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15 Dogs That Are Similar to Labs: Pictures, Facts & History

Kathryn Copeland

By Kathryn Copeland

female great pyrenees dog standing on the grass

Labrador Retrievers have long been the favored dog breed in many countries. Even if you’ve never owned one, you’re likely familiar with them, as these dogs are renowned for their loving and friendly natures.

If you’re interested in breeds like the Lab but want something a bit different, read on! This article features dogs that are similar to Labradors in appearance and ones that are similar in temperament.

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The 15 Dogs That Are Similar to Labs

1. Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese mountain dog in winter with harness
Image Credit: Jennifer McCallum, Shutterstock
Temperament: Loving, intelligent, playful, calm, gentle
Lifespan: 6–8 years
Weight: 70–115 pounds
Height: 23–28 inches

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a gorgeous large dog that looks nothing like the Lab but is just as social, friendly, and affectionate.

They are hard-working dogs, but they aren’t as energetic or active as the Lab, so if you’re attracted to the Lab for their sociability and loving personalities, the Berner might be right for you. They also do well in cold weather and are gentle with children.

2. Bloodhound

Image Credit: Degtyaryov Andrey, Shutterstock
Temperament: Active, sweet, friendly, gentle, loving
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Weight: 80–110 pounds
Height: 23–27 inches

The Bloodhound doesn’t look like a Lab physically, but there are definitely similarities in their social and loving temperaments. They are excellent for families because they are sweet and gentle with children.

Bloodhounds are large and affectionate dogs that are even more laidback than Labradors, but be aware that they can be single-minded when they catch a scent, and drooling is a significant characteristic.

3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog outdoors
Image Credit: Courtney Mihaka, Unsplash
Temperament: Playful, sweet, gentle, obedient, social
Lifespan: 9–14 years
Weight: 13–18 pounds
Height: 12–13 inches

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel looks nothing like the Lab, as they are notably smaller and fluffier. But these friendly and affectionate dogs make wonderful family pets and are known for their playfulness and gentleness.

While they are small enough to be lap dogs, they can be quite active and athletic.

4. Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Brown Chesapeake Bay Retriever running_Zuzule_shutterstock
Image Credit: Zuzule, Shutterstock
Temperament: Active, affectionate, intelligent, independent, protective
Lifespan: 10–13 years
Weight: 55–80 pounds
Height: 21–26 inches

When dealing with a retriever like the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, you’re guaranteed a few similarities with the Labrador Retriever. The wavy coat sets them apart, but the Chessie has the same athletic energy and is protective and careful with the family.

Unlike the Lab, the Chessie tends to be independent, making them more headstrong and wary of strangers.

5. Curly-Coated Retriever

black curly coated retriever
Image Credit: otsphoto, Shutterstock
Temperament: Confident, intelligent, energetic, playful, devoted
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Weight: 60–95 pounds
Height: 23–27 inches

The Curly-Coated Retriever is a retriever that closely resembles the Lab except for their curly coat. Like Labs, Curlies love the water and are athletic and full of energy but are a little taller and more independent.

Curlies can be independent, headstrong, and protective of their family. This makes them wary around strangers.

6. Flat-Coated Retriever

Side shot of a black Flat Coated Retriever dog running across a meadow
Image Credit: Sven Mewis, Shutterstock
Temperament: Eager to please, intelligent, energetic, happy
Lifespan: 8–10 years
Weight: 60–70 pounds
Height: 22–24.5 inches

The Flat-Coated Retriever is closer to the Lab in terms of appearance and temperament than many other dogs on this list. But they have longer fur, with feathered tails, legs, and ears.

These dogs are happy and playful and can be mischievous and puppyish well into adulthood. They are great with kids, devoted, easy to train, and loving.

7. Golden Retriever

Golden retriever dog licks nose in the winter park
Image Credit: Tatyana Vyc, Shutterstock
Temperament: Sweet, friendly, devoted, intelligent, energetic
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Weight: 55–70 pounds
Height:  20–24 inches

The Golden Retriever is at the top of the list alongside the Lab as one of the most popular dogs. They are somewhat similar in appearance to the Lab except for their long golden coats.

Goldens are loving and devoted and commonly used as service dogs like Labs are and make excellent family dogs. The main difference comes down to more grooming required for the Golden.

8. Great Pyrenees

Great Pyrenees lying on the ground
Image Credit: jathomas, Pixabay
Temperament: Smart, independent, stubborn, protective, calm
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Weight: 85–115 pounds
Height: 25–32 inches

The Great Pyrenees are a bit larger than Labradors and have heavy white coats, but they are devoted and protective of their families. Pyrs were bred to watch livestock, so they are independent and calm.

Their affection and gentleness with children has earned this dog the nickname of “gentle giant.”

