Golden Retriever is one of the most popular breed worldwide. It is well-known not only for its friendly personality but also for its gorgeous golden coat. However, there are not only just one type of golden retrievers. There is a variety, and the most common two are American Golden Retriever and British Golden Retriever. So what are the differences between the two?
The Golden Retriever first originated in Scotland. The breed was made to be ‘retrievers’, which was used for hunting purposes back in the days. The trait remain the same over time, which allows Golden Retrievers to be naturally good at hunting or retrieving game. The breed is also commonly known for obedience and high intelligence. Thus, this type of dog is usually employed to be guide dogs, security guards, or hunting dogs. When living at home with dog owners, the Golden Retrievers are energetic dogs that love to play outdoor and take part in activities with the family. Additionally, they are also known for their kid-friendly characteristic. While being energetic, the Golden Retrievers are also sensitive and gentle at the same time. Therefore, other than special purposes, many people like having the Golden Retrievers as pets in their household as the breed is good with kids and friendly with family members.
THE BKC AND AKC STANDARD
The difference originates from the definition and acceptance of two organizations in America and Britain: AKC (American Kennel Club) and BKC (British Kennel Club). The breed was first recognized by the BKC in 1911 and later was recognized by the AKC in 1934. Through time, the standard of each club has changed to adapt to the preference of dog owners in their region. Thus, there are slight differences in terms of appearance to distinguish the dogs. Usually, British Golden Retrievers are also called as English Creme Golden Retrievers in order to differentiate from American Golden Retrievers.
COAT AND COLOR
The color is the most noticeable difference between the two subtypes. It explains why British Goldens are named English Creme Golden Retrievers. Firstly, according to the BKC, English Creme Golden Retrievers should be in the shades of cream with some extent of gold. Other colors are not accepted under this standard. In the meanwhile, the AKC states that American Golden Retrievers are the ones with golden shades. Dogs that are too dark or too light are not recognized under the AKC standard.
Beside the color, standards for the coat from both clubs differ too. Under the AKC, it is stated that a Golden Retriever has two layers of coat: a dense and water-resistant topcoat and a soft undercoat. The topcoat is firm, not silky, sometimes wavy but mostly straight, and close to the body. The areas such as neck, thighs, or tails have heavier feathering, whereas such as heads and paws are only covered by a short layer of coat. For American Golden Retrievers, it is not recommended and sometimes is undesirable to let the coat grow excessively in length. Thus, regular trimming to keep the coat in a neat length is highly encouraged. However, unlike other breeds that dog owners can perform various hairstyles on, any cutting or trimming that goes against the natural look of the coat is not recommended.
The standard of the BKC is simpler, yet implies similar features. For English Creme Golden Retriever, the topcoat should be flat or wavy.
In general, when comparing the two subtypes, American ones tend to have thicker coat and straighter feather, while English ones are commonly seen with wavy fur. Both types similarly have water-resistant coat as their origin was truly retrievers.
Head: The American golden retriever’s head structure is broad-skulled and arched, whereas the English creme golden retriever’s is more balanced and quite larger than the American’s. Both types have wide foreface; however, the American’s foreface is a bit deeper and longer, almost as long as the skull.
Eyes: The eyes of American Golden Retrievers are large and well-rounded with dark brown color and fitted rims. Medium brown eyes are also accepted. Eyes with shapes other than round are not acceptable. Similarly, the standard of the BKC for English Creme Goldens states that their eyes should be from medium to dark brown and well-rounded. Additionally, their eyes are also reasonably-distanced.
Ears: For the American ones, the front edge of the ears are aligned a bit above the eye-level and the tip of the ears is around the cheek-level. When being pulled forward, the ears must be able to cover the eyes. For the English ones, the ears are at a moderate size and at the eye-level.
Neck: Both American and English Golden Retrievers should have medium-length necks with muscular appearance.
According to a 1988-health study by the Golden Retriever Club of America, more than 60 percent of American Golden Retrievers died due to cancer such as mast cell tumor or osteosarcoma. On the other hand, in another similar study by the BKC, only around 38 percent of English Golden Retrievers was diagnosed with cancer. Many research have also indicated that the American Golden Retrievers are more prone to cancer, compared to the English ones.
In terms of life expectancy, the English Creme Golden Retrievers are known to live longer than the Americans. More specifically, while the American Golden Retriever can only live up to around 10 years, the English ones can live up to 12 years.
WHICH BREED IS BETTER?
To answer this question, it is totally up to the dog owner and their preference. Both subtypes are quite similar in appearance and personality, and above all they are all good dogs to have. Most of the differences lie in the body figures, which is only an aesthetic matter. If you like a golden retriever with golden coat, an American one could be a great fit. On the other hand, if you prefer a cream-colored retriever, an English one would be better. Regardless of the color and some slight differences, both kinds are fun, friendly, and obedient that would bring you lots of memorable moments together.