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What Is a Goldador?

What happens when you mix two of the most popular dog breeds — the Golden Retriever and the Labrador Retriever? You get a friendly and lovable breed called the Goldador.

The Goldador is a relatively new dog breed: These designer dogs were first bred a little over a decade ago. While they haven’t been around for long, they’re rising in popularity thanks to their friendly temperament and intelligence.

Goldadors are also excellent working dogs eager to please, just like their ancestors: the Labrador and Golden Retriever.

And all three are excellent options for everyone, from first-time dog owners to those who already have pets in the house. But you’ll want to know what makes the Goldador distinct from Labradors and Goldens before making your choice. 

If you’re considering welcoming a new Goldador pup into your home but aren’t sure if this designer breed is a good fit for your family, look no further. We’ll discuss everything you need to consider, including their history, personality traits, and possible health concerns.

The History of the Goldador 

The Goldador was bred a little over a decade ago to create a new working dog breed. Whether bred as guide dogs, service pups, emotional support animals, or even bomb detection dogs, the intelligent Goldador is not only eager to please, but it’s also a great help to its owners!

While this Golden Retriever-Lab mix is a relatively young dog breed, its parental lineage dates back to the 1700s with the St. John’s water dog. These brilliant dogs were bred in St. John’s, a city on the coast of Newfoundland that was first settled by the British in the 1600s.

Local fishermen bred Newfoundlands and local water dogs to create a breed that would make good hunting companions and could retrieve birds and other small game. St. John’s water dogs were also well-known for their excellent swimming abilities. 

Once the English heard about these revered dogs, they imported the St. John’s water dog for breeding, which led to the development of the first Labrador Retrievers.

While there is some discrepancy over where the term ‘Labrador Retriever’ first came from, the Earl of Malmesbury was the first known breeder to put the name in writing: He wrote a letter in 1887 calling his dogs Labrador Dogs.

golden retriever on the beach next to water

Golden Retrievers came onto the scene in 1868 when a wealthy man by the name of Dudley Coutts Marjoribanks (otherwise known as Lord Tweedmouth) bred a yellow Flat-Coated Retriever sire with a Tweed Water Spaniel dam.

Like the Lab, Flat-Coated Retrievers were a dog breed that stemmed from St. John’s water dogs. 

We know this magical pairing created the first four Golden Retrievers thanks to Lord Tweedmouth’s extensive journaling during his breeding pursuits. As the Marjoribanks family traveled around the world, they took their well-behaved, beautiful Golden pals with them, and eventually, everyone wanted a Golden Retriever of their own. 

The Golden Retriever’s name became formally recognized by the public in 1908 at the Crufts dog show, an international dog show held annually in the UK. While Lord Tweedmouth called them Yellow Retrievers, the breed was registered as a Golden Retriever at the show. 

Fast-forward to the 21st century, and we have the Goldador — a working dog known for its friendly disposition, high intelligence, and lovable personality. Since the Goldador is a newer breed, the world still has much to learn. However, it’s safe to say that this adorable fluff ball has the same exceptional qualities as its parents.

Identifying a Goldador

When it comes to hybrid breeds like Goldadors, it’s tough to predict their appearance, bodily physique, and personality. Some pups may favor Labrador or Golden Retriever genes, whereas other dogs will have a nice balance between the two breeds.

Physical Qualities of Goldadors

While breeders can’t predict precisely what a Goldador will look like before birth, they can provide some estimates based on their lineage. When you factor in weight, length, and coat coloring, Goldador puppies resemble their purebred parents in various ways. 

  • Size: Labrador and Golden Retrievers are large dogs, so you shouldn’t expect Goldador puppies to stay small for long: Goldadors can grow up to 21 to 25 inches long and can weigh between 55 to 80 pounds! 
  • Eyes: Typically, Goldadors will have black or brown noses and eyes. (Be careful ⁠— you won’t be able to resist their beautiful puppy dog eyes when you see them!)

Coat: Puppies can inherit their coloring from their canine grandparents, so if you’re looking for a specific colored coat, it’s essential to consult with a reputable breeder who knows what the parents and grandparents looked like.

two labrador retriever puppies

Canine genetic inheritance is complex, but how it works is essentially the same as the way human hereditary traits are passed down.

A Genetic Breakdown of Goldadors

Dominant genes are more likely to express themselves physically, but recessive genes are still passed down from generation to generation. That’s why you can end up with a blue-eyed baby when both parents have brown eyes — or, with Goldadors, a puppy with characteristics different from both parents.

And it’s why it can be challenging to predict the color of a Goldador’s coat.

Here’s an example of how genetics works in humans to help you understand what happens with a Golden Retriever-Lab mix: A man with brown eyes has a child with a woman who has blue eyes. Upon birth, their baby has brown eyes. 

