Golden retriever vs. Labrador retriever – Choose the best

The Golden and Labrador retriever is among the world’s most beloved and well-known dog breeds. The Labrador retriever has been the most popular breed based on AKC registration statistics since 1991, with the Golden retriever trailing closely behind at the fourth position (as of 2020). Both have a lot in common, making it rather difficult for people to choose one retriever breed over the other.

If you have been facing the Golden retriever vs. Labrador retriever dilemma, don’t worry; that’s precisely what this article is meant to help you with. Here, I have compared and contrasted all the salient features of these two energetic dog breeds. Once you learn more about each breed’s general characteristics, health, and preferred environment, you will have a greater chance of choosing the best pet for yourself.

Golden retriever vs. Labrador retriever

Before choosing between a Golden retriever and vs. Labrador retriever for your home, remember that you will invariably encounter breed stereotypes. The similarities and variations between individual dog personalities are far more critical than these generalizations. Nevertheless, it is helpful to take a comprehensive look at the essential general features of the Golden retriever and the Labrador retriever.


Both the retrievers are energetic hunting dogs and excellent choices for active pet parents. They prefer living in environments with additional, expansive spaces, such as large fenced backyards. They are friendly with other pets and mix very well with children, especially when socialized at a young age. As retrievers, they tend to be good swimmers because they were initially bred to fetch waterfowl for hunters.

The two retrievers have similar lifespans of approximately 10-12 years. Also, they share specific health concerns such as allergies and joint problems (namely, knee and hip dysplasia). Labrador retrievers are more prone to obesity, whereas Golden retrievers are vulnerable to cancer and cardiac abnormalities.


Now that we’ve understood their similarities, let us look at the essential differences between Golden and Labrador retrievers.


Golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers are cousins, but hail from different parts of the world. Labrador retrievers are initially from the island of Newfoundland in the easternmost province of Canada, Labrador. On the other hand, three Golden retrievers hail from Britain, Canada, and the United States, respectively.


When you see these two breeds sitting next to each other, especially if it’s a yellow or golden Labrador retriever, there’s a slight sporting dog family resemblance between them. Nevertheless, there are vital points to help you differentiate between them.

Golden retrievers

– Long snouts for extra sniffing
– Narrower muzzles with lean jaws
– Feathery, soft, and wavy coats
– Come in beige, honey, and red colours
– A characteristic “smiling” expression
– Weight: 55-75 lbs

Labrador retrievers

– Wide snouts for extra sniffing
– Breadheads with pronounced eyebrows
– Medium, non-tapered muzzles
– Sleek and soft coats
– Come in beige, brown, and black colours
– Muscular build
– Weight: 65-80 lbs


Although Golden and Labrador retrievers have similar temperaments, specific differences set them apart. The Golden retriever is a very chilled-out breed; although it likes to play and have fun, it also tends to lie around and sleep between those sessions. Also, it will gladly entertain itself if its humans leave it behind at home when going out.

On the other hand, the Labrador retriever is known for being energetic and boisterous. You will have to entertain it more frequently than the Golden Retriever. Also, Labrador retrievers require more prolonged and more intense exercise. They prefer to be near their families at all times. Being more energetic, they are more suited to households with older children.


Both retrievers have double coats and require brushing once or twice a week. That number goes up to three to four times a week during the shedding season (twice a year). The Golden retriever is slightly more demanding than the Labrador retriever because it requires more grooming than just brushing. Its longer feathering fur causes it to shed more during the shedding season than the Labrador; therefore, you will have to give it extra attention.

The longer fur around the Golden retriever’s ears, neck, legs, feet, and tail must be trimmed every two to three months to prevent it from getting too long. However, the Labrador doesn’t require this extra trimming; therefore, it is slightly easier on the grooming front.

For the same reason, the Golden retriever needs more frequent bathing (every four weeks), while the Labrador can do it with a bath every six weeks.


There is a significant difference in price between the two breeds. The Golden retriever tends to cost between $1,000 and $1,300 on average, while the Labrador retriever will cost between $1,000 and $2,500 on average.
Golden retriever vs. Labrador retriever: which one to choose?

You can see that it’s inappropriate to say that one of these breeds is better than the other; your choice depends on the one that fits your personality and lifestyle. Nevertheless, here is a quick list of things to consider in each case.

You could try going for a Golden retriever if you appreciate a good-natured pet that is happy to exist, even if it doesn’t have many ideas. You should also be able to dedicate enough time to its maintenance and train it well to stay physically and mentally stimulated.

On the other hand, a Labrador retriever is the best choice for people who desire a canine best pal and loyal companion. You need to keep it engaged with physical and mental opportunities, and manage its need for balance between activity and downtime. Also, you can train it for valuable work such as fishing, hunting, farm chores, etc.


This article discusses all the essential points regarding the Golden retriever vs. Labrador retriever debate. As long as you choose your pup carefully and train and socialize them well, either breed is an excellent choice for a family pet.

Also Read: 10 differences between Golden Retriever vs German Shepherd

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