This is a question that more than 6798 of our readers have been asking us! Luckily, we have found the most appropriate information for you!

Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers count among the most popular dogs in America. According to the American Kennel Club, in 2020, the Golden Retriever ranked as the 4th most popular dog in America. Meanwhile, the Labrador Retriever won the top spot as the most popular dog in the country, a position it’s held since 1991. With so many lovable breeds out there, some people may find it strange that two similar-looking dogs should both rank in the top five. However, it’s easy to understand once you learn more about these lovable, intelligent, and gentle-natured dogs. Labradors and Golden Retrievers make great family pets and contain enough energy to keep their owners busy without possessing so much that it makes them hard to handle. Yet, for all their similarities, what are the differences that separate Labradors vs Golden Retrievers?

In this article, we’ll start by comparing Labradors vs Golden Retrievers before discussing the nine key differences separating the two and end with some frequently asked questions about the two breeds. Although the breed originated in Scotland, we will focus on the American Golden Retriever, as it is the most popular subtype for this article. Labrador RetrieverGolden RetrieverSize 21.5 to 24.5 inches tall55 to 80 pounds21 to 24 inches tall55 to 75 pounds Origins Originated in the United KingdomA mix between St. Johns Water Dogs from Newfoundland and British hunting dogsOriginated in ScotlandA mix between Water Spaniels and existing Retriever dogs such as the Russian Retriever Muzzle Broader and more jowlyLearn and narrow Coat Shorter hairWater-proof top coatDense, wiry, oily hairLonger hairWater-resistant top coatSoft, feathery undercoat along legs and stomach Tail PointyFluffy Color Yellow, chocolate, and blackColor stays the sameLight gold to dark golden, red, mahoganyColor changes over time Energy Level High1 hour or more of exercise per dayMedium-High1 hour of exercise per day Health Concerns ObesityHereditary myopathySeizuresElbow dysplasiaSkin problemsCancer Temperament Kind, pleasant, and outgoingMore boisterousKindly, friendly, and confidentCalmer Labradors and Golden Retrievers both count as medium-sized dogs. At the time, Scottish elites wanted to create a new breed of gun-dog capable of retrieving game from both water and land. In addition, the color of a Golden Retriever’s coat can change during its life, usually starting lighter in infancy before growing darker in adulthood and possibly lightning again in old age. Originally bred as gun dogs, both Labradors and Golden Retrievers exhibit high levels of energy. If you own a pet Labrador or Golden Retriever, you can expect to spend a significant amount of time exercising your dog to make sure they expend enough energy during the day. Unfortunately, both Labradors and Golden Retrievers experience similar health concerns like hip dysplasia and eye deterioration. In Golden Retrievers, common health concerns include seizures, elbow dysplasia, skin issues, and cancer.

Which is better Golden Retriever or labrador?

The Lab is a bit more lively and has higher prey drive than the Golden Retriever. But the Goldie has a coat that needs some serious care. And that’s not all. In this article we’ll tell you all you need to know about these wonderful dogs, so you can declare a winner in the great Golden vs Lab debate!

Sometimes when you’re scrolling through photos of adorable puppies or sweet rescue dogs, it’s difficult to know which one might be your perfect pooch pal. However, the more you know about a particular breed’s general characteristics, health, and environment for his best life, the greater chance you’ll have choosing a terrific pet!

Sometimes when you’re scrolling through photos of adorable puppies or sweet rescue dogs , it’s difficult to know which one might be your perfect pooch pal. Goldens and Labs are from the sporting group and as retrievers, are often exceptional outdoor companions, exercise buddies, and family members. Lab for your family, keep in mind there will always be breed stereotypes, so the more you can learn about a pup or rescue dog’s background, the better. “But in general, all types of retrievers want humans they can share hobbies with, enjoying things like hiking , running , flyball, agility trials, frisbee, obedience training , and so on.” Myers says goldens and Labs share health concerns such as allergies , and joint problems like knee and hip dysplasia . Individually, Labs are prone to obesity , and golden retrievers to congenital heart defects and cancer . Interestingly, there are actually three different types of golden retrievers , hailing from Britain, the United States, and Canada, respectively. However, there is a mixed breed known as a Goldador that has golden and Labrador retriever parents, so a pretty yellow color might come from both of them. Able to provide a solid training foundation so she can be an eager helper in the family and stay mentally and physically stimulated.

