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Golden Retriever Or Labrador Which Is Best

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About Labs And Golden Retrievers

Top Dog : Golden Retriever vs Labrador Retriever

The Lab comes from the New World working water dogs. This breed has a stubborn streak, work ethic, and a bomb-proof nature that makes them work for hours long in harsh weather conditions.

On the other hand, the Golden retriever comes from UK gentlemans hunting setters and spaniels. This breed was trained to be a gentlemans hunt when he wanted to hunt and also to be the calm and sweet house pet other times.

When these breeds are young, you will notice little difference because both breeds are friendly and sweet, and they also like attention and playful activities. But when they start growing older, you will find that the Lab is a bit chubbier but not as high-strung as the Golden retriever.

What Are The Differences And Similarities Between A Golden Retriever And A Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers are very similar breeds. However, there are some significant differences between these dogs in personality, appearance, health traits, and grooming requirements.

Letâs see what those differences are so you can make the difficult decision of choosing one of these Retrievers for your family.

Golden Retriever Vs Lab Size

Both Goldens and Labs are popular choices for people interested in medium to large sized dogs. How do Goldens and Labs compare in size? When looking at size, remember that males tend to be larger than females, and height is measured at the tallest point on the bodythe shoulder blades or withersand not the head.

Generally, the Lab is a slightly larger dog than the Golden. Male Golden Retrievers are 23 to 24 inches in height; females are 21 ½ to 22 ½ inches. Males weigh between 65 and 75 pounds; females are 55 to 65 pounds. Labrador Retriever males should be 22 ½ to 24 ½ inches high at the withers; female height ranges from 21 ½ to 23 ½ inches. Male Labs can weigh between 65 and 80 pounds, while females should be between 55 to 70 pounds.

While breed standards are exacting for show quality dogs, remember that a pet quality dog can be larger or smaller than the breed standard, depending on the individual animal. The overall body type of Golden vs Lab reflects the size difference between the two breeds. The proportions of the Golden tend to be elegant and symmetrical. Labs are generally more solid and sturdy than overly refined.

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Similarities Between Golden Retrievers And Labrador Retrievers

There are many things between these two dogs that are very similar.

  • Both are friendly dogs. They are a great family companion and want to spend time with the family.
  • Both shed. Labradors shed as much as Golden Retrievers if not more. They have a double coat that helps keep them warm in winter or when they are swimming. They will shed all year long, but will have two big sheds per year with the change of the season for their winter coat and summer coat.
  • Both are sporting dogs and are great for hunting.
  • Both are designed to be active with their owner. They need walks, run time, retrieving games and swimming.
  • Both have a life expectancy of 10-12 years.
  • Water resistant coat which helps them be able to swim in cold weather or cold conditions.
  • Both were bred to retrieve items. Be it a duck, pheasant, ball, or your shoes or socks if you throw them. They like to have something in their mouth most of the time.
  • Both have intelligence, athleticism and goofy personalities. You will need to provide both of these breeds with not only exercise but also mental stimulation to keep them happy and behaved.
  • They are water dogs, and will get into water, puddles, or mud holes every chance that they get.

The two breeds also share many similarities in appearance. The average height for both is between 22 24. They have long tails, folded ears, and soft mouths.

Take a look at this chart for a quick comparison between the two breeds.

Labrador Retriever Vs Golden Retriever: Muzzle

Labrador vs Golden Retriever: Which Breed is Best for You?

