American vs English Golden Retrievers

English Cream Golden Retriever

English Cream Golden Retriever

There has been much confusion and many debates regarding the classification of Golden Retrievers. Golden Retrievers are a medium sized breed which were historically bred as gun dogs used to retrieve animals during a hunt. As the breed gained popularity, two major breed standards developed in the United States and in England.

In 1911, the Golden Retriever was accepted into the British Kennel Club (KC) but was not accepted in America by the American Kennel Club (AKC) until 1934. Over the course of many years the Americans took a different style of breeding to match their hunting style. This breeding practice resulted in a longer, taller dog, with a high hunting drive and a golden to deep red coat.

The American Golden Retrievers and English Golden Retrievers are both considered Golden Retrievers. Wherever you are in the world, your retriever will be registered under “Golden Retriever.” It should be pointed out that English Golden Retrievers are simply referred to as “Golden Retrievers” throughout Europe and the rest of the world. In the United States, however they are often called English Golden Retrievers to differentiate them from the American Golden Retrievers due to their difference in color and physical characteristics.

Simply stated, the American Golden Retriever is a Golden Retriever bred to the American Kennel Club (AKC) standards and the English Golden Retriever is bred to the British Kennel Club (KC) standards.

The most obvious difference between American and English Golden Retrievers is the color of their coats. The AKC does not recognize light colored retrievers as opposed to the KC not recognizing mahogany and red colored retrievers. The most serious difference between the two are the health issues. American Golden Retrievers are 70% likely to develop cancer compared to The English Golden Retrievers 23%. Also, the life expectancy of an American Golden ranges from 8­10 compared to the English Goldens which range from 11­-13.