Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner

1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I'm new to this forum so this is my first post!

Small introduction:
I'm Monique from Queensland, Australia. Turning 21 this year and graduating university in a month. After years and years of begging, I'm finally allowed to own a dog now that I'll have more time on my hands!

I've always had my heart set on getting a golden retriever, but also considering a labrador for a few reasons, mainly due to their shorter coat. I've heard both breeds shed the same amount, however the labrador's short and dense hairs get stuck in furniture more? Correct me if I'm wrong.

I've done a bit of research on differences between their personality traits. Judging by others' personal experiences, many people say labradors are more loyal that goldens, whereas goldens are more aloof and tend to love everyone equally. One person said goldens will love you, but labradors are like brothers/sisters. From your experience, how would you rate your golden's loyalty?

Of course, I need the breed that can better suit my lifestyle.
- I live at home with parents who are in their 60s
- Our house is decently sized
- Once I start a full-time job, I may be at work 3-5 days a week, but will have time to train and exercise my dog
- My parents have an English language barrier, which makes me the primary trainer and caretaker of the dog
- Because my parents are quite old, I would prefer a dog who's energetic, yet calm and has a gentle temperament

I know that a golden would be suitable for my household because of their calmer nature, but the factor of loyalty is so important to me. I have always wanted a "clingy" dog who follows me around everywhere.

What do you guys think? Every response would be much appreciated!

I will also post another thread with pictures of my backyard, so you guys can help me determine whether the space is adequate for a big dog like the golden retriever.

Thank you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,251 Posts
We have never owned a labrador, although I have known several. We have owned 3 Golden Retrievers. All three have been very loyal and affectionate. Our current dog, Max, is very friendly to everyone he meets, but is extremely attached to my wife and I.

BTW, we are "quite old" and in our 60s and have no problem handling Max, who is both very energetic and quite calm, as well as over 100 pounds. :)
 

·
Kate
Joined
·
21,496 Posts
I've heard both breeds shed the same amount, however the labrador's short and dense hairs get stuck in furniture more?
Yes. Honestly though shedding is controlled with regular grooming and care. Groom your dogs on a daily basis or at least couple times a week and you should notice minimal shedding.

I've done a bit of research on differences between their personality traits. Judging by others' personal experiences, many people say labradors are more loyal that goldens, whereas goldens are more aloof and tend to love everyone equally. One person said goldens will love you, but labradors are like brothers/sisters. From your experience, how would you rate your golden's loyalty?
All retrievers love their people. They were bred to work closely with their people and they generally form close bonds with those special people.

I was laughing at a private lesson this past week when my youngest dog refused to let the teacher use him as a demo dog to show me how to train something. He doesn't like anyone taking him away from my side. In many ways he is becoming even more of a Velcro dog than my other golden, who is the ultimate Velcro dog. I was barbecuing for my parents earlier today and both dogs were following close behind me, with the youngest managing to be right underfoot.

I told my teacher though that I consider myself very lucky and blessed to have two dogs who think I'm the moon and the stars. Golden retrievers (and most other retriever breeds) form very close bonds with special people in their lives.... but it isn't always the person who is doing all the work with them.

They still form family bonds with everyone in their life... it just isn't that really close Velcro "heart dog" bond. And it's OK. That's the facet where they love everyone. When I'm not home, both dogs follow my mom around everywhere.

- Because my parents are quite old, I would prefer a dog who's energetic, yet calm and has a gentle temperament
Young dogs are not calm. Just be aware of that. They will jump on people. They will mouth people. They will haul them down the street. They will blow them off.

Training helps a ton, but at the same time... I've found the dogs need to have 2-5 years to grow up and mature and the obedience training is always something that is active and reinforced.

I've taught my parents all of the correct commands to use with my dogs - meaning "off" or "take it easy" and "NO" and "Leave it" and "go settle" and a variety of other commands that are necessary.

I train the commands to begin with, but my parents have to know what to say to get results without me having to always be there to keep the dogs under control.

Whatever route you take, this is something you will have to do with your parents or any other members of the household, even while you may be the primary trainer.

Otherwise what happens is the dogs listen very nicely to you, but blow everyone else off.

The rest is - you will have to train the dog (golden or lab) to really make sure they have good manners around your parents and anyone else.

It is absolutely possible to teach a young dog not to jump, pull, or sniff people or even lick people. But it takes a lot of consistent training.

