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Golden Retriever vs. Siberian Husky: Differences and Similarities

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Last Updated: April 27, 2023 | 8 min read | Leave a Comment

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Comparing the Golden Retriever vs. Siberian Husky for your next family pup? Perhaps you are just curious about these two breeds and how they differ. Maybe you’ve whittled your next family addition down to the Golden Retriever and the Siberian Husky or are stuck about which breed to choose. Look no further, readers. We have all the necessary doggy details.

The Golden Retriever and the Siberian Husky are very different-looking pooches. Their personalities are similar in some ways but very different in others. They also have different exercise, training, and nutritional needs.

If you are about to welcome one of these lucky guys into your life, you need to be sure you can give them everything they need. So, let’s take a look at each breed to compare their differences and similarities.

Breed Comparison

Golden Retriever

  • Height 21-24 Inches
  • Weight 55-75 Pounds
  • Temperament Gentle, Intelligent, Loving
  • Energy High
  • Health Average
  • Lifespan 10-12 Years
  • Price $1,000 and Up

Siberian Husky

  • Height 20-24 Inches
  • Weight 35-65 Pounds
  • Temperament Mischievous, Loyal, Outgoing
  • Energy High
  • Health Above Average
  • Lifespan 12-14 Years
  • Price $1,000 and Up

Key Differences

  1. Golden Retrievers are larger. They reach 55 to 75 pounds. Siberian Huskies reach 35 to 60 pounds.
  2. Siberian Huskies have a longer lifespan, 12 to 24 years.
  3. Golden Retrievers are more popular.
  4. The Siberian Husky is more independent.
  5. Golden Retrievers have longer, feathery coats. Huskies have softer, thicker coats.
  6. Huskies have blue eyes, and Goldens have darker-colored eyes.
  7. Golden Retrievers have floppy ears. Huskies often have pointed ears but can have floppy ones.
  8. Huskies are high-strung with more energy.

Breed History

They began their journeys at different times and places. It is vital to look at their history to give you an insight into what they might be like as family pets.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever in Grass
Golden Retrievers are one of America’s favorite dog breeds.

The Golden Retriever began his journey in the second half of the 19th century across the pond in Scotland, Great Britain. Cleverly bred from a variety of gundogs, the Golden Retriever was created to be the perfect gundog. He was so impressive in his hunting talent and beauty that he traveled to America with immigrants and has been a big hit ever since.

According to the AKC, the Goldens are ranked 3rd in their comparison of most popular breeds in the United States. He is a hit with young families, elderly grandparents, and everyone in between. Because of his amazing personality and family friendliness, Goldens also make a popular mixed-breed dog.

Siberian Husky

Siberian Husky Outdoors
The Siberian Husky is another American favorite.

The Siberian Husky is an ancient dog breed that goes back thousands of years. He was first bred in Siberia, Russia, to be a sled puller to transport goods and people across vast expanses of the icy land. After a hard day’s work, he was also welcomed into the family home to keep his family company.

According to the AKC, in 2020, he is the 14th breed on the popularity list in the United States. He is popular with active families who can guarantee his high energy levels and those living in colder climates. Like Goldens, they are also popular parents to several mixed breeds.

Appearance

Appearance Differences Siberian Husky Golden Retriever
There are significant appearance differences between the Husky and Golden Retriever.

Their appearance is where the Golden Retriever and the Husky are very different. Besides their similar size, they are almost entirely different in appearance. They both fall between 22 and 24 inches tall, with the females generally being smaller than their male counterparts.

The Goldens are slightly heavier, weighing between 55 and 75 pounds in weight. The Siberian Husky is leaner and weighs between 35 and 65 pounds.

Their coats are both thick to keep them warm and double-layered as a weather-resistant shield. The Golden Retriever’s coat is longer and silkier, with feathering fur around his neck, ears, belly, and tail. The Husky’s coat is a little fluffier and thicker.