Golden Retrievers and Labradors are both extremely loving dogs who share many similarities. Both are great with children, have a sweet nature and are extremely loyal family pets.

Golden Retrievers also have a long coat, which means more grooming whereas a Labrador’s bouncy nature makes them more boisterous. You can see the slight size variation in the table below which shows the average height and weight of both breeds: This is especially true for the English Labrador who are stockier and less athletic than the American Lab. Lord Tweedmouth mated a wavy coated Retriever with a Tweed Water Spaniel. The Labrador Retriever originated 4,000 miles away from Scotland in Newfoundland, Canada. The St. Johns Water Dog was then imported to England and used as retrievers in shooting sports. The Labrador Retriever has more kennel club registrations than any other breed each year.The Golden Retriever and Labrador are among the most popular dog breeds listed by the American Kennel Club. Labrador Retrievers have been the most popular dog breed in America for over 20 years. Both retrievers are loved for their gentle nature which is why they are used as therapy and working dogs. Golden Retriever (left) vs Labrador (right)The differences between the purpose of the Golden Retriever vs Labrador are subtle now because they both have similar jobs, however, historically they had very different jobs! They were the perfect sporting companion for wealthy owners who enjoyed game hunting. After they arrived in England, Labradors were then bred to be sporting companions whose duty was to retrieve shot waterfowl (just like the Golden’s original job). The color of Golden Retriever vs Labrador dogs is one of the major differences. The Labrador Retriever has three different official coat colors: yellow, black and chocolate. A Golden Retriever is best suited to a family who have plenty of time for grooming! These areas are extra fluffy and include their ears, neck, paws and tail. Regular brushing helps keep your dog’s coat soft and removes dead fur. Golden Retrievers require more brushing to prevent any matting of their long coat. This is especially true during late autumn and spring when their coats are preparing for either cooler or warmer temperatures. Owners often trim the Golden Retriever’s longer fur near the ears, neck, paws and tail. Labradors do not have any areas with longer sections of fur that require trimming. Both breeds are similar with their teeth, nail and ear grooming requirements. With both dogs, it is important to begin grooming from a young age so that they grow accustomed to it. Golden Retrievers have a gentle nature that shines throughout their interaction with young children. Labrador Retrievers are also great with children but they are typically more excitable and bouncy. If you are looking for a dog that loves to get outside and join you for a run, walk or adventure then both breeds are perfect. Golden Retrievers are an active breed, but they do enjoy a calm and quiet environment. Their tranquil nature allows them to fit into a large variety of homes easily. From puppy to adulthood Labs have high energy levels and are very playful. Once they reach maturity, at approximately 18 months of age , they settle down a bit more. However, when comparing them to Golden Retrievers, Labradors are still very high energy! Both dogs are genetically predisposed to health issues that can be discovered with routine elbow and hip scoring and eye tests. Genetic factors ( due to a POMC gene mutation ) leaves the Labrador genetically predisposed to excessive weight gain, increased appetite and obesity. This genetic mutation is only common in Labradors and is not found in other dog breeds. Most health issues can be avoided in Labs through genetic testing, weight management and exercise. However, there is currently no genetic testing available to assess a Golden Retriever’s predisposition to cancer. Golden Retrievers are ranked 3rd and Labradors have been the most popular dog breed for the last 20 years. They are admired worldwide due to their sweet temperament, good-nature and wonderful companionship.

Looking for a level-headed, lovable family dog? Retrievers are among the most popular dog breeds in the United States—but how do you choose between a Labrador retriever or a Golden retriever? They’re incredibly similar, sharing intelligence, high energy levels, and that goofy personality that dog lovers can’t get enough of!

