Golden Retriever Vs. Labrador Retriever
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Thread: Golden Retriever Vs. Labrador Retriever

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    Golden Retriever Vs. Labrador Retriever

    i was wondering what at the differences between the Golden Retriever and Labrador retriever. I think they are very similar but key differences is good. And if you feel like it you can write up a full 101 on both of them and i would gladly read it.

    Thanks!

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    Re: Golden Retriever Vs. Labrador Retriever

    They are close enough that if you like one breed, you'll like the other. IMO, the choice falls to grooming requirements. Also, an extremely well bred Golden will fetch a higher price than a Lab of equal quality. It's a simple matter of supply and demand--there are far fewer really well bred Goldens.

    There are divisions within each breed between show lines, field lines, guide/service dog breedings, and etc.... Labs are widely considered easier to train, but both breeds take very well to training. Retriever folk like to say: "You tell a Lab; you ask a Chessie; you negotiate with a Golden".

    There's truth in that, or it wouldn't be an old saying. Well bred Goldens can (and do) do all the same jobs as Labs, but they seem to take longer to bring along to the same level. That's one reason Labs are the go-to breed for field trialers and US gov't. agencies requiring detection dogs & etc..

    Both breeds, as puppies, can be a real handful. I very well know enough to intervene to distract/redirect/correct a dog before he gets too spun up to reel back in, but I've found myself watching in dumb amazement as my Golden pup rampaged through the house. It can be as fascinating to watch as it is horrifying. It's something like riding a roller coaster through a Cat-4 hurricane, but words fail to do justice to the spectacle.

    Both breeds have a number of serious health issues. Some are shared between the breeds, and others are specific to the respective breeds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marsh Muppet View Post
    Retriever folk like to say: "You tell a Lab; you ask a Chessie; you negotiate with a Golden".
    It might be "...ask a Golden; negotiate with a Chessie."--I can never remember.
    Last edited by Marsh Muppet; 08-04-2009 at 08:50 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Senior Member Foyerhawk's Avatar
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    Re: Golden Retriever Vs. Labrador Retriever

    I have lived with many individuals in both breeds.

    While each dog is unique, these are my observations:

    Labradors:
    1) Cleaner, since they have short coats
    2) Require less brushing
    3) Have healthier skin and are slightly less prone to hot spots and skin infections
    4) Shed more- and since their hair doesn't come out in clumps, it's just hairs all over everything you own. Plus, their sharper hairs thread into your furniture, clothes, and the interior of your vehicle
    5) Are loud- they bark more, are more protective, more vocal in play, and tend to scream, howl, and cry in their crates when bored or excited (like if they heard someone come to the door, mine would scream and bark this awful high pitched cry if they were crated and wanted to come say hello). This, in fact, is one of the main reasons I will probably never foster or own another Labrador. basically, they are intense, and tough- which makes them such great duck dogs!
    6) They love to swim and retrieve, and they are great walking buddies
    7) It's not difficult at all to off leash train them, once they have a strong bond with you
    8) They bond more tightly to one person than does a Golden, and they are also more protective. This "one man dog" trait is the primary thing about them that I think they have over a Golden Retriever
    9) Female Labs, especially, are often quite intelligent
    10) They are bolder than a Golden- they also, as a result, have a kind of bull in a China shop personality, and will not let anything stand in the way of their fun.
    11) They're the superior breed for field trials- they are not as sensitive, and they can take harsher training than a Golden can