The Golden Retriever sports his famous golden color, ranging from almost white to golden red, which is solid across his body. The Husky has a lot more color variation, markings, and facial masks. He can be gray, red, brown, black, white, or a mixture of them all, with or without markings or facial masks.

The Husky is also famous for his bright blue eyes, or different colored ones. In contrast, the Golden Retriever favors dark brown eye colors. Goldens are known for their graceful exterior, and the Siberian Husky is known for his striking appearance.

Temperament

Golden Retriever vs Husky Temperament
The Golden Retriever and Husky have different temperaments.

Golden Retrievers are fun and friendly. Many think of them as the ideal family dog. He is sociable and affectionate. He’s also not too in your face or flamboyant. Goldens are loyal and devoted and know when to behave and when to chill. He is adaptable to the needs and emotions of his human family, especially compared to the Husky.

The Husky, on the other hand, is a wild child. He needs to be the center of attention. He’s also the flamboyant soul of the party, whether that be with friends or strangers. While Huskies can relax with the family, they would much rather be playing a game. Some families find the Husky too much to handle, but some adore his canine personality.

Goldens are known to be mouthy. They are trained to pick up prey gently and have a “soft mouth”. Their mouths are so soft they can carry an egg without crushing it. This is another reason why he is a top pick for families with young children. Even when play-fighting, he is so gentle.

The Husky, however, is not always aware of his strength, even when he is playing. He is also mouthy, but this can be borderline nippy. This is one of the many reasons why the Siberian Husky is best suited to families with older children. Not only this, but he is also bouncy and hyper.

He will need a lot of playtime. His playmates need to be stronger than him so that they will not be knocked over by accident. His silly personality makes him a brilliant family addition for active families who want a crazy canine. 

Overall, when comparing the Siberian Husky vs. Golden Retriever, the Golden Retriever is your breed if you are seeking a calmer canine but one that is also bubbly and friendly. If you love an outgoing doggy who likes mischief, then the Husky is the right breed for the job.

Exercise

Golden Retriever and Husky Exercising
Both the Golden Retriever and Husky have similar exercise needs.

The Golden Retriever, being an original sporting dog, needs a lot more exercise than most people think. He will need around 60 minutes of exercise every day. Being intelligent, it would be great if you could mix up his activities. He also loves the water and would appreciate a dip in his local lake.

The Husky has one of the highest exercise needs in the canine kingdom, which is a lot more than most families can handle. This is a big reason why he often ends up in rescue centers: families underestimate just how much he needs. He must be exercised for at least 90 minutes daily, and the exercise must be vigorous and intense. He can become problematic, unruly, nippy, and destructive without it.

They both need more exercise than your average pooch. Their exercise needs are the most significant factor to think about if you are trying to pick between the two breeds.

Training

Husky and Golden Retriever in Training
Both breeds will benefit from obedience training at an early age.

Both of these guys are very intelligent. However, the Golden Retriever is much easier to train compared to the Husky. One of the main reasons why Goldens are selected to be assistance dogs is because they are devoted and loyal. Combining this with his intelligence makes him an easy pup to train. He can even learn agility training and tricks.

The Husky, however, is stubborn and independent and only trainable when he wants to be. This makes training sessions a bit trickier, and you will need to keep his attention by keeping training sessions short and exciting.

Just like any dog, they both need early socialization and obedience training. All of which should be strengthened with positive reinforcement training. Just because the Retriever is always a teacher’s pet doesn’t mean he automatically becomes one without training. You still need to put in the hard work.

If you are after a fully obedient dog, then the Golden Retriever might be the better option. Or, if you are an experienced dog owner and love a canine challenge, then the Husky can offer you that.

Health

Healthy Husky and Golden Retriever Playing
Both the Husky and Golden Retriever are generally healthy.

