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Golden Retriever vs Labrador Retriever: Breed Comparison

In this guide, we will be looking into the breed comparison between the Golden Retriever vs Labrador Retriever.

Golden Retriever vs Labrador Retriever

These Retriever cousins are both energetic and amiable sporting dogs filled with so much love, energy, and fun.

However, even so, there are still some things that set them apart, which is what we will be looking at here.

It is sometimes hard to know which one of these two, the Golden Retriever vs Labrador Retriever, will be the perfect pet for you.

But there’s a greater chance of choosing a great pet when you know more about a particular breed’s general characteristics, health, and environment for its best life.

Given that they are kind of doggy cousins, a lot of people wonder about the differences between Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers.

Depending on the type of purpose the dogs were originally developed to have, the American Kennel Club (AKC) classifies dogs into seven categories.

Labs and Goldens are from the sporting category, and as Retrievers, they are mostly extraordinary outdoor companions, family members, and exercise buddies.

Golden Retriever vs Labrador Retriever: Origins

Since way back, dogs have been selectively bred by humans for several reasons.

Each breed was originally bred for a specific purpose, and the Golden Retriever and the Labrador are no different.

  • Golden Retriever

In the late 1800s, the Golden Retrievers originally came from the Scottish Highlands. These dogs were developed as gun dogs.

They were bred more specifically to have extremely massive yet soft and gentle mouths to carefully retrieve prey their owner had shot.

They are able to retrieve prey without causing any damage to the prey animal with their soft mouth.

This makes them extremely useful for quail hunting, rabbit hunting, duck hunting, and fox hunting.

  • Labrador Retriever

In the mid-1800s, Labrador Retrievers were originally bred in Canada by fishermen and hunters who took them to the rivers and lakes to hunt fish, birds, or other small mammals.

Labrador Retrievers were also developed to have large, soft mouths similar to those of Golden Retrievers, so they would not damage the prey they retrieved for their owners.

Labradors were mainly bred as water gun dogs for several years.

They are powerful swimmers and were mostly used to dive into rivers, lakes, or marshes to retrieve prey from the water.

And, presently, they are still a common and dependable hunter’s companion.

Golden Retriever vs Labrador: Price

Well, there’s a difference between these two breeds when it comes to price.

Golden Retriever vs Labrador Retriever

On average, the Golden Retriever will cost anywhere from $1,000 to $1,300, and the Labrador Retriever will cost anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500.

Keep in mind that buying from disreputable breeders will very likely lead to you having an unhealthy pup.

So, if you want to buy a puppy, make sure that you ask for their recommended health certificates, as this helps make sure that you are more likely to get a healthy pooch.

Specifically for the Golden Retrievers, this is extremely important due to the fact that they have a higher rate of cancer.

Golden Retriever vs Labrador Retriever: Size and Appearance

Their size and appearance are two of the main differences between Labradors and Golden Retrievers.

In general, Labs are larger and bulkier compared to Golden Retrievers, which have shorter and thicker coats.

On the flip side, Golden Retrievers are normally smaller and more slender compared to Labs, with a longer, silkier coat.

Goldens vs Labs: Energy Level and Exercise Needs

As previously mentioned, both Labradors and Golden Retrievers are active breeds that require a lot of daily exercise and playtime to remain happy and healthy.

Golden Retriever vs Labrador Retriever

That being said, Labs might need a little more exercise thanks to their larger size and active nature, whereas Golden Retrievers might be okay with a little less.

Golden Retriever vs Labrador Retriever: Grooming

Both of these two breeds come with thick, double coats that need regular grooming to maintain their appearance.

That being said, the grooming requirements of the two breeds might vary a little bit.

Labs have a shorter and thicker coat that might need less maintenance; on the other hand, Golden Retrievers might require more brushing and combing to help prevent mats and tangles given that they have a longer, silkier coat.

The Golden Retrievers actually win the medal for shedding, and I strongly suggest you avoid this breed if you do not like vacuuming.

Golden Retriever vs Labrador: Temperament

Both Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers are popular for their congenial, extrovert personalities, and in general, they get along well with children and other animals.

Even though Golden Retrievers might be a little bit more laid-back and gentle, Labradors might be slightly more active and fun-filled.

Golden Retriever vs Labrador Retriever: Which Breed Is Right For You?

I won’t say that one breed is better than the other, as it depends on which one fits your lifestyle and personality best.

Golden Retriever vs Labrador Retriever

You could be more of a Golden Retriever buddy if you:

  • Have no plans to leave your pooch alone for long periods of time during the day.
  • Be able to provide solid and proper training; that way, your pup can be eager to help in the family and remain physically and mentally stimulated.
  • The kind of person who cherishes a warm-hearted pup that is happy to exist even if it might not have several ideas of its own.

You might prefer a Labrador Retriever lover if you are:

  • Can train your pooch to be useful for work like fishing, hunting, farm chores, and many more.
  • Understand that your pup is intelligent and how you can keep it occupied with mental and physical activities.
  • So many people want a four-legged best friend and devoted companion, but they can still say no to extra pleas for treats.
  • Have the ability to manage its need for balance between downtime and activity.

Final Thoughts

The Golden Retriever and Lab are both among the most well-known dog choices in the world.

Golden Retriever vs Labrador Retriever

And this is definitely not surprising with their lovable and gentle temperaments. Both of these breeds are sociable and extremely interesting.

They are both always eager to explore, play in the garden, or splash around in the local lake.

Both breeds are also very smart and eager to please their owners.
This usually means that they are well-mannered pups that are a pleasure to have around.

The main difference between the Golden Retriever and the Labrador Retriever is that the Golden is a bit calmer in temperament.

After daily exercise, they will prefer a more quiet and composed environment.

However, in the case of the Lab, it is much more active and lively. It will function better in a fun-filled home with constant stimulation.

Both of these breeds are great family additions. You are sure to come home with a dog that everybody loves and cherishes, whether you are in search of a Golden Retriever or on a hunt for a Labrador.

You can always adopt a mix of the two breeds if you are unable to decide between the Golden Retriever vs Labrador Retriever.

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