Labrador Retriever vs Golden Retriever

You want to adopt a new dog, but confused about whether to get Labrador Retriever or Golden Retriever, right? I am sure this blog post will help you in choosing the right breed.

Labrador Retriever vs Golden Retriever

With so many dog breeds out there, selecting the right one can be a bit tough task. From person to person, the criteria for dog selection may differ. For example, some people like energetic dogs, while some like couch potato dogs.

Certain factors to consider before getting a new dog are grooming, training, food, exercise, temperament, etc. of the dog breed.

When you want to adopt a friendly, affectionate, active, and intelligent breed dog, two retriever dogs come to the mind are Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever.

These two dogs are part of the retriever family. Retrievers were bred for activities like helping hunters find birds, helping fishermen retrieving fish, etc.

High-energy level and activeness are the common temperaments you will find in all retriever breeds.

Now the question is – how many types of retrievers are there? Here are six types of retrievers:

  • Chesapeake Bay Retriever
  • Curly-coated Retriever
  • Flat-coated Retriever
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Golden Retriever
  • Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

This blog post talks about the difference between Golden retriever and Labrador retriever. As both the breeds are similar in terms of appearance, temperaments, popularity, etc., selecting the right one can be tough.

In this post, I’ll clear all your confusions regarding the history, physical appearance, coat colors, grooming, shedding, and temperaments of these two breeds.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever dog

Labrador is the most popular dog breed. It is a medium-large breed. In terms of popularity, the Labrador gets number 1 rank out of 196 dog breeds on AKC (American Kennel Club). The breed is energetic, outgoing, and active.

The physical appearance and temperaments of Lab differ based on its type.

Labradors are of two types: British and American. British Labrador Retriever is also known as the English Lab. As compared to American Lab, it is larger, calmer, and less energetic.

If you want more energy in your Lab dog, get an American Labrador. American Labradors are energetic, intelligent, active, and sensitive.

Also Check: Best Dog Beds For Labradors

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever dog

Golden retrievers are medium-large dogs and they are also very popular. This breed gets 3rd rank in AKC breed popularity out of 196 dog breeds. Friendliness and smartness are the general temperaments of this breed.

Just like Labrador, Goldens are also of different types. It could be a British, American, or Canadian.

The physical appearance of a Golden Retriever dog will differ slightly based on its type. A British Golden Retriever is generally larger compared to American and Canadian.

Labrador Retriever vs Golden Retriever History

Both retriever breeds have different origins and development histories.

Labrador Retriever History

Labradors are also known as “gundogs.” From the name, it might seem that Labrador was originated in Labrador, Canada. But, in reality, it was originated in Newfoundland in the 1500s. Later, it was brought to England in the 1800s.

During that time, Newfoundlands were bred with small water dogs to create lesser Newfoundland or St. John’s Water Dog. By 1870, Labrador Retriever became the common name of this dog breed.

Labradors were used as working water dog. They were owned by fishermen. Fishermen used to use them for activities like retrieving fish and fishing nets.

English Kennel Club recognized Labrador Retriever in 1903 and the American Kennel Club recognized it in 1917.

Golden Retriever History

Talking about Golden Retriever, the breed was originated in Great Britain in the 19th century.

Golden Retriever was the result when a Curly Coated Retriever was bred with Tweed Water Spaniel. Both these breeds were originated in England and had significant involvement in the early development of the Golden Retriever.

This retriever gun dog was bred to retrieve ducks, upland game birds during hunting and shooting parties.

AKC officially recognized the Golden Retriever breed in 1925.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever vs Golden Retriever Height & Weight

The average height and weight of dog breeds will vary depending on whether it’s male or female.

Labrador Retriever Height & Weight

  • Height: 22.5-24.5 inches (male), 21.5-23.5 inches (female)
  • Weight: 65-80 pounds (male), 55-70 pounds (female)

Golden Retriever Height & Weight

  • Height: 23-24 inches (male), 21.5-22.5 inches (female)
  • Weight: 65-75 pounds (male), 55-65 pounds (female)

Labrador Retriever vs Golden Retriever Life Expectancy

Labradors and Goldens both are healthy dogs. The life expectancy of both is also very similar.

The average life expectancy of Labrador Retrievers is between 10 to 14 years, while the average life expectancy of Goldens is between 10 to 12 years.

Talking about health problems, Labradors are genetically prone to obesity, while Goldens are prone to cancer. According to a study, 61% of Golden Retrievers die of cancer.

Labrador Retriever vs Golden Retriever Temperament

As a dog owner, the most important factor you need to consider before adopting any dog breed is temperament. Finding the right dog breed isn’t about selecting the cutest one. The mistake people often make is they adopt dogs based on their looks.

