Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I found a website that compares the Golden Retriever breed to the Labrador Retriever breed. For the most part, at this point I agree as a general rule, however there are always going to be individual dogs that don't like to follow the rules /grin/

1. They have slightly different bone structure making a Golden have a heavier weight than a lab but a shorter height

2. Labs have a double water resistant coat whereas Goldens have longer thicker hair that tends to be less water resistant

3. Labs tend to have more energetic personalities, along with a more athletic build leading to a higher percentage of muscle tissue, also contributing to a higher energy level.

4. Labs tend to be more active whereas a Golden tends to be more relaxed (again, always exceptions)

(I'm adding on)

5. I find Goldens are more fond of carrying things whereas a Lab wants to retrieve

6. Goldens seem to be more "clingy" than the average lab (again Definitely exceptions)

Here's the link where I found the comparisons

If you know of any other comparisons, please share. Again, not every dog of each breed will fit these.

In another area of interest, the upcoming swap has most people's interest peaked. I'm not joining in on the poll as to who you think I will get as you don't know the pups or their personalities (beyond what we've shared) and that's what the swap is based on. Joy has evaluated the dogs and the raisers and is placing the dogs accordingly to give the pups the best chance to succeed.

I know that many times when the pups go back to for formal training we feel like they're Really ready for it, we've done all we can with the pup and what they need is now beyond us. Right?

This isn't the case with the swap. With Eclipse I feel like I'm just getting to a point where we're beginning to work well together, where I can really read him and his moods/stress levels and such. Where you expect to be with a six month old. That's the thing though, I've done all I can with a six month old? Not likely!

This isn't a complaint, simply a way to show those of you raising for other organizations what I, personally, am feeling.

At the same time, however, I feel that many of Eclipse's issues that would potentially career change him with another organization will be able to be taken care of with another raiser. A change of scenery, handling style, personality type, etc may be all Eclipse needs to find his confidence, lose the stress in public and become an amazing service dog.

It truely is bittersweet. It's so much easier to send "your" dog off to formal training, get a report every week, every month or every couple months than hand "your" dog over to another raiser and see them every two weeks. It will be an absolutely amazing chance to grow, learn and become a better handler, but at the same time, it hurts!

I love Eclipse as all of you know. He's an amazing pup, despite his flaws, and I'm afraid that someone else may not be as sensitive to his personality and fears and end up pushing him too much. Yes, it happens, I've seen it. Not by anyone in our class necessarily but as with everyone, no one knows "your" dog greater than you, right? /wink/

I'm excited to see who graces my life next, although I'm heartbroken to say goodbye to Eclipse. I'll miss his happy dance, his snorts, his froo-froo ears, his laid-back personality and even his excitability (sounds kind of oxymoronish but it's true).

That's all I'm saying about that. I trust the process and look forward to it but needed to express my feelings on it!

Ally & Eclipse


  1. I'm not sure I agree with most of those comparisons, especially the one about the weight and height. I have noticed that Goldens tend to be lighter than Labs even if they are the same height.
    I don't know much about the coat, though the Goldens I have known have just as waterproof of a coat as Labs, but it just looks like they are wetter. Whenever I have looked at a wet Golden's coat, the skin area is completely dry, but because they have longer hair, it does take more to get them dry.
    I think that with the energy thing you really can't go by breed on that, you would have to go on whether the dog is bred for field, show or pet. I don't have much experience with the field breed of the Labrador, except for the neighbor's field dog who certainly has more energy than any Golden I have ever known. But the dogs bred for show and pet tend to have a much calmer nature.
    I really agree that Goldens carry more things around more than Labs do, but Barrett actually learned how to do that. I was taking care of someone's Golden when I had Barrett. And, like a true Golden, whenever he (Hunter) got excited he would pick up a toy and carry it. Barrett must have seen him--about a month after the Golden left, Barrett started doing that! To the best of my knowledge, he still does.
    I don't know about the clingy, I think that they are better at showing their affection than Labs, but I don't know for sure.
    One comparison I have noticed is that Goldens are more eager to please, whereas a lot of the Labs are doing a lot of it for food. That's not totally true, Barrett was definitely thinking about what I wanted and he really wanted to do the right thing, but I feel that I had to train that into him. I think it comes more naturally to Goldens.
    That's just my two cents, I hope it's helpful:)
    You also might notice that my favorite breed is the Golden:)

  2. I totally understand how difficult it must be for you to let go of Eclipse. I know I would feel the same way. It makes me think of what Corrie ten Boom relates in her book The Hiding Place--you don't need the train ticket until it's time to get on the train. In other words, when the time comes (although it's so soon) and Eclipse is being cared for by another raiser, you will have the grace and the ability to accept it. When my daughters were in kindergarten, I thought, how am I going to deal with them being in junior high and high school? Now, they're in junior high and high school, and it's just fine. I hope it will be the same way for you when the swap comes. Plus, of course, you'll have your hands busy with a new sweetie who, hopefully, you'll soon think of as "yours."