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Which Dog Is Better Golden Retriever Or Labrador

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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.

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

With The Labrador Its A Little Different And They Are Classed Into Two Categories Only

The American Labrador is the working class dog. They are less sturdy than the show dogs. If you’re looking for a companion with super high energy levels and are athletic, look no further.

An American Labrador walking on the beach

British Labradors are the show dogs. They are bred with looks and temperament in mind. They are much milder but still very active, but are more suitable to be a house pet.

Labrador Retriever Vs Golden Retriever Which One Is A Better Dog Breed For You

“Find similarities and differences between Labrador Retriever vs Golden Retriever”

Comparison Criteria
Yellow Retriever, Golden Flat Coat
Breed Type
Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1917 as a Sporting breed. Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1925 as a Sporting breed.
FCI Group Recognized by FCI in the Retrievers – Flushing Dogs – Water Dogs group, in the Retrievers section. Recognized by FCI in the Retrievers – Flushing Dogs – Water Dogs group, in the Retrievers section.
Breed Recognition Dog Registry of America Inc.Federation Cynologique InternationaleKennel Club of Great BritainNorth American Purebred Registry, Inc.American Canine Association, Inc. Dog Registry of America Inc.Federation Cynologique InternationaleKennel Club of Great BritainNorth American Purebred Registry, Inc.American Canine Association, Inc.

The Differences Between Golden Retrievers And Labrador Retrievers Are Subtle

At a glance, it might seem that the only difference between Goldens and Labs is their coat. The Golden has a dense and glamorous coat of gold. The Lab has a much shorter coat, and he has no plumage on his tail. 

Upon closer look, you might notice that their build is quite different. While their height and weight don’t vary much, their body shapes are distinct. Goldens have a sleek body and have a narrow snout.

The Lab is muscular, with thick and short snouts and blocky heads. 

Labs are also known for their expressiveness due to those prominent eyebrow ridges. 

Take a look at the expressive eyes of a Lab

But, Goldens have them too. It’s not that obvious, but it’s there.

The chart below shows a comparison between the Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever.


Hip and elbow dysplasia, cancer, gastric torsion Hip and elbow dysplasia, obesity, gastric torsion

What Are The Differences Between Golden Retrievers And Labrador Retrievers

Golden Retriever Vs Labrador Retriever

Although they’re retriever cousins, Labs and goldens are from separate parts of the world. Labrador retrievers originated on the island of Newfoundland in the most eastern province of Canada, Labrador. Interestingly, there are actually three different types of golden retrievers, hailing from Britain, the United States, and Canada, respectively. 

When you see these dogs cozied up by one other, especially a yellow or golden Lab and a golden retriever, there’s a slight sporting dog family resemblance, but also key points to help tell them apart.

One difference between golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers is their muzzle shape: goldens’ are more narrow with a lean jaw, while Labs’ are broader and a bit more jowly. Noses are still boopable on both!

Both retrievers are double-coated breeds, so they’ll ‘blow coat’ at least twice a year. But if there was a medal given for shedding, Myers says there’s a clear winner. “A golden is for humans who love to vacuum…and whose favorite fashion accessory is dog hair!” Labs’ smoother coats help them glide through the water more easily.

Is a golden retriever the same as yellow Lab? Nope! But if you’ve read this far, you already know that. However, there is a mixed breed known as a Goldador that has golden and Labrador retriever parents, so a pretty yellow color might come from both of them.

Aside From That Goldens Branched Out Into American British And Canadian

Each of these variations have their own set of characteristics. Americans are the leanest with long and wavy coats. They usually come in the standard Golden color. 

British Goldens have blocky heads and a bit more muscle definition. Their coats are also beautifully thick. Their coats are generally a lighter gold, and some are so pale they almost look white.

Canadians are slightly bigger than the two, but their coats are less feathery. Their thin coats are the darkest amongst the three.

Despite cosmetic differences, their temperaments and personalities are supposed to be the same.