9. Newfoundland

bernese newfoundland mix dog outdoor during winter
Image Credit: Beatrice Foord-St-Laurent, Shutterstock
Temperament: Loving, loyal, smart, gentle, calm
Lifespan: 8–10 years
Weight: 100–150 pounds
Height: 25–29 inches

The Newfoundland is an ideal option if you like your dogs large! Newfies are gentle giants and have also been called “nanny dogs” due to their love and protection of children.

Their coats are quite thick and shaggy and are dark like black Labs. Newfies are calm and devoted and will deposit a fair bit of hair and drool around your home. But they are worth it!

10. Nova Scotia Tolling Retriever

nova scotia duck tolling retriever at the shore
Image Credit: Karsten Madsen, Pixabay
Temperament: Intelligent, social, playful, curious, energetic
Lifespan: 12–14 years
Weight: 35–50 pounds
Height: 17–21 inches

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever has one of the longest and most interesting names. They don’t resemble the Lab physically but are retrievers and enjoy time spent in the water.

They’re typically a russet color with feathering on the tail, legs, and ears and are incredibly adorable! While they are energetic, they are also quite laidback and amazing family dogs. They just need a bit of training to reduce the barking that they are prone to.

11. Old English Sheepdog

old english sheepdog bobtail
Image Credit: Svetlana Valoueva, Shutterstock
Temperament: Gentle, playful, adaptable, friendly, happy
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Weight: 60–90 pounds
Height: 21–24 inches

The Old English Sheepdog looks nothing like the Labrador, but if floofy was a personality trait, they would have the best temperament—and they actually do!

Like the Lab, the OES is a gentle dog that is smart, independent, active, yet laidback. They are excellent with children and are devoted and protective of their families.

12. Saint Bernard

saint bernard dog standing near the pond
Image Credit: Pictureguy, Shutterstock
Temperament: Friendly, calm, gentle, loving, devoted
Lifespan: 8–10 years
Weight: 120–200 pounds
Height: 26–30 inches

The loveable Saint Bernard is a gentle giant known as a nanny dog. This means they are incredibly patient and sweet with children.

Despite appearances, when you take into account the Saint’s friendly and affectionate nature, it’s easy to see why they could be an alternative to a Labrador.

13. Springer Spaniel

English Springer Spaniel standing in field
Image Credit: Martin Christopher Parker, Shutterstock
Temperament: Lively, intelligent, devoted, easy to train, friendly
Lifespan: 12–14 years
Weight: 40–50 pounds
Height: 19–20 inches

The Springer Spaniel is a happy-go-lucky breed like the Lab but is not a retriever. They have feathering on their legs, tail, and chest and love the water.

They make excellent family dogs and terrible guard dogs because they love everyone they meet, which is just like the Lab!

14. Standard Poodle

A purebred standard white poodle
Image Credit: nieriss, Shutterstock
Temperament: Intelligent, active, athletic, sweet, confident
Lifespan: 10–18 years
Weight: 40–70 pounds
Height: 15 inches and over

The Standard Poodle is the largest of the Poodles, but you could opt for a Miniature or Toy Poodle if you want to go smaller but keep most of the same temperament.

Even though they don’t look like Labs, Poodles are retrievers, so they enjoy the water and are fantastic family dogs. While Poodles have the reputation of being fancy dogs, they are an athletic and energetic breed.

15. Weimaraner

Weimaraner on training
Image Credit: SaraCh13, Shutterstock
Temperament: Loving, devoted, friendly, energetic, smart
Lifespan: 11–14 years
Weight: 55–90 pounds
Height: 23–26 inches

The Weimaraner is also known as the “gray ghost” due to their eye-catching velvety gray coat. These energetic dogs make good family pets, but they don’t have any of the natural goofiness of the Lab.

Appearance-wise, though, there is a similarity besides the color, so if you’re looking for more of a lookalike, the Weimaraner might be a great option.


Mixed Labrador Retriever Breeds

Labrador Retriever mixed breeds are not on this list because those dogs obviously have a similar appearance and temperament to the Lab. That said, if you’re curious, there are multiple mixed Labrador dogs to choose from that can give you half a Lab and half another breed that you appreciate.

The Labradoodle, which is a mix of a Poodle and a Labrador Retriever, is one of the most popular mixed breeds. The Goldador is a mix of the Golden Retriever and the Lab, and there’s also the Labbe, also known as the Beagador, a cross between the Beagle and the Lab. There’s even the Siberian Retriever, also called the Labsky and Huskador, a cross between the Husky and the Lab.

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There are plenty of incredible dogs to choose from if you like Labs but they aren’t quite right for you. That said, it comes down to what you’re looking for in a companion.

Many breeds resemble Labrador Retrievers, while others look nothing like Labs but make equally exceptional family members. You can choose from a purebred dog or consider a mixed breed.

However you go about choosing your new pet, if they are anything like the Labrador Retriever, you will not be disappointed!

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Featured Image Credit: Webb Photography, Shutterstock

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