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What Is The Difference Between A Labrador And Golden Retriever

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English Vs American Labradors


In the USA the two types of Labrador also acquired some new names English and American . ;These names have nothing to do with location and everything to do with role.

Well stick to those terms here as most of you are reading in America, but the terms American and working or field type Lab are interchangeable. And the same applies to the terms English and show or bench type Lab. So for American read working type and for English read show type. Whichever country you happen to be in.

There has always been some flexibility in the roles that these dogs play. Many Labs of either type are incredibly versatile. Many English Labs will do a passable job of fetching a bird for you. And many American Labs will do a good job of being the family pet. But there are differences that may affect your choice. And its a good idea to know what they are before purchasing a puppy.

Accepted Color And Shades Of Golden Retrievers The Difference In Golden Retrievers

Another method to differentiate golden retrievers from each other is by their color. Goldens are distinct for their luxurious locks that are a shiny golden color. Keep in mind that colors are strict, especially for show dogs. If a dogs coat is out of the accepted color range, it cannot be registered under the AKC, nor can it compete.

The following are three classifications of golden retriever coat:

  • Light golden, which include the cream-colored variety
  • Golden

Golden Retrievers Are Smaller

When comparing the size difference of a Golden Retriever vs Labrador you will notice Goldens are slightly smaller on average.

Both breeds are recognized as being medium sized, however if you measure a Golden vs Lab you will notice the Golden Retriever is an inch shorter.

You can see the slight size variation in the table below which shows the average height and weight of both breeds:

Golden Retriever
Height 21 to 24
55 to 75 55 to 80

Female Golden Retrievers stand at 21 to 22 inches compared to female Labradors with a height of 21.5 to 23.5 inches.

Male Goldens are slightly larger and stands at 22 to 24 inches in height compared to a male Lab standing at 22.5 to 24.5 inches.

Female Goldens weigh between 55 to 70 pounds and female Labs weigh about the same as between 55 to 70 pounds.

Male Golden Retrievers are slightly lighter at 66 to 75 pounds vs the male Labrador Retriever at 64 pounds to 80 pounds.

The Labrador Retriever is larger than the Golden. However, the Golden Retriever is known to be slightly longer and has a longer snout too.

Labradors have a more robust looking head shape.

This is especially true for the English Labrador who are stockier and less athletic than the American Lab.

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Golden Retrievers Are From Scotland Vs Labs From Canada

Golden Retrievers were bred from wavy coated Retrievers and Tweed Water Spaniels. Labradors were selectively bred from St. Johns Water Dogs.

The Golden Retriever originated in Glen Affric, Scotland in the 1800s. Lord Tweedmouth mated a wavy coated Retriever with a Tweed Water Spaniel.

The Labrador Retriever originated 4,000 miles away from Scotland in Newfoundland, Canada.

Canadians selectively bred the Newfoundland breed with smaller water dogs to create a St. Johns Water Dogs. The St. Johns Water Dog was then imported to England and used as retrievers in shooting sports. After arriving in England the breed officially became known as a Labrador Retriever.

Goldens were officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1925, 8 years after the Labrador was officially recognized in 1917.

Main Differences Between Golden Retriever And Labrador Retriever

Differences Between Labrador and Golden Retrievers
  • Golden Retriever, as the name suggests, is a retrieving dog, while Labrador Retriever has mixed qualities of a hunting or sniffer dog.
  • Golden Retrievers are more gullible than the Labradors Retriever, which are at guarding purposes.
  • Golden Retriever has a thick fluffy fur double coat, while Labrador Retrievers have a thinner, warmer one.
  • The face of the Golden Retriever is longer due to its snout shape, while the Labrador Retriever has a rounder face shape due to its wider snout.
  • You cannot expect a Golden Retriever to be an effective guard dog as it is very friendly, but a Labrador Retriever is ideal in being both family-friendly and agile.
  • Golden Retrievers are predisposed to cancer and heart disease, while Golden Labrador Retrievers are predisposed to lymphomas, and exercise induces collapse.
  • Golden Retrievers are medium energy dogs requiring naps and rests between playing, while Labrador Retrievers are high energy dogs and require constant attention.
  • Read Also: What Age Do Golden Retrievers Calm Down

    English Cream Golden Retrievers

    This type of Golden retriever comes by many names, and there are numerous myths about it. Some believe that they are healthier and have gentler temperaments. Some even claim they are not actually Golden retrievers.