Health Issues For Both The Golden Retriever And The Labrador Retriever

Both of these breeds do have some health concerns that you should be aware of.

Both have a high risk of cancer, obesity, hip dysplasia and ear infections. Also, they are at risk for Laryngeal Paralysis. This is an illness affecting older dogs that partially paralyzes the voice box, resulting in a muffled bark and difficulty breathing.

This is more pronounced when your dog becomes excited or when the weather is humid and it might result in them being unable to participate in the same amount of exercise that they once could do. I currently have a Golden Retriever that has this issue for approximately the past year.

Concerns for the Labradors only are Entropion, which is an abnormality of the eyelids, where the eyelid rolls inward. Also, they run the risk of malformation of knees and elbows.

In addition to the above concerns, Golden Retrievers health concerns include elbow dysplasia which is similar to hip dysplasia. They have also been known to have seizures and skin issues such as hot spots, along with allergies.

For both of these breeds, I recommend talking to your breeder if you are getting a puppy and finding out what the parents of the puppy’s might have experienced. This could save you lots of issues in the future by knowing the health of the parents.

The Golden Retriever Vs Labrador Retriever Which One Is Really Better

Even though these dogs originated an ocean apart, both of these breeds are so similar you may just have to visit a few and play with them to make your final decision. The differences between these two breeds are very minimal, so it all comes down to specific preferences or if you meet with a few puppies, whichever one makes a lasting impression on you.

Both Breeds Shed Moderately But Golden Retrievers Need More Grooming

Both have waterproof coats that shed moderately and blow out twice a year. The Golden Retriever has longer and denser coats, and you will find their fur everywhere.

Labs shed just as much, but because their fur is shorter, it might not be so noticeable.

There is no such thing as a short-haired Golden Retriever. If you find one, it is most likely crossed with a Labrador. Since they are so similar and share many characteristics, they can pass off as a “pure” Golden.

Their fur can only be wavy or straight, never curly. Curly coated Golden Retrievers are likely to be mixed as well.

Labs have short fur, and they come in Chocolate, Yellow and Black. The most common are Yellow, and they look similar to light-coated Goldens. Golden Retrievers come in all shades of gold.

Labrador Retrievers Vs Golden Retrievers: A Side By Side Comparison

Mark Brunson

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Deciding to adopt a dog is the easy part, but choosing between a Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever is far more difficult. Although both breeds are Retriever dogs, they don’t share as much in common as you’d think.

Labrador Retrievers have closer cropped coats and a different body shape than Golden Retrievers. Their coats also come in different colors outside of yellow, such as brown or black. Both breeds are friendly, intelligent dogs that love exercise and train easily. Expect seasonal shedding from both.

This resource will be your ultimate guide to the differences between Labs and Goldens. Ahead, we’ll compare the two breeds side by side in areas such as appearance, size, temperament, intelligence, grooming, training, and the cost to own. You’ll easily be able to decide whether a Golden Retriever or Labrador Retriever is the right dog for you by the time you’ve finished reading.

Labs Can Be Yellow Black And Chocolate Goldens Can Only Be Gold

It is a common misconception that Labradors can be golden in color. In fact, if you ever do cross paths with a golden colored Retriever then it is probably a Goldador .

The color of Golden Retriever vs Labrador dogs is one of the major differences.

Golden Retrievers and Labradors have differences coat colors.

Their breed standards state:

  • A Golden Retriever’s coat is gold. This color may range anywhere from a creamy off-white to shades of gold to darker shades with reddish hues.
  • The Labrador Retriever has three different official coat colors: yellow, black and chocolate.
  • Labrador Retrievers can also come in a red or silver. However, these two colors are not officially recognized.

    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.

    It Is Important To Spend Time Searching For The Right Breeder

    Labrador Retriever Vs Golden Retriever Differences

    Backyard or unethical breeders might sell their puppies at a low price

    Reputable breeders might ask for a higher price as they put more effort into their puppies’ care. Quality food, accessories, training classes, and regular checkups all add up.

