Key Breed Facts
Intelligence / Trainability
Children and Other Pets
Caring for a Goldador
Average Cost to keep/care for a Goldador
Goldadors have been around for around ten years and are a result of crossing the Golden Retriever with the Labrador Retriever. Although, these intelligent dogs have not been as popular as other recent cross breeds, they have proved to be superb working dogs whether it's search and rescue, guide dogs, therapy dogs or bomb detection dogs because they are never happier than when they have something to do. Goldadors are super intelligent, not maturing until they are around 2 years old and being so versatile, they thrive in a home environment being particularly good when they are around children.
Goldadors only appeared on the scene around ten years or so ago when breeders decided to cross Golden Retrievers with Labrador Retrievers. The end goal of crossing the two breeds was to create a tolerant and sensitive dog and one that would be just as happy in a home environment as they would be in a working one. These lovely dogs were a real success with many being trained as guide dogs, bomb detection dogs as well as valuable and reliable search and rescue dogs.
Although they have proven to be a wonderful choice as a family pet, they have not as yet gained the popularity that many other "designer" dogs have enjoyed over recent times. Goldadors are not recognised as a breed in their own right by any of the major international breed organisations which includes The Kennel Club, but many local breed clubs have been set up with a view to ensuring these charming dogs are bred responsibly. However, as yet no breed standard has been drawn up for Goldadors although because both parent breeds are similar in temperament and looks, puppies generally tend to inherit their parent’s kind nature and the charming appearance.
Height at the withers: Males 59 - 61 cm, Females 59 - 61 cm
Average weight: Males 27 - 36 kg, Females 27 - 36 kg
Goldadors are well-balanced, powerful looking dogs that boast an intelligent and ultra-kind expression in their eyes, breeds thanks to the fact both parent breeds are very similar in size, looks and personalities. Their heads are well proportioned in relation to their bodies and they have strong, deep, wide muzzles with a black nose. Their eyes are deep set and a dark brown with black rims being set well apart on a dog's face adding to their charming, intelligent look. Their ears are medium in size and set quite high, but falling down each side of a dog's head.
A Goldador has a strong mouth with a perfect bite, yet like both parent breeds, they boast having very soft mouths. They have strong, muscular necks and nicely formed forequarters with their shoulders being well laid back. Their body is well-balanced and nicely proportioned boasting a deep, well sprung ribcage and nicely level sleek topline. Hindquarters are strong and muscular with powerful back legs and feet that are very cat-like in appearance.
When it comes to their coat, Goldadors can have short, close lying double coats or they can have slightly longer, wavier hair depending on which of their parent breeds they have thrown to. The most commonly seen colours include the following:
The Goldador has inherited the kind and affectionate nature of both parent breeds namely the Golden Retriever and the Labrador Retriever. They have also inherited their intelligence and eagerness to please. They are a very good choice for first time owners and more especially for people who like to spend as much time in the great outdoors as they can with an energetic, smart canine companion at their side.
They thrive in a home environment and enjoy nothing more than to be involved in everything that goes on in a household. Because they love to please, Goldadors are highly trainable, they adore the attention they are given when learning new things. They form extremely strong ties with their owners and don't like to be left on their own for any length of time. As such, they are best suited to families where at least one person stays at home when everyone else is out of the house.
It's really important for these dogs to be well socialised from a young age so they grow up to be confident, outgoing mature dogs. Their socialisation has to include introducing them to lots of new situations, noises, people, other animals and dogs once they have been fully vaccinated. It's also crucial for their training to start early too and it has to be consistent throughout a dog's life. A Goldador is never happier than when they know their place in the pack and who they can look to for direction and guidance. If they don't know who is the alpha dog in a household, they may quickly take on the role of dominant dog which can make them harder to live with and handle.
The Goldador is a smart dog and a fast learner. The downside to this is they are just as quick to pick up bad habits as they are the good. As such, their training has to begin early and it has to be consistent and always fair throughout a dog’s life so they understand what's expected of them. Goldadors are never happier than when they are given something to do which is why they are so amenable to learning new things.
They excel at many canine sports which includes activities like flyball, agility and obedience because they thrive on the attention they are given during their training and the one-to-one contact when competing with their handlers. The key to successfully training a Goldador is to make their training as interesting as possible and to avoid too much repetition. It's also a good idea to keep training sessions short which helps dogs stay more focussed on what it’s being asked of them, bearing in mind that the more intelligent a dog is, the faster they get bored, bearing in mind that Goldadors are extremely smart dogs.
