Golden or Lab

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by kdogg331, Dec 20, 2018.

  1. kdogg331

    kdogg331 Registered Users

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    What’s your favorite and why (I know that’s kind of a weird question on a Lab forum)? Similarities and differences? I know that this varies a lot and also that field bred versus show bred in both breeds are drastically different and even two field bred dogs from both breeds have differences but just curious. From what I have read Goldens appear to be slightly softer and more sensitive, less hardheaded, and don’t seem to deal with loud and/or chaotic environments as well? Do you find that true? Would love pictures and/or stories from both breeds. I love both breeds, we’ve always had Labs or Lab crosses but every Golden I’ve met has been incredibly sweet and I have loved them as well. I love all dogs but seem to have a special fondness for the hunting breeds like retrievers and spaniels. They’re just such great dogs. Although my list of potential breeds is very long and includes dogs from every group. :lol::oops: Anyway, would love to talk about these two breeds (or other retrievers/sporting breeds) as well as get some opinions/input. I can’t get another dog for a while but right now the major contenders are these two breeds (Goldens and Labs) as well as Aussies and Poodles. Looking for a smart, loyal, fairly easily trainable, active dog that I can take places with me and hike and bike and possibly skijor with as well as train in agility, nosework, and/or obedience and teach tricks. Love training so I’d want to train a lot but not necessarily be crazy needing to do something every second. Preferably loving/wanting to be with me as well and good off leash so a lot of breeds fit that bill which makes it hard to narrow down.
     
  2. lucy@labforumHQ

    lucy@labforumHQ Administrator Forum Supporter

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    Welcome to the forum!

    Picking a breed can be really tough :) They are really similar dogs, but Labradors are maybe in general a bit more excitable. Golden Retrievers obviously have a much higher maintenance coat :) With both it's really important to find a breeder that health tests and has dogs with excellent hip and elbow scores, as well as clear eye tests and a PRA test too.

    Aussies are very busy working dogs, so if you are not sure about how much you want to train and keep them busy that breed might not be the best fit. Poodles tend to be more aloof than retrievers, so you might find training a great recall a bit easier as they won't be so distracted by other people - though there is no guarantee of course :)

    I'd aim to go to as many dog walking places as you can, and meet lots of each and just see which you prefer as you aren't in any rush to decide.

    We've actually got an article on the main site comparing Labradors and Golden Retrievers that might be of interest too.

    Let us know which you choose!
     
  3. Chewies_mum

    Chewies_mum Registered Users

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    When we were looking at getting our dog we narrowed it down to labs and goldens. In the end the coat maintainence is what made us finally decide on a lab. Also, since we are starting a family in the near future we thought the slightly less sensitive lab personality might be better- although all dogs are different and all the goldens I've meet seem like they would be lovely with kids.

    We never really considered poodles or herding breeds as we wanted that outgoing gundog personality rather than an aloof dog. I've heard of people describing their herding dogs (GSD"s and border collies mostly) as "the fun police." Basically that is the opposite of a lab!

    Whatever you do choose, good luck!
     
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  4. Bud Light/Dilly Dilly

    Bud Light/Dilly Dilly Registered Users

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    I've always loved these two breeds as well and my girlfriend and I debated on which one to ultimately go with. I always knew I wanted one of these two breeds. We chose a lab, so the labs have the slight edge for us but you really can't go wrong with either breed.
     
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  5. Bud Light/Dilly Dilly

    Bud Light/Dilly Dilly Registered Users

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    My best friend has a golden doodle (75% poodle, 25% Golden) and you can really see his poodle temperament. He has many cat like tendencies hahaha pretty interesting because it's so different from labs. But he's still a good dog. Just way different from our lab breeds.
     
