English vs American Golden Retriever: 5 Differences

Key Notes:

  • English golden retrievers are white-colored dogs that have cream fur. They weigh about five pounds more than American golden retrievers. American golden retrievers have red hair and yellow hair.
  • Both breeds have a friendly, easy-to-train temperament. The English golden retriever is more relaxed, while the American golden retriever can be more energetic and have separation anxiety.
  • The AKC recognizes the American golden retriever as a purebred dog breed, but the English is not.

Did you know there are two types of golden retrievers? The English and American. How can you tell the difference between these dog breeds?

This article will discuss the differences between American and English golden retrievers. It will also include their physical descriptions, so you can easily tell which one is which. We’ll also discuss their behavior differences, sizes, and whether their breed is recognized or not by the AKC. Let’s learn more about golden retrievers!

Comparing English vs American Golden Retriever

English Golden Retriever American Golden Retriever
Size 45-70 pounds; 20-24 inches tall 55-75 pounds; 20-24 inches tall
Appearance Wavy and silky coat in a light cream or white color only; their coat is a bit shorter compared to their American counterparts Shiny and long silky coat in a yellow, red, or white shade; floppy ears and luxurious fur
Originally Bred For Specifically bred for their light cream colored fur, but still a capable hunting dog Gun and hunting dog activities such as waterfowl retrieval
Behavior More laid back than their American counterparts; easy to train and very friendly. Still sheds just as much Incredibly friendly and playful; needs an abundance of exercise and sheds frequently
Recognized Breed by the AKC? No Yes

The Key Differences between American and English Golden Retrievers

Given the high energy of the American golden retriever, you may experience more separation anxiety or destruction compared to the English golden retriever.

There are many differences between American and English golden retrievers. The English golden retriever is slightly larger than the American golden retriever. While the coats of the English golden retrievers are usually white or cream, the American golden retriever’s coat is more often yellow or red. The AKC recognizes the American golden retriever as a breed, but not the English golden retriever.

Let’s now discuss these differences more in detail.

English vs American Golden Retriever: Size

The coat of the English golden retriever is only found in cream or white colors, while the coat of the American golden retriever is often found in yellow or red.

It is a subtle distinction but there are size differences between an American and English golden retriever. Although they have identical heights and frames, American Golden Retrievers can weigh up to 5 pounds more than the average English golden retriever. This is unlikely to make a significant difference in their appearances.

English vs American Golden Retriever: Appearance

The American golden retriever is a recognized breed by the AKC, while the English golden retriever is not.

It is unlikely that you can tell the difference between an American and an English golden retriever by just looking at them. They are almost identical, aside from the length of their fur. The coats of American golden retrievers and English golden retrievers are slightly longer than those of English golden retrievers. Their coats are also more wavey because of this.

English golden retrievers can only be purchased in a white or cream coat. American golden retrievers come in yellow and red colors. This is the primary difference. This distinction might not be enough to distinguish these two breeds.

English vs American Golden Retrievers: The Original Reason for Breeding

While they are identical in height and overall frame size, American golden retrievers weigh up to 5 pounds more than the average English golden retriever.

It is possible to wonder if there are differences in the breeding of American and English golden retrievers. English golden retrievers, for example, are bred to have beautiful cream-colored coats. American golden retrievers, on the other hand, are bred to be capable hunters. Both dogs have a natural proclivity to hunt so they are both bred in the same way.

English vs American Golden Retriever: Behavior

English golden retrievers are bred for their luxurious cream-colored coats, while American golden retrievers are bred for their capable hunting

There are behavioral differences between an American and an English golden retriever, regardless of the reason. Dog breeders and experts agree that English golden retrievers tend to be more relaxed than American golden retrievers. Both breeds are extremely friendly and loyal and they are easy to train.

The American golden retriever’s high energy can cause separation anxiety and destruction. Both dogs shed the same amount, even though the English Golden Retriever has shorter hair than the American golden retriever.

Longevity and health

The average life expectancy for English golden retrievers is between 10 and 11 years. The sad truth is that golden retrievers are more likely to develop cancer than other breeds of dogs. The American golden retrievers have a 60% cancer rate, which is almost double that of English golden retrievers who have a 38% chance.

English vs American Golden Retriever: Is the AKC Recognizing the Breed?

Many dog experts and breeders agree that English golden retrievers are more laid-back than American golden retrievers overall.iStock.com/Tatyana Consaul

The AKC recognizes the English golden retriever as a distinct breed. The English cream golden retriever’s beautiful coat is what is most prized, but it is not an AKC-recognized purebred dog breed.

This does not necessarily mean that dogs are any less intelligent. Despite their differences, English and American golden retrievers share many similarities. Many people still consider them the same breed. These dog breeds are great companions for many families.