To help you make an informed decision about your future family pet, we’ve put together an easy-to-read guide about these two popular breeds. A height of 22-24 inches Folded ears Long tails Happy, enthusiastic expressions “Soft mouths” Webbed feet A love of water A broad head with pronounced eyebrows A water-resistant coat A medium, non-tapered muzzle A muscular build When you’re ready to meet with lab or golden breeders, keep this checklist handy to make sure you get all the information you need. ask about the health history of both dog parents, including health screenings and vet checkups ask for a record of immunizations observe the dog parents’ temperaments and personalities choose a puppy that appears healthy (check his coat, ears, and eyes) choose a puppy who plays good-naturedly and isn’t timid or anxious Both retrievers share a common ancestor in the St. John’s Water Dog (aka: the lesser Newfoundland). This extinct breed originated in Canada and was exported from Newfoundland to England in the 19th century. St. John’s Water Dogs were bred to help fishermen drag their nets across the ice. These retrieving traits have been passed down to the breeds’ modern day ancestors, making goldens and labs powerful swimmers. According to the AKC breed standard , Labrador retrievers come in three colors: chocolate, yellow, and black. Golden retrievers, on the other hand, come in a variety of shades, ranging from a creamy blonde to an almost reddish hue. Laryngeal paralysis: an illness affecting older labs that partially paralyzes the voice box, resulting in a muffled bark and difficulty breathing. While labs have shorter hair and don’t need regular trimming, their double coat will still need routine maintenance. Goldens sport those long luxurious coats, so you’ll need to regularly use an undercoat rake to prevent the hair from matting. They’ll also need regular trimming around their extra feathery areas such as the ears, neck, and tail. Bred as hunting companions, labs and goldens are members of the sporting dogs group. One thing to keep in mind if you’re considering adding a retriever to your family: these breeds are not particularly good guard dogs. Since both breeds are so popular, it shouldn’t be too hard to find one at the dog park or a local meetup. Contacting breeders is also a great way to get some basic information about the temperament and the history of dogs in their line. No matter which breed you choose, you’ll be gaining a lovable family member.

Comparing Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers

Also known as Labradors or simply “Labs,” Labrador Retrievers date back to the early 19th century. While they started as working dogs, they rarely fill that role now and more often fill the role of glorified house pets. Although variations exist among Labradors, they typically fall into three categories; Yellow Labs, Chocolate Labs, and Black Labs. Their names refer to the color of their coats, which range from golden-yellow to black to light brown. Among the three, Golden Labs get confused most often with Golden Retrievers due to their similar coloring. For the sake of this article, when we use the word “Labrador,” we will use it to refer to yellow Labs unless otherwise stated.Originally bred in the mid-19th century as gun dogs, Golden Retrievers come in 3 different subtypes. These include American Golden Retrievers, British Golden Retrievers, and Canadian Golden Retrievers. Although the breed originated in Scotland, we will focus on the American Golden Retriever, as it is the most popular subtype for this article. However, we’ve included a brief description of the other two subtypes for comparison.

British Golden Retrievers

British Golden Retrievers remain popular in Europe and Australia, where they also go by the name “English Cream Golden Retrievers.” This name comes from their light gold to cream color, which is generally less red than the mahogany-gold common in American types. Compared to the other subtypes, the British variety possesses a broader skull and more muscular forequarters. In addition, their hindquarters appear straighter than the slightly angular rear of the American subtype.

Canadian Golden Retrievers

Canadian Golden Retrievers possess a thinner and darker coat than their British kin. They also stand taller on average than other Golden Retrievers from the British and American subtypes.

The 9 Key Differences Between Labradors and Golden Retrievers

Labrador Retriever vs Golden Retriever: Size

Labradors and Golden Retrievers both count as medium-sized dogs. However, of the two, Labradors measure slightly larger than Golden Retrievers. On average, Labrador Retrievers stand between 21.5 and 24.5 inches tall and weigh from 55 to 80 pounds. Meanwhile, most Golden Retrievers stand 21 to 24 inches tall and weigh between 55 to 75 pounds. It’s also worth mentioning that Labradors appear stockier and more muscular than Golden Retrievers. Overall, Golden Retrievers look more sleek and narrow, while Labradors possess a more thick and athletic build.

