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What’s The Difference Between A Labrador And A 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.

Golden Retriever Vs Labrador Shedding

Ask any Golden Retriever or Labrador Retriever owner does your dog shed? and prepare for a good, long and thorough answer!

Both dog breeds shed year-round, and both can shed great amounts of hair.

Both will shed even more twice per year in the spring and fall during the seasonal coat changes.

Golden Retriever hairs are longer and often paler, so can be more problematic for owners who dont like shed hairs stuck to their clothes.

So unless you have an incredibly high tolerance for dog hair during the molting season, you will likely need to commit to daily brushing, and weekly undercoat rake combing.

However, for some of the year Labs require less grooming than Golden Retrievers.

Golden Retriever Vs Labrador Retriever: Whats The Difference

July 7, 2021

Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever are two of the most popular dog breeds in the United States, but what is the difference between them?

In this post, we are going to share the history, breed characteristics, appearance, temperament, and more to give you clear-cut insights about these two amazing dog breeds.

Lets dig into by starting with the origin of these family dogs.

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Origins Of The Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever comes from an old breed called St. Johns Water Dog, a Canadian breed from Newfoundland that went extinct in the late 1980s. We assume that Labrador got his love for water from this breed.

Like its ancestor both Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever fulfill the same purpose, they were developed to participate in hunting games, and if we look back, Labrador was extremely popular among hunters of waterfowl.

In 1814 this breed was first produced in northeastern Canada, where the Labrador name came from, and according to a book titled instructions to young sportsmen written by Peter Hawker, it proves that the Labrador Retriever has been a hunters dog right from the beginning.

Labrador Retriever Vs Golden Retriever Exercise

Differences Between Labrador and Golden Retrievers

One thing that Labradors and Golden Retrievers share is their love for physical activity of all kinds.

Labs were originally working dogs, revered for their detection abilities, tracking, hunting, therapy assistance, and carting. If they dont get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, then their urge to do something physical can manifest in misbehavior. For example, your Lab might chew up household objects.

Golden Retrievers, being retriever dogs on land and in sea, were also bred to be active. A half-hour of activity might not cut it for the Golden, so try to give the dog an hour of exercise per day. Some Goldens can even romp around for upwards of two hours, but that depends on your dogs age, health, and personality.

If youre bringing home a Retriever puppy, you cant expect to exercise it that much right away. Youll overexert the poor thing and put its health at risk. Instead, for each month of life the puppy has had, tack on five additional minutes of exercise.

For example, if you adopt a five-month-old Lab or Golden, youd multiply 5 x 5 for a max of 25 minutes. This shouldnt be overly vigorous exercise either, but playing fetch or going for a walk with your puppy. Playtime generally does not count towards a dogs overall daily exercise requirements.

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Golden Retriever Vs Labrador Retriever Health Tests

Both Labrador and Golden Retriever parents should have good hip and elbow scores, be PRA clear and have eye tests of less than a year old.

But Golden Retrievers can also suffer from higher rates of cancer, for which there are no health tests.

However when considering Labrador Retriever vs Golden Retriever puppies, you can search for older Golden Retriever parents, and find a breeder who can provide veterinary proof of a lack of family history of cancer.

You will also want to check for family history of heart problems with the Golden Retriever parents.

Are Golden Retrievers Calm

Adults have a wonderfully settled temperament and you can specifically look for a calm one. Providing enough exercise and mental stimulation. Golden Retrievers were developed to be hunting dogs, which mean they are athletic and smart dogs. They need regular opportunities to vent their energy and do interesting things.

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Labrador Retriever Vs Golden Retriever Training

Training your dog at the basics is a must, but what kind of training experience can you expect with a Labrador versus a Golden?

As we wrote about here, Labs are considered quite easy to train. They love the exercise, they want to make you happy, and theyre highly intelligent. With some treats and lots of verbal and physical praise, you can encourage a Lab to learn just about anything, even guarding.

Golden Retrievers also train with little difficulty provided you put the time and work in. These dogs are smart, ready to learn, and happy to work with you to nail down basic commands such as sit, stay, and lie down.

I highly recommend using an online training program to train your dog yourself, but with the guidance of a professional. This alternative to traditional training is both convenient as well as cost-effective.

Labrador And Golden Retriever Temperament

Golden Vs. Labrador Differences Between Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever

One of the most common questions dog shoppers ask is which dog breed is the best choice for families with young children.

