Labs vs Golden Retrievers

Are you looking for a new puppy? While searching for the perfect breed, you must have come across two similar dogs. Labs vs. Golden Retriever. Fun-loving, devoted, and obedient, Labradors and Golden Retrievers are among the highest-ranked dog breeds in the world, and both puppies are equally cute.

But how do you choose between two such similar breeds?

Don’t worry! We’re here to help you through this challenging dilemma. Although these breeds do have a lot in common, there are also some significant differences.

Read on to find out!

Labs vs Golden Retrievers

Labs vs Golden Retrievers: Which Breed is Better?

There is no generalized answer to this question because each of these amazing dog breeds has unique traits and skills to offer. Determining which breed is better depends on the owner and what they’re looking for in a dog. The right dog for you might not be the right dog for your kids, neighbor, or friends.

Here’s are a few things you should consider before adopting any dog:

  • Your job or routine
  • Hobbies and pastimes
  • Family life
  • Available time to spend with your dog
  • Level of dog training skills

However, when choosing between a Labrador Retriever and a Golden Retriever, you truly can’t go wrong with either. You just have to ensure that you buy the puppy from a good breeder and choose one with healthy parents and excellent medical family history.

So without further ado, let’s dive into the difference between a Labrador and Golden Retriever to help you choose the dog breed best fit for you:

Physical Characteristics of Labs and Golden Retrievers

You may not be able to decide on appearance alone because both breeds look incredibly similar. Both breeds are large dogs. However, Labs are slightly larger. They both have folded ears, long tails, webbed feet, and love water.

Golden Retriever Size

  • Weight: 55 to 75 pounds
  • Length:21 to 25 inches
  • Height:20 to 24 inches

Labrador Retriever Size

  • Weight: 55 to 80 pounds
  • Length:22 to 26 inches
  • Height:22 to 25 inches


The most notable difference when Labs vs Golden Retrievers is the length and color of their coats. Labs have a shorter and straighter coat, whereas Golden Retrievers have longer and wavier coats. As their name suggests, Golden Retrievers come in different shades of golden, from almost white to dark golden depending on their age.

On the flip side, Labradors have three main coat colors: Yellow, black, or brown. So, if you’re looking for more variation in colors, Labs will give you more options.

Coats and Shedding

Golden Retrievers have a thick, wavy, and water-repelling outer coat and a soft, insulating undercoat. The Labrador’s coat is also water repellent, but they have a short outer layer. However, their coat has two layers, which are great for trapping heat, especially if you live in colder areas.

When it comes to shedding, here’s where dog owners have to put in the real work. Both dog breeds shed year-round with great amounts of hair, especially during spring and fall. Golden Retriever hairs are longer and can get stuck to your clothes. So, if you’re not too bothered about daily brushing and weekly undercoat rake combing, it shouldn’t be an issue.

However, Labs require less grooming than Golden Retrievers.

Labs and Golden Retriever Temperament and Traits

Both breeds are intelligent and affectionate, which makes it easier for owners to train them. All they want is to be loved, and they are both incredibly friendly and excitable when they see their owners. Moreover, they are gentle with children and other animals, so don’t worry about your cat or hamster.

Labs and Golden Retrievers are among the smartest dog breeds in the world. However, a Lab’s energy level may interfere with their ability to focus on training, but they’re still quick learners. They are great family dogs but won’t fully mature until they turn three years old, so it’s a waiting game.

None of these breeds is suitable if you want a guard dog because they are too friendly and want human interaction. They are more likely to make friends with an intruder than sound the alarm. You should consider other breeds if you’re planning to leave your pet alone for long periods, because neither Labradors nor Golden Retrievers like being alone.

Health and Care of these Large Dog Breeds

Healthy Labradors and Golden Retrievers can live for 10 to 12 years, and they’re perfect for an active family lifestyle. Since they’re both purebreds, there are a few health issues to be aware of, such as cancer, joint diseases such as hip and elbow dysplasia, eye problems (progressive retinal atrophy), and allergies.

The Golden Retriever has more concerning health issues than the Labrador, such as skin allergies and heart diseases. Labradors are more prone to obesity, so you need to maintain a consistent diet and outdoor routine to ensure they remain healthy and fit.

Which Dog to Choose Between a Golden Retriever and a Lab

Considering the similarities and differences, the first thing to remember is that there is no right or wrong choice. Golden Retriever owners will have to consider the higher risks of potential health problems and additional grooming care. Labrador Retriever owners will think about the high energy, chewing problems, and separation anxiety.

Using this side-by-side comparison, you can observe their temperament, personalities, and health, because you can expect your puppy to go through these changes as they grow up.

However, as long as you train them well, maintain their diet, and give them proper time, either dog is a great choice for you and your family.

Our Final Thoughts

Both breeds are happy, affectionate, and enthusiastic animals that remain loyal to their owners and great with children. Every family has their lifestyle and routine to choose the breed that appeals to them more in terms of particular traits.

We have provided all the specifics regarding the Labs vs Golden Retrievers matter so that you can make an informed decision. Don’t fret, and know that no matter which breed you choose, you can’t go wrong.

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