Labrador Retriever vs Golden Retriever: Origins

Both Labradors and Golden Retrievers trace their origins back to Europe. Labrador Retrievers date back to the 1830s when European settlers introduced Newfoundlands to Britain. British elite bred these dogs with British hunting dogs to create the Labrador Retrievers that we know today. Of the current color types, the first to appear was the Black Lab. Then came the Chocolate Lab or “Liver” as it was then known in the late 1800s, while the British Kennel Club recognized the first Yellow Lab in 1899.Like labs, Golden Retrievers can also trace their origin back to the United Kingdom, but rather than Britain, they originated in Scotland in the mid-19th century. At the time, Scottish elites wanted to create a new breed of gun-dog capable of retrieving game from both water and land. This precipitated breeders to mix Water Spaniels with available Retrievers like the Russian Retriever to create the Golden Retriever. Today, Labrador and Golden Retrievers occur throughout the world. However, the American Golden Retriever remains the most popular subtype of the breed in the United States. At the same time, the Black Lab is the original and still the most common color of Labrador.

Labrador Retriever vs Golden Retriever: Muzzle

Another noticeable difference between Labradors and Golden Retrievers lies in the shape of their muzzles. Generally, Labrador’s possess a broader, shorter muzzle. Their wide muzzle gives them a full-faced look that enthusiasts often describe as “jowly.” It also may explain why people say that Labradors frequently look like they are smiling. The muzzle on Golden Retrievers, meanwhile, appears more narrow and longer. This lends them a leaner, more slender look.

Labrador Retriever vs Golden Retriever: Coat

Labradors and Golden Retrievers both have double coats. This feature allows them to stay cool in summer and warm in winter. In the case of Labradors, their hair is shorter, denser, and wirier than the hair on Golden Retrievers. Their outer coat is also waterproof, which allows them to glide through the water easily. Compared to Labradors, the hair on Golden Retrievers is visibly much longer. Their topcoat is water-resistant, while their bottom coat is fluffy. In addition, their coat contains a feathered look along their legs and bellies.

Labrador Retriever vs Golden Retriever: Tail

Along with obvious differences in their coats, it’s quite easy to distinguish the tail on a Labrador vs Golden Retriever. The tail on a Labrador Retriever is quite pointy and covered in short, wiry hair. Meanwhile, a Golden Retriever’s fluffy tail looks more like the feathery hair that covers their belies and legs.

Labrador Retriever vs Golden Retriever: Color

One of the most noticeable differences between Labradors and Golden Retrievers lies in their coat colors. Aside from the obvious differences between Chocolate and Black Labs and Golden Retrievers, slight color variations distinguish Yellow Labs from Golden Retrievers. For example, Yellow Labradors generally appear in a straw gold or beige color and rarely exhibit darling markings or colorations. In addition, their color remains the same from infancy through adulthood. On the other hand, Golden Retrievers range in color from white to beige to red to mahogany. In addition, the color of a Golden Retriever’s coat can change during its life, usually starting lighter in infancy before growing darker in adulthood and possibly lightning again in old age.

Labrador Retriever vs Golden Retriever: Energy Level

Originally bred as gun dogs, both Labradors and Golden Retrievers exhibit high levels of energy. If you own a pet Labrador or Golden Retriever, you can expect to spend a significant amount of time exercising your dog to make sure they expend enough energy during the day. Most breeders consider Labradors as slightly higher energy dogs compared to Golden Retrievers. As such, it’s recommended that Labradors get at least one hour of exercise each day and preferably more if possible. That said, Golden retrievers also require a good deal of exercise. As medium-high energy dogs, they require around one hour of exercise each day, although some dog/s may require more.

Labrador Retriever vs Golden Retriever: Health Concerns

Unfortunately, both Labradors and Golden Retrievers experience similar health concerns like hip dysplasia and eye deterioration. However, they also each face the prospect of unique health concerns. Labradors in particular grapple with obesity as well as hereditary myopathy. In Golden Retrievers, common health concerns include seizures, elbow dysplasia, skin issues, and cancer. In fact, nearly 60% of Golden Retrievers will develop cancer at some point during their lives, making them one of the most susceptible breeds to the disease.

Labrador Retriever vs Golden Retriever: Temperament

Overall, Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers exhibit similar temperaments. Both dogs get along well with families, including small children, and enjoy other dogs’ company. According to the American Kennel Club, the official description of the Labrador’s temperament is “kind, pleasant, and outgoing.” Compared to Golden Retrievers, Labradors have developed a reputation as the more boisterous and energetic of the two breeds. Meanwhile, the British Kennel Club describes Golden Retrievers as “kindly, friendly, and confident.” People typically consider Golden Retrievers as calmer than Labradors, although individual differences between dogs do exist that can skew this generalization.

