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Want to know the truth about English Cream Golden Retrievers?
In this post, we’re breaking down 23 facts about these beautiful white golden retrievers and identifying which myths are true and which ones are not.
Now before we dive in, here’s a quick overview of them:
English Cream Golden Retrievers are a style of Golden Retriever. All Golden Retrievers are the same breed, but this style has cream-colored coats, blocky heads, and stocky bodies. They’re said to be calmer and healthier than other Goldens.
But are they actually calmer and healthier than their American counterparts?
Keep reading to find out!
#1: English Cream Golden Retrievers Are Not From England
No, most English Cream goldens you’ll find in America are not from England.
Just like French fries are not from France.
All golden retrievers originated from Scotland in the mid-1800s when Lord Tweedmouth bred a Tweed water spaniel and a yellow wavy-coated retriever.
Most American breeders of these goldens either breed dogs from here in the States or import their dogs from all over the world, including:
- New Zealand
- The Netherlands
So how did English Cream goldens get their misleading name?
According to Bev Brown, the Kennel Club (UK’s version of the AKC) and the Golden Retriever Club, were the first ones to write up the breed standard.
And in the early 1900s, all dog shows in Britain were held in England.
So in America, we called the champions of those dog shows, “English Champions.”
The “English” seems to have stuck with goldens that look like the English champions in those days, so 100 years later we’re calling them “English” Cream Golden Retrievers.
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#2: There Is Only One Golden Retriever Breed
There is only one recognized breed of golden retriever, with many styles within the breed.
American, Canadian, English, cream, gold, red, stocky, field bred golden retrievers are all golden retrievers.
Yes, there may be some variability in appearance, energy levels, and even health (see #4), but they’re all golden retrievers and are more similar than they are different.
#3: English Cream Golden Retrievers Are Not White
English Cream goldens come in a variety of colors, although most are on the lighter side of the spectrum.
They’re typically cream or a light shade of gold, but not actually white, like a samoyed.
And here’s another interesting fact here: within the same litter, there may be different shades of gold and cream, with some puppies being lighter and some being darker.
#4: European Golden Retrievers Are Less Likely To Die From Cancer Than American Golden Retrievers
According to this study in Cambridge, 38.8% of golden retrievers from Europe will die from cancer, while, according to the Morris Animal Foundation, 60% of golden retrievers in America will get cancer.
Here’s a quote in Vet Street about why this is the case:
“When studied in a laboratory, the genes of American and U.K. Goldens are significantly different, suggesting that the risk of hemangiosarcoma is related to a relatively recent genetic alteration.”
#5: English Cream Golden Retrievers Have A Lifespan Of 10-12 Years
Many people think that English Cream goldens live longer than other types of goldens.
The lifespan of a golden retriever does not necessarily have to do with the color of the coat or the “type” of golden retriever.
The more important thing to consider if you want a golden retriever who’s likely to have a long, happy life is to find a quality breeder that breeds healthy dogs.
Yes, you may find many English Cream golden retriever breeders breed healthy dogs, but you also may find other golden retriever breeders produce healthy pups as well.
#6: English Cream Golden Retrievers Have A Wonderful Temperament
Many people think that English Cream golden retrievers are more good-natured than their American counterparts.
This depends on the individual dog, their pedigree, and how they’re raised.
If you want a sweet, well-mannered dog, look at the parents, not the color.
Remember, there’s technically only one type of golden retriever, and goldens are typically friendly and good-natured, so talk to the breeder about their dogs, what they breed them for, and what the temperaments of their dogs typically are like.
If a breeder consistently produces sweet-tempered puppies, then no matter what the color, if you get a puppy from them they’re likely to be sweet-tempered as well.
#7: English Cream Golden Retrievers Shed A Lot
Many people claim that English Creams shed less than other goldens, but all goldens (and nearly all dogs, for that matter) shed a good bit.
If shedding is a big issue for you, a golden retriever may not be your best bet.
That being said, there are two things you can do to help with this:
- Consider looking for a golden retriever that has more of the field build (more athletic bodies with shorter coats) than the show build (stockier bodies with longer coats).
- Regularly brush your golden.
#8: English Cream Golden Retrievers Are Not “Rare”
English Cream goldens are rather common across the world and are becoming more common in America.
Don’t let fancy names like, “Rare White European Golden Retrievers,” or, “Exquisite Platinum Imported Golden Retrievers” make you think that they are more rare or valuable than they are (although all golden retrievers are invaluable).
