American vs. English Golden Retrievers: What’s the Difference?

American vs. English Golden Retrievers

Last Updated on December 11, 2023 by Fumipets

American vs. English Golden Retrievers: What’s the Difference?


Golden Retrievers are a beloved dog breed known for their friendly nature and intelligence. While they share common characteristics, there are distinctions between American and English Golden Retrievers, including physical traits and temperament.

American vs. English Golden Retrievers

One of the most well-liked dog breeds in the US is the American Golden Retrievers. They may be identified by their amiable demeanor and lengthy golden coats. However, an apparently comparable breed of dog is also a well-liked family companion on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean: the English Golden Retriever. Given that the American Kennel Club lists both of these dogs as Golden Retrievers, it is possible that the two retrievers resemble one another while not being separate kinds of canines.

They are about the same height and weight, and have kind and mild dispositions. However, there are some distinctions between English and American Golden Retrievers. The similarities and distinctions between the American and English Golden Retrievers are discussed in this article.

Visual Differences

american english golden retriever

At a Glance

American Golden Retriever

  • Average height (adult): 23-24 inches (males), 21.5-22.5 inches (female)
  • Average weight (adult): 65-75 pounds (males), 55-65 pounds
  • Lifespan: 10-11 years
  • Exercise: Moderate to high
  • Grooming needs: Moderate, daily, or weekly grooming needed
  • Family-friendly: Yes, excellent with children
  • Other pet-friendly: Yes, friendly towards pets
  • Trainability: Easy to train; eager to please

English Golden Retriever

  • Average height (adult): 22-24 inches (males), 20-22 inches (female)
  • Average weight (adult): 64-75 pounds (males), 55-64 pounds (females)
  • Lifespan: 10-12 years
  • Exercise: Moderate to high
  • Grooming needs: Moderate, daily, or weekly grooming needed
  • Family-friendly: Yes, excellent with children
  • Other pet-friendly: Yes, friendly towards pets
  • Trainability: Easy to train; calm disposition

American Golden Retrievers

American Golden Retrievers, sometimes referred to as “Goldies,” have the more well-known medium-length, dark golden-colored coat. The American Goldie has a large, arched head and is lanky and strong. They often have big to medium-sized, dark brown eyes.

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Due to their temperament and attitude, American Golden Retrievers are one of the most well-liked breeds of dogs. These dogs are praised for being gentle, kind, and friendly. Goldies are excellent additions to homes with children since they get along with practically everyone. Due to their high levels of trustworthiness and desire to please others, golden retrievers make lousy security dogs. Due to their need on humans as a result, Goldies do not like prolonged alone. This dog enjoys being around humans or other animals the most.

Training and Exercise

American Golden Retrievers are not the finest guard dogs, but novice dog owners may still teach them to obey basic instructions. Starting early is essential for socialization and training of your dog.

The American Golden Retriever requires frequent exercise at least 1-2 times each day since it is an energetic (and sometimes hyper) dog. These canines like jogging, swimming, and fetching. A Goldie may chew on furniture to release their pent-up energy if they are unable to obtain the exercise they need. Additionally, obesity in dogs might cause various health problems in later life. Make sure you can give a Golden Retriever the exercise it needs to flourish before taking one home.

Health and Care

Although American Golden Retrievers are generally a healthy breed, certain health issues may still affect them. Goldies are prone to heritable disorders including elbow and hip dysplasia. If you get your dog from a breeder, be sure the parents have been examined for this health condition and are healthy. A reliable breeder may also guarantee that your dog won’t develop additional issues as it ages, such as eye diseases.

Goldies will inevitably shed since their hair is longer. But regular grooming can help lessen the quantity of hair that accumulates around the home. Although Goldies don’t need frequent baths, you won’t have a lot of trouble washing them since they like the water! After interacting with them, this breed does tend to slobber a little, so have a clean hand towel nearby.

Suitable For:

Many folks are appropriate for American Golden Retrievers. They will fit in well in either a one- or two-person home. Although these dogs get along well with kids, no small child should be left alone with a dog. Even while Goldies are friendly around kids, small kids may not be able to comprehend when to stop doing things like tugging a dog’s tail or ears or taking their food bowl away while they are eating.

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American Golden Retrievers have not been reported to be aggressive against strangers and are friendly with other canines and pets as well. Goldies, however, struggle when left alone for extended periods of time. These prolonged absences will worry them if you work or go to school away from the house.