Good-Natured Golden Retriever or Lovable Labrador Retriever: Which Is the Best Fit for You?

These retriever cousins are both active and friendly sporting dogs full of adoration, energy, and good humor! But do you know what sets them apart?Sometimes when you’re scrolling through photos of adorable puppies or sweet rescue dogs, it’s difficult to know which one might be your perfect pooch pal. However, the more you know about a particular breed’s general characteristics, health, and environment for his best life, the greater chance you’ll have choosing a terrific pet!Many people wonder about the differences between golden retrievers vs. Labrador retrievers because they’re kind of doggie cousins. The American Kennel Club (AKC) classifies dogs into seven categories, based on the type of purpose the dogs were originally bred to have. Goldens and Labs are from the sporting group and as retrievers, are often exceptional outdoor companions, exercise buddies, and family members.

What Are the Differences Between Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers?

Jo Myers, DVM, of Salida, Colo. is a telehealth practitioner on Vetster. She says when deciding between a golden retriever vs. Lab for your family, keep in mind there will always be breed stereotypes, so the more you can learn about a pup or rescue dog’s background, the better.”The variations and similarities between individual dog personalities are much more significant than any breed generalizations,” she says. “But in general, all types of retrievers want humans they can share hobbies with, enjoying things like hiking, running, flyball, agility trials, frisbee, obedience training, and so on.”So if you intend to be an active pet parent, there’s no fluff-up in the golden retriever vs. Labrador retriever deliberation: either one could be a great doggo for you! But Myers adds that if you’re a slightly less active person, a golden might be a better match. “They’re more laid back and just want to be happy,” she says. “They’re a little lazier, and content to do more or less anything as long as they’re with their beloved.”Other similarities include:Myers says goldens and Labs share health concerns such as allergies, and joint problems like knee and hip dysplasia. Individually, Labs are prone to obesity, and golden retrievers to congenital heart defects and cancer.

1. Golden Retrievers Are Smaller

2. Golden Retrievers Are From Scotland vs. Labs From Canada

Golden Retrievers were bred from wavy (or flat) coated Retrievers and Tweed Water Spaniels. Labradors were selectively bred from St. Johns Water Dogs.The Golden Retriever originated in Glen Affric, Scotland in the 1800s. Lord Tweedmouth mated a wavy coated Retriever with a Tweed Water Spaniel.The Labrador Retriever originated 4,000 miles away from Scotland in Newfoundland, Canada.Canadians selectively bred the Newfoundland breed with smaller water dogs to create a St. Johns Water Dogs. The St. Johns Water Dog was then imported to England and used as retrievers in shooting sports. After arriving in England the breed officially became known as a Labrador Retriever.Goldens were officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1925, 8 years after the Labrador was officially recognized in 1917.

3. Labradors Are More Popular

The Golden Retriever and Labrador are among the most popular dog breeds listed by the American Kennel Club.Goldens are ranked the 3rd most popular breed and Labs are first.The Golden Retrievers popularity sky rocketed to 3rd after the movie Air Bud.Labrador Retrievers have been the most popular dog breed in America for over 20 years.Both retrievers are loved for their gentle nature which is why they are used as therapy and working dogs.

5. Labs Can Be Yellow, Black and Chocolate. Goldens Can Only Be Gold!

The differences between the purpose of the Golden Retriever vs Labrador are subtle now because they both have similar jobs, however, historically they had very different jobs!Golden Retrievers were actually a gentleman’s dog, bred to retrieve waterfowl. Labradors were a fisherman’s dog, bred to retrieve fish nets and fish.Both breeds were bred for their loyalty, intelligence, swimming abilities, and soft-mouths:Golden Retrievers were originally bred to retrieve shot waterfowl (Unlike the Golden, the Labrador Retriever’s first job was to retrieve nets, ropes and fish for fishermen.It wasn’t until after the St. Johns Water Dog was imported to England that aristocrats admired their loyalty, work ethic and love of water. After they arrived in England, Labradors were then bred to be sporting companions whose duty was to retrieve shot waterfowl (just like the Golden’s original job).At this point, both breeds became popular companions for shooting sports.

