Labrador VS Golden Retriever

Everything you need to know on Labrador vs Golden Retriever

I have had both Labrador and Golden Retriever for a couple of years now. Both these breeds have cheerful personalities. They both love to play with you, and both these breeds are very similar in many ways. But also, there are huge differences too. Many people think that they are almost the same, and that’s a huge mistake you can make as a dog owner. So this is my take on Labrador vs Golden Retriever

 LabradorGolden Retriever
Weight55-80 Pounds55-75 Pounds
Height21-25 Inches21-24 Inches
HealthNormalAbove Normal
AttitudeFriendly, Intelligent and very ActiveLoving, Intelligent and Gentle
ActivenessHighVery High
Lifespan10-12 Years10-12 Years
Price (US Dollars)Varies from 1000 to 2500Varies from 1000 to 1300

According to research, it would take about $1200 a year to maintain one doggo (any kind) in America. It also shows that about 63.5 million households have dogs in America in 2021. As a percentage, that’s 38% of all households within the United States. And in that, Labradors holds the 2nd place in the most number of dogs in America and Golden Retrievers holds the 5th place. Number one place is owned by Mixed Breed. 

Table of Contents

The History of Labrador and Golden Retrievers

Even though these two breeds of doggos looks pretty similar, they come from different parts of the world. Despite that, both Labradors and Golden Retrievers are born with similar environmental working conditions. And now, both these breeds have evolved into awesome family doggos.


Labrador VS Golden Retriever - Labrador

Most people assume that this breed comes from Labrador, Canada. But the reality is that this breed comes from Newfoundland in the early 1500s. In that time, to create new dog breeds, people bred Newfoundland with small water dogs and created a new species called Lesser Newfoundland (also called St. John’s Water Dog). Then in the late 1800s, they were called “Labrador Dogs”, and by 1903, that name was recognized by the English Kennel Club. Thanks to that, now we have Labrador doggos everywhere. 

Golden Retriever

Labrador VS Golden Retriever - Golden Retriever

Until the early 1950s, people thought that Golden Retrievers were descendants of some Russian circus dogs. But that changed when Lord Tweedmouth’s original studbooks were made public in the early 1950s. In that book, Lord Tweedmouth says that he purchased an unregistered yellow retriever named “Nous” in 1865.

Then later, he bred Nous with a Tweed Water Spaniel (a breed that now is extinct). This breeding produced four female dogs, and all Golden Retrievers are descended from these four doggos. So in a way, Lord Tweedmouth is the creator of Golden Retrievers.

Labrador vs Golden Retriever Attitude

Both these breeds are trendy around the world and especially in America. The most popular breed in America is Labrador. Golden Retrievers also managed to follow that and came up in 3rd place in popularity in America according to AKC (American Kennel Club). Also, for your information, German Shepard managed to be in between these two breeds and become number 2 in popularity in America.

Labrador has managed to keep up its place for over 25 years, and that says a lot about this breed. Golden Retriever also managed to keep its spot in popularity for more than eight years now.

Both these doggos have similar attitudes. They both are super friendly and playful. That makes people want to breed other dogs with these two breeds. However, even though both these breeds have similar attitudes, there are some differences too. So you will have to decide which species you want to get.

Labrador in your home

From my personal experience, I can say that Labradors are very active and spirited. It would be best if you spent some time with them (certainly more than Golden Retrievers). Labradors also need extreme exercise.

Also, Lab doggos require more mental activities. They rarely get tired, but once they do, they are happy to be cuddled. In my personal experience, if you are a busy person and can’t spend much time with your doggo, it would be easy for you to have two doggos so they would have each other’s so you don’t have to spend much time with your pups.

Golden Retriever in your home

Usually, Golden Retrievers like to chill out at the end of the day after burning enough calories for the day. But keep in mind that they love to play with you and have fun all day long. But in between those times, they like to rest and cuddle wherever they can.

Unlike Labradors, Golden Retrievers can entertain themselves if you are too busy to be there for them. I have noticed that they also like to have afternoon naps when they are tired. So you don’t have to have more than one doggo if you can’t spend much time with them. I can guarantee that they will be happy by themselves and won’t give you much trouble.

Even though they have different energy levels, both doggos are very loving and friendly with other animals. Both are very good with kids too. So both these doggos are ideal for you if you have little kids. But keep in mind that from my experience, I think Labradors are better appropriate if you have older kids at home since they are more energetic than Golden Retrievers. Sometimes little kids might not be able to keep up with them.

You can know more information about Golden Retrievers from this link.

Labrador vs Golden Retriever Appearance

For the most part, both these breeds’ looks a lot alike but there are also some significant differences in their appearances. They’d look the same regarding their height, but in reality, Labradors are taller (by about half an inch). Regarding weight, Labradors are a bit heavier than Golden Retrievers. But it’s not much (on average it’s about 6 pounds), so it’s not a big issue.

