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The Goldador is a fairly common crossbreed of the Labrador Retriever and the Golden Retriever. Usually already successful working dogs will be mixed to produce puppies who will be further suited to work as guide dogs, assistance dogs, search and rescue dogs or working gundogs.

The Goldador can be a first cross (with one Labrador Retriever and one Golden Retriever parent), can be bred back to one of the original breeds, or be two Goldadors bred together.

  • Dog suitable for non-experienced owners
  • Some training required
  • Enjoys vigorous walks
  • Enjoys walking one to two hours a day
  • Large dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Non hypoallergenic breed
  • Quiet dog
  • Not a guard dog
  • Great with other pets
  • Great family dog

Key Facts

Height: 33 – 61cm
Colours: The Goldador can be any of the colours common to the Labrador or Golden Retriever including: black; yellow; liver; cream or chocolate
Size: Large


Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 5/5
Easy to train: 4/5
Tolerates being alone: 4/5
Likes other pets: 5/5
Energy level: 5/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 3/5
large dog standing on the ground


Like most crossbreeds, the personality of a Goldador depends on the parents and how they have been bred and reared, but the breeds are very similar in their personalities.

Both breeds are active, friendly, loving dogs who thrive on human companionship, wanting nothing more than to please their owners (except perhaps eat and jump in any water they can find!). They are ideal pets where there are children about and they get on well with other household animals. Both are very happy breeds, extremely affectionate, constantly wagging their tails and always on the go. They are easily trained, being eager to learn and to please and can turn their paw to just about anything. They are total foodies however (possibly more so the Labrador Retriever) which helps with their training but not their waistlines!

It’s clear from looking at the two breeds that make up the Goldador that this is an extremely active gundog who needs a lot of exercise and input and being highly social, needs to be a part of the family.

large dog running in ocean waves

History and Origins

The Goldador was first created over a decade ago in a bid to create a sensitive and tolerant working dog. The mixing of the Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever was so successful that organisations that train guide and assistance dogs frequently use these crosses today.

As the Goldador is a relatively recent breed, it requires more of an understanding of the two breeds that go into the formation of the Goldador.

The Labrador Retriever breed originated not in Labrador, but on the coast of Newfoundland in the 17th century. They were trained to bring in the fishing nets through the icy waters and, in the early 19th century, were brought to Poole Harbour in Great Britain. They were so attractive and with such appealing personalities that the fishermen had umpteen offers from Englishmen to buy them. The breed with their working abilities was instantly successful as a gundog. The Earl of Malmesbury became fascinated by these dogs, known at that time as Saint John's Dogs, and he started breeding them, calling them Labrador Dogs. Today Labradors are still used as working gundogs as well as being beloved family pets.

The Golden Retriever’s full history is slightly unclear in parts but it seems that once again, it was a member of the British aristocracy that can claim the foundations of this breed. Sir Dudley Marjoribanks (Lord Tweedmouth) took a liking to the yellow colour that was sometimes found in retrievers and so in 1865 he acquired a dog called Nous from Brighton. Nous was the only yellow puppy in a litter of black Curly-Coated Retrievers. He bred this dog to a liver-coloured Tweed Water Spaniel bitch called Belle who was an excellent retrieving dog. This produced four yellow puppies and in the following 20 years of further breeding, he continued trying to breed his idea of the perfect dog by bringing in Red Setters, other Tweed Water Spaniels, other retrievers and possibly even a Bloodhound or two. In 1908 the breed was registered and shown as Golden Flat Coats until 1913 when the listing was changed to Golden or Yellow Retrievers. Today Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular of all breeds, and some are still used as working gundogs.

Health and Common Issues

One aim with crossbreeds is to dilute or eliminate any inherited health issues that may exist within one or other of the breeds. This dilution or elimination is only likely if only one parent is the carrier of any particular condition, and where this is a first cross (F1). As this can’t always be guaranteed, all parents should be health tested prior to breeding:

Labrador Retriever - eye tests and hip and elbow scoring should be done, and there are several DNA tests that may be required too

Golden Retriever - eye tests and hip and elbow scoring should be done, and there are several DNA tests that may be required too

Information on DNA health tests for both breeds can be found on the Kennel Club’s website.

Exercise Needs

Both the breeds that make up the Goldador are highly active and enjoy exercise and will be happy with two hours plus every day. They will also enjoy games, training, interactive toys and being involved in all family activities too.

Space Requirements

The Goldador is a large, country dog and so needs a good-sized living space. Plus, they are very active and will appreciate a large garden and access to the great outdoors for the long walks they will need.

Nutrition and Feeding

Large breed dogs, as well as having large appetites, benefit from a different balance of nutrients including minerals and vitamins compared to smaller-breed dogs. Goldadors like most large breed dogs can be prone to bloating and stomach problems; smaller, more frequent meals can help minimise this risk.

Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed them at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of their particular food.

Grooming Goldadors

It’s difficult to predict what kind of coat the Goldador is going to have as they may inherit a short coat like a Labrador Retriever or the longer, more glamorous Golden Retriever coat (or any mixtures of the two!). They will shed however and require regular grooming.

Despite the shedding, their coats are fairly low maintenance, although matting can occur in longer coats, especially behind the ears.

Training Goldadors

This is a very active dog who enjoys work and is very social, wanting to be involved with everything. They are a joy to train as both the breeds are intelligent, love working with their owner and can learn pretty much anything you want to teach them (hence their success as working dogs and as assistance dogs). But like all clever dogs, they will learn bad habits as quickly as good ones, so reward-based training should start early and be ongoing.

Giving Goldadors a job to do helps to keep their brains and bodies occupied. Also be sure to give them plenty of opportunities to work with their owner as they love to please.

Spend time training them to give back the things that they find, as unsurprisingly, both breeds enjoy carrying things around and it’s good to be able to get things back that are either dangerous or expensive!

Best Family Dog Breeds

If the Goldador is sourced from a reliable breeder and well-trained from puppyhood, they will make fabulous family dogs, be a total joy to own and will get on with everyone. In other words, almost the perfect dog! However, an untrained or bored Goldador can easily become unruly and overly boisterous, so always make sure they’re given enough exercise and are mentally stimulated.

Did you know Dog

Did You Know?

  • Thanks to the Goldador’s kindly nature and intelligence they’ve been used as guide dogs, service dogs, search and rescue dogs, bomb detection dogs and even therapy dogs!
  • The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association states that the Goldador is their most successful guide dog out of all the breeds in their programme.
  • Despite their popularity, they’re not currently recognised by the UK Kennel Club as they’re a mixed breed.

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