The Siberian Husky is one of the healthiest dog breeds in the world, and he enjoys a lifespan of 12 to 14 years. The Golden Retriever is also a healthy dog but has his fair share of health concerns like any other purebred. He lives between 10 to 12 years.

They are both susceptible to suffering from hip dysplasia and a variety of eye conditions, such as progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, and collie eye. Goldens are also known to suffer from elbow dysplasia, cardiac concerns, and a condition called neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

One thing to note when thinking about Goldens is that the breed has a high rate of cancer. It has been found that around 61% of Golden Retriever deaths were due to some form of cancer, which is very high. This is always something to think about when welcoming one of these guys into your life.

As with any dog breed, always ask to see your potential new doggy’s parents and a copy of their health certificates. Although you are never guaranteed a fully healthy dog, at least if his parents are healthy, you can be sure that he has the best chance of being in good health. Pet parents also may want to consider pet insurance. This can be a great help in covering emergency costs. Some companies also offer wellness plans that can assist with covering routine and preventive care.

Nutrition

Golden Retriever and Husky Playing in Leaves
Both the Husky and Golden Retriever have specific nutritional needs.

The Golden Retriever and the Siberian Husky eat around three cups of kibble daily. It is always important to look at your pooch’s needs because he may need slightly more or less depending on his size, energy levels, and age.

Both of these guys would do well on high-quality kibble that provides them with high protein content and plenty of energy for their busy days. A well-balanced diet is vital, and as long as the kibble is age-specific and of good quality, it should provide them both with everything that they need.

It’s worth noting that both breeds have food that does better for them than the other. The Golden Retriever dog food should have a glucosamine boost to prevent hip dysplasia. Siberian Husky dog food should have Omega fatty acids to help maintain skin health.

The Golden Retriever is likely to be more interested in food than the Husky and has a slower metabolism. So be sure to keep an eye on his weight to make sure that he never becomes obese. You will rarely see an overweight Husky, so this should not be an issue.

Grooming

Siberian Husky vs Golden Retriever both Outdoors
Both the Husky and Golden Retriever have high grooming needs.

Both the Golden Retriever and the Husky should be groomed regularly every week to brush away the dead hair and dirt. Not only will it keep their coat looking healthy and shiny, but it will boost your bond with them too. As they both have thick coats, you would benefit from investing in a de-shedding tool.

The Golden Retriever has longer, feathery hair around his ears, neck, belly, and tail. So he will need a little bit more care and attention when compared to the Husky. In addition to the de-shedding tool, a slicker brush would also make a great choice for the Golden Retriever’s coat.

Puppy Prices

Golden Retriever vs Husky Puppy Outdoors
Both the Golden Retriever and Husky puppies will cost around $1,000 and up.

As he is one of America’s top three favorite dogs, there are many more Golden Retriever breeders vs. Husky breeders. This might explain why the Golden Retriever price is slightly less expensive than the Husky. The average cost for a Golden Retriever puppy from a reputable breeder will start from $800. The price for a Husky usually starts from $1,000.

Day-to-day living costs are the same for both breeds. Just remember that the Golden Retriever, with his heightened health concerns, might cost more across his lifetime in vet bills. But generally, this is no more than the average pooch.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it. We’ve now compared all the differences and similarities between the Golden Retriever vs. the Siberian Husky. They are both gorgeous and delightful dogs, but each breed might appeal to one family more so than another. It is dependent on your canine preferences and circumstances.

If you are seeking a glamorous dog who is both fun and chilled, energetic and calm, then the Golden Retriever might be your best option. He is much easier to train and very devoted and loyal too.

The Siberian Husky is more suited to a thrill-seeking energetic family who can give him all the attention that he needs. He is more stubborn and challenging than the Golden Retriever, but this is a big part of his charm.

If, after all that, you still can’t decide between the Golden Retriever and the Siberian Husky, then why not take a look at the Goberian. He is a mix between the Golden Retriever and Siberian Husky, and some would say the best of both worlds.

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