Dog's World

Are There Really Different Types of Golden Retrievers?

Are There Really Different Types of Golden Retrievers?

People think that they know the Golden Retriever. It’s an iconic breed and you know it when you see one. But did you know that there are actually different types and different colors of Golden Retrievers?

Types Of Golden Retrievers

There are three main types of Golden Retriever: American. British, and Canadian. The American Golden Retriever is the most common and popular. The coat of the American Golden is typically darker in color than the British Golden. An American Golden Retriever’s eye is also, usually, lighter in color and slightly more triangular-shaped vs. round.

British Golden Retrievers are also called English Golden Retrievers. Their coats tend to be lighter and creamier than that of the American Golden. The British Golden also has a broader head and more powerfully built forequarter. They have rounder, darker colored eyes as well. One other thing to note is that the English Golden has a shorter overcoat than the American Golden.

The Canadian Golden Retriever, generally, has shorter, thinner, and less feathered fur. The Canadian Golden is also a bit taller, as much as 2-inches, than the British or American versions.

Shades Of Gold

One reason that Golden Retrievers are so iconic is their lustrous golden coat. You might not realize it if you don’t see two Goldens standing side by side, but Goldens aren’t always the same shade of gold! Some are darker and some are lighter.

In fact, the color of a Golden Retrievers coat can range from light golden to dark golden. Also known as white golden and red golden. The range of color is strictly regulated by the appropriate kennel club. Some Goldens are too dark or too light to be shown.

However, there are light golden and dark golden Retrievers that fit within the spectrum of what is acceptable in the show ring. In general, the AKC, UKC, and CKC accept dogs for showing that are within the range of light golden, golden, and dark golden. Dogs that are white, black, or dark red are not allowed to participate in conformation showing.

However, white golden Retrievers can be quite lovely. You can almost mistake very light goldens for a Great Pyrenees, at a distance. And the darkest red goldens, you could almost mistakenly think are Irish Setters. The variation in color is truly remarkable.


Additionally, Golden Retriever puppies may change color slightly as they age. Typically, a puppy will be lighter and then get darker. This change typically takes place as their adult coat starts to grow.

Are They The Same Breed?

Interestingly, even with all the differences in color, coat, and build these dogs are all still Golden Retrievers. There are things that are predictable between them as well. It doesn’t matter if the Golden is English, Canadian, American, light golden, or dark golden they all have similar temperaments, health problems, history, and exercise needs.

Across the board, you can expect a Golden retriever to be devoted, intelligent, and friendly. Goldens are hard-working dogs that love to have a job. They also, demand to be a part of the family activities and thrive when they are included.

It doesn’t matter if you have a red golden or a white golden they will thrive best on a species-appropriate raw diet, plenty of exercise outside, and lots of love and snuggles.