This a big and long existing debate about these two popular breeds. And there is no easy answer.
First things first, these are both fantastic dogs, with the Labrador Retriever often at the number 1 spot on the popularity list. And the Goldie not far behind.
So rather than dare say which one I think is best, let’s do this instead:
Golden or Labrador Retriever – Which is best for YOU!
That means matching the right breed to your lifestyle. We need to take in the key points of dog size, grooming needs, temperament, health and puppyhood requirements to see what matches you best…
Labrador and Golden Retriever Breed Basics
Though the Labrador and Golden Retriever are not related, and are separate breeds, they were obviously both bred originally to be retrieving breeds, and by that very nature are very similar in size and shape.
To add one complication; there are English Golden Retrievers and American, with the American coming out the slightly bigger, but it’s very marginal. The figures below are based on the American…
According to the American Kennel Club breed standard, male Golden Retrievers are 23 to 24 inches in height; females are 21 ½ to 22 ½ inches. Males weigh between 65 and 75 pounds; females are 55 to 65 pounds.
The AKC breed standard for the Labrador Retriever says that males should be 22 ½ to 24 ½ inches high with female height ranging from 21 ½ to 23 ½ inches. Male Labs can weigh between 65 and 80 pounds, while females should be between 55 to 70 pounds.
Simply put there is only a little to separate them there.
The Labrador has the greater range of colours, from the most common cream, to black and chocolate. The Golden comes in cream and obviously golden.
In terms of lifespan both breeds typically live past 10 years, with the Labrador more likely to pass 12 years of age than the Golden.
What home is the Labrador and Golden Retriever suited for?
You should be considering such things as..
- How much alone time your dog will face
- Space available for the dog
- Level of activity you can commit too
- The local climate
First things first, if you are getting a puppy, you need to know – what’s it like to raise a Labrador or Golden Retriever PUPPY? The good news is they are both fairly easy to train dogs, but of the two, the Labrador can be said to be the slightly more mischievous.
Labrador Temperament vs Golden Retriever Temperament!
Both Labs and Goldens are famously fantastic family dogs, and great with kids. But Labs may be slightly better for a younger, most boisterous family, as Goldens tend to be better with older kids, being the slightly calmer of the two breeds.
Both breeds can tolerate small amounts of alone time, but are people centric dogs.
And both prefer moderate climates, though they can cope with higher temperatures, if kept cool, and allowed to swim, which the Labrador especially loves.
Both need a good hour or so’s walking a day, with the Labrador the slightly higher on the exercise scale.
Grooming and Caring for a Retriever
The Golden Retriever with the longer coat, requires closer care when grooming. Otherwise both breeds are lower down the table for grooming requirements.
Labradors and Golden Retrievers can both suffer from displasia, but choosing a retriever puppy from a good source, can really help. A good breeder will show you what health scores the parents have, and how healthy the bloodlines are.
Sadly cancer is a common health issue in both breeds, but a healthy lifestyle can reduce this. One advantage the English Golden Retriever has over the American, is that they have a far lower rate of cancer – 40% of English Goldies get cancer, compared to 60% of the American.
It is likely that whichever of these wonderful breeds you choose, they will be the joyful heart of your home. And with so little to separate them in looks, nature and care; then in all honestly you can go with your gut when you make your decision, and start looking for that perfect retriever puppy.
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