Golden Labrador Care

The Golden Labrador--also known by the more quaint-sounding Goldendor--is a hybrid of a Golden Retriever and a Labrador Retriever. And since it's the offspring of two prized breeds, the Golden Lab is one of the most beloved crossbreeds known. Like its Golden and Lab parents, the Goldador is intelligent, easily trainable, affectionate, and athletic. And perhaps best of all is that Golden Labrador care and maintenance doesn't require a great deal of work.

Below you'll find plenty of details on caring for a Golden Labrador, including info on puppy development, exercise needs, diet and nutrition, and more. For answers to your questions about owning this excellent crossbreed, read on!

Golden Labrador Exercise Needs

As a hybrid of two active and athletic breeds, Golden Labrador exercise requirements are fairly extensive. These versatile crossbreeds will enjoy a wide variety of activities, from walks to fetch to canine sports competitions; due to their high intelligence and work ethics, Goldadors will need exercises that stimulate them mentally as well as physically. Adult Goldadors make great jogging and bicycling partners as well.

The typical adult Goldador, depending on its age and overall activity level, will need 45-60 minutes of proper exercise per day, which you can accomplish with a couple of walks, jogs, or bike rides and a good period of play. Goldador puppies can start exercising at three months old by going on short (5- to 10-minute) walks, then you can increase the walks' length and frequency as the puppy grows.

A few things to consider when exercising your Goldador: first, puppies younger than nine months old shouldn't participate in activities that include a lot of jumping, running, or navigating of stairs, as doing so can injure their still-developing joints and bones. And regardless of age, all Goldadors will need to be leashed in public. Though not aggressive by any means, these crossbreeds--hybrids of two skilled hunting breeds--have extremely high prey drives, and will instinctively chase after any interesting-looking critters they see, be it squirrels, birds, cats, even other dogs. A leash will help you control your Goldendor when the dog spies potential "prey." Even when exercising in your own yard, the area will need to be securely fenced to keep the Goldendor from chasing animals. Otherwise, these dogs enjoy a wide variety of exercises in most types of weather.

Precautions aside, it's important to exercise your Golden Lab every single day. These dogs are active, intelligent, and enthusiastic, and if bored or restless they'll turn disobedient, destructive, and completely unhappy in general. Consistent exercise will keep both you and your Goldador in a happy frame of mind! Some exercise ideas:

  • Walking/Jogging/Bicycling: Two 20-minute walks (or 15-minute jogs or bike rides) per day is a good target
  • Fetch: Goldadors will chase a ball or stick for hours
  • Tug-of-War: Great indoor, rainy-day activity; use a rope or old towel
  • Canine Sports: These dogs can excel at agility and obedience trials, flyball, and other competitions
  • Dog Park: If properly socialized, Goldadors love the company of other dogs
  • Hiking: Excellent bonding activity; your Goldador can even carry the backpack

When indoors, it's a good idea to give your Goldador access to one or more balls or chew-toys that will allow the dog to burn excess energy. It's also recommended that you establish a regular exercise schedule for the dog, such as walks, jogs, or bike rides after breakfast and dinner and a play period in the afternoon.

Golden Labrador Maintenance

In terms of shedding and drooling, these dogs need moderate care. Golden Lab shedding is fair for most of the year, but heavier in the spring and fall shedding seasons; drooling isn't much of an issue.

Goldadors typically have short-haired, double-layered coats. Golden Labrador shedding, like that of its parent breeds, is moderate and year-round--but when this crossbreed "blows" its coat in the spring and fall, the shedding will be more profuse. Owners can brush their Goldadors once or twice per week with a rubber curry brush to minimize the amount of shed hairs--but vacuuming the floors and lint roller use on clothes and furniture will be necessary occasionally (and more often, of course, during shedding season) to pick up stray hair.

And a Goldador might drool a bit in anticipation of food, after drinking water, or when especially excited or nervous, but the drooling won't be a frequent problem. If your Goldador is drooling excessively, it may be a sign of a medical issue, in which case a veterinarian's care is recommended.

Golden Labrador Diet

With this crossbreed's high activity level comes an equally big appetite. Like all breeds, Golden Lab food will need to have plenty of animal proteins and carbohydrates for energy, vitamins and minerals for digestive and immune health, and omega fatty acids for coat and skin wellness. This means the best food for Golden Labradors is the premium dry kind, as this type contains balanced portions of the above-listed nutrients that a Goldendor will need to maintain its health in the long term. Cheap, generic dog food is not recommended for this crossbreed, because it is usually made up of mostly empty "filler" ingredients that simply won't sustain the dog's health.

Royal Canin, Taste of the Wild, and Blue Buffalo are three recommended brands that carry excellent lines of premium dry food.

Adult Golden Labs, depending on their age, size, and activity levels, will need about four cups of premium dry food per day, divided into two meals. Goldador puppies, again depending on age, will need a bit less: about three cups per day, divided into three meals (not two) until six months old. For further guidelines on feeding a Golden Labrador from puppyhood through maturity, refer to this feeding chart:

Goldador Feeding Chart
Dog AgeDog WeightFood TypeAmountFrequency2 Months12 lbsDry (Puppy formula)0.5 cups3x/day3 Months20 lbsDry0.75 cups3x/day6 Months45 lbsDry1 cup3x/day9 Months60 lbsDry* (Puppy/Adult)1.75 cups2x/day12 Months+70 lbsDry (Adult formula)2 cups2x/day

*--Around this time, transition to adult food by first mixing in a bit of adult formula with the puppy formula. Over the course of a week, with each meal add a little more adult food to the mixture, until the dog is eating it entirely.

If possible, try to stick to the above-listed portions. These dogs love to eat, and will quickly become obese if overfed (and under-exercised)--and a fat Golden Labrador will have joint, digestive, and breathing problems, not to mention a shortened lifespan. You can help control your Goldendor's weight by establishing consistent feeding and exercise schedules, by not feeding the dog table scraps, and by not leaving food in its bowl all the time, thereby allowing the dog to eat anytime it wants. It's better to put your Goldendor's bowl down only at mealtimes, then pick it up 20 minutes or so after the dog begins eating.

If you're worried your Golden Lab is overweight, give the dog this simple test: run a hand along its side, and if you can't feel any ribs, it's diet time. Decrease the dog's daily food consumption by one-fourth, and add an extra walk, jog, bike ride, or play period to its daily exercise schedule.

Where to Get Goldadors

Where and how do you get Goldadors? Read our tips for finding this breed here.

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About this Article

Authored by:Dog-Learn
Updated:June 8, 2018