Quoted from northvibe:
Have you had a lab? I'm curious about a golden vs a lab...they seem fairly on par with each other, one with long hair and one short. But those were the two breeds my wife and I were looking at before we picked a lab.
I like golden and black labs too. Our next door neighbor has one (golden lab) but we are the ones that generally take care of it (we walk it, play with it, let it out to play with our dog). They have a lot of similarities, but labs tend to be a bit more high energy than the retrievers. Goldens are a bit more needy (as in they want your attention more), but they're generally more calm overall.
As for the hair...both shed. Golden hair is a lot longer, and it brushes a bit easier from surfaces, while lab hair is more wiry and tends to stick. A golden's hair will float more than a lab's hair.
Goldens are smarter than labs in general, but both breeds are highly trainable and and intelligent.