Golden Retriever vs Labrador Retriever

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
10 to 12 years
Size:

Medium

Maintenance Level:

High

Shed Level:

High

Best For

Golden Retrievers are best for busy homes with high activity levels. Goldens thrive on attention, and they're typically kid-friendly and pet-friendly.

Golden Retriever Temperament

Golden Retriever dogs are born extroverts who are eager to please. Although personalities can differ, most Goldens love people and social outings, thriving in homes with lots of activity. Golden Retrievers need a lot of mental and physical exercise to be at their peak health. But for them, the...

Golden Retriever dogs are born extroverts who are eager to please. Although personalities can differ, most Goldens love people and social outings, thriving in homes with lots of activity.

Golden Retrievers need a lot of mental and physical exercise to be at their peak health. But for them, the bottom line is spending time with you. Whether it’s sleeping next to you on your chair or playing outdoors, they’re happiest if they can just be by your side.

These medium-weight and height dogs are a great choice for families with young children. But that doesn’t mean every Golden Retriever is problem-free. When bringing a Golden home, give them careful introductions to other members of your household, especially the smaller ones like children and cats.

But overall, they love to mingle and see everyone as a potential new bestie. Whenever they meet someone new, they seem to say, “Hi! I am so glad we met. Do you have a ball to throw for me now that we’re friends?”

Another quality you’ll appreciate in your furry new BFF is their intelligence. Goldens are quick learners and easy to train, bred to retrieve waterfowl with a soft mouth. They often have jobs, serving as guide dogs or search-and-rescue dogs.

Keep in mind that even the best-trained Goldens still have a bit of a mischievous streak. So be prepared for occasional mischief and learn to laugh along with your dog as they “help” you unload the laundry basket.

Golden Retriever Traits

Friendliness
Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Playfulness
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
12 to 14 years
Size:

Large

Maintenance Level:

Medium

Shed Level:

Medium

Best For

Labrador Retrievers are best for large homes with plenty of indoor and outdoor space, and with pet parents who are ready for an active and adventure-filled life.

Labrador Retriever Temperament

Cheerful and animated, this large dog breed has stamina and energy to spare, able to keep up with your family and all your activities. You’ll want to funnel that energy into positive outlets, like outdoor activities and training. And thanks to their high intelligence, learning commands and tricks com...

Cheerful and animated, this large dog breed has stamina and energy to spare, able to keep up with your family and all your activities. You’ll want to funnel that energy into positive outlets, like outdoor activities and training. And thanks to their high intelligence, learning commands and tricks come relativity easy for them. Labrador dogs love having a job to do and excel at things like agility courses and, just like their name implies, retrieving items. In fact, their superior intelligence is why they often make great assistance dogs, working as therapy or service animals.

A people-pleaser, Labrador Retrievers have a pleasant personality and love interacting with humans. Get ready to be showered with lots of affection! They also easily make friends with dogs and other animals, including cats, although not all cats are as excited to meet them as they are—a Lab’s large size and high energy level can be a bit intimidating. Slow and controlled introductions to other family pets will help make the transition go smoothly. Considering the staying power of the Labrador dog breed’s popularity, it’s a safe bet your Lab will fit right in with the all the loved ones you choose to introduce into their life.

While they’re generally good-natured, like any dog breed, Labs may develop aggressive tendencies if they don’t receive proper training or have experienced abuse. Addressing any biting issues early on, providing proper socialization when they are puppies (aka safely exposing them to lots of new people, places and things) and working with a professional dog trainer can help avoid behavioral issues when they get older.

Labrador Retriever Traits

Friendliness
Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Playfulness
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents
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