The Big Differences Between Labrador Retrievers And Golden Retrievers

  • 22/11/2010

It is more common for people to confuse us Labrador Retrievers with Golden Retrievers than you may think! Though some people may be confused about the breed differences, Labradors and Retrievers have evolved very differently.

Activity Level

This is one of the big differences between us Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers. Labradors are extremely active, and we love any activity that involves the outdoors! We are also very energetic, needing a significant amount of exercise on a daily basis. Golden Retrievers, though still active, are not as high-energy as Labradors. Labradors are also generally more athletically built than Retrievers, having a higher average percentage of muscle mass.

Fur Type and Color

This is perhaps the most obvious difference between Labrador Retrievers and Retrievers. Us Labradors have a dual-layer coat, with a soft under-layer and an oily outer-layer. This outer-layer helps to give us our water-resistant properties, which is one of the reasons why we make such effective water hunting dogs! Golden Retrievers have long, curly fur, which is not water-resistant. Labrador Retrievers are classified as short-hair dogs, while Golden Retrievers are long-hair dogs.

Us Labradors can be very diverse, as we usually come in three very different fur colors. We can have Yellow, Chocolate, or Black fur. Sometimes, there are very rare fur colors seen in Labradors, such as Charcoal or Silver. Retrievers are usually colored from light golden to reddish brown, though most Retrievers are mid-range in color.


Most Labrador Retriever owners would tell you that we can sometimes shed a lot! However, this is also true for Golden Retrievers. Because Retrievers are a long-hair breed, they are much more likely to develop fur matting and tangles than the short-haired Labrador Retriever. Also, because the Labrador Retriever's skin produces a higher amount of oil to nourish the fur, the Golden Retriever is a bit more prone to developing dry skin. It's highly recommended to groom a Retriever on a daily basis, to prevent fur mats and other possible problems. Us Labrador Retrievers, on the other hand, usually require grooming about two to three times per week. However, if we are shedding heavily due to a seasonal coat change (also called "blowing the coat"), daily grooming may be necessary.


Labrador Retrievers are well-known for their agreeable temperament, though so are Retrievers. However, Golden Retrievers tend to be more relaxed than Labradors, which is also one of the reasons why they are more prone to becoming overweight. Labradors are energetic and active, usually being more prone to hyperactivity than Golden Retrievers.


Us Labradors usually weigh a bit less than the average Retriever. The reason for this, is because Retrievers are generally not as active as Labrador Retrievers, which is also why Retrievers are much more prone to becoming overweight. However, us Labradors are usually a bit taller in average height than Golden Retrievers, mostly due to how our bone structure develops. We're also usually a bit more athletic, and are more likely to develop a higher percentage of muscle tissue.

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