Saturday, June 10, 2023

Golden Retriever vs Labrador – Which One Should You Choose?

Dogs are the most beloved animals you can have as a pet. Having a dog in your home can be great fun. They are fun-loving companions and prove to be the best members of your family. Among all dog breeds, the retriever cousins – golden retrievers and labradors – are family-oriented and beloved. Continue reading this article to explore the Golden Retriever vs Labrador.

Both belong to the same retriever family. Golden Retrievers and Labradors are known for their loyal and gentle nature. They are very friendly and tolerant; hence, they are suitable for families with small kids. Besides, an added advantage is that they are easy to train and respond positively when rewarded with treats.

Along with pets come many responsibilities, such as taking them for a walk regularly and making them familiar with other dogs and humans. Taking care of their diet, skin, fur, and health, and regular veterinarian visits. On top of that, they need a lot of love, care, attention, and cuddles.

As a Golden Retriever and Labrador are retriever cousins, they have many similarities and differences. Let us explore them in this article.



  • Height: 22.5-24.5 inches (male) and 21.5-23.5 inches (female)
  • Weight: 65 – 80 pounds (male) and 55 – 70 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 11 – 13 years
  • Colors: Black, Chocolate, and Yellow

Also known as the Labrador Retriever worldwide, it is a British breed. It originated in the United Kingdom from the fishing dog imported from the colony of Newfoundland. This breed is well known for its playful, devoted, open, and enthusiastic temperament.

In addition, Labradors are pretty robust and muscular and have powerful jaws and prominent noses. Their eyes are usually brown and hazelnut colored. Their coat is short and thick, and you can find this breed in yellow, brown, and all-black colors.

Further, they love swimming, playing, long walks, and rigorous training sessions. They love to socialize with children and other dogs.

Golden Retriever


  • Height: 23-24 inches (male) and 21.5-22.5 inches (female)
  • Weight: 65 – 75 pounds (male) and 55 – 65 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 10 – 12 years
  • Colors: Golden, Dark Golden, Cream, and Light Golden

Originating in Scotland in the 19th century, a Golden Retriever is a versatile breed. It is among America’s most popular dog breeds. They are full of joyful exuberance and have an excellent temperament and friendly nature. They are excellent workers at hunting, guide blinds, help in search-and-rescue, and take part in competitive events.

In addition, they are known for their thick, lustrous coat of gold. This can vary in color from pale gold to a deep amber shade. These dogs need a lot of grooming, as they have long hair. Also, they require a high daily exercise like walking or running. They are also known as gun dogs.

Similarities between a Golden Retriever and a Labrador

Both breeds are beloved and ideal family breeds, whether a Labrador or a Golden Retriever. Let’s dig into the similarities that make these two retrievers identical twins or cousins.

  • Both beads belong to the retriever family.
  • They have a water-resistant shiny coat.
  • They make great family and gun dogs.
  • Both these breeds are easy to train and require walking, running, playing, training, and exercise sessions for physical and mental stimulation.
  • They love to socialize with children and other dogs.
  • These breeds always prefer to be the center of attraction instead of being left out.
  • They live for approximately 10-12 years.

Difference between a Golden Retriever and a Labrador

Despite being cousins, these breeds have many differences. Let us explore them below.

1. Labrador v/s Golden Retriever – Origin

The origin of a dog makes a huge difference. Each breed originated for a specific purpose. Therefore, their origin has a significant impact on their breeding.

  • Labrador

This breed was initially bred in the mid-1800s in the Canadian province of Newfoundland by fishermen and hunters who used to take them to the rivers to hunt birds, fish, and other animals.

Labradors are well known for their infatuation with water. They are excellent hunters and used to dive into lakes and rivers to fetch their prey. They are reliable water hunters.

  • Golden Retriever

This breed was initially bred in the late 1800s in the Scottish Highland. It was developed by crossing a Retriever with Water Spaniel. One of the exciting aspects of this breed is that it has a soft and gentle mouth that allows them to retrieve its prey without causing any harm to the prey animal. They also work as search and rescue dogs.

2. Labrador v/s Golden Retriever: Weight

Labrador vs Golden Retriever WeightAs we have already given an idea of the weight of both breeds, there is a very slight difference. Let us explore it in detail.

