be refreshingly easy. Unlike many other dog breeds, Goldendoodles and Golden retrievers catch on quickly and are eager to learn more. These breeds are understandably similar since Goldendoodles get their ‘Golden’ from a Golden retriever. Below, we’ll discuss a few crucial training points you should know about.

  • Goldendoodles learn new tricks like a breeze because of their intelligence. Smart dogs pick up commands faster than others, and the Goldendoodle is a mix of two of the smartest dog breeds in the world. A Goldendoodle will have no problem learning the ropes.
  • Golden retriever’s trainability is based on loyalty and affection. They cower in the face of yelling or scolding, so stick to calm redirection. Their high intelligence and drive to satisfy their owners make them the perfect dog to train, especially for people without a lot of dog training experience. Remember to provide plenty of praise when they complete something new.

If you have a Goldendoodle AND a Golden retriever, you’ll find they learn at the same pace. They work well together and would love each other’s company!

Recommended Reading: Are Golden Retrievers Smarter Than Other Dogs? (Explained!)

Are Golden Retrievers or Goldendoodles Better for Families?

Young children playing games with a golden retriever.
Golden Retrievers are gentle, loving and make friends with everyone.

Golden retrievers are hands down the best dogs for families. A Golden will love everyone in the family, from kids to adults. Their loyalty and social nature make them a good fit for any household. Goldendoodles also make great family pets, but the poodle side makes them a bit more independent.

Whether you have a family now or intend to have one in a few years, choosing a dog that will mesh with your entire family can make life much more enjoyable. While many dog breeds love their families, it’s challenging to find a breed that comes remotely close to Golden retrievers. They’re known for their loyalty and endless companionship.

Golden retrievers are among the friendliest dogs out there. They make friends with just about everyone, even if it’s a new friend you’ve recently invited to your home. While generally friendly and social, Goldendoodles are likely to be a bit warier of strangers and may bark quite a bit until a stranger has gained their trust.

That being said, Golden retrievers are rated among the best pups in the United States for families, these dogs aren’t going to shy away from establishing new friendships. They become very emotionally attached to everyone they encounter, especially if they see them multiple times throughout the week.

Recommended Reading: 12 Reasons Why Golden Retrievers Make Good Family Pets!

Grooming, Diet, and Exercise: Goldendoodle vs Golden Retriever

Your dog’s health depends on its grooming, diet, and exercise. If you stay on top of these three factors, you can have a long-living, happy Goldendoodle or Golden retriever. 

Grooming: A Goldendoodle will need to go to the groomer for a trim every six to eight weeks. Doing this step will prevent their curly hair from growing too long or getting tangled. A Golden retriever doesn’t need to go to the groomer regularly but must be brushed thoroughly once or twice a week to keep its coat in good shape and keep excessive shedding from becoming a problem.

Recommended Reading: How to Take Care of Your Golden Retriever’s Coat: Step-by-Step

Diet: You’ll need to feed an adult Golden retriever about three cups of food daily, while a Goldendoodle will need between two to four cups of food daily, depending on its size. Younger pups of either breed will need to eat more than adults since they’re growing quickly. Both breeds will need lots of protein, so check the food labels to ensure there aren’t too many fillers adding useless bulk to the meal. Fillers can lead to digestive problems in all dogs.

Recommended Reading: How Much To Feed a Golden Retriever Daily (Puppy, Adult, Senior)

Exercise: Goldendoodles typically need about half an hour of exercise each day, whereas a Golden retriever owner should plan to walk or exercise their dog for a minimum of one hour per day. Meeting these exercise requirements will help your dog live longer, prevent health issues, and keep them happy.

Goldendoodle vs Golden Retriever: Which Breed Costs More?

Golden retriever puppies can generally be found between $1,000 to $2,000, while a Goldendoodle puppy’s price tag ranges widely due to popular demand, the number of breeders in the area, adult size, and more. They can be found as low as $800 or as high as $3,000.

Note: In the case of both breeds, it’s important to find a reputable breeder. A quality breeder will make sure that the genetics and bloodlines of the dogs are strong. If you see a Golden retriever or Goldendoodle price that seems far below average, you’ll need to be careful.

Substandard breeders will often offer purebred pups at low prices, but the money you save upfront could end up costing you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in vet bills later on.

Recommended Reading: Are Golden Retrievers Expensive to Get and Care For? (Costs)

Goldendoodle vs. Golden Retriever


Goldendoodles are quite adorable, regardless of their size. A mini Goldendoodle is cute, while a massive Goldendoodle often sees itself as a lap dog. Golden retrievers are similar because they love being near people, especially their favorite people. Each of these breeds will reward you with a strong bond, many unforgettable experiences, and hilarious daily shenanigans.

The primary factor in choosing a Goldendoodle vs Golden retriever is likely to come down to their size, how much room you have, and how much time you’re willing to spend exercising them.

Recommended Reading: Golden Retrievers: Pros and Cons (An Owner’s Guide)


Bryan Mullennix

Bryan's a freelance travel photographer and happy dog dad. He currently lives in Las Vegas with his wife, his son, and two dogs Nom Nom & Speck.

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