English Golden Retriever vs American Golden Retriever

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?

When it comes to Golden Retriever and American Golden Retriever, there is much confusion as well as many debates. Have you ever wanted to know the difference between them?

To help you understand more about these two dogs, we’re here to list the main differences between these dog breeds. Keep reading this article so that you can more easily make your decision when choosing between them.

An Overview

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.


Nowadays, one of the most famous breeds of dogs is the golden retriever. These dogs originally come from Scotland. They are known as hunting dogs due to their ability to find as well as bring back all the hunted prey as the hunters do.

For the best result, we can choose the golden retriever for this task. So, why? it’s because these dogs are obedient. They can be able to learn skills and tricks in no time.

Then, this dog breed was mixed with other breeds to create a variety of them. In spite of that, there are two most common ones including the American golden retriever and the English cream golden retriever.

American golden retrievers


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.

American Golden Retrievers

Over many years, the Americans found a different style of breeding that is suitable for their hunting styles. American Golden Retriever is known as a longer and taller dog. This dog breed comes with a high hunting drive as well as a golden to deep red coat. But, the American Golden Retrievers are considered Golden Retrievers just like English Golden Retrievers.

English Golden Retrievers

This dog breed is common in Europe and other countries. It’s simply referred to as Golden Retrievers. But, this dog breed is called English Golden Retrievers in the US. This dog and the American Golden Retrievers have many differences in color as well as physical characteristics.


These two dogs may have differences in some ways. However, they still are common similar in other ways. Both of them are known for a high level of sociability towards people as well as other pets around.

Both English Golden Retrievers and American Golden Retrievers are intelligent and loyal. Indeed, they may be kept as guide dogs. Also, they may be kept as assistance dogs, rescue dogs, or search dogs as well.

For both of them, you can play the game of fetch or catch with them because these dogs can be able to bring it back.

These two dogs are great choices for families with children. In fact, they can get along with children well.


Here are some differences between the English Golden Retrievers and American Golden Retrievers:

  • The English golden retrievers come in a white color In the same term, the American golden retrievers are known for a dark brown closer to a red colour coat.
  • The English golden retrievers come with a box like head. The American golden retrievers come with a fox kind of head.

When mentioning behavioural issues, the American Golden Retrievers are less calm than the English golden retrievers. The fact is that the American golden retrievers are very good at athletics. These dogs are full of energy. When it comes to the training process, it’s easier to train the English Golden Retrievers compared to their counterpart because these dogs are actually calm. So, they can learn more quickly.



When comparing English Golden Retriever to American Golden Retriever, the most difference is the color of their coats. This difference is actually depended on the breeding standards of them.

According to the AKC, American Golden Retriever has lustrous golden of various shades in color. According to the standard established by TKC, English Golden Retriever has the shades of cream to the greatest extent of gold. These dogs come with water-resisting undercoat.

In fact, the American Golden Retrievers come with a longer and thicker coat when compared to the English Golden Retriever. On the contrary, the English Crème Golden Retrievers are known with shorter and wavier coats of fur.

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.

english golden retrievers


The American Golden Retriever is known for a head structure. It’s broad-skulled and arched. The dog has the arch that stretches laterally and longitudinally. This dog breed has medium to large dark eyes. In addition, they come with closely-fitted rims. They normally come with short ears with the front edge in the right above their eyes. These dogs have medium-long necks.

The English Golden Retrievers are determined by a well-balanced head. They come with a broad skull. It doesn’t offer a sense of coarseness. These dogs come with moderately sized ears. There is a reasonable distance between their two eyes. These dogs seem to be a well-built appearance because of their necks.

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.

Health and Expectancy of Life

When it comes to health, these two dog breeds commonly suffer from similar diseases. When it comes to cancer, there is a difference between them.

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.

According to research and statistics, the Golden Retrievers are more prone to cancer when compared to their counterparts across the pond. Besides cancer, they also may suffer from lymphosarcoma, osteosarcoma, and mast cell tumour. A health study conducted by the Golden Retriever Club of America shown there is about 61.4% of American Golden Retrievers that lose their lives because of these conditions.

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.



The fact is that American Golden Retrievers are great choices to keep in your family. However, if you are looking for the slightly more mellow temperament, we recommend you to consider getting the English Golden Retrievers.


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.


If you are looking for a pet to keep at home, you can consider both English Golden Retrievers and American Golden Retrievers. Both of them are fun and lovable to have at home. Sure, these dogs won’t disappoint their owners. In this post, we have already given you essential info regarding these two dog breeds. They have both differences and similarities. Hopefully, they can help you more easily to choose one that is suitable for you.


I had my first litter three years later. It was by Tigathoe’s Pious Pete, a serious field competitor. After a great deal of cajoling and bribery on the part of my family members, I enrolled in an Obedience Class. At the same time, I took on my relative’s dog and went High In Trial with him.

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