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Labrador Retriever vs. Golden Retriever

Photos of a black lab and a golden retriever meeting on the diagonal in the middle with the letters VS in the center.

Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds. However, it can be a tricky decision to choose between a Labrador retriever and a Golden retriever. They’re very similar, with comparable intellect, activity levels, and that endearing charm that dog lovers like. Due to these similarities, it becomes difficult for dog owners to pick one retriever breed over the other. Keep reading to find an answer for this Labrador Retriever vs. Golden Retriever ambiguity.

Labrador Retriever

4 Labrador retrievers (2 chocolate, 1 black lab, and one yellow) sitting on wood planks next to a body of water

The American and English Labrador Retrievers are two distinct breeds of Labrador Retriever. Even though they are both medium to large-breed dogs, their physiques are different. Show stock is common in English Labs. Their heads and chests are broad, and they are stockier. From working stock, American Labs are leaner and have a smaller chest.

The weight of Labrador Retrievers ranges from 55-80 pounds while they can grow around 21.5-24.5 inches in height. Short and straight is the coat of the Labrador Retriever. The coat colors of Labrador Retrievers are black, yellow, or chocolate (brown). The furry layer of the Labrador has two layers and is water-resistant. They do, however, have a thick, short outer layer and a soft, insulating inner layer.

Golden Retriever

Golden retriever with front paws on a branch in an autumn field

Mature male dogs will be somewhat larger than adult female canines in every way. Male Golden Retrievers weigh between 55 and 75 pounds while females can weigh up to 64 pounds. Similarly, male members of this breed are 22-24 inches tall while females can only grow up to 22.5 inches. At maturity, the pigmentation of these canines can range from nearly white to a rich golden crimson hue.

Differences Between Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers

The Labrador Retriever and the Golden Retriever are two similar canines. At the same time, they are vastly unlike in many ways. They are both sweet-natured and caring family pups that are very popular throughout the world. Their energy levels, on the other hand, are different. The following table shows some of the marked differences between the two breeds.

             Characteristics         Golden Retriever         Labrador Retriever
TemperamentGentle and caringFriendly, energetic, and intelligent
EnergyModerate to highVery high
HealthAbove AverageAverage
Coat ColorCreamy blonde to a reddish tintBrown, yellow, and black

Similarities Between Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers

Golden retriever laying on a bale of hale  outdoors

Individual dog personality differences and similarities are far more significant than breed generalizations. However, all varieties of retrievers desire humans with whom they may share interests. For example, they like physical activities, such as hiking, jogging, agility trials, and obedience training. Some of the similarities between the two are listed below.

Life Span – Both dogs live approximately 10-12 years.

EnvironmentGolden Retrievers and Labs thrive in more spacious environments, such as a large fenced backyard.

Suitable for Kids – These fantastic pets are safe for families with kids because of their gentle personalities. They love to play with kids and treat them with a lot of love.

Sport Loving – Thanks to their history of being waterfowl for hunters, retrievers are generally strong swimmers. However, it is still necessary to train them in this sport for desired results. Both these breeds can also do quite well in other dog sports.

Health Problems – Allergies and musculoskeletal issues, like knee and hip dysplasia, are common among goldens and labs.

What is Better About Labrador Retrievers?

A yellow Labrador and a black Labrador laying in grass with dandelion flowers

The Labrador Retriever is a high-energy dog breed. This energy is excitement and enthusiasm for action, play, work, and anything chewable. Labs can’t stand being left alone for lengthy periods and can develop negative behavior. They are one of the most intelligent dog breeds. They pick things up fast and like the connection that training brings.

Labradors are excellent family dogs if you don’t mind having a canine child in your home. They are far too friendly and eager for human connection to serve as a guard dog. In fact, Labs are more likely to approach an intruder and beg for a pat than to sound the alarm.

What is Better about Golden Retrievers?

2 golden retrievers sitting on a brick path both wearing cowboy hats

They are among the most intelligent dog breeds in the world. The Golden Retriever has a medium energy level, which means it can cope with the ups and downs of everyday life. Daily walks and playtime are essential, but the Golden will gladly take a sleep or two in between these activities.

Goldens get along well with other dogs and cats, making them an excellent choice for families with several pets. Golden Retrievers are very protective of their families and would do anything to keep them safe.

Who Should Get a Labrador Retriever?

little boy hugging a retriever puppy

If you want a pet but don’t mind the additional demands for goodies, a Labrador retriever is an ideal choice. You can recognize his intelligence and will need to keep him involved in physical and mental activities. In this way, you can handle his need for a healthy mix of exercise and rest.

Alternatively, you can teach them essential skills, like hunting, fishing, and agricultural duties. It means that Labradors are a good choice for active pet lovers. However, they can never make a good guard dog.

Who Should Get a Golden Retriever?

Little girl hugging a golden retriever

You appreciate a happy-go-lucky dog who is content to be alive; this is the canine you need. You should only go for this breed if you won’t be leaving it alone for long spells during the day. However, Golden Retrievers can be left alone for a while if you can keep them psychologically and physically engaged.

They are safe for kids and don’t require as much exercise as a Lab. Therefore, they are more suitable for less active people. However, their friendly nature doesn’t allow them to become good guard dogs.

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