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Labrador vs. Golden Retriever: Which Breed is Better for Your Home and Family?

by Vetic Editorial
Published: Last Updated on 33.3K views

So, you’ve finally decided to welcome a fur baby into your life, and you’ve narrowed down your options to two of the most beloved dog breeds on the planet. Now, it’s time for the ultimate comparison that can change your life – Labrador vs. Golden Retriever. 

Now, the biggest challenge is – both are amazing options and you can’t go wrong with either one of the two for apartment living. 

By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of which breed might be the perfect fit for your apartment and lifestyle.

Labrador vs. Golden Retriever: A thorough comparison of all traits

So, here’s the most impossible comparison considering the cuteness both the breeds bring to the table –

1. Ideal Size and Weight:


The image depicts a dog wearing a pink harness and attached to a leash. The dog is sitting on a green surface, which appears to be artificial turf. In the background, there’s part of a building with glass doors or windows, and some decorative elements are visible inside. The word “vetic” is written in lowercase letters on the top right corner of the image. The labrador is sitting outside the Vetic Thane Clinic. Golden retrievers and labradors are both very amicable to training and socialisation.

Both Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers fall into the category of medium to large-sized dogs. On average, Golden Retrievers weigh between 25 to 34 kg and stand around 21.5 to 24 inches tall at the shoulder. 

Labrador Retrievers, on the other paw, are slightly heavier, with a typical weight range of 29 to 36 kg and a height of 21.5 to 24.5 inches.

While both breeds may not be the most compact options for small apartments, they can adapt well to living in confined spaces if given enough exercise and mental stimulation.

Note: Both breeds LOVE food and have the tendency to gain weight rapidly without proper portion control and exercise. 

2. Personality Traits, Quirks, and Behavior:

Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers share some common personality traits that make them such popular family pets. 

Both breeds are known for their friendly, affectionate, and gentle nature. They are incredibly sociable and thrive on human interaction, making them excellent choices for families, singles, or anyone seeking a loyal companion.

However, Golden Retrievers tend to be more outgoing and eager to please, making them natural extroverts. They often welcome strangers with open paws and are likely to shower them with love and wagging tails. 

Labrador Retrievers, while also friendly, may be a bit more reserved around new people but will warm up quickly.

3. Energy Levels and Exercise Needs:

A very happy looking Golden Retriever sitting in front of a wall with the signage "Vetic". The golden retriever is wearing a multi-coloured printed harness and a blue leash. Labrador vs. Golden retriever may not be an easy choice to make since both require tons of emotional bonding and outdoor playtime

When it comes to energy levels, both breeds are highly active and require regular exercise to keep them happy and healthy. 

Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers were bred for hunting and retrieving fish respectively. They have plenty of stamina and love engaging in physical activities.

If you live in an apartment, it’s crucial to provide your dog with enough exercise to prevent boredom and destructive behaviour. Both breeds will benefit from daily walks, playtime, and mentally stimulating activities. 

However, Labradors, being slightly more robust and energetic, may need a bit more exercise compared to Golden retrievers.

4. Friendliness and Affection:

Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers are known for their friendliness and affectionate nature. These dogs are the very embodiment of the phrase “man’s best friend.” They thrive on companionship and are highly devoted to their human family members.

Whether you choose a Golden or a Labrador, expect to be greeted with wagging tails, slobbery kisses, and unwavering loyalty. Either way, your chosen breed is sure to become an integral part of your family in no time.

5. Watchdog Qualities:

A male and a female golden retriever sitting side by side looking very serious. Labrador vs. Golden retriever is a challenging decision since both breeds are eager to please and make friends easily

When it comes to watchdog qualities, there’s a subtle difference between the two breeds. Golden Retrievers, while alert and attentive, are more likely to welcome strangers with a wagging tail rather than showing a protective demeanour. They may not be the most effective guard dogs but will undoubtedly alert you to the presence of visitors.

Labrador Retrievers, with their inherent loyalty to their family, can exhibit a bit more protectiveness. They may not be aggressive watchdogs, but they’ll surely let you know if something seems amiss. However, it’s essential to note that both breeds are generally more friendly than they are protective.

6. Grooming Needs:

The grooming needs of a Golden Retriever and a Labrador are relatively similar due to their dense double coats that shed consistently throughout the year and more heavily during seasonal changes. Both breeds benefit from regular brushing, typically twice a week, to maintain healthy coats and minimise loose fur around the house.

However, Golden Retrievers require slightly more frequent grooming compared to Labradors. This is because Golden Retrievers have longer and silkier fur, which tends to mat and tangle more easily. 

Their luxurious coat also attracts more dirt and debris, making professional dog grooming necessary to prevent matting and keep their coat in top condition. Regular grooming not only keeps them looking their best but also helps to promote healthy skin and reduce shedding.

7. Health Problems:

An adult, brown labrador retriever with light brown eyes sitting outside on the green grass. Labradors and Golden retrievers both have high propensity towards joint issues and cancers. However, brown labradors have the highest health risks among all.

Unfortunately, like all living beings, both Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers are susceptible to certain health issues. While they are generally healthy breeds, potential health concerns include hip and elbow dysplasia, eye problems, and certain heart conditions.

Routine visits to the veterinarian, a balanced diet, regular exercise, and proper grooming are crucial to maintaining your dog’s well-being. 

Stay in touch with a senior veterinarian near you to ensure that your pupper remains in good health and enjoys a happy and long life. 


In conclusion, both Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers can make fantastic apartment pets if provided with enough exercise, mental stimulation and most importantly, love and attention. 

These two breeds have similar traits in terms of friendliness, affection, and adaptability to apartment living.

Remember, Retrievers were selectively bred for retrieving game after hunting. You need to exercise Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers outdoors to keep them happy and healthy. 

If you want a slightly low-energy dog who requires less workout, you should consider a Golden Retriever. If you and your family love to spend time outdoors, definitely consider a Labrador Retriever. 

So, weigh in the factors, consider your lifestyle, and choose the dog that best fits your heart and home. 

Happy dog-parenting!

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1 comment

Gaynor Henry August 1, 2023 - 3:39 pm

While I appreciate your points, Lab’s are far superior in intelligence and we’ve had both. I know that’s a generalization, but with decades of dog ownership that’s our experience. Females of any breed, seem to be more protective too. But I wish these articles would in general, stress the costs of owning a dog, any dog, and that spay/neuter, shots, training, socialization and securely housing and controlling your dog matter for EVERY dog. Last but certainly not least, adopt, adopt, adopt! And remember this is years of commitment make sure you’re up for it!!’

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