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3 Types of Golden Retrievers (With Pictures)

Written by: Sarah Psaradelis

Last Updated on July 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

Golden Retriever sitting in the dirt

3 Types of Golden Retrievers (With Pictures)

The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world and is highly intelligent, social, affectionate, and a great family-orientated dog. They come in a variety of different colors all with a medium-sized body and medium-length coat. We usually classify Golden Retrievers as one type of dog, however, there are three typical types of this dog breed based on where they came from, and it is not necessarily based on their coat colorations.

Although Golden Retrievers originated in Scotland, their coat colors and type can vary. The three main types of Golden retrievers include the American, Canadian, and English Golden Retriever, which we will discuss in the article below.

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The 3 Types of Golden Retrievers

1. American Golden Retriever

Golden retriever beautiful lovely pair
Photo Credit: Rala3030 Shutterstock
Coat Type: Thick and medium in length
Coat Color: All color varieties
Distinctive Feature: The front legs are longer than the hind legs

The American Golden Retriever is most common in America and is recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). This type of Golden Retriever has a sloping back, with slightly taller shoulders in comparison to their hip length.

They come in all of the different colors that Golden Retrievers can be found in, however, the AKC breed standards state that a predominant body coloration of pale or dark is undesirable in the American Golden Retriever, so their coat colors are typically light to the slightly darker golden color we associate with Golden Retrievers.

2. Canadian Golden Retriever

Canadian Golden Retriever
Photo Credit: EB Adventure Photography, Shutterstock
Coat Type: Thinner, medium-length fur
Coat Color: Dark golden and red
Distinctive Feature: Slightly taller than other types

The Canadian Golden Retriever’s appearance differs slightly in comparison to other types of Golden Retrievers as they have been developed through decades of breeding. They are generally a few inches taller with lighter body weight than other types of Golden Retrievers and have thinner fur that is long in some areas and sparse in others.

The Canadian Golden Retriever has all the same characteristics and traits seen in the Golden Retriever breed standards, but they are commonly found to have a darker coloration that can range from dark gold to a light brown color.

3. English Golden Retriever

English Golden Retriever
Photo Credit: Rob Wee, Pixabay
Coat Type: Medium-length, dense fur
Coat Color: Cream and light golden
Distinctive Feature: Shorter and stockier build

The English Golden Retriever is a smaller dog with a cream-colored coat. They are also referred to as “Rare White European Retrievers” and make good family dogs. Like all Golden Retrievers, the English type has the same characteristics when it comes to their temperament and is described as an affectionate family dog. The English Golden Retriever usually has a lighter fur coloration than the American or Canadian Golden Retriever, with their dense, medium-length fur ranging from pale cream to light golden color.

Lighter colors are more desirable in this Golden Retriever and are accepted at British dog shows. Their heads are slightly more rounded, and their ears sit lower in comparison to the American type, with a straighter back. According to the Kennel Club, gold and cream-colored Golden Retrievers are accepted in the English Golden Retriever, whereas reds and mahogany are undesirable in this type.

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What Colors Do Golden Retrievers Come In?

Golden Retrievers come in a range of different colors, but not all are recognized as a standard color according to the AKC. The official colors that are recognized in Golden Retrievers are either light or dark golden coloration. However, Golden Retrievers can also be found in cream, red, mahogany, and standard gold which can appear slightly yellow.

Standard gold is one of the most popular colorations found in Golden Retrievers, but the color of your dog can depend on what type it is which is influenced by where the Golden Retriever is from. American Golden Retrievers are usually standard golden and come in all color varieties, however light and dark gold are the most popular. With Canadian Golden Retrievers, darker colors like red are more popular, whereas, with English Golden Retrievers, light colors such as cream are desirable.

The color of the Golden Retriever will also influence its winnings as a show dog because in Canada a light and pale Golden Retriever is desirable, however, the same will not apply to an English or American Golden Retriever.

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Final Thoughts

Golden Retrievers make excellent pets and can be found in three main different types that separate the breeds according to their body structure and acceptable color forms. All three typical types of Golden Retrievers have a similar temperament and are available in the five different shades Golden Retrievers can be found in, with the main differences being their fur thickness, head structure, backline, and height.

Featured Image Credit: Olena Brodetska, Shutterstock

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