While some dog breeds may be too high strung or fragile to make for good family dogs, this certainly doesnt apply to either the Labrador or the Golden Retriever!

Both dog breeds often make WONDERFUL family dogs, as long as they are well chosen and well raised.

Both are normally great with children, with their affectionate, sociable, outgoing and eager-to-please personalities.

Labrador Retrievers and Goldens are also top choices for service dogs, search and rescue dogs, detection dogs, hunting dogs, and field work dogs.

Beyond this, however, there are some important temperament differences that can indicate which dog breed might be the better choice for your household.

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Appearance Of The Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is a medium to large dog, harmonious and proportionate in appearance. He is considered to be of strong constitution and has a broad skull. Knowing the differences between the Labrador and the Golden Retriever can be interesting to review these three characteristics that we show you:

  • Size:males measure between 56 and 57 cm. at the withers, females between 54 and 46 cm. at the withers.
  • Colors:uniform colors, either totally black, yellow or liver/chocolate.
  • Hair: short, hard, dense and without waves or bangs. It has a waterproof undercoat.

The coat of the Labrador retriever, smooth and rough, differs radically from the coat of the Golden retriever, whose softness and length are absolutely different, which is one of the most pronounced differential strokes between the two breeds at first sight. The color of its coat can be of only three uniform colors: the Labrador is black, chocolate and yellow. The latter color is subject to the greatest variations in hue, ranging from very pale cream tones, almost white, to reddish tones.

A Note On The Similarities

Goldies and Labradors were both originally bred to be hunting companions for human beings. So, naturally, both of these breeds are athletic and have high activity needs. These dogs are perfectly suited for you if you lead an active lifestyle.

Both the breeds are highly intelligent as well. Theyre employed to be guard dogs, seeing eye dogs, search and rescue dogs, service dogs, etc.

Labradors and Goldies are incredibly loyal to their family and would do anything to protect the people they love. However, it is crucial to keep in mind that these dogs dont make good guard dogs.

Both the breeds are also extremely friendly in nature and generally good-hearted. They also have a naughty streak!

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Character Of The Golden Retriever

The golden retriever is also an extremely intelligent dog, in fact, it is placed above the Labrador retriever. He could be described as a dog with a docile, loyal, kind, reliable and friendly character. It is probably one of the dogs nannies par excellence, it also has a great predisposition for work.

Labradors Are More Popular


The Golden Retriever and Labrador are among the most popular dog breeds listed by the American Kennel Club.

Goldens are ranked the 3rd most popular breed and Labs are first.

The Golden Retrievers popularity sky rocketed to 3rd after the movie Air Bud.

Labrador Retrievers have been the most popular dog breed in America for over 20 years.

Both retrievers are loved for their gentle nature which is why they are used as therapy and working dogs.

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Labrador Retriever Vs Golden Retriever Which Did You Choose

We hope you have enjoyed reading through this comprehensive side-by-side comparison of Labrador Retriever vs Golden Retriever dog breed similarities and differences!

Remember, there is no right or wrong choice only the right choice for you!

Golden Retriever owners will have to consider the risks of cancer, the potential health problems of early neutering or neutering at all, and that additional coat care.

Labrador Retriever owners will need to think about that increased bounciness and pushiness with strangers, and the possibility of separation anxiety or chewing problems.

There is no easy answer to the Labrador Retriever vs Golden Retriever debate.

But what you can be confident in is, as long as you choose your pup carefully, train and socialize them well, either dog is a great bet for a family pet.

When you do decide, we would love to hear your story of which breed you chose and how you and your new canine bestie met one another and knew you had found the one!

Golden Retriever Vs Labrador Retriever

The retriever breeds are very friendly, active, and powerful dogs. They are both popular among those who want a loving family dog and those who enjoy active lifestyles.

The difference between a Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever is that a Labrador has a short, dense, weather-resistant coat while the Golden has a long coat. Purebred Golden Retrievers have a golden color while Labradors can vary from black, chocolate, and yellow.

These dog breeds are both very popular and are similar in many aspects. They do have a few key differences that are worth considering though, so read on to learn more about these two breeds.

