** The information on this page has been gathered by respective Kennel Clubs, AKC and KC. If the information has changed on their pages, we will try to keep our page updated as well.
American vs English Creme
They are the same breed!
The difference between an American bred golden and an English bred golden retriever can be hard to wrap your brain around. There has been a lot of confusion between the two. Generally speaking though, these two are one breed. They are both Golden Retrievers and will be registered in the kennel club under one breed, "golden retrievers".
As described above, golden retrievers were bred to be gun dogs and retrieve. As the breed became more popular and accepted in other countries, different standards developed. British Kennel Club accepted golden retrievers in 1911, while the American Kennel Club accepted them in 1934. These dogs were bred to match preferences in their country, hence why they can look so different.
English golden retrievers are simply called "golden retrievers" in Europe, and vice versa in America with the US bred golden retrievers. The describing country is just a way to describe their native country.
Coat & Color Characteristics
As you can guess, the first and most obvious difference between the American and English bred golden retrievers is the color of their coat.
American golden retrievers tend to be various shades of gold. The rich reds and extreme lights are not usually accepted within the AKC show ring. However, that is usually left to the judge's discretion.
English golden retrievers tend to be the light creme and faint golden. Mahogany and reds are not generally accepted by the kennel club.
AKC Coat Description, "Dense and water-repellent with good undercoat. Outer coat firm and resilient, neither coarse nor silky, lying close to body; may be straight or wavy. Untrimmed natural ruff; moderate feathering on back of forelegs and on underbody; heavier feathering on front of neck, back of thighs and underside of tail. Coat on head, paws, and front of legs is short and even. Excessive length, open coats, and limp, soft coats are very undesirable. Feet may be trimmed and stray hairs neatened, but the natural appearance of coat or outline should not be altered by cutting or clipping."
European KC Coat Description, "Flat or wavy with good feathering, dense water-resisting undercoat."
Head / Neck / Ears / Eyes
American Golden Retriever
HEAD: Broad skull, and arched laterally and longitudinally to some degree but without prominence on the occipital bones or forehead. It has a deep and wide foreface which is almost as long as the skull. Its muzzle is straight, bending smoothly into the skull. Flews have no heaviness. Whiskers can be removed but is not preferred.
NECK: Neck is medium long and merges into well laid back shoulders. Neck provides a muscular and sturdy physique and appearance.
EARS: Ears are more of short with the front edge attached just above the eyes and fall close to the cheeks. When the ears are pulled forward, it should just be about able to cover the eye. Hound-like and low wears are faulted.
EYES: AKC Golden Retrievers possess an intelligent and friendly expression with medium large dark eyes and closely-fitting rims. Eyes are set reasonably apart and deep in sockets. Preferred eye color is dark brown, with medium brown still acceptable. Eyes are rather slant and narrow. Triangular eyes are considered a fault.
English Golden Retriever
HEAD: English Cremes have a very well-chiseled and balanced head, and its skull is broad without coarseness. A powerful, wide and deep muzzle and the foreface length is about the length from stop to occiput.
NECK: Neck is of good length and is muscular and clean.
EARS: English Cremes have moderately sized ears and set at approximate level with eyes.
EYES: Eyes are dark brown with dark rims, and are well set apart.
Health & Body Build
There seems to be some health differences between the American and English bred goldens. Americans have a higher chance of getting cancer and have a lower life expectancy of 10-12 years. English have a lower chance of getting cancer and have an average lifespan of 12-14 years.
It is not known exactly why these statistics are the way they are.
English cremes tend to be smaller in height, but bigger boned with blockier heads.
English cremes have been bred to excel in the show ring rather than out in the field, however, they can be trained in the field as well.
Height / Weight:
Height: 22 to 24 inches for makes at withers; 20 to 22 inches for females
Weight: no weight specification
Height: 23 to 24 inches for males at withers; 21.5 to 22.5 inches for females
Weight: 65 to 75 pounds for males; 55 to 65 pounds for females
AKC: Strong and level from withers to slightly sloping croup, whether standing or moving. Sloping backline, roach or sway back, flat or steep croup to be faulted.
KC: Calls for level top line.
AKC: Strongly muscled. Profile of croup slopes slightly; the pelvic bone slopes at a slightly greater angle (approximately 30 degrees from horizontal). In a natural stance, the femur joins the pelvis at approximately a 90-degree angle; stifles well bent; hocks well let down with short, strong rear pasterns.
KC: Loin and legs strong and muscular, good second thighs, well bent stifles. Hocks well let down, straight when viewed from rear, neither turning in nor out.
English Cremes have a more leveled topline with legs straighter while American Goldens mostly have slightly sloping topline with their legs standing more out. KC standard is very straightforward on this matter: level topline!
AKC allows for (slightly) sloping croup (back part) while KC prefers the dogs’ natural back which is not a dramatic sloping one.
AKC: Tail well set on, thick and muscular at the base, following the natural line of the croup. Tail bones extend to, but not below, the point of hock. Carried with merry action, level or with some moderate upward curve; never curled over back nor between legs.
KC: Set on and carried level with back, reaching to hocks, without curl at tip.