If a breeder is selling you on the fact that their dogs are rare, run away.
If they’re talking about how their dogs are healthy family dogs with good temperaments, then you’re probably on the right track.
As far as how popular each color is, we did a study and asked 600 golden retriever owners what color their dog is.
Here’s what they said:
Light gold (or cream): 31.5%
As you can see, light gold, or cream-colored, golden retrievers are the second-most common color after gold.
#9: The AKC DOES Recognize Cream-Colored Golden Retrievers
Many people think that the AKC doesn’t recognize English Cream golden retrievers.
English Cream goldens are still golden retrievers, just with a fancy name and typically light coloring.
Here is what the AKC Breed Standard has to say about light golden retrievers: “Predominant body color which is either extremely pale or extremely dark is undesirable.”
Although it is “undesirable,” golden retrievers are golden retrievers, so if you have an English Cream golden, they can still be registered with the AKC as a golden retriever (assuming the breeder has proper registration).
An interesting point here is that even though this light color is undesirable according to American Breed Standards, that’s not the case with other countries.
Here’s what the UK Breed Standard says about color: “Any shade of gold or cream, neither red nor mahogany.”
Here’s what the Canadian Breed Standard says about color: “Lustrous golden of various shades”
And here’s what the National Golden Retriever Council Australia says about color: “Any shade of cream or gold but neither red or mahogany.”
So although the American Breed Standard does not like the cream color, other countries are more accepting of it.
#10: English Golden Retriever Breed Standards Are Different Than American Breed Standards
We’ve already talked about how a golden retriever is a golden retriever, and how they got the name “English” Cream, but here’s another chapter in that story.
The breed standards are different in the UK and in America.
In America, the breed standard for males is 23-24 inches tall at the withers and 21.5-22.5 inches for females.
In the UK, the breed standard is 22-24 inches tall for males and 20-22 inches tall for females.
So the UK is more accepting of shorter goldens, which is one of the common traits of English type goldens.
Is A Golden Retriever Right For You? Take This Quiz To Find Out!
#11: English Cream Golden Retrievers Are More Expensive
The chances of your neighborhood breeder breeding English Cream goldens are less than the chance they’re breeding gold golden retrievers.
And since the neighborhood breeders are typically pricing their dogs on the lower end, while quality breeders are typically charging on the higher end, it’s safe to assume that, yes, you will pay more for an English Cream.
#12: English Cream Golden Retrievers Need Lots Of Exercise
Golden retrievers were bred to hunt all day, so they naturally have tons of energy.
They’re also very smart dogs, so they need to be stimulated both physically and mentally.
Here are some ways to do that:
- Play fetch or tug (physical exertion)
- Train them (mental exertion)
- Feed them through puzzle toys or frozen kongs (mental exertion)
- Take them on long walks and let them sniff around (physical and mental)
#13: English Cream Golden Retrievers Have Blocky Heads
Yes, most English Creams do have blocky heads.
They also typically have wavy coats, wider muzzles, and stockier bodies.
Other golden retrievers can have these physical characteristics, too, but they may also have slimmer, more athletic bodies, a range of coat lengths and color, and narrow or wide muzzles.
#14: English Cream Golden Retrievers Are Great Family Dogs
Yes, yes, and yes.
Golden retrievers are sweet, loving dogs that make great family pets.
They’re usually wonderful with children and love nothing more than being with their families.
Since they have so much energy, they do especially well with active families.
#15: English Cream Golden Retrievers Make Good Therapy & Service Dogs
Because golden retrievers have such good temperaments and are so smart, they are one of the most common breeds for service and therapy dogs.
They’re patient, loving, and friendly, plus they’re big and strong enough for many tasks required of service dogs.
In addition to being therapy and service dogs, goldens also make great search and rescue dogs and hunting dogs, which is what they were initially bred for.
#16: English Cream Golden Retrievers Are Popular
According to the AKC, golden retrievers are the 4th most popular breed in America, behind Labradors, French Bulldogs, and German shepherds.
This is great because they’re such good dogs and everybody deserves to have one.
Another plus is that it’s rare to see golden retrievers in the pound because they’re usually adopted right away.
But it’s also bad because irresponsible breeders have tried to jump on the bandwagon and make some money breeding them without worrying about health and temperament history.
If you do decide to get a golden retriever from a breeder, make sure to do your research before you choose one.
You can watch this YouTube video about the ugly truth about Golden Retrievers for more on irresponsible breeders.
