A cross between two of the United State’s most popular dog breeds, the goldador is renowned for his intelligence, family-friendly disposition, and of course his stunning looks.
But what else makes the goldador such a special dog? And more importantly, would this be the right dog for you and your family?
Here are 15 things you should know before getting a goldador.
1. The Goldador Mix Is Considered A Hybrid Dog
Goldador dogs are a crossbreed with two purebred parents.
In spite of his cute name, the goldador is not actually a purebred dog. In fact, the goldador is what is known as a crossbreed. Also known as a hybrid dog, mixed breed, or designer dog, the goldador dog is the offspring of two specifically chosen purebred parent breeds.
While some would consider the goldador to be a mutt, there is actually a difference between mutts and crossbreeds. You see, mutts can have a variety of different breeds in their bloodline while crossbreeds like the goldador only have tww.
Does this matter?
Actually, yes. Despite the fact that crossbreeding has been going on for centuries, it only recently exploded as a trend in the past twenty years. Before then, crossbreed dogs were generally bred by experienced dog breeders who were going about perfecting these dogs in order to eventually create breeds with certain qualities.
While nearly all purebred dogs today are the result of crossbreed dogs from generations ago, it takes decades to perfect a dog and ensure the health, temperament, and other qualities needed for these dogs to be considered purebred.
This is one of the reasons crossbreed dogs like the goldador are not recognized by most breed clubs like the American Kennel Club, and also one of the main reasons they are not accepted in show.
Still, crossbreeds like the goldador are becoming more and more popular amongst owners who are hopeful of raising a dog with a combination of qualities from both of their purebred parents.
Let’s learn more.
2. The Goldador Is A MIx Between the Labrador Retriever and The Golden Retriever
The golden retriever and the labrador retriever are often confused for one another, but they are in fact two very different dog breeds.
In order to learn a bit more about the goldador and what to expect from one, we should first get more familiar with his purebred parents.
The Labrador Retriever
Labs are intelligent water retrieving dogs originating from Newfoundland.
Ranking in at number 1 on the American Kennel Club’s list of America’s most popular dog breeds, the labrador retriever is beloved for his intelligence, sweet personality, and incredible work ethic.
A talented waterdog, the labrador retriever comes from Newfoundland where he spent most of his days alongside fishermen helping them to retrieve fish. As such, the labrador is blessed with a dense, weather resistant coat, a strong tail known as an “otter tail”, and webbed paws. These are physical traits that were needed in this dog’s working days to help him stay warm in the cold water and swim through strong currents.
Labs come in three colors including chocolate, black and yellow, and they are distinctly friendly, outgoing, even-tempered, and highly trainable.
The Golden Retriever
Golden retriever’s are talented gun dogs hailing from the Scottish Highlands.
The golden retriever isn’t far behind his labrador counterpart as far as popularity and fame in the US. In fact, he’s a close third, ranking in at number 3 on the American Kennel Club’s list of popular dog breeds.
And it’s no wonder. Made famous by numerous Hollywood films and employed as one of the top service dogs in the United States, the golden retriever is beloved by all who meet him.
Like the lab, the golden retriever has a dense, weather-resistant coat. This coat is often longer and heavier than his labrador counterpart, which is one of the distinguishing factors between the two.
Another is the fact that golden retrievers were bred and raised in the Scottish highlands and were primarily used as gun dogs. They are intelligent, friendly, sweet-tempered dogs who enjoy being a valuable member of their family.
3. Goldador Dogs Are Highly Intelligent and Very Energetic
Goldador dogs are highly intelligent and require lots of mental and physical stimulation.
Seeing as both the golden retriever and the lab are so smart, it’s no surprise that the goldador is equally as brainy. This crossbreed is a trainer’s dream, though his energy level can be overwhelming for some.
Due to his intelligence, the goldador will do best in homes with owners who have time and patience and are willing to work with their dog often. Mental stimulation and plenty of exercise are going to be key to ensuring the goldador is happy, well-mannered, and healthy.
