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Golden Labrador Retriever

Nicole Cosgrove

labrador retriever in autumn

The Golden Labrador is a mix of the Golden Retriever and the Labrador Retriever. She is a large dog also known as a Golden Lab, Golden Labrador Retriever, Goldador and Goldador Retriever. She has an expected life span of 10 to 15 years and is a very enthusiastic, devoted and happy dog. She has a lot of energy and makes a great family dog and work dog in fields such as bomb detection, service dog, search and rescue, a guide dog and as a therapy dog.

Here is the Golden Labrador at a Glance
Average height 22 to 24 inches
Average weight 60 to 80 pounds
Coat type Double coat, topcoat is short, straight, thick, undercoat is dense and soft
Hypoallergenic? No
Grooming Needs Moderate
Shedding Moderate
Brushing Daily
Touchiness Low
Tolerant to Solitude? Very good
Barking Low
Tolerance to Heat Very good
Tolerance to Cold Excellent
Good Family Pet? Excellent
Good with Children? Very good to excellent
Good with other Dogs? Excellent
Good with other Pets? Excellent
A roamer or Wanderer? Moderate
A Good Apartment Dweller? Low
Good Pet for new Owner? Very good
Trainability Excellent will train quicker as needs less repetitions
Exercise Needs Fairly high
Tendency to get Fat Moderate
Major Health Concerns PRA , diabetes
Other Health Concerns Eye problems, elbow and hip dysplasia
Life Span 10 to 15 years
Average new Puppy Price $500 – $1800
Average Annual Medical Expense $485 – $600
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $500 – $650

Where does the Golden Labrador come from?

Mixed dogs like this are also referred to as hybrids or designer dogs. Designer dogs are a current trend grown more popular in the last two decades. The idea behind this crossing was to get a dog who was sensitive and gentle like the Golden Retriever and tolerant and sweet natured like the Labrador Retriever. For the most part this was successful with this mix, though other mixes are less successful. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly at the moment the Golden Lab is more popular as a working dog than as a companion, despite her suitability for both. Here is a look at the history of these tow pure breeds to see where the Golden Lab comes from.

The Labrador Retriever

This bred was designed to be a retriever of fish and lines for fishermen in Canada in the 1700s. He was also a companion and loyal dog when they went home together. He so impressed some visiting Englishmen that they brought him back with them in the early 1800s and he was used as for retrieving out hunting with nobility. By the late 19th century the dog has vanished from Canada due to breeding laws but thankfully in England he survived. He was recognized by the Kennel Club there in 1903 and in America in 1917.

This dog is popular both as a working dog and as a family dog. He has a very sweet nature, he is eager to please, loyal, friendly and outgoing. He is good with people, children and other pets. He has a lot exuberance and because of his working heritage he needs plenty of physical and mental stimulation and training. Without them he can become rambunctious.

The Golden Retriever

This is also a dog used in hunting but he was bred in Scotland to retrieve prey especially waterfowl. He was bred to have a great nose, to be attentive but also to be a great family dog, even tempered and loyal. They were recognized by the Kennel Club in England in 1911 and in America in 1932.

This is a very popular breed especially in the US where he ranks second. He loves people, being with them, playing with them, working with them. He has a sweet and calm personality but even so early socialization and training are still a great idea to get a well rounded dog. He is easy to train and eager to please.


The Golden Labrador is a happy, energetic, clever and affectionate dog. She loves people, is friendly and very loyal. She also loves to play and carry out tasks making her a great working dog. She likes to have guidance and is eager to please. Training her is easier than for many dogs. He is not a dog to be left alone out in the yard all the time. She needs to be inside with the family unit. She will be devoted to you and is alert enough to be a good watchdog though too friendly to be a guard dog.

What does a Golden Labrador look like

She is a large dog weighing 60 to 80 pounds and standing 22 to 24 inches tall. She usually has a square shaped head that is flat with a wide square muzzle. Her ears are floppy and hang down and her eyes are oval in shape and usually brown. She most often has a black nose and her coat is usually a double coat, short and thick on top and dense and soft underneath. Length is medium to long and colors range from gold, red, yellows, browns and black.

Training and Exercise Needs

How much exercise does she need?

She is pretty active and has fairly high needs when it comes to how much exercise and mental stimulation she needs each day. Ideally she needs a yard that is fenced in that she can play in. She needs a good brisk 30 minutes a day in terms of walking or jogging and then some play time too. She would love visits to the dog park, playing dog sports like flyball or agility, jogging with you and so on. She also loves swimming. Mental stimulation is equally important for her. Teach her tricks and include interactive toys for her to keep her mind busy. If she does not get enough of either she can become destructive out of boredom.

Is the Golden Labrador easy to train?

She is an intelligent dog who loves to please, loves mental challenges as well as physical and is devoted to her owner. This makes her one of the easier dogs to train and in fact she should learn faster than many dogs as she will not needs as many repetitions of each step. Just be sure to use positive methods not harsh. Praise her, reward her with play, outings, treats. Even though she is naturally a great dog already still start early socialization and training from the moment you get her. She will be happier and you will too.

Living with a Golden Labrador

How much grooming is needed?

She has moderate grooming needs and will need brushing each day to remove loose hairs and keep her coat looking healthy. She does shed so you will need to clean off your furniture now and then, and your clothes of course! Bathing is really just as needed though do give her a rinse off in fresh water after she goes swimming. Also make sure you dry her ears after a swim as she is prone to ear infections. Check those ears once a week and clean them by wiping.

She will need her teeth brushing once a day preferably but three times a week at a minimum. Toe nails also need clipping perhaps once maybe twice a month. Just take care as dog nails have nerves and blood vessels in them. You cannot cut too low.

What is she like with children and other animals?

She is very good with everybody, children, other pets, and other dogs. Socialization and training help with this of course but she is naturally a good natured dog usually. When she is young she can be a bit energetic and clumsy so may knock over young children by accident. So supervision would be a good idea. Also teach the children not to pull at ears or tails and how to treat a dog with respect.

General information

She will need to eat a high quality dry dog food as these are more nutritious and she should eat twice a day. Her daily amount should add up to 3 to 4 cups. She loves to eat so it is important to measure her meals and count her treats . She is good in most climates and makes a good watchdog but not a guard dog. She is an occasional barker.

Health Concerns

To avoid a dog with a lot of health issues buy from a breeder who can provide health clearances. Never buy from puppy mills, pet stores and disreputable breeders. All dogs have the potential of inheriting health conditions or being prone to health issues that the parent dogs have. In this case she could develop PRA , diabetes, eye problems, elbow and hip dysplasia

Costs involved in owning a Golden Labrador

There seems to be quite a range in prices for the Golden Labrador starting at $500 and going up to $1800. You should let the trustworthiness if the breeder and the health of the puppy be the guiding factor more than how much it costs. You will need to also spend about $230 on medical tests, collar and leash, a crate, spaying and a micro chip. Ongoing medical costs each year will be $485 to $600 to cover pet insurance, vet check ups, vaccinations and so on. Ongoing non-medical costs each year will be $500 to $650 covering things like food, a license, training, treats and toys.


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She is a great dog, being a combination of two great purebreds. She is good for first time owners as well as experienced owners too. As long as you can be active with her each day and provide mental challenges for her she will be devoted to you. Just remember she will insist on being in the middle of everything from now on!

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Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.