#17: English Cream Golden Retrievers Take A Long Time To Mature
Golden retrievers, and larger breeds in general, mature slower than smaller breeds.
Although golden retrievers may look like adults around one-year-old, mentally they’ll still act like crazy, stubborn puppies until they’re about two or three.
These “teenage” years for dogs can be some of the toughest times for dog owners, but know that this is totally normal and will soon pass.
That being said, a lot of people say that golden retrievers are like playful puppies for life, so expect to have a lot of fun with your golden throughout their lifetime.
Getting a golden retriever puppy? Check out the Golden Retriever Puppy Handbook!
#18: English Cream Golden Retrievers Are Medium-Large Dogs
Males are usually between 22-24 inches tall at the withers (top of their shoulders) and weight 65-75 pounds.
Females are usually 20-22 inches tall and weigh 55-70 pounds.
They’re not exactly lap dogs (although any dog can be a lap dog if you let them), but they’re not too big to be picked up like toddlers if need be.
Golden Retriever Has To Be Picked Up To Ride Escalator [VIDEO]
Such a sweet boy!
#19: English Cream Golden Retrievers Need Lots Of Grooming
English Cream goldens have beautiful coats, but they do require lots of care and grooming.
You’ll need to brush them several times per week and bathe them 1-2 times per month, depending on if they swim or play outside a lot.
In addition to their coats, you’ll need to regularly brush their teeth, trim their nails, take care of their paws, and clean their ears.
#20: English Cream Golden Retrievers Are Smart
According to canine psychologist, Dr. Stanley Coren, and his book, The Intelligence of Dogs, golden retrievers are the fourth smartest breed, behind Border Collies (#1), Poodles (#2), and German Shepherds (#3).
This is great because they’re easy to train and intuitive.
However, because they’re so smart they can be mischievous, especially if they’re not mentally stimulated.
In fact #12 we talked about how to mentally (and physically) stimulate them, which included lots of training and puzzle toys.
This leads us to our next fact…
#21: English Cream Golden Retrievers Are Easy To Train
Because they’re so smart and love pleasing people, golden retrievers are easy to train.
They’re sensitive and loving, so the best way to train them is through positive reinforcement, like rewarding them with a treat, toy, play or praise when they do something good.
And not only are they easy to train, but they love it.
My dog, Oliver, loves when I bust out the treat bag.
He knows he’s going to be working with me, be challenged, and be rewarded with lots of treats and praise.
What could be better for a golden?!
#22: English Cream Golden Retrievers Eat A Lot
They’re not small dogs, and they certainly don’t have small appetites.
Oliver eats about 5 cups of food per day and goes through a 30 lb bag of dog food every 24 days.
Golden retrievers love eating (especially as puppies), but because of this it’s important to monitor how much they eat.
They’re susceptible to obesity, which could lead to heart and joint issues (which they’re also susceptible to).
We feed Oliver Royal Canin’s Adult Golden Retriever food (which was recommended to me by several vets), but whatever you decide to feed your golden, check out this article about grain-free and BEG diets.
Read this article to learn more about how much it costs to feed golden retrievers.
#23: Good Breeders Value Health & Temperament Over Color
The most important thing for any breeder is not looks or coat color.
It will be trying to improve the breed and produce healthy puppies for a purpose.
For most golden retriever breeders, that purpose is to produce puppies with a good temperament that make good family pets.
Yes, some may prefer one color or look over another, but that will not be their main focus.
Read this article about how to find a reputable breeder.
When it comes to golden retrievers, whether they’re English Cream Golden Retrievers or “regular” goldens, the most important thing is to have healthy dogs with a good temperament.
The way you, as a potential English Cream Golden Retriever parent, can get a good puppy is not by looking for the right color, but by looking for the right breeder.
Find a breeder who takes good care of their dogs, is very picky with which dogs they breed, is in it for the good of the breed (not the money), and you’ll maximize your chances of bringing home a good golden retriever.
Are you looking for an English Cream Golden Retriever?
Have you had one in the past?
Let me know in the comments below!
P.S. Getting a golden retriever puppy? Check out the Golden Retriever Puppy Handbook!
38 thoughts on “23 Facts About English Cream Golden Retrievers You Probably Didn’t Know”
I have a 22 month old ECGR called Leo. He is simply the best boy on this planet, absolutely stunning in appearance but more importantly has a fantastic temperament. He is so gentle with children and the elderly and I’m considering making Leo a therapy dog. He is my fourth golden, but first male. My three golden girls were also very precious.
