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Golden retriever VS Labrador retriever

Golden retriever VS Labrador retriever

Golden retrievers vs Labrador retriever. Both breeds are amazing, very loving, and loyal dogs, and most importantly they are very popular among people. Recently we’ve told you how the Labrador retriever has been voted the most popular dog for the 30th year in a row! The Golden retriever on the other hand, even though not the number one, is always in the top five. But what makes these dogs so popular and which is the better dog? What makes them so special, and what are the biggest differences between these two breeds? These are some questions we’re going to answer today.

Golden retriever vs Labrador retriever

There is a reason why Golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers are both so popular. Besides being gentle, loving, and caring, they are also very smart and easy to train. Despite having so many things in common, they are still very unique breeds each. But which of them will be the best pick for you?

The truth is, we can’t really tell you which one is the best breed for you. You will need to decide that for yourself, but we will help you by providing you with knowledge on both breeds. Basically, knowing the differences between the two breeds may help you make your decision.

Golden retriever
Golden retriever’s are very loving and loyal dogs

1. Weight and size

When it comes to their size and weight there isn’t much difference between Golden retrievers vs Labrador retrievers. both breeds are considered medium to large-sized dogs.

Golden retrievers males are between 23 and 24 inches tall, whereas females are between 21.5 and 22.5 inches tall. Male Golden retrievers weigh between 65 and 75 pounds, and females weigh between 55 and 65 pounds.

When it comes to Labrador retrievers the males are between 22.5 and 24.5 inches tall, and females are between 21.5 and 23.5 inches tall. Male Labrador retrievers weigh between 65 and 80 pounds, whereas female Labrador retrievers weigh between 55 and 70 pounds.

The life expectancy of both breeds is between 10 and 12 years.

2. Appearance

The biggest difference when talking about Golden retriever vs Labrador retriever is in their appearance, specifically their coat and coat color.

The coat of the Labrador retriever is short and straight. The Golden Retriever’s fur on the other hand tends to be long and curly.

When it comes to the color there is a big difference too. Labrador retrievers typically have three fur coat colors: black, chocolate brown, and yellow. Golden Retrievers typically have golden-colored coats, but they range from white or cream to red.

Traits shared by Golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers:

  • Folded ears
  • Long tails
  • Happy, enthusiastic expressions
  • “Soft mouths”
  • Webbed feet

Traits unique to only Golden retrievers:

  • Flat or wavy coats
  • Water-repellent coats
  • Longer snout
  • “Smiling” expression

Traits unique to only Labrador retrievers:

  • A broadhead with pronounced eyebrows
  • A water-resistant coat
  • A medium, non-tapered muzzle
  • A muscular build

3. Temperament

When taking a closer look at the temperament aspect of Golden retriever vs Labrador retriever we must say that they are very similar. As mentioned they both make great family pets, get along amazingly with children, are very smart and loving. However, there is one big difference that sets Golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers apart. It’s exactly this difference that plays a huge factor for families when deciding which breed to get.

This difference is their energy level:

  • Golden retrievers have medium-energy levels
  • Labrador retrievers have high-energy levels

But let’s explain this a little further. So, our good old Golden retrievers are full of energy, we know that. They need daily exercise, they need to be active. However, after getting the exercise they need, Golden retrievers are usually very chill dogs. They like to res, lay around and cuddle with their family. They equally love going on long walks and runs with their humans and just spending an afternoon watching TV.

Labrador retriever
Labrador retrievers have a high-energy level

Labrador retrievers, however, like mentioned have a high-energy level. They require so much more exercise and entertainment than Golden retrievers. They can’t chill for a few hours and just be calm. On, and they do love cuddles, but they are just too busy doing everything else to remember they want cuddles too. Their high-energy levels also mean that they can become restless quite easily. Restless dogs tend to become destructive dogs, especially when left alone for long periods of time. Labrador retrievers are also more likely to suffer from separation anxiety because they need so much entertainment from their humans.

Despite the difference in energy levels, both breeds need at least 60 minutes of exercise a day.

4. Health

Golden retriever vs Labrador retriever, which dog is healthier? Generally speaking, both breeds are healthy, but there are a few illnesses they might suffer from:

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
  • Exercise Induced Collapse

There is one big difference in the health of Golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers. It’s the fact that Golden retrievers are more likely to get Cancer. According to a study performed in the 1990’s 61% of Golden Retriever deaths were due to Cancer of some form. Experts believe that this is because of a genetic mutation in the North American Golden gene pool, as the mortality rate in the European Golden Retriever was much lower at 38%.

5. Price

There is a significant difference in cost between Golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers. The cost of a Golden Retriever will be between $500 and $1,000, whereas the Labrador Retriever will cost you a little more, between $850 and $1,200.


Golden retriever vs Labrador retriever, we can’t really say that one is better than the other. These are both amazing breeds of dogs. Both breeds are sociable and would make a great family addition. They both will be easy to train because they are very intelligent and keen to please their owners. The biggest difference between Golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers is that Golden retrievers are slightly calmer. Besides this, you should also keep in mind that Golden retrievers are more likely to get some kind of Cancer in their life. The choice is up to you, but no matter which you choose you won’t regret it!

My name is Jackie and I am a veterinarian with a degree in veterinary medicine. With extensive experience in treating various animals, I am known for my compassionate and personalized approach to animal care.