The Truth About English Cream (White) Golden Retrievers


Speaking about beautiful and friendly dogs, we cannot but mention golden retrievers.

These extraordinary dogs are blessed with long, shiny coats in the shade of gold.

Many of us have seen the English cream golden retriever or “white” golden retriever and immediately wanted to have one.

There are some things that make them different from the average golden retriever that can be frequently seen in America.

You will have a chance to find out whether they are the same breed, whether the coat color is the only difference and we will tell you the truth about English cream golden retrievers.

In our article, the lovers of English Cream (White) Golden Retrievers will find answers to the following questions:

  1. Are cream-colored Golden Retrievers still Golden Retrievers?
  2. Are American Golden Retrievers genetically different from English ones?
  3. How do English Golden Retrievers compare with American Golden Retrievers?
  4. Do English Retrievers shed less?
  5. Are cream or white-colored Golden Retrievers healthier than darker Goldens?
  6. Are white Golden Retrievers rare?
  7. What colors of Golden Retrievers are there?
  8. How much do cream (white) Golden Retrievers cost?
  9. How to buy a white Golden Retriever puppy from a breeder?
  10. Can cream-colored Goldens be officially recognized by the AKC?
  11. What do different countries’ kennel clubs say about cream-colored retrievers?
  12. What is the history, temperament, and general health of the breed?

Are Cream Golden Retrievers Still Golden Retrievers?

The answer is “Yes”.

Both of them should be called by the same name, even though you may come across some breeders who want to trick buyers into thinking that these lighter-colored dogs are rare so they change their name.

It is also known that certain breeders incorrectly call them “rare white European golden retrievers,” “exquisite platinum imported golden retrievers,” or “English cream golden retrievers.”

However, both of them are golden retrievers and are recognized as such by English and Canadian authorities.

It should be noted that an “English cream golden retriever” is actually a golden retriever in a very pale shade of gold.

Are American Golden Retrievers Genetically Different From English Ones?

If you are wondering whether there is a difference in genetics, actually American Golden Retrievers are somewhat genetically different from English ones?

American goldens descend from English lines imported to the U.S. via Canada.

So, the breed evolved and developed differently as it was bred according to the American Kennel Club standard.

English Golden Retriever vs. American Golden Retriever

  English American
Color Generally Lighter Generally darker
Topline Level slope Back slopes down a little
Head Broader head Narrower profile that blends into a skull
Eyes Round, level eyes Almond-shaped
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
Built Heavier, stockier build Leaner, more lightweight appearance
Height Male: 22-24 in. Female: 20-22 in. Male: 23-24 in. Female: 21.5-22.5
Lifespan 12 years 10-11 years
Cancer Rate 38.8% 60%

Do English Retrievers Shed Less?

There is no difference in the amount of shedding, but in the amount of hair that the two dogs have.

English retrievers have less hair compared to Americans, thus less hair around the house will be noticed.

All in all, all retrievers shed at the same rate, mostly during spring and fall.

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

While the color has no influence on a dog’s health, its ancestry could possibly have an effect.

There is little evidence that English bloodlines are healthier.

According to a 1998 study, 61.8 percent of American goldens died from cancers, while, a 2004 British Kennel Club Purebred Dog Health Survey for Golden Retrievers announced that only 38.8 percent were affected by cancer.

There is a little difference in the length of life, as researchers also found that goldens from English bloodlines live 12 years and 3 months whereas American goldens live 10 years and 8 months on average.

However, this does not show that an English retriever is immune from cancer, as there were instances when English retrievers died from cancer and lived shorter lives.

We consider it worth mentioning that the health of your dog will highly depend on good breeding lines and that the secret to health and longevity is a combination of nature and nurture.

Are White Golden Retrievers Rare?

The answer is “No”.  A “white” or “platinum” golden retriever is not rare, being that those are goldens that may appear very light in color.

However, they are not actually white, so you should not believe in an ad offering “rare white golden retriever puppies”.

All those terms – “white,” “platinum,” “rare,” or even “English cream” are just marketing words and their main aim is to trick buyers into paying more.

The offered dog is an ordinary retriever with lighter coat color.

We considered it interesting to mention that English cream golden retriever puppies tend to darken in color as they grow.

Golden Retriever Colors:

  • Cream
  • Light Golden
  • Golden
  • Dark Golden

The cream color was added to the English standard in 1936 when these lighter specimens were given the name “English cream golden retrievers.”

Today, they have various names such as English golden retrievers, European golden retrievers, blond golden retrievers, light golden retrievers, white goldens, or platinum blond goldens.

How Much Do Cream (White) Golden Retrievers Cost?

The price is not a matter of color as all Golden Retrievers cost between $500 to $2,500.

The price highly depends on the location, the reputation of the breeder, and the puppy’s ancestors.

If you decide to adopt a golden retriever puppy that has no health clearances or lineage documents, you should expect to pay around $500 or even less.

