Among the many choices of dogs, the two most popular breeds worldwide are the Golden Retriever and the Labrador Retriever, mainly because of their practicality and easy maintenance. Both breeds are also great family dogs that are easily trainable, great at defending their owners and are friendly to most people. The major issue when adopting either of these pups is knowing which one to adopt. Both dogs are very similar in all aspects and some behaviours, which makes deciding which one to choose a bit difficult. To help you decide which dog is best for you, take a look at some of the major characteristics that influence the characteristics and makeup of these dogs.
Historical Difference between the Golden Retriever and the Labrador
Both dogs share one common feature by name, the word Retriever. The name Retriever speaks to their historical origins as both the Golden Retriever and the Labrador Retriever were used by their owners to retrieve prey when hunting. The Golden Retriever dates back to the 19th century, and was used as a working dog to retrieve waterfowls by Scottish hunters. On the contrary however, Labrador Retrievers were used in more serious times such as war, to retrieve guns, and were at one point nicknamed “gundog.” These same Labradors were also used as working water dogs to help with retrieving nets and other gear for fishermen.
While both these dogs share similar traits historically, one major difference that may have impacted different behaviours in both dogs is that the Golden Retriever was introduced to the service dog industry. In recent decades, the Golden Retriever was trained as an aid to help persons with disabilities such as blindness and hearing impairments live their daily lives. This was successful as Golden Retrievers are generally very attentive, easily trainable and obedient to their owners. Fast forward to the present day and many Golden Retrievers are still being used to aid persons with disabilities, while the Labrador Retriever has risen to popularity as more of a family dog.
Difference in Physical Attributes between the Golden Retriever and the Labrador
When looking at the difference in physical characteristics, it is important to note that the specifics of the Golden and Labrador Retriever will differ based on the type, whether American, British or Canadian. It is important to ask your breeder what type of dog you are adopting/purchasing, so you’re able to make an informed decision when choosing your new pup.
Labrador Retrievers are generally easily identified by their sturdy bodies and very short outer coat which comes in a variety of colours. They are generally medium sized dogs, with males ideally weighing about 65 to 80 pounds and standing anywhere from 21.5 to 23.5 inches tall, and females following closely behind from 55 to 70 pounds, and standing at about 21 to 22 inches tall. Most Labrador Retrievers either have a solid coloured coat, with the most dominant colours being black, yellow and chocolate. These dogs are also known for their resilient water resistant coat that helps to keep them warm in the winter time.
Golden Retrievers come in three different types, British, American and Canadian. Though this is not common knowledge, it will help you to understand what to look for in a dog, adn to decide which subtype best suits you. These pups have very small details and physical characteristics that will help you to make your decision. Most Golden Retrievers have a fluffy golden brown coat that comes in different shades. The major difference among the three types is that the British Golden Retriever has a generally lighter shade of brown than the lustrous gold that both the American and the Canadian Golden Retrievers possess.
Much like the Labrador Retriever, these dogs have pretty strong and sturdy bodies, however this is normally well hidden by their wavy long outer coat. Based on the American Kennel Club, Golden Retrievers ae also a medium sized dog, with males weighing between 65 and 75 pounds and standing about 23 to 24 inches tall, and females weighing between 55 and 65 pounds and standing about 21.5 to 22.5 inches tall. Physically, the major difference between the Labrador Retriever and the Golden Retriever is their outer coat, with one having short coarse fur, and the other having long soft fur.
Differences in Personality and Temperament of the Golden Retriever and the Labrador
Both these dogs are popularly known for their intelligence and friendliness, as they tend to be very social and gets along with most of the people they encounter. Both pups are also described as warm, loving and enthusiastic creatures that love to play with their owners especially outdoors. Both pups share very common personality traits, which would make the decision of choosing between the two very hard, but ultimately, they are both described as being trusting, affectionate and gentle canines that make for a great family dog.
One of the major differences between the two however is that the Labrador is generally a lot more energetic and playful than the Golden Retriever that is more reserved and gentle.While both are loads of fun, the Labrador Retriever may be more ideal for a family with children that are more playful, and a Golden Retriever would be more ideal for an old retired couple. It is also important to note that breed alone does not determine the personality your pup will have, as outside influences such as proper socialization and training, (or the lack thereof) will help to shape the personality of your pup.
Differences in Health of the Golden Retriever and the Labrador
Both dogs can suffer from diseases and conditions that they were already genetically predisposed to. These include hip and elbow dysplasia and different forms of eye disease, but there are also conditions specific to each breed that can be detrimental to their health. The major difference between both breeds when it comes to health however is that Golden Retrievers are known to suffer from different forms of cancer, as about 60% of its population is estimated to have developed the condition. This can significantly lower their lifespan if not identified.
Ultimately, the choice between the two still rests in your hands, but now you will be able to make an informed choice on your new pet.