Don’t Be Deceived: English Cream Golden Retrievers

A male "English cream" Golden Retriever.

A male “English cream” Golden Retriever. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Golden retrievers come in a wide spectrum of colors. Sometimes they are bred as rare “English Cream” golden retrievers. This upsets me as much as when I hear the term “golden lab”. Each one is special in their own way, and fall under most breed club standards.

Here is a great article from The Golden Retriever Club of Canada that provides some great insight on the topic.

“English Cream Golden Retrievers”

In recent years there has been a sharp increase in internet marketing strategies aimed at specifically promoting cream-coloured Golden Retrievers. These light dogs are sometimes being presented to the general public as being exceptionally rare or extremely valuable and are often called ‘English Cream Golden Retrievers’ or ‘Rare White European Golden Retrievers’ or ‘Exquisite Platinum Imported Golden Retrievers’. Such cream Golden Retrievers are frequently being touted as being healthier, of having better temperament, of having stronger longevity and the implicit suggestion is that they therefore are more valuable than the more golden-coloured Golden Retrievers bred in North-America. Due to these common marketing ploys the average puppy buyer sometimes mistakes such light-coloured Golden Retrievers for being a separate breed. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is only one Golden Retriever breed, governed by the breed standard endorsed by various recognized Kennel Clubs around the world.

The Golden Retriever Club of Canada would like to emphasize to breeders and puppy-buyers alike that the cream colour has always been part of the full spectrum of colours found in our breed. We furthermore direct you to the following section of our Golden Retriever Club of Canada Illustrated Breed Standard (click here to view the GRCC Illustrated Breed Standard): “The acceptable range of colour in the Golden Retriever is broad. While a medium gold is always correct, coat colour can range from cream to a darker coppery gold. Any dogs within this range of colour should be considered equally, based on their merits, including balance, head type, movement and structure. “

The photo below furthermore illustrates the common shades of cream and gold found on this continent and all of these particular dogs are bred right here in North America. This broad range of colour is not only commonly found around the world, but both light and dark shades can also occur in the very same Golden Retriever litter, with full siblings varying in colour from very light cream to a rich gold.

Colour Back Line

Some breeders favor different styles of Golden Retrievers and some may even have a personal preference for a lighter or a darker golden, but good breeders never focus exclusively on a specific colour, since this would unnecessarily narrow the gene-pool and may cause genetic predispositions towards hereditary health issues to become magnified over time. Furthermore, the various styles have nothing to do with colour, but rather reflect the individual breeders’ aesthetic preferences and their interpretations of the breed-standard. Good Golden Retrievers of differing styles should, however, all possess strong breed-type. They should be readily recognized as Golden Retrievers, whether they are a rich gold or a pale cream.

The Golden Retriever breed originates from Scotland, which is a part of Great Britain. All Golden Retrievers across the world are descended from this original Scottish stock. To call the current light ones ‘English Cream Golden Retrievers’ is incorrect terminology, and in fact the majority of these dogs do not even come from England, but are bred right here in North America or are descended from dogs that have been imported from various European countries, Scandinavia, New Zealand and Australia. You can also find very dark coloured Golden Retrievers overseas, just as you can find very pale cream North American bred Goldens.

The cream colour of a Golden Retriever might be considered very attractive to some puppy-buyers, but this colour does not signify that such a light puppy is particularly superior or that it is necessarily well-bred, or that it should ever be referred to as an ‘English Cream Golden Retriever’. It is our position that a breeding program which focuses mainly on colour should be viewed with some skepticism. If claims are being made that the light creams are more valuable or healthier than darker coloured Golden Retrievers, then the buyer should be aware that such statements are blatantly incorrect.

We instead urge all new puppy owners to carefully review all recommended health clearances and ask the appropriate questions about longevity in the pedigree of any puppy. It is never the colour of a Golden Retriever that determines its temperament and working-ability or its health and potential longevity. Instead the quality of a Golden Retriever will be determined by the care the individual breeder has taken, by adhering to the standard when breeding, as well as by doing careful pedigree research and screening for soundness in mind and body.

*The above article was posted with permission from The Golden Retriever Club of Canada

Please share your constructive thoughts in the comments below.  In my opinion, they are all equally wonderful.

