Don’t Be Decieved: 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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11 thoughts on “Don’t Be Decieved: English Cream Golden Retrievers

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  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

  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!

  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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