    Simply because they are white doesnt mean they are superior to other Goldens. Instead, what you should look for is pedigree.

    If your dog comes from a lineage of good-tempered ancestry from their parents to their grandparents, then they are likelier to be healthy and good-tempered dogs. It doesnt matter what shade of color they come in.

    The problem with a majority of Golden retrievers is people want to make a profit by selling Golden retriever puppies. Because of this, they irresponsibly breed dogs that are unhealthy and have problematic pedigrees. They might even breed closely related bloodlines.

    When choosing a Golden retriever puppy, it is crucial to choose a reputable breeder that performs health and DNA testing for every dog they breed.

    Although there are tons of myths about English cream Golden retrievers, there is some truth to it.

    They are indeed stockier and have blockier heads and thicker coats.

    They are also more expensive because people also have the impression that they are rare, so they will pay the cost.

    Difference Between Labrador And Golden Retriever

    April 28, 2011 Posted by Olivia

    Labrador vs Golden Retriever

    Labrador and Golden Retrievers are two dog breeds that are extremely popular in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. These dogs are best loved dogs in the country and though bred as hunting dogs, they have become a part of family life for millions across the country. Labs, as Labradors are fondly called, and Goldies, as Golden Retrievers are referred to, are similar in appearance and are very friendly and loyal breeds. People are often confused between these two breeds. This article will explain the differences between these two breeds to help people choose one of the two breeds depending upon their requirements.

    Build of Labrador vs Golden Retriever

    Goldies are heavier than Labs when it comes to average weight. Grown up Golden Retrievers can weigh between 55-75 pounds whereas Labs can weigh as much as 100 pounds. This is why Goldies are not so energetic when compared with Labs. Lower activity levels make Goldies become overweight. Labs have a slightly different bone structure and are slightly taller than Goldies. As they have a slightly higher average muscle mass, Labs tend to have an athletic built as compared to Goldies.

    Coat type and color of Labrador vs Golden Retriever

    Energy level of Labrador vs Golden Retriever

    Attitude of Labrador vs Golden Retriever

    Grooming of Labrador vs Golden Retriever

    Read Also: What Is The Lifespan Of A Golden Retriever

    History Of The Golden Retriever

    The first Baron Lord Tweedmouth, born in the mid-nineteenth century in Scotland, is considered the founder of the Golden retriever breed. By crossing a shorthaired pointing dog and a missing Tweed Water Spaniel, he obtained four golden-haired puppies, which served as the basis for todays god. Later, they were crossed with other breeds, such as the Bloodhound, the Irish Setter or the same Labrador Retriever.

    At that time, the first Golden retrievers were considered to be dogs with excellent hunting skills, and in those days hunting days were frequent between the noble classes, where birds of all kinds were hunted. Like the Labrador retriever, the Golden retriever showed a good predisposition for collecting. In 1913, the Golden retriever was officially recognized by the Kennel Club UK as a Golden retriever or golden retriever, but it was not until 1920 that the Golden Retriever Club was born.

    Currently we find several Golden retriever lines according to his breed: English, American and Canadian.

    Are They Good For Families & Children

    Differences Between Labrador and Golden Retriever

    Golden retrievers:

    Golden retrievers make excellent family dogs.

    They absolutely love spending time with people and are great with kids.


    Labradors are excellent family dogs as well.

    They love people and kids, but given that they are a little more boisterous than retrievers, and often dont know how big they are, they can get overexcited and knock small children down.

    If you have a family, a lab or golden retriever would make a great addition to it.

    Theyll love spending time with you and bring endless joy to everyone.

    However, if you have small children and you decide to get a lab, youll need to watch out because labs sometimes dont know how big they are and can get overexcited and knock small children down .

