Did you know there are 3 different types of Golden Retrievers? It turns out that different countries have slightly different standards for their Golden Retrievers. The differences are mostly related to the breed’s appearance rather than their personality.
Let’s look at the different types of Golden Retrievers, how you can tell them apart, and what they all have in common.
- Different Types of Golden Retrievers
- History of Golden Retrievers
- What to Expect from All Types of Golden Retrievers
- Golden Retriever Grooming Needs
- Final Thoughts
Different Types of Golden Retrievers
There are 3 different types of Golden Retrievers: British (or English), American, and Canadian. Each country has a different breed standard about how the breed is “supposed” to look. These dogs are all similar enough to count as the same breed, but there are still noticeable differences between the three types.
British (English) Golden Retrievers
British (also known as English) Golden Retrievers are slightly smaller than American and Canadian Goldens. Their fur is always cream-colored with long feathers, and no other shade of gold is acceptable.
English Golden Retrievers also have a broader skull with rounder, darker eyes than other types of Golden Retrievers.
American Golden Retrievers
American Golden Retrievers are the most popular type in the United States since most Golden Retriever breeders register their puppies with the American Kennel Club (AKC), which sets the standard for the breed. Their fur and long feathers can be any shade of gold. However, it is typically darker than the English cream color.
One of the most significant differences between American Golden Retrievers and other types is the shape and color of their eyes. American Goldens tend to have triangular-shaped and light-colored eyes compared to the dark, round eyes of other types of Goldens.
Canadian Golden Retrievers
Canadian Golden Retrievers tend to be taller than American and British Goldens – by as much as 2 inches.
Canadian Goldens also typically have shorter feathers and thinner fur than the other two types. If you don’t want to do as much brushing, then a Canadian Golden Retriever might be the best type for you.
History of Golden Retrievers
The Golden Retriever was developed in Scotland by Dudley Marjoribanks, the first Lord Tweedmouth, from 1835 to 1890. He wanted a dog that would be able to retrieve birds that he had shot from a distance, even if they landed in the water.
Lord Tweedmouth crossed his favorite “yellow retriever” with the now-extinct Tweed Water Spaniel to start developing a retriever that was well suited to the rugged terrain and rainy climate of his estate. He then spent more than 50 years creating the perfect gundog, adding in breeds like Bloodhound and Irish Setter. The end result was the Golden Retriever that we know and love today.
In 1952, Lord Tweedmouth’s great-nephew, the sixth Earl of Ilchester, released the detailed records his great-uncle had kept about his dog breeding program. This information verified stories that had been handed down about the origins of the Golden Retriever. Few dog breeds have such a detailed record of how they were created.
You don’t need to be a hunter to appreciate a Golden. As it turns out, Golden Retrievers make excellent family pets, even when you don’t use them for hunting. They are now the third-most-popular dog breed in the United States and one of the most common breeds used as seeing-eye or service dogs.
What to Expect from All Types of Golden Retrievers
While the 3 different types of Golden Retrievers may look slightly different, most everything else about them is the same. What can you expect from a Golden Retriever if you decide to add one to your family?
Golden Retriever Temperament
Golden Retrievers are friendly and intelligent. They love to learn and be with their family. Goldens are generally excellent with children, although a large, bouncy Golden could accidentally injure a small child.
Golden Retrievers are excellent service dogs, guide dogs, and therapy dogs due to their intelligence and eagerness to please. With the right training, a Golden will do just about anything you ask.
The Golden does best when they can spend all day with their people. They don’t like to be left alone and are prone to developing separation anxiety. A Golden Retriever may not be the right breed for you if you work long hours away from home.
Golden Retriever Exercise Needs
Since Golden Retrievers were bred to work all day long, they need plenty of exercise. Plan on giving your Golden at least an hour of intense exercise every day.
Goldens who don’t get enough exercise may become destructive. If your Golden is “acting up,” try giving them more exercise. It may decrease their negative behaviors. A tired dog is a good dog!
Since Goldens were bred to retrieve, they usually LOVE to fetch. Whether it’s in your back yard or at the local dog park, a good game of fetch may be your Golden’s favorite form of exercise. You’ll probably want a Chuckit! and plenty of tennis balls to keep your Golden Retriever happy.
Golden Retriever Grooming Needs
With their medium-length wavy hair and double coat, Golden Retrievers do need weekly brushing. Be especially sure to brush behind their ears, in their armpits, and all their long feathers, because those areas are prone to getting matted.
Mats are severe tangles that can be painful for your dog to deal with. Never cut mats out with scissors – it’s too easy to cut your dog’s skin! If you have dog clippers, you may be able to shave the mats out. Otherwise, take your Golden to a professional groomer to have the mats shaved out safely.
You can brush your Golden Retriever as often as every day with a slicker brush and a straight deshedding rake. When your Golden is “blowing” their undercoat two to four times per year, you can use a curved undercoat rake once a week. Using it more often than that can cause bald spots.
Now that you know the difference between the 3 types of Golden Retrievers, see if you can spot them the next the time you’re at the dog park. Regardless of the differences in their appearance, Golden Retrievers make excellent family pets.