4. Goldador Dogs Are Double Coated Dogs Who Shed Heavily
Goldador dogs require moderate grooming.
Both the goldadore’s purebred parent breeds have thick, weather-resistant double coats that shed heavily, so you can expect the same when it comes to your goldador.
While this can make grooming somewhat tedious, especially during shedding season, it’s still important not to shave your double coated dog. The soft, downy undercoat of your goldador helps to mediate his body temperature in both hot and cold weather while the outer coat protects him from the harsh elements.
That said, you can help reduce excess shedding by brushing your goldador often and ensuring he is on a healthy diet to promote skin and coat health.
5. The Goldador Dog’s Appearance Could Vary
Your goldador could look more like a lab or more like a golden retriever, or he could look somewhere in between.
It is true that labrador retrievers and golden retrievers can look similar to the novice dog lover, but for those who know what to look for it is clear these two dogs are very different from one another.
Labs generally have shorter, glossier coats that lay flat. They also come in three color combinations. The golden retriever, on the other hand, tends to have longer, waiver coats and come in shades ranging from white to gold. Other differences include slight discrepancies in weight, shape, and overall build.
Depending on the genetics your goldador inherits from his parent breeds, his coat and color could vary. Let’s take a look at what your goldador could potentially look like.
Goldador Height: 21 to 24.5 inches
Goldador Weight: 55 to 85 Pounds
Goldador Coat Color: Chocolate, black, white, yellow, gold, tan or cream.
Goldador Coat Type: Double coated, shedding, medium length and wavy or short and glossy.
Goldador Eye Color: Brown
6. The Goldador Makes An Excellent Addition To Active Families
If your family is active and outgoing, then you’d be the perfect family to own a goldador. These dogs enjoy a number of fun family outings including camping, hiking, walking, road trips, swimming, and more.
They are adventurous dogs through and through and will love being with their family members as often as possible. They get along well with other pets and children and are friendly to all they meet.
On the flip side, if you prefer to sit back and take it easy every day, a goldador may not be right for you. They need lots of exercise and mental stimulation, and they won’t do well confined at home without plenty to keep them busy.
If left without plenty of exercise, mental stimulation, training and affection, goldador dogs can be prone to depression, stress, anxiety, and destructive behaviors.
7. The Average Lifespan of a Goldador Is Around 10 – 12 Years
The goldador’s parent breeds have the same average lifespan of around 10 to 12 years, which means the goldador will live around the same length of time. Of course, there have been reports of goldador dogs living much longer, but this is usually dependent on a number of factors including both environmental and genetic.
Other factors that could have an impact on your goldador’s lifespan include diet, exercise, mental stimulation, and the source from which you get him.
This is one of the reasons it is so important to go through reputable sources when purchasing or rescuing your goldador or any dog, for that matter. But we will talk more about that further down.
For now, let’s take a look at the common health concerns a goldador dog may face.
8. The Goldador Can Be Prone To A Number of Serious Health Issues Owners Should Be Aware Of
Though relatively healthy, goldador dogs can be prone to the same genetic health issues as their parent breeds.
All dogs are prone to health concerns. While there is some debate about whether crossbreed dogs like the goldador are actually healthier than purebred dogs, it’s still important to know what your goldador could be susceptible to.
Like all crossbreed dogs, the goldador can be prone to inheriting any of the same health complications as his parent breeds. These health issues include but are not limited to:
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Juvenile cataracts
- Pigmentary uveitis
- Progressive retinal atrophy
- Subvalvular aortic stenosis
- Hereditary myopathy
- Exercise induced collapse (EIC)
- Ear infection
- And dental problems
The goldador may also be susceptible to a condition known as gastric dilatation volvulus (GVD) or bloat, which is where an excess of gas fills the stomach and causes it to twist. This condition can be quite serious and even fatal in dogs, so steps should be taken to prevent it in your goldador.
Bloat can be caused by overexertion, eating too quickly, eating too much, eating directly after exercising, and stress.
