English vs American Golden Retriever: Differences You Should Know

Have you ever thought of getting yourself a dog with which you can cuddle and play? If yes, then we are pretty sure that you have come across the idea of adopting a Golden Retriever.

This dog breed looks amazing with its lustrous and dense golden coat. And much like Labrador Retrievers, Goldens can also be amazing pet dogs. They are loyal, fun-loving, adorable, social, and great hunting dogs. This breed is also one of the most commonly found pet dogs of medium to large size.

There is a general perception that Golden Retrievers are only one breed, which is wrong. People new to the canine world may not know that Golden Retrievers have three breed types- Canadian Golden Retrievers, American Golden Retrievers, and English Golden Retrievers.

Although there may not be any striking differences between these breeds, we will find some variations if we look closer. With this in mind, we’ve concentrated on analyzing the differences between English and American Golden Retrievers in the following sections. These differences would help you better understand these dogs and choose the one that suits your lifestyle the most.

However, before jumping into that, let us explore some basic facts about the Golden Retriever breed.

About the Breed

About the breed
Image Credit: A closeup of English Golden Retriever from Pxhere

One of the most popular and adorable house dog breeds is Golden Retriever. This medium-sized dog breed is an energetic Scottish gundog with outstanding beauty, and it is one of the world’s most popular dogs. Golden Retrievers can be used for various tasks, including hunting and serving as service dogs for persons with vision impairments.

Golden Retrievers are amiable, clever, and loyal, in addition to being a strong, muscular dog with a glossy coat of gold that lends the breed its name. These characteristics make it a good pet dog.

Additionally, these dogs approach life with a joyful and lighthearted attitude, continuing well into adulthood. So, it is very much likely to find a puppyish attitude among Goldens even in their mature years. So, if you want a forever puppy for yourself and your family, get a Golden Retriever.

This breed thrives well in both urban and rural settings. They require moderate to vigorous outside activity, but they should be kept in a gated area due to their hunting tendencies and propensity to roam.

Also Read: 7 Top Large White Dog Breeds [My Favorite List]

Basic Information About Golden Retriever

Weight55- 75lbs


21”- 24”


10- 12 years

Coat color

Golden/ yellow & cream





Drool amount


Barking level

Medium/ when needed


Outgoing, playful. Jovial and friendly

Good with


Energy level




Golden Retriever variations

This is an interesting part! Most people new to Golden Retrievers may not be aware that these dogs have the same Scottish origin but may differ in type.

After their origin in Scotland, eventually, with time, Goldens got dispersed worldwide. Each country’s Golden Retriever has its distinct personality. The Goldens, which originated in America, Britain, and Canada, were the most refined.

Although the distinctions between these types are minor, they are discernible if you pay more attention.

English vs American Golden Retriever

English vs American Golden Retriever
Image Credit: https://www.bubblypet.com/

Before we get into the specifics of the distinctions between the two, let’s look at these two types of Goldens. It’s crucial to understand that a golden retriever is a golden retriever regardless of origin. Yes, a golden retriever is, after all, a golden retriever; however, there are distinctions based on where it originates from.

Let’s look at some of the characteristics between these types that differentiate them!

#1. A Quick Overview

Parameters/Breed Types

English Golden Retriever

American Golden Retriever

Average height (inches)



Average weight (pounds)




11- 12 years

10- 11 years




Weekly brushing of the coat

Weekly brushing of the coat






Golden and its variations

ExerciseDaily 1+ hours

Daily 1+ hours



Energy level



#2. Physical structure

One of the major differences or similarities to get noticed is the physical structure of the dogs. That said, English Golden Retrievers primarily have a smooth and straight topline, neutral tail, and ears that are at eye level. In addition, they are usually shorter and chubbier. Besides, English Goldens have a muscular, square nose and dark brown eyes.

On the other hand, the American version is characterized by a topline that slopes at around 30 degrees, an upward-curving tail, and ears that are situated beyond and above eye level. They’re also noted for being a little taller and pudgier. In addition, their snout fades neatly into the skull, and their eyes are dark to brownish.

#3. Coat color

It is pretty easy to differentiate an American Golden Retriever from an English one by their coat color.

As per the American Kennel Club, the standard coat color of the American breed stands somewhere between “Rich, lustrous golden of various shades.” As a result, we mostly find American Golden Retrievers in gold hue coats that come in various colors and shades. On the other hand, English Goldens primarily have a cream-colored coat.

As far as the coat quality and thickness are concerned, the American types have a denser and lengthier coat. On the contrary, the English counterparts tend to have a shorter, wider, and lankier coat.

#4. Personality

Remember when we said that a Golden Retriever will always be a Golden Retriever regardless of their type? We meant that this dog breed will always have a cheerful, adorable, and playful temperament irrespective of their kind.