    Also Check: English Golden Retriever Temperament

    What Is Labrador Retriever

    Labrador Retriever is a mix of the Golden Retriever and the Labrador pure breed. It is a medium to a big dog and is classified under family guard dogs. They have both cool temperaments as well as mental agility.

    These dogs are said to have originated from the stock species called St Johns species in Newfoundland, Britain. There are two types of these dogs: English stock and American stock. The first one is bulkier than the latter.

    It is an energetic, playful and agile dog with good mental awareness and speed. It has smooth, sleek fur double coats that consist of small furs that generally generate a lot of heat. They shed their coat year-round but owning to small hair size, the coat is of low maintenance. They live approximately for 10 to 12 years, making them ideal companions. They have a wide snout and pointed tail.

    Labradors were originally meant for hunting purposes and often accompanied men on their hunting ventures. To date, if trained well, they perform well in bird and small animal hunting games. They have a pointed furless tail that is flexible and often shows the dogs mood. They also require more attention than Golden Retrievers as they cannot spend time alone and are more clingy.

    Being a pure breed dog, it also has predispositions to genetic diseases and disabilities that have to be thoroughly checked during the purchase of any such dogs. Also, both Retrievers and Labradors are said to be healthy dog species as they do not fall sick easily.

    Why Do They Make Great Assistance Dogs

    The result of cross-breeding a Labrador with a golden retriever is a dog that is willing to retrieve and do task work for its owner yet, at the same time, has a loving nature. Calmer than a pure Labrador but more confident than a typical golden retriever.

    Because Labrador cross golden retrievers are even-tempered and enjoy work, it makes them a fantastic companion for anyone, but especially our clients who must have a reliable canine partner to help them day to day.

    In training, these dogs willingly do anything for a treat, which makes them all the more easy to motivate. Although the golden retriever can be motivated by different things to its distant cousin, the Labrador.

    Since these dogs are also incredibly loyal, their owners get every benefit of having this mix of breeds support them and stay with them. They get a good working life from a Labrador cross golden retriever and a good retirement from them too.

    Read Also: When Do Golden Retriever Puppies Start To Calm Down

    Golden Retriever Vs Labrador Which One To Choose

    If you have already adopted a Labrador retriever or a Golden retriever and you are thinking of welcoming him for good, you are lucky, both dogs are incredible breeds with a big heart. But if you have to make a choice, we give you a few little hints. Golden retriever vs Labrador

  • Which one is best to live in an apartment? Both breeds can adapt well to an apartment if we take three to four walks a day, totalling a minimum of two hours, combining walking and games.
  • Which one gets along best with the children? Both can be excellent with young children, but the Golden retriever is considered much more appropriate in a home with young children.
  • Which one needs more training? Although both are very smart, the Golden retriever needs more attention in terms of training and mental stimulation.
  • Which one is the quieter? Neither dog is distinguished by his calm temperament until adulthood, but the adult Golden retriever can be considered quieter.
  • Which one has the longest life expectancy? Both dogs generally have more than 10 years of life expectancy, but it is proven that the Labrador retriever lives longer than the Golden retriever.
  • Which one is healthier? Both breeds of dogs have several common hereditary diseases, the Golden retriever being the healthiest. This may vary depending on the care they receive and their genetic makeup.
  • Grooming A Golden Retriever

    Labrador Vs. Golden Retrievers Differences and Information ...

    The Golden Retriever has a medium length double coat, consisting of a water repellant top coat and a soft undercoat. They have longer feathering fur on the neck, legs, and tail. Goldens are sometimes bred for longer, silkier coats than what is described in the breed standard. Many owners like soft, flowing coats while breed purists say that Goldens, as hunting dogs, should have more moderate coats.

    All Goldens, regardless of coat length and texture, require regular grooming. The undercoat grows denser in cold weather and sheds in warm weather. Use of an undercoat rake can help remove loose fur from the undercoat. For the top coat a good quality slicker brush is a must-have. Some also like steel tooth combs.

