- 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 one is not.
Did you know that there are two different types of golden retriever: 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 upon 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 at first glance. 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
|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. For example, 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.
Check out our video on YouTube
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 a slightly shorter coat 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. For example, 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.
However, 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 as well.
Health and Longevity
English golden retrievers live up to 12 years, while their American relatives have a life expectancy of 10-11 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 make fantastic companions for a wide variety of families and situations!
Find out more about golden retrievers in these articles:
- Royal Canin Golden Retriever Puppy Food Review: Pros, Cons, Recalls What should you feed your new golden retriever puppy? Check out this review for the best options.
- Discover the World’s Oldest Golden Retriever Find out how long a golden retriever has actually been documented to live as we take a look at the world’s oldest!
- Labrador vs Golden Retriever: 9 Key Differences Explained Here’s some comparisons between Labrador and golden retrievers to help you understand them better.
Ready to discover the top 10 cutest dog breeds in the entire world?
How about the fastest dogs, the largest dogs and those that are -- quite frankly -- just the kindest dogs on the planet? Each day, AZ Animals sends out lists just like this to our thousands of email subscribers. And the best part? It's FREE. Join today by entering your email below.
The Featured Image
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.