Why do you insist on promoting this mythology? there is NO SUCH THING as an “English Cream Golden Retriever” period. The GR has acceptable colour variations within the breed ranging from pale to dark. The insinuation that this colour is somehow a genetic variant is not just foolhardy but it promotes poor breeding- where get-rich-quick people looking to cash in on “the colour of the month” favour breeding light gold to light gold instead of matching dogs based on their OFA clearances, type and temperament. You can favour over colour variation over another and that is well within a person’s individual preference but to suggest that this is some kind of a variant is dangerous to the overall well being of the breed.
It’s almost like it was the second point in the article.
The article clearly states ALL golden retrievers are the same, and coat color means nothing. What are you reading?
We have an English Cream named Maggie. She will be coming up on 2 years old at the end of December, but she is still the best dog I’ve ever had! While I didn’t professionally train her to be a livestock dog, she loves looking after our chickens. What’s more surprising is that they love her and follow her around more than the rooster haha. She’s very good with our children and just naturally a very sweet and intelligent girl. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to have a different breed of dog after her, just love her so much!
Maggie sounds amazing! Thank you for sharing 🙂
“Charlie” is our 5th Golden Retriever. He is an English Cream. We have loved all of our goldens but at 2 years old, Charlie might just be the very best of the bunch. He is obedient. He stays with us, even unleashed outside. He LOVES to play but also LOVES to cuddle. At 85 LBS he’s on the bigger end of the spectrum but is nothing more than a big teddy bear. We paid special attention when kids came to our door during Halloween. Charlie was careful around all the kids but was noticeably more careful the smaller the child.
We have a premade golden retriever and she is fat we love laying down with her and I love speaking with her she was a rescue dog we found her at a church and we said that if she is still there by time you come back we will keep her and she was still there so we loaded up in our truck she lied to me and that’s one of my dad said that we were going to keep her forever she’s here laying down with me why I’m saying this
Charlie sounds cute
We have an ECGR , Aengus, that was surrendered to a golden rescue during the pandemic. He was about 11 months on his gotcha day and 99 lbs! At 15 months he is 95 lbs and the vet agrees this is a good weight for him. He is a typical golden teenager, smart, snuggly, and sassy. He had little training with the previous owner, but we have been working hard with group obedience training and lots (and lots) of daily at home training too. He jumps up when excited which with his size, can be overwhelming but he’s getting better at ‘down’ when we greet people. The pandemic has made it tough to socialize him with other dogs but a local doggy day care opened back up so we take him there a couple of times a week for a couple of hours to have some free play and learn his doggy manners from other dogs.
Aengus is our 4th golden in about 20 years, our 3rd rescue, and we absolutely love the breed. Our biggest boy, Chester, was a 100 lb. red GR who had the same energy at this age, but we were younger then! 🤣
Love reading everyone’s doggy comments!
My Georgie is 7 months and such a good,good boy! He’s loyal, loving, kind to everyone, loves to please. He is CRAZY about food and treats. He is completely potty trained. He talks…I love it. He talks back to me. He also cries, he has since a baby. In the morning when I get him up for he day, he can’t contain himself and cries. The only pretty naughty thing he does is dig in the yard…working on that. He’s a joy.
Best dog I’ve ever owned. Smart, loyal, sweet, curious, funny. 18 months old. Big. almost 90 pounds but not fat. Lean and long. Large head.
Cali – our ECGR is 9 years young. We had her since she was 5 weeks
You are spot on in saying they are forever young. She loves her long walks/prances, she intelligent and we are constantly challenging her. Definitely treat driven(low calorie treats) A trait that in talking to other dog owners – Cali has never torn apart her toys that have a squeak inside. Chance her very for “buddy” is still with even after many surgery:) aka repairs. We absolutely adore Cali even with daily brushing💜
Cali sounds wonderful!!
Wow. I am a Keaton as well, and love Golden Retrievers and horses. Is it in our Keaton DNA?
Have a seven month old ECGR that is like an adorable child. He has the blocky head and is getting bigger each day. The coat is very hard to maintain! Constantly brushing and trying to get his hair to lay down. Couldn’t be happier with the wonderful dog!
He sounds great!!
We got our first English Cream Golden Retriever in July 2020. Although she is a handful of energy as a puppy and she is growing very fast, she is smart, easily trained, and a bundle of love. She shows no aggression and enjoys together/hug time. Ours is so far near pure white and was bred by a top breeder in Georgia. I strongly recommend an ECGR to any family. Your ECGR will show love from day one.
