If your search history is chock-full of breed queries, you’re itching to spend Saturday afternoons at the dog park, and you’re finding yourself swooning commercial featuring a puppy, you’re ready to become a dog owner. Once you’ve secured a dog-friendly living situation and ensured that your financial status is sturdy enough to accommodate vet bills and kibble costs, it’s time to begin the search for your new furry friend.
Prospective dog owners ought to consider factors like temperament, size, age, and cost to make sure the breed of their soon-to-be best pal is compatible with their unique lifestyle. When you begin the hunt for a hound that fits into your familial life, you’ll likely notice Golden Retriever and Labrador breeds frequent lists of perfect family dog options. If you’ve narrowed down your search but are still on the fence about which pup is best for you, refer to this post by Snowy Pines White Labs on Golden Retrievers vs. Labs, and review the tips below and circumvent what could become a hairy decision-making process successfully.
Consider the potential health challenges
While both pooches are similarly adorable, each breed suffers unique health problems that you should consider before purchase. Both Labs and Goldens share predispositions to hip dysplasia, obesity, cancer, and ear infections, but Labradors are more likely to experience eyelid abnormalities, voice box paralysis, and joint malformation. Golden Retrievers, however, run higher risks of seizure disorders, skin issues, and elbow dysplasia.
Ask yourself if size matters
While both Labradors and Golden Retrievers are large breeds possessing similar height characteristics, Labs are typically slightly larger than Goldens and have more muscular builds. If you feel strongly about purchasing a well-bread, statuesque dog, a Lab is more likely to fit the bill. However, a smaller female Golden Retriever could fulfill your dreams of a medium-sized dog.
Evaluate your feelings about grooming upkeep
If you’re opposed to dog hair and cringe at the thought of daily vacuum-sessions, you may want to reconsider your relationship with either breed. Both Labradors and Goldens undergo significant shedding, so regular grooming is a must. Of course, Goldens boast long, thick, flowing locks, while Labs sport shorter, more wiry hair, so a golden pal will require some serious undercoat raking to prevent matting and excessive shedding.
Take temperament into account
Both Labs and Goldens are famously kind, friendly, and good-natured. Still, their minor temperament differences can feel significant in context. While Labradors tend to demonstrate both resilience and sweetness, Golden Retrievers are known for embracing their soft side on a whole other level. Goldens are generally gentler, needier, and more interested in a calm and quiet environment. On the other hand, labs are temperamentally well-equipped to jump right into a loud or lively household and will need additional stimulation to keep destructive behaviors in check.
Prepare for the puppy stage
If you’re planning to adopt your pup at a young age, considering the qualities your new buddy will display during its first year of life is of critical importance. Both Labradors and Goldens are born furry balls of energy, but Labradors tend to exhibit a higher level of hyperactivity, energetic behavior, and interest in chewing during puppy-hood. Golden Retrievers are at a greater risk for complications during early neutering procedures, so be sure to consult your veterinarian when they come of age.
Before you jump the gun and commit to a furry friend you’re ill-equipped to handle, research breeds that fit your lifestyle and ponder long and hard about your capabilities. Golden and Labrador retrievers are excellent options for beginners looking for a trainable, friendly, and cuddly canine companion.