They do not answer well to harsh correction or any sort of heavy handed training methods, but they do respond extremely well to positive reinforcement which always brings the best out of these intelligent and quick witted dogs, especially when there are high value rewards involved, making sure not to give too many food rewards because Goldadors are prone to putting on weight far too easily which could have a serious impact on their overall health and wellbeing.
Goldadors are known to be wonderful family pets because they thrive in a home environment and love nothing more than being around kids. Younger dogs and puppies tend to be boisterous when they play which means any interaction between toddlers and a dog should always be well supervised by an adult to make sure playtime does not get too boisterous which could end up with a smaller child being knocked over, albeit by accident.
When dogs have been well socialised from a young enough age, they generally get on well with other dogs they meet and if they have grown up with a family cat in a household, they usually get on well together. However, a Goldador would think nothing of chasing off any other cats they encounter because they would see them as fair game. Care has to be taken when they are around any smaller animals just to be on the safe side, although Goldadors are generally very good when they are around them.
For further advice please read our article on Keeping Children Safe around Dogs.
The average life expectancy of a Goldador is between 10 and 15 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.
The Goldador is known to suffer from a few hereditary health issues that affect both parent breeds which are worth knowing about if you are planning share your home with one of these handsome dogs. The conditions that seem to affect the breed the most include the following:
As with any other breed, Goldadors need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. They also need to be given regular daily exercise to ensure they remain fit and healthy. On top of this, dogs need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives.
Goldadors have double coats which consist of a short, dense, close lying outer coat and a softer, denser undercoat and as such they are quite low maintenance on the grooming front. Their coats need brushing once or twice a week to remove loose and dead hair. They shed steadily throughout the year only more so during the Spring and then again in the Autumn when more frequent grooming is usually necessary to stay on top of things and to remove dead and shed hair from a dog's coat.
It's also important to check a dog's ears on a regular basis and to clean them when necessary. If too much wax is allowed to build up, it can lead to a painful infection which can be hard to clear up. In short, prevention is often easier than cure with ear infections.
The Goldador is an energetic, intelligent dog and as such they need to be given the right amount of daily exercise and mental stimulation for them to be truly happy, well-rounded dogs. They need at least 1 hour's exercise a day with as much off the lead time as possible in a safe environment. If they are not given the right amount of mental stimulation and exercise every day, a Goldador would quickly get bored and could even begin to show some destructive behaviours around the home which is their way of relieving any stress they are feeling and not necessarily because they are being naughty.
A shorter walk in the morning would be fine, but a longer more interesting one in the afternoon is a must with as much off the lead time as possible. These dogs also like to be able to roam around a back garden so they can really let off steam. However, the fencing has to be extremely secure to keep these active, high-energy dogs in because if they find a weakness in the fence, they will soon escape and could get into all sorts of trouble.
With this said, Goldador puppies should not be over exercised because their joints and bones are still growing. This includes not letting a dog jump up and down from furniture or going up or down the stairs. Too much pressure placed on their joints and spines at an early age could result in a dog developing serious problems later in their lives.
If you get a Goldador puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.
Older dogs are not known to be fussy eaters, but this does not mean they can be given a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It's also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years so it's important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.
If you are looking to buy a Goldador, you would need to pay anything upwards of £500 for a well-bred puppy. The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Goldador in northern England would be £22.10 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £41.75 a month (quote as of August 2016). When insurance companies calculate a pet's premium, they factor in several things which includes where you live in the UK, a dog's age and whether or not they have been neutered or spayed among other things.
When it comes to food costs, you need to buy the best quality food whether wet or dry making sure it suits the different stages of a dog’s life. This would set you back between £40 - £50 a month. On top of all of this, you need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a Goldador and this includes their initial vaccinations, their annual boosters, the cost of neutering or spaying a dog when the time is right and their yearly health checks, all of which quickly adds up to over £1100 a year.
As a rough guide, the average cost to keep and care for a Goldador would be between £70 to £110 a month depending on the level of insurance cover you opt to buy for your dog, but this does not include the initial cost of buying a well-bred puppy.
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