Another noticeable difference between Labradors and Golden Retrievers lies in the shape of their muzzles. Generally, Labradors possess a broader, shorter muzzle. Their wide muzzle gives them a full-faced look that enthusiasts often describe as jowly. It also may explain why people say that Labradors frequently look like they are smiling. The muzzle on Golden Retrievers, meanwhile, appears more narrow and longer. This lends them a leaner, more slender look.;

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Labrador Retriever Vs Golden Retriever: Size

Labradors and Golden Retrievers both count as medium-sized dogs. However, of the two, Labradors measure slightly larger than Golden Retrievers. On average, Labrador Retrievers stand between 21.5 and 24.5 inches tall and weigh from 55 to 80 pounds. Meanwhile, most Golden Retrievers stand 21 to 24 inches tall and weigh between 55 to 75 pounds. Its also worth mentioning that Labradors appear stockier and more muscular than Golden Retrievers. Overall, Golden Retrievers look more sleek and narrow, while Labradors possess a more thick and athletic build.;

Golden Retriever Vs Labrador Training

Regardless of whether or not you choose a Labrador or a Golden Retriever, obedience training will be a must to prevent them from jumping up on people or accidentally knocking children over in their haste to lick faces and hands.

Obedience training will also make it easier to take a Retriever on walks.

They can be easily distracted by small animals or even people, since neither Labs nor Goldens know what the word stranger means.

Please remember that not every Labrador or Golden Retriever will be a picture of the breed standard. Every dog is unique and may have some non-standard traits.

Recommended Reading: Average Lifespan Golden Retriever

Why Choose The Golden Retriever

Dudley Majoribanks from the Scottish highlands had much to do with the modern Golden Retrievers origins. In his plans to create the perfect hunting dog, he interbred a yellow colored retriever and the Tweed Water Spaniel . He then added a small proportion of Bloodhound and Irish Setter to the mix, as well. The Labrador Retriever of the 1840s -the 1890s was then further bred to create the Golden Retriever who first premiered at a British dog show in 1908.

Designed as a hunting dog primarily, the Golden is a working breed and needs plenty of stimulation and exercise to be healthy and happy.

Labrador Retriever Vs Golden Retriever: Tail

Golden Retriever VS Labrador Retriever- Which Breed is Best For You

Along with obvious differences in their coats, its quite easy to distinguish the tail on a Labrador vs Golden Retriever. The tail on a Labrador Retriever is quite pointy and covered in short, wiry hair. Meanwhile, a Golden Retrievers fluffy tail looks more like the feathery hair that covers their belies and legs.;

Also Check: At What Age Should You Start Training A Golden Retriever Puppy

Are Male Or Female Labs Better

This is based on your preferences and what you have available. Males tend to be slightly larger than females and you might not have the space for that. Males are also more aggressive and territorial by nature than females. You might also prefer a female simply because you already have female dogs or vice versa.

Breed Comparison: Labrador Retriever Vs Golden Retriever

Looking for a level-headed, lovable family dog? Retrievers are among the most popular dog breeds in the UKbut how do you choose between a Labrador retriever or a Golden retriever? Theyre incredibly similar, sharing intelligence, high energy levels, and that adorable personality that dog lovers cant get enough of!

These energetic hunting dogs have a lot in common, making it tricky for dog owners to favour one retriever breed over the other. To help you make an informed decision about your future family pet, weve put together an easy-to-read guide about these two popular breeds. Heres a simple breakdown of the Golden Retriever vs. Labrador Retriever debate.

Via Flickr User Alonso Romero

Also Check: Best Golden Retriever Breeders California

Golden Retrievers Vs Labradors: Which Dog Is The Best

The same words are used to describe the Golden Retriever and Labrador. Obedient, friendly, fun, and loving.;

A beautiful Golden Retriever

It is easy to mistake the two because they are similar in size and share the same features. Both are known for having soft mouths and webbed feet yep, they love water! They even share an ancestor.

Labs have been Americas top dog breed since 1991. Goldens have always been top five.;

A young Labrador running through a river

Are Labrador Retrievers Easy To Train

Golden Retriever vs. Labrador Retriever [16 Factors To ...

Yes, training most Labrador Retrievers is easy. They housebreak quickly and are usually willing to please.

But this breed is strong and energetic, especially adolescents. Many Labradors between one and three years old are dropped off at animal shelters or rescue groups because of dog behavior problems such as pulling vigorously on the leash and jumping on people.

