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September 07, 2013 10 min read

What collar should you buy for your new puppy who may not stay a puppy for long? If you are considering a Labrador or a Golden Retriever pup, then the best collars for these breeds are flat leather collars that are 1-1.5 inch wide. A 1 inch wide leather collar would suit a long haired golden retriever, while a 1.5 inch wide leather collars would suit a Labrador Retriever best.

Buy the Right Collar for a Growing Retriever Puppy

To start, you will need to decide if the collar will be able to grow with your dog or if you will need to switch them through the stages of the puppy’s growth. Again, if you have a Golden Retriever or a Labrador Retriever pup, then it may be a good idea to realize that collars are going to be needed every few months until fully grown. These types of puppies grow fast and will be full-grown in a year or just under a year, so keep that in mind.

Take note that all puppy collars should be lightweight. Although there are all different sizes of dogs, they all start out as sensitive little puppies that cannot handle big, heavy collars around their little necks. A collar that is lightweight and semi-durable should do. These types of collars will work forever when it comes to small dogs, but Labs and Goldens will need to have bigger and better ones as they grow.

Key Differences Between Retrievers

Most of us look at Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers as very similar types of dogs. In comparison, they do seem to be very much alike. They grow to a similar weight and size, they both love water and strive to please their owners so grooming and bath time will be easy with either dog and they both shed year-round.

Not only will the amount of hair on the Golden be a greater aggravation to sweep up, but the hair does also play a big part in picking a collar that will suit your dog's needs. However, the hair is only one difference to consider when determining the collar of choice for your best friend. The second thing to consider is the temperament of the dog. Both dogs are playful, but the Labrador seems to be more apt to play than the Golden, who has a medium playful attitude and needs longer rest periods.

The material and how the collar is made will come into play when outdoors in the dog park. Labradors will need a wider and stronger leather collar than the Golden, who can get away with a narrower leather collar that won't matte their long hair.

What Size Collar to Buy for Your Growing Retriever Puppy

Comparing the two retrievers, there was valid textual evidence that confirmed that both dogs do grow rapidly. And as they grow in weight and height, you could make a clear determination about how thick their neck would grow and the size of collar that would be acceptable to accompany that growth.

To get a better understanding of how these two dogs grow in a matter of weeks, I found this to be a common growth chart for retrievers.

Labrador and Golden Retriever Growth Spurts:

  • At 8 weeks a retriever is around 10 lbs.
  • At 12 weeks a retriever is around 20 lbs.
  • At 16 weeks a retriever is around 30 lbs.
  • At 22 weeks a retriever is around 40 lbs.
  • At 28 weeks a retriever is around 48 lbs.
  • At 32 weeks a retriever is around 55 lbs.

When considering these numbers, I would buy a collar at 8 weeks in which the puppy would probably be able to wear with little to no adjustment until the 16th week. Then, I would buy the next collar up in size. At 32 weeks, which is a little over a half of a year, I would buy the heavier, more well-made collar that would adjust up to his final weight. His final weight should be around 75 - 100 lbs.

Healthy Growth

As much as we pet owners say we will not feed our dog's too many treats or table scraps and stick to a diet plan recommended by the Veterinarian, some of us will look into those sweet puppy dog eyes and give in to our temptation of just one cookie. This is where the danger of obesity also plays a part in keeping the right collar that will fit on our dog.

When it comes to the fit of any collar, keep in mind that when you adjust your dog's collar, put two of your fingers in between your dog's neck and the collar. If your fingers have enough room, then your dog can breathe well, and the fit is perfect. However, if not, and there's no more room to adjust, it is probably time to put your retriever back on a strict diet. Like us humans, dogs of all sizes can grow obese, and that could affect their neck size and how comfortable they are with leather collars.

Choosing The Right Collar For Your Retriever

Purchase a collar made from leather for its longevity and durability. You will need it for training and taking them for walks. A 1 Inch wide leather collar is the best choice for a Golden Retriever who has long hair. The narrower collar will prevent matting under the collar. A 1.5 Inch wide leather collar is best for Labrador retrievers. The added width will help disperse the pressure around their neck as they pull on the leash. Think about how a good quality, perfectly fitting dog collar can be to the well-being of your dog.