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  6. kdogg331

    kdogg331 Registered Users

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    Thanks for the replies! Definitely helpful. And I actually already found and read that article, it's how I found this forum :)

    And that is a good point about the herding breeds. I think Aussies are supposed to be a little more goofy and silly than Border Collies and a little less obsessive but I am sure all herding breeds have similar traits and they definitely have very different personalities than retrievers. The aloofness though is definitely another factor. I go back and forth between whether it's good or not. I feel like a slightly more aloof dog or even just one more focused on me might be better at the recall like was mentioned because they wouldn't be as likely to run up to every person they see but at the same time, from what I've read and experienced with a cousin's dog, Aussies can be a bit protective and I'm not sure I want that. My cousin's dog was a great dog and great with her kids but very protective of her. Having a protective dog (lab pyrenees mix) I am kind of over the protective thing. But for hiking or living alone it could be useful. But I feel like I do definitely want a dog that I don't have to worry about with people or other dogs which to me I think most sporting breeds fit that bill. Obviously well bred and well trained Aussies shouldn't be outright aggressive or anything but it's still just a totally different personality and I think I'm so used to retriever personalities it might be an adjustment. I love the goofy, fun loving retriever personalities. Not to mention the coat maintenance for the other breeds. That is definitely a main reason I'm unsure about Goldens. And poodles I feel like that grooming would get expensive fast.

    And I definitely need to meet more dogs. We have lots of areas with dogs around here so I think I need to go sit at or walk at some of them and meet them. Also planning on going to some dog shows and maybe like obedience or agility shows too.

    From what I have read, it seems like Labs take their work more seriously than Goldens do and are better at real work/jobs like SAR, guide dogs, detection dogs, service dogs, etc. Rather than sports, though they can of course do it, but seems they are better at and prefer real work? Do you find that to be true?
     
  7. pippa@labforumHQ

    pippa@labforumHQ Administrator

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    For me, the main downside to the golden is coat care. They are harder to groom and keep clean, though Goldens from working lines do tend to have an easier coat than most. From all other points of view the Golden Retriever is a very hard breed to beat, both as a family pet, and a working dog. I suspect a few visits to breeders of both breeds will help you to make up your mind :)
     
  8. kdogg331

    kdogg331 Registered Users

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    Thank you! Coat maintenance is definitely a big thing for me, especially since we have a lot of outdoor areas to walk and hike where they could get muddy or covered in debris. But they do seem like amazing dogs. And I’m definitely planning on visiting some breeders or maybe even some dog shows or dog sports (agility,obedience, dock diving, something like that) or sitting near walking places and meeting a few and talking to owners. And I actually have a friend with two and they always trail run and stuff with theirs so maybe I should ask them about the maintenance. Didn’t even think to ask until now
     
  9. Keithmac

    Keithmac Registered Users

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    Our friends got a GR, lovely dog and amazed how tollerant he was with our Lab when she was a pup (basically all over him!).

    We have a job hoovering up after the Lab, they've bought an automatic hoover..
     
  10. kdogg331

    kdogg331 Registered Users

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    Goldens do seem like very gentle dogs. And yeah, probably need a strong vacuum lol
     
  11. Ski-Patroller

    Ski-Patroller Cooper, Terminally Cute

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    Goldens seem to have a lot more skin condition issues than Labs, in addition to requiring a lot more coat maintenance.
    Years ago I read that Search and Rescue folks favored Labs, because they tended to be a bit more stubborn about following their task. If the dog was following a scent, and the handler tried to call him off (presumably because the handler thought the dog was going the wrong way) the obedient Golden would come back, but the more stubborn Lab would keep following what he was trained to do. Obviously a gross generalization but probably some truth to it.

    Goldens were/are popular for Avalanche dogs, partly because they are so non threatening to the public. Labs and GSDs are used a lot also.
     
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  12. Sarge Brown

    Sarge Brown Registered Users

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    I currently have one of each. A four year old Golden and a two year old Lab. I love them both beyond belief. My Golden has always been a “softer” guy, easy, sweet, trustworthy, loving. Never have worried about him hurting anybody or any other living thing. Tennis balls, on the hand better watch out! My Lab is a bit more rowdy, more vocal, and as handsome and smart as the day is long. It took longer for all the sweetness in him to appear (except with children—he has always been sweet with little ones—, and his gentle kind loving personality has really come about as he matures. Golden or Lab? Depending on lifestyle and family situation I suppose, and what you want from your companion.