However, this child still has the genetic traits for blue eyes, but the trait is not expressed because of the dominant brown eye gene. The blue eye gene remains within them as a recessive gene, ready to pass on to their children.

color gene eye chart

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Let’s fast forward a few years when this brown-eyed baby grows up. This person partners with a blue-eyed person, which means their baby has a 25% chance of having blue eyes. This happens because the individual with brown eyes had a parent with blue eyes, and this recessive trait can continue onto the next generation. 

As we said, genetics are tough to follow. 

Coat coloring can be trickier to predict, especially when mating two different dog breeds. If you don’t know the parental lineage of the dam and sire, you could end up with a Goldador who skips a generation and inherits a coat color from one of its grandparents. 

Mating purebred dogs makes predicting coat color easier for breeders. For example, an English Cream Golden Retriever and a White English Lab will always produce creamy white or golden yellow Goldador puppies.

This pairing will never result in chocolate or black coat coloring because the breeder knows there are no dark coats in the puppies’ ancestry and, like the blue-eyed gene, yellow fur is recessive.

Here’s another way to look at it: Because a black color is dominant, and a yellow or light-colored coat is recessive, one of the parents or grandparents (if not all of them) would have a black or chocolate coat if the gene for black fur existed in either the maternal or paternal line. 

Personality Traits of Goldadors

All the attractive traits from Golden Retrievers and Labradors are wrapped into one adorable fluffy pal: the Goldador. 

Goldadors are personable and friendly. They won’t become hostile or aggressive toward strangers, which makes them excellent family pets. However, you might want to find a different breed if you’re looking for a guard dog: Goldadors will not scare away unwelcome company. 

If you find your Goldador is a couch potato, that’s their Labrador Retriever background shining through. While Labradors still need exercise, they tend to be more laid back than Golden Retrievers. 

Labradors and Golden Retrievers are energetic dogs — on average, both dog breeds need about an hour of exercise daily. The Goldador will typically require the same exercise as its parental breeds.

goldador puppy playing on the beach

In terms of exercise, if you find your Goldador pup resembles one breed more than the other, take a look at these previous blog posts from Snowy Pines on the exercise needs of Goldens and Labs: 

Here, you can find specific suggestions for exercising Labradors and Golden Retrievers. Just remember to follow your dog’s lead: If your Goldador lies down and appears tired, it’s time to let your pup rest. Too much exercise can cause joint problems, which is a common problem for large dogs. 

Golden Retrievers are the 4th-most intelligent dog breed and Labradors follow closely behind as the 7th-most intelligent. Given the mental capacity of their parents, you can expect Goldadors to be smart pups! Their intelligence — combined with an eagerness to learn and please their owners — makes them excellent service dogs. 

One word of caution: Retrievers love to put items in their mouths. Golden and Labrador Retrievers were bred to be hunting companions and retrieve game. 

That means Goldadors will be mouthy dogs who also love to chew on things. You’ll want to hide valuable items from your pup until they’re well-trained. Otherwise, your cherished possessions might become chew toys. 

What You Need to Know About Goldadors

Much like any dog, families should understand certain things about the Goldador breed before bringing this dog home. From training to grooming and health concerns, you’ll want to know what to expect before adopting a Goldador.

Training a Goldador

With parents who are world-renowned service dogs and highly rated among dog breeds for their intelligence, the Goldador has big shoes to fill. However, this adorable designer dog has the potential to carry on all the brains and brawn of their Golden and Labrador Retriever parents.

golden retriever puppy laying down indoors

But no dog is born perfect, even the lovely Goldador with super-parent genes. Ultimately, each pup needs behavioral training to tap into their intelligence — much like humans need schooling during their first 18 years of life to thrive as adults. 

Tip #1: Your pup Should Get Plenty of Socialization

Puppies also need socialization early in life to become accustomed to family living. Whether you have children, additional pets, or expect strangers to visit frequently, you’ll want to expose a Goldador to various people and pets at a young age. This ensures your pup will welcome and accept newcomers entering your home.

Tip #2: Have an Established Routine

Another thing to consider when it comes to training is what you can do to help your pup learn. Strengthening memory is all about repetition — you’ll want to have an established routine in your household so your dog will learn the rules of your house quickly.

The earlier you start teaching puppies the rules of the house, the easier it is for them to pick up on your expectations. 

Tip #3: Always Use Positive Reinforcement

Most importantly, when it comes to training your Goldador, you’ll want to provide positive reinforcement on each excellent behavior a puppy performs. The Retriever family of dogs loves attention from their owners, and they will do anything to hear “good boy” or “good girl.” 

Pair positive attention with treats, and Goldadors will be your best friend. Their parent breeds adore food and praise, which helps make this mixed dog breed easy to train. If you’re worried about weight gain, playtime and walks are great ways to reinforce good behaviors in Goldadors. 

