English Cream Golden Retriever running in the snow

English Cream Retrievers: Complete Breed Guide

The Golden Retriever has long been one of our favorite family dogs, and he has floated around the top 3 favorite breeds for several decades.

There is probably not a person in the world that has never met a Golden. But what about an English Cream Golden Retriever? Are they any different from normal Golden Retrievers?

The English Cream Retriever

It is this question, and many more, that we are going to answer here in this breed information guide. So maybe you’re about to welcome an English Cream Golden Retriever into your life. Or you simply overheard someone talking about their special English Cream Golden Retriever and you’re intrigued. Whatever your reason for being here, we are going to give you the lowdown on everything you need to know.

There is much more to the Golden Retriever than just his coat color at dog shows. And there is more than one difference between the different types of Golden Retriever. So, sit back, relax, and treat yourself to a spot of afternoon tea and cake while you learn all things English Cream.

Two English cream golden retrievers playing

Despite the name, the English Cream Retriever breed doesn’t come from England.

Breed History

The European Golden Retriever dates back to 19th Century Scotland, where the British aristocrat dog breeder, Lord Tweedmouth, created the Golden. He wanted to create the ultimate gundogs and hunting dogs. Being surrounded by marshlands meant that he needed a dog that worked well on both land and water.

Lord Tweedmouth mated an unknown golden-colored wavy coated dog, with a now extinct Tweed Water Spaniel, who was liver-colored. The first litter of Golden Retrievers was born, and they were all yellow coated in various shades of gold. These puppies and subsequent litters were gifted to friends.

It is thought that one of the first puppies was gifted to Lord Tweedmouth’s son, who had a red Irish setter. And it is believed that breeding his new Golden pup with his red Setter was how the deep red Golden Retrievers came about. The English cream color came about after breeding the palest Golden Retrievers together.

Different Golden Retriever Subtypes

With the Golden Retrievers’ popularity came the chance to see and travel the world. With travel came transatlantic breeding, and after centuries of local breeding came different Golden Retriever subtypes. Although there is only one Golden Retriever breed, there are 3 distinct subtypes of Golden Retriever: American, Canadian, and English.

The American is most prevalent in America, the Canadian in Canada, and the English in Europe and Australia. Each subtype has its own breed standard set by the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Canadian Kennel Club, and the Kennel Club (KC), respectively. There is also the Golden Retriever Club of America and the Golden Retriever Club of Canada.

That’s right, there are three subtypes of Golden Retriever, and here we are going to learn about the English Golden Retriever, also known as the English Cream. The English Cream Golden Retriever is not a mix.

Although there is only one Golden Retriever breed, there are slight differences between them all. These differences may or may not determine which subtype you choose for you and your family. The English Cream is known as the English Cream because he is, well, English. And because he is more likely to be lighter in color.

English Cream Golden Retriever

English Creams also go by different names, particularly in America. Other names include the Rare White European Retrievers or Exquisite Platinum Imported Golden Retrievers. Contrary to popular belief, there are more differences to learn about than just his paler color. But make no mistake about it, the English Cream is most popular for his shiny white coat! Let’s jump straight in.

english cream golden retriever with tennis ball

Photo: Pet Helpful

Temperament

According to those that work with English Cream Golden Retrievers, there is a clear difference between the English Cream and his American sibling. English Creams are calmer and seem more mature compared to the American Goldens. English Creams are rarely hyper or overly boisterous, whereas many American Goldens are.

This is not to say that English Creams aren’t active and fun, because they are. And it’s also not the case that American Goldens aren’t able to chill out. But if you’re looking for a calmer and gentler Golden, the English Cream is your best choice. Other than this difference, they are the same as the other types of Gold Retrievers when it comes to their personality. English Cream Golden Retrievers are super sweet and friendly.

Not only with his family but also strangers that he has never met before. Because he is calmer he is not too in-your-face with strangers compared to American Goldens. He also loves to play games in the yard, and he is very active. He needs a lot of playtime in between exercise sessions to stimulate his body and mind. Being a working dog from the Scottish Highlands, he likes to spend a lot of time outdoors in the fresh air.

English Creams are mouthy dogs, and you’ll need to teach him the ‘drop’ command quickly. Thankfully they are so gentle, even when playing. So soft, that Golden Retriever owners have come up with the ‘egg challenge’. Yes, you read that right, a Golden Retriever can hold an egg in his mouth without breaking it.