History of the Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is one of the world’s most popular and dependable breeds and traces his origins back to the St. John’s region of Newfoundland, Canada in the 1800’s as an all-purpose waterdog. In order to avoid confusion with the Newfoundland Dog, he used to be called the Small Water Dog, since the Lab was most commonly used to retrieve the cork floats of fishing nets and swimming them ashore so that fishermen can pull in the fish-filled nets.

The Labrador Retriever was often used to retrieve game and fish, pull small fishing boats through icy water, and help fisherman in swimming tasks. As the years went by, the breed population decreased and died out in Newfoundland in large part because of a heavy dog tax. In the early 1800’s, however, a few Labrador Retrievers had been taken to England to the port of Pool in Dorset where local landowners acquired specimens and refined their breeding for use as gun-dogs. It was in England where the breed earned its reputation as an extraordinary retriever of upland game, and the breed continues to grow in population.

In 1903 the breed was recognized by the English Kennel Club, and by the American Kennel Club in 1917. The popularity of the Labrador Retriever has been growing steadily to become the most popular breed in America by 1991, and remains so today. Although they where employed as retrieving dogs in the past, today, he is held in high regard as a guide dog, sniffer dog detecting drugs and explosives, and a popular companion.


The Labrador Retriever is easily recognizable. He is a moderate dog, not extreme in any way, with a stocky build. He is square or slightly longer then tall, of fairly large bone and substance. He stands at 21 to 24.5 inches and weighs between 55 to 80 pounds. His coat is short and hard to the touch. It is drip-dry and is entirely weatherproof to protect him from icy waters. A black coat was the most popular known colour for the Labrador, but yellow became more widely seen as of 50 years ago. The yellow coat ranges from light cream to red fox. Today, there is quite a trend for chocolate, also known as liver. He has a broad head and strong medium-sized jaw, which allows him to carry the largest game birds, such as Canadian geese. His heavy set and strong legs enable him to swim and run powerfully. He has a relatively short, thick-coated tail, which is known as an otter-tail. He has kind and intelligent hazel-brown, medium-size eyes which express a gentle temperament. He has a broad backskull with a moderate stop. His forelegs are well-boned, and straight from shoulder down to the ground. His paws are round and rather compact. His chest has good depth and width with well-sprung ribs.


The Labrador Retriever is a multi-talented dog much like the Golden Retriever. The Golden Retriever and the Labrador Retriever are regularly cross-bred to utilize their combined skills. When the Labrador is well trained, he is obedient, amiable, and tolerates well with the acts of children, other dogs and others pets. He does not seem to take offence at any insult. He is good tempered and very agile. He is a calm house dog, playful yard dog, and intense field dog. He is eager to please, enjoys learning, and excels in obedience.

Lab Upkeep

If you are the type of person who enjoys activities and spends most of your days in the outdoors, then the Labrador is for you. This breed needs daily exercise, preferably in the form of retrieving and swimming. If you have a swimming pool, you should either fence your Lab out, or be prepared to share the pool with him. Although, he can live in town surroundings, he should not be deprived of regular, long walks. He can consume any quantity of food; however, sensible feeding is important to prevent this breed from carrying too much weight.

Retriever Health Issues

Unfortunately, many Labradors do not live up to the image they carry. Living up to 10 to 13 years old, some suffer from hereditary cataracts, hip and elbow arthritis and even wayward temperaments. Major health concerns for this breed include:

  • Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD): An abnormal formation of the hip socket that, in its most severe form, can eventually cause crippling lameness and painful arthritis of the joints.
  • Elbow Dysplasia: A condition involving multiple developmental abnormalities of the elbow joint, specifically the growth of cartilage or the structures surrounding it.
  • Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD): Excess cartilage and deficient bone growth.
  • Obesity: A medically relevant nutritional disease which is defined by an excess amount of body fat.
  • Pattelar Luxation: Occurs when the dogs kneecap is dislocated from its normal position in the groove of the thigh bone.

Before any of these major and common health issues develop, Lab owners should always get their dog tested to see if they have issues with their hips, elbows, eyes, and knees.

We all know that the Labrador Retriever is one of the most reliable, smartest and friendliest dogs in the world. Despite all of these great qualities, there are still things about them that need to be taken care of. If you enjoy long walks, a long swim in the lake, a game of fetch or perhaps a day of hunting, the Lab is your perfect dog and will remain your loyal companion for years to come.