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78 thoughts on “Don’t Be Deceived: English Cream Golden Retrievers

  1. Thank you so much for posting this. I have actually questioned people when they talk or refer to English Cream Golden Retrievers. I tried to explain that Goldens can range from cream to almost a coppery colour and that there is not a different name for any of them. I remember visiting a few kennels in England, specifically Camrose Kennels. Mrs. Joan Tudor had everything from Cream to a deep, dark golden colour in her home and kennels. This lady was/is one of the worlds top breeders and expert on Golden Retrievers. http://www.thegoldenretrieverclub.co.uk/histdogspast.html

    If you go to this page you can see Camrose Cabus Christopher who sired my own beloved Show and Obedience Champion Demar. Many really good quality, both show and temperament, Golden Retrievers around the world, especially in England, Canada and the Netherlands are descendants of the early Camrose dogs.

    Your other beef, Golden Labs…me too. Yellow Labs and Golden Retrievers.

    Have a great weekend.

    Jannie

    • Thank god I read this. I took my 3 month old Zoe for a walk today and some lady said she’s not a pure breed and she doesn’t like her creamy colour. I don’t get how people could say such rude things to such a lovely creature and pet her as if nothing happened! Well, thank you. At least I can be at peace knowing the breeder didn’t lie to us or anything.

      • Cancer does not discriminate, but there are things we do that increase or decrease their risk, Anisha. No one is more aware of that than I am, having lost the Russian Golden to cancer at 20 months that I talked about in my first post here. You can do everything possible to reduce the risks, but no matter how low a statistic is, someone is going to fall within it. Unfortunately, that became my Mystery.

        Now, we have the UC Davis report that has shown spaying and neutering Goldens increases their risk of three types of cancer as well as CCL tears and hip dysplasia. In the US, we spay and neuter everything on four legs. In Europe, only 25% of dogs are spayed/neutered. Cancer mortality for Goldens in the US is about 70%, in Europe it’s only about 38%.

        We’re also told that if you don’t spay a female, she’s at greater risk for mammary cancer. Not only did the UC Davis researchers find mammary cancer claims to be extremely biased, mammary cancer risk is so much lower than they’d have anyone believe yet, detection and survivability is extremely high. Compared to the increased risk of hemangiosarcoma – which is essentially a death sentence, I’ll take my chances and either keep my new girl whole after her single breeding or have ovary-sparing surgery performed.

        Additionally, while genetics play a role in cancer rates, we heap environmental risks upon them through use of chemicals in our lawns, in pesticide preventatives that we put on them and in them, by the food we feed, and the overuse of vaccinations – none of which are necessary when natural alternatives are aplenty.

        So, while many say that “English” Goldens are healthier, I believe they are only so until we expose them to the same risks as we have exposed our beautiful American Goldens.

  2. Yes, pale cream is just one of the colours the breed of my brothers come in – but it is a relatively recent development in the breeding of Golden Retrievers! Fashionable as it is, it is not exactly authentic!

    • Cream has been recognized as an official birth color in Great Britain since before the GRCA was formed. Not authentic? Recent development? Check your breed history.

    • Sorry you’re not correct. Please research the origins of Lord Tweedsmuir’s original Goldens and you’ll see they are paler than you think. Golden love. . .

      • Lord Tweedmouth (not Tweedmuir) had medium colored Goldens, it appears to me. But the photos are black and white so hard to know for sure. The Cream didn’t become acceptable in the UK til well after the AKC had recognized Goldens. The UK standard was changed to allow them later. The color ranges occur when you keep breeding the very light dogs back to each other (or the very dark dogs). It seems mixing them up gives the beautiful contrasts of the lighter feathering with more body color.

  3. When we bought our golden retriever, we were looking for a pale cream one just because we liked the colour, not for a moment did we think we’d be getting a healthier dog with a better temperament – the breeder we went with had both cream and golden puppies in their litter of eleven, all healthy, all beautiful! We’re from Scotland as well, so we thought the golden retriever breed would be fitting! 🙂

  4. Well, who would thought that my little (actually huge) rescue boy is actually an ‘English Cream Golden Retrievers’ or ‘Rare White European Golden Retrievers’ or ‘Exquisite Platinum Imported Golden Retrievers’. And there was me thinking he was just white 😀

    As far as I’m concerned all golden retrievers from white to toffee coloured are all gorgeous and each one as good as the rest.

    Thanks for the interesting read. I won’t show it to Douggie the doggie, he might get ideas above his station 😀

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  6. Interesting, as we just returned from living in Spain where we not only visited a champion “English Cream Golden,” but purchased a Spanish Kennel Society certified English Cream and brought him back to the states. The first vet we visited was ecstatic as she recognized right away what we had, “an English Cream!” We also have had numerous people approach us who recognize what we have. We applied for papers from AKC which included sending a copy of the Spanish Clubs paperwork and a DNA thing. AKC came back showing Golden Retriever. The UK “dog rater” that rated the litter back in Spain referred to them as English Creams, but explained they are shown as Retrievers in shows; no formal distinction. In short, there is a difference in Europe, if not here. That I saw first hand.

