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Old 05-01-2008, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Where the sun always shines..
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We can't decide between a lab or a golden retriever. My husband wants a golden- but I have my reasons. Okay, one reason: the part of their skull that has that big bump on it really grosses me out. I love dogs, love petting thier head when they get treats and that just bothers me. We have a 2yo and 2 cats, are beach goers for sure, so the fact that they both love the water is a plus. We aren't getting one just yet, but looking to decide! Is one easier to train that the other, any other pro's or cons? Thanks! BTW, we havent decided if we want a puppy or grown, but find that grown ones that are healthy are hard to find..
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Old 05-01-2008, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oobie119 View Post
We can't decide between a lab or a golden retriever. My husband wants a golden- but I have my reasons. Okay, one reason: the part of their skull that has that big bump on it really grosses me out. I love dogs, love petting thier head when they get treats and that just bothers me. We have a 2yo and 2 cats, are beach goers for sure, so the fact that they both love the water is a plus. We aren't getting one just yet, but looking to decide! Is one easier to train that the other, any other pro's or cons? Thanks! BTW, we havent decided if we want a puppy or grown, but find that grown ones that are healthy are hard to find..
umm, I've never heard about this bumpy head thing

to me, the biggest con w/ goldens is that they need to be groomed more often than labs (though I think labs shed more, not sure). I recall hearing a reason why places like Canine Companions tend to use more labs then goldens as guide dogs, but can't quite remember it.
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Old 05-01-2008, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Alaska
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My wife also thinks the bump is abnormal. But, if you want some fun and excitement in your life, nothing beats a golden. Who else greets you with so much love and excitement when you come home from work? Or just out of the bathroom? Who else greets my son every morning with enthusiasm because he woke up? Who else grabs a ball, sock or something else in her mouth and crys when she greets you? Who else has a deadly weapon because she wags her tail so hard?

Granted a lab will do some of these things, but not with the enthusiasm of a golden, who also brightens up the household. you will have to watch out for you 2yo with a golden because of this, but you'll have to do the same with a lab, just not as much. I'd also suggest a pup so they can grow up together.
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Old 05-01-2008, 01:52 PM
 
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We have a Choc lab/golden retriever mix-you can try and find one and solve your dilema . She's black and looks like a pure lab though, but my husband thinks she has a golden's head (just a little bump at the top).

My aunt and uncle had one of each at separate times-first a golden then a lab. Tempermant-wise they were very similar. Both sweet dogs, VERY smart, easy to train, and eager to please. I don't know how it is with the goldens, but from what trainers tell us about our dog, it's the lab in her that requires A LOT of excercise and attention. We have a two year old daughter and the dog is just as bad as she is with wanting our attention. Ours was a puppy when we got her a year ago, and although a lot of work with raising a toddler at the same time, our daughter absolutely LOVES this dog and I'm glad that we decided to get her at this time. My daughter has definately learned how to take a hit though. LOL. She's been knocked down a couple of times by the dog, but it is amazing how the dog has learned to listen to her give commands and lets her lead her by the collar. The dog has learned to obey the 2 year old-amazes me.

I don't think I was much help with deciding which to pick-I think either would be a great family dog. I do like that our dog's lab appearance is more intimidating to people than a golden's would have been. I will reiterate that the puppy was A LOT of work and required a lot of patience while dealing with a toddler at the same time. Now that the dog is a year older, a lot of patience is still required.

And the SUPER plus side of having the dog at the growing puppy age WITH a 2 year old child...it has been super easy getting our daughter to put her toys away. LOL. When we tell her if she leaves her stuff out Shelby will eat it, she picks it right up and puts it away. It's fantastic!!
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Old 05-01-2008, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Tucson, AZ
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Not all goldens have the bump on the head, but I've met a few that have. I've had goldens in the past, and my parents used to foster for GRREAT, a golden retriever rescue. They are great dogs, very loyal and easy to train.

I now have a 9 month old yellow lab, and well... he's smart, as most labs are. But he's also goofy, as most labs are. They are trainable, but they are a little more difficult to train than goldens (this is based soley on my own personal experience and opinion).

Also, with labs, you have a choice between the beefier English style - bulkier and a little more laid back, the kind you see in the breed ring - or the American style - leaner, very high energy and used a lot for hunting and field work. Ours is an American style and he is all energy and all puppy.

They're all great dogs, but they each have their own traits. Good luck and keep us posted on your decision.
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Old 05-01-2008, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
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I have owned a pure bred golden retreiver, and never noticed any head "bumps." I have also own several lab mixes, including my current two dogs (one is an Alaskan Husky/Golden Lab mixed female, the other is a Mastiff/Golden Lab mixed male. I honestly can't say any one dog was better than another. They were both intelligent and learn quickly. They all have had a good sense of humor. They all have been very happy when I return home from work.

