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The Different Kinds of Golden Retriever – Explained!

If you tried, I’m sure you would have a hard time finding somebody that does not know what a golden retriever looks like. However, you would start to notice that some people have different answers. For example, one person may describe a golden retriever’s coat as thin and wavy, while another person may describe it as thick, long, and flat. This is because, well, not all golden retrievers are the same. There are several different kinds of golden retriever, and knowing the difference will help you more than you might think. So today, let’s discuss these different varieties of the classic golden retriever!

The Golden Retriever Breed Standard

Before discussing the differences of these retriever’s, it’s important to establish what they will have in common. This beautiful breed originated in Scotland, and was created through crossbreeding between two generations. First, the yellow-colored retriever crossbred with the tweed water spaniel. After this, the breed was crossed with an Irish Setter to create the Golden Retriever.

These Golden Retrievers have hence, formed genetics from all three types of dog breeds, according to the AKC breed standard. The result was a retriever with a golden coat, known for it’s intelligence. Not only this, these creatures are also friendly, gentle, and fun to play with. Because of these traits, retrievers are kept both as family dogs as well as hunting or guide dogs.

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different kinds of golden retriever

These qualities are present in all golden retrievers. The different kinds of golden retriever are American, British and Canadian. Just by looking at these varieties, you will notice small differences. However, when it comes to their personality, they will be more-or-less the same. For a more in-depth look at the golden retriever breed as a whole, check out our article: Golden Retriever breed info.

Canadian Golden Retriever

The Canadian Golden Retriever is the most different kind of golden retriever on this list. For starters, they are slightly taller than the other varieties. In addition, heir legs, underbody, neck, and tail have significantly less fur covering them than the rest of their body parts. In the areas where their fur in more dense, it is thin and wavy, and sits flat on the retriever.

This is unlike the other retrievers, who will have a flowing appearance to their coat. The canadian golden retriever also have a more-dense undercoat to protect them from the cold. If your Canadian Golden Retriever does not live in a cold climate, you can be sure they will shed more than the average retriever.

British/English Golden Retriever

The English Golden Retriever is what many breeder will point to as the “Real” golden retriever. By this, they mean that this retriever was the original design of the breed. The other two kinds of retriever have been slightly modified to fit their environment. However, the English retriever is the base for the other two varieties.

This kind of golden retriever will be shorter in height with a more muscular frame. They have a broader coat that is shorter in length. In addition, their coat is a lighter golden shade. The last unique factor is this breed’s broader head and bigger, rounder eyes.

The American Golden Retriever

Finally, the third different type of golden retriever is the American Golden Retriever. This is by far the most common golden variety, and if you live in the United States, it is certainly the type you’re most familiar with. This golden has a darker coat that is more wavy and silky than the other two varieties. In addition, this variety is less muscular. You will also find that they have a more triangular eyeball rather than round.

different kinds of golden retriever

Different Coat Colors For Golden Retrievers

In addition to these these different kinds of golden retrievers, we can also differentiate between retrievers based on their coat colors. Different color varieties are possible in all three kinds of golden retrievers. Golden retrievers can have:

  • The traditional golden coat. This is the color that the original retriever was bred to look like. However, it is not the most common color of retriever.
  • Light golden / Blonde coat. This is the most common coat color for golden retrievers. This is largely because people simply like it better than the darker coat. In general, the demand for a blond golden retriever puppy is higher than a darker coat. So, breeders will breed specifically for this lighter coat.
  • Cream-Colored Coat. This is sometimes confused with a light-blonde coat, but there is a big difference. Cream retrievers look like an off-white color, and do not have a lot of gold in their coat. This coat color is particularly common in the UK.
  • Dark Golden coat. In these retrievers, you will see a more golden gold that appears to have more depth than a lighter coat. In general, you will not find many patches of gold in this coat – Their fur will appear more of a brownish color.
  • White colored coat. This is essentially the lightest form of the cream colored coat. As puppies, it’s very hard to tell the difference. As they age, however, cream-colored puppies will develop the off-white tint while white retrievers will not change.
  • Red-colored coat. Not to be confused with the dark golden coat, red-colored retrievers have a rich, mahogany colored coat. While dark retrievers do not have much golden in their coat, red-colored retrievers will have distinct gold patches.

Total: 9 Different Kinds of Golden Retrievers!

As you can see, there are many different kinds of golden retrievers that you can find! If you’re lucky, you may run into each kind in your lifetime. Knowing that golden retrievers come in so many different varieties only adds to the beauty of an already amazing breed.

If you’re looking for a specific color of your golden retriever’s coat, be aware that coat color often changes as your pup matures. For example, most dark-colored retrievers are born blonde, but will turn dark as they age. For a better look at what your retriever’s coat will look like, try to find out the parents of that retreiver.

Still have questions about the different varieties of retrievers? Please comment below or contact us directly – We’ll be happy to answer your questions!


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