    • Mark, that makes sense! Again, either way I don’t care, but is one worth more than the other? There are other rare characteristics in certain lines…but you can’t charge more…can you?

      • Can one breeder charge more for a dog than another? Well, sure! Blood lines, COI, genetics, health (hip/eyes/elbow scores), how one cares for their breeding stock and their puppies, whether they begin training, all can add to the value of one litter over another.

        Is my puppy, whose parents were from the most celebrated Russian and Swedish kennels worth more than someone’s pups whose parents are not champion dogs, who’ve been bred without concern for their health or temperament, whose inbreeding COIs are greater than 25%? Yes, I paid more. And I did as well for a second puppy recently whose dad is the most titled English Cream in the United States right now and has excellent health scores.

        No, you shouldn’t charge more for color, but I’d definitely pay more for higher breeding standards and a Golden that conforms to British/European standards than American ones. (Look what the AKC has done to the German Shepherd.)

        What is unfortunate is that some breeders who don’t know anything about genetics and don’t care about their health, charge the same high prices for their dogs as reputable, experienced breeders.

      • I fully agree. People spend thousands on these “designer breeds” and have absolutely no idea what they are getting. Hopefully a sweet dog, but all you are doing is lining someone’s pockets. Also, good breeder (as you mention) vs backyard breeder…big difference. It’s amazing what people will pay.

    • yes and the English Creams heads are blocky and shorter nosed than the heavily closely bred American golden retrievers. They have a much calmer temperament also There is a difference!!! Any Educated breeder will tell you that. Its the American Breeders who are annoyed that English creams are sought after

      • My thoughts exactly. I own both the American golden and English golden and there really is a difference. Though I love both of them equally and both are sweet and healthy, there is a difference in body structure, ear and eye placement, length of the muzzle and shape of the head. Go read the breed standards from the KC and compare to the AKC. They prefer different characteristics. In America the cream colored coat is seen as a fault in the show ring. In Europe (and canada?) the dark red color is seen as a fault. They aren’t worse but they are different!

  7. Thank you! I have a golden that is probably like the 3rd from the left in color. Most people I have contacting me are asking for light colored GR and I am glad to be able to refer them to this article. I personally like the light golden color but all golden retrievers are just wonderful dogs!

  8. I do reject the term “white” Golden and any breeder that uses the term to describe our creme colored ones, as if they are some novelty breed that irresponsible breeders use in order to attract people to their cash cow. Unfortunately, these people are clueless when it comes to genetics and they feed cheap food and raise their dogs in often horrendous environments.

    Conversely, there the breeders that use the “English Creme” label in order to sell to people like Oprah Winfrey and so, charge outrageous prices for their dogs, also reducing the color to novelty status as if only the rich can afford them. Ridiculous!

    When I am discussing my creme-colored Golden to someone who isn’t familiar with the breed or when I’m talking about the differences in their health stats, I generally refer to Mystery as an English Creme or European Golden. Primarily because his parents were both raised in Russian kennels but also because he is different from “American” Goldens.

    But this is the part that non- European Golden owners may not get (or get offended by) – because Mystery is descended directly from Goldens that were raised in Russian kennels where generations before him were raised in a more natural environment and fed a biologically appropriate diet, his life expectancy IS longer and health at less risk than those of Goldens – American or European, that have been born and raised in the United States, exposed to so may more toxins and fed a processed food diet. (I wish European breeders required any American breeder purchasing on of their dogs for breeding purposes to feed the same diet they feed.

    After researching nutrition and health for almost two years now, I am absolutely convinced that a processed diet (yes, I’m taking about kibble), is one of the greatest enemies to the health of all our dogs. Anyone who disagrees must explain why they think 69% of American raised Goldens die from cancer but only 39% of European raised Goldens do. (Insert here a shameless plug for the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study on cancer.) There are other factors to be sure (over-vaccination, topical poisons, etc.), I just think a raw fed diet establishes a much healthier immune system to handle anything that comes at it.

    Another point to be made about health is that many breeders of “European bred creme-colored Golden Retriever” (my new political [dog] correctness for Golden Retriever purists), are also breeding their ECs with their American born Goldens. This may help reduce some health risks, but not if they’re ignoring COIs, hip, eyes, elbows and heart scores, and diet.

    I don’t know where the term “English Creme” came from. As the owner of a creme-colored Golden, I know that all Goldens are descended from the same original stock, but not all Goldens are equal. Saying I have an EC is simply a way to differentiate my dog from typical American born Goldens. And frankly, there ARE physical differences in these dogs and you only have to look them in the face to see it.

