Health & Adoption Agreement

Woodlot Companions Blog

Author: Chloe Jost
Date: January 9, 2024

American and English Cream Golden Retrievers: What Are the Differences?

English Cream Golden Retrievers

Upon hearing “family dog,” most people would imagine a golden retriever. Who could blame them? With soft eyes and a kind face, these dogs are some of the most popular and recognizable breeds in the US.

They have a distinct and funny personality that makes them great with kids. You may have heard of the golden retriever’s distant cousin, the labrador retriever. However, did you know there are also different kinds of golden retrievers?

Hailing from the UK, English cream golden retrievers come from the same line as American goldens. They’re close relatives but also have distinct traits. If you’re interested in adopting a golden retriever, it may help to learn about their different sub-types.

Read on to discover more about these two golden retriever breeds.

Coat and Color

American golden retrievers have the classic honey coat that earned them their name. American golden retriever coats can range from light golden to a deeper shade of yellow. Some American goldens have a deeper copper coat color that looks like rust.

English goldens come in lighter shades, thus the name “English cream golden retriever.” You may have seen buzzwords like “rare white” or “platinum” golden retriever thrown around, but they aren’t really that special. There are also slight distinctions between their coat textures.

American golden retrievers tend to have thicker and longer coats. English goldens have shorter and wavier coats. English goldens also tend to have more feathering than American goldens.

Size and Weight

American and English golden retrievers differ only slightly in size.

Male adult American golden retrievers can stand up to 23 to 24 inches. They also have an average weight of 65 to 75 lbs. Female adult American golden retrievers have an average height of 20 to 22 inches and weigh between 60 to 70 lbs.

Male adult English golden retrievers have an average height of 22 to 24 inches. Adult females can grow up to 21 to 22 inches. The UK kennel club does not specify weight, but they should be in the same range as American goldens.

Facial Structures and Features

An easier way to distinguish an American golden from an English golden would be its head shape. American golden retrievers have a broader skull. They may also have a more pronounced arch.

English golden retrievers tend to have larger heads. Both goldens have wide foreheads, but American goldens tend to have longer ones. The AKC standard for golden retrievers is that they should have round eyes and fitted rims.

The AKC does not consider a dog a golden retriever if it does not have this feature. The BKC requires the dog’s eyes to have a reasonable distance between them in addition to the aforementioned standards.

English golden retrievers also have a stockier and shorter body shape. American golden retrievers appear lankier and taller.


American and English golden retrievers share the same loveable temperament. As descendants of water dogs, both have a love for water and swimming. Both goldens are loving, loyal, and sweet, making them the perfect companion dogs.

However, English golden retrievers tend to have a calmer demeanor. American golden retrievers are often more boisterous and sassy. This is something worth noting if you’re looking for a specific personality.

Both dogs are highly sociable and love people. No matter which golden you choose, they’re sure to be a welcome addition to the family.

Intelligence and Trainability

Golden retrievers are well-known for their trainability and willingness to learn. Fortunately, this is something both American and English golden retrievers share. Golden retrievers are intelligent and eager to please their masters.

This means they’re easier to train than most breeds, making them a great fit for beginner dog owners. Some English golden retriever owners claim that their dogs are easier to train due to their calm personalities. Regardless, both dogs require training at an early age.

Because golden retrievers are playful by nature, they may not recognize when they’re being rough. Goldens are known for their soft mouths, but nipping and biting are typical puppy behavior. If left alone, it can become a destructive or harmful habit.

Shedding and Maintenance

Shedding is another thing that American and English golden retrievers have in common.

Golden retrievers have double coats that require daily brushing to keep tame. Doing this distributes their natural oils along their coat, helping it stay shiny and healthy.

Regular brushing also prevents matting, which is common in double-coated dog breeds. We recommend using an undercoat rake for the undercoat and a slicker brush for the topcoat. It’s also best to brush your dog outdoors to minimize flyaways.

When bringing home a puppy, it’s best to acclimate them to grooming as soon as possible. Some dogs can be difficult to groom because they aren’t accustomed to the strange tools. Early training will make future grooming sessions a lot easier.

Health and Life Expectancy

Like all dog breeds, golden retrievers are susceptible to certain health problems. This includes:

  • Ear infections
  • Eye diseases
  • Heart disease
  • Skin disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia

Both breeds are prone to cancer, but American goldens have a 60% cancer rate, while English goldens only have about 40%. This could be due to a gene mutation in American golden retrievers.

American golden retrievers also have a shorter life expectancy of 10 years. English goldens, on the other hand, have a life expectancy of 12 years.

Golden retrievers are also prone to obesity due to their love for eating. Golden retrievers don’t always know when to stop, so owners must always monitor their food intake. If you’re unsure how much to feed your golden retriever, it’s best to talk to a veterinarian.

American vs. English Cream Golden Retrievers

American and English cream golden retrievers have slight but distinct differences. English cream golden retrievers have lighter and shorter coats and are significantly healthier than American goldens. Are you interested in meeting some English cream golden retriever puppies?

Woodlot Companions is an ethical dog breeding facility in Ohio. We pride ourselves in producing healthy dog breed lines and helping them find their forever homes. Meet our English golden retriever puppies for sale and find your perfect match.

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