Because bloat is so prevalent in dogs like the goldador, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms. These symptoms can include restlessness, obvious pain, shallow or rapid breathing, pale gums, unproductive vomiting, and extended stomach.
If you notice signs of bloat in your goldador, get to an emergency vet as quickly as possible.
9. Goldador Dogs Are Great For First Time Dog Owners
Goldador’s make wonderful dogs for first time owners.
While the goldador is a high-energy dog, he is also a combination of two of America’s most favorite family breeds. He is generally easy to train, gets along well with most everyone, and is a joy to be around.
These qualities make the goldador an excellent dog for first time dog owners who want the full dog experience without too much hassle or complication.
That said, there will still be plenty of work involved when it comes to training, socializing, and exercising your goldador. Be prepared for a dog who requires lots of attention, hands on training, and plenty of patience, especially in his first two years.
10. Like All Dogs, Goldador Dogs Should To Be Well Socialized At An Early Age
Making sure your goldador is properly socialized can help in overall mental health and development.
Goldador dogs are known for being friendly and outgoing, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have the potential to be aggressive or fearful. Fearful dogs are more prone to behavioral problems, which is one of the reasons properly socializing your goldador is so important.
You can properly socialize your goldador by introducing him to as many new experiences as early on in his life as possible. Make sure these introductions are done calmly and that your dog has a pleasant first impression.
We also suggest introducing your goldador to plenty of other dogs, cats, children, and people. Play gently with your goldador’s ears, face, muzzle, paws and tail as often as possible when he is young to help him get used to being handled.
11. Goldador Dogs Need To Eat A Quality Dog Food Specified For Their Age, Weight and Activity Level
Goldador dogs face a number of health concerns that can be made worse by an improper diet. For this reason, ensuring your goldador is fed a quality dog food specified for his age, weight and activity level is imperative.
Regardless of if you choose to feed your dog wet dog food, dry dog food, or raw dog food, try and make sure it is free of any fillers, additives, artificial flavors, preservatives, or byproducts.
Active dogs like goldadors also need a diet that is rich in protein and has the proper amounts of other nutrients like carbs, fats, and vitamins and minerals. Though some premium dog foods can be pricey, there are inexpensive dog foods available as well that are both affordable and healthy.
12. Goldador Dogs Need Lots Of Exercise and Mental Stimulation To Prevent Behavioral Problems
Because of their intelligence, goldador dogs can get bored easily.
While goldador dogs are generally very good dogs, if not properly trained or if not given enough exercise and mental stimulation they can be prone to serious behavioral issues including destructive behaviors.
Worse, not enough exercise or mental stimulation can result in health issues caused by stress, depression and anxiety.
You can help ensure your goldador is happy, healthy and well-mannered by making sure he gets an adequate amount of exercise each and every day. A good walk at least twice a day along with plenty of free play time in the yard can help keep your goldador feeling his best.
Goldador dogs will also enjoy spending time at dog parks with other dogs as they are generally highly social and love to play.
And because goldador dogs come from two working breed parents, your goldador will likely enjoy being challenged. You can train your goldador to help out around the house by teaching him how to sort laundry, load the dishwasher, carry in the paper or help with groceries.
Your goldador will also benefit from puzzle toys, treat dispensers, and crate training.
13. Goldador Dogs Are Very Social And Will Do Well With Other Dogs and Pets
Goldador dogs are social and love to play with other dogs.
As we mentioned briefly above, goldador dogs are very social and will enjoy having other dogs to play with. If you don’t have other dogs in the house, try taking your goldador to the dog park or sending him to a doggy daycare during the day where he can burn through some of his energy and get his social needs met.
When properly socialized, goldadors can also get along well with cats. These are great dogs for those of you with active social lives or if you are looking for a companion dog to join you on group adventures with other friends and pets.
14. Goldadors Will Need Moderate Grooming To Stay Happy and Healthy
Goldador dogs will only need bathing once every few months.
All dogs need to be routinely groomed and the goldador is no exception. While the density of his coat could vary depending on the parent breed he takes after most, it’s important to remember that he will still be a heavy shedding dog and require plenty of brushing.
