Dogs Similar to Golden Retrievers: 5 Breeds to Consider

Golden Retrievers are known for their friendly and gentle temperament, making them a popular choice for families and dog lovers. While their popularity is undeniable, there are several other breeds that share similar characteristics with Golden Retrievers.

In this blog post, we will explore some of these breeds and discuss their unique traits, helping you find the perfect companion that matches your preferences.

1. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are often considered the closest relative to Golden Retrievers in terms of temperament, appearance, and intelligence. They are highly adaptable and excel in various roles such as therapy dogs or search-and-rescue work.

  • Size: Medium to large
  • Coat: Short, dense, and water-resistant
  • Temperament: Friendly, outgoing, intelligent
  • Life Expectancy: 10-12 years

2. Flat-Coated Retriever

Flat-Coated Retrievers share many physical similarities with their Golden counterparts but have a distinctive sleek and shiny coat. They’re known for their playful nature and boundless energy.

  • Size: Medium to large
  • Coat: Dense, medium-length, water-repellent
  • Temperament: Playful, energetic, loyal
  • Life Expectancy: 10-12 years

3. Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers were bred for waterfowl hunting in the harsh conditions of the Chesapeake Bay. They possess a strong work ethic and require regular exercise to stay happy and healthy.

  • Size: Medium to large
  • Coat: Dense, wavy outer coat with a wooly undercoat
  • Temperament: Affectionate, intelligent, strong-willed
  • Life Expectancy: 10-13 years

4. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, or “Tollers,” were bred to lure and retrieve waterfowl. They are known for their high energy levels, intelligence, and agility.

  • Size: Medium
  • Coat: Dense, medium-length, water-repellent
  • Temperament: Alert, intelligent, energetic
  • Life Expectancy: 12-14 years

5. Irish Setter

Irish Setters are known for their striking red coat and elegant appearance. They are friendly and outgoing dogs that make excellent companions for active families.

  • Size: Large
  • Coat: Silky, long, feathered
  • Temperament: Playful, affectionate, energetic
  • Life Expectancy: 12-14 years

Comparing Temperaments of Similar Breeds

When considering a breed similar to Golden Retrievers, it’s essential to compare their temperaments. Here is a quick comparison of the breeds mentioned above:

BreedFriendlinessEnergy LevelTrainability
Labrador RetrieverHighHighHigh
Flat-Coated RetrieverHighHighHigh
Chesapeake Bay RetrieverModerateHighModerate
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling RetrieverHighVery highHigh
Irish SetterHighVery highModerate

Exercise Requirements

All of these breeds require regular exercise to maintain their physical and mental well-being. Here’s a brief overview of each breed’s exercise requirements:

  1. Labrador Retriever: At least one hour of daily exercise.
  2. Flat-Coated Retriever: One to two hours of daily activity.
  3. Chesapeake Bay Retriever: Around one hour of daily exercise.
  4. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever: At least 90 minutes of daily activity.
  5. Irish Setter: One to two hours of daily exercise.

Read more: Can Golden Retrievers Eat Corn?

Grooming Needs

Proper grooming is essential to keep your dog’s coat healthy and clean. Here are the grooming needs for each breed:

  • Labrador Retriever: Regular brushing, occasional bathing
  • Flat-Coated Retriever: Weekly brushing, occasional trimming
  • Chesapeake Bay Retriever: Weekly brushing, minimal trimming
  • Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever: Regular brushing, occasional trimming
  • Irish Setter: Regular brushing, regular trimming

Read more: Can Golden Retrievers Live in Hot Climates?


While Golden Retrievers are undoubtedly popular and beloved dogs, several other breeds share similar traits that make them great companions. By exploring these options and considering each breed’s unique characteristics, you can find the perfect match for your lifestyle and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a playful companion like the Flat-Coated Retriever or a hardworking partner like the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, there’s a breed out there that will capture your heart just as much as a Golden Retriever does.

Related Reading

roger stanley site owner and primary author
Meet The Author Roger Stanley

Co-owner of 15 years of experience living life with Golden Retrievers and 15 years of experience spending way too much money on them – I believe life’s not worth living without a Golden involved!

We want to remind our readers that the articles or content found on do not constitute nor replace professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The information provided on our website is purely educational and informational, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a licensed veterinarian.