Lab Retriever vs. Golden Retriever

The labrador retriever and golden retriever look similar, but they are two very different breeds. While they are very gentle and patient dogs, they each have their own needs which need to be catered to well. This article will explore more behind their differences so you find which one suits you the best.

The History of the Labrador Retriever

The labrador retriever is believed to have originated in Newfoundland and Labrador. They are a descendant from St. John’s Water Dog which was brought to these two islands by settlers during the 16th-century. Many characteristics of the St. John’s Water Dog can still be seen today in labs, such as their love for being in the water and retrieving things.

It wasn’t until the early 1800s that the name “Labrador” was first used with this breed of dog. The original colors were black and yellow, although the chocolate lab came around in the late 1800s.

The History of the Golden Retriever

The golden retriever was first bred in Scotland during the 19th-century. While it’s not known entirely what breed this dog originally came from, it’s believed it could have been the Russian Tracker which has a similar appearance and temperament. Golden retrievers were bred to help bring in waterfowl that had been hunted and be an athletic companion to their owners when they went out.

Golden Retriever vs. Labrador: Their Appearance

One of the best ways to help tell the differences between labs and golden retriever is by their appearance. Below is more behind how each of these breeds look.

Labrador Retriever

A labrador retriever comes in three different colors: black, brown, and yellow. Unlike golden retrievers, labs have much shorter hair. They stand at an average of 25 inches tall and can weigh anywhere from 50-80 lbs. Their short fur is very dense which helps to keep them warm. They have a wide head, floppy ears, and an iconic otter tail.

Golden Retrievers

The golden retriever comes in a few different coat colors, which include gold, light, and cream. They tend to have long hair which needs to be groomed often. Golden retrievers have a little bit of a sturdy build and are known for their short muzzle and feathery tail.

Labrador Retriever vs. Golden Retriever: Their Temperament

Both of these dogs are very friendly, but they can vary sometimes in other temperament aspects.

Labrador Retrievers

Labs are very social dogs and love to be around people and other animals. However, sometimes this excitement of meeting new people can make them very hyper which some might misinterpret as aggressive behavior. Labs are patient animals making them a good addition to families, even those with young children. Labs are also very outgoing and playful, even more so than golden retrievers.

Golden Retrievers

Golden retrievers are also very social and love to please others. They are very gentle and patient meaning they are also a good family pet to have. In addition to this, they are very obedient, unlike some dogs who might try to be aggressive and assert dominance.

While both of these breeds might vary in some ways, they are very gentle and friendly. They also tend to act very puppy-like even in their mature years and can be very goofy and playful.

Golden Retriever vs. Lab: Their Health Issues

Unfortunately, there are some common ailments that affect labs and golden retrievers.



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