    • Thanks for your knowledge and input! This is one of my most popular posts, and I’m sure it will be read by others regarding this topic.

      Shannon.

      PS. Did I mention I love them ALL!!??

    • Thanks you very well explained . Personally I think a lot of American Golden breeders are not liking the above facts, so therefore getting upset. A lot of the American Goldens health issues are due to inbreeding from a champion stud overused in the USA pedigrees. English Creams have round not slanted eyes. They have blocky heads and shorter ears and usually smaller than the American Goldens have become. These are just a few of the phenotypical differences.
      Personally I would be quite happy for AKC to make English Creams their own breed since there is animosity in the show ring. Why cant we be like the Spaniels for instance and recognize that there is variety within the breed since its not just a color difference and end this bikering once and for all

      • I’d be happy with that too but the AKC would have to invite judges from the KC into the ring so the AKC could actually learn a thing or two about them. It’s a shame they can’t see the beauty in the creams or any other color from European lines. If you’re wanting to show, I think European Goldens stand a better chance in IABCA rings than AKC sponsored ones. Check out the photos from the recent specialty show in MO – all creams: https://www.facebook.com/groups/678732885603508/

      • Have you really looked at the European pedigrees? European dogs are just as tightly bred on a single common ancestor. Cabus Cadet. All the different styles of Goldens have that same problem with being based on very few influential dogs. For the U.S. Goldens it is Cragmount’s Peter. We all have that same problem. I hope they never split the breed we desperately need all the Goldens in the gene pool. Yes, there are some style differences between them but to my eye are much more alike than different and a high quality European bred dog can successfully compete in AKC. In the last few years alone a Spanish import and an Australian Import have both achieved the AM Champion title and a European bred girl won winners bitch and best of winners at the GRCA national specialty in 2014. It is very easy to say there is a bias or animosity if no one ever tries. Judges can not award a dog if it is not in the ring. High quality European dogs need to get out there and show in AKC instead of hiding behind the fact that the color is penalized by the U.S. Standard. The color is not a DQ and if the dog is of good structure and quality it can be done. If these dogs were out there judges just might get more used to the color and perhaps the color could even end up added to the standard.

    • I LOVE that you mention the raw diet! When my husband and i first got our Husky/Mali mix i went to every single store that sold dog food looking at the ingredients and if the first ingredient wasn’t straight meat (not a meat byproduct or something) it was immedietly disqualified. But we were hard pressed to find something that wasn’t $70 for a 25lb bag. so we were feeding him Blue Buffalo. after a few months i told my husband i was switching him to straight raw. It was the only thing i felt was healthy enough for him. And now that i have an English type Golden i plan on putting her on it too. It is so much better for them. And our husky/mali will eat it partially frozen too!

  9. After my sweet carmel cream golden retriever, Grace, passed away https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhuNt9Fbds0 we decided to add an English Cream Golden to our family, cause we thought the difference in color would make us compare the two less. Here’s our new baby being house trained https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjbDqhwSCMM She is just as smart and adorable as our first golden retriever. I find her temperament and personality to be very similar. Golden Retrievers are the BEST!

    • loved the vid of grace ,RIP gracie…golden retrievers are just so loving loyal and just the best..the new addition looks so cute and adorable…..i have a 13 yr old golden retriever called marble had him from a puppy(my best mate) hes suffering from artheritus and hes on metacam…so many happy times with him

    • loved the vid of grace,RIP grace….the new addition is cute and adorable…goldaen retrievers are just so loyal,loving and just the best,lovely natured dogs…have a golden myself had him from a puppy hes 13 and called marble(my best mate),suffering from artheritus and hes on metacam,love him to bits

      nigel

  10. Regarding the physical differences – there are two different standards for Golden Retrievers, those written by the AKC and those by the British Kennel Club. When someone says they have an “English” Creme, they are indicating their dog conforms to the British standard, not the AKC. Creme is merely an indication of color.

    It’s easy to put a photograph of the back of all the different colors of Goldens and say, “See, they’re the same.” You need to turn them around to see they are not all the same. Take a look at Mystery’s face in my post above (MeowntainGal). That is NOT the face of an AKC Golden Retriever.

    I’m not saying one is better than the other, I love them both. Our oldest Golden conformed to AKC standards – and died from cancer this past January. Her color was about 4th from the left on your photo. We also have two Golden rescues, one obviously conforms to British standards, the other, AKC. Both are about the 6th or 7th dog from the left of your photo.