    Goldens:
    1) Prettier, IMO, because of the coat
    2) Less hair in the house, with routine brushing, since most dead hair will come out in clumps in the brush
    3) More sensitive, less pig headed, and therefore somewhat easier to control, though there are exceptions (usually teen-aged males)
    4) Less protective- worthless watch dogs
    5) They don't bark. I can count on one hand the times I've heard a Golden Retriever bark, even at the doorbell, and I've had over fifty of them
    6) Easy to crate train- one mild "Stop that!" is usually all I have to do to teach a Golden not to cry in the crate, even as a baby puppy
    7) They are less "one person" than a Lab, and have a tendency to be flakey and run up to everyone they see and treat that person as their long lost best friend- I hate this, personally, but I know others like it. This is the one thing I don't like about Goldens.
    8) They are messy- they drip when they drink, like a Lab, but they also track in more dirt.
    9) Their coats need to be kept clean, or else they get infections. They also cannot be left wet. Invest in a power dog blow dryer, and dry your dog every time he swims or is bathed, unless you're going to walk him/towel him dry. Putting a Golden up wet to lie in a crate on his damp body will cause hot spots.
    10) Goldens cannot usually take harsh training, though there are some tougher skinned ones out there

    Both Breeds:
    1) Have extensive health issues- ALWAYS buy from a reputable show or performance breeder who does all clearances
    2) Do NOT get a field bred dog unless you are very active
    3) Do NOT let the dog become overweight. The chunky look is more than ugly- it's deadly. This is vital with these breeds. Almost all Goldens and Labs I see out and about are fat. Don't add to this. A correct specimen is rarely over 75 pounds for a large male, unless the dog is over sized, which he won't be if you followed the advice in number 1) and got one from a good breeder
    4) Feed a top food, and avoid corn, wheat, and other allergins.
    5) Clean the ears regularly, and again, feed good food- both breeds tend towards ear issues
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    Re: Golden Retriever Vs. Labrador Retriever

    Foyerhawk has given a better comparison than have I. My perspective is as the owner of a field/performance bred Golden. His sire was a Canadian dual champ (FC/AFC and show Ch) and the dam was an AKC Master Hunter. As such, he has far more of the Lab characteristics than Golden--again, it's all about the breeding. He's got the intense prey drive and kamikaze attitude that most people think Goldens can't have. Also, he had the screaming, barking, howling, whining, mooing, yipping, etc. thing down pat. It took a lot of work to get that under control, but he's quite still free with his commentary about my managerial style. His coat is quite different than the typical show Golden coat. It's coarser and less voluminous than a Golden's, but longer than a Lab's. It's pretty low maintenance.

    He is every bit as hard-headed and thick-skinned as any Lab.

    The one Golden trait that runs strong in my Rusty dog is the one where he's got 6 billion BFFs; he just hasn't met them all yet.
    Last edited by Marsh Muppet; 08-04-2009 at 10:15 AM.

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    Senior Member hulkamaniac's Avatar
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    Re: Golden Retriever Vs. Labrador Retriever

    I have never met a lab or a golden that was a good watch dog. Both are as horrible at it as my cocker spaniel is and are much more likely to approach a stranger with a toy in their mouth than with bared teeth. I have found labs to be far more goofy than goldens. Both breeds have way too much energy for me.

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    Senior Member FilleBelle's Avatar
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    Re: Golden Retriever Vs. Labrador Retriever

    I've never noticed this difference in volume or vocalization suggested by Foyerhawk. That doesn't mean it isn't true, just that I have not noticed a pattern.

    Has anyone mentioned prey drive? Both dogs can have a pretty strong one.


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    Re: Golden Retriever Vs. Labrador Retriever

    Quote Originally Posted by hulkamaniac View Post
    I have never met a lab or a golden that was a good watch dog. Both are as horrible at it as my cocker spaniel is and are much more likely to approach a stranger with a toy in their mouth than with bared teeth. I have found labs to be far more goofy than goldens. Both breeds have way too much energy for me.
    You have obviously not met my neighbors Lab. He is a great watch dog and if I were a stranger, I would NOT try to break into his house. He has barked at me a couple of times before he did the smell test and then he was fine. But with a stranger..now way!

    I do agree that Labs are a bit goofier than Goldens. I had a mix of both and he couldn't decide what he would do with a stranger...stare them down or jump all over them.



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    Senior Member Foyerhawk's Avatar
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    Re: Golden Retriever Vs. Labrador Retriever

    I've only had one Lab that wasn't protective! Even fosters I had were...

