Husky vs Golden Retriever: How Do They Compare?
by Jessi Larson
If you’re considering a Husky vs Golden Retriever, you may be up for a difficult decision.
Both of these breeds make for wonderful family pets and are friendly, intelligent and loving towards their owners.
It’s hard to imagine how you can go wrong with either choice. But nonetheless, there are certain differences you’ll need to consider if you want to make the right choice for your household as well as the new four-legged friend.
Husky vs Golden Retriever
To fully understand how the two breeds compare, we’ll review their appearance, temperament, training and grooming needs, and overall health.
This will give you a full picture of the Husky vs Golden Retriever.
The Siberian Husky and the Golden Retriever are actually pretty comparable when it comes to size and weight.
The Husky weighs around 35-60 pounds and can measure anywhere from 20-23.5 inches from paw to shoulder. The Golden Retriever comes in at a heavier 55-75 pounds and measures 21.5-24 inches from paw to shoulder.
Though somewhat comparable in size, the appearance of these two breeds differs strongly.
Golden Retrievers can have either straight or wavy coats, while Huskies vary between medium dense coats, harsh and rough coats, or straight and thick.
The color of these two breeds’ coats also varies. Golden Retrievers tend to be lighter in color, varying from cream to reddish gold, while Huskies vary from black and white, piebald, copper, black and tan splash, red, silver, sable brown or grey.
Golden Retrievers have heads that are neither too broad nor narrow and longer, floppy ears. The Husky has a medium-sized head and distinct almond-shaped eyes, which can vary in color from ice blue to brown and even mixed. Their alert ears also stand up to a point.
Generally speaking, the two breeds were created to work in different settings. While the Golden Retriever has been largely used to work in close contact and collaboration with humans, the Husky was actually bred to interact in teams of other dogs in circumstances requiring extreme physical exertion.
You’ll be very hard pressed to find a dog breed that is friendlier than the Golden Retriever. For this reason, it makes a very poor guard dog, but it is historically considered the better family dog of the two breeds, especially for families with small children.
However, the Husky can also be an easygoing and friendly companion when off duty. They can also get along well with other family dogs, but that may not extend to smaller pets, which may trigger the strong prey instinct.
Golden Retrievers are known to retain their “puppy-like” disposition well into their adulthood, while Huskies were bred for hard, physically demanding labor, so both of these energetic breeds require regular exercise to keep them in optimal shape and spirits.
When it comes to trainability, the Golden Retriever is perhaps the easier breed due to their outstanding intellect and extreme eagerness to please. It’s no coincidence that Golden Retrievers are often used as service and therapy dogs as well as companions for search and rescue missions.
While also intelligent, Huskies may have an independent mindset that can prove downright stubborn if the dog doesn’t consider your training stimulating or particularly fun.
Both of these popular breeds have thick, double-layer coats which will shed year-round. They’ll also “blow out” their coat according to the seasons.
You can expect regular brushing and grooming as part of your duties if you choose either one of these breeds. Huskies are slightly more prone to shedding, though you can expect a fair amount from Golden Retrievers as well.
The life expectancy of Golden Retrievers spans from 10-12 years, while the Husky can be expected to live 12-14 years.
Golden Retrievers in the U.S. are at an especially high risk of developing cancer, for which there is sadly no possible screening. As many as two thirds of Golden Retrievers in the country die due to cancer.
As far as health precautions go, it’s recommended by the Canine Health Information Center that your Husky be tested for hip dysplasia and possible eye complications. The organization also recommends the following tests be done for Golden Retrievers:
- hip dysplasia
- elbow dysplasia
- eye exam
- echo-cardiac screen for potential heart problems
Final Thoughts: Husky vs Golden Retriever
It’s important when considering any two breeds that you don’t look at one as “better” than the other. Rather, we believe this information can help you make an informed decision based on your individual needs and circumstances.
There are certain ways in which these two breeds are quite alike. For example, both are expected to grow to a comparable size and require roughly the same amount of regular grooming from their owners.
When it comes to Husky vs Golden Retriever, the question may boil down to the matter of trainability, in which Golden Retrievers are slightly superior.
Or you might find that the Husky’s superior watchdog ability is more preferential to you than the ever-friendly Golden Retriever.
There is also a matter of potential health complications to consider.
Whatever choice you end up making, you’re sure to have a loving and loyal new member of the household.
Husky vs Golden Retriever Bonus Tip: How to Pick the Right Dog
When you’re looking for a dog but don’t know what breed to get, these nine easy questions can help quickly narrow down your search and find a four-legged friend who perfectly fits your lifestyle.
This guide will help you in the Husky vs Golden Retriever debate and give you a clearer idea of which one is for you.
1. Why Do You Want a Dog?
First things first, let’s talk about why you want a dog. This will guide you more than you realize!
For example, do you love cuddling up on the couch and want a furball to curl up in your lap and keep you company? Or do you want an energetic and enthusiastic dog who fits your active lifestyle?
Stop for a minute, close your eyes and think about it.
2. What Type of Dog Did You Have Growing up?
Believe it or not, the dog (or dogs) you grew up with often have an impact on what type of dog you want when you’re older.
That’s certainly not to say you couldn’t pick a different type of dog by any means. It’s just that people often have a comfort level with the type of canine they were conditioned to growing up.
3. Do You Have Any Allergies?
Dogs can be awful for allergies. But fortunately, there are many hypoallergenic dog breeds that make it easier for allergies sufferers.
Always learn more about the breed before bringing it into your home.
4. Who’s in Your Household?
Another important thing to think about is who is in your household.
Is it just you? Or do you have a partner? Roommates? Children?
This is incredibly important to consider. Especially if you have little ones in the household.
Fortunately, in the Husky vs Golden Retriever debate, both are good dogs in different ways.
5. Where Do You Live?
As you think about which dog breed is right for you, where you live is incredibly important.
It goes without saying that certain breeds just aren’t cut out for small spaces. For example, a Great Dane in a tiny apartment would be a disaster!
Also, certain dogs, including both the Husky and Golden Retriever, need space and a yard to run and exercise.
6. How Much Time and Energy Do You Have?
Dogs are A LOT of work. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. But some dogs require much more effort than others.
Potential pup parents should always make sure they have the time, energy and resources to care for a dog, no matter what the breed. But that level of care can increase depending on the dog.
Before making a decision regarding the Husky vs Golden Retriever, make sure you understand their instincts and how much mental and physical stimulation they’ll each require.
7. What is the Dog’s Temperament?
Just like appearance, a pup’s temperament can vary greatly by breed. And it’s absolutely critical to find out how a dog will act based on their breed instincts.
Both the Husky and Golden Retriever have great personalities. The Golden Retriever is the happiest, friendliest breed you’ll ever meet. The Husky, too, is a sweet breed with a bit of a mischievous side.
8. How Much Does the Breed Cost?
Owning a dog isn’t cheap, but some breeds are more expensive than others. Especially for some of the rarer canines.
Cost is a consideration, and it’s always a good idea to understand the full picture before making a commitment.
Things to consider include the initial expense, vet bills, food, grooming and other expenses like daycare or boarding.
9. Breed Finder
And finally, try out our online breed selector and get a list of the best breeds for you and your lifestyle.
It allows you to enter details like where you live, who’s in your house, your climate, what size of dog you’re looking for and more. You’ll receive a list of breeds that will work for you.
This could settle the Husky vs Golden Retriever debate once and for all.