    If you’re genuinely interested in learning about the differences between American and English Goldens, take a look at the two links below. This isn’t deception, they’re facts.

    Snitker Goldens has a side-by-side illustrated chart comparing the standards here:
    http://www.snitkergoldens.com/english-cream-golden-retriever-vs-american-golden-retriever.html

    Recherché Goldens has a photographic side-by-side of the differences between American and British (English). http://www.recherchegoldens.com/the-english-golden.html

  11. As a former Akc Golden Retriever breeder and a current English Cream owner, I disagree with you wholeheartedly. There IS a difference and we see it every day.
    Tycen is an English Cream with a blockier head, stockier body and much calmer temperament. He is very white and has larger features overall. He is a problem solver, which can be a problem ;-), yet more obedient and less distracted than the Golden’s I used to breed.
    I have recommended the Englush cream to former clients who bought my Goldens and they have all agreed. There is a difference.
    That said, I love both… They may be different, but that only means that there are more wonderful breed dogs out there to enrich our lives.

    • Thanks for your reply Tracy! I appreciate your input. I simply shared this view of the GRCC. I really could care less 😛

    • Completely agree. Creams have smaller wide set eyes, blocky head, and stockier musculature. My American golden has close set eyes, a narrow head and a triangular snout. There is an obvious difference seen in just the face. I know my baby’s face anywhere.

    • I had a gorgeous red colored Golden many years ago. I now have an English Cream whose parents were from Poland. It is NOT just a color difference. His FUR is even different. It is coarser than my previous Golden’s and he sheds less than any dog I’ve ever had – I’ve had labs, lab mixes, shepherds, and even a Cairn mix who actually didn’t shed-but the other ones did. My Boris is also a big boy at 80 pounds and not fat at all. His eyes are huge and round. He is jaw dropping beautiful. I mainly got another Golden because I wanted a dog who would never bite my grandchildren hahaha. I think all Goldens are wonderful, but there is more detailed information on the internet from discussing the differences in more detail.

  12. I am beginning research into buying or adopting a golden retriever. I don’t have any preference on color but it seems reasonable to me that there could be differences in temperament between English and American goldens. Their look is really different, so why not their personalities? Am I wrong?

    • They are generally ALL sweet if living a healthy/happy/balanced life. Best of luck in your search. Many goldens looking for homes!

      Ps. maybe someone with more knowledge and expertise could comment re temperament…?

    • Kim, It is generally believed (mostly, it seems, among English bred owners), that English bred Goldens have a better temperament. We’ve had two of each and now a third English and frankly, I don’t see any difference in temperament. Personality, yes, but you’d see that in every single dog in the world. Research your breeder, meet her Goldens and even some of her pups if you can. This is the most important thing you can do.

      If you like one color over another, go for it. Our first was light Golden, second was creme, third and fourth are darker Goldens and this fifth is creme. There is also a difference in their looks, so you also can decide if you prefer American bred or one from English lines. We’ve had two American and three English. We love them all but I prefer the English standards.

      But I’ll repeat – researching your breeders and their breeding dogs is the single most important thing you can do. If you’ve done that, you’ll get what you pay for. And remember, many Golden rescues have pure bred dogs that have pedigrees too. We have one surrendered American with papers and one rescued English without. Both are lovely dogs.

  13. With all of this said … and thank you ALL, I am searching for a Golden Retriever that is cream colored. I do not want to may more than than going $1,500.00 for a retriever. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

    • Donna, There is a FB group for English Cream litters. You should be able to find something there. You can also join the English Cream Golden Retriever FB group. Take a look at the puppies and dogs that owners have. Ask where they got theirs. But as I’ve said before, you must always do your own homework.

      Breeders have applications that ask a lot of questions about you and your family and what you expect from your dog. You need to remember to ask them questions too. Check k9data.com for pedigrees and don’t just look at the sire and dam, look at their parents and siblings. Check COIs for all of them, see if any have died and from what, what are their hip/eye/heart/elbow scores. Grandparent scores can effect their grandchildren.

      How long has this breeder been breeding? Try picking their brain on things like genetics to see how much they know. If you can visit their kennel, pop in unannounced, even if they say no unscheduled visits. You can tell a lot from the outside of a house if they won’t let you in. Also check the BBB, do an Internet search on their kennel name and/or personal name with the words “complaints” or “issues”.

      Don’t be in a rush to get your puppy, many breeders have waiting lists for current litters months ahead of their birth, even conception. As for price, I have noticed a trend where some breeders are charging less for boys than girls. I have no idea why since both my boys cost the same as the girls from my breeder.

      Good luck!

