Dogs That Look Like a Golden Retriever: All 12 Similar Breeds

We might have not realized it yet, but dogs like the Golden Retriever are really about people. History tells us about a handful of breeds that worked hand in hand with their owners either in farming or hunting. 

The Golden Retriever, in particular, would be set loose to retrieve the prized birds that fall both in water or land. The hunting area used to have several ponds and wetlands, so having a four-legged companion to swiftly gather the fowls seemed convenient for their masters.

With the dog’s intelligence, subservience, compatibility with kids, as well as unmatched gregariousness, the Golden Retriever is often found to be one of the most perfect pets to have. 

If by any chance, the breed doesn’t suit your lifestyle, there are 12 other dog breeds that have a bit of resemblance to it. 

1. Irish Setter

The Irish Setter is first on the list as he was used to further develop the Golden Retriever breed during the 1800s. Their connected lineage explains their close similarity, especially pointing out both of their friendly images.

It isn’t just the kind appearance that’s worth noting for when it comes to the Irish Setter, but as well as the similar build and the long wavy coat described to be luxurious as it feathers around the chest, legs, ears, tail, and belly. 

This gun dog has a sweet nature, making him compatible around kids, easy to train— a good sign for first-time owners, and is extremely compliant when it comes to drills and other important lessons.

To be able to tell him apart from the Golden Retriever, simply know that the Irish Setter is usually much darker and thinner in coat quality with a pair of long ears that are set low on the head. There are featherings present in various body parts but they aren’t that prominent compared to the Golden Retriever.

2. Labrador Retriever 

Ranked as the most popular dog throughout the United States as stated by the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Labrador Retriever is another dog breed that shares similar hallmarks as the Golden Retriever. He also served as a retriever gun dog in the past.

What’s remarkable is his thoughtful eyes, kind face, and the same build as the Golden Retriever. It is certainly easy to know this dog’s expressions as he exhibits them well enough for his owner to decipher.

Many would think both dogs are cousins due to their close resemblance, but there are major differences you would notice aside from their coats. For example, the Golden Retriever has a long snout and coat colors that only come in dark golden, light golden, golden, and cream while the Labrador Retriever has a wide snout and coat colors that are available in black, chocolate, and yellow.  

3. Kuvasz

Another breed that is usually mistaken as a light Golden Retriever would be no other than the Kuvasz dog. This flock guardian from Tibet has certain characteristics which include a thick, luxurious coat.

This may feather around the legs and make the tail look plumed. His eyes are dark but non-threatening and he bears the same approachable aura as the Golden Retriever. No doubt, this dog is intelligent and can sometimes show extreme independence.

His temperament is deemed challenging making him unfit for inexperienced owners. His coat comes only in white but if he sits beside a cream Golden Retriever, one would need to have a keen eye to see their differences.

4. Great Pyrenees

Another fluff  dog that is as gracious-looking as the Golden Retriever is the Great Pyrenees which was originally bred to guard the flocks in the cold mountains of Pyrenees.

He may be another replica of the friendly Golden, but this is a dog you can never mess with. Being a guardian dog, he naturally exudes a serious, non-complacent demeanor to ensure everyone’s safety.

Like the Golden, the Great Pyrenees is well-built, proportionate in all features, muscular, and abled. He has a strong connection with his family, typically calm and loving around them without losing his dignified nature.

5. English Springer Spaniel

What makes the English Springer Spaniel qualify a spot on the list are his gentle eyes that express well enough his love and trust toward his family. This breed is also highly intelligent, hardworking, and with great manners.

With his record as a popular gun dog in the past, owners are assured he’s easy to train, unlike other dog breeds. What obviously sets him apart from the Golden is no other than the coat color which ranges from tri-color, black and white, and lemon and white to name a few. 

Bringing home a puppy of this breed is great to keep your kids entertained. He thrives well in practically any type of environment no matter if you have other pets at home. 

