Labrador Retriever vs. Golden Retriever: What Are The Differences Between Them

Featured image photo merged : © / stajduhar and trofalena

Labrador Retriever vs. Golden Retriever: Key Differences

Are you looking for a new doggy pet and narrowing your pursuit to Labrador Retriever vs. Golden Retriever? They are so similar and yet so different; it is no wonder why some people can’t differentiate them.


But don’t worry, we are here to inform you of the differences and help you choose the right canine for you.

Labrador vs. Golden Retriever: History & Short Description

Despite being similar, Labrador and Golden Retriever have different histories. These dogs come from the opposite sides of the world (The Golden Retriever comes from Scotland while the Labrador originates from Canada).

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is one of the oldest dogs around (hails from the 19th century). They are working dogs and can adjust to both land and water surfaces. Labradors are fishermen’s favorite four-legged friends and are best for collecting fish, ducks, and small aquatic creatures.

Happy labrador retriever running and splashing in water © / dima266f

Golden Retriever

Like the Labrador, the Golden Retriever hails from the 19th century and is known as the perfect gun dog, with impressive sniffing skills. Created by Lord Tweedmouth I, the Golden Retriever has a soft mouth, and that’s how he collects his prey, without harming them.

People fall in love with Golden Retriever because of his incredible color, grace, elegance, and beauty. This breed became popular in the U.S when Gerald Ford adopted one of them, and they were regularly seen on ads and promoted as the perfect, happy, family dogs.

Golden retriever
Golden retriever dog standing on white background © / baileydog

Labrador Retriever vs. Golden Retriever: 6 Differences You Should Know About


When it comes to size, it won’t take much to realize that both breeds are similar. However, there is one important fact to know about Retrievers. There are two types of Labrador Retrievers – The English and the American kind. While both are medium to large, their physiques can differ a little. English Retrievers are stockier, with wide chests and broad heads. In contrast, American labs are tinier and less chested.


Male Golden Retrievers are larger than female canines, but you can’t notice any significant difference in size.


Labrador Retriever Size

  • Weight: 55-75 pounds
  • Height: 21-24 inches
  • Length 22-25 inches


Labrador Retriever Size

  • Weight: 55-80 pounds
  • Height: 21-24 inches
  • Length: 22-25 inches


The most notable difference between Labrador and Golden Retriever is the coat color. For Golden Retrievers, it is more than obvious that their coat color is yellowish-gold. The color may vary from light to dark, depending on the area they live in. Not all Golden Retrievers have the same color shade.


Labradors come in three colors – yellow, chocolate, and black. You can easily separate the chocolate and black-colored ones from Golden Retrievers, but what about the yellow labradors?


While it would be difficult to distinguish a yellow Labrador and Golden Retriever, at first sight, there is a difference in their coat types. Goldens have larger hair than the Labs.


Both breeds have a double coat – a top, water-resistant coat and undercoat.


Labrador Retrievers have a double coat, but it is shorter compared to the Golden kind. Their undercoats are similar – soft and fluffy during the summer months.


Golden Retrievers have a longer and softer coating. During the winter months, the undercoat is thick, while in the summer months, it sheds. Having a Golden Retriever requires regular grooming (every 1-2 weeks). Longer fur also requires regular trimming.

labrador retriever
labrador retriever portrait © / stajduhar


When it comes to Labrador Retriever vs. Golden Retriever temperament comparison, both have similar qualities – they are highly sociable, friendly, kind, energetic, and obedient canines. There are small differences that set them apart, and some of them help pet owners decide which kind suits them.


For example, The Labrador Retriever is lively, active, and dynamic. They require more playing time compared to the Golden breed, and more intense exercise and regular training. Retrievers love to cuddle and play with other pets. They are the perfect addition to any family.


While the Golden Retriever loves daily walking, playing, and exercising, they also prefer lying in your garden, chilling all day long. They are also active, but also love to snuggle a lot with his owner and the rest of the family. If you are looking for a dog that loves exploring and goes on walks with you but also enjoys relaxing, this is the perfect breed.


Despite their small differences in temperament, both are loving and caring canines, making them an excellent family pet. They have no trouble adjusting to other pet animals or children.

golden retriever puppy with toy bone © / Yulia


The Retrievers are smart and obedient dogs and live to protect and satisfy their owner – the ideal combination for pets that make them easy to socialize and train. Their loyalty and good behavior are some of the reasons why families adopt them as pets. It is also why they are the best sniffer dogs and a devoted companion for the blind.

While they are easily trained, don’t think that they don’t require routine training. Retrievers are friendly, but they still need to be trained appropriately from the beginning.

Both Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever are working dogs, so they need a proper amount of daily exercise. According to experts, they need at least one hour of exercise/day. They love playing with frisbees and balls and will join any activity that involves retrieving objects. The Retrievers are known to be perfect running buddies, so make sure to take your new pet the next time you run. Labrador also loves to swim, and it is a great companion for swimmers, fishers, or anyone who loves spending time by the water.


In general, Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever are healthy canines. However, as with any breed, there are certain health problems to look out for when adopting either one of them.

Here are some of the health issues they may inherit from the parents:

  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • EIC (Exercise-Induced Collapse)
  • Obesity
  • Ear Infection
  • High Cancer Risk
  • Entropion
  • Laryngeal paralysis



There is a difference in price between owning a Golden Retriever and owning a Labrador. The Golden kind will cost you between $500-1000 while the Labradors are more expensive and will cost between $850-1200.

A Final Word

The main difference between Labrador Retriever vs. Golden Retriever is that the Golden kind is calmer and prefers a peaceful and quiet environment. The Labradors are more active and prefer a livelier family. Both are an excellent family addition and will love you and protect you endlessly.