- English golden retrievers generally weigh five pounds more than American golden retrievers.
- In behavior, both breeds are very friendly and easy to train. The English golden retriever has a more laid-back temperament, whereas the American golden retriever has lots more energy and can have separation anxiety.
- The American golden retriever is recognized as a purebred breed by the AKC, while the English golden is not.
We are going to talk about two different types of golden retrievers: the English vs American golden retriever. What separates these two dog breeds from one another, and how can you learn to tell the differences between them at first glance?
In this article, we will compare and contrast all of the differences between English and American golden retrievers, including their physical descriptions so that you can tell them apart. We will also address their behavioral differences, their sizes, and whether or not their breed is recognized by the AKC. Let’s get started and learn about golden retrievers now!
Comparing English vs American Golden Retriever
|Category||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 as well as golden; 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||Bred for their cream-colored fur, but still a capable hunting and companion 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|
Key Differences Between English vs American Golden Retriever
There are many key differences between English and American golden retrievers. American golden retrievers are slightly larger than English golden retrievers. The coat of the English golden retriever is found in cream, yellow, red, or white colors, while the coat of the American golden retriever is more often found in yellow or red. Finally, the American golden retriever is a recognized breed by the AKC, while the English golden retriever is not.
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Let’s discuss all of these differences in more detail now.
English vs American Golden Retriever: Size
While it is an extremely subtle distinction, there are some size differences between the average English golden retriever versus the average American golden retriever. 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. However, this is likely not a difference that you can tell just by looking at them.
English vs American Golden Retriever: Appearance
You likely can’t tell an English golden retriever apart from an American golden retriever just by looking at them. This is because they are identical in basically every way besides the length of their fur. For example, English golden retrievers have slightly shorter coats compared to the coat of the American golden retriever. This gives their coat more waves as well.
English golden retrievers come in a cream or white coat as well as yellow or red shades, while American golden retrievers are found in yellow and red coloring. However, even American golden retrievers have the option of a white or cream-colored coat, so this distinction may not be enough for you to tell these two dog breeds apart!
English vs American Golden Retriever: Original Reason for Breeding
You may be wondering if there is a difference in the breeding of the English golden retriever versus the American golden retriever, and there is, to an extent. English golden retrievers are bred primarily for their luxurious cream-colored coats, while American golden retrievers are bred for their capable hunting abilities. However, both dogs share a proclivity for hunting, so they are bred for the same thing in many ways.
English vs American Golden Retriever: Behavior
For whatever reason, there are some behavioral differences between an American golden retriever and an English golden retriever. Many dog experts and breeders agree that English golden retrievers are more laid-back than American golden retrievers overall. Both dog breeds are exceedingly friendly and loyal and are very easy to train.
Given the high energy of the American golden retriever, you may experience more separation anxiety or destruction compared to the English golden retriever. Both of these dogs shed an equal amount, despite the English golden retriever having a shorter coat than the American golden retriever.
Health and Longevity
English golden retrievers live 12-14 years, while their American relatives have a life expectancy of 10-12 years. A sad fact is that in general, golden retrievers develop cancer at a higher rate than most other dog breeds. Between the two we’ve analyzed, American golden retrievers have a cancer rate of 60%, almost twice that of English golden retrievers, who have a 38% chance of contracting the disease.
English vs American Golden Retriever: Does the AKC Recognize the Breed?
A final and distinct difference between the English golden retriever and the American golden retriever is whether or not they are recognized as a distinct and separate breed by the AKC. While the English cream golden retriever is prized for its beautiful coat, it is not a recognized purebred breed of dog, while the American golden retriever is.
However, this does not mean anything in the grand scheme of dogs. Both English and American golden retrievers have many similarities, and many people still consider them to be the same breed despite their subtle differences. No matter what, either of these dog breeds makes fantastic companions for a wide variety of families and situations!
What is the Difference Between English, Canadian, and American Golden Retrievers?
While we have talked about the first two types, we can not fully talk about golden retriever variations without mentioning the third breed just to the north of the United States: the Canadian Golden Retriever.
This particular type of dog shares a lot of similariaties to its cousins and might be hard to distinguish from them. Generally, Canadian Golden Retrievers are taller than the American and the English variation.
Another good indicator of which breed is coat thickness and color. The Canadian’s coat, oddly enough, will be thinner than the American pup, which might lead to easier brushing for its owner. The coat hair is also shorter than other goldens. When it comes to coat color, the Canadian will be a little bit darker than the American Golden Retriever, but they do vary from cream to dark golden.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock.com
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