How much you will pay for a golden retriever puppy in a pet store depends on its reputation.

Another factor that can affect the price is how well the puppy has been bred.

So, the price can range anywhere from $500 to $1000.

The highest price will be paid if you choose to buy a healthy puppy from a reputable breeder.

It can range from $1,500 to $2,500, while dogs descending from champion bloodlines will be even more expensive.

We would like to warn all those people interested in buying a well-bred dog that a reputable breeder will never advertise their golden retriever puppies as “white,” “cream,” or “rare”, but would rather mention the dog’s health and bloodline in the advertisement.

Things to Keep in Mind When Buying a “White” Golden Retriever Puppy

  • It is very important to go through the list of things to know before adopting a dog.
  • Cream-colored dogs—very pale yellow dogs—who meet the standard are accepted as golden retrievers by English and Canadian authorities, while the American Kennel Club only accepts colors – dark golden, golden, and light golden.
  • Claims that a “white” retriever will be recognized as a golden retriever by the AKC will never come true.
  • If a breeder claims that cream-colored retrievers are healthier, longer-lived, or more valuable than a darker gold-colored variety, you should be skeptical about him/her.
  • It is true that English dogs are slightly genetically different from American ones, but in no way is a cream-colored dog is better than a darker one just because of its color. The dog’s quality depends on its bloodlines and care.
  • When looking for a dog for yourself, you need to look for good structure, good temperament, full clearances, and great bloodlines. You should take a closer look at the dog’s achievements in conformation, obedience tests, and hunt tests, as well as a history of health and longevity in its bloodlines.
  • A good breeder will ask you about your home and personality so as to make sure that you will be a good fit for their puppy.
  • Plus, a good breeder will show you the puppy’s parents and allow you to socialize with the puppy.
  • You can look for ethical and quality breeders that adhere to the Code of Ethics of the Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA).

Can Cream-Colored Goldens Be Officially Recognized by the AKC?

No, being that the American Kennel Club allows registration only for the following goldens: dark golden (registration code 080), golden (registration code 093), and light golden (registration code 119).

There are some breeders who managed to register their whites under the light golden category, but this is not accurate.

It is hard for a cream-colored dog to pass an American test, so in case an American breeder is offering you cream-colored goldens for a premium price, you need to be skeptical, as this may be an unethical breeder.

The average rate for a golden retriever is $1,300-1,500, so those who try to sell a cream-colored golden for $2,800 should be avoided, as you will not be able to get the documentation that would justify that extra-high price

What Different Countries’ Kennel Clubs Say About Cream-Colored Retrievers

Canada and the U.K. accept a broader range of coat colors within the golden retriever standard, which is not the case with the American Kennel Club.

The U.S.

According to the American Kennel Club, the standard coat color of the golden retriever is a “rich, lustrous golden of various shades.”

However, what is not desirable is the “predominant body color, which is either extremely pale or extremely dark”.

Still, some opportunity should be given to the light puppy due to the fact that its color will be deepening with maturity.


The Golden Retriever Club of Canada seems more comprehensive of pale dogs and the acceptable range of color is quite broad.

Coat color can range from cream to a darker coppery gold and those specimens that are within this color range are judged equally.

The U.K.

The Kennel Club of the United Kingdom agrees with the Canadian club’s standard when it comes to cream coats, as they will accept a golden retriever that is “any shade of gold or cream, neither red nor mahogany.”

Brief History of American Golden Retrievers

No matter whether they are American, Canadian, or English golden retrievers, they all originated in Scotland in 1868.

At that moment, they were used as superior hunting dogs by sportsmen.

When it comes to its registration, the first goldens were registered with the British Kennel Club in 1903 as flat-coat goldens.

The breed has become popular in the U.S. in the 1920s but not until 1932 did the American Kennel Club officially recognize the breed.

Golden Retriever Information: Temperament and Health

  • Golden Retrievers need a lot of exercises and you need to be ready to take them for a couple of walks a day. This is due to the fact that they love outdoor activities, especially swimming.
  • If they are active outdoors, they are calm indoors so they are considered ideal family pets.
  • They are easy to train and are extremely intelligent.
  • They are considered as one of the best dogs for kids.
  • They are well-behaved, extremely faithful, social animals that can develop separation anxiety if you leave them alone for long periods of time.
  • They shed in the fall and spring, so you will need to regularly brush them (twice a week).
  • Three meals a day as a puppy and two meals a day as an adult are obligatory and each meal should be around 1/3 to 1/2 of a cup of dry food.
  • Some of the illnesses they are prone to are cancer, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, cataracts, and hypothyroidism.
  • Before you get a Golden Retriever, you need to get familiar with the care that Golden Retrievers specifically need.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, when you choose a good golden retriever, you should not decide based on its coat color.

Dog’s structure, temperament, and health should affect your decision, and be aware of those breeders who make a difference in price due to platinum, cream, or white coats of the puppies.

You should look for breeders who breed for good health and temperament and are not breeding mainly for money.

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