    More than one brushing per week is recommended for Goldens. Grooming a Golden also requires trimming some of the longer fur with scissors, specifically thinning shears. Areas that require regular trimming with scissors include the ears, feet, neck, and tail. The coat of a Golden Retriever should never be shaved.

    Besides maintaining the coat, basic grooming needs for a Golden also include baths, nail trimmings, and ear and teeth cleaning. Remember that drop eared dogs are prone to ear infections. So how does Golden Retriever grooming compare with Labrador Retriever grooming?

    Read Also: Best Collar For Golden Retriever

    Labs Vs Goldens Shedding

    Goldens and Labs shed a similar amount but Goldens usually require more day-to-day grooming. Although Goldens have a longer top coat than a Labrador, both dogs shed quite a bit.

    Goldens shed the most during the spring when their undercoat grows thick and moults. The term blowing the coat was coined to describe their extensive shedding. Whilst a Labradors hair is shorter, they still shed a lot, particularly their undercoat during warmer weather, too.

    A few tips for these heavy shedders. Dont wear black, as their light hair will be more visible on dark clothing, and groom your dog outside to avoid excess hair in your home. Both dogs would benefit from almost daily brushing with a slick brush and groomed with an undercoat rake. The undercoat rake is the best way to deal their shedding during warmer months.

    Size & Weight Comparison Chart

    Recommended Health Tests From the National Breed Club:Hip EvaluationPossible Health complications:;A condition called exercise-induced collapse can occur in some young adult Labs;A DNA test allows breeders to identify carriers and plan breedings to avoid producing the disease.Like other large, deep-chested dogs, Labs can develop a life-threatening stomach condition called bloat. Life Span:Recommended Health Tests From the National Breed Club:Hip EvaluationPossible Health complications:Eye conditions; certain heart diseasesThe Goldens ears should be checked weekly for signs of infection, and the teeth should be brushed often.

    Don’t Miss: Best Harness For Golden Retriever

    Activity Level And Temperament

    Bred as hunting companions, labs and goldens are members of the sporting dogs group. They were designed to be active with their human partners all dayswimming, running, and of course, retrieving game. This means that theyre best suited to an active lifestyle. Theyre both ideal breeds if you enjoy jogging, walking, and exploring.

    Both goldens and labs are highly intelligent dogs and excel in different roles, working as service dogs, guide dogs, and search and rescue dogs.

    One thing to keep in mind if youre considering adding a retriever to your family: these breeds are not particularly good guard dogs. While their friendly demeanor makes them exceptional family pets, it also makes them less of a threat to intruders.

    Labs and goldens are family dogs to their core, and they want to spend time with their favorite people. They dont do well when left to their own devices;and will need;a trusted pet sitter or dog walker;to help out if youre not available during the day.

    So with all these similarities, how do you choose? Hopefully, this guide solves your debate between a Golden retriever vs. Labrador retriever.

    No matter which breed you choose, youll be gaining a lovable family member. And nothing beats that.

    How Closely Related Are Golden Retrievers And Labradors

    Golden Vs. Labrador â Differences Between Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever

    How much in common do the Golden and Lab share? To answer that question, lets examine the historical origins of both breeds.

    Labrador Retrievers existed first, sometime in the 1830s. They were bred in Newfoundland by curious European settlers who combined the genetics of St. Johns Water Dogs with British hunting dogs. Labs were favored then by royals such as Sir John Scott, the Earl of Home, the Duke of Buccleuch, and the Earl of Malmesbury.

    Golden Retrievers came from Scotland and were first bred midway through the 19th century. As the breed name tells you, Goldens could retrieve on land and in water. To produce the Golden Retriever, prior generations of retriever dogs were bred with water spaniels.

    Okay, so there are no matches on the lineage. It doesnt seem like the two Retriever breeds ever intersected in those early days.

    Goldens and Labs arent the only Retrievers, by the way. Other, lesser-known Retriever breeds include the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, the Flat-Coated Retriever, the Curly-Coated Retriever, and the Chesapeake Bay Retriever. These Retriever breeds are all recognized by the American Kennel Club.

    Also Check: What Color Will My Golden Retriever Be

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