About the Breed

Breed Overview

Out of all the breeds of dogs in the world, the Golden Retriever is still coming out on top of the “Most Popular” list and for very good reason: these canine companions are amazing! From being a dedicated family member to a must-have hunting partner, or a world class show dog.

The English Cream Golden Retriever has a powerful sense of smell and is actually in the top of its class when it comes to sniffing out game…and of course, retrieving it. Today the English Cream Golden Retriever is not only used as a fowl retriever and family companion, but is also excellent at search-and-rescue and bomb-sniffing missions.

Most people would consider themselves “extra lucky” if they had both beauty and brains. Then the English Cream Golden Retriever must be lucky too, because not only it is gorgeous, it is number four, out of the top ten, in the intelligent breed category—stunning light blond hair and super smart.

We already know the Golden Retriever is popular, smart and so good lookin’, but did you know this breed has been used on many television shows and movies? Goldens were used as canine companions in the 1980s and 90’s having been featured in the long-running sitcoms of “Punky Brewster,” “Full House” and on “Empty Nest.” Golden Retrievers have also made movie appearances on “Homeward Bound” and the “Air Bud” just to name a few.

So now that you know, golden retrievers are beautiful dogs blessed with long, shiny coats in some shade of gold with wonderful demeanors to boot. If you’ve seen the English cream golden retriever, or “white” golden retriever, in magazines or ads, you may be wondering what it is and where you can get one. What makes them different from the average golden retriever that you see every day in America? Are they the same breed? Is the only difference the coat color? So below we will answer some of these questions on the beloved Breed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Cream Golden Retrievers still Golden Retrievers?

Yes. It’s incorrect to call a lighter-colored golden retriever by a different name. Sometimes, breeders change their name to trick buyers into thinking that these lighter-colored dogs are rare. Some breeders incorrectly call them “rare white European golden retrievers,” “exquisite platinum imported golden retriever.” But, no matter what they are called, they are golden retrievers; they are recognized as such by English and Canadian authorities. The Truth An “English cream golden retriever” is basically a golden retriever in a very pale shade of gold!

Are American Golden Retrievers Genetically Different From English Ones?

Somewhat. Even though American Goldens descend from English lines imported to the U.S. via Canada, the breed evolved and developed differently than its English counterpart because it was bred according to the American Kennel Club standard rather than the standard of the Kennel Club of the UK. Let’s take a look at a few of the differences.

English American
Color Generally lighter Generally darker
Topline Level slope Back slopes down a little
Head Broader head Narrower profile that blends into skull
Eyes Round, level eyes Slanted
Ears Level with eyes Behind and just above the eyes
Neck Long, protruding neck; clean and often trimmed ruff Medium length; muscular and untrimmed
Tail Level with back Slight upward curve
Build Heaver, stockier build Leaner, more lightweight appearance
Height Male: 22-24 inches
Female: 20-22 inches
Male: 23-24 inches
Female: 12.5-22.5 inches
Lifespan 12 years 10-11 years
Cancer 38.8% 60%

Do English Retrievers Shed Less?

Because English retrievers have less hair, you will notice less hair around the house, but this does not mean that they shed less compared to their American counterparts. All retrievers shed at the same rate and usually shed the most during spring and fall.

Are Cream or White-Colored Golden Retrievers Healthier Than Darker Goldens?

The color of the coat has nothing to do with a dog’s health. But ancestry could possibly have an effect on health.

  • There is at least a little evidence that, on average, English bloodlines are healthier.
  • A 1998 study found that 61.8 percent of American goldens died from cancers, such as hemangiosarcoma, lymphosarcoma, mast-cell tumors, and osteosarcoma, whereas a 2004 British Kennel Club study found that only 38.8 percent of goldens from English bloodlines were affected by cancer.
  • Studies also found that goldens from English bloodlines had an average lifespan of 12 years and 3 months whereas American goldens lived for an average of 10 years and 8 months.
  • This data does not necessarily mean that an English retriever is immune from cancer and will die only at a ripe old age.
  • There is plenty of anecdotal evidence of English retrievers dying from cancer and living shorter lives than expected.
  • The health of your dog will depend on good breeding lines not on whether it is English or American, cream-colored or toffee-colored.
  • The secret to health and longevity is ultimately a combination of nature and nurture—good genes plus optimal care by responsible owners.

How Much Do Cream (White) Golden Retrievers Cost?

Golden retrievers—no matter their color—cost anywhere between $500 to $4000 depending on the location, the reputation of the breeder, and whether the puppy descends from champion lines.


If you adopt a golden retriever puppy with no health clearances or lineage documents, expect to pay around $500 or less. Anything above this range is a rip-off.

Pet Store

Depending on how reputable the pet store is and how well the puppy has been bred, the price can range anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500.


The cost of a healthy puppy from a reputable breeder will set you back $1,500 to $4,000. Dogs descending from champion blood lines will be on the higher end of this price spectrum.


  • Cream
  • Light Golden
  • Golden
  • Dark Golden

The cream color was added to the English standard in 1936. After years of selective breeding, these lighter specimens were given the name “English cream golden retrievers.” Today, these light-colored specimens may also be called English golden retrievers, European golden retrievers, blond golden retrievers, light golden retrievers, white goldens, or platinum blond goldens.

Temperament and Health

They need a lot of exercise—a couple of walks a day at the very least. They love outdoor activities, especially swimming.

  • While active outdoors, they are also calm indoors, making them ideal family pets.
  • They are easy to train. They are people pleasers and are extremely intelligent.
  • They are one of the best dogs for kids.
  • They are even-tempered, well-behaved, and extremely faithful.
  • They are social animals. They can develop separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time.
  • They shed profusely, especially in the fall and spring. You must regularly brush them (at least twice a week).
  • They will need 3 meals a day as a puppy and 2 meals a day as an adult. Each meal should be around 1/3 to 1/2 of a cup of dry food.
  • Golden retrievers are prone to cancer, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, cataracts, and hypothyroidism.
  • Before you get a Golden Retriever, make sure you are aware of the above traits and the care that Golden Retrievers specifically need.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, choosing a good golden retriever shouldn’t be based on coat color alone but a combination of factors such as structure, temperament, and health. When choosing a good dog, you want to find breeders who breed for good health and temperament and have great lines, not breeders breeding mainly for money and looks, or those making false claims just to attract buyers.