  14. Love the information. My family personally chose a golden of European descent. I had many reasons for that choice. I do recognize that it is the same breed no matter what color they are. However, aside from Ichthyosis I believe the “English” line to be healthier.

    • While it is the same breed, the standards for European bred Goldens are different from the revised AKC standards – those differences are clearly seen when the two are standing side-by-side.

      And I know a number of responsible breeders that are working to eliminate ichthyosis from their lines.

  15. You do realize you are arguing about what subjective term is being applied to an objective color. LOL AKC can call it yellow, but yes white and cream more accurately described the color. And yes most dog breeds do come from Europe, so usage of that term is more accurate than ridiculous as well. I guess when you are limited to usage of descriptive terms that are authorized by a voting body, such as the AKC, you have to bash any usage of more accurate terms. (Not quite the point of language, but whatever AKC). Now if only the AKC could learn the terms “in-breeding” and stop recognizing unhealthy traits as standards, their opinions might carry more weight. Sick puppies.

  16. I recently purchased an AKC reg english creme golden from Wisteria Goldens. I was told by a friend of mine that “English” was the type and not the origin. That English type golden’s are a bit bulkier than American type golden’s. However i was never told that my English Creme Golden was any different than any other golden. Just that it is English type and that it is Creme colored. I was also never told that they were rare in any way, which i know isn’t true because i see cream colored golden’s all the time. In this context i understand that My golden is just that, another golden. She’s just of English type. I think it has to do with the context that the breeder puts it in. I also know that there is no difference in genetics when it comes to whichever type gets cancer. Cancer is cancer and does not discriminate based on color or type. Honestly i have no problem with breeders that choose to breed a specific type or color over another, as long as they are honest about what they are breeding. I just personally prefer English type and the creme coat.

    • Yes, I agree. Whether the golden gets cancer or not does not depend on what color it is. It depends more on the breeder.

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  19. Hello
    I posted a comment here last week but it still hasn’t appered so if something appears twice my apologies.
    I live in France and had a cream coloured golden bred in Bordeaux.
    He was an extremely large dog, not fat but very tall.
    He had the gentlest temperament, never barked, very confident in himself intelligent but not curious etc etc. Lovely dog really huge but perfectly proportioned. Incredibly nimble though
    The thing I want to say is, over here the vets all told me that these cream coloured goldens are more fragile. One vet was even a golden specialist and was insistent.
    He was healthy up to the end except he had several ear infections, but his hips and eyes and vigour were perfect
    I don’t know the truth but I thought you might be interested that they are not considered stronger or healthier over her in Europe, just the opposite.
    I think that the thing to do is to buy from a good breeder that does’n’t make fancy claims but has a pedigree of healthy, friendly dogs to judge by.
    If the parents and grand-parents were great family dogs or guide dogs or working dogs, then you are likely to get a dog with a great temperament whatever the colour.
    If you buy from a puppy farm or get spiel without something to back it up, then beware.
    My big lad died very suddenly last year and I saw on this site reference to Purina foods and as he was eating a Purina brand called Friskies and had exactly the same symptoms I now wonder.
    I know I miss him and he left an incredibly big home in my family,
    Take care

  20. Coming from England, I have to say I have never ever heard pale retrievers referred to as “English Cream”, which leads me to believe that it’s a North American marketing ploy. For us in the UK, a retriever’s a retriever, in all their glorious shades. Another Brit might have heard differently, but as a life long retriever owner, I’d hope to have at least come across the term in the UK. The first time I heard it was after moving to California.

    • “…it’s a North American marketing ploy.”

      Actually, those in North America who are serious about breeding “English” Creams understand the term is merely a way of highlighting the difference between the Golden Retriever bred to the AKC standard and the Golden that is bred to the Kennel Club standard. Oh, and the dog is – yep, cream in color.

      As I have stated before, though the term “English” is not entirely correct (I suppose “British” would be more so), it has stuck and is very unlikely to go away. If you head over to Facebook, you’ll find plenty of European breeders who have no problem advertising their dogs as “English Cream” alongside North American breeders.

      I do not try to appeal to people’s misconceptions about the color of my Goldens. Rather, when someone says, “Is that a WHITE Golden Retriever,” I respond with at least a five minute lesson on the differences between the two so-called English Cream Goldens I have, the one European-bred rescued golden Golden we have and the rescued golden American Golden we have. (It takes five minutes just to write that out correctly – haha.) And I let them know that white is considered a fault by either standard. I also let them know that I’ve never lost a cream dog in the white snow – because they’re cream (you can see light bulbs turning on over their heads with just that one comment). And yes, I let them know that if they are looking for a cream Golden Retriever and they find a breeder calling them white, they should run in the opposite direction as fast as they can.