Knowing the temperaments and behavior of the breed gives an idea about whether that dog breed would be ideal as per your lifestyle or not.

By comparing the temperaments of Labs with Goldies, we can find many similarities. Both dogs are affectionate, smart, and sociable.

Labrador Retriever Temperament

Labrador Retrievers

Labradors are high energy dogs. With high energy levels, their needs for physical activities are also very high. To keep a Lab happy, it is important to provide regular exercise.

If you can’t manage to provide regular exercise and you are looking for a couch potato dog, then this breed isn’t for you.

The breed is friendly and affectionate. It can’t tolerate being alone. Leaving a Labrador alone for long periods can lead to destructive behavior.

The good thing about Labs is they are smart enough and eager to please. This is what makes them easy to train.

A Labrador can be good with other household pets like cats and other dogs. However, proper supervision is necessary.

Golden Retriever Temperament

Golden Retriever in snow

As compared to Labs, Golden Retrievers’ energy levels are less. Their exercise needs are quite high. For physical and mental stimulation, they require regular exercise and physical activities.

Just like Labs, Goldens are also intelligent. Due to this, training won’t be stressful.

Golden Retriever is an affectionate dog breed, which expects so much of love and care from the dog owner. To keep a Golden happy, make sure he is always surrounded by his close ones. This is important as this retriever breed can’t stay alone for long.

They aren’t just family-friendly and kid-friendly, Golden Retrievers get along with other pets and strangers as well. If you have other household pets, Golden Retriever can be the right breed to adopt.

Labrador Retriever vs Golden Retriever Shedding

Considering the shedding level of the dog breed becomes more important when you are allergic. If you are allergic to dog shedding, you need to choose from dog breeds that shed less.

Talking about these two breeds, neither Labrador nor Golden Retriever is hypoallergenic.

Labradors’ coat is water repellant. They have a short & dense outer coat, while a soft inner coat. Goldens’ coat is also a water repellant. They have thick & wavy outer coat and soft inner coat.

Both these dog breeds have double coats and both shed all round the year. The shedding level gets higher two times a year – spring and fall. seasons During the seasonal coat changes, Labs and Goldens require more focus on grooming activities like brushing, shearing, etc.

Labrador Retriever vs Golden Retriever Grooming

As both breeds have double coats, they shed all year round. It increases grooming requirements.

Labradors require brushing 1-2 times every week, while Goldens require brushing 2-3 times a week. These breeds may also require professional grooming.

As Goldies and Labrador Retrievers shed a lot more during spring and fall seasons, focusing on grooming becomes more important during those seasons.

Due to the short outer coat layer, Labs don’t require trimming. Golden Retrievers have longer coat hairs than Labs. They have longer fur around their neck, tail, ears, legs, and feet. Because of this, they need trimming every two months.

Bathing requirements also differ from one breed to another, depending on the breed’s fur. An average dog requires a bath once every four to six weeks.

Labs require bathing every six weeks, while Goldens require bathing every four weeks. Due to longer and silkier fur, Golden Retrievers’ bathing requirements are relatively high.

When grooming a Golden Retriever or Lab, it is okay to use items like dog shampoo, wipes, and perfume. However, excessive use of such items can lead to a damaged coat. Before using any item on a dog, it is essential to make sure the item is made especially for dogs.

Golden Retriever
Golden Retriever

Labrador vs Golden Retriever Coat Colors

You will find Labradors in black, yellow, and brown (chocolate) coat colors.

Talking about Golden Retrievers, as the name suggests, the breed will mainly have golden coat color. However, it may range from almost white to dark golden-red shade.

When selecting a dog, dog owners often think so much about the color. Don’t adopt a particular breed dog just because it has appealing coat color and physical appearance. More than coat color, the crucial thing matters is temperament.

Which Retriever is The Best?

From Labrador and Golden Retriever comparison, which one is the best?

First of all, there’s nothing called a perfect dog breed. The dog breed that is perfect for you might not be good for someone else.

Each dog breed has a different temperament, shedding level, physical appearance, grooming needs, and physical needs.

Hence, the selection of the dog breed should be done based on the lifestyle. If you think characteristics, temperaments, and other factors of a particular breed will match your lifestyle, consider adopting that breed dog.

If you are looking for an energetic, smart, and outgoing dog, Labrador is for you. And if you are looking for an affectionate and gentle dog, Golden Retriever is for you.

Labrador retriever versus Golden retriever infographic


Also Check: 27 Small and Tiny Dogs That Stay Small

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