In addition to the above, he is very loyal, so if you are looking for a sweet-looking obedient pooch, the English Cream is the one for you. Because he is calmer and easier to train, he is discovering that he makes a fantastic therapy dog. You will be the apple of his eye, and he’ll be your second shadow.

Size and Appearance

The English Cream breed standard states that English Creams should measure between 21 ½  to 24 inches tall, from paw to shoulder. A healthy English Cream should weigh between 55 and 75 pounds. This is the same as the breed standard for the American Golden Retriever. English Cream Golden Retrievers have a white coat, a lighter coat, and that’s different from their American counterpart that ranges from Golden orange to a deeper red.

However, those that work with English Creams state that despite the breed standard is the same, he is slightly stockier than his American counterparts. And just like any dog breed, males are typically on the larger end of the height and weight scale when compared to females.

Not only are they slightly stockier and bigger boned, but they also have a slightly larger head. Which means that they have a stronger, thicker, and more muscular neck to carry it. They also have slightly wider muzzles, which result in a stronger jaw. Their eyes are positioned closer together, and they tend to be rounder. Their ears are level with their eyes, compared to the American Goldens whose ears are set higher and further back.

The most noticeable difference in the English Cream Golden Retriever’s appearance (other than his white coat) is his topline is level. His topline is the line between his neck and his tail. Whereas the American Golden’s topline is more slanted, a bit like a German Shepherd’s sloping hindquarters. This gives the English Cream a proud and overall stockier appearance.

english cream golden retriever puppies

Photo: Golden Reserve

Coat and Colors

According to the breed standard, the color of the English Cream Golden Retriever should be any shade of gold or cream, neither red nor mahogany. The other subtypes of Golden Retriever do not recognize the cream color or a white Golden Retriever. In fact, if a Golden Retriever is extremely pale, they are seen as undesirable by American breed standards.

This means that the English Cream Golden Retrievers don’t necessarily have to be cream-colored, and they can be more golden yellow in color. But, because the lighter cream is the most popular color as the best dog, their pricing is likely to be higher because there is more of a demand for them.

The coat of the English Cream is medium-long in length, and it is longer around his ears, neck, and tail. His long hair is known as feathering fur, and this hair is slightly wavier than the rest of his coat. His coat is soft and silky to the touch. He has a double-coat, and he is a moderate shedder all year round, with two heavy shedding seasons.

Exercise and Living Conditions

The English Cream Golden Retriever is less boisterous than his American counterpart, but this does not mean he needs any less exercise. Being a traditional working breed, he needs a lot of exercise. Expect to spend at least 1 hour every day vigorously exercising the English Cream, come rain or shine. If you can’t do this, expect your English Cream Retriever to take out his energy on your possessions.

In between exercise sessions, he will need a lot of interactive playtimes too. The Golden Retriever is the 4th most intelligent dog breed, meaning they need mental stimulation. Be sure to invest in plenty of toys for him to play with. Or design DIY brain games that you can both play, such as find the ball under the cup.

The English Cream Golden Retriever needs to live with an active family who can guarantee his exercise needs and keep his intelligent mind occupied. Because of this, and the fact that he is a needy dog who craves the company of his humans, he needs a family that can spend most of their time with him.

Apartment living is not going to work for the English Cream. He needs a larger home with access to his own yard that he can roam and chill into his heart’s content. Because he is an outdoorsy dog breed, he will get cabin fever very quickly. They are often search-and-rescue dogs.

He makes a great family addition to any type of family, just as long as needs are met. English Cream Retrievers adore children and are gentle with them, and this is why he is one of America’s favorite family breeds. He also gets along with other pets, too, if he is socialized well as a pup.

Training

An English Cream Golden Retriever’s favorite reward is likely to be a tennis ball or any other object that he can mouth, rather than an edible treat. However, yours could be different, so it’s essential to work with what your English Cream wants. Using these as a reward in response to good behavior is known as positive reinforcement training. And this is the most effective training method. Thankfully, the English Cream Golden Retriever is intelligent and loyal, making him super trainable.

This is why he is a favorite therapy dog option and service dogs option from a good breeder. This means that he is suited to a first-time dog owner. Being calmer and more mature is another reason why he is a good option for a novice dog owner. Crate training in a Retriever-sized crate is a good idea for the English Cream. Not only will this give him a safe space that he can call his own, but it will also provide you with peace of mind when you have to leave him at home.