I will also post another thread with pictures of my backyard, so you guys can help me determine whether the space is adequate for a big dog like the golden retriever.
Since goldens should not be left out in the backyard and should spend their time inside with their families except when outside pottying or hanging out with their families outside, size of your backyard is not a big issue nor should be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
622 Posts
Hi there! I've never owned a lab but I have two goldens. Both labs and goldens are high energy dogs. They can be trained to be the best dogs ever but you have to train them. They don't come that way. I have heard labs are a little more high strung than goldens. I would consider both my goldens velcro dogs meaning they are ALWAYS at my feet and follow me from room to room. They've done this since they were puppies and it never stopped. They love everyone one which is great and they are definitely NOT aloof. I think most people would not consider goldens aloof at all. They love their people and love to be around them. My dogs love to socialize and say hi to everyone but then end up coming back and laying next to me. I have heard people say that female goldens love you and male goldens are in love with you. I'm not sure about that because I have a male and a female and both are glued to my side 24/7. That could be annoying to some people but I like it like you. I think it's sweet. It all depends on their personality too how velcro-ish they are. I think the breeds are very similar. I think there are other threads on the forum discussing the differences between them. I would try using the search function to look for more comparisons. Good luck!

Edit to add: like megora said goldens and labs will not do well if left in the backyard. They are such people dogs and they need to be with their people. More independent breeds may fair well if left outside but not these breeds. (Personally I don't recommend leaving any dog in the backyard)



Sent from Petguide.com App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thank you everyone for your responses! I didn't realise I'd get answers so quickly.

Since goldens should not be left out in the backyard and should spend their time inside with their families except when outside pottying or hanging out with their families outside, size of your backyard is not a big issue nor should be.
In response to the backyard thing, I'm not keeping my dog outside, I just asked to make sure it's big enough for a little play time. I was mostly concerned about this because I read that potential foster families (considering this) need their house inspected, and I thought my backyard wouldn't be big enough or something, but upon further thought, I think it's more than enough space for one dog's play time!

Also, thanks for bringing up that you told your parents basic commands you use with your dog. I understand that's something I'll have to do, and hope the dog can understand them with their thick accent.

You were talking about maturity and age of the dog. As a newbie, this may be a dumb question, but are you referring to human or dog years? I'm guessing dog years because 5 human years seems like a long for a dog to mature?

I would like to get a golden retriever as a puppy, but I'm feeling anxious about it. I have the patience to train and provide a puppy with attention to minimise behavioural issues, but I'm unsure with how my parents will deal with it. I will probably write another thread sometime about my parents later.

Btw - I won't be getting a dog for another 7 months. Just preparing early for it! :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I would consider both my goldens velcro dogs meaning they are ALWAYS at my feet and follow me from room to room.

Sent from Petguide.com App
That's the word I was looking for - "velcro"

I love that! The level of attachment a dog has is not entirely dependent on how close you are to it, how well you care for it, it's also influenced by its individual personality, right? Something beyond our control.

Like you said about male goldens being "in love" with you, do you think there are some that can be less attached? And how would you differentiate between a velcro kind of dog and one that's not so attached amongst a litter of puppies? Or is that something you can't really choose? I decided long ago after reading about the differences between males and females that I would like a male, although the females are apparently easier to train and less goofy?

Anyway, thanks again everyone for your responses!
 

·
Wise Goodog
Joined
·
217 Posts
goldens w/ short hair

You're asking if oranges or (furried) oranges are better. Pretty much the same thing-under the hood.
Example--When I was 5 our (my 1st) golden died. I was grief stricken. A few months later, my Dad came home w a lab puppy. He thought it would make my day. That only made me feel worse. I thought Dad broke the "golden rule" as I knew it.

He figured out the problem and explained Labs were "Goldens with crew cuts." Kind of like Marines. A smile returned to my face--according to Dad. Peace in our times. A very happy and healthy yellow lab spent the next 16 yrs "raising me." He was helped by another golden--my best friend.

while Id surely defer to a conformation person, my understanding is the BREED STANDARD is similar to goldens. 55-70 lbs girls- 65-80 lbs boys.

Both goldens and labs are great friends. I simply prefer goldens. They surely win the "good looks" competition. Be aware that many labs today are bread to become "gundogs" and are very high energy.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Noreaster

·
and Kaylee
Joined
·
270 Posts
Hi

I currently have 2 goldie and had some labs and an english setter growing up.

I know for sure that my goldies have had no problem forming a close bond with my partner and I. We have our boy Guybrush who we got from a local breeder at 8 weeks and our girlie Kaylee who we aquired at 8 months old. Kaylee is my velcro dog she wants to be with me and please me. Guybrush is E's (my partner's) velcro dog. So we got one each. At night I get Kaylee cuddles and E gets crushed under the 35kg weight of Guybrush.