      As for marketing ploys – I do find “White” and “Platinum” offensive. Neither would conform to the KC standard. These people, while they might object, are very likely just trying to sell a dog and give little care to genetics, testing and overall health. You’re going to find someone in any group of people who isn’t genuine but you shouldn’t paint the entire population with such a damning brush.

  21. Respectfully disagree. Have raised Goldens all
    my life, both rescues and pedigrees and am sitting next to the most amazing puppy ever
    and yes he is a white golden. He has some large
    shoes to fill and he seems to be aware of it,
    His good manners and loyalty at five months
    would blow any dog lover away.
    You can say all you want about these guys,
    but North Carolina is head over heels about
    this very special line of Goldens, blessed to
    have him…

    • How can I find out more about this great line of Golden’s from North Carolina? I am hoping to find a good breeder and get a puppy in the next month or two.

  22. We have such a dog. They are bred to different standards (British Kennel Club) vs the AKC. Our dog’s pedigree is from Europe. Golden’s bred to this standard tend to have less cancer. No-it’s not a different breed. It’s bred to different standards. Don’t hate on them. There is a difference.

  23. It would be interesting to see an actual science based study to support the better health of an “english cream” golden. According to my vet, that claim is a lot of BS- and she has patients from both the American and “English” side.

    • ANY breed in the United States is at a greater health risk because we spay/neuter them way too early (unlike Europe), we pour pesticides in their mouths and on their backs, we let them roll around in pesticide-laden yards, we feed them over-processed food with pesticide-laden grains, and we vaccinate the crap out of them. And when they get sick from all this, instead of addressing the cause of their illness, we give them antibiotics and totally destroy any good that may still be in their bodies.

      The Morris Animal Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study (of which my Mystery was and my Aspen is a participant), is looking at all these factors and how they relate to cancer. Unless you are raising your Golden as close to the way a typical European Golden is raised (color makes no difference), the health won’t be any better than a Golden raised in America. You can’t import a healthy dog and expose it to an unhealthy environment and then say the dog is healthier because of where it originated. It was only healthier before it landed in the US.

      That said, it is possible to keep an “English Cream” healthier IF it was imported and you limit exposure to the gazillions of toxins – use natural products for flea, tick and mosquito control, feed a natural diet, minimally vaccinate, use natural antibiotics that don’t target the good as well as bad bacteria (and for crying out loud, stop throwing antibiotics at viruses and conditions you can’t diagnose “just in case”), stop using pesticides in your yard – use beneficial nematodes, and exposing them to so many other toxic products. All of this applies to any Golden Retriever of any color imported from Europe. Of course, you still have to do your homework when researching breeders from anywhere in the world.

      Slightly passionate here (check out my other comments).

      • Thanks Sharon! We try to do our best too, best way is to educate. The GR Lifetime study is amazing, and as a result of their information, we waited to have Tucker neutered at 18 months. We also purchase a high quality kibble, and use eco friendly cleaners. Every little bit helps.

        I’m passionate too! 🙂

      • I have to agree with several of your points Sharon! Have a post in my head about my recent vet visit!