History of the Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever, originally known as Flat-Coats, was one of the most popular dogs in Britain, used as a gun-dog and family pet. The man who introduced Golden Retrievers as a definite breed was Lord Tweedmouth, who lived just north of the Scottish border along the Tweed River. In the 1800’s there was such a high demand for retriever dogs that can push through heavy vegetation, brave cold water, swim strongly, and retrieve gently. In the 1900’s Lord Tweedmouth bred Nous, a yellow Wavy-Coated Retriever, to Belle, a Tweed Water Spaniel, which is a popular liver-coloured retriever with tightly curled coat. They produced four puppies, which showed promise of being outstanding upland bird dogs. The breed was first considered to be a yellow variety of Flat-Coat Retrievers, but was recognized as a separate breed, the Yellow or Golden Retriever in 1912. However, when a few of these dogs came to America by permission of Lord Tweedmouth’s sons in 1900, the American Kennel Club (AKC), did not register them as a separate breed until 1927. There are different breed lines that have evolved for different purposes. The Golden Retriever was once famous and valued as a gun-dog, then later developed for use in field trials, and is devoted to show ring and family life. More recently, a fourth breeding line has produced Golden Retrievers that are trained exclusively as assistants for people who are blind or disabled. After making this transition from hunting dog to companion, his popularity skyrocketed and he remains one of the most popular breeds in America.


Standing between 20-24 inches and weighing between 55 to 80 pounds, the Golden Retriever gives the impression of being a solid comfortable dog. Being slightly longer than tall, he is an athletic, strong dog, capable of carrying heavy game over land and water. He has a broad and slightly rounded skull and a generous soft muzzle tipped with a large black nose that is able to carry birds, hares or even the newspaper without leaving a mark. He has a dense waterproof undercoat with a flat wavy topcoat, which varies from cream to a deeper rich golden colour that lightens with age. He has cat-like paws that grow fur between the pads. His forelimbs have prolific feathering, however, his hind legs are well muscled and covered in thick skin and dense hair. He has a thick tail which is carried horizontally. His neck is clean and muscular with loose-fitting skin. His well-proportionate ears are of moderate size and hang with a slight fold. He has dark-pigmented flews which droop naturally.


The Golden Retriever is relaxed but responsive, calm but alert, sensible and serene, and is known for its devoted and obedient nature as a family companion. Ignoring his active nature and powerful physique can lead to behaviour problems. Poorly bred Golden Retrievers may be overly exuberant and boisterous, but the correct Golden is eager to please and enjoys learning. Well-trained and exercised Retrievers are calm at home, and enthusiastic when invited to play in a kind, friendly, and confident manner.


Being a wonderful all-purpose kind of breed, the Golden Retriever is very easy to train, but needs to be kept interested or will get easily bored. His ability to guide the blind demonstrates his temperament to its fullest, as the work involves a great deal of steady, long walks, which demonstrates his demand for daily exercise and human interaction. Challenging obedience lessons, active games, or retrieving sessions are all ideal ways to exercise his mind and body. Although he is capable of staying outdoors for long periods of time, he is social dog that is best expressed when around his family. His long wavy coat does tend to mat and needs twice weekly brushing.

Health Issues

With a life expectancy of a maximum of 13 years, the Golden Retriever is susceptible to major health concerns. It is suggested to get your Golden Retriever examined at their hips, elbows, eyes, cardiac, and thyroid. Major health concerns for this breed include:

  • Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD): an abnormal formation of the hip socket that, in its more severe form, can eventually cause crippling lameness and painful arthritis of the joints.
  • Skin Problems: allergies, hot spots, and ear infections
  • Hemangiosarcoma: a form of cancer in which an aggressive, malignant tumor of blood vessel cells appears.
  • Lymphoma: a type of cancer that originates in the lymphocyte cells of the immune system.

Being one of the most respected, reliable, smartest and friendliest dogs in the world, the Golden Retriever is still a breed that needs attention. He’s a dog that needs a lot of stimulation to keep him interested. If you enjoy long walks, a long swim in the lake, a game of fetch or perhaps a day of hunt, the Golden Retriever is perfect for you. If you want to maintain your dog’s health, you should provide him with a great amount of exercise and a reasonable amount of food.

Corey Rametta
Corey Rametta

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