Focus on teaching loose-leash walking, indoor calmness, and no jumping. All of these are taught in my puppy training book, Respect Training For Puppies.

Or see my advice on dog;training

Recommended Reading: How Do You Trim A Golden Retriever At Home

Comparing Labrador Retrievers And Golden Retrievers

Also known as Labradors or simply Labs, Labrador Retrievers date back to the early 19th century. While they started as working dogs, they rarely fill that role now and more often fill the role of glorified house pets. Although variations exist among Labradors, they typically fall into three categories; Yellow Labs, Chocolate Labs, and Black Labs. Their names refer to the color of their coats, which range from golden-yellow to black to light brown. Among the three, Golden Labs get confused most often with Golden Retrievers due to their similar coloring. For the sake of this article, when we use the word Labrador, we will use it to refer to yellow Labs unless otherwise stated.;

Originally bred in the mid-19th century as gun dogs, Golden Retrievers come in 3 different subtypes. These include American Golden Retrievers, British Golden Retrievers, and Canadian Golden Retrievers. Although the breed originated in Scotland, we will focus on the American Golden Retriever, as it is the most popular subtype for this article. However, weve included a brief description of the other two subtypes for comparison.;

Physical Traits: How Are Golden Retrievers And Labs Different

  • Appearance & Face;

The Golden Retriever and Labrador both have the same basic head and face shape, which seems to carry a perpetually friendly expression. Yet despite their similar appearances, you can learn to distinguish between the two pretty easily with practice.

Among other differences, Labs often have wider, blunter faces than Goldens do, and Goldens typically have smaller, narrower eyes than labs.

Labs also possess very prominent eyebrow ridges, while Goldens have rather subtle eyebrow ridges. Some people think that this makes Labs more expressive, but Golden Retrievers certainly make plenty of adorable facial expressions that are just as easy to note and decipher.

  • Golden Retriever vs Lab Size & Build

Both breeds have a relatively similar athletic build, although some individuals are heavier or thinner than others.

There is plenty of variation in size among both breeds, but most Labrador and Golden Retrievers are big dogs, who weigh between about 50 and 80 pounds or so.

Nevertheless, Labs are a bit larger than Goldens on average; exceptionally large or overweight individuals may approach 90 pounds or more in weight.

Both breeds reach similar heights, but the largest Labs may grow about 1 inch taller than the largest Goldens do.

  • Colors & Coats

Labrador Retrievers come in three color variations:black, chocolate and yellow. By contrast, golden labs are, well, gold.

  • Paws, Claws, Teeth & Ears

Also Check: How Do You Trim A Golden Retriever At Home

How Sociable Are Labrador Retrievers

Are they friendly with strangers?

Yes, most Labs are happy to see everyone. They’ll bark when someone comes to the door, but they’re not protective. This is a friendly, trusting breed.

Are Labrador Retrievers good with children?

Most Labs are among the best possible dogs for children.

However, remember my cautions about exuberance and jumping. Young Labs romp and jump with vigor. That means things can go flying including people.

If your Lab has been allowed to jump on people, you should stop this behavior immediately. Jumping can injure people, and even when it doesn’t, it puts a dog in a heightened state of arousal that isn’t good for him.

If you don’t yet have your dog and your home includes toddlers or infirm adults, you might consider skipping the challenging puppy and adolescent stages. Look into adopting an adult Labrador Retriever from a rescue group. Adults have a more settled temperament and you can specifically look for a calm one.

Are Labrador Retrievers good with other pets?

Most Labs are fine with other dogs and cats, fine with livestock, and even fine with very small pets such as rabbits and ferrets.

Of course introductions should be made properly. Don’t just plunk a baby bunny onto the floor and let your full-grown Lab loose in the room. Even a friendly dog can make mincemeat of a small fragile creature simply by jumping on it.

Labrador Retriever puppies hardly shed at all…. but that won’t last!

Golden Retriever Or Lab: Which Is Better

Golden Retriever vs Labrador Retriever : Which one is best for you?

