Labrador or Golden: Which Retriever Dog Is Better?

Friendly, loving and fun, both the Golden Retriever and the Labrador are popular choices when it comes to dogs. However, when it comes to choosing between them, it poses a different challenge.

Though they are strikingly similar, certain traits differentiate them from each other. The question then becomes which one is more suited to your needs and wants. Here is some detailed information on the two of them that can help you make a decision.


When you first look at them, they seem very similar to each other. Since they both are retriever breeds they tend to have a lot in common. Some similarities include webbed feet, long tails and folded ears. It is only when you go closer to them to you notice the small differences. For instance, a Labrador’s coat is shorter-haired whereas a golden retriever’s is longer and wavier. An interesting difference in the appearance between these two is that Golden Retrievers have longer snouts, whereas Labs have a more muscular build and wider heads.

When it comes to color, Golden Retrievers generally come in warmer tones ranging from rust-red to yellow. Labs on the other hand come in three colors, black, brown and yellow.


Both these breeds are similar when it comes to the question of size so there’s not much to choose from there. Both of them are large dogs however it would be safe to say that Labradors are a little larger in most cases.

Golden Retriever

In the Golden Retriever, the adult male dogs are usually larger than the adult female ones. Golden Retrievers weigh about 25 to 34 kg on average, while the females fall in the range of 25 to 29 kg. The males are approximately 23 to 24 inches tall, and the females are around 21-22.5 inches.

Labrador Retriever

As mentioned earlier, Labradors are slightly larger than golden retrievers. The males weigh around 25 to 36 kg on average, while females weigh approximately 25 to 32 kg. The males are between 22 to 24.5  inches tall whereas the female height ranges from 21 to 23.5 inches.


Both Labs and Golden Retrievers are people pleasers and also extremely affectionate in nature. In addition to that, they are also highly intelligent creatures, which makes them easy to train. They make excellent pets because of their friendly nature not just with their owners but with other animals too. They are gentle and loving and it’s hard to pick one over the other.

To add to that, both these breeds have a lot of energy and a certain need for attention. This is why they need to be given an ample amount of space to run and play. They need a minimum of an hour’s exercise a day. Because both of them need attention, they can’t be left alone for very long.


When it comes to grooming, there are certain differences between the two of them. This is because of the nature and length of their coats and  much they shed. Let us explore that further.

Golden Retriever

The length of the coat for the golden retriever is about a medium length. It is a double coat that has a water repellent coat on the top and a softer one underneath. They have silky coats and long pieces of fur on their neck, tail and legs. Their coats can differ slightly, according to how long they are bred for.

However, regardless of their coat length and texture, all of them require grooming on a regular basis. Their coats need to be brushed more than once a week. Grooming them also consists of trimming some of the longer fur with scissors. Be mindful that their coat should never be shaved. It only needs to be well maintained.

When it comes to shedding, you should know that they shed a fair amount throughout the year. Apart from the everyday shedding, their undercoat sheds during the spring season. The best way to deal with this is by brushing it well every few days. To add to that you can give them regular grooming sessions with an undercoat rake during the shedding season. A good tip would be to do it outside the house to prevent hair from falling inside.

Apart from coat maintenance, their grooming includes nail trimmings, baths and teeth and ear cleaning.

Labrador Retriever

Just like the golden retriever, the Labrador too has a double coat. However, the topcoat is shorter in length as compared to the golden retrievers. Just like the golden retriever, the Labrador too sheds its undercoat during hot weather.

A major difference when it comes to grooming of the two is that Labs don’t have too much fur on their neck, ears and tails as compared to the Golden retrievers and therefore do not require trimming there. Though their coat length is short, keep in mind that it is double and that needs a certain amount of looking after. In order to remove the dead hair from their undercoat, an undercoat rake will be required. Just like the golden retriever, their coats should never be completely shaved.

To add to that, ear cleaning as well as nail trimming will be required regularly. You could say that they are slightly less maintenance as compared to Golden retrievers as they need to be bathed less frequently than them.

Since Labs have shorter hair as compared to Golden’s they may shed slightly less, however, they definitely shed more than the average dog, so don’t be fooled. During the summer season, their undercoat is known to shed quite a bit, therefore they too will require regular grooming to keep it in control. An undercoat rake and slicker brush should do quite the trick so you don’t have to be too worried!

When it comes to deciding which of the two is better it can be a tricky decision. Both of them are quite similar in several ways and each has their unique charm and qualities so picking one over the other can be a tough choice.

by Maria A Davidson || You can’t buy love, but you can rescue it™

Facts About Animal Homelessness:

  1. Only 1 out of every 10 dogs born will find a permanent home.
  2. The main reasons animals are in shelters: owners give them up, or animal control finds them on the street.
  3. Each year, approximately 2.7 million dogs and cats are killed every year because shelters are too full and there aren’t enough adoptive homes. Act as a publicist for your local shelter so pets can find homes. Sign up for Shelter Pet PR.
  4. Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.
  5. According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), less than 2% of cats and only 15 to 20% of dogs are returned to their owners.
  6. 25% of dogs that enter local shelters are purebred.
  7. About twice as many animals enter shelters as strays compared to the number that are relinquished by their owners.
  8. It’s impossible to determine how many stray dogs and cats live in the United States. Estimates for cats alone range up to 70 million.
  9. Only 10% of the animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered. Overpopulation, due to owners letting their pets accidentally or intentionally reproduce, sees millions of these “excess” animals killed annually.
  10. Many strays are lost pets that were not kept properly indoors or provided with identification.
  11. According to The Humane Society, there are about 3,500 brick-and-mortar animal shelters in the US and 10,000 rescue groups and animal sanctuaries in North America.

Here are a some adoptions for consideration: