The Labrador Retriever has been the most popular pet dog in the world for nearly 30 years. The Golden Retriever usually ranks third on the list of popular breeds. Both make great pets. But what’s the difference when you compare Labrador Retriever vs. Golden Retriever?
If you are thinking about bringing a retriever home but aren’t sure which breed is right for you, check out this handy Labrador Retriever vs. Golden Retriever guide.
Once you’ve made your choice, you can find lots of helpful information for bringing your puppy home at Paws Plus one.
Labrador Retriever vs. Golden Retriever: Which breed is best?
Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers are both popular dog breeds for a reason. Aside from their adorable appearances, both are happy, loyal dogs that are easy to train.
While they may both possess distinct characteristics, only you can tell which one is the best breed for you.
Beyond your personal preferences, knowing the differences between the two breeds may help you make your decision.
Size and weight
The short answer is there’s little difference in size and weight when you compare Labrador Retriever vs. Golden Retriever. Both are medium to large-sized breeds and typically weigh between 55 pounds and 75 pounds.
But, Labrador Retrievers can reach up to 80 pounds as adults. It is worth noting that in every breed, whether a retriever or not, male dogs tend to be heavier and bigger than female dogs.
While the size of these two breeds may not differ much, their builds and body structure have a few differences. Labradors are two breeds: American and English labs. While Golden Retrievers can be classified as either working or “show-bred.”
Coat and color
The most significant difference is the color and coat of the two breeds. This is one case where you can judge by appearance.
The Labrador Retriever’s fur coat is short and straight. The Golden Retriever’s hair tends to be long and curly.
The color range is different too. Labs typically have three fur coat colors: black, chocolate brown, and yellow. On the other hand, Golden Retrievers have gold coats that range from white to dark yellow.
Grooming and maintenance
Both breeds shed. A lot. So be prepared.
Because Golden Retrievers have longer and wavier fur coats, they tend to require more time and effort for grooming to keep their coats clean and tangle-free. Regular brushing also helps reduce shedding.
Labradors also regular brushing to help control shedding.
Like any other dog, they also require daily teeth brushing, regular nail clipping, and ear cleaning.
Because both breeds are playful, they like to play in dirt, mud, and water, be prepared to bathe them often.
Labrador Retriever vs. Golden Retriever: Health issues
Labradors and Golden Retrievers have similar breed-specific health problems:
Hip and elbow dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is frequently a painful, crippling genetic, developmental orthopedic disease that can strike dogs when they are very young.
Larger dogs are more prone to joint diseases. Giving your dog a joint supplement can decrease inflammation, improve flexibility, strengthen the cartilage and joints, and provide natural pain relief as needed. Choose a supplement that contains glucosamine, MSM, or chondroitin.
Dogs suffer from allergies and most often react to flea bites, food, medicine.
Both breeds are significantly more likely to develop cancer.
Labradors are more prone to progressive retinal atrophy, while Goldens are more likely to develop cataracts or glaucoma.
One big difference between Labs and Goldens is their temperament and energy levels.
Golden Retrievers have medium-level energy. They need daily walks and playtime but also require rest periods.
Because goldens are attentive and patient, they are easy to train. They also get along well with other animals, so a Golden Retriever is a good fit if you already have pets at home.
Labrador Retrievers have high energy levels. They also tend to be clingy, and that makes them more prone to suffer separation anxiety.
They are smart dogs, but it’s a good idea to mix playtime with training because they have so much energy. Both make good dogs for families.
Is your Labrador or Golden Retriever purebred?
Without the right papers and documents, it can be quite hard and challenging to know if your dog is purebred. And the only way to be sure, aside from tests that vets administer, is to identify the main characteristics. So, it is a purely visual examination.
For Labrador Retrievers, the giveaways are the head, coat, and tail. A purebred will always feature a square head with a short muzzle. Also, their ears will always hang. If it goes upright, it is already a mixed breed.
In terms of its fur coat, keep in mind that there are only three main colors. Moreover, they have a double coat. The topcoat is water-repellant, and the undercoat is soft.
Check the tail. A purebred Labrador sports an otter tail. It is always at the same level as their main body.
Unfortunately, checking if your Golden Retriever is purebred is very difficult. Unlike Labs, they have wide variations.
Although you may utilize the usual looks and characteristics of a Golden Retriever and compare them to your pet, this may not be that accurate. The best way to know is to have them checked by a veterinarian and get a DNA test. You also can work with an American Kennel Club-approved breeder.
Final thoughts on Labrador Retriever vs. Golden Retriever
Both Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers are great family dogs. There are a lot of reasons why they both breeds top popular dog lists.
Use our comparisons to help you choose, but remember, the final choice of Labrador Retriever vs. Golden Retriever often comes down to personal preference. Struggling to decide? Consider a Labrador Golden Retriever or Golden Labrador mix.
Whatever you choose, either breed will surely be a great addition to your family and household.