What Dogs Are Similar To The Golden Retriever?

Written by Wen Duan

There is no replacement for the golden retriever. They are a unique breed that is popular for their friendliness and their intelligence. They are an athletic breed that is eager to please and easy to train. This makes them great service dogs as well as great family dogs.

With so many other dogs out there, let's see what other breeds are similar to golden retrievers in personality or in looks. 

SMALLER But Similar Personality

King Charles Cavalier 

Great for active owners and couch potatoes, Cavaliers are adaptable, gentle and affectionate. They are not as high energy as the golden retriever and are a bit more protective of their family, but they are a small dog that gets along with other dogs and children. 


A curious breed that are lovable and happy dogs. They are excellent family dogs. They are clever hounds that are a mid to smaller dog. They are known to have strong affection towards family. They are not as high energy as golden retriever and makes great smaller family dog. 

BIGGER But Similar Personality


Sweet and devoted dog, the Newfoundland is a large majestic dog that is known for their affinity for kids. Known as "the Nanny" breed, the Newfoundland is among the world's largest dogs and is one of the most trusting and trainable dogs out there. 

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular breeds in the US. They are only slightly larger than a Golden. If you are looking for an perfect alternative to a golden, the Labrador Retriever is your dog. They have high energy, great temperaments, and are easily trained. They are social and make great family dogs.  

Bernese Mountain Dog

Originally a search and rescue dog that help find lost people in avalanches, Bernese Mountain dogs are large and docile dogs. A hardy dog that does well in cold weather, the Bernese is more aloof to strangers than Goldens.  Their gentle and calm demeanor makes them great family companions.  

Flat Coated Retrievers 

Love the puppy personality of the Golden? Well, the flat coated retriever may be the one for you. They look like a Golden but they are black in color and they are the happiest of all the breeds. Slightly larger than a Golden, their puppy personality and their high energy requires a lot of out door exercise. 

Similar Appearance

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

About 10-20 pounds larger than an golden retriever, the Chesapeake Bay retriever have higher energy than a golden retriever and are more work oriented. They are more independent and more protective of their humans. They are polite, but not overly eager to meet strangers. They are a world class hunting and/or watch dog. 

Curly Coated Retriever 

Very smart, confident, and proud, the curly coated retriever has tight curls that are waterproof and great for icy weather. Like golden retrievers, curly coated retriever are affectionate and gentle but they are more independent. They make great watch dogs as they are wary of strangers. They also need a lot of outdoor exercise. 

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever 

Smaller than a golden retriever, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling retriever is a smaller retriever. Friendly and smart, they are high energy dog great for outdoor lovers who are looking for a dog like the golden but smaller. 

Great Pyrenees

Great Pyrenees are a large 85-100 pound dog that are smart and calm. They look like a fluffier larger version of the golden retriever. They are more aloof and make great guard dogs.  

Did I miss one? Comment down below and let me know! 

About the author

Wen Duan

Wen is a proud dog mom and a frequent contributor to our GoldenRetrieverLove.com blog.