Ask Difference

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

By Maham Liaqat & Urooj Arif — Published on April 2, 2024
Labradors and Golden Retrievers are both friendly and loyal dog breeds, but Labradors have a shorter, denser coat and are slightly more energetic, while Golden Retrievers have longer, flowing coats and are known for their gentle demeanor.
Labrador vs. Golden Retriever — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Labrador and Golden Retriever


Key Differences

Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers are two of the most popular dog breeds, cherished for their friendly nature and intelligence. Both breeds share many similarities, making them excellent family pets, but they also have distinct differences.
Labradors are known for their short, dense, and water-resistant coats, which come in black, yellow, or chocolate colors. They are robust, energetic, and require plenty of exercise to manage their high energy levels. Labradors are highly trainable and often used as service dogs due to their intelligence and versatility.
Golden Retrievers feature longer, flowing coats with a dense inner fur and a water-repellent outer coat, coming primarily in various shades of gold. They are slightly calmer than Labradors, known for their patience and gentleness, making them ideal for families with children. Golden Retrievers are equally intelligent and trainable, often serving as guide dogs and in search-and-rescue teams.
Both breeds are social, thrive on human companionship, and can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long periods. They are prone to similar health issues, such as hip dysplasia and certain heart diseases, and thus require regular veterinary check-ups.
In terms of grooming, Golden Retrievers need more frequent brushing due to their longer coat to prevent matting and reduce shedding, while Labradors require less grooming but can shed just as much. Both breeds enjoy being active, whether through walking, swimming, or playing fetch, and they excel in agility and obedience training.
Choosing between a Labrador and a Golden Retriever often comes down to personal preference regarding energy levels and grooming commitments. Both breeds make loyal, loving pets and integrate well into families and active lifestyles.

Comparison Chart

Coat Type

Short, dense, water-resistant
Long, dense with water-repellent outer layer

Energy Level

High, requires plenty of exercise
Slightly calmer, but still active


Black, yellow, chocolate
Various shades of gold

Grooming Needs

Moderate, sheds seasonally
High, requires regular brushing


Friendly, outgoing, versatile
Gentle, patient, friendly

Popular Uses

Service dogs, family pets
Guide dogs, search-and-rescue, family pets

Health Issues

Hip dysplasia, obesity, heart diseases
Hip dysplasia, cancer, heart diseases


Approximately 10-12 years
Approximately 10-12 years


Males: 65-80 lbs, Females: 55-70 lbs
Males: 65-75 lbs, Females: 55-65 lbs

Exercise Needs

High, enjoys activities like fetching and swimming
High, enjoys outdoor activities and playtime

Compare with Definitions


Requires regular exercise to manage energy.
Daily walks and playtime are essential for a Labrador's well-being.

Golden Retriever

Recognized for its gentle and patient demeanor.
Golden Retrievers are ideal pets for families with children.


A versatile and energetic breed.
The Labrador Retriever excels in agility training due to its high energy.

Golden Retriever

Features a long, flowing golden coat.
Regular grooming keeps a Golden Retriever's coat shiny and healthy.


Friendly and social temperament.
Labradors make great family pets due to their outgoing nature.

Golden Retriever

Requires consistent grooming to prevent matting.
Brushing a Golden Retriever several times a week is recommended.


Prone to obesity without proper diet and exercise.
Monitoring food intake is crucial for a Labrador's health.

Golden Retriever

Thrives on companionship and activity.
A Golden Retriever enjoys being part of family activities.


Known for its dense, water-resistant coat.
Labradors are well-suited for water retrieval tasks.

Golden Retriever

Highly trainable and intelligent.
Golden Retrievers often serve as effective guide dogs.


A Labrador retriever.


A region of British America on the Atlantic coast, north of Newfoundland.


The mainland part of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador in the eastern part of the large Labrador-Ungava Peninsula in northeastern Canada

Common Curiosities

Do Labradors or Golden Retrievers shed more?

Both breeds shed considerably, though Golden Retrievers may require more grooming due to their longer coat.

Are these breeds suitable for first-time dog owners?

Yes, their friendly nature and trainability make them suitable for first-time owners, but potential owners should be prepared for their exercise and grooming needs.

Which breed is better for families with young children?

Both are great for families, but Golden Retrievers are especially known for their patience with children.

Are Labradors or Golden Retrievers more expensive to own?

The cost can vary depending on health care, grooming needs, and potential genetic conditions, but Golden Retrievers may incur higher grooming costs.

Which breed is easier to train?

Both are highly trainable; their intelligence and eagerness to please make training relatively easy.

Which breed is more prone to health issues?

Both are prone to similar health issues, but Golden Retrievers have a higher incidence of cancer.

Which breed is more active?

Labradors are slightly more energetic and may require more vigorous daily exercise compared to Golden Retrievers.

Can Labradors and Golden Retrievers be left alone for long periods?

Both breeds can suffer from separation anxiety and are best suited to environments where they are not left alone for extended periods.

Can Labradors and Golden Retrievers live in apartments?

Yes, with sufficient exercise, both can adapt to apartment living, though they thrive in homes with more space.

How long do Labradors and Golden Retrievers typically live?

Both breeds have a lifespan of approximately 10-12 years, depending on their health and care.

Share Your Discovery

Share via Social Media
Embed This Content
Embed Code
Share Directly via Messenger

Author Spotlight

Written by
Maham Liaqat
Co-written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.

Popular Comparisons

Trending Comparisons

New Comparisons

Trending Terms