Good-Natured Golden Retriever or Lovable Labrador Retriever: Which Is the Best Fit for You?

Julia Bohan / lizcen / GlobalP / Getty
Sometimes when you're scrolling through photos of adorable puppies or cute rescue dogs, it can be difficult knowing which one your perfect pooch friend might be. However, the more you know about a particular breed's general traits, health, and environment for their best life, the greater the chance that you will make your own great pet!
Many people wonder about the differences between Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers because they are kind of dog brains. The American Kennel Club (AKC) classifies dogs into seven categories based on the purpose for which the dogs were originally bred. Goldens and Labs come from the sports group and, as retrievers, are often exceptional outdoor companions, exercise friends and family members.
Similarities Between Laboratories and Golden Retrievers
Jo Myers, DVM, of Salida, Colorado, is a telemedicine practitioner with Vetster. She says if you are choosing between a Golden Retriever and a Lab for your family, keep in mind that there will always be stereotypes about the breed. The more you can learn about a puppy or rescue dog background, the better.
"The variations and similarities between individual dog personalities are far more significant than any breed generalizations," she says. "But in general, all types of retrievers want people to share hobbies with and enjoy things like hiking, running, flyball, agility tests, frisbee, obedience training, and so on."
So if you plan to be an active pet parent, there's no fluff when considering between Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever: both of them could be great dogs for you! But Myers adds that a Golden might be a better fit if you're a slightly less active person. "They're more relaxed and just want to be happy," she says. "They are a little more lazy and are content to do more or less anything as long as they are with their loved one."
Other similarities include:
Goldens and Labs live best in an area with a little more space, such as a large, fenced-in yard.
They make great pets for families with children, especially if they are socialized at a young age.
Both of them do well with other pets too.
As retrievers, they are usually good swimmers because they were bred to bring in waterfowl for hunters. But it's still important to train them in this sport to keep them safe.
Both races live approximately 10-12 years.
According to Myers, Goldens and Labs share health concerns like allergies and joint problems 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 Retriever and Labrador Retriever?
Despite being retriever cousins, Labs and Goldens hail from different parts of the world. Labrador Retrievers came from the island of Newfoundland in the easternmost province of Canada, Labrador. Interestingly, there are actually three different types of Golden Retrievers that originate from the UK, the US and Canada, respectively.
When you see these dogs comfortable with each other, especially a yellow or gold lab and a gold retriever, there is a slight resemblance to the sporting dog family, but there are also important points that help differentiate them from one another.
Julia Bohan / lizcen / GlobalP / Getty
One difference between Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers is their mouth shape: Goldens are narrower with a lean jaw, while Labs are wider and a little choppier. The noses are still boopable on both!
Both retrievers are double coated breeds, so they suckle at least twice a year. But if there was a medal for spilling, Myers says there is a clear winner. "A golden one is for people who like to vacuum ... and whose favorite fashion accessory is dog hair!" The labs' smoother coats help them slide through the water more easily.
Is a Golden Retriever the Same as a Yellow Lab? No! But if you've read this far, you already know that. However, there is a mixed breed known as the Goldador that has parents of Golden and Labrador Retrievers, so both of them could be a pretty yellow color.
Julia Bohan / BLOOMimage / Getty
These happy pups have jagged buttocks all the time! So, Myers says that a good Hooman for a lab has no frills on coffee tables. His row-like tail helps him propel him when swimming, so he's strong! Golden retrievers usually have fan-like tails that can also pose a threat to anything sensitive in their wobbly wake.
Golden Retriever vs. Lab: Which Breed Is Right For You?
We really don't mean to say that one breed is better than the other: it just depends on which one suits your personality and lifestyle. With Myers' help, we made a little cheat sheet.
You Might Be More Of A Golden Retriever Lover If You:
Ready to be the sun, moon and stars for this pet because she will be the same for you!
Appreciation for a good-natured pooch who is just happy to exist, even if she may not have many ideas of her own.
I don't plan to leave her alone for long periods of time during the day.
Can provide a solid training foundation so she can be an avid helper in the family and stay mentally and physically stimulated.
You may prefer a Labrador Retriever friend if you:
Really do wish you had a canine pal and loyal companion - but you can say no to asking for extra treats.
Understand how smart he is and keep him busy with physical and mental possibilities.
Are able to manage their need for a balance between activity and downtime.
Can train him for useful jobs like hunting, fishing, working on the farm, etc.
Now that you know a little more about both breeds, tell us which one to choose!

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