I think Goldens are prettier and look nicer than the stocky labs that I see in the Australia show rings. Mine don't shed too much as long as I brush them regularly.

The other major difference I have noticed is the goldies will chew toys and always want to carry something in their mouths while the Labs chewed not only their toys but the walls, the carpet, the tables and the doors! They also liked to have things in their mouths like knives and glasses! (Those labs were so naughty).

One last thing you should look into crate training. While you don't hear much about it in Australia it is amazing. It could be nice for your parents if they need a break from puppy while you are working, they can put him in his crate for a nap and not have to worry about tripping over him or stepping in an accident. Also great for potty training.
 

·
Noreaster
Joined
·
2,077 Posts
Have you thought about getting an older dog, one with the worst of the puppy stuff behind him/her? Given your situation, it might be easier for everyone. They still bond wonderfully with their humans and it's much less work all around.

There are some great dogs in rescue through no fault of their own. Training will always be a necessity but a 2-5 year old dog that needs a loving home might be a really good fit for you?
 

·
Kye & Coops Mom
Joined
·
4,466 Posts
We had a female black lab for a blessed 16 yrs along side our Golden and both are very similar to me. Our lab was happy outside with access to the house anytime she wished while our Golden wanted to always be with us, no matter where we were. Lab was bad at shedding short black hairs that got into everything, Golden shed soft hairs that floated everywhere but easy to sweep up. Our lab girl was a gifted retriever and my DH best friend, our Golden boy was stuck to the kids and me and could spend hours happily chasing tennis balls.

Each breed has their own quirks in my family experience. We preferred the Goldens because of their beauty and ease of training to do the things we liked. We also liked that Golden's seem to be accepted everywhere. I would think Labs would be the same, but our girl was not socialized as we did our Golden and never was comfortable in city settings. She loved the countryside and very content to just camp or be in the pastures with us. Our lab girl will never be forgotten and loved very much, but we just preferred Goldens.

Got to admit that our Lab was the most destructive puppy we have ever had. While our Goldens have done damage too it was nothing like our Lab could do in seconds. She finally left this stage about 2 yrs old and started remembering her training and became the best dog. I have heard this is totally normal for young labs. Both are great breeds.

Don't worry about your Parents accents. Dogs will be able to understand no matter what the language. They go by body language and training signals so words are eventually learned, but not of a high priority. Just be prepared to donate a lot of the first 2 yrs to training and helping him be the dog of your dreams. Such a fun time and a partner for life.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,218 Posts
You sound a lot like myself when I was getting my Joey :) Isn't it amazing when our parents FINALLY say we may have a pup?! :D Congrats!

as for your questions, everyone's already answered them really well but I'll just put in my two cents.

Grooming
Both breeds shed lots. As you noted though, since lab fur is shorter, it tends to stick out of clothing and furniture making it more "prickly" where Golden fur lays on top of clothing and furniture.. a good wipe and you can get some of it off depending on the fabric. Good brushing also puts this at a minimum.

I would say both are extremely loyal. Joey will not leave my side. He loves everyone who gives him attention and is a people pleaser. So is his best friend Blue, a chocolate Lab.

I also think labs and goldens are very similar energy wise. From a litter you can get a bunch of super energetic/working type dogs, or a few couch potatoes.. and this comes in both breeds.

I think you can't go wrong either way... I mean of course the bias here is Goldens ;) When I was around 10, we were very close to getting a dog... we chose a Black lab puppy and were going to call him Jack. Things fell through, and a teacher had a family getting rid of a 10 month old Golden.. she convinced us to give him a home instead of the puppy.. We did and he was an amazing dog. Since then we've always been golden people.. I still like labs, and will most likely own one at some point.. but right now its Goldens :) It's funny to think that had we not bumped into my teacher, we would be Lab people right now!

Good luck in your search! Just curious, have you asked this on a lab forum too? Would be curious to see what they say.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,095 Posts
Another factor which is incredibly important is that Labs vary a great deal in temperament. Some Labs, like the one I owned, can be-as another poster worded it-"high strung". Others are so calm that you may hardly know they are in the room with you.

I have seen Labs advertised as being calm because they more English Lab bred into them. They appear to be smaller and calmer.

When I had my big bruiser of a Lab (whom I adopted when he was two because another family couldn't manage him), I was taking my daughter to a chemistry tutor in Arlington, Virginia. Like me, the teacher had a yellow Lab. You wouldn't have even known they were the same breed! Her dog lay at my feet and slept during the entire time that my daughter was having her lesson in the kitchen. Her dog was small and calm and docile.