    You can find Goldens at: 

    You can find Labradors at:

    Differences Between Labrador Retrievers And Golden Retrievers

    Adrienne is a certified dog trainer and former veterinarian assistant who partners with some of the best veterinarians worldwide.

    Labrador Retrievers versus Golden Retrievers: Which dog breed is better? Just like picking tasty chocolates from a variety box, it can be challenging to decide which breed you prefer as both dog breeds are equally appealing and share attractive traits, which makes them both potentially great companions.

    If you are debating between these two dog breeds, you can be assured that you are not alone. Countless prospective dog owners across the globe often wonder which dog breed to introduce into their homes and often debate between these two. Not surprisingly, when it comes to popularity, both dog breeds rank very closely.

    According to the American Kennel Club, Labradors ranked number one as the most popular dogs in 2017 with goldens lagging just a bit behind and ranking third place. For those wondering, German Shepherds ranked second place.

    Difference Between Labrador And Golden Retriever Temperament

    The words commonly used to describe the temperaments of both Goldens and Labs are the words we use to describe very good dogs! Both breeds are friendly, reliable, affectionate, gentle, trusting, and kind. But many potential owners wonder about the differences between Lab and Golden Retriever personalities.

    Before talking about temperament, it’s always a good idea to remind new dog owners that all dogs are individuals, and breed alone does not guarantee any specific personality traits or behaviors. Meeting the parents, good training and socialization practices from puppyhood into adulthood are the best ways to ensure that you get the kind of dog you want.

    Labs and Goldens are both very trainable and obedient, which is good news for novice owners. Canine behavior experts explain the minor temperament differences between Goldens and Labs in terms of degrees. Generally, Goldens are said to be a bit softer, gentler, and more sensitive than Labs.

    While both do well in families with children, Labs tend to have the advantage in adapting to households with boisterous, lively, and loud young children. Many Goldens prefer a slightly more calm and tranquil home environment.

    It’s always important to take your lifestyle into account when choosing a dog…both the breed and the individual animal. An active family with young children may prefer an energetic Lab, while a retired couple may welcome a gentle Golden instead.

    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: 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.

    Let’s dig into by starting with the origin of these family dogs.

    Golden Retriever Vs Labrador Retriever: Grooming & Shedding

    These two breeds were bred for similar purposes, but have variations in their coat structures, based on the environments in which they originated. These variations are easy to see and cause quite a difference during shedding season. Both breeds should be extensively brushed twice a year during shedding seasons.

    Labradors Are More Stubborn And Goldens Are More Sensitive

    They are both great family dogs with big hearts. These two fun yet gentle breeds are accepting of people and animals alike.

    Golden Retrievers sitting on the green grass

    The Labrador and Golden Retriever are both used as service dogs. They are commonly employed as guide dogs for the blind or deaf and search and rescue.

    Canine experts claim that Goldens are much more sensitive than Labradors. Their study says that Labs are a bit thick-skinned and will brush off any scoldings.

    Children might prefer the Lab, but these excitable dogs might knock them over. A gentle Golden is better suited for families with very small children.

    The Labrador’s zest for life will always leave him wanting more. He might be prone to separation anxiety. 

    Just watch Stanley as he eagerly waits for his mama to wake:

    Goldens are much more chilled out and will entertain himself if left alone. But neither breeds are designed to be left alone. They need to be a part of the family.

    Labrador Retrievers Vs Golden Retrievers: The Similarities

    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.

    Golden Retriever Vs Labrador Retriever Vs German Shepherd

    Golden Retriever vs Labrador Retriever

    October 9, 2020adminPets

    Everyone likes to have a pet, and most of them prefer a dog over the other pet animal. However, before preferring which dog we should always keep as pets, we have to know the benefits and limitations of various breeds. Here we will compare some of the best pet dogs- golden retriever vs. Labrador retriever vs. German shepherd.

