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The Differences Between a Silver Retriever and Golden Retriever

In the past few years, silver retrievers have become a huge trend. However, you may notice that it’s hard to find silver retriever’s that are up for adoption. This is because, well, silver retrievers aren’t really a thing. Instead, a silver retriever is actually a Labrador Retriever with a light-gray coat.

In fact, The Labrador Club states that silver retrievers are not even purebred labradors, as it is impossible to get that coat color from a purebred labrador. But as you know, these dogs, purebred or not, obviously exist. So today, we’ll discuss the differences between a silver retriever and golden retriever!

Which Breed Is Better?

If you’re comparing two breeds, it’s up to you to decide which is better. Each breed is unique and has different qualities. Because of this, it’s important to find a breed that matches your own personality. So, let’s discuss the differences between the two retrievers.

Important related posts:

  1. Golden Retriever breed info
  2. Golden Retriever Health: Your Complete Guide!
  3. Golden Retriever Nutrition: The 5 Best Dog Food Brands For Retrievers!
  4. Raising a Golden Retriever: A Complete Guide!
  5. Feeding Schedule For a Golden Retriever Puppy


diferences between a silver retriever and a golden retriever

Silver Retriever vs. Golden Retriever Appearance

Both Golden Retrievers and silver have the following appearance traits in common:

  • They range from 22 – 24 inches tall
  • Have folded, floppy ears
  • Have long tails
  • Generally have a happy or excited look on their face

Even with these similarities, the two breeds each have unique characteristics. Golden retrievers have:

  • A longer snout
  • Flat or wavy coats
  • A water repellent coat
  • The characteristic golden retriever “Smile”

Meanwhile, silver retrievers will:

  • Show a more muscular-looking build
  • Have a broader head with distinct eyebrows
  • Have a non-tapered, medium size muzzle

The Natures of the Two Retrievers

In addition to having distinct appearances, the biggest difference between a silver retriever and a golden retriever is in their personality. Remember, these are two completely different breeds, despite both being retrievers. Because of this, you’ll find raising a golden retriever and a silver retriever to be very different jobs.

Golden Retriever’s Nature

Golden Retrievers have generally lower to medium energy levels as compared to other breeds of the species. Therefore, they are not too much for a household to handle. Although walks and exercise are necessary on a daily basis for the dogs, goldens will love naps in between workouts.

In addition, golden retrievers are very intelligent. They are quick to learn new concepts, including the difference between right or wrong, or even new tricks. In fact, golden retrievers are one of the top choices for dog competitions because of their intelligence and athletic ability.

Goldens are also extremely friendly and get along with other dogs and cats, too! However, golden retrievers are not guard dogs. While they are loyal and protective of their owners, they are simply too friendly to be kept as a guard dog. For a better look at golden retrievers, we’ve dedicated an entire article to Golden Retriever breed info!

Silver Golden Retriever’s Nature

Unlike Golden Retrievers, Silver Retrievers are known for their high energy levels. They are always willing to play around and show their enthusiasm in various ways. This breed will need a constant source of entertainment, and do not like being alone.

While silver retrievers are also intelligent, they are generally harder to train than goldens. This is due to their higher energy levels, which can cause them to lose focus. You will have to repeat yourself often while training a silver retriever.

While this breed does make a good family pet, they are not for everyone. As mentioned earlier, silver Labrador retrievers have much higher energy levels. Because of this, you will need to keep an eye on them more often than other breeds. Without attention or something to do, this dog is more likely to get into mischief.

differences between a silver retriever and a golden retriever

Silver vs. Golden Retriever Maintenance

Another big factor when deciding which breed to get comes down to maintenance level. Generally, silver retrievers will have higher needs than golden retrievers, especially when it comes to exercise. Golden retrievers need exercise to remain happy and healthy, but silver retrievers require exercise just to stay sane! Silver retrievers are also less-able to be left alone for long periods of time, as a bored silver retriever will likely get into trouble.

Depending on your lifestyle, you may not be able to provide the level of maintenance needed to keep a silver retriever happy. It is important to thoroughly think through which breed is best for you. This is especially true when you consider both breeds have a lifespan of 10+ years. Because of this, you’ll need to consider where your life is now and where it will be a decade from now.

Should You Get a Silver or Golden Retriever?

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that these are two completely different breeds of dogs. In fact, a “Silver golden retriever” is actually just a Labrador Retriever, and won’t have the same personality as a golden. While today we talked about the biggest differences between the two, this list is not everything. It is important to research each breed thoroughly to understand which dog is best for you.

Is there anything that we didn’t cover? Do you still have a question about the two dogs? Please comment below or contact us directly and we’ll be happy to answer your questions!


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