My dog was huge and inquisitive and energetic. At the vet's he had to poke his head into every door to see what was going on in the examining rooms. When we first got him he had a tendency to run in wild circles and bite at anyone who got in his way-a crazy prey drive-so we had to stop letting him run in circles!

If you do get a Lab, pick carefully. Most labs are calm, great dogs, but there are a few doozies out there like mine that are wonderful but should only be taken on by people who know what they are getting into!

Good luck. I love both breeds...and, of course, the gentlest breed of all...the Newfoundland. But they cannot bear the heat.

NewfieMom
 

·
Noreaster
Joined
·
2,077 Posts
NewfieMom has an excellent point! You would probably want to steer clear of a field-bred lab...read "Marley and Me" for why!

*If you do read it, skip the last chapter. I always do with dog stories!
 
  • Like
Reactions: mneek and edie

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,926 Posts
As stated in all the posts above, both labs and goldens are loyal and they love their people.
I am going to throw another possibility out there if you or your parents are worried about the shedding. Have you considered a flat coated retriever? They are single coated and do not shed as much. However they do take longer than the goldens or labs to mature. A golden 2 to 3 human years, flat coats 3 to 4 human years. The flat coats are considered the Peter pan of the retrievers.
All retrievers are very energetic and need exercise both physical and mental.

Since English seems to be a barrier with your parents why not train your pup in their language (which I assume you also speak)? Therefore everyone in the household will be on the same page.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,218 Posts
In my area, there are a lot of different cultures and we've come across multiple dogs who are "bilingual" Joey has a new little golden girlfriend and she knows English and Spanish. A doodle down the road knows Chinese and English. Dog's are very smart so I think that would be easy for you to train!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
210 Posts
I've had both Goldens and labs.

Labs shed course hairs. Goldens shed finer hair and often in tufts. I find golden hair easier to clean up.

Labs love people but seem to be more independent. Goldens need people.

Apart from shedding labs are less maintaince. Goldens need some level of grooming-and some require more than others.

Both are energetic, fun dogs that love the outdoors and water.

I love both breeds but after having Goldens, they are my breed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,129 Posts
I have one of each and always plan on having one of each.
Labs shed little individual hairs everywhere. Goldens shed in dust bunnies.

They are both affectionate. More than anything, I think males (in both breeds) tend to be more snuggly than the females.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,402 Posts
I have both at the moment. Grit is my first GR but I have lived with 10 labs (male and female) during my life. I am "rather old" too at 65!!

What everyone has said here is pretty correct. The labs can be very destructive, particularly left on their own. They hate being alone . Grit is much more laid back and cool about things than Glitter (female lab).

They speak English and French and, when their owner comes here, Thai. I teach commands with accompanying hand gestures which helps a lot depending on the situation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,265 Posts
Lol do not worry one bit about clinginess or loyalty!!! I just got up to pour myself more coffee, and Fuzzy followed me to lay on my feet for the 5 secs it takes to pour it. While he followed me, our other boy took his spot on the couch, so that he'd get to lay with his head on me as I watch the news. I can't go anywhere- not even for a shower!!- without a chaperone of two Goldens. Your dog WILL be clingy!!

I obviously prefer Goldens to labs, but not to long ago I was in the same boat as you (picking a breed) and I considered labs. The reason I didn't go with them were their coat, their overall look, and it seemed to me they stayed crazy and immature longer. Their coat, while shorter, seems to be oily in a way other dogs aren't as much- to me, labs have a very distinctive 'doggy' smell that has me washing my hands after I pet them. Makes sense though, as I read this oil helps the coat repel water. Either way, I dislike the smell! The golden coat requires some care, but the trade off is a dog who looks like he's always ready for a snuggle;). I also preferred the overall look of the golden as they're a bit finer built than labs (again, makes sense as I read that with labs being water dogs a higher body fat ratio helps increase their buoyancy). As for my assertion that labs stay crazy immature youngsters for longer, that's purely based on my own observations of Goldens and labs- I have heard that with labs the different colors are known for different personality traits. Maybe a lab person could weigh in on that; I can tell you that I've only known 3 chocolates and each one is very....different....from the yellows and blacks I've known! But again that's just my own observation. I'm obviously very biased towards Goldens now! How could this not be the ideal breed for everyone??? ;);)


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,319 Posts
My parents have had labs, and I have a Golden. I have found them to be very similar personality-wise. For me, it simply comes down to my own personal preference for fluffy dogs. :)

As for training and the language barrier, you might consider using hand signals along with verbal cues for each command. Rocket knows his commands, but still performs better with the hand signals. That would pretty much eliminate any language issues.
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top