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Sometimes when you’re browsing through pictures of adorable puppies or adorable rescue dogs, it’s hard to know which one might be your perfect companion. However, the more you know about a particular breed’s general characteristics, health, and environment for its best life, the more likely you are to choose a great pet!

Many people wonder about the differences between Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers because they are kind of doggie cousins. The American Kennel Club (AKC) classifies dogs into seven categories, based on the type of purpose the dogs were originally bred for. Goldens and Labs belong to the athletic group and, as retrievers, are often exceptional outdoor companions, exercise buddies, and family members.

Similarities Between Labs and Golden Retrievers

Jo Myers, DVM, of Salida, Colorado is a telehealth practitioner on Vetster. She says when deciding between a golden retriever and a lab for your family, keep in mind that there will always be breed stereotypes, so the more you learn about a puppy’s or a dog’s background. rescue, the better.

“The variations and similarities between individual dog personalities are far greater than any breed generalizations,” she says. “But in general, all types of retrievers want humans that they can share their hobbies with, enjoy things like hiking, running, flyball, agility trials, Frisbee, yard training. obedience, etc.”

So if you intend to be an active pet parent, there is no problem in deliberating between the golden retriever and the labrador retriever: either could be a excellent dog for you! But Myers adds that if you’re a slightly less active person, a gold might be a better match. “They’re more laid back and just want to be happy,” she says. “They’re a bit lazier and just do more or less anything as long as they’re with their loved one.”

Other similarities include:

  • Goldens and Labs live best in an environment with a bit more space, such as a large, fenced-in yard.

  • They are great pets for families with children, especially when socialized at a young age.

  • They both do well with other pets.

  • As retrievers, they are generally good swimmers, as they were bred to fetch waterfowl for hunters. But it is still important to train them in this sport to ensure their safety.

  • Both breeds live for about 10 to 12 years.

Myers says Goldens and Labs share health issues like allergies and joint issues like knee and hip dysplasia. Individually, Labs are prone to obesity and Golden Retrievers to congenital heart defects and cancer.

What are the differences between Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers?

Although they are cousins ​​of retrievers, Labs and goldens come from separate parts of the world. Labrador retrievers originate from the island of Newfoundland in Canada’s easternmost province, Labrador. Interestingly, there are actually three different types of golden retrievers, originating from Britain, the United States, and Canada respectively.

When you see these dogs cozied up to each other, especially a yellow or golden Lab and a golden retriever, there is a slight resemblance to the sporting dog family, but also key points to tell them apart.

gold strokes vs lab strokes infographic

Julia Bohan/lizcen/GlobalP/Getty

One difference between Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers is the shape of their muzzle: Goldens are narrower with a lean jawline, while Labradors are wider and a bit more jowly. Noses are still boopable on both!

Both retrievers are double-coated breeds, so they’ll “puff” at least twice a year. But if there was a medal given for shedding, Myers says there is a clear winner. “A golden is for humans who like to vacuum…and whose favorite fashion accessory is dog hair!” Labs’ smoother coats help them glide through the water more easily.

Is a Golden Retriever the same as a Yellow Labrador? Nope! But if you’ve read this far, you already know that. However, there is is a mixed breed known as the Goldador that has golden and Labrador retriever parents, so a lovely yellow color can come from both.

gold tail to lab tail

gold tail to lab tail

Julia Bohan/BLOOM image/Getty

These happy puppies have restless butts all the time! So Myers says a good hooman for a lab doesn’t have trinkets on coffee tables. Its rudder-like tail helps it propel itself while swimming, so it’s sturdy! Golden retrievers typically have fan tails, which can also pose a threat to anything tricky in their wake.

Golden Retriever Vs Lab: Which Breed Is Right For You?

We really don’t mean that one breed is better than another: it just depends on which one matches your personality and lifestyle. With the help of Myers, we created a little cheat sheet.

You might be more of a golden retriever lover if you are:

  • Ready to be the sun, the moon and the stars for this pet, because she will be the same for you!

  • Appreciating a good-natured dog who is just happy to exist, even if he may not have many ideas.

  • Don’t plan on leaving her alone for long periods of time during the day.

  • Able to provide a solid training base so she can be an enthusiastic helper in the family and stay mentally and physically stimulated.

You might prefer a Labrador retriever buddy if you:

  • Really desires a canine best friend and loyal companion, but can say no to additional requests for treats.

  • Understand how smart he is and keep him engaged with physical and mental opportunities.

  • Are able to manage their need to balance activity and downtime.

  • Can train him for useful work such as hunting, fishing, agricultural tasks, etc.