If your Goldador displays an undesired behavior, withdraw attention. Dogs love human engagement, and when that is taken away, they will try to win your favor by exhibiting positive behaviors. Remember, these dogs are intelligent — they will remember the behaviors that won them praise in the past. 

When your dog is acting up, do not try to distract them by using treats or letting them outside in a fenced-in yard. This can teach a dog that destructive behaviors will be rewarded with food or outside time — you’ll see a substantial increase in these behaviors when they desire to go outside or gain a treat.

Grooming a Goldador 

Be forewarned: if you’re looking into adopting a loveable, cute Goldador pal, you will spend a significant amount of time grooming your pet to manage to shed. 

Labradors and Goldens both have double-coated fur — a soft undercoat and a robust, water-resistant topcoat. A double coat helped these working dogs become excellent swimmers.

black labrador at sunset after a swim

Dogs with double coats will shed year-round, but significantly more so in the spring and fall. Our fluffy pals shed in anticipation of the hot summer sun and the cold winter months, which means you’ll find little hairy reminders of your dog everywhere. 

Never shave a dog with a double coat — a fresh shave will not stop the shedding and can lead to excessive skin irritation for your pup. 

Brushing your pup more frequently is the best way to combat excessive shedding. That way, the collected hair goes into the garbage instead of falling naturally throughout the house. 

The Difference Between Golden Retrievers’ and Labrador Retrievers’ Coats

As discussed earlier, genetics are tricky: Goldadors could end up with a coat that resembles a Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, or a little of both. 

Golden Retrievers have a unique quality to their fur that Labs do not exhibit: feathering. Coat feathering can be found on a Golden’s neck, ears, tail, and legs. If your Goldador has a coat with feathering, you will need to trim their hair regularly — just remember, don’t shave! 

If your Goldador takes on more of its Labrador Retriever heritage, it will have a shorter top coat. This means less grooming maintenance and trimming (but not less shedding). 

However, a Goldador puppy’s coat will be unpredictable — you won’t know which parent they resemble most until birth. Even then, a Goldador can have a Labrador Retriever’s coat with a Golden Retriever’s feathering.

If you’re anticipating a Goldador pup’s arrival in your home, you’ll want to be prepared to manage all their grooming needs, so expect plenty of shedding, baths, and brushing.

Health Problems in Goldadors

Since Goldadors are a relatively new breed, there’s not much information on specific health problems. However, while veterinarians continue to learn more about the Goldador, we can still make an educated guess on some potential health problems that can occur based on information for purebred Goldens and Labradors.

Health Problem #1: Cancer

As a dog ages, its risk for cancer increases. In fact, 50% of dogs over 10 years of age develop cancer.

Unfortunately for our Golden pals, their chance of having cancer is higher: Up to 60% of Golden Retrievers will develop cancer in their lifetime.

What does this mean for the Goldador? Well, they could end up developing cancer. However, it’s important to note that the breed has only been around for the last decade — we simply don’t have enough data on Golden Retriever-Lab mixes and cancer to make an accurate prediction.

The risk of cancer is one of the reasons why it’s crucial to obtain a Goldador puppy from a reputable breeder and not a pet shop.

Before mating for possible health problems like cancer, professional breeders will examine a dog’s medical history. Puppy mills and backyard breeders will not factor in health concerns when breeding dogs, which means you could be more likely to end up with a sick Goldador pup later in life.

Health Problem #2: Obesity

Our Retriever friends are well known for being gluttonous. They will put anything and everything in their mouth, food or not!

But why? Scientists have discovered that most Labrador Retrievers are missing the gene to signal that they are full. That means they’ll keep eating so long as there is food in front of them. 

Golden Retrievers are similar: They love chewing and can become obese with too little exercise. It’s safe to say that free feeding schedules are not ideal for these dog breeds.

To keep your Goldador healthy, you’ll want to feed them the recommended amount for their age and ensure they get plenty of exercise.

Health Problem #3: Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

One of the most common problems seen in a large-sized dog is hip and elbow dysplasia. There are multiple reasons a dog could develop dysplasia, including:

  • Growing too fast as a puppy 
  • Excessive exercise 
  • Obesity 

Hip dysplasia occurs when the ball and socket of the hip joint grind together. Over time, this will cause immense pain and discomfort. Elbow dysplasia is similar because the elbow joint becomes worn down, leading to arthritis later in life. 

Fortunately, there are ways to combat dysplasia development in large dogs. Dog owners can provide puppies with high-quality dog food that slows growth development, so pups don’t grow as fast. And combined with a healthy diet and exercise, large dogs can avoid damage to their hips and elbows.

Frequently Asked Questions About Goldadors

Now that you know the basics — training and grooming tips, potential health problems, and what you can expect as far as their personality — let’s answer more specific questions about this fun-loving Golden Retriever-Lab mix.

