Is A Golden Retriever A Lab

Is A Golden Retriever A Labrador Retriever?

People confuse golden retrievers and labs for each other, and who would blame them? At first glance at the two dog breeds, you would think they are the same.

However, if you are among those who are not aware that golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers are different, then you’re in the right place. You will find out the differences and similarities, as well as which of them is best for you.

Golden Retriever vs. Labrador Retriever: What’s The Difference?

Is a golden retriever a lab? No, the Golden retriever and the Lab are two different breeds of dogs. The two dog breeds are retrievers and were bred for hunting. These dogs retrieve games, for example, a duck that has been shot by its owner or human hunter.

This post will teach everything you need to know about Labradors and Golden Retriever so that choosing one of both as a pet dog won’t be difficult. Continue reading!

About Labs And Golden Retrievers

The Lab comes from the New World working water dogs. This breed has a stubborn streak, work ethic, and a “bomb-proof” nature that makes them work for hours long in harsh weather conditions.

On the other hand, the Golden retriever comes from UK gentleman’s hunting setters and spaniels. This breed was trained to be a gentleman’s hunt when he wanted to hunt and also to be the calm and sweet house pet other times.

When these breeds are young, you will notice little difference because both breeds are friendly and sweet, and they also like attention and playful activities.

But when they start growing older, you will find that the Lab is a bit chubbier but not as high-strung as the Golden retriever.

Differentiating Between Golden Retriever And Lab

People are not able to distinguish between a lab and a golden retriever.

However, when you sit down to educate yourself about these adorable breeds, you will find it easy to tell the differences between them.


The Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever hails from Scotland, where it was bred as a gun dog expected to retrieve shot during shooting and hunting parties for the Scottish elites back in the mid-nineteenth century.

The shot game must be brought back to the hunter without being damaged, and to be retrieved from land and water as well.

The best retriever dogs and water dogs were crossed to birth the Golden Retriever.

This breed of dog has a soft mouth. Having a soft mouth means this breed can carry the game with its mouth without causing damage to the game.

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever hails from Newfoundland, Canada, originating from there back in the 1500s.

Small water dogs and Newfoundlands were crossed to birth the St. John’s Water-Dog.

The St. John Water-dog works with fishers to dive into icy water to retrieve fish that falls off fishing hooks, and to assist in hauling in fish-filled nets.

These dogs were perfect for the bob because they were excellent swimmers due to their webbed paws and coats that are water-resistant.

In the 1800s, St. John’s water-dogs were imported to England to be used in shooting activities by the Earl and Duke of Malmesbury, and they were nicknamed “Labrador dogs.”

lab vs golden retriever pros and cons

Coat and Tail

When you look at the coat and tails of these two breeds, you will spot differences.

The Golden Retriever’s tail’s hair is much longer than that of the Labrador, which is because they were mixed with the long-haired Water Spaniels.

The outer folds of the Labrador’s skin serve as an insulating layer. The coat of the Golden Retriever is also wavy, while that of the Lab is short and straight-haired.

The Labrador Retriever’s standard coat colors are black, yellow, and chocolate. The yellow and chocolate colors may be light or dark.

Golden retrievers have a golden color, and some can be a lighter gold on the areas of their body where they have long and feathery coats such as the neck, tail, and legs.

The Labrador’s tail is long and beaver-like. The tail is a little bit flattened, unlike most dogs’ round tails. They can swim like a beaver. The Golden Retriever’s tail is also long, but not flattened.

Body Length

Both dog breeds have similar sizes and are generally medium to large-sized dogs. Labradors are somewhat larger than Golden Retrievers. They also have a more robust and stronger frame and are more muscular.


The Lab and Golden Retriever are also quite similar when it comes to height. The Labrador males are 22.5 inches to 24.5 inches, while the females are 21.5 inches to 23.5 inches.

The Golden Retriever males are 23 inches to 24 inches, while the females are 21.5 inches-22.5 inches.

The numbers are almost the same. If we were to look at the height alone, these breeds would only differ by about an inch.


The two breeds are also similar in weight. The la males weigh 65 pounds to 80 pounds, while the females weigh 55 pounds to 70 pounds.

The Golden retriever males weigh 65 pounds to 75 pounds, while the females and 55 pounds to 65 pounds. These breeds differ in weight by five pounds.

Energy level

Golden retrievers

Golden Retrievers are dogs that have a high energy level, and they need exercise every day. Games of fetch and tug walks, occasional runs, and trips to the park will help the dog exercise they require to be active every day.


Labs are also high-energy dogs that need the same activities and games that Golden retrievers need to burn off energy.

The Labs are, however, a bit more energetic than the Golden retriever.

Labrador And Golden Retriever: How Their Temperament Differs

The worlds we commonly used to describe both Golden Retrievers’ and Labrador’s temperaments are the words we use when we want to describe good dogs.

The Lab and the Golden retriever are very friendly breeds. They are reliable, gentle, kind, affectionate, and trusting. However, owners and potential dog owners wonder about how their personalities differ.

Note that every dog has its unique personality, behavior, and traits. So the fact that they are a specific breed doesn’t guarantee their behavior and temperament.

Before you get the dog you want, meet the parents, train them well, and let them specialize. By doing this, you are training your dog to be what you want it to be.

Labs and Golden Retrievers can both the trained and are very obedient, which is suitable for new dog parents.

Experts have explained the little temperament differences between Labradors and Golden retrievers. Golden Retrievers are a little bit gentler, softer, and more sensitive than Labradors.

For instance, when you scold a lab, it will probably brush it off and continue doing what it is doing. However, a Golden Retriever will not react this way.

While the Lab and Golden Retriever both behave very well with families and lids, Labs adapt well to households with energetic, lively, and noisy children. On the other hand, Golden Retrievers do better in a calmer environment.

Make sure you consider your lifestyle when you are choosing your dog – the breed and the animal itself.

For an active family that has young children, an energetic lab is the best choice, while a retired couple is better off with a gentle Golden Retriever.

Golden Retriever Or Lab: Which Is Better?

The right choice of dog breed for you might not be the right one for your neighbor or your friend. A lot of things determine which dog you should choose.

For example, your pastimes, your hobbies, the time you have to spend with your puppy, family life, tolerance for dog hair, and level of dog training skills are all factors that determine whether the Lab or Golden Retriever is for you.

The fact is that you can never go wrong with any of the two breeds. You will be fine if the puppy you get is from a professional breeder. Make sure you go for a puppy that has good health, and friendly parents that have an excellent medical history.

Bear in mind that anyone you choose, you can never go wrong.

Remember that the Labrador and the Golden Retriever are number one and number three, respectively, according to the list of the nation’s most popular dogs.

Bottom Line On Labrador Retriever Vs. Golden Retriever

If you are looking to get a new pet dog, these two dog breeds are a great choice, so you cannot go wrong with any of them.

While both dogs may share similar looks and personalities, they are also different in some kind of way. Also, remember that personalities do not only depend on the breed but the individual dog.

Some potential dog owners may have a hard time choosing between both dog breeds, and others might either prefer a Lab or a Golden Retriever.

Whichever breed you want, be assured that you will end up choosing an outgoing, friendly, and affectionate new family member.

Whether a Lab or a Golden Retriever, you’ve got a good pet.

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