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

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 23, 2024
Golden Retrievers are known for their long, golden coats and friendly temperament, while Labrador Retrievers are distinguished by their short, dense coats and are slightly larger and more energetic.

Key Differences

Golden Retrievers are characterized by their luxurious golden coats, ranging from light to dark golden. Labrador Retrievers have a short, dense coat that comes in black, yellow, or chocolate.
In terms of temperament, Golden Retrievers are known for their gentle and friendly nature, making them excellent family pets. Labrador Retrievers are also friendly but tend to be more energetic and playful.
Physically, Golden Retrievers may have a slightly leaner build and feathered fur, especially around the neck, legs, and tail. Labrador Retrievers are robust and solidly built, with a broad head and powerful build.
Both Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers are intelligent and highly trainable, often used as service dogs. However, Labradors may have a slight edge in terms of adaptability to various types of work, including law enforcement.
When it comes to health, both breeds have similar lifespans and potential health issues, but Golden Retrievers may be more prone to certain types of cancers, while Labradors are often more prone to obesity if not exercised sufficiently.

Comparison Chart

Coat Type

Long, golden coat
Short, dense coat in black, yellow, or chocolate


Gentle, friendly
Energetic, playful

Physical Build

Leaner build, feathered fur
Robust, solid build

Trainability and Use

Highly trainable, used as service dogs
Slightly more adaptable to various work

Common Health Concerns

Prone to certain cancers
Prone to obesity, joint issues

Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever Definitions

Golden Retriever

Friendly Pet.
Our Golden Retriever loves everyone she meets.

Labrador Retriever

Energetic Dog.
Labrador Retrievers are known for their boundless energy.

Golden Retriever

Service Animal.
The Golden Retriever is often trained as a therapy dog.

Labrador Retriever

Obedient and Trainable.
Labrador Retrievers excel in obedience training.

Golden Retriever

Popular Family Dog.
Many families choose a Golden Retriever for its gentle nature.

Labrador Retriever

Family-Friendly Pet.
The Labrador Retriever is a great addition to any family.

Golden Retriever

Long-Coated Dog.
The Golden Retriever's long, flowing coat is its most distinctive feature.

Labrador Retriever

Versatile Working Dog.
Labradors are commonly used in search and rescue missions.

Golden Retriever

Active Companion.
Golden Retrievers require regular exercise to stay healthy.

Labrador Retriever

Short-Coated Breed.
Our Labrador Retriever's short, dense coat is easy to groom.


What is a Golden Retriever?

A dog breed known for its long, golden coat and friendly demeanor.

What coat colors do Golden Retrievers have?

They range from light to dark golden.

What is a Labrador Retriever?

A popular breed with a short, dense coat, known for being energetic and trainable.

Can Golden Retrievers be service dogs?

Yes, they're often used as therapy and service dogs.

Are Labrador Retrievers easy to train?

Yes, they're known for their intelligence and obedience.

Are Golden Retrievers good family pets?

Yes, they're known for being gentle and good with children.

Are Labrador Retrievers good for active lifestyles?

Absolutely, they thrive with exercise and play.

What colors can Labrador Retrievers be?

Labradors are black, yellow, or chocolate.

Do Golden Retrievers require a lot of grooming?

Their long coats do require regular grooming.

Do Golden Retrievers have common health issues?

They can be prone to hip dysplasia and certain cancers.

Is the Labrador Retriever a good swimmer?

Yes, Labradors are excellent swimmers.

Are Golden Retrievers good with other pets?

Generally, they're very sociable with other animals.

Can Golden Retrievers live in apartments?

They can adapt but do best with access to outdoor space.

What is the lifespan of a Labrador Retriever?

Labradors typically live 10-12 years.

Are Labrador Retrievers prone to any health problems?

Obesity and joint issues can be concerns if they're not exercised.

How much exercise does a Golden Retriever need?

They need regular exercise, like daily walks and playtime.

How intelligent are Golden Retrievers?

They're highly intelligent and trainable.

What's the best training approach for Labrador Retrievers?

Positive reinforcement works well due to their eager-to-please nature.

Do Labrador Retrievers need a lot of space?

They do best with ample space to play and exercise.

Are Labrador Retrievers good watchdogs?

They can be alert, but their friendly nature doesn't make them the best guard dogs.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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