Golden Labrador – Are Golden Labs Really Exist?

Golden Labrador

You may have seen many Black, Chocolate, and Yellow Labradors but not the one we are going to discuss today and that is the Golden Labrador Retriever. As we know that there is another famous dog breed that exists with a somehow similar name and characteristics called Golden Retriever.

There are only three registered Labrador colors, Black, Chocolate, and Yellow. But there also exist other variations like silver, fox-red and white. So slightly different shade of yellow can give rise to Golden color, hence called Golden Labrador.

Golden Retriever is another breed of dog. They share many similar characteristics like both are energetic, friendly, and family dogs. Labrador Retriever is the most popular dog breed in the USA. German Shepherd at the second number and Golden Retriever at the third number.


What is a Golden Labrador?

Labrador Retriever a friendly, active, and outgoing dog is at the top list in the United States. This dog is within the “Sporting Group”. Their lifespan is 9-12 years, height is 21.5-24.5 inches and weight is 55-80 pounds.

Golden Labs are just like other Labrador Retrievers with the only different colors. The golden color is a darker shade of Yellow.

Although gold color is rare in Labradors, but they can be produced, if yellow labs are selectively bred.

Labrador Retriever

The yellow color comes in different shades varying from creamy white to dark red. In between is a gold color. So, a labrador with a deeper yellow color is referred to as the Golden Lab. But this term is not widely used, breeders like to say them as “old yellow labs”.

What is a Golden Retriever?

Golden Retriever is a famous breed of dogs. They have a history started from Britain in 1800s. It is believed that Golden Retrievers have the same ancestors as those of Labrador Retrievers called St. John’s Dogs.

Golden Retriever

All the golden retrievers are yellow or golden in color, So, we can not make the color choice. They have a double hair coat and their lower coat is water-resistant.

As indicated by their name, these dogs were also used to find and retrieve the hunted bird and other objects. They are highly trainable and have soft mouths.

Their average lifespan is 11-12 years, and they are susceptible to many diseases. Due to their heavy size, hip dysplasia is common in this them and they may also have genetic disorders like bad temperament.

Difference between Labrador and Golden Retriever

Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever are two different dog breeds. Labradors have shorter hairs as compare to Golden Retrievers. The second major difference is color, Labs have three registered colors and their different shades while Golden Retrievers have the gold color.

Golden Retriever

Apart from some differences they are same like both are friendly and family dogs. Both are energetic and highly trainable.

Read More: Difference between Labrador and Golden Retriever

Don’t confuse Golden Labrador with Golden Retriever

Due to much similarity, these two breeds are often confused with one each other. Although both share the same ancestors called St. John’s Dogs but these are categorized as two different breeds.

Is Gold a Registered Labrador Color?

If you want to buy a golden lab, then you don’t need to worry because the gold color is registered by the AKC under the yellow color. These are not registered under gold color because this color is not separately recognized. So, your lab will officially be known as “yellow Labrador”.

But the condition for registration is the dog must not have a dilution gene and should have all the standard characteristics of Labradors.

What is the Reason Behind Gold Color in Labs

The pure yellow color in labs is rare because it is the result of two recessive genes and the gold color is rare than the yellow because it is the dark variation of yellow.

The gold color in Labradors may be due two reasons:

  1. Cross between Yellow Labrador and Golden Retriever
  2. Genetically deeper yellow color in purebred Labs

Cross between Golden Retriever and Yellow Labs can produce Golden Labradors but the problem is that they are not considered as purebred and not registered by kennel clubs.

The dogs produce as the result of the cross will have characteristics of both breeds, the mean color of Golden Retrievers, and some qualities of Labrador Retriever.

Genetically deeper yellow color i.e gold color can also exist in Labradors due to two recessive genes which produce the yellow color. The yellow color is the result of two recessive genes (ee).

  • EEBB, EEBb, EeBB, EeBb : Black
  • eeBB, eeBb, eebb : Yellow (Can vary from light yellow to Gold)
  • EEbb, Eebb  : Chocolate

Although crossbreeding between two recognized breeds in not allowed but it was being performed when these breeds were not registered by the kennel clubs.

Pure golden labs are hard to identify from those which are produced as the result of crossbreeding but they can be recognized by checking pedigree record and breeders popularity.

Characteristics of Golden Labrador

Although all colors of Labradors have the same characteristics because they share the same ancestors. But Golden Labs have some characteristics different from other colors.

  • Their Body is muscular and strong.
  • The coat is short and dense.
  • Shorter hairs as compare to Golden Retriever.
  • Relatively Larger size.

These characteristics may be found in other colors.

Golden Lab Puppies

Deeper yellow Labrador puppies are often called “Golden Lab puppies”. The cost of golden lab puppies is higher than the normally found colors like black and chocolate.

Golden Labrador Puppy

The Gold color may be the result of cross-breeding, or genetics can involve it. Carefully choose the breeder if you want to buy a Golden Lab puppy because he may not be pure.

Your first priority should be to check the health of the puppy, a healthy puppy will live longer and his temperament will be normal.

Always check the pedigree of the dog before buying it, remember that golden labs are registered under yellow color. Also, check the health record of the puppy.

If you want to buy a golden puppy for breeding or competitions, then you should always choose it with great care, in this case only purebred is recommended.

But if you just love the golden labs, then don’t care about their registration or any other problem, they look beautiful and attractive.

Golden Labs should be as healthy as other registered colors are and should bear all the marking points.


Golden color Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever are two different dog breeds, Don’t confuse them with one each other.

Labradors have short hairs and more muscular body while golden retrievers have long hairs and only found in gold color.

If you love the breed characteristics, then you can choose any of your favorite breeds. There is no variety of colors available in the case of Golden Retrievers.

Labrador Retriever is at the top list and Golden Retrievers are placed at the third number among popular dog breeds in the USA.

Choice of dog breed and color is your personal preference. If you only want a breed with gold color, then you can choose either Golden Labrador or Golden Retriever.

If you have any confusion or question, please write us below in the comments.


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