Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers are two of the most loveable breeds out there. They’re fun-loving, great for families, and big balls of energy, so how do you choose between them?
There are many things you should consider when buying a puppy. Health history is paramount. You also want to make sure you’ve done your research to make sure the breed’s activity level and temperament will fit your family’s lifestyle.
Of course, it’s hard to go wrong with either breed. However, although Labradors and Golden Retrievers have a lot of things in common, there are some differences, too.
Size – Labs and Golden Retrievers are generally a similar size—medium-to-large dogs, and the male is slightly larger than the female. One things that many people don’t realize, however, is that the body type of English and American Labrador Retrievers varies. English Labs are often stockier, with broader heads and chests. American Labs are slimmer working dogs.
Color – The biggest difference in the dogs’ appearance is the color of their coats. Golden Retrievers’ color can range from light blonde (especially as puppies) to a deeper golden (sometimes almost red) color. Their coat is on the longer side and can be wavy. Labradors have three main coat colors—black, yellow, or chocolate brown. Their coat has a short, straight outer layer and a soft inner layer.
Shedding – Both dogs shed year-round
Temperament – Both Golden Retrievers and Labradors are perfect family dogs and generally do well with children of all ages. They are affectionate, outgoing, and eager-to-please. Goldens are particularly intelligent and easy to train. Labs are often even more high-energy than goldens and can’t be left alone for long when they’re young.
Health – Goldens have a high rate of cancer in later years, which increases in neutered females. Allergies are also somewhat common. Labrador retrievers are also subject to certain types of cancer, though the rates are lower than Goldens. They also can develop joint diseases or eye problems such as glaucoma.
No matter which breed you choose, there is no “right” or “wrong” choice. Just go with the puppy that your family respond to most, and the rest will work itself out.