    I've also never had a prey drive issue with any of them of either breed, but my definition of prey drive may be different since I also keep sighthounds.

    And again, ALL dogs are unique, too! These are general traits I have witnessed.
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    Re: Golden Retriever Vs. Labrador Retriever

    Thanks for the replies! This is really helpful information. Can you guys also give me what you know on the Doberman Pinscher?

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    Re: Golden Retriever Vs. Labrador Retriever

    Tough dogs and not recommended for a first time dog owner generally.

    They are loyal, and protective, but also incredibly independent at times. They require socialization, like any other breed. Something to note is that while they DO look scary, it is because they are meant to....but they're generally giant love bugs.

    A Doberman requires firm but fair leadership. Give them and inch, they'll take a mile.

    They can be very biddable, or very....not. It depends on the dog, the training....and the day xD
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    Senior Member Foyerhawk's Avatar
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    Re: Golden Retriever Vs. Labrador Retriever

    I just know Dobes are pretty! I have never lived with one.
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    Re: Golden Retriever Vs. Labrador Retriever

    I resent the suggestion that Labs are goofier than Goldens. My dog only gets serious when the training gear comes out, but Labs are the same in that regard. The rest of the time, he is 110% clown.

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    Re: Golden Retriever Vs. Labrador Retriever

    I'm quite partial to the golden retriever myself

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    Post Re: Golden Retriever Vs. Labrador Retriever

    well, my mom used to breed goldens and labs, so from my experience for 8 years helping with the breeding of the breeds, here is how they are different:

    Goldens:
    -shed but easier to pick up
    -dont need too much exercise, content with a 30 minute walk and a 15 minute game of fetch on average.
    -will bark when people arrive, but not attack. more watchdog.
    -easier to train, a bit more intelligent
    -loyal, everywhere you go, they will follow.
    -are great with everyone
    -when worn out, are great in apartments. limited energy.
    -they will never leave you, becuz even if they are people oriented, they will be with you as long as they live. once your bonded, theyll take a bullet for you
    Labs:
    -shed, harder to pick up because its short and dense
    -need a lot more exercise, say about a 45 minute walk 15 minute game of fetch and another 15 of free running just anywhere
    -a good guard dog, will bark and bark until they walk in the door
    -stubborn at times, not as intelligent as a golden, since they do when they want
    -loyal, everywhere you go, they will follow
    -very people oriented
    -energy always, never wear out. good if energetic, bad if not. get an english lab if laid back, but they still need exercise
    -valiantly stay by your side, will never leave you. loyal dog.

    i think theyre both great, i know more about goldens since i have a golden named Sunny.
    hope dis helps!

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    Senior Member nikkiluvsu15's Avatar
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    Re: Golden Retriever Vs. Labrador Retriever

    I can only speak for really Labradors and Foyerhawk did a really good job describing them. I'm not sure if I can add much more... Probably not.

    5) Are loud- they bark more, are more protective, more vocal in play, and tend to scream, howl, and cry in their crates when bored or excited (like if they heard someone come to the door, mine would scream and bark this awful high pitched cry if they were crated and wanted to come say hello). This, in fact, is one of the main reasons I will probably never foster or own another Labrador. basically, they are intense, and tough- which makes them such great duck dogs!
    That's not always the case... at least I don't think it is. Harleigh NEVER barks! The only time she does bark is when there is a knock at the door or something like that and most of the time people rethink coming in just because it is SO deep.

    It does go both ways though because... I've met plenty of Labs that didn't make a sound unless they needed too, but then I've met some that won't be quiet for anything. I guess it really just depends..

    6) They love to swim and retrieve, and they are great walking buddies
    VERY true... Harleigh would be in the water all day if I would let her. There are only a few Labs I've met that didn't like to swim, those are few and far between.

    7) It's not difficult at all to off leash train them, once they have a strong bond with you
    Again.. that is very true. Harleigh was to be trusted off leash in our yard (with supervision of course!) by the time she was 4 1/2-5 months.