    Unfortunately these two are probably the last of my retrievers. I am 67 now, with bad hips. Not sure I could handle a new lab or golden puppy again, but each golden and each lab I have had has always been “my best dog ever.” Whichever you choose, you’ll not be sorry!
     
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  13. youngporkbun

    youngporkbun Registered Users

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    Just wanted to chime in on this because why not get the best of both breeds?!

    I have a beautiful golden-lab boy with two different eye colors, who is only 11 months old but is 80.2 lbs. His dad is the ever so furry big boy and the mom a black lab. He was the only boy in the litter, the only one with two different eye colors, and the biggest of them all. I started him with kibbles and switched him over to a raw food diet then back to kibbles with raw bones. He is not neutered. I can attest, he has so much energy … more so than my bf’s Golden retriever (who is 4 years and 1 month older) but if he receives his play time and walks, he gets exhausted and calms down. What I do with mine is play fetch for at least 10 minutes before heading out for a walk so there is less pulling. My dog also enjoys walking off-leash on trails. It took a few practices until I know I can trust him to return to my call. But I find, taking him off-leash walking in trails to be the best form of exercise for him. I just make sure I bring his portable water bowl and give him generous water breaks (yup, I’m his water butler).

    I put him in my car and he sheds a lot. I would brush him thrice and would still fill up the brush completely on the fourth. I do trim his fur every now and then— especially in-between his paw pads and his butt area. Since he is a cross-breed, he has more fur than a pure-bred Labrador retriever. He likes to jump into our pool but does not like cold baths. He has tried running away when I give him baths and is very stubborn when he gets an inkling of getting a bath. Other than that, he is extremely smart.

    I would corral him and he still finds ways to get through the barriers. He knows commands that I started repeating since he was a puppy, like “go to bed” and “go to your cage.” He does get antsy when I leave him in his cage alone but, fortunately enough, I have a chow mix girl who keeps him company every time he cries. I do go to work during the week but have someone to let him out mid-afternoon and my other dog is always there to keep him calm. I just have to make sure to let him out 20-30 minutes after he drinks so much water or after his meals. If I don’t let him out, he will pee and/ or poop in the house. So it’s not the pup’s fault but mine. My pup has pooped 2-4 times in a day.

    And when it comes to training, success hinges on you not your dog. Training = persistent consistency. If you slack off, expect your dog to slack off and not learn anything = more mess and stress for you. I would have to say: don’t get a dog if you don’t have patience, extremely selfish with your time, cannot commit to another living being, or don’t have the money to support a pup throughout his/ her entire lifetime. My pup has chewed 3 large beds, broken pots and anything he can find in the yard (including solar lights), uproots plants, and stomps on our flowerbeds. However, he is a very sweet boy and a joy to have in my life.

    When he was younger, he used to wake me up when it’s time for me to wake-up because he also needs to pee (by whimpering to barking and putting his head on your bed near your head). If you set a schedule, he will remember it and hold you accountable. But now that he is older, he can hold his pee for 8 hours or a little longer and will stay patient until you wake but he will need to pee immediately.

    My golden-lab also loves his toys so if you want him to stay busy and not chew your things, make sure you provide him with plenty of toys to choose from. Treats are also the highlight of his day so he receives them when he does somethings right. I find raw beef marrow bones to be his favorites and help clean his teeth.

    As for vaccines, he only received rabies and the lyme vaccine. It’s all personal preference but after watching him go from energetic to lethargic after a vet visit in a matter of 1 hour, I got extremely scared and I decided to stop injecting him foreign objects. To this day, he is one very healthy boy but I researched so much to give him what he needs. I would urge anyone to research endlessly so you are educated well. I hope my extensive comment will help you decide whether a golden-lab is the right fit for you and open your horizons to the various ways to take great care of your new pup.
     
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  14. kdogg331

    kdogg331 Registered Users

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    Thank you all again very the help!! Very good info and am just coming back and seeing the latest 3 replies now so apologies for not replying sooner but thank you again!!!
     
  15. kdogg331

    kdogg331 Registered Users

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    Really think I’m starting to lean more towards Lab now haha thought I was leaning towards Golden and still not sure but now mostly back towards Lab. They really seem like great dogs.
     

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