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Labrador And Golden Retriever Dogs

Despite distinct characteristics, such as size and coat color, its the similarities between the two breeds that make these dogs unique. Both dogs have an extremely docile behavior, much desired by those looking for a large dog as a pet. Because they are very intelligent and have great skills, they serve as rescue dogs and assistance dogs for people with special needs.

It is worth mentioning that both breeds have retriever in their name. The term comes from the English term retrieve, which means get or recover something. In this sense, it is easy to deduce that they are dogs designed to retrieve something or someone. Especially, if taking into account the historical context in which these breeds were created.

Labrador VS Golden Retriever video.

Labrador Retrievers Vs Golden Retrievers: The Similarities

Differences Between Labrador and Golden Retriever

Before contrasting these two breeds, let’s take a look at what they have in common. One obvious similarity is that both these dog breeds share the word “retriever.” This means that both dog breeds were selectively bred to retrieve game for hunters.

Both Labradors and Golden Retrievers are gun dogs that were used to assist hunters who utilized guns to hunt a variety of birds. Retrievers were mostly utilized to retrieve dead or dying waterfowl and upland game birds after being shot by the hunter.

Because retrievers were responsible to retrieve birds who were later meant to be presented on the table and consumed, it was important that they retrieved with a soft mouth so as not to puncture the meat. Retrievers were selectively bred for their biddability, a natural predisposition to follow directions.

Since the work of both goldens and labs encompasses retrieving waterfowl from lakes and ponds, both breeds are blessed with a water-repellent coat.

Because of their past history as hunting dogs, Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers are categorized by the American Kennel Club under the “sporting group.” The sporting group encompasses various dog breeds that were developed to work closely with hunters helping them locate and/or retrieve quarry. Included in this group are spaniels, pointers, retrievers, and setters.

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Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Labradors And Golden Retrievers

Do Labradors and Golden Retrievers make good guard dogs?

Generally, no, Labradors and Golden Retrievers do not make good guard dogs. While they may bark at strangers, their kind and friendly personalities make them ill-suited to training as guard dogs.

Do Labradors and Golden Retrievers make good working dogs?

Yes, both breeds make excellent working dogs. They both originated as gun dogs and like to fetch objects. Both breeds make for excellent seeing-eye or therapy dogs as well.

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.
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    Labrador Retriever Vs Golden Retriever Cost

    Theres just one more question you have about Labradors and Golden Retrievers. Which is the more expensive dog?

    Labs might cost $800 to $1,200 and Golden Retrievers anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000. Do keep in mind these are averages and by no means indicative of what you might pay to adopt one of these dogs. The factors that influence the cost of a dog are the breeder you choose, where you live, if the dog has any rare genetics, and the health and quality of the dog.

    Labrador Vs Golden Retriever

    Compare Golden Retriever vs Labrador Retriever ...

    Whats the difference between a Labrador and a Golden Retriever? There are actually a few notable differences between the two that may mean better companionship for you and your family.

    • Maintenance and cost A Labrador may seem to be a bit cheaper than a Golden Retriever maintenance however, is much the same as regards food necessities and medical care. Grooming, on the other hand, may mean more responsibility for Golden Retrievers since they have longer coats and often shed hair. Maintenance costs for both will depend on where you live, but likely will be much the same.
    • Temperament While both have the qualities of being a good family pet, their slight differences may mean a better environment for the dog and the family. With a Labrador, aside from their pleasant traits, they are curious, making them more independent and actively roaming. Golden Retrievers on the other hand are friendly, making them a poor guard dog.
    • Appearance They are quite similar, except that Golden Retrievers appear furrier. Both have folded ears, medium eye shape, same nose length, and are the same size.

    So to summarize, both have wonderful temperaments and both will likely cost you the same the key difference lies in Labradors being more energetic and active, while Golden Retrievers are more likely to be relaxed and calm.

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    Labs Vs Goldens Health

    All purebred breeds like the Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever can have inherited health problems. Here are a few you need to look out for.

    Both dogs have high cancer risk, can suffer from obesity, have hip and elbow dysplasia, eye disease or ear infections. The cancer risk is higher in Goldens than Labs with over 60% of the dogs developing cancer during their lifetime. Labs are more prone to obesity than Goldens so its important that they get a lot of exercise and their weight is managed. Comparing the two dogs, Labs may be the healthier breed as much of their health problems can be avoided by testing.

    Do you prefer a Golden to a Lab? Share your favourite breed with us on or , or in the comments section below.

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