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Golden Lab vs. Labrador Retriever

2 pictures of yellow Labradors joined in the middle on the diagonal with the letters vs in the middle

These two names represent the same breed because Golden Lab is just a type of Labrador Retriever. This popular breed can be divided into three types based on its coat colors, black, chocolate, and golden (yellow). There is hardly any difference in the appearance and behavior of these dogs (except their color). Keep reading to know more details about Golden Lab and other types of Labrador Retriever.  

History of Labrador Retriever

This breed was developed in the early 1800s when some water dogs from North America were shipped to England. Most of these canines came from Canada and were of the Newfoundland type. These pups were then improved to get the modern-day Labradors.

Labrador Retrievers were bred to accompany duck hunters in their expeditions throughout the year. They showed excellent retrieving abilities in the water and quickly earned a reputation for themselves. Later on, they got domesticated and adapted really well to become one of the most popular domestic breeds. In addition to that, they have also worked as service dogs, guide dogs, search-and-rescue dogs, and show dogs.

The loving nature and gentle demeanor of these canines made them the most popular breed of the United States. They have had that position for many years now, and it seems that things won’t change any time soon. These pups are still water retrievers at heart and won’t need a second invitation to jump into the water. Therefore, you must have that in mind if you are planning to get a Labrador for your family.

Types of Labrador Retriever

A chocolate, yellow, and black Labrador retriever laying in a grass field

This breed can be categorized into three types on the basis of its coat colors. All of these dogs share the same physique and habits and are equally adorable companions. Read on to learn some interesting facts about these types of Labradors.


Black Lab sitting outdoors on a hill in tall grass with blue skies in the background.

Most of these labs have a solid black coat without any pigmentation. However, some pups may have a couple of patches of white fur due to the genetic traces of their ancestors. According to some experts, black Labs might have been completely white a long time ago.


Overhead view of a Chocolate Lab outdoors in grass looking up at the camera

These labs have three different colors on their body. They have different-colored fur on different parts of the body that looks very beautiful and classy. Chocolate Labs have light-colored hair on their backs while dark-colored fur complements them on the sides. The milk chocolate color in the middle (covering the underbelly of the dogs) enhances the beauty of these two shades.

Golden (Yellow)

Yellow Lab with sun shining on its face standing in a field of tall brown grass

The coat color of these pups is actually yellow, but they are often regarded as Golden Labs. Several owners claim that this type of Lab is much more social and friendly than others. They love to socialize with humans, enjoy their company, and will make friends even with your neighbors. For this reason, a lot of people, who are seeking an outgoing pup, are inclined to get Golden Labradors.

Common Characteristics of Golden Lab and Labrador Retriever

The following traits are found in all Labradors, including the golden ones.

Family Companions

Woman sitting on a couch petting a yellow Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are one of the most popular family dogs because of their affectionate and friendly nature. These energetic pups are ideal for active families as they love to go on walks. Similarly, they would love to accompany you for some quick runs in your backyard.

On the other hand, these loving pooches can be your favorite cuddling partner. They are very fond of their people and like to be in their company all the time. These loyal canines behave incredibly well around children and treat them with a lot of patience.

Double Coat

Yellow lab laying in green grass

Labs have a thick undercoat that helps them to stay warm during the winter. The top layer is equally beneficial as it is water-resistant and repels anything, like water and mud. This double coat was of great help during their retrieving days as they had to jump in cold water.

The shiny and straight hair of a Labrador Retriever also adds to the beauty of this breed. Hence, some breeders also develop Labs that can be used as show dogs. However, these attractive pups are usually more expensive than average Labs.

Rigorous Exercise Needs

Man and dog jumping from a dock into a lake

Thanks to their working background, Labs have an abundant supply of energy. Hence, they need plenty of physical activity and mental stimulation to stay calm and happy. Otherwise, they can develop several negative habits, like destructive chewing.

According to an estimate, Golden Labs (and other types) require at least an hour of exercise daily. You can also add a game of fetch to their walking and running routine to make things a little more interesting. This will also provide your pooch with some mental exercise.

Athletic Dogs

Yellow lab running and jumping after a blue ball at a dog training facility

This versatile breed is popular for several different purposes, like retrieving waterfowl and acting as service dogs. Likewise, these pups can be your perfect running companions because of their never-ending stamina. They will keep running for miles and can also sprint at speed over short distances.  

Labrador Retrievers have outstanding agility and physical skills, such as jumping. You may find it surprising but Labs tend to do well in several dog sports, like agility and obedience.

Easy-to-Train Canines

Yellow Labrador Retriever with a orange toy for retrieving sitting in a field of tall brown grass

Labradors have high levels of intelligence and it can be quite convenient to train them. That’s the reason why this breed is often recommended for novice owners. Other than teaching new skills and commands, socializing your pooch is also very easy for Lab owners. They love to interact with humans and will behave quite friendly, even with strangers.

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