Frequently Asked Questions about the Breed

  1. What is an English Cream Golden Retriever?
    There is actually no such breed as an English Cream Golden Retriever. The term English Cream is a slang term that was coined by Americans and attached to those Golden Retrievers that happen to be cream colored in England, Europe, Australia, and even Canada. In actuality, Golden Retrievers in England and all of Europe range in color from cream to gold. Many Americans have become enamored with the cream color, but it is more than just their color that makes the European Golden Retrievers beautiful. They are bred to an entirely different standard. See the next question for more details.
  2. What is the difference in an English Golden Retriever and an American Golden Retriever?
    See our American and English Golden Retrievers - Differences and Similarities page for a summary of the differences and similarities in appearance and temperament. See our AKC KC comparison page for a side by side comparison of the two standards as set forth by the American Kennel Club and the Kennel Club in England.
  3. Why are there so many names for Golden Retrievers bred to the KC Standard?
    English Golden Retrievers are actually referred to as simply Golden Retrievers in Europe and in other countries around the world. It is only in the U.S. that a different name has been attached to them. Most likely it is because the cream color of many of the Golden Retrievers in Europe and some of the other beautiful attibutes of those Goldens overseas makes them stand out as different in the U.S. They are registered in the United States in the same registry as any other Golden Retriever and they are not always cream. Many of the most beautiful are a light gold color and if you look back in the pedigrees of most all of the well-bred dogs, you will find some golden dogs in their backgrounds. I have heard them called White Golden Retrievers, European-style Golden Retrievers, Imported Golden Retrievers, British Golden Retrievers, English Cream Golden Retrievers, and just plain English Creams. I think probably the most accurate term would be Golden Retrievers bred to the Kennel Club standard (but what a mouthful that is!).
  4. What are the health differences between American and English Goldens? 
    As is discussed on our home page, we feel that there are health differences. Most notably, there is evidence that the number of deaths by cancer might be considerably less in golden retrievers in Europe than in the United States. Click Here to see results of a study done by the Golden Retriever Club of America on cancer.  Click Here to see results of a study done by the Kennel Club in England on cancer.  These studies were not meant to be compared and the sample was not large enough to make the results conclusive, but the difference is so great with about 60% of American Goldens dying of cancer with only less than 40% of Golden Retrievers in England dying of cancer that we feel that these results cannot be ignored. While we think that the overall health of English Goldens is better and the average life span is more than a year longer, there are a few health issues that are a bigger problem in English Golden Retrievers than in their American counterpart. Go to our Health page to read about several problems that many Goldens are prone to and how we test to screen for those problems. From this page there are links to pages discussing individual health issues.
  5. Is Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia more prevalent in Golden Retrievers in the United States or in Europe?
    Though some breeders are saying that there is less hip dysplasia in English Golden Retrievers, I do not believe that to be true and have never seen any evidence that supports such statements. Read our page on Hip Testing in Europe and America to understand the different ways that hips are tested and how the criteria for what is considered an acceptable dog to breed differs between the continents. Read our Elbow Dysplasia in Europe and America for information on this health issue. Hip and Elbow Dysplasia is a problem in all Golden Retrievers and your best chance of getting a dog free from it is to get a puppy whose parents and other relatives have been tested and received good test results and to take care of your puppy's growing joints while he/she is young.
  6. What is PRA-1 and OFA eye testing?
    Read our Genetic Eye Diseases in the Golden Retriever page for information on the eye diseases that we feel should be tested for before breeding a litter.
  7. I have seen a test on a few breeders website for Ichthyosis. What is it?
    Read our Ichthyosis in Golden Retrievers page for information on this minor skin problem that we are now testing for.
  8. How much do English Golden Retrievers shed?
    We sweep or vacuum almost every day and brush the dogs often.  In the spring and summer, I still have some white fuzz on my brown hardwood floors.  Of course, I have 6 Goldens in the house which is far more than most will ever have.  My females will blow their coat a couple of months after weaning a litter of puppies.  You can almost see the hair falling out at that time, but they do not shed again for many months, almost a year.  Some Goldens will profusely shed in the spring and have a much thinner coat for the summer. English Goldens in general do not have as long and fine a coat as American Goldens so there is less shed because there is less hair on them, but if you have dark colored floors, it is more visible because of the color.
  9. Which makes the better pet, a male or female?
    With Golden Retrievers, there is not a lot of difference in the personality/temperament of boys and girls.  Both are loving and sweet. I believe the parents of a litter make a bigger difference in temperament than the sex of the puppy. However, with that said, I will say that within a litter, there is probably a bigger percentage of girls that are calmer and a bigger percentage of boys that are more loving and less independent. These are only generalities though and I've had litters where the calmest puppy in the litter was a boy and the most loving was a girl. The biggest difference between the sexes is in size and look. Boys are 10-15 pounds heavier and boys will have a bigger, blockier head whereas a girl's head will be more feminine.