In terms of colours, Labradors has a vast variety of colours. They have yellow colour coats and also black and chocolate colours. Labradors also have a red coat colour but sadly, most breeders don’t recognize red Labradors as purebred, so they are not popular.

On the other hand, like in their name, Golden Retrievers comes in only one colour, and that’s gold. But there can be different shades of gold from dark gold to almost white.

The other significant difference between these two breeds is the tail. Labradors have a long and thick tail. It has concise hair. On the other hand, Golden Retrievers has a long tail with longer hair. When they walk, it shakes like a human arm.


Labrador VS Golden Retriever - Golden Retriever

In terms of exercises, both these breeds require almost the same. Both Labradors and Golden Retrievers are considered working dogs. Which means they need more exercise than an average dog daily. Experts recommend that they need at least one hour of exercise per day. However, from my personal experience, I can say that if they have enough room in your house, they will do most of the activities by themselves, especially Golden Retrievers.

Both these doggos loves to run a lot. So you can easily make them run by training them to catch balls or Frisbees. Some doggos don’t like to do that at first, but they would be happy to play with you after a while. Also, both these breeds like to swim, especially Labradors. If you are doing a day out near a lake, that would be ideal for both these breeds.

Both Labradors and Golden Retrievers are ideal running partners. I’m saying this from my personal experience. If you are planning a long run with your doggo, make sure that your pup’s joints can take that long run. You can do that by asking your veterinarian if they can handle that long run.


Labrador VS Golden Retriever

In general, both these doggos are healthy breeds, but some health problems could be inherited through their bloodline. So both these breeds might get these health conditions.

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

This is a frequent health problem when it comes to medium and large doggos. When this happens, their hip and elbow joints will become abnormal and will have unusual shapes. That’s the early sign of hip and elbow dysplasia. If not treated properly, this can lead to severe arthritis in the joints, which would be painful for your doggo and can lead to fragile limb weakness.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Both Labradors and Golden Retrievers are liable to this condition. In this health issue, their retina will degenerate over time, and that can lead to complete blindness. Keep in mind that this is a risk you have to take for both breeds.

Exercise-Induced Collapse

This is not a common health issue, but this but both breeds can suffer from this. This happens mainly because of uncontrolled exercise. When this happens, the doggo can suffer a muscular loss. The most common symptom is that they are dragging their feet while they run. In severe cases, they can collapse and could not be able to move at all. Very rarely, doggos can die suddenly from this. But usually, this can last up to half an hour, and they would get back to normal.

As a dog dad, I have to say that if you notice any of these symptoms, you should take immediate action and get your dog to a veterinarian. Suppose you identify these issues in the early stages. In that case, all these health issues can be controlled or can be cured completely.

Also, a study has shown that in America, almost 62% of Golden Retrievers die from some form of cancer. Many scientists believe that this is because of genetic mutation in the North American Golden gene pool. On the other hand, less than 40% of Golden Retrievers die from cancer in Europe.

Because of this, I strongly suggest that if you are getting a Golden Retriever, make sure to ask about their parent’s health. It would be best if you did this so you can be sure that your doggo won’t be at risk. In addition, well respected breeders must not breed with doggos that had cancer. By avoiding breeding from doggos with cancer, we can make the future generation of dogs healthier.


Both these doggos are very intelligent, and they both love to make their owners happy. This is the perfect combination to train a dog. So it’s easy to train both of these doggos.

Since they are so easy to train, these doggos are very popular professional sniffing doggos in police and guide dogs for blind people. But keep in mind that this doesn’t mean that you can train them very quickly. It would be best if you put in the work to make them well trained.  And if you want good results, you have to teach them regularly.

Keep in mind that if you want a well-trained doggo, you have to train them from a very young age. And by socializing them properly, you can get a well-mannered and polite doggo. Make sure that your commands are fitting and straightforward so your doggo would be comfortable with your orders even outside of the house.


Both Labradors and Golden Retrievers need to be brushed at least twice a week. This is because both these two doggos have double coats of hair as natural defences for the climate. But keep in mind that during shedding season (shed more hair than usual), they require more brushing. Usually, both these breeds would have two shedding seasons per year.

Due to the high cold in winter, both these two doggos will develop more undercoats so it can keep them warm. Then in Spring and Summer, their shedding seasons will arrive, and you will have to brush them more than usual in those seasons. Usually, a shredding season will last up to three weeks. Between that time, you must brush them at least four times per week.

But regarding Golden Retrievers, they require more grooming than just brushing since they have longer hair. Golden Retrievers usually have longer hair around their legs, feet, tail, ears and neck. So they need to be trimmed at least once per two months. Otherwise, they will get too long, and it would become very uncomfortable for your pups. Keep in mind that Labradors does not require trimming as long as you brush them properly.

