You can’t go wrong with the Golden Retriever or the Labrador Retriever - these dogs are still two of the most popular breeds today. So when the idea came about to create a hybrid with the best qualities of both these canines, it wasn’t long before the Goldador was winning the hearts of dog-lovers all over the globe.
Let’s “dig” into this wonderful cross-breed to learn more.
The pairing of these two excellent breeds started over a decade ago. The desired outcome was to have a working dog that had the sensitivity of the Golden and the tolerance of the Lab.
Although the Goldador still hasn’t gained the popularity of its cross-bred “cousin” the Labradoodle, it has been used (with much success) as a guide and an assistance canine. However, there are no efforts in place to start a breed club or to create a breed standard, so for now, it will happily remain a “mutt.”
What Does a Goldador Look Like?
Unlike other crosses, the Goldador is quite predictable in its appearance. The average size is 22 to 24 inches at the shoulder with weights between 60 and 80 pounds. Of course, since the two breeds are very similar in appearance, the Goldador will have a squarish head, with a pronounced muzzle, triangular floppy ears, dark eyes, and a long tail.
This hybrid will retain the double coat of the Golden Retriever. The topcoat will be short and thick, while the undercoat is soft and dense. Some of the Goldadors can exhibit a longer wavy portion down the middle of the back.
Depending on the parents, individual Goldadors range in color from gold to reddish, and yellow, while some may be black or even chocolate brown.
The Temperament of the Goldador
Like the two breeds used to create the Goldador, this hybrid should be a loyal and loving animal, devoted to its family members. This dog is alert enough to be an effective watchdog but doesn’t have the “killer” instinct necessary for guard duty.
The Goldador loves children and other animals, especially when raised with them. This cross-breed is also highly trainable because of its innate desire to please - positive reinforcement techniques are strongly recommended. The Goldador is very intelligent and even capable of independent thinking; however, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t mean it won't look to you for guidance and structure in its life.
Lastly, since the Goldador adores its people, never leave it tied outside alone for long periods. It wants and needs to be a part of a family unit to keep it healthy and happy.
Watch these Goldador puppies playing in the grass;
The Goldador may be prone to the same health issues as its parents. However, while most are generally healthy, you will want to be aware of the following conditions.
- Hip Dysplasia - the thigh bone does not fit properly into the hip socket.
- Elbow Dysplasia - caused by the growth rate of the three different bones that make up the dog’s elbow.
- Diabetes - a condition where the dog’s body cannot regulate its blood sugar levels.
- Cataracts - the eye(s) will take on a cloudy appearance.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) - a degenerative eye disease that leads to blindness.
Although the above list of health concerns may affect some Goldadors, they are a relatively healthy hybrid. Pet parents will be happy to know their lifespan is from 10 to 15 years-old. However, good genetics, a healthy diet, and regular exercise will increase the longevity of your Goldador.
Ideally, the Goldador should have access to a large fenced-in backyard where it can run and be safe. But that doesn’t mean a dedicated apartment-dweller, prepared to exercise the Goldador a couple of times a day, cannot have one. You will also want to mentally challenge your dog with interactive toys and games of fetch.
Bringing your dog to obedience classes is not only beneficial for the training but is also great for socializing your dog. When training a Goldador, avoid harsh punishment techniques, but rather use praise and treats to reinforce good behavior.
Food & Water
Every Goldador is different; however, on average this hybrid will eat 3.5 to 4.25 cups of dry kibble each day. It’s recommended to feed a high-quality food that uses real protein as the first ingredient and is supplemented with fresh fruits, and veggies. Break the recommended daily intake into two smaller meals and make allowances for those dogs that are very active (feed more) or for senior dogs that may be less active.
Of course, fresh water should be available at all times, and limit the amount of people food your dog is allowed, as this can cause pickiness and weight issues in your Goldador.
For the healthy Goldador, it is recommended to provide this hybrid with at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. This could include walking, hiking, swimming, playing in the park or doggie park, throwing a disk or ball, or taking your pup’s exercise to the next level with flyball and agility.
Because the Goldador has a double coat, weekly brushing is required with a rubber curry brush. When the seasons change from warm to cold and visa versa, you will have to increase your grooming sessions to daily to gather up all those loose hairs.
Brush your Goldadors teeth at least twice a week to reduce plaque and tartar buildup, and provide it with dental chews and tough toys. The Goldadors nails will also need monthly or bi-monthly trimming.
If you are searching for a loving hybrid dog, then the Goldador may be your perfect pooch. These dogs have retained both the appearance and the temperament of the Golden Retriever and the Labrador Retriever. Be sure to research a reputable breeder or rescue group to adopt from and feed your dog an optimal diet and provide it the opportunity of regular exercise to keep your new furry friend happy and healthy.
Further reading and references:
- WikiVisually Goldador
- Shirelands Goldadors
- Michael Stonewood (April 2019) - The Goldador: A Complete and Comprehensive Owners Guide to: Buying, Owning, Health, Grooming, Training, Obedience, Understanding and Caring for Your Goldador