    Both Breeds Are Easy To Train But Can Become Destructive

    Golden Retrievers and Labradors are two of the most intelligent breeds. They are easy to train due to their people-pleasing attitude.

    Do note that they have physical demands and require lots of exercise, up to an hour a day. Might become over-excitable, or destructive if their needs are not met. 

    Dogs sometimes eat rocks when bored, and this can be fatal. It can cause internal bleeding, or a blocked stomach, and will require surgery.

    Neither are great guard dogs. They might alert you with their loud barks, but they are notoriously friendly.

    Whats The Difference Between A Husky Vs Golden Retriever

    As you learn more about the difference between a Husky vs Golden Retriever, it can be helpful to compare both Siberian Husky/Golden Retriever and Alaskan Husky/Golden Retriever.

    The Siberian Husky is a registered, pedigreed purebred dog breed.

    The Golden Retriever is also a purebred dog breed.

    Purebred dogs typically show less genetic variety and thus more overall predictability in appearance, size, temperament, health, and other important traits.

    Miniature Golden Retriever.

    The Alaskan Husky, in contrast, is a mixed breed Husky dog.

    Genetic studies show many Alaskan Husky dogs have a mixture of Siberian Husky and Alaskan Malamute, along with other working breeds such as Greyhounds, pointers, Border Collies, and hounds.

    With such mixed genetics, you can expect to see more variation in an Alaskan Husky dog in appearance, height, weight, coat, and body composition.

    However, genetic studies show that in temperament and work ethic, Alaskan Husky dogs are quite similar!

    Final Thoughts On Labrador Retriever Vs Golden Retriever

    While the Labrador and the Golden do share a lot of similarities, there are a few key differences between them.

    Both require an active lifestyle and are happy to go swimming and play fetch with you. If you are looking for a more energetic dog, then a Lab might be your choice.  A Golden is active as well but might prefer a calmer environment.

    Some people might have a tough time deciding between these two breeds, and others are either a Lab person or a Golden person. Regardless of which breed you choose, you will end up with a friendly, outgoing and loving member of the family.

    Which Is Better Labrador Or Golden Retriever: Appearance

    According to the standards of appearance:

    The height of the retriever does not exceed 61 cm. Goldens are slightly taller – their maximum height reaches 63 cm.

    Golden’s body weight reaches 42 kg. The retriever weighs a little less – 40 kg . Important! The bodyweight of dogs depends on the class. Show-class animals weigh a little more than workers.

    The skeleton of Labradors is much more powerful, so they give the impression of being heavier and more powerful dogs.

    Goldens have long, wavy or straight hair with a thick and dense undercoat. The color of the coat is exceptionally golden . Labradors cannot boast of waves and hairs. Their “fur coat” is smooth and even, does not grow more than 5 cm in length. The standard allows several colors: brown, fawn, and black.

    The tail of the Labrador is thick at the base and gradually tapering towards the end. Can be lifted up, but never curved towards the back. Golden’s tail resembles a feather due to the presence of a long hair suspension characteristic of setters. Never rises above the backline.

    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.

    How Closely Related Are Golden Retrievers And Labradors

    How much in common do the Golden and Lab share? To answer that question, let’s 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 doesn’t seem like the two Retriever breeds ever intersected in those early days.

    Goldens and Labs aren’t 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.

    Labrador Retrievers Differences From Golden Retrievers

    Come in chocolate, yellow and black.

    They have a broad head with pronounced eyebrows. Labradors have a medium non tapered nose and a muscular build. They are sturdy with well-defined body cuts.

    Shorter fur which is hardly 1? long and is a harsh and rough coat. There is very little maintenance with the Labrador Retriever’s coat. A brushing once per week should be enough unless they have gotten into something.

    Labrador’s have a strong work ethic, a stubborn streak and are suitable for working long hours in harsh conditions.

    Labradors are affectionate, cheerful, energetic, friendly, gentle, loving, loyal and playful.

    Labradors have a high energy level, and sometimes this may interfere with their ability to focus and concentrate on training.


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