Labrador Retriever vs Golden Retriever

You are thinking about getting a new Labrador Retriever or a Golden Retriever. Congratulations, this writing is an ideal place to start. In fact, these two dog breeds are lovable and famously friendly. They have some similarities and differences. So, it’s not easy to decide which breed you should get.

Golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers are wonderful dogs that we all love to have. Similar in size and personality, they are usually mistakenly known as one same breed by many people. In fact, goldens and labradors are two different breeds. So how different are they?

We are here to give you all you need to know about these dogs. They can make your decision easier.

The Origins

Golden retriever originated in Scotland in the 1800s, bred to be a sporting dog. Thus, golden retrievers enjoy physical activities and hunting games. Their trainability is the reason why they are named Retrievers.

Labrador Retrievers, also commonly known for their trainability, originated in Canada and was first used as a working water dog.

In general, the two breeds were first bred to be working dogs, so they possess not only traits that allow them to be tolerate harsh working conditions but also abilities to work in long duration. In fact, these Retrievers are commonly used as guide dogs, security dogs, hunting dogs, or for other special purposes.

The Golden Retriever

This dog is known for its devoted and big-hearted personality. Also, they have rich golden coats. This breed has a soft and gentle mouth. Normally, these dogs are used to retrieve waterfowl.

Depending on the weather these dogs stay, they come in various appearances. Indeed, there are differences in American, British, or Canadian Goldens.

In fact, the British type is larger as well as more muscular when compared to the other two. Also, these three dogs come with different coats.

The Labrador Retriever

This dog breed has been developed in Newfoundland Canada first. This dog is a working water dog. They love water. Actually, there are two different types of Labrador Retriever, including the American Lab and the British Lab. There are differences between their looks and temperament.

This dog is active, sensitive, and smart. When compared between 2 types, we notice the British are normally calmer, larger, and less energetic than another.

These two dog breeds are playful, friendly, and outgoing. These dogs may be trained as service ones.

Lab and Golden Retriever Size

Generally, goldens and labradors are both categorized as medium-sized to large dogs. Their sizes are not too much different. In some cases, labradors are slightly bigger than golden retrievers.

If you want to get a dog in medium to large size, you can consider these two dogs. When it comes to size, their males are normally larger than females.

In fact, male Golden Retriever has the height of between 23-24 inches, while females are 21.5 to 22.5 inches. Males have a weight of 65-75 pounds, while it’s between 55 and 65 pounds for females.

For Lab Retriever, males are generally between 22.5 to 24.5 inches of height, while females have the height of 21.5 to 23.5 inches. About the weight, males are between 65-80 pounds, while females are from 55 to 70 pounds.

So, it’s easy to see that the Lab is larger than the Golden.

Coat Color

The coat color is the most notable difference between these two breeds. For golden retrievers, it is obvious that the most common coat color is gold. The golden shades vary from dark to light, and not all golden retrievers have the same shade.

On the other hand, Labradors are commonly known in three colors: black, chocolate, and yellow. Black and chocolate-colored labradors are easily distinguished from Golden retrievers, but how about yellow labradors ? It would be more difficult to tell the difference between a golden retriever and a yellow labrador as their coating color are similar; however, their coat types are not. Usually, labradors have shorter hair than goldens.

Coat Types 

Both breeds possess a double coat: one water-resistant top coat, and one softer undercoat.

For golden retrievers, some dog owners prefer long, soft and silky coating despite the fact that they are hunting dogs which are supposed to have shorter hair.

In winter, the undercoat tends to grow denser whereas in summer, it sheds. Thus, regular grooming is essential when having a golden retriever in order to remove loose fur. Grooming should be done at least once a week for goldens. In addition, longer fur also needs regular trimming. You can use a scissor to trim the fur. However, remember that golden retrievers should not be shaved.

For labrador retrievers, they also possess a double coat. The top coat is also water-repellant, but it is shorter compared to that of golden retrievers. The undercoat is similar to golden retriever’s, which is soft and sheds during warm weather.

Generally, the water-resistant coats are similar in both breeds. This traces back to the original purpose of this breed, which was for hunting and retrieving items. Thus, the water-resistant feature allows the breeds to tolerate harsh weather conditions.

Temperament

When it comes to temperament, it is the most difficult to tell the difference because both breeds are similarly friendly, obedient, and trainable. Labradors and goldens are good dogs for families, even families with kids. In some cases, goldens are known to be softer and more sensitive than labradors, whereas labradors are considered to be more adaptable to kids.