Can you give me the name and number or website for the breeder you got your dog from?
Hey Maria. Can you share the breeder you got her from?
wow I want one
We have an ECGR (bred for field, not show).
She is smart and cooperative, very eager to please and very friendly.
She’s on the large side at one year and 67 lbs, all of it muscle and big bones. She is very strong.
We got her as a companion for our elderly dog, who passed unexpectedly this summer.
We are so pleased with May that we arranged to adopt her younger sister, who was born in late September. Little June comes home the day before Thanksgiving. We are all very excited.
May is good with everyone, including puppies and small dogs. She will step into the big sister’s job effortlessly.
May and June’s parents are both very sweet dogs. We feel very fortunate to have two pups from this breeder.
We obtained our first ECGR (my husband’s 2nd GR) in June. Rufus is now 6 months old and we are so glad we invested in puppy school. These dogs need lots of physical and mental stimulation and when they don’t get it they get bitey and disobedient. We walk him for about 45 minutes to an hour every day plus at least two free running sessions and two play/training sessions per day. It’s a lot of time and effort, but worth it for a really beautiful member of the family in the long run. They are not a good dog for anyone who can’t put in that level of effort. No judgement! But there are better breeds out there for you if you can’t.
Agreed! Definitely a lot of work, but worth it if you can manage it (and totally ok if you can’t!).
we have an English Golden. She is 19 months old, and is a handful. Her anxiety level is through the roof. She barks constantly and no matte how much attention we give her it never seems to be enough. We play, go for walks, and she still jumps on us all the time and never stops barking as if she wants more attention. I love her! Need help!!
Goldens like all larger sporting breed dogs stay puppy like until they are 3 years old. They are hyper sensitive and smart so it makes them a bit more anxious.
Our dog is the same! She is three years old now and has had much training. They love training, it’s good for the both of you. So I would suggest bringing her to a training facility or having a trainer come to your house. My dog also loves to play hide and seek. Keeps her busy for a long time. Full throttle runs too!
Find a place where you can take her with a bicycle and let her run until she gets tired.
My EC is 24 months, She jumps all over my friends- it’s embarrassing when their black pants are suddenly black hairy pants!
I started giving her a calming treat about half hour before they visit
Many different kinds, doses depending on weight.
My baby is like Velcro- she go’s room to room with me, when I’m washing dishes she is laying at my feet.
Picking up our puppy on 10-4. We are thrilled to have a wonderful breed. We have had many dogs but really excited about this one. Can’t wait to begin the training.
I have an ECGR and she’s wonderful. Millie is 15 months old and we’re going through the puppy, teenage years. She has completely obliterated my back yard. I don’t blamer her because of my health issues I don’t get her out as much as I should to exercise her and take her on walks. She loves to go to the river and she tries to pick up rocks off the bottom, it’s hilarious. I wanted to get her into puppy training but the virus hit and so we’re waiting to get out of stage one so that the trainer can open their doors again. She likes to snuggle and sleeps back to back with me in the bed. She has Ichthyosis which means that her skin peels like fish scales. WE brush about three times a day and take a medicated bath about twice a week. I also have a Golden Doodle named Sadie, she’s five. 08/18/2020.
We were told that specially EC were not bread for hunting, by our breeder
EC are no different than other color Goldens. They are not bred any differently
For the past 5 years we have had a rescue cream golden retriever, she is now 10.
She has a lovely temperament but is quite “needy”. This may be due to her being a victim of a family break up. We love her dearly but her stubbornness (not responding to commands and reluctance to walk with us is so frustrating. Even so we think the world of her. A super breed exce9with our grandchildren and no aggressive tendencies.
Thank you for sharing Rosemary!
We have had goldens for 30 years and this is my first English cream. I particularly didn’t care for the breeder but since we picked her out she’s ours! She’s 8 months on May 16th and doing great. Just working on a bit of a food aggression. Problem ( for meal times only). I think she had to fight for her food as a baby. Treat time is great. Not aggressive at all. I’m falling in love with her!
She sounds great! Have fun with her!
I have a 1.5 year old gold Golden Retriever and she is the best dog I have ever had so now so this summer we added a ECGR to the family. He is as amazing as well. Both my Goldies are incredibly smart and loving. Our girl was not a planned purchase but I couldn’t be happier we found her. She absolutely loves being carried despite her 65 lbs she will jump right up in our arms.