6. Golden Retrievers Are Long Haired

The Golden Retriever has a very long coat that can be either wavy or straight. The Labrador has a short, smooth and straight coat.A Golden Retriever is best suited to a family who have plenty of time for grooming! The Golden also has furry feather-like fur around their body. These areas are extra fluffy and include their ears, neck, paws and tail.They both have a dense, double coat that makes their coat specialized for swimming.Their outer coat is water-repellent and they have a thick undercoat to protect them from debris.Both dogs are not a good choice for anyone looking for a hypoallergenic dog.

7. Labrador Retrievers Do Not Need Regular Grooming

When comparing a Golden Retriever vs Labrador the Golden is known to have significantly higher grooming requirements.Due to their double coats, both dogs will need brushing but Goldens should be brushed daily and Labs every few days.Regular brushing helps keep your dog’s coat soft and removes dead fur.However, the Labrador sheds just as much fur as a Golden.This is especially true during late autumn and spring when their coats are preparing for either cooler or warmer temperatures.Owners often trim the Golden Retriever’s longer fur near the ears, neck, paws and tail. Labradors do not have any areas with longer sections of fur that require trimming.Both breeds are similar with their teeth, nail and ear grooming requirements.With both dogs, it is important to begin grooming from a young age so that they grow accustomed to it.The Labrador Retriever is a lower maintenance breed when it comes to grooming.

8. Golden Retrievers Are More Patient

Both breeds are friendly, affectionate and loyal dogs. They are both very sociable and have wonderful temperaments.It is not by chance that they are America’s most popular family pets.When comparing a Golden Retriever vs Labrador,Golden Retrievers have a gentle nature that shines throughout their interaction with young children. They are very careful and soft.Labrador Retrievers are also great with children but they are typically more excitable and bouncy.The Golden Retriever enjoys a calm and quiet environment. Whereas Labradors do not tire out easily and are always ready to play as soon as you are!Labradors are not known to be sensitive.

9. Labs Have More Energy

If you are looking for a dog that loves to get outside and join you for a run, walk or adventure then both breeds are perfect.Both dogs are active and love to have a job to do.However, the energy levels of a Labrador vs Golden Retriever are very different.Golden Retrievers are an active breed, but they do enjoy a calm and quiet environment. Their tranquil nature allows them to fit into a large variety of homes easily.Unlike a Golden, the Lab is not suited for a sedentary lifestyle.Their high energy levels may be a bit too much for seniors to keep up.Labradors are a bundle of energy. From puppy to adulthoodThe Labrador fits well into a lively and busy home. They love having children, a family to play with, and joining all of their adventures.

10. Labrador Retrievers Live Longer

The Golden Retriever and the Labrador are both healthy dogs.Goldens have an average life expectancy of 10 to 12 years compared with a Labrador’s life expectancy of 10 to 14 years.Both dogs are genetically predisposed to health issues that can be discovered with routine elbow and hip scoring and eye tests.But Golden Retrievers and Labradors suffer from different diseases…

Golden Retrievers and Cancer

Unfortunately, this breed is at risk of developing cancer.Statistically, 61% of Golden Retrievers experience cancer. This is one of the highest percentages of any dog breed.It is not yet fully understood which specific genes are leading to the inheritance of cancer-risk genes.This makes it a disease that neither the breeder nor owner can control.It is not guaranteed that they will develop cancer over their lifetime. They are just genetically predisposed to receiving genes that may mutate.

Labrador Retriever And Obesity

Any Lab owner will tell you just how food orientated this breed is.They LOVE to eat.Unfortunately, their love of food can cause many health issues.The Labrador Retriever is genetically prone to obesity.Genetic factors (This genetic mutation is only common in Labradors and is not found in other dog breeds.

Which Breed Is Healthier?

The Labrador Retriever is a healthier breed because of genetic testing.Most health issues can be avoided in Labs through genetic testing, weight management and exercise.However, there is currently no genetic testing available to assess a Golden Retriever’s predisposition to cancer.