  24. Like it or not, the phrase English Cream Golden Retriever makes perfect sense if you consider the fact that the dogs in question are bred to the English standard and are born cream in color. The British standard has long stated that Goldens which are either gold or cream in color–are to be accepted. Unfortunately, while they admit that some are born red, they view such pups as unacceptable. So, too, does every standard everywhere in the world. But, all admit that this is a legitimate birth color. Reds are rejected– I believe –because they are an embarrassment. They look too much like their red setter ancestors. I suggest: Get Over It.
    The AKC/GRCA breed standard is based upon a lie. It is simply not true to say all Goldens are born some shade of gold. Gold is a shade, not a color. The powers that be have turned truth and factual information on its head. All Goldens are born on a red/yellow color spectrum. All derive from the master gene called red. Cream is a dilute of red. What we call gold– in various shades –is the result of a genetic factor acting upon the red gene as well. Dilution is in place at birth. The degree to which the intensity of red appears (giving the various shades of gold) is something which occurs after the birth of a pup. This intensity factor also affects the eventual color of pups which are born cream or born red. A born-cream pup will darken to a deeper cream; a born-red to a deeper red color. If your cream pup “turns” gold later in life, it was not born cream. It is a genetic impossibility. Like a leopard changing spots. Whatever. He may have “looked” cream, but was not. Our American breed standard allows judges to “guess” the eventual coat color in younger dogs. The assumption being that with maturity comes “goldness.”– or not. Pure nonsense.
    Leading spokespersons in the breed here in the States have even seen fit to rewrite the British standard. The “ladies who lead”– Schlehr and Brown (joined by Mr. Pepper) claim that the Brits really mean to say that a cream dog is a gold specimen with some cream shadings on its body. Leave it to Americans to reinterpret the British (and world) standard to suit their own prejudices. While choosing to include some fine cream-coated Dewmist Goldens in his book, Pepper derides them in other writings on the GRCA website– calling them “vanilla retrievers.” Schlehr attacks cream-coated dogs as not being truly gold and therefore not “truly” Golden Retrievers. Check out her negative comments in the Illustrated GRCA Breed Standard handout. The document is filled with her opinions on coat color. And ridiculous as it may sound, the color cream is identified as part of the acceptable range of color at one point and then rejected at another. See pages 10 and 32 if you don’t believe me.
    Mill’s handout to judges of the breed claimed that cream was in the acceptable range– until I pointed that out to the GRCA. They chose to throw her under the bus, even though Schlehr was a member of the same committee which drew up that document. How had that gone unnoticed, one wonders.
    All I have said about genetics is conjecture at this point. Geneticists know that there is a dilute gene in our breed, that there is an intensity gene in our breed. Maybe they are alleles. I’m not a scientist .But knowing that they exist is not proving they exist. That is yet to happen. The secrets of a Golden’s DNA have not yet been fully mapped. But yet is the operative word. Likewise, it is possible that there is some co-dominance at work in our breed. This would explain the existence of different birth colors in a single litter. It has been shown that the chinchilla gene is not responsible for cream-coated or “white” Goldens– though for some time it was assumed to be so. This is fortunate, due to linkage to blindness.
    Golden Retriever is a name. They were called Yellow Retrievers early on. Many in Great Britain believed the Russian-white-circus-dog theory of origin of the breed. It was adhered to by many until the mid-nineteen fifties. Some Brits thought the breed should be called Russian Retrievers for that reason. Didn’t fly, though. To define yellow or coppery red as gold is sheer nonsense. But that is what our breed standard says. This “Goldilocks” fabrication– not too gold , not too little gold, but just the right amount– as if our dogs were bowls of porridge or bed sizes. Leave it to America, the land of Exceptionalism, to tell the rest of the world that they are wrong.

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  25. A few further observations, if I may. Geneticists have yet to identify the difference between a yellow or red Golden on that spectrum of which they speak. So a lot of work is yet to be done.
    My friend’s cream-coated puppy was awarded best- in- show pup in Canada by Schlehr herself. Apparently a cream Golden can be considered “truly a Golden” if it is judged north of the 49th parallel– but not south of that line of demarcation. You explain that, if you can; for the American and Canadian standards say virtually the same thing about coat color.
    Why is it wrong to breed only cream to cream, but perfectly acceptable to breed gold to only gold dogs? In either case, a breeder is limiting the available gene pool. Although there is some effort to combine the American with the European lines– regardless of coat color since many non-American Goldens are gold in color and could be used –for the most part we have parallel breeding programs in America. How can this possibly be good for the breed?
    Prices charged by some breeders are clearly obscene, whether the pups are “college educated” or not. Only a fool would pay as much as $20,000 for a single pup. But apparently some do. And the GRCA can do nothing about that– or at least chooses not to do anything. Similarly, “top” Goldens with only fair hips were used repeatedly in American breeding programs, and the AKC and GRCA were silent.
    Finally, it is possible to breed a white Golden Retriever. Bearded Collies do better in the show ring if they are flashy– i.e. have extensive white markings. Even though there is no requirement that a dog have white markings to win. But breeders produced white Beardies with patches of color through selective breeding. So much so that the standard was rewritten. In similar fashion, the Irish Setter was developed by breeding the white markings out of the earlier Red and White Setters. The latter is now a growing breed here and elsewhere– by reversing the process. The Irish Setter may still have some white markings according to the standard for the breed. But the Red and White must have the white predominate.
    Since the permissible white markings for Goldens can not be discerned easily if at all on an adult cream-coated dog, breeding cream to cream could result in the spread of those white markings to the extent that the white would represent all but a small amount of the body color. This could be quite unintentional on the part of the breeder; or not.
    The now famous picture of those Golden Retrievers representing the full range of color possibility is telling. The GRCA uses the same photograph but arbitrarily lops off dogs at either end of that spectrum. This is done based upon no facts or reasons whatever. Rather it is simply a matter of opinion or taste by those who control such things. That’s one hell of a way to write or determine a breed standard.

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