The Difference Between a Yellow Lab and a Golden Retriever

There is no such thing as a Golden Lab, that is unless you have crossed a Yellow Lab with a Golden Retriever. So let us begin by explaining the difference with these breeds of dog.


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


photo source

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

File:Golden Retrievers dark and light.jpg

photo source

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.

Golden Labs?

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.

Related Links

8 Unique Dog Breeds

Smushed Face Dog Breeds

Long Dog Breeds

The Six Safest Dogs for Homes with Children

If you have opinions, ideas, or knowledge, and would like to get Paid for sharing them by writing for sites like this, Click Here.

Liked it


User Comments
  1. Dark Fairy

    On September 26, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Thanks for clearing that up. It’s obvious the differences between the two breed. Good article. Thanks for posting.

  2. Joie Schmidt

    On September 26, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    Nice share! =)



    -Joie Schmidt.

  3. PR Mace

    On September 26, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    Thank you for this informative article. So many think they are the same dog.


    On September 26, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    a beautiful article jam-packed with brilliant details on the difference between a yellow lab and a golden retriever. the photos really did help alot. it made it more easier to identify the differences. i completely agree with you 100% as always. this is another very good article based on animal welfare. thanks very much for sharing. i love it all.

  5. Ruby Hawk

    On September 26, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Both are beautiful dogs.

  6. PSingh1990

    On September 26, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    Nice Share.


  7. My World

    On September 26, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Nice Post…..

    thanks for share.

  8. Ethics0006

    On September 26, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    Good Work

  9. GodsGrace

    On September 26, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    Nice Post

  10. Jimmy Shilaho

    On September 27, 2010 at 12:03 am

    Too much dog in this one, it made me feel like surrounded by the unknown.

  11. papaleng

    On September 28, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Thanks for letting us know the difference. Mine is a Golden retriever. Lovely photos.

  12. Aleen Smith

    On March 8, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Nice descriptions. I bought a yellow lab puppy as a family pet for a ridiculously low price because she did not have papers — no wonder, she is clearly a mixed breed: beautiful lab, but with some feathers on her tail and hind quarters and a bit of a ruff around her neck. She also has a wonderful golden retriever “smile”! She has the shorter lab ears and longer lab forelegs. She is much more gold in color than a lot of yellow labs, but not the reddish gold of the typical golden retriever. Bottom line: She is totally gorgeous and I could not ask for a better dog, she’s out of a story book!

Post Comment
comments powered by Disqus