    8) They bond more tightly to one person than does a Golden, and they are also more protective. This "one man dog" trait is the primary thing about them that I think they have over a Golden Retriever
    Harleigh is very protective.... of me and her house. She'll alert us every time she hears something suspicious and like I said.. it's not a bark you want to deal with, even though her tail is wagging the whole entire time!

    9) Female Labs, especially, are often quite intelligent
    I never knew that... Although Harleigh is very intelligent, I just never thought about it...

    10) They are bolder than a Golden- they also, as a result, have a kind of bull in a China shop personality, and will not let anything stand in the way of their fun.
    OMGosh!! That is SO true! Harleigh, love her to death, but when she gets excited.. Man, there is nothing you can do! LOL.

    She gets so excited her whole butt moves instead of just her tail..


    Everything else you said that I didn't comment on was spot on, even the things I did comment on was spot on.

    I would listen to Foyerhawk OP!

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    Re: Golden Retriever Vs. Labrador Retriever

    Quote Originally Posted by hulkamaniac View Post
    I have never met a lab or a golden that was a good watch dog. Both are as horrible at it as my cocker spaniel is and are much more likely to approach a stranger with a toy in their mouth than with bared teeth. I have found labs to be far more goofy than goldens. Both breeds have way too much energy for me.
    You've never met Harleigh!

    She's an awesome watch dog... People usually think twice about coming in the house after they hear her barking at them with a DEEP bark.

    Evidently people don't like a black 70+pound puppy barking at them..

    I'll give you this though.. Harleigh is very goofy!! She makes me laugh every single day.. lol.

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    Re: Golden Retriever Vs. Labrador Retriever

    Quote Originally Posted by hulkamaniac View Post
    I have never met a lab or a golden that was a good watch dog. Both are as horrible at it as my cocker spaniel is and are much more likely to approach a stranger with a toy in their mouth than with bared teeth. I have found labs to be far more goofy than goldens. Both breeds have way too much energy for me.
    I used to live with a very intelligent and beautiful female yellow (almost white) lab. She definitely had the "I love everyone" attitude, but one time someone started screaming at me in a park. As the conversation got more and more heated, the lab began acting hostile, so I put her on leash. Then she let loose with barking and growling at the woman who was yelling. The woman actually called her "antisocial", which was really the opposite of what this dog was. I'm sure she would have bit the woman if our screaming match had gotten physical. After that I always felt very safe if I had the lab along. They sense very well when you feel threatened. And I wasn't even her "person"!

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    Senior Member Spicy1_VV's Avatar
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    Re: Golden Retriever Vs. Labrador Retriever

    The difference is clear

    One has a longer coat

    The other has a shorter coat and more color choices

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    Re: Golden Retriever Vs. Labrador Retriever

    i have a lab mix, but I can't really use her as a comparison, because a)she's a mix and b)she's crazy.

    Sooo, I will use my golden who is neither a mix nor crazy. I love her. She's friendly, obedient, has learned things in 5 minutes that I've spent 6 years trying to teach the other 2. She is not velcro, like my other 2, but I know she loves me, so it's all good. She's great with kids, she generally sheds in clumps and not individual hairs, which is a plus but not a deal breaker. Really, she's the perfect dog. She also has no prey drive. A squirrel walked past her in the yard and she looked at it. Nothing else, just looked casually at it and waited for it to exit the yard. I've met labs I liked too, but never owned a purebred one.
    Also, lots of goldens have skin issues. Mine doesn't, but some do. You also have to keep their ears impeccably clean. If I go too long between cleaning Tazzie's they get funky and smell gross. But as long as you keep up on it they're fine.
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    Re: Golden Retriever Vs. Labrador Retriever

    Quote Originally Posted by Marsh Muppet View Post
    It might be "...ask a Golden; negotiate with a Chessie."--I can never remember.
    Oooh, I'll bet that's the right way around. I've met Chessies.....definitely negotiate. Telling and asking won't work with them, LOL. And I've been told that Goldens are "softer" than Labs, so asking would fit for them, too.
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