No matter which dog you have, it is important to get to know your dog when he first comes to the house. Both dogs are people-pleasers, so they would be happy to get along with you and your family. As so-called “retrievers”, Goldens and Labradors both enjoy playing with people and do not mind running around and participating in outdoor activities with families. Thus, they are good family dog.

Labrador vs Golden Grooming

Golden Retriever Grooming

This dog comes with a medium length double coat. Some areas have longer fur such as the neck, tail, and legs. For Golden Retrievers with longer and silkier coats, you need to give them regular grooming. In the cold weather, the undercoat normally grows denser. It’s best to use an undercoat rake to remove loose fur.

For the topcoat, we recommend you to use a good quality slicker brush. It’s essential to give at least 1 brushing a week for Golden.

In order to groom a Golden, you need to use scissors to cut some of the longer furs. There are some areas you need to use scissors to trim such as the feet, neck, ears, and tail.

In addition to maintaining the coat, you also need to give a Golden some basic grooming needs, including baths, ear and teeth cleaning, as well as nail trimming.

Labrador Retriever Grooming

Just like the Golden, this dog breed has a double coat with a soft undercoat and a top coat. However, these dogs don’t consist of the feathery furnishings on the neck, tail, and ears. So, you needn’t trim these areas.

However, you need to maintain a double coat. You will need an undercoat rake in order to remove the dead hair.

In order to groom the Lab overall, you can use a slicker brush. Sometimes, you may have to use a comb on the Lab as the last step in grooming.

For Labs, you needn’t bathe as regularly as the Goldens. Also, it’s not essential to groom them too frequently.

Golden Retriever vs Coat Color

The Lab Retrievers come in three solid coat colors. Including yellow, black, and chocolate. Of course, Golden Retrievers are available in golden color. Some of them have lighter colored fur on some areas such as the legs, neck, and tail.

When comparing between Yellow Labs and Goldens, they have very similar coat coloring.

Labrador and Golden Retriever Temperament

When it comes to temperament, it is the most difficult to tell the difference because both breeds are similarly friendly, obedient, and trainable. Labradors and goldens are good dogs for families, even families with kids. In some cases, goldens are known to be softer and more sensitive than labradors, whereas labradors are considered to be more adaptable to kids.

Both of them are very obedient and trainable. That’s why they are perfect for novice dog owners.

Generally, Golden Retrievers are a bit gentler, softer, and more sensitive compared to Lab Retrievers. Both Lab and Golden are familiars with children.

If you have active young children, you will want to get an energetic Lab. For a retired couple, you will want to get a gentle Golden in place of a Lab.

No matter which dog you have, it is important to get to know your dog when he first comes to the house. Both dogs are people-pleasers, so they would be happy to get along with you and your family. As so-called “retrievers”, Goldens and Labradors both enjoy playing with people and do not mind running around and participating in outdoor activities with families. Thus, they are good family dog.

Golden vs Labrador Health

When it comes to health, the Lab normally comes out on top. In order to avoid the risk problems in Labs, owners have to give their pet health testing. If you want to find a healthy puppy, you will need a DNA test and an eye test. For Golden Retrievers, you also need to carry out these tests.

Health concerns you can see in both Golden Retrievers and Labs include risk, hip dysplasia, obesity, and ear infections. Lab Retrievers are known with some health concerns such as entropion, laryngeal paralysis, and malformation of knees and elbows. There are also some specific health concerns to Golden Retrievers such as elbow dysplasia, seizures, and kin issues like hot spots.

In general….

Golden retrievers and labrador retrievers share many features in common, and sometimes it is not easy to distinguish the two. However, they are still two different breeds with various different needs. Nevertheless, both breeds are friendly and lovable, which are suitable for families. If you like having a dog that is well behaved and enjoy playing time with you, a golden or a labrador would always be a great choice. Since they are still different breeds, they require different amount of care and protection against illnesses. To know best about your dog, it is recommended that you consult a professional.

Both of these two dogs are listed as the ideal dog you can add to your family. If you want to look for an intelligent and energetic dog to keep in your family with children, you can consider adding a Lab. It’s perfect for you. However, don’t forget to make sure the dog you choose is under fully health tests. Also, you should ask breeders about some basic information about the temperament of dogs. Then, you will get a lovable family member. The above is some differences between the two breeds, but we are sure that these differences do not affect at all the joyful moments they would bring you at home.

 

Kim

I had my first litter three years later. It was by Tigathoe’s Pious Pete, a serious field competitor. After a great deal of cajoling and bribery on the part of my family members, I enrolled in an Obedience Class. At the same time, I took on my relative’s dog and went High In Trial with him.

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