Still, you can find some variations in the personality of an American and English Golden. For example, Golden Retrievers in England are often calmer than those in the United States. They are rarely hyperactive. The majority of American Golden Retrievers, on the other hand, are extremely athletic and full of energy.

Also, the English Golden Retrievers are easier to train than their American counterparts.

However, we did not want to imply that all English Goldens are calmer and all American Goldens are hyperactive. On the contrary, this is a typical personality trait among them.

#5. Diseases and longevity

While these two types almost mirror each other regarding health and longevity, subtle differences are worth noticing. For example, the average life expectancy of an English Golden Retriever is around 11- 12 years. And although this breed has a high cancer prevalence, only 38% of them will get cancer in their lifetime.

On the contrary, however, the American Golden Retrievers have a total life expectancy of 10- 11 years. Additionally, this breed has a higher prevalence of cancer than their English counterparts, at around 60% and above. Moreover, they are significantly unhealthier, presumably due to backyard breeding.

#6. Puppy price

This factor will be essential to focus on if you plan to buy a Golden Retriever rather than adopting one. That said, an American Golden Retriever puppy will be much more affordable than an English one. For example, an American Golden Retriever from a reputable and recognized breeder will cost between $500 and $2,000 on average.

On the other hand, an English Golden Retriever would cost somewhere between $500 and $3,000 on average. However, expect to pay $3,500 plus for an English Cream Golden Retriever for a superior line.

It is important to note that choosing a reputable breeder is crucial if you buy a Golden Retriever. This is essential because some backyard breeders may try to dupe you by passing an American Golden Retriever as an English Golden Retriever to inflate the price.

Caring for Golden Retriever

Caring for Golden Retriever
Image Credit: A close up of American Golden Retriever from Pxhere

One needs to consider a few basic things about caring for a Golden Retriever. And most of these things do not belong to any exclusive breed or type. Instead, they are generalized caring tips, and you can follow them regardless of what type of Golden you have.

#1. Grooming

Living with a Golden Retriever can demand some extra dedication towards grooming them. Since these dogs have a dense and lustrous coat, they regularly need to be brushed to remove dead hair, debris, and mats. Additionally, a Golden Retriever will shed with enthusiasm. Although not profusely. Hence, daily brushing becomes essential to remove the dead undercoat and keep shedding under control.

That being said, if you are allergic to dogs and shedding puts you off, this breed may not be suitable for you. It doesn’t matter if you get an English breed or an American one; if consistent shedding is a NO, a Golden Retriever will surely be a NO for you.

#2. Exercise

Goldens are a sporty breed. It means they are highly active and playful and need regular opportunities to stretch out and channel their energy. As a result, make sure you take your Golden outside regularly for a walk, play, or some physical exercises for at least 1 hour. Remember, in the absence of appropriate physical activities; this breed may engage in undesirable behaviors and develop behavioral issues.

#3. Nutrition

Taking care of the feeding and nutritional intake of Goldens is essential because uncontrolled food intake tends to make them obese. Hence, feed your dog high-quality dog food that is age-appropriate and contains all the necessary nutrients. You can also make some sumptuous homemade dog foods for your canine companion.

Apart from this, if you decide to offer your dog ready-made dog treats, don’t give too much. Although these treats can help dogs with the training, they can make them obese in no time. Moreover, make sure to offer dog food that is low in fat and contains no sodium.

#4. Vaccination

Never forget to get your Golden Retriever jabbed! Timely vaccination can help your dog avoid any potential health risks. Along with vaccinations, a regular vet visit can also help check-up for possible health issues. We say so because Golden Retrievers tend to get cancer. Hence, regular check-ups can keep you aware of any potential risk factors developing surrounding your dog.

Which Type is Suitable for You?

Which type is suitable for you
Image Credit: A sitting Golden Retriever by Lars_Nissen by Pixabay

Now, after learning so many things about Golden Retrievers and their types, it’s time to decide which breed is suitable for you. Unfortunately, we cannot answer this for you. But we can suggest some help, nonetheless. So, make a check-out list with the below questions and try to find their answers.

  • Do you want to go hunting with your dog?
  • Are you looking for a dog for the dog show?
  • Do you wish your family to have a happy companion?
  • Do you wish to participate in canine sports?

While answering these questions, you will know which breed of Golden Retriever is better for you. So when you take up this small quiz, refer to the differences we stated above, and we are sure you will get your most suitable Golden breed.

You can add further questions to the above check-out list depending on your need.


Before we wrap up on English vs. American Golden Retriever, we would like to state that regardless of the distinctions between the two breeds, they both make fantastic pets, and you can choose either one as your partner.

Remember, though, that dogs are a lifetime investment. They have requirements and preferences that must be respected and met by all dog owners. Furthermore, instead of buying a Golden Retriever, always adopt one to end the unlawful practice of backyard dog breeding.

Finally, we hope you found the information presented above to be useful.