Labrador Retriever Vs Golden Retriever Differences – Which One Is Better?

Both the Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever are friendly, fun-loving, and adorable pets. But what makes them distinct from one another? And which is the right breed for you? We’ll discuss them in this article so make sure to read until the end.


At first glance, both breeds are similar to each other. Both have folded ears, webbed feet, and long tails. Their soft mouths allow them to carry objects without breaking them, making them suitable for hunting and fetching.

While both dogs have water-resistant coats, the Golden Retriever’s hair is longer and more wavy than those of Labradors, which is straight and short. The Golden Retriever comes in various shades of yellow to rust red.

To further distinguish the two, you may notice that the Labrador Retrievers have shorter snouts, larger heads, and have more body muscle mass.

When it comes to their coat colors, the Labrador comes in a wider variety, including yellow, chocolate, and black.


In general, both the Labrador and Golden Retrievers are similar in size, although Labs can be a bit larger.

The Labrador Retriever stands at 22 to 24 inches (56 to 62 cm) tall at the shoulder, and the weight is around 55 to 79 lbs (25 to 36 kg) with females between 55 to 70 lbs (25 to 32 kg).

On the other hand, the Golden Retriever typically stands between 22 to 24 inches (56 to 61 cm) tall at the shoulder. Its weight varies from 55 to 75 lbs (25 to 34 kg) with females between 55 to 63 lbs (25 to 29 kg).

Life Span

Labradors and Golden Retrievers have the same life span. In general, both of them have a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years. Both are active dogs, and they need an active family who can suit their lifestyle. Exercise is important for both breeds in order to keep them healthy and prolong their lives.


Both breeds shed all year-round, but they shed more twice a year during their seasonal coat changes. They need frequent grooming, so if you don’t have a high tolerance and patience for this kind of set up, then both breeds are not for you.


Generally speaking, both Labradors and Golden Retrievers are smart and people-pleasers. They are affectionate, loving dogs who want nothing more from their family than to be adored. They are obedient and highly trainable dogs, making them ideal pets for first-time owners.

According to canine behavior experts, Golden Retrievers are calmer and more sensitive than Labradors. Additionally, Labradors tend to adapt better at homes with lively and active children. While Goldens can also adjust to those kinds of environments, they prefer a more tranquil home environment, like homes with retired couples.


Golden Retrievers are considered as one of the smartest dog breeds. Combine this with their personality to please their owners, training should not be difficult.

On the other hand, Labrador Retrievers are also amongst the most intelligent canines. However, their high energy level might be a hindrance when training them.

Activity Level

As mentioned, the Labrador Retriever is a highly energetic dog. They are especially more active during their younger years, which means that they need more play sessions and activities than the Golden Retrievers. They are best suited for families with small, lively children and owners who love to exercise.

Meanwhile, the Golden Retriever has a medium energy level. While daily exercise is still essential, Goldens can enjoy snuggling with you. They are perfect for owners who prefer a laidback lifestyle.


Both breeds are highly trainable due to the fact that they are intelligent and eager to please their owners. However, you may need to be more patient when training Labrador Retrievers because of their high energy levels. It is especially important to keep training sessions short and sweet.

For both dogs, motivating techniques should be used during training. They don’t respond well to harsh punishments, especially the Goldens since they have a softer personality than the Labs.

Exercise Needs

Both need an adequate amount of exercise, but Labradors may need more than Goldens. An hour of exercise or a game of fetch and Frisbee is a great way to bond with your dog. They also love to swim, so if given the chance, make sure to visit the beach or pool.

Regardless of your choice, make sure to provide your dog a room or yard to run to keep themselves fit and healthy.


Both breeds shed, therefore expect frequent brushings and undercoat rake combing if you decided to take either of them.

Golden Retrievers need more grooming, preferably every 2 to 3 days, due to the fact that they have longer coats.

Labradors only need weekly brushes to keep their coats in their best condition. During the peak season of shedding, you may need to brush them more often than usual.

Both dogs love to jump on something they find interesting – may it be mud or leaves. This means they are prone to getting dirty! But bathing should not be a problem, since both dogs love the water!

Good With Family

You can’t go wrong with these two Retrievers. Both are devoted, fun-loving animals and make an excellent companion for families with elders and children.

Golden Retrievers easily get along with other animals in the house, may it be another canine or smaller pets, such as cats. They’re the better choice if you have a multi-pet household.

Labradors, on the other hand, won’t fully mature until they reach the age of three. They’re more active than the Goldens and would love the presence of boisterous kids. While they can also get along pretty well with other animals in the house, it’s recommended to supervise any interaction.

Apartment Living

If you need a dog just for the sake of guarding your house while you’re away, then neither of these breeds is for you. Both dogs need regular physical interaction and exercise and if you can’t provide that, they may resort to chewing, digging, or barking to expel their energies.

If in some cases you need to be away, make sure to keep it short and provide them with toys or anything that’ll keep them busy and entertained.

Both dogs are friendly, thus not making them excellent guard dogs. They are more likely to invite intruders than scare them off.

Health Problems

There are some health issues you may want to watch out for in both breeds. In comparison, Golden Retrievers have more serious health concerns than Labradors.

Some of the most common health problems Golden Retrievers may suffer from are cancer, heart disease, and allergies.

Labradors, on the other hand, are susceptible to obesity, cancer, and exercise-induced collapse.

It’s also possible for both dogs to develop hip and elbow dysplasia and eye diseases, such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here