I gravitate towards labs and retrievers because I do a lot of duck, goose, grouse, and ptarmigan hunting, and these breeds seem best adapted and easiest to train. My golden retriever was better at flushing out and fetching downed birds on land, while my labs seem to be better (or should I say "more eager") at fetching downed birds in the water. Retrievers do need to be brushed regularly because of their longer coats, but otherwise I would say whatever your choice ends up being I think you will be very happy.
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Old 05-01-2008, 06:04 PM
 
4,948 posts, read 16,520,958 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oobie119 View Post
We can't decide between a lab or a golden retriever. My husband wants a golden- but I have my reasons. Okay, one reason: the part of their skull that has that big bump on it really grosses me out. I love dogs, love petting thier head when they get treats and that just bothers me. We have a 2yo and 2 cats, are beach goers for sure, so the fact that they both love the water is a plus. We aren't getting one just yet, but looking to decide! Is one easier to train that the other, any other pro's or cons? Thanks! BTW, we havent decided if we want a puppy or grown, but find that grown ones that are healthy are hard to find..
I would just check out breeders of both-with an open mind-sometimes it is
not the breed but the puppy-and breeder quality that helps you to decide.

Keep an open mind-and check out good breeders-the dog for you-you just do know!sometimes and older dog may be a better fit-check out the breed club of both-goldens are nice-and labs! a tie!sometimes you get a great older dog that just did not wish to be a show dog! Like is this child easier to train? or a girl or boy? you also could check out the breed rescue for a great pet.
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Old 05-01-2008, 06:10 PM
 
Location: Moon Over Palmettos
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I currently have a 2 yo golden mix, probably chow, and we love him to pieces. We also had a yellow lab who we had at 14 weeks but had to adopt out at 2 due to an interstate move. This is purely my experience.

Our yellow lab was stubborn and hard to train. I remember many freezing spring mornings up north where I brought him out to do his thing in the corner of the yard. He would go, but he would never go to the same place. Much later, he would go closer and closer to our concrete porch because he's lazy. We put him in a 7 week (twice a week) obedience training, but the trainer gave up on him and could not understand his willfullness. He has a lot of energy and tore up our yard from the running around. Despite all the chew toys and chew deterrent we sprayed, he ate our cabinets and baseboards. He would fetch what we threw but refused to let go when he retrieves. He was very playful, perhaps too active for our family, and too big and strong for our kids then. He tends to bolt and has done so several times and refuse to heed our calls to come back. He was high maintenance for us. But he was gentle...never nipped as we cleaned out his ear deep due to a middle ear infection.

Our golden mix right now is a more mellow, and in our opinion, a much smarter dog. He already knows a lot of tricks already, waits for me to come in through the door, and recognizes the sound of the engine of my car pulling into the garage. He knows how far his lead will take him when he's in the yard so when we throw his kong for him to chase, he knows at which point he can't go anymore. We never had to put a gate to stop him from going upstairs. He stops at the landing as if knowing he needs permission to be called upstairs. He loves attention and will nudge my arm off the keyboard when he wants to be pet. He goes to the bathroom at a regular basis, goes in his crate on his own without being led there when it is his bedtime...like at 10 pm. He is just a really mellow mellow boy and we adore him as much as he does us. Maybe it's something about us adopting him, whereas with the lab, we bought him from a breeder. Both dogs shed, but we have never had huge dust bunny like balls with the lab and we do now with the golden. Besides the little bit of brushing, I don't feel that he needs a lot of grooming. His hair is shorter than a pure bred so maybe that's why.

All in all, I prefer the disposition of the golden. Our neighbor across the street has one and he is just as wonderful.

I hope this helps!
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Old 05-01-2008, 06:49 PM
 
Location: Ladysmith,Wisconsin
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You do not like the smart bump? then get a stupid one lol. Me with my hounds the bigger the bump the better I feel as they are smarter. Just like bird dogs with the light colored mouth versus dark colored say light colored is softer mouthed and better for upland birds.
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Old 05-01-2008, 07:07 PM
 
Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
1,479 posts, read 7,034,238 times
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Whether you decide on a Golden or a Lab, I would encourage you to seek out a rescue dog rather than purchase a puppy. Each year thousands and thousands of wonderful dogs are surrendered to shelters and euthanized for want of a home. Rescue dogs are fully vetted, temperament tested, spayed/neutered and most are already housebroken. Any health issues will probably be known. What you see is what you will get.

Each breed is prone to a number of hereditary issues, some quite serious. If you absolutely must have a puppy, please use the national breed clubs (below) as an aid to finding a good breeder so that you can be assured the best, healthiest possible puppy. Both breed clubs have national rescue groups that can help you find a rescue dog.

Good luck!


The AKC Parent Club of the Labrador Retriever
The Golden Retriever Club of America
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