Difference Between Lab and Retriever

Many people prefer to pet certain breeds of dogs. Labrador and golden retriever are two breeds of dogs that are widely popular all over the world, but it is very important to know that these two are very different from one another, and it is completely upon the preference of a person that which one of these he chooses. 

Lab vs Retriever 

The main difference between lab and retriever is that the former refers to a Canadian breed of dogs popularly called Labrador retriever and contains short here all over its body, but on the contrary, the latter refers to a Scottish breed of dogs containing long hair and a high energy level. While these two look very identical from the first appearance, they still carry a lot of differences that shall be discussed in this article. 

Lab vs Retriever

The term lab stands for Labrador or Labrador retriever in exact form. It happens to be a breed of dogs that originated from Canada and now is found in the United Kingdom mainly. This breed happens to be very popular in Western countries, and the dogs of this breed are trained to become loyal playful, or hunters for the purpose of law enforcement agencies.  

But on the contrary, Retriever refers to the golden retriever breed of dogs that is basically a breed that originated from Scotland. It was mainly bred in the 19th century and now has become one popular breed that is very easy to train and very obedient to its masters. Looking at the adaptations, this breed happens to be more adaptive towards countries having suburban environments. 

Comparison Table Between Lab and Retriever 

Parameters of Comparison Lab  Retriever  
Meaning  It refers to a breed of dogs that basically originated from Canada and happens to carry shorthairs compared to the other breeds. it refers to a breed of dogs that basically originated in Scotland and happens to carry wavy and long hairs. 
Full name  the full name of this breed is Labrador retriever. the full name of this breed is a golden retriever
Origin  this is said to be originated in Canada. this is said to be originated in Scotland instead. 
Average height  the average height of this breed happens to be similar to the other breed but it is comparatively smaller. the average height of this breed happens to be comparatively larger than the previous one. 
Hair type  dogs of this breed happen to have short hair all over their body. dogs of this breed happened to have long and wavy hair all over their body. 
Grooming required  Weekly  Daily  
Color  Dogs of this breed happen to have colors like yellow, chocolate, black, etc. Dogs of this breed happened to have colors ranging from yellow to rust red. 

What is Lab? 

The term lab knew by other names such as Labrador or Labrador retriever popularly. The nickname for these two happens to be the lab that we are defining here. This breed is said to be originated from Canada and is mainly preferred by people all over the world. 

As per history, this breed is said to be originated in the year 1830 with the name St Jones water dogs. The dogs of this category were primarily trained to become hunters, and they used to aid law enforcement agencies to do their work efficiently. But with the changes in time, this breed became more of a domesticated breed and is largely found in normal households today. 

Looking at the physical appearances of this breed, the dogs of this breed come with relatively short hair all over their body. The shedding of hair usually occurs once or twice in the year, but in some cases, it might be a regular trait.  

Talking about the height and weight of this breed, it depends upon the breeding conditions as the dogs of this breed are raised for different purposes, and thereby, they vary from one another. 

What is Retriever? 

The term retriever refers to and another breed of dog that is widely popular all across the world. The complete name of this breed is a golden retriever, and it is said to be originated in Scotland. With a very heavy layer of long hairs all over the body, this breed happens to be one of those breeds that have been domesticated all across in the past few years. 

A very unique feature that helps a person in distinguishing this breed from other breeds is that a retriever is always of a yellow or blonde color, and no other color is found in this breed. This breed happens to be an ideal domesticable breed because it happens to be very friendly and delicate with people. 

Unlike other dogs, a retriever not only develops an acquaintance with the people living with it but also with strangers too, and this happens to be the most unique feature of this breed as it is rarely harmful to anyone. 

The ideal life cycle of this breed happens to range between 11 to 12 years, but there may be certain health complications with the dogs of this breed. A very popular complication is obesity because the dogs of this breed like to eat a lot; therefore, it is required that they should be made to work out regularly in order to avoid such problems. 

Main Differences Between Lab and Retriever 

  1. The term lab stands for a breed of dogs called Labrador retriever and is said to be originated from Canada. But on the other hand, the term retriever stands for a golden retriever and happens to be originated from Scotland. 
  2. The golden retriever or the retriever happens to be comparatively larger in size as compared to the Labrador. However, this difference happens to be a very negligible difference. 
  3. The Labrador has short hair all over its body while the retriever has long hair shop 
  4. The Labrador requires weekly grooming while the retriever requires daily grooming. 
  5. The Labrador comes in colors like yellow, chocolate, or black, but the retriever comes in colors like yellow or varieties of red. 


Humans are called social animals as they socialize with other humans and live their life, but it is not just the humans with whom we interact but the animals also. And talking about animals, a dog happens to be the best companion of a human among all the animals present. 

Labrador retriever or the golden retriever are two such breeds of dogs that are very popular no matter which country we are talking about. They both are very loved and well-respected animals in their category as they happen to be very obedient and loyal to their masters. But both of these are considerably different from one another, and it becomes very important to know the exact differences so that one could differentiate between these two. 


  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1740-8261.1994.tb00191.x 
  2. https://sfamjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1365-2672.2002.01724.x  
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