The playful yet polite Labrador cross golden retriever

When you cross a Labrador with a golden retriever, you get the best of both breeds. Labradors are sociable and playful, while golden retrievers are generally quite ‘polite’ when meeting adults and children as well as other dogs.

Both Labradors and golden retrievers are members of the gundog group. This group was originally bred to retrieve, so they like to pick up and carry objects. Physically, Labradors tend to have a shorter coat whilst the golden retriever is bigger in stature. Being water dogs, both breeds are strong swimmers. Their dense coat is hardy and their broad chests powerful.

Both breeds are confident and tenacious, which serves them well as they learn to be responsive to a human handler. The Labrador cross golden retriever tends to be steady on the lead, has a strong sense of smell, and an incredible visual memory.

Why do they make great assistance dogs?

The result of cross-breeding a Labrador with a golden retriever is a dog that is willing to retrieve and do task work for its owner yet, at the same time, has a loving nature. Calmer than a pure Labrador but more confident than a typical golden retriever.

Because Labrador cross golden retrievers are even-tempered and enjoy work, it makes them a fantastic companion — for anyone, but especially our clients who must have a reliable canine partner to help them day to day.

In training, these dogs willingly do anything for a treat, which makes them all the more easy to motivate. Although the golden retriever can be motivated by different things to its distant cousin, the Labrador.

Since these dogs are also incredibly loyal, their owners get every benefit of having this mix of breeds support them and stay with them. They get a good working life from a Labrador cross golden retriever and a good retirement from them too.

Training Labrador cross golden retrievers

Training Labrador cross golden retrievers is interesting but in some ways challenging. That’s because, separately, a pure Labrador and a pure golden retriever will train quite differently.

Trainer Leanne sat with Labrador cross golden retriever HarryTrainer Leanne says: “You never know what you are going to get because it all depends on whether they are more like a Labrador or more like a golden retriever. Golden retrievers tend to be a bit more sensitive and cuddly whereas the Labrador tends to be more motivated and keen to learn. If you get the right mix then you get a cuddly dog that loves you as much as it loves working, if not you end up with a highly intelligent dog that will out smart you to get food.”

“As a trainer its great if you get a cheeky clever one. You always have to be one step ahead of them as you can very easily teach them bad habits, but equally its nice if you get a cuddly one. If you want a fun, playful dog with a cheeky personality and love training then this breed may be for you.”

Click if you want to discover how we train our assistance dogs, including Labradors cross golden retrievers.

Getting the best out of Labrador cross golden retrievers

  • Labrador cross golden retrievers need a lot of exercise, otherwise, they get restless
  • Don’t underestimate their intelligence – just because they don’t always want to do what you’re asking them to do, doesn’t mean they don’t understand you
  • They generally have the food drive and motivation of a Labrador, so are fun dogs to train
  • You can very quickly teach them tricks and behaviours, just as quickly as you can teach them bad habits, so be careful what you are rewarding
  • Introduce them to water because they love to splash about!
  • They should be brushed two or three times a week and properly groomed in moulting season

See how Labrador cross golden retrievers compare to other breeds we work with.