Differences between the Labrador Retriever and the Golden Retriever

The Labrador Retriever and the Golden Retriever are among the most beautiful dog breeds. They are both intelligent and brave. Despite their similar morphologies and traits, these two breeds are very different from each other. In this article, we’ll look at the various differences between the Labrador Retriever and the Golden Retriever.

Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever: physical characteristics

When focused solely on their physical characteristics, many people find it difficult to distinguish the difference between the Golden Retriever and the Labrador. After all, physically speaking, the two breeds have many similarities.

They are both medium in size and can be gold in color. They have webbed feet and a long, weather-resistant coat.

However, compared to the Golden Retriever, the Labrador’s coat is harder and shorter while the Golden Retriever’s is longer and wavier. As for the muzzle, the Labrador’s is wider while the Golden Retriever’s muzzle appears a little longer. The Labrador also has a more developed musculature and a larger head.

In terms of weight and size, the two are almost similar. Labradors, however, tend to be slightly larger than Golden Retrievers. For example, while the average weight of a Labrador is 25 to 35 kg (approximately 55 to 77 lbs), that of a Golden Retriever is 25 to 34 kg (approximately 55 to 74 lbs). Concerning their height, adult male Golden Retrievers can measure between 56 and 62cm (22 and 24.5 in) and at the shoulder. The Labrador, on the other hand, generally measures between 56 and 61 cm (22 and 24 in).

As for the color of their coat, the Golden Retriever is mostly golden. The Labrador comes in three colors: black, chocolate, and gold.

A Golden Retriever lying on the grass.

Character traits

Both of these breeds are very intelligent. Like the Labrador, the Golden Retriever appreciates human presence and shows great affection for their owner. In addition, both are very friendly and easy to train. Despite their activeness, both the Golden Retriever and the Labrador are very gentle and forgiving towards other animals and children.

Compared to some breeds that are too sensitive or too aggressive, the Labrador and Golden Retriever have many qualities. These two breeds are the family dog of choice. They are perfect for families with other animals and young children. However, it is important to train them from a young age.

Both breeds have sociable, affectionate and outgoing personalities. They like to please you and be the center of attention. In addition to being loyal and faithful, the Golden Retriever and Labrador are very athletic animals.

Both the Golden Retriever and the Labrador are top choices as working dogs. They are perfect as hunting dogs, rescue dogs, search dogs, service dogs, and much more. Both breeds show great deals of bravery, courage, and enthusiasm.

Whatever your choice between the Golden Retriever and the Labrador, one thing is certain: you can’t go wrong.

A Labrador Retriever with a chocolate-colored coat.


To help you choose the right breed for your family, discover the differences in temperament between the Golden Retriever and the Labrador.

The temperament of the Golden Retriever

Calmer than the Labrador, the Golden Retriever has an average energy level. It likes long naps. Nevertheless, it needs time to play and go for daily walks. This breed is also one of the most intelligent dogs in the world.

This dog breed is eager for affection and praise. They are more attentive and patient than the average dog, which makes their training sessions easier. Homes with many other animals such as cats or other dogs are ideal for Golden Retrievers.

If you are looking for a guard dog, the Golden Retriever may not be the right dog for you. While they are loyal and protective, they are particularly friendly even to strangers. Therefore, it is difficult to rely on them to guard your home well.

A Golden Retriever playing with a stick outside.

The temperament of the Labrador Retriever

Unlike the Golden Retriever, the Labrador is an energetic dog breed. The Labrador needs to spend time exercising and playing various games. If you are unable to devote time to playing with your Labrador, you may not be able to handle their energy.

Like the Golden Retriever, the Labrador is one of the most intelligent dog breeds. They are quick learners and eager to interact during their training sessions. With that in mind, care must be taken during training as their high energy level may interfere with their ability to concentrate.

The Labrador can socialize well with your other pets. Nonetheless, it needs more supervision than the Golden Retriever.

Similar to the Golden Retriever, the Labrador is not the ideal dog breed if you are looking for a guard dog. They love human interaction and may be too friendly with strangers.

Labrador puppy

Physical exercises for the Labrador and Golden Retriever

Both the Golden Retriever and the Labrador are very athletic dogs. They need a lot of attention and exercise to use their energy. Whichever breed you choose, you need to give them plenty of room to play and run around, whether it be indoors or outdoors. Since they love interacting with humans, especially their owners, be prepared to play and interact often with your Golden Retriever or Labrador.

Like the Labrador, the Golden Retriever requires at least one hour of exercise per day. They both also love to. Swimming in a lake or in the ocean will make both the Golden and the Labrador happy. Both breeds have water-repellent and insulating coats that keep their bodies warm.

Since they both need a lot of space, living in an apartment may be a little difficult for the Golden Retriever and the Labrador. Nevertheless, they are good at adapting to the different lifestyles you impose on them. However, if you are not able to spend a lot of time at home and have to leave your dog alone for extended periods of time, it’s best to consider another breed. Neither one of these breeds likes to be caged or left alone for too long.

If not sufficiently stimulated mentally and physically with games, toys or activities, both the Golden Retriever and the Labrador can be prone to certain behavioral problems. These include separation anxiety, which can lead to problems such as destructive behavior. To prevent them from ruining your shoes or furniture, give these dogs attention and spend time with them regularly.

Caring for your Labrador and Golden Retriever

Both breeds should brushed at least once a week. You can brush them more often during or between the molting seasons. Both the Labrador and the Golden Retriever shed in the fall and spring. However, for part of the year, the Labrador requires less grooming than the Golden Retriever.