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Difference Between Golden Retriever And Labrador Retriever Dogs

Difference Between Golden Retriever And Labrador Retriever Dogs

At first look, these two breeds of dogs are very similar, but when you do a little research, you can find out that they have many differences

Breed Origins

The Labrador retriever originated in the New World, although he was refined in the Old World. First developed in Newfoundland, Labs were imported to England in the early 19th century.

Size Differences

At maturity, male golden retrievers stand between 23 and 24 inches tall at the top of the shoulder, with females slightly smaller at 21.5 to 22.5 inches high. Males weigh between 65 and 75 pounds, and females 55 to 65 pounds.

When full-grown, male Labrador retrievers stand between 22.5 to 24.5 inches, weighing between 65 and 80 pounds. Female Labs range between 21.5 to 23.5 inches tall, weighing between 55 to 70 pounds.

Coat and Color

While you wouldn’t mistake a black or chocolate Lab for a golden retriever, the yellow Lab is a different story. The breed standard for a yellow Lab states that the dog may range in color from “fox-red to light cream,” with shading variations on the back, ears and abdomen. The golden retriever’s coat is a “rich, lustrous golden of various shades.” If the coloring doesn’t help you decide which is which, observe the coat. While dense, the Lab’s coat is straight and short. The golden’s coat is either wavy or straight, with feathering on the back of the front legs and the abdomen, and heavy feathering under the tail, the neck front and the rear of the thighs.


A golden retriever is devoted, friendly and intelligent, and a Labrador retriever is active, friendly and outgoing. In addition to friendly, all of the other adjectives apply equally to either breed. Both Labs and goldens get along with kids, other dogs and cats. They’re both easy to train and love to please. Both need a lot of exercises. The golden tends to be somewhat calmer than the Lab, but that varies between individuals.

Health Issues

Both dogs have similar life spans, roughly 10 to 13 years, with the Lab more likely to live a bit longer. While cancer occurs in Labrador retrievers, it’s very common in the golden. The breed has earned the unfortunate nickname of “cancer retriever.” Types of cancer most frequently affecting goldens include osteosarcoma — or bone cancer — hemangiosarcoma, a cancer of the blood vessels and lymphosarcoma.