Labrador Vs. Golden Retrievers Differences

golden vs labrador

Choosing between a Labrador Retriever and a Golden Retriever can be difficult.

Both of these breeds have a lot to offer as pets, so it is important to learn all you can about each.

Here is a list of the main differences between these two different breeds.

Golden Vs Labrador Differences:

1. Temperament

Both the Labrador and Golden Retrievers have more or less the same overall temperament. These dogs are known for being very gentle, friendly, and highly intelligent. They are both great for families with children.

These dogs are extremely loyal and protective of their family members. The golden retriever is perhaps a bit more playful than the Labrador. Goldens love running around and playing fetch, while Labradors can be a bit slightly mellow.

You’ll find that both types of retrievers also enjoy swimming quite a bit. They love to play in the water and go for walks and runs.

Keep in mind that neither of these breeds makes particularly good guard dogs. The friendly nature of these dogs means that they won’t be of much help with intruders.

labrador retriever
Labrador Retriever

2. Grooming

These breeds both tend to have long coats, so they shed quite a bit. This means that you really need to stay on top of the grooming. Labs have a double coat, so they require a bit more brushing and grooming than Goldens.

You’ll more than likely need to trim a Golden Retriever’s coat on a semi-regular basis. An undercoat rake can keep the dog’s hair flowing smoothly so it doesn’t get knotted up. This is something that you just cannot neglect these breeds.

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3. Health Issues

There are certain health issues that every breed is known for. It is important to get this information before deciding on which type of dog to get.

Some of the health problems that Golden Retrievers are known for include:

  • Ear infections
  • Obesity
  • Cancer
  • Hip dysplasia

Some of the health problems Labrador Retrievers are known for include:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Shoulder dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Laryngeal paralysis (difficulty breathing)

Both of these breeds tend to have problems with cataracts, diabetes, and distichiasis. Vision problems are very common with both retrievers.

golden retriever 1
Golden Retriever

4. Cost

You can expect to pay anywhere from $700 to $1200 for a Golden Retriever, whereas Labrador Retrievers tend to cost up to a few hundred dollars more.

If you want to save money, you can try adopting one of these dogs through an animal rescue service. You always have the option of getting a DNA test run on the dog to determine its genetic lineage. 

This is a good way to stay within your budget while going something good for an animal in need of a home.

5. Life Expectancy

A Golden Retriever has a life expectancy of around 10 to 13 years, while Labrador Retrievers tend to live anywhere from 10 to 12 years. Some of the health problems that these breeds are prone to can shorten their life significantly.

6. Appearance

Female Golden Retrievers can grow up to 22 inches, whereas males can grow up to 24 inches tall. Males can weigh anywhere from 65 to 75 pounds, while females tend to be 55 to 71 pounds.

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Labrador Retrievers can grow up to 24 inches tall. Females weigh anywhere from 55 to 71 pounds, whereas males range from 64 to 79 pounds.

Both of these breeds typically have long coats, webbed feet, long tails, and big floppy ears. 

One of the big differences between these two dogs is that Goldens have a coat that repels water. This is why they are slightly stronger swimmers than Labs. They also have longer snouts and always appear to be smiling.

Golden Retrievers usually have light colored coats, while Labradors can have a much darker black or brown color.

7. History

Golden Retrievers were bred back in the 1800s in Scotland. They are believed to have come from a Russian tracker dog that no longer exists. These dogs were commonly used in hunting due to their incredible sense of smell and retrieving abilities.

Labrador Retrievers were first officially recognized as a breed by the Kennel Club in the early 1900s. Once referred to as St. John’s Dog or Newfoundland dog, they were originally bred in the UK.


  • Both breeds are generally around the same size and weight.
  • Golden Retrievers tend to be a little more playful and active than Labradors.
  • These breeds both require regular grooming due to their long coats.
  • The life expectancy of these breeds is pretty much the same (10 to 13 years).
  • Golden Retrievers are slightly more adept at swimming because of their water-repellent coats.
  • Both dogs are very intelligent, affectionate, and loyal.
  • Golden Retrievers almost always have a light colored coat, while Labradors can have a much darker coat.
  • Labrador Retrievers can cost a little bit more than Goldens.
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