6. Curly-Coated Retriever

Another type of Retriever is the curly-coated which is prominently known for its, well, curly coat. With its quality, one might think he’d be hard to maintain, but surprisingly, his coat is water-resistant making him capable of withstanding cold water and not getting easily penetrated by dirt.

True to most retriever-type dogs, this one is clever, active, brave, and persistent. He needs regular exercise and other activities that will keep him engaged with his owner so he’d become the best companion you’ll ever have. 

Despite his independent nature, the Curly Coat tends to show eagerness to please his family. 

7. Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Next on the list is the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, a robust and powerful dog. Nicknamed as Chessie, this breed boasts of its water-resistant coat that is usually brown or sedge and yellowish or amber eyes that generate a soulful look just like the Golden Retriever.

Training him to do little tricks or other drills is easy as he scores high when it comes to his eager-to-please attitude. Just like the rest of his retriever family, the Chessie is absolutely brilliant, sociable, loving, and affectionate.

With the right upbringing, this dog will grow up to be the most loyal. His need for maintenance won’t be overwhelming as he only needs weekly brushing and occasional bathing.

8. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

This Golden Retriever duplicate is worth mentioning on the list. At most times, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is thought to be a smaller version of the Golden.

The structure of his eyes and face shape seem to be an exact carbon copy of the Golden too. He exudes a friendly atmosphere, more so if he shows his tongue while he relaxes. With its copper, red, or golden-red coat colors, it’s understandable if one would confuse him for the Golden Retriever.

It isn’t much of a worry having him around younger kids. He’s patient and gentle most of the time, but this doesn’t mean he’s low on energy levels. 

9. Flat-Coated Retriever

Another gun dog that exhibits a positive and optimistic temperament is the Flat-Coated Retriever. He shares similar features like the Golden Retriever such as the way his face looks, physique, and even coat. There is just a slight difference that makes them distinct from each other, however.

While the golden has light coat colors, the Flat-Coated Retriever, on the other hand, comes only in black or liver. Nevertheless, the breed has a tail that feathers out and a kind, curious look from the eyes.

What makes this dog a wonderful pet is its temperament. The Flat-Coated Retriever tends to retain his puppy-like behavior even through adulthood. He can be mischievous at times, but this is not a concern for owners who love doing silly antics. 

10. Leonberger

If you want a much larger dog with the same Golden Retriever-like gentle expression, the Leonberger would be a good pick. But, this is no ordinary dog. He needs the right owner that knows well how his behavior works. Nonetheless, most first-time owners seem to do well with this massive canine. 

As an active dog, he needs a wider space for his play. Having dog toys that would help boost his mental and physical capacity is a good thing too. To further keep him happy, subject him to agility training and any other activities that would seem fit. 

Just like the Golden Retriever, the Leonberger has a long, wavy coat, only that it comes in brown and there’s a prominent black mask all over his face.

11. Bernese Mountain Dog

Searching for a well-mannered dog aside from the popular Golden Retriever? The Bernese Mountain Dog might be what you are looking for. He is calm and often labeled to be an ideal pet for most homes. 

Despite the affectionate temperament, the Bernese dog is one hardworking aid that would either protect the cattle or pull loaded carts. His coat that feels quite similar to the Golden’s comes in a tri-colored state, but it is described as long and wavy. 

He’ll shed twice a year, but weekly brushing is needed. Due to his vigor, constant exercise and outdoor activities are necessary to keep him from showing unwanted behaviors. 

12. Newfoundland

Both the Golden Retriever and the Newfoundland breeds are ideal for inexperienced or first-time owners. They love to bark, so training them on how to minimize such behavior is vital for peace-loving homes.

Also, both breeds are fantastic when it comes to dealing with children. Although dogs can show aggression, it is less likely for them to react to almost anything. Both are easy to train and are highly responsive to any drills, however, the Golden possesses more intelligence in general cases.

The greatest difference that can be noticed between these two magnificent canines would be the size. The Newfoundland is bigger as he’s around 100 to 150 pounds in weight in comparison to the 55 to 75 pound mass of the Golden.