  • Labrador

Male Labradors weigh between 60 lbs to 85 lbs, while females weigh between 55 lbs to 74lbs. Similarly, six-month-old male puppies weigh between 40 and 55 lbs, while female puppies weigh 35 to 45 lbs.

This breed tends to gain weight quickly if not properly cared for, leading to obesity. Therefore, it’s very important to maintain a healthy weight by feeding them a nutritious and balanced diet.

  • Golden Retriever

A healthy male Golden Retriever weighs between 65 lbs to 80 lbs, while females weigh between 54 lbs to 95 lbs. Similarly, six-month-old puppies weigh between 35 and 50 lbs, while female puppies weigh between 30 and 35 lbs.

This breed is more susceptible to genetic diseases, compromising their quality of life. Therefore, an appropriate diet and rigorous exercise routine are essential for healthy growth and life.

3. Labrador v/s Golden Retriever: Appearance

Labrador vs Golden Retriever Appearance

Though these breeds look very similar, they have many differences. A Golden Retriever looks more royal and graceful than a Labrador.

  • Labrador

It is a medium-large breed with a broad head with pronounced eyebrows. The eyes are kind and expressive. Appropriate eye colors are brown and hazel. Their ears hang close to the head, and they have strong jaws and a robust and muscular build. They have a short, dense, and water-resistant coat.

  • Golden Retriever

They have a broad head with well-defined stops, dark eyes, powerful muzzles, and a large black nose. Their ears are of moderate size, their neck is muscular, and their shoulders are long-bladed. Further, they have a long furry tail and a dense furry, water-resistant coat.

4. Labrador v/s Golden Retriever: Color

Labrador vs Golden Retriever ColourBoth breeds come in different colors. However, a Golden retriever’s base color is golden; the only variation is in its shades.

  • Labrador

American Kennel Club has recognized the three colors: black, yellow, and chocolate. So, there are the primary colors these dogs are mostly found in.

The black ones have a dark and pure black coat with a shiny texture. They are ideal for hunting but also serve as the best family pets. The yellow variant, which is the most friendly one, has a light brown and tanned colored coat that appears yellowish. Finally, the chocolate-colored Lab is adorable with a deep brown and chocolate-colored coat and is highly energetic.

  • Golden Retriever

American Kennel Club recognizes three primary colors for this breed – cream, red golden, and lightly golden.

Cream-colored golden retrievers are the most popular and their coats appear off-white with thinner hair. The red ones have a lush coat that looks like mahogany red and a highlight of amber hue and look very beautiful.

The light Golden color is the most popular color in America. It is somewhere between gold and cream in color.

5. Labrador v/s Golden Retriever: Relationship with Humans

Labrador vs Golden Retriever Relationship with HumansHumans and a dog share a cordial relationship. Regarding buying or adopting pets, people prefer one that is family-oriented and shares a great bond with the humans and the other dogs. Labrador and Golden Retrievers differ on these grounds as well.

  • Labrador

This breed shares friendly, pleasant, and warm relationships with humans. They are family-oriented dogs. But, when compared to Golden retrievers, they are far more independent. They are playful and happy and enjoy Playing games, running outside, making new friends, and developing friendly relations with other dogs and humans.

  • Golden Retriever

This breed is also amiable, gracious, pleasant, and social. They love their owners unconditionally. But as compared to Labs, they are far more dependent on their humans and need their attention 24*7. Therefore, they want their owners to interact, play, love, and be with them all time. They are prone to anxiety if they get separated from their owners. However, they are extremely intelligent and lovable.

6. Labrador v/s Golden Retriever: Temperament

Labrador vs Golden Retriever TemperamentBefore deciding which breed you want to get, one of the most important things you must consider is which breed suits your lifestyle.

  • Labrador

Labradors are easygoing pets and need extra love and attention from their owners. They are great companions with a warm and friendly temperament. Further, they are energetic and cope well with the hustle and bustle of modern life.

  • Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are very intelligent with a soft side. They always show their warm and friendly side whenever they meet anyone. Further, they are attentive and have a quality of pleasing their owners.

7. Labrador v/s Golden Retriever: Training

Labrador vs Golden Retriever TrainingTraining is essential for every dog breed. What differs is the proportion of training.

  • Labrador

This breed is smart, highly energetic, and responds quickly to training. However, they need mental, physical, and emotional stimulation to stay happy and healthy. As a result, they need at least two hours of exercise daily. In addition, they are highly social.

