When it comes to popular dog breeds, the Golden Retriever and the Labrador Retriever are neck and neck in people’s hearts. In fact the Labrador is the second most popular dog breed in the U.S., followed by none other than the Golden in third.
With both of these dog breeds featuring the word Retriever in the name, we wanted to know what is the difference between these two dogs? What makes a Golden Retriever different from their canine cousin the Labrador Retriever? And are these two breeds actually cousins?
Thanks to the American Kennel Club (AKC), we were able to see a side by side comparison of both breeds and this is what we learned.
Comparing the Golden Retriever to the Labrador Retriever
Both of these breeds fall under the sporting category as part of the AKC and both breeds are described as friendly. In terms of the Labrador, they are also known for being active and outgoing, while the Golden is devoted and intelligent.
Size-wise, these breeds are very comparable. The Golden weighs in at 55 to 65 pounds for the females and 65 to 75 pounds for the males, while the Labrador has females weighing between 55 and 70 pounds an the males weighing between 65 and 80 pounds.
When looking at the average life expectancy of these two breeds, the Labrador Retriever has a slight edge at 11 to 13 years, while the Golden Retriever is between 10 and 12 years.
Both of these dog breeds are good with other dogs and with children and they are both eager to please. This means that they are also rather easy to train.
In terms of their coats, the Labrador has a short coat, while the Golden has a medium length coat, although they both shed enough to make a whole new dog with the remnants.
When it comes to their activity levels, the Labrador Retriever is definitely the more active and needy pup. That is because they are a five out of five when it comes to needing activity, whereas the Golden Retriever is more of a three out five. The Golden needs regular activity and exercise, but they aren’t going to climb stockade fences and run through the neighborhood getting into trouble (yes my Lab did this more than once).
Finally, let’s talk about their barking habits. A Golden Retriever is less likely to bark than a Labrador Retriever is. In fact on a scale of one to five, the Golden is at a one, whereas the Labrador is at a three for barking. Labradors seem to enjoy getting chatty and that means barking is kind of their thing.
Honestly, each of these dog breeds has something that makes them special and we love that about these pups. Both dogs are loyal and loving and make great companions. You just have to know what you are getting into when it comes to bringing home any Retriever.