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Difference Between American versus English Golden Retrievers

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ENGLISH golden retriever VS AMERICAN golden retriever

You might think the only difference between the American Golden Retriever and the English Golden Retriever is the shade of their coat. Here you will learn there are multiple differences between the English and American Golden Retrievers, as well as many similar characteristics.  We will compare their size, temperament, breed standards, and which kennel clubs recognize them.  By the end of this article, I hope you will better understand the English and American Golden Retrievers.

Let’s dive in!

Difference Between American vs English Golden Retrievers

breeder training golden retrievers

Personality Difference of English versus American Golden Retrievers

When comparing American and English Golden Retrievers, one of the most intriguing aspects to consider is their personality differences. Both breeds are known for being friendly, loyal, and intelligent, but they may exhibit these traits in slightly different ways.

As a general rule, English Goldens are easygoing, laid back, and calmer. They aren’t as known to be very hyper and barky. Compared to American Goldens, who have more energy, can be overbearing and rowdy before properly trained. It’s important to remember that compared to other dog breeds, American and English Cream Goldens are considered mild-tempered.

American Golden Retrievers tend to have more energy and are more outgoing. They often have a playful demeanor and love to be active outdoors. Their enthusiastic nature can make them great companions for families with children or enjoy an active lifestyle.

On the other hand, English Golden Retrievers are typically calmer and more reserved. They are known for their gentle temperament and laid-back attitude. This makes them excellent therapy dogs or emotional support animals, as they have a calming presence that can help ease anxiety or stress.

Ultimately, whether you prefer the lively spirit of an American Golden Retriever or the mellow charm of an English Golden Retriever will depend on your own personality and lifestyle preferences.

Origins of the Golden Retriever

American Golden Retriever History

The origins of the American Golden Retriever can be traced back to the early 19th century when these beloved dogs were first bred in Scotland. Originally known as “Yellow Retrievers,” these majestic creatures quickly gained popularity for their exceptional hunting skills and friendly demeanor. A man by the name of Lord Tweedmouth is credited with creating this magnificent breed, crossing a now-extinct yellow retriever with a Tweed Water Spaniel. The result was a stunning dog with golden fur, hence their current name – Golden Retrievers. These dog Goldens quickly made their way across the pond to America, where they became cherished companions for families all over the country. Known for their intelligence, loyalty, and gentle nature, it’s no wonder that Golden Retrievers are one of America’s most popular canine breeds today. If you are interested in learning more about Golden Retrievers check out this article that goes into further detail on the breed.

Fun fact: Golden Retrievers are bred not to bark as often as it may frighten the waterfowl.

english cream golden retriever looking up

English Cream Golden Retriever History

These beautiful dogs were originally known as “Russian Retrievers” due to their popularity amongst Russian nobility. However, it wasn’t until they made their way to England that they became recognized for their unique cream-colored coats and gentle temperament. Over time, breeders began to select lighter coats within the Golden Retriever population, leading to the development of what is now called the English Cream Golden Retriever. The breed quickly gained a following among the British aristocracy and soon spread across Europe and eventually to the United States. Today, English Cream Golden Retrievers are beloved for their loyal nature, intelligence, and stunning appearance. With their origins rooted in aristocratic circles but now embraced by families around the world, these sweet pups continue to bring joy and companionship wherever they go.

english cream golden retriever puppy standing with toys

The Different Kennel Clubs for a Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is a registered breed in many countries around the world. The United States and the United Kingdom have specific breeding standards for Golden Retrievers. You can also find additional standards from international dog clubs, such as the International Canine Kennel Club. The different canine clubs have their own set of guidelines for the breed standard. Breeders try to follow the best they can so their dogs can be placed in the competitive dog show. The goal is to maintain the quality of the breed. It is a great accomplishment for your Golden Retriever to be named champion of the dog show.

The UKC Kennel Club recognized the Golden Retriever as an official breed in 1911, and the AKC American Kennel Club followed suit in 1925.

These organizations are non-profit clubs created to provide expert information and advice on dog breeds, their health, and training as well as maintain the breed standard. In this respect, the standards of these two kennel clubs play a major role in defining the differences between American Golden Retrievers and English Golden Retrievers’ body types and colors.

Despite the different breed standards of the AKC and the UKC, these two types of dogs have evolved with unique characteristics because of these differing standards.

English Cream Golden Retrievers is the name listed by the UKC, while American Golden Retrievers are listed by the AKC. Neither club recognizes sub-types of dog breeds, basically a Golden Retriever is a Golden Retriever.

American Golden Retrievers are bred according to AKC standards, while English Golden Retrievers are bred according to UKC Kennel Club standards. In addition to AKC’s national club, the Golden Retriever Club of America (GCRA), and the United Kennel Club (UKC) offer resources for Golden Retriever fans to geek out and learn all the technicalities in the breed standard.

There is only one breed of Golden Retriever, but they are referred to by different names depending on where you are from.

The English Golden Retriever is simply known as a Golden Retriever in Europe, while the American Golden Retriever is differentiated based on its physical appearance and color.


American standard height

Males 23” to 24” at the withers & females 21½” to 22½”. 

Standard Weights are Males 65 to 75 lb. and females 55 to 65 lb.

Broad in the skull, straight nose. Round eyes, and not slanted in any way. Short ears with the front edge behind and slightly above the eyes and falling in line with cheeks. The ears should be able to cover the eyes if pulled in front of the face. Coat color can vary from cream, blond, or red

English Cream Standard height

Males are 22-24 in. and females 20-22 in.

Standard Weights are Males 65 to 75 lb. and females 55 to 65 lb.

The Head is Balanced, well-chiseled, and broad with a powerful muzzle that is wide and deep.

English Goldens tend to be stockier with larger heads. The coat color can be light cream to varying shades of golden—no red or mahogany.

Energy Level

As young dogs, Americans are known to have higher energy levels versus English. Now dogs are individuals and can have their unique personalities but as a general rule, English Cream Golden Retrievers tend to be more laid back. 

pair of english cream golden retrievers sitting in the grass

Are English Cream Goldens Healthier?

When it comes to the debate between American and English Golden Retrievers, one common question that arises is regarding their health. Many potential dog owners wonder if one breed is healthier than the other.

English Goldens are often believed to be healthier than their American counterparts due to their breeding standards and lineage. With a focus on maintaining the traditional characteristics of the breed, English Golden breeders tend to prioritize health when selecting breeding pairs.

On the other hand, American Goldens have been bred for show purposes, which can sometimes lead to some health issues. While both breeds can experience health issues like any other dog breed, many enthusiasts argue that English Goldens have a better track record when it comes to overall health.

Ultimately, whether English Goldens are truly healthier than American Goldens remains up for debate. It’s important for prospective dog owners to do thorough research in finding a good breeder and on which type of Golden Retriever best fits their lifestyle and preferences.

American Golden Retrievers have a life expectancy of 10-12 years whereas the English Cream have a life expectancy is 12 years. Their coefficient of inbreeding (CoI) can be a fact for their increased life expectancy.

Again just because this is the general rule does not mean this is true for every dog. That is why it is so important to adopt your puppy from responsible breeders who consider the COI number of their dogs when planning their litters.

american and english golden retrievers

In Conclusion

Now that you have a little more understanding of the two Golden Retrievers. Besides a few differences these goldens may have they both come from the same bloodline in Scotland, with their differences being where they are currently bred and the breed standards for that country.

Both dogs would be ideal for a family looking for a fun-loving, energetic dog to play with.

Check out our next available litter of Mini Goldendoodle puppies for sale in Colorado.

Be prepared for your next furry friend with our tips for a new puppy owner guide.