English Golden Retrievers

English Golden Retrievers are just as sociable and devoted as their American relatives. Their hue is one of the main distinctions between them. English Golden Retrievers are often cream-colored and have a lighter coat. When compared to American Golden Retrievers, their coat is also a little bit shorter and wavier. These two breeds of dogs also vary from one another in terms of their physical characteristics. The skulls of English Golden Retrievers are a little bit bigger, and they are stockier overall.


The English Golden Retriever has a somewhat different temperament overall than the American Golden Retriever. They are amiable, although their temperaments are a little bit more subdued. When contrasted to the American Goldie, however, this does not lessen their loyalty. In general, their calmer nature makes them simpler to teach, which is advantageous for novice dog owners. They are an excellent option for those who have kids and other pets because of this as well. They make lousy guard dogs since they are amiable to strangers.

Training and Exercise

Because they are calmer and less excitable than American Golden Retrievers, English Golden Retrievers are simpler to train. Regardless of whatever Goldie version you have, it is always better to start teaching and customizing them while they are young because of their intelligence and maturity, which make training them simple.

The English Golden Retrievers still require regular exercise even if they are calmer. These dogs like swimming and taking lengthy walks or runs. Without at least twice daily activity, Golden Retrievers will become fat since these breeds are predisposed to weight gain. They could chew or tear apart furniture, similar to American Golden Retrievers, if they have excess energy.

Health and Care

The same health concerns that affect American Golden Retrievers, such as elbow or hip dysplasia and eye abnormalities, may also affect English Golden Retrievers. By purchasing an English Golden Retriever from a reputable breeder who can have their parents evaluated for these disorders, you may lessen the likelihood that your dog will have these problems.

Despite having a shorter coat than the American Goldie, the English Goldie will still need weekly grooming to minimize shedding. You may need to dry yourself off after playing with your Goldie since these dogs are mouthy and do sometimes drool a little.

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Suitable For:

English Golden Retrievers are excellent pets for households, particularly those with young children. Children should be closely watched while playing with the dog, as they should with all dogs, to ensure that they are not being too rough. The main things to keep in mind while caring for a Goldie are making sure they don’t spend too much time alone and that they receive enough exercise. These dogs require room to roam about, thus they do not fare well in flats.

Life Expectancy: American vs. English Golden Retriever

The American Goldie’s life expectancy is between 10 and 11 years, compared to the English Goldie’s up to 12 years. Although elbow and hip dysplasia may affect both the American and English Goldies, the American Goldie is more prone to get cancer. These animals have cancer rates that vary from a startling 60% for American Goldies to approximately 40% for English Goldies.

Which Breed Is Right for You?

The English or American Goldie will be a great pet for you and your family. Both dogs need a comparable amount of food, activity, and grooming. Both English and American Goldies are bright and kind toward humans and other animals. The American Goldie is the best option for you if your personality meshes well with a dog with increased energy! The English Goldie is a good option if you want a dog with a bit calmer disposition. Make sure you can give a dog—Goldie or any dog—the love, care, and exercise they need to live happily and healthily before acquiring one.

Questions & Answers


What are the Main Physical Differences Between American and English Golden Retrievers?

American Golden Retrievers typically have a more slender build, with a longer and narrower head.

English Golden Retrievers have a stockier frame, a broader head, and a more robust appearance.


How Does Coat Color Differ Between the Two Varieties?

Both American and English Golden Retrievers can have a coat ranging from cream to dark gold.

English Golden Retrievers may exhibit a lighter coat color, while American Golden Retrievers often have a darker shade.


Are There Variations in Temperament Between American and English Golden Retrievers?

Both varieties are known for their friendly, gentle, and sociable nature.

English Golden Retrievers are often described as calmer and more laid-back, while American Golden Retrievers may display higher energy levels.


Which Variety is More Suited for Families or Active Lifestyles?

English Golden Retrievers are well-suited for families due to their calm demeanor and adaptability to various living situations.

American Golden Retrievers, with their higher energy levels, may be a better fit for families with active lifestyles and outdoor activities.


Are There Any Health Differences Between American and English Golden Retrievers?

Both varieties share similar health concerns typical for the breed, such as hip dysplasia and certain heart conditions.

Responsible breeding practices and regular veterinary check-ups are crucial for maintaining the health of either type.

In conclusion, while American and English Golden Retrievers share many traits, the distinctions in physical appearance, temperament, and energy levels allow prospective owners to choose a variety that aligns with their preferences and lifestyle. Understanding these differences aids in making informed decisions when selecting a Golden Retriever as a cherished family companion.



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