Your goldador will shed most during spring and fall, which is the shedding season, and during these times you may need to brush him at least once a day. Otherwise, your goldador will need routine brushing a few times a week.
We recommend investing in a quality dematting and deshedding comb amongst other good grooming tools.
Goldador dogs will also need their nails trimmed regularly to keep them from splitting or cracking and their ears should be checked and cleaned often to keep them clean and prevent ear infections.
And since goldador dogs can be prone to dental problems as they age, we suggest purchasing a quality dog toothbrush and dog-safe toothpaste so you can care for your dog’s teeth on a routine basis.
15. Goldador Dogs Can Be Expensive When Going Through A Reputable Breeder
Goldador puppies can be expensive depending on the breeder.
Goldadors range in price from $600 to $5,000, depending on the breeder and quality of the goldador’s parent breeds. That said, it is always better to spend more money for a goldador upfront when going through a reputable breeder than to try and cut costs and go through unqualified sources.
Backyard breeders and online sellers may provide you with a goldador at a lower cost, but you could wind up spending more money in the long run if the puppy you buy is sick.
You also have the option of rescuing a goldador from a reputable shelter or adoption center. Adopting a dog is a fraction of the price of purchasing one from a breeder and has plenty of benefits, including offering a dog in need a decent home and sometimes even a free initial vet visit.
The Best Five Products Every Goldador Dog Owner Needs
Have you decided a goldador is the right dog for you? If so, we want to help make your transition into goldador parenthood easier with a list of our top five favorite products for goldador dogs and goldador dog owners.
Take a look!
Freefa Slow Feeder Dog Bowl
Bloat is a serious concern for many dog owners, and since the goldador is one such dog prone to GDV, we recommend investing in products to help prevent it.
One of the main causes of bloat is overeating or eating meals too quickly. Slow feeder dog bowls can help prevent bloat in your goldador by forcing your dog to eat more slowly and not allowing him to consume as much food at once.
Slow feeders are also fun for intelligent dogs as they present a challenge and offer the dog a reward for eating more slowly, as he will get more food when he takes his time.
Pet Grooming Deshedding Tool
The goldador is a high-shedding dog, so stocking up on the right grooming tools is going to be important. Brushing your goldador on a routine basis can help keep his coat healthy and his fur off your clothing and furniture, so we recommend the above deshedding brush by Pet Neat to do just that.
This deshedding tool can help reduce heavy shedding by up to 95% and makes grooming and brushing your goldador easy and fun for the both of you.
New World Folding Metal Dog Crate
Crate training can be quite beneficial for high energy dogs when done correctly, so we recommend investing in a quality crate for your goldador early on. The above crate comes in a few different sizes depending on your needs and can be purchased in both a double door and a single door.
The crate is leak proof for any spills or accidents and also folds up for easy storage. The crate is also portable and easy to bring along on road trips or camping adventures.
Nina Ottosson Interactive Puzzle Toy
Interactive puzzle toys are a must-have for intelligent dogs. The above puzzle toy and treat dispenser by Outward Hound encourages your smart goldador to solve puzzles in order to get his treats.
The toy can help keep active dogs busy while owners are away and can provide them with a sense of fulfillment and purpose as they work. The above toy can be purchased in different levels depending on your goldador’s advancement and can be filled with the yummy, healthy treats of your choice.
PetSafe Easy Walk Harness
Goldador dogs need plenty of daily exercise, which will include lots of walks. Like all high energy dogs, goldador dogs may have a tendency to pull on leash. You can help reduce pulling and make walking more fun for the both of you by investing in a quality front clip harness like the above Easy Walk Harness by PetSafe above.
This harness has a simple design that is made to fit comfortably over your dog’s head and chest. It will not put pressure on his fragile trachea and will reduce his natural instinct to pull by redirecting him back to you when he does.
The harness is wonderful for training as well, especially when used along with treats and plenty of praise.
So, what do you think? Is the goldador dog the right dog for you and your family, or would you prefer a dog who is a bit more low key and relaxed? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.