Health

The English Cream Golden Retriever is a relatively healthy dog. The five primary health concerns that face the English Cream Golden Retriever are:

Hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia:

This is where the elbow and hip socket don’t join properly with the bone. Over time it wears down the ligaments and bone, coins pain, and abrasion. This affects most large breed dogs, and it usually comes with age.

Cardiac concerns:

There are a few cardiac concerns that affect the breed, but there is one heart disease that is more common than most. Dilated cardiomyopathy, known for short as DCM, is where the heart becomes large, thin, and weak.

Ophthalmologist health:

Three eye concerns affect the Golden Retriever more than other conditions. These are progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, and Golden Retriever uveitis (GRU). GRU is the most common, and it is where the middle layer of the eye becomes inflamed, and can eventually cause permanent eye loss.

Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis:

This is a disease of the central nervous system, and typically they will show signs of loss of coordination, seizures, anxiety, and blindness at 13 months old. For a Golden to inherit this, both of his parents have to have it, which is why it is crucial to work with a reputable breeder who screens their dogs.

Cancer:

This is also a big concern of the breed, and it is here where it is beneficial to adopt an English Cream Golden Retriever over an American one. Research has shown that cancer was the cause of over 61% of American Golden Retrievers, compared to 38% in English Golden Retrievers. Although both rates are very high compared to other dog breeds, the English Cream Golden cancer rate is substantially lower.

English cream golden retriever puppy getting a treat from owner

The English Cream retriever isn’t a small breed so it certainly won’t have a small appetite!

Nutrition

The English Golden Retriever needs to eat high-quality kibble. Because this is a subtype of the Golden Retriever, the same kibbles that are great for the Golden Retrievers will work for the English Cream Retriever. You’ll want to ensure that you pick a food that provides your pup with everything that he needs to have a well-balanced diet. His diet should provide him with high-quality meat proteins, healthy carbohydrates, omega fats, fiber, fruit, and vegetables.

Because he is a large breed, he also needs life stage-appropriate food. This is particularly important during his puppy stages because puppy food made for large breeds has an optimum nutrient balance. They will control his rapid bone growth, which means that he is less likely to develop hip and elbow dysplasia, or at least delay it.

The amount you feed your English Cream will be dependent on its size, energy levels, and age. But when he reaches maturity, he will likely eat anywhere between 2 and 3 cups every day. Always be sure to follow the package instructions, and follow them so that you do not over or underfeed him.

Do English Cream Golden Retrievers Make A Good Family Pet?

Yes, English Cream Golden Retrievers make fantastic family pets. Not only are they very friendly, affectionate, and sweet, but they are also very gentle with children and other animals. English Creams are less boisterous than the American subtype, so if you are seeking a calmer pooch, the English Cream is the better option for you.

How Do I Find An English Cream Golden Retriever Breeder?

The best place to start your search is to look online. This way, you can search for a handful of breeders that you’d like to work with. Once you have found a few, you should research them more in-depth, and look for other customer reviews to make sure they are reputable.

Also join social media groups, such as the English Cream Golden Retriever puppies Facebook group. Here you can speak to other like-minded people and ask any questions you have. Whoever you decide to work with, always meet them, the puppies, and their parents in person, and ask to see all health clearances and proof of English Cream heritage.

Final Thoughts

The English Cream Golden Retriever is a wonderful family dog. They are just as sweet and affectionate as any other Golden Retriever. He is ever so slightly stockier than his American siblings, but it is his light cream coat that makes him stand out in a canine crowd.

He is slightly calmer and comes across as more mature, which many dog owners prefer. If you are confident that the English Cream is your cup of tea, know that your family will have no regrets. Just be sure to give him what he needs, and you’ll both live happily ever after.

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Sarah Wagner

Sarah Wagner

Sarah Wagner is an animal lover and the proud dog-mom of a Golden Retriever named Brody and an Italian Greyhound named Jessup. Unfortunately, Jessup developed serious allergies to many different types of dog foods and ingredients when she was just a puppy. Meanwhile, Brody could eat seemingly anything and carry on as healthy as could be. Sarah spent hours of time researching and testing different foods and brands before finding something that worked for little Jessup. She wants Dog Food Care to simplify this experience for future dog-parents who face food allergy or tolerance issues of their own.