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Retriever dogs are some of the most loyal, friendly canines around, so unsurprisingly, Retriever crossbreeds like the Goldador exist. You may have set your sights on a Goldador, but before you proceed, you’ll want to learn more about this breed’s personality, appearance, and care needs.
Goldadors are a mix of Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers. They typically have light, honey-gold fur, a double coat, and a sweet, affectionate personality much like their Retriever ancestors. This crossbreed is also very adaptable, trains easily, and gets along with dogs and children alike.
You may have more questions yet about caring for a Goldador, such as how much exercise the dog needs, how much this crossbreed sheds, or if the Goldador is prone to health issues. We’ll talk about all that and more ahead, so keep reading.
Overview of the Goldador
If you just can’t choose between a Golden Retriever or a Labrador Retriever, you don’t necessarily have to. The Goldador is the best of both worlds.
Like the other dog crossbreeds we’ve discussed on the blog, the Goldador is considered a designer breed. Its origin stretches back to about a decade ago. The Goldador does have some hint of its long-instilled hunting instincts but has no problem with household pets, especially other canines. If anything, the Goldador will try to befriend your other dogs, as this crossbreed loves an animal companion.
Here is some basic Goldador information:
|Height||22 to 24 inches|
|Weight||60 to 80 pounds|
|Colors||Yellow to gold, sometimes black or red|
|Coat||Double coat that’s often wavy and thick|
|Lifespan||10 to 15 years|
|Shedding||Moderate to heavy; increases to heavy in the spring and autumn|
Where Do Goldadors Come From?
The designer Goldador was first bred about a decade or more ago, so this crossbreed is pretty new. Yet the Goldador’s parents–the Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever–have a far lengthier, richly detailed history.
Labrador Retrievers or Labs first existed sometime in the 1830s when Newfoundland settlers brought dogs between Poole, Dorsetshire, and Canada via boat and bred them with St. John Water Dogs. The resultant dog was a hunting dog and soon officially became known as the Labrador Retriever.
At the time, the Lab was confused with all sorts of other dogs that it wasn’t, such as the Lesser Newfoundland and the Newfoundland. This could have made some parts of the Lab’s history hard to document, but we have fortunately a full enough record of this beloved breed.
As for Golden Retrievers, the breed comes from Scotland. Midway through the 19th century, Retriever dogs were bred with Water Spaniels to hunt wildfowl. The Golden Retriever was the dog that came about from this breeding.
Further refinement of the Golden breed occurred to keep up with waterfowl’s ability to travel further. One crossbreed was the extinct Tweed Water Spaniel. Golden Retrievers were also bred with Newfoundlands, Bloodhounds, and Irish Setters.
By 1903, The Kennel Club in the UK registered the Golden Retriever. It took until 1925 for the United States to follow suit with the American Kennel Club registering the Golden as well.
What Do Goldadors Look Like?
Considering the Goldador’s lineage, its appearance can lean more towards Lab or Golden Retriever depending on which parent has the more dominant genes. Despite their name, Goldadors are not exclusively amber, honey, yellow, or golden. Some are chocolate brown, which is still an appealing hue. Other Labradors are darker still with a pure black coat.
Goldadors tend to be single-colored rather than have patterns throughout their fur. Their coat is often not as long as a Lab’s, and it’s wavier. Goldadors will shed moderately to heavily due to their double coat. If you’re looking for a hypoallergenic dog, the Goldador is not it.
A double coat has an insulating main layer known as the undercoat. Atop the undercoat is a coat of guard hairs. These guard hairs are the visible fur across your Goldador’s body that keeps your dog dry and clean.
Goldadors are about the same height as a Lab or Golden Retriever, between 22 and 24 inches at their shoulders. They can weigh upwards of 80 pounds, which makes the Goldador a large breed.
What Is a Goldador’s Temperament and Personality?
Goldadors are not an official AKC breed, but they still have recognizable traits from dog to dog. A perfect dog for beginners, the Goldador does pretty well with being alone, and it can withstand cold weather exceptionally well. Its ability to endure cold is due to its double coat. In the summertime, your Goldador will have already shed so its coat is lighter and ready for warm weather.
The Goldador is beloved for its friendliness, as it’s bred from two of the nicest Retrievers around. Its loyalty and affection for family members are unmatched, including children. You don’t have to worry about your Goldador fighting with other dogs in the house either. As mentioned, the Goldador loves making canine friends. The dog will even coexist with the family cat. When strangers come by, the Goldador shouldn’t growl or get upset.
Incredibly intelligent, the Goldador does not bark or howl much, so it’s not considered mouthy. The crossbreed has a high energy level, which we’ll talk more about in the next section. The Goldador doesn’t drool much and isn’t prone to gaining a lot of weight with regular exercise. Grooming a Goldador is easy, which is good because you’ll probably have to do it frequently.
One downside of the Goldador is that it has a strong sense of wanderlust. You’ll have to keep your dog on a tight leash–quite literally, in this case–to make sure they don’t run off the moment you turn your head.
How Much Exercise Does a Goldador Need?
The Golden Retriever excels most when exercised for at least an hour every day, as does the Lab. Some Labs can get away with 45 minutes of exercise, but you still need to dedicate a good chunk of time to their physical fitness.
