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Golden Retriever vs. Labrador Retriever — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on January 9, 2024
Golden Retrievers are a popular dog breed known for their long, golden coats and friendly disposition, while Labrador Retrievers are known for their short, dense coats, available in black, chocolate, or yellow, and are equally friendly and trainable.
Golden Retriever vs. Labrador Retriever — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever


Key Differences

Golden Retrievers have a distinct long, golden-colored coat, which requires regular grooming. In contrast, Labrador Retrievers have a shorter, denser coat that comes in three colors: black, chocolate, and yellow, with comparatively lower grooming needs.
Both breeds are known for their friendly and gentle temperament. Golden Retrievers are often slightly calmer and more sensitive, making them excellent therapy dogs. Labrador Retrievers are more energetic and playful, often used as service dogs.
Golden Retrievers were originally bred for retrieving game in Scottish hunting grounds, which contributes to their soft mouth and affinity for water. Labradors, initially bred in Newfoundland for retrieving fishing nets, also have a strong retrieval instinct and love for water.
In terms of health, Golden Retrievers are prone to certain health issues like hip dysplasia and heart problems. Labradors also have similar health risks, including joint problems and obesity if not properly exercised.
Golden Retrievers tend to be slightly heavier and taller compared to Labradors. Their long coat also makes them more adaptable to colder climates, whereas Labradors, with their dense, water-resistant coat, are versatile in various environments.

Comparison Chart


Long, golden-colored
Short, dense; black, chocolate, yellow


Friendly, gentle, slightly calmer
Friendly, energetic, playful

Original Breeding Purpose

Game retrieving in Scotland
Retrieving fishing nets in Newfoundland

Common Health Issues

Hip dysplasia, heart problems
Joint problems, obesity

Physical Build

Slightly heavier and taller
Strong, slightly shorter and stockier

Compare with Definitions

Golden Retriever

Prone to certain health issues.
Regular check-ups are essential for our Golden Retriever's health.

Labrador Retriever

Risk of joint problems and obesity.
We keep our Labrador Retriever healthy with regular exercise.

Golden Retriever

Well-suited for retrieving tasks.
Our Golden Retriever loves playing fetch in the park.

Labrador Retriever

Adapted for various environments.
Our Labrador Retriever loves swimming in the lake.

Golden Retriever

Excellent as therapy dogs.
The Golden Retriever visited the hospital as a therapy dog.

Labrador Retriever

Commonly used as service dogs.
The Labrador Retriever is in training to be a guide dog.

Golden Retriever

A breed with a long, golden coat.
The Golden Retriever's shiny coat needs regular brushing.

Labrador Retriever

Energetic and playful breed.
The Labrador Retriever is always ready for a game of fetch.

Golden Retriever

Known for their friendly nature.
Our Golden Retriever loves meeting new people.

Labrador Retriever

Has a short, dense coat in three colors.
Our black Labrador Retriever is easy to groom.

Common Curiosities

What is a Labrador Retriever?

A popular breed with a short, dense coat, known for being friendly and energetic.

Do Golden Retrievers make good family pets?

Absolutely, they are known for their gentle and affectionate nature.

Are Labradors easy to train?

Yes, Labradors are known for their intelligence and trainability.

What is a Golden Retriever?

A dog breed known for its friendly nature and long, golden coat.

How often should I groom a Golden Retriever?

Regular grooming, including daily brushing, is recommended.

What health issues are Golden Retrievers prone to?

They can be prone to hip dysplasia, heart conditions, and certain cancers.

Is a Golden Retriever a good choice for a first-time dog owner?

Yes, their temperament makes them suitable for first-time owners.

Are Labrador Retrievers good swimmers?

Yes, they are excellent swimmers and love water activities.

Can Labradors live in apartments?

Yes, but they require sufficient exercise due to their energy levels.

Are Golden Retrievers good with children?

Yes, their calm and gentle demeanor makes them great with kids.

How much exercise does a Labrador need?

Labradors need regular exercise to maintain their health and happiness.

Are Golden Retrievers good for allergy sufferers?

Due to their shedding, they may not be the best choice for people with allergies.

What colors do Labrador Retrievers come in?

They come in black, chocolate, and yellow.

Do Golden Retrievers shed a lot?

Yes, they shed, especially during seasonal changes.

Can Labradors handle cold weather?

Their dense coat provides good insulation, but they should not be left in extreme cold.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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