  • Golden Retriever

This breed is intelligent and has the quality to please others. However, they need plenty of physical exercises to turn their destructive behavior into a constructive one. Golden Retriever loves outdoor activities, like swimming, running, chasing, and even playing hide and seek.

8. Labrador v/s Golden Retriever: Grooming

Labrador vs Golden Retriever GroomingGrooming is vital in keeping your pet’s skin and overall body healthy. The different breeds need extra grooming depending on their skin and hair.

  • Labrador

They have smooth and short coats and sleek and shiny fur. Taking care of their coat and fur is easier than for Golden retrievers. However, they need weekly grooming with a brush or comb to keep their shedding in control. In addition, their body needs to be examined regularly for parasites and skin lumps. Regular brushing is also important for any gum disease.

  • Golden Retriever

They are known for their lustrous water-resistant coat. However, they need heavy brushing regularly to keep their shedding in control. They also need good baths every week to prevent any skin infections. When they shed slightly more in spring and autumn, you can take them to a professional groomer for a nice haircut.

9. Labrador v/s Golden Retriever: Nutritional Requirement

Labrador vs Golden Retriever Nutritional Requirement (1)Every breed has a different nutritional requirement. The right amount of nutrients must be imported into their body for healthy growth.

  • Labrador

They are prone to weight gain. Hence, it’s important to maintain and follow their diet plan. They need appropriate calories, protein, minerals, and vitamins. An adult dog should be fed two portions of high-quality pet food daily.

  • Golden Retriever

They need more food to fuel their active lifestyle. Vets recommend high-quality pet food twice daily to meet all the essential nutritional requirements.

Golden Retriever vs Labrador – A Head-to-Head Comparison

Here is a short table to give you a clear-cut insight into the difference between a Labrador and a Golden Retriever

Basis Labrador Golden Retriever
Origin The Canadian province of Newfoundland Scottish Highland
Weight Male- 60 lbs to 80 lbs

Female- 55 lbs to 74 lbs

Male- 65 lbs to 80 lbs

Female- 54 lbs to 95 lbs

Appearance Short, dense, and water-resistant coat Lustrous, long, dense, and water-resistant coat
Color Black, yellow, and chocolate Cream, red golden, and light golden
Relationship with humans Friendly, pleasant, and self-dependent Gracious, warm, and dependent on humans
Temperament Easy-going, loyal, and affectionate Reliable and loyal
Training 2 hours of regular training 2+ hours of regular training
Grooming Moderate grooming Heavy grooming
Nutritional Requirement Need moderate diet Needs heavy diet


Without a doubt, Labradors and Golden Retrievers are the most loved breeds. They are intelligent, affectionate, friendly, active, and family oriented. It would be unfair to state one breed is superior to the other, as both are the best in their ways. If you are confused about choosing one between these breeds, select one that suits your lifestyle.

If you have enough time to spend with your pet to show love, take care and train, Golden Retrievers are the best choice. Go with Labradors if you have a time constraint, as they keep themselves happy, playful, and balanced.

We hope this article will help you choose a suitable breed!

Happy Pawrenting!

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Frequently Answer Questions

1. What is the primary difference between a Golden Retriever and a Labrador?

The primary difference between these breeds is their appearance. While Golden retrievers have long, wavy fur of golden, cream, and dark golden colors, Labradors have short, coarser black, chocolate, and yellow coat.

2. Which breed sheds more – a Golden retriever and a Labrador?

As Golden retrievers have long fur, they tend to shed more than Labradors. However, both breeds shed from moderate to heavy.

3. Which breed is easier to train – a Golden retriever and a Labrador?

Boh breeds are highly intelligent and show a positive response to training. However, Labradors are food-motivated and respond well to training, while Golden retrievers require a gentle and affectionate approach.

4. Which breed is easier to train – a Golden retriever and a Labrador?

Labradors tend to be more energetic than Golden retrievers.

5. Which breed is more prone to health issues – a Golden retriever and a labrador?

Both breeds are prone to several health issues, including hip dysplasia, eye problems, and skin allergies. However, golden retrievers are more prone to cancers than labradors.

Anubha Aggarwal
Anubha Aggarwal
I am a graduate in Business Administration. Did my MBA in International Business & finance. I am a web content writer looking to alter some perceptions through my words.

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