This tells us that the Goldador needs lots of exercise too, as it does have seemingly boundless energy. Try to exercise your Goldador for at least 30 minutes per day, but if you can do 45 to 60 minutes, that’s preferable. Some estimates even say the Goldador needs two hours of exercise a day, but that might be too much for certain dogs.
Goldadors don’t mind intense exercise, and incorporating playtime into their exercise routine is also good. You should ideally have lots of yard space for your Goldador to run, so no apartment dwellers, please. The constrained size of an apartment also doesn’t work for the Goldador considering this is such a large dog.
It’s a good idea to tire out your Goldador a bit first before putting them on a leash for a walk. They might pull on the leash in their excitement and exuberance for being outdoors. Since the Goldador is heavy, they’d be the one in control, not you. Besides walking, running with your Goldador in a fenced-in yard is good exercise, as is taking your pup to a dog park.
If your Goldador doesn’t get enough exercise, they may begin acting out. Make sure that besides providing physical challenges, you mentally challenge your Goldador with treat puzzles and toys.
What Do Goldadors Eat?
Like its ancestors, the Goldador prefers premium dog food, about three to four cups a day. If your dog has a fast metabolism, you might increase its feedings by half-cup or full-cup increments, but we recommend clearing that with your veterinarian first. The more active your Goldador is, the more the dog may have to eat.
Goldadors are already prone to skin irritation and itchiness. Feeding your dog cheap dog food means they’re consuming cheap ingredients that can worsen their skin condition. Some ingredients can also cause food allergy symptoms such as skin redness and itchiness.
As often as you can, skip byproducts, preservatives, artificial flavors and colors, additives, and fillers in your Goldador’s dog food. That includes dry, wet, and even homemade dog food.
Watch your food quantities too. By overfeeding your Goldador, they can become bloated, not to mention they will put on weight. Being overweight strains your dog’s joints and muscles, making it harder to get around the house and commit to a regular exercise routine.
Grooming + Training a Goldador
It should be no secret by now that the Goldador will shed since it has twice the coat of other dogs. Double-coated dogs don’t shed randomly, but seasonally. Ahead of winter’s end, your Goldador will begin shedding in preparation for the warmer days of spring and summer. When the days become shorter and cooler, your Goldador sheds its warm-weather coat for a winter one.
The longer and wavier the fur, the more grooming time your Goldador will require. When the dog isn’t shedding, make time to brush and groom them at least three to four times per week. During shedding season, you might have to brush your dog daily or close to it to control and contain all that fur.
Goldadors that are more Labrador than Golden Retriever might not be quite as heavy shedders. In that case, you can get away with brushing them weekly, maybe twice a week.
Training a Goldador
Goldadors are known for being relatively easy to train since they’re smart and have a naturally low prey drive. That said, the younger they are when you train them, the easier it will be since they’re not quite as set in their ways yet. Make sure to use lots of positive reinforcement when your Goldador successfully completes a command. Positive reinforcement doesn’t always mean treats, but head pats and verbal praise as well.
Remember your Goldador’s tendency for wanderlust when selecting a place to train them. A quiet area free of distractions is best, such as your fenced backyard rather than the open front yard.
I recommend using an online training program to train your dog yourself. You will still have the guidance of a professional, but it keeps you involved in the process. This alternative to traditional training is both convenient as well as cost-effective.
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Are Goldadors Healthy Dogs?
Besides the abovementioned skin issues, Goldadors are also likely to develop the following health issues:
- Obesity: When Goldadors don’t get at least an hour of exercise per day and they eat too much, obesity will follow. Being obese increases your dog’s risk of hip and/or elbow dysplasia.
- Hypothyroidism: Overfeeding doesn’t necessarily make a Goldador obese, as having hypothyroidism can do it too. Hypothyroidism leads to hair loss and low energy. If your Goldador has this condition, they likely inherited it from their parents.
- Diabetes: Canine diabetes can be insulin-resistant or insulin-deficient. With the former, your Goldador makes insulin, but their body doesn’t use it well. Insulin-deficient diabetes is caused by an underproduction of insulin.
- Vision issues: Progressive retinal atrophy is a major vision condition diagnosed among Goldadors. This disease group breaks down the eye’s photoreceptor cells, possibly to the point of blindness.
- Cruciate ligament pain: The cruciate ligament in the atlantoaxial joints and knee joints in the legs can weaken, affecting your Goldador’s ability to walk and exercise.
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Where to Find a Goldador Puppy
Although it’s a designer dog, Goldadors aren’t excessively pricy. You may spend between $400 and $600 for a Goldador puppy. When selecting a breeder, always do your research. Make sure the breeder has actual Goldadors rather than Labs or Golden Retrievers masquerading as Goldadors. Please skip the puppy mills, as the conditions these dogs are kept in are poor and their health may be as well.
Goldadors are a Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever crossbreed that are sized and colored like those Retriever breeds with the same rambunctious, sweet personality. They’re not big on hunting and get along well with family pets as well as children. Goldadors do have a sense of wanderlust though, so be careful!
Active families with a large house that can commit an hour or two to train and exercise their dog per day will be the best fit for a Goldador. These dogs have a lot of energy, and without anywhere to direct it, they could destroy the house. Do be aware too that Goldadors may have skin infections, dysplasia, obesity, diabetes, and vision issues.