Differences between a labrador and golden retriever, how to tell the difference?

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How to tell the difference between a golden retriever and a labrador? The labrador and golden retrievers are two breeds of dog that we can easily be confused with, especially when they are puppies. We can consider both of them as excellent companions, easily tamed, due to its great degree of intelligence, and ideal as family dogs.

Although the golden and labrador may seem very similar races, it is important to know their differences and needs before we decide to adopt or buy one or the other.

Characteristics of the labrador retriever

The labrador is a tremendously intelligent and affectionate dog, both for people and other animals, which makes it perfect for the family but not valid as a guard dog, as it tends to be too friendly, even with strangers.

His great disposition to work united and his good sense of smell make the labrador a good dog to work as drugs and explosives tracker, and also as a guide dog.

It is important to keep in mind that they are dogs that need to make exercise on a daily basis in order not to become lazy because they tend to be overweight. In addition, we must control their diet because they love food.

There are three varieties of labrador according to their color: black, sand (or yellow) and chocolate. The three share the same type of hair: short, smooth and rough to the touch. It is important to brush them every day since they lose a lot of hair.

Characteristics of the golden retriever

The golden retriever is a docile and sociable dog, the ideal companion for the smallest members of the house. This race became famous in the 1990s thanks to the announcements of the brand of toilet paper Scottex, starring a mischievous puppy of the Golden breed.

It is considered a calm but very playful dog. They do not like the loneliness and need to get out and take long walks on a routine basis, if they are receiving enough attention they tend to become restless and anxious.

According to the classification of Stanley Coren, they are the 4th smarter race there is. They have a great capacity to carry out and bring objects thanks to their "big mouth" and are very agile, so, for example, playing the "frisbee" can be a good activity to keep them in shape. In addition, they love water and are very good swimmers.

The golden has long, wavy and silky hair. The name of the breed comes precisely from its characteristic color, a golden one, which may range from pale to the reddish tones.

Differences between a labrador and a golden


The labrador retriever has its origin in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, in Canada, while, the golden retriever comes from Scotland.

Physical Characteristics

  • The labrador has short, smooth and rough hair, opposite of the golden, who has long, wavy and silky hair.

  • The labrador tends to lose more hair than the golden, although both change hair twice a year in spring and autumn.

  • There are 3 different tones for the labrador: sand, chocolate and black, however, the golden always keeps his golden color (though with slight variations).

  • The golden has dark brown eyes. In the case of the labrador the tonality can change between golden brown or hazel.


The labrador is quieter and needs to be incited to physical activity, as they tend to the sedentary lifestyle. The golden is very energetic, they love to play, get out and go for a ride.

Common diseases in labrador and the golden

There are a number of diseases that affect both races equally:

  • Eye Disease: The most common are hereditary cataracts and progressive atrophy of the retina, problems which, if not treated in time, can lead to total blindness of our pet. Currently, however, there are effective treatments that can reduce the risk of loss of sight, for this reason, we recommend that you make a check-up each year, since this type of disease can appear at any age.

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia: The big dogs tend to inherit this type of problems. This is a bone disease that develops during the growth of the puppy, which consists of a malformation in the joints, wear of the cartilage and therefore its dysfunction. Sometimes it is not easy to find obvious symptoms, but they usually cause pain and limping. It is essential to take control over the type of exercise and food that we offer to our dog to try to minimize the chances of him suffering from dysplasia.

The labrador and the retriever dogs are very loving and friendly but with some characteristics, both physical and from behavior, that differentiate them and make each race unique.

However, both tend to suffer from eye diseases and dysplasia. If you think that your dog can have any of these problems or want to prevent them, we recommend that you ask for tips with our veterinarians or make your query in http://www.barkibu.com/es/clinicas