Not just hair trimming, Golden Retrievers also need more regular baths because of their long fur. Usually, a typical doggo requires a bath every six weeks. So a Labrador needs a bath at least one bath every six weeks to look healthy, and a Golden Retriever needs at least one bath every month (4 weeks) to look healthy since they have longer fur.

Don’t bathe them more than the required amount because it can cause them to lose their fur coat and to damage it. That will lead to more issues. If they get dirty between baths, you can use doggy wipes or shampoo to clean them up. You can also use recommended doggy perfume to keep them refreshed (get recommendations from your veterinarian).


Labrador VS Golden Retriever

Both Labrador and Golden Retrievers are very similar regarding their nutrition needs. Both breeds need 3 cups of food daily. If you give them high-quality food, then they would always be in good condition. Labradors need dog food which is made for active doggos. Since Golden Retrievers has longer fur, they need quality dog food with a lot of omega 3. Also, make sure that your dog food is age-appropriate despite the brand.

Make sure that you don’t give your pups many treats because it can lead to obesity, especially Labradors. It’s important to give your doggo treats as rewards for good behaviour but don’t overdo it.


As above mentioned, Labradors’ price varies from $1000 to $2500. Golden Retrievers’ price ranges from $1000 to $1300.

But always keep in mind that if you buy from a dishonest breeder for a low price, you will have a higher chance of getting an unhealthy doggo. So always ask for their recommended health certificate from the seller and make sure you buy a healthy puppy. I’m saying this from experience, if you get an unhealthy puppy for a low cost, it will lead to many issues in the future.

Most Asked Questions

As a dog owner, people always ask me many questions regarding doggos, especially Labrador Retrievers vs Golden Retrievers. So I’m going to answer some of the most asked questions here.

  • Which one is better golden retriever or Labrador?

This entirely depends on the owner. For example, if you get a Golden Retriever, you will have to spend more time grooming. On the other hand, if you get a Labrador, you will have to spend more time with your doggo. So I think in general, both these two breeds are equally excellent and great companions. It would be best if you decided for yourself what breed you like most.

  • Which is easy to maintain, Labrador or Golden Retriever?

In general, Golden Retrievers needs more maintains. They require more brushing and more bathing. They also require more trimming. On the other hand, Labradors require no trimming and require less bathing and brushing.

  • What is more expensive, Labrador or Golden Retriever?

As above mentioned, in America, Golden Retrievers can go up to $1300. However, on the other hand, Labradors can go up to $2500. So, in general, you can say that usually, Labradors are more expensive.

  • Are Golden Retrievers aggressive?

Usually, Golden Retrievers are not aggressive. But suppose you physically punish them for bad behaviours or train them to be more aggressive. In that case, they can become more and more aggressive.

  • Why are Golden Retrievers so expensive?

Because Golden Retrievers require expensive grooming.

  • Do Golden Retrievers shed a lot?

In their shredding seasons, they shed more than usual.

  • Can you leave a Golden Retriever home alone?

Yes. As above mentioned, you can leave your Golden Retriever doggo at home by themselves. They love their own company. If you leave some toys for them to play with,  you can leave them for hours without any worries.

  • Are Golden Retrievers easy to train?

Yes. Golden Retrievers are considered intelligent dogs, and they love to please their masters. So that’s the ideal combination you can get to train a dog. But you have to train them when they are little and regularly train them if you want good results.

  • Are Labs and Golden Retrievers related?

Even though they look a lot alike and have many similarities, Labs and Golden Retrievers don’t relate.

  • Are golden retrievers inside or outside dogs?

Golden Retrievers are inside dogs. Which means they need to be with a family. But they are also perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking, walks and runs.

  • Are Golden Retrievers good for single people?

Absolutely. If you give them enough attention and love, one person is more than enough for them to be happy.

  • Are Golden Retrievers smart?

Of course. Golden Retrievers are considered one of the most intelligent dog breeds in the world. That’s why Golden Retrievers are used a lot as sniffing dogs in the police and helping guide dogs for blind people.

  • Are Golden Retrievers smarter than labs?

Even though both breeds are brilliant, Golden Retrievers are slightly more intelligent than Labs. Golden Retrievers are considered the 4th most intelligent dog breed according to “The Intelligence of Dogs”, where Labs are considered the 7th most intelligent dog breed in the world.

  • Is a Golden Retriever a good first dog?

Of course. You don’t need to have lots of knowledge and experience regarding dogs to properly adopt a Golden Retriever because Golden Retrievers are one of the best dog breeds in the world.

Labrador VS Golden Retriever

Finally, I have to say that both breeds are equally great in their own way. So if someone asks me, “Which breed is better?” I honestly don’t have an answer for that. So chose what you love because both breeds will love you for who you are and will make your life so much happier as any doggo would do.

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