The right choice of dog breed for you might not be the right one for your neighbor or your friend. A lot of things determine which dog you should choose. For example, your pastimes, your hobbies, the time you have to spend with your puppy, family life, tolerance for dog hair, and level of dog training skills are all factors that determine whether the Lab or Golden Retriever is for you.

The fact is that you can never go wrong with any of the two breeds. You will be fine if the puppy you get is from a professional breeder. Make sure you go for a puppy that has good health, friendly parents that have an excellent medical history.

Bear in mind that anyone you choose, you can never go wrong.

Remember that the Labrador and the Golden Retriever are number one and number three, respectively, according to the list of the nations most popular dogs.

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Choosing A Golden Vs Lab Puppy

What about once the Labrador Retriever vs Golden Retriever puppy decision is made?

Whether you decide on a Golden Retriever or a Labrador Retriever choosing a single puppy out of a litter of cute puppies is never an easy task!

Plus, how do you decide which dog breeder to work with?

Or, if you are rescuing a Golden or Lab puppy, what kind of questions should you ask to learn as much as possible about your new puppys background and overall health?

While both dog breeds evolved to work, hunt and herd, both can also inherit serious health problems, as the previous section here explained.

These tips will help you choose the healthiest puppy of either breed!

Golden Retriever Vs Labrador

Author WDF Staff


When future owners pick a new family dog, they often choose between these two heavy hitters in the category of best family dogs. Golden Retrievers vs. Labrador Retrievers is not an easy choice. Whichever breed you pick, you can be sure you will make a good decision. The two breeds are very similar in character, which is why they are in the top 3 most popular dog breeds in the US. We hope this Golden Retriever Labrador comparison can help you make a decision.

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Golden Retrievers Vs Labradors

Even if you dont read any further and impulsively pick either of the breeds, rest assured you will make the right choice. Nevertheless, both breeds are different in many aspects from each other and one should know of these details to take better care of them.

For that matter, we are going to have a comparative discussion. We will look into seven of the salient traits in both these breeds one by one to give a clear view of the Golden Retriever vs. Labrador debate.

Play: How Do They Do With Other Dogs

Labrador Retriever vs Golden Retriever

If you already have an older dog at home, or you enjoy taking your dog out to parks and making doggy dates with friends, you may be worried about how Labrador or Golden Retrievers get along with other dogs.

Both breeds will play well with other dogs and are friendly around them especially if you take the time to properly introduce them, you make it a point to introduce them when theyre young, and you keep up on their training.

Also Check: Do Golden Retrievers Make Good Service Dogs

Labrador Retriever Vs Golden Retriever Colors

A big difference when it comes to Labrador Retriever vs Golden Retriever appearance is in their coats.

The Labrador Retrievers coat is short and straight while the Golden Retrievers coat tends to be longer and wavier.

They are also quite different colors

The Golden Retrievers official breed name pretty much speaks for itself. But coloration at maturity can still range from almost white to a dark golden red shade.

Labrador Retrievers have three main coat colors: black, yellow or chocolate .

So you have more variation in the Lab vs Golden Retriever

Labrador Retriever Vs Golden Retriever: Which Breed Is Best

Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers are both popular dog breeds for a reason. Aside from their adorable appearances, both are happy, loyal dogs that are easy to train.

While they may both possess distinct characteristics, only you can tell which one is the best breed for you.

Beyond your personal preferences, knowing the differences between the two breeds may help you make your decision.

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Labrador Retriever Vs Golden Retriever Size

When comparing Golden Retriever vs Lab size, it wont take you long to notice that both breeds are quite similar in this respect!

However, there is one important caveat to make here: there are actually two different breeds of Labrador Retriever: the American and the English.

While both are medium to large breed dogs, their builds can differ more than a little.

English Labs tend to be from show stock. They are stockier, with broader heads and chests. American Labs are slimmer, from working stock, and can be less barrel-chested.

There are similar differences between working and show bred Golden Retrievers, although they arent as distinct.

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