Labs are Yellow, Retrievers are Golden
It does not rhyme but that is the easiest way to remember which terms go together. Technically, however, both dogs are in the Retriever group, as “Labs” is short for “Labrador Retriever”. Behavior wise both dogs are somewhat similar, considered soft mouthed dogs – bred for retrieving ducks when their owner is out shooting.
The biggest difference is visual. The Golden Retriever is a dog with a longer coat than the Yellow Lab. As far as behavior goes the Golden Retrievers is typically considered to be slightly more laid back than the Yellow Lab. However there are different “types” of Golden Retrievers and Yellow Labs depending if it was bred for hunting (known as field dogs), show, or as a pet quality animal. As well the basic “types” vary in different countries.
The Yellow Lab – a Color of Labrador Retriever
Yellow is only one of three colors the Labrador Retriever comes in (the others being black and chocolate). Yellow Labs (and all Labs) are heavy shedders despite the fact they have shorter coats than the Golden Retriever. In terms of registration numbers the Labrador Retriever is the most popular dog in the world (although black is the more common color). In fact the color of Yellow was not even accepted until the late 1800’s as prior to that any yellow (or chocolate) pups were culled.
The Golden Retriever
This is a newer breed of dog than the Labrador Retriever, and very likely descended from the cross of a Yellow colored Labrador Retrievers with a Water Spaniel, with the addition of other breeds mixed in through out the early development years. The color can range from a light yellow, to a rich red color, with the lighter colors being more common.
If you hear of a breeder selling Golden Labs, do not support them or buy their puppies. Either they are a complete idiot, unfamiliar with the breed, or they are breeding mutts – crosses between Golden Retrievers and Yellow Labs. While mutts do make awesome pets the intentional breeding of them, and typical overpricing of them, is unethical. A mutt is only worth the price of the vaccinations and vet check which should have been done prior to the sale. Good breeders take their purebred (registered) dogs to shows to prove their worth as breeding animals and never breed to another breed as their whole goal is to improve the breed.
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