Is the Goldador a Good Family Dog? 

Yes, with proper training and socialization at an early age, a Goldador will be a wonderful family dog! 

According to the American Kennel Club, Labs and Golden Retrievers are some of the top-rated dogs for families, placing first and third, respectively. When you breed these well-behaved dogs, you’ll end up with a Golden Retriever-Labrador mix that takes after its parents.

labrador retriever sitting on grass next to white flowers

However, it’s imperative to socialize dogs within the first few months of life. Puppies will not adapt well to new situations without proper socialization with other animals and humans. Unfortunately, the window for socialization is small, so be sure to expose your pup to new people and critters early in life.

Will a Goldador Be the Right Dog for My Family? 

There are a few things to consider when deciding if a Goldador is a good addition to your family. We’ll break down all the important factors so you can make the best decision for your household. 

Consideration #1: How Often Are You Away From Home? 

Goldadors can be trained to be left home alone…but that doesn’t mean they should be left alone for long periods themselves. When they are alone for a significant amount of time, you might see some disruptive behavior such as sock-stealing or anxious behavior like excessive chewing. 

Consideration #2: What’s the Activity Level of Your Family? 

This loveable breed needs about one to two hours of daily walks, which can be a big time commitment for some families. However, if you have a fenced-in yard, your pup can run around for at least an hour a day to release some pent-up energy. 

Goldens are highly energetic, whereas Labradors are a little more relaxed. A Goldador will resemble a mixture of the two, so you should expect to spend ample time exercising your dog each day. 

Consideration #3: Do You Have Children or Other Pets?

Goldadors are excellent with strangers, children, and other animals as long as they are well socialized as a puppy. They won’t bark excessively or panic when a new person enters the home. In addition, these pups can quickly adapt to new animals, like cats, birds, or other household pets, with training.

How Much Do Goldadors Cost?

A Goldador puppy can cost anywhere between $975 to $1650, so on average, you can expect to pay $1,300. However, this price only includes the pup — no health guarantees, microchipping, or basic training. 

If you obtain a Goldador from a reputable breeder, you should expect to pay more than $1,300. That’s because breeders extensively research the medical history of each dam and sire before mating to ensure their puppies are genetically healthy

Some breeders offer health guarantees during the first few years of life, so you can rest assured that you’re taking home a healthy pup. In addition, reputable breeders will provide basic training and socialize puppies so they can integrate well into family life. 

However, one of the problems with designer breeds, like Goldadors, is they can be hard to find.

If you desire a Golden Retriever-Lab mix, you may need to travel a far distance to a good breeder. If the breeder lives far away, you can consider employing a flight nanny to transport your new puppy to your home — but that comes with an extra cost. You’ll need to pay for their journey and time caring for your pet. 

Backyard breeders and puppy mills will sell Goldadors for a high price without the promise of delivering a healthy, friendly dog, so be very conscious of who you’re getting your puppy from. Designer breeds like Goldadors are expensive, mainly because this beautiful purebred Golden Retriever-Lab mix is fairly new and relatively rare. 

If you’re looking for a beautiful pup with Goldador qualities and health guarantees, consider one of the parental breeds like Golden and Labrador Retrievers from Snowy Pines.

golden retriever on the beach next to water

At Snowy Pines, our Goldens and Labs receive behavioral training and socialization before entering your home, meaning these dogs will adapt well to family life — no matter how many children and pets are in your household. Each pup comes with a health guarantee, so you’ll take home a happy and healthy puppy.


The Goldador is a great solution for those who can’t decide between Labradors and Golden Retrievers: These pups are brilliant, making them easy to train and quick to make new friends. However, veterinarians are still studying common health concerns and information about their lifespan. This lack of knowledge can make predicting health outcomes difficult. 

The good news is that Labradors and Golden Retrievers have been around for centuries so we can make educated guesses on Goldador’s qualities and personality traits based on parental breeds.

If you favor one breed over the other, consider purchasing an English Cream Golden Retriever or a White English Lab from Snowy Pines. These parent breeds form the stunning Goldador but with the bonus of extensive medical and background history – plus socialization and training options!

If you’d like to learn more about the Golden Retriever or Labrador Retriever breed, contact us today, come visit our Ozark Mountains home, or check out our frequently asked questions. Our team looks forward to hearing from you!

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About the Author


Tom Massey

Tom Massey has owned and operated Snowy Pines Labradors for over a decade. They have become the leaders in English Labradors in the US. He and his team serve customers all over the US and Europe. They house their "dog family" in a state of the art facility on a large farm in the Ozark Mountains. With an obsession for genetics and temperament they raise and train dogs known across the globe for health and personality. Tom serves the pet industry in many forms campaigning for ethical breeding, training, and pet ownership.


Calm Tempered, AKC Purebred, and Certified Genetics.