(White) English Cream Golden Retrievers (10 Important Facts)

Although there are three types of Golden Retrievers throughout the world, they are all a part of the same breed and share many characteristics. As with all Golden Retrievers, English Cream Golden Retrievers (sometimes referred to as White Golden Retrievers) are much-loved dogs due to their beautiful personalities. They are lovely companions to have, and they are perfect family dogs.

Here are 10 facts about English Cream Golden Retrievers:

  1. English Cream Golden Retrievers are not actually white.
  2. The AKC frowns on English Cream Golden Retrievers.
  3. English Cream Golden Retrievers may have dark siblings.
  4. They originate from Scotland, not England.
  5. English Cream Golden Retrievers should be called British.
  6. English Cream & American Golden Retrievers are different.
  7. They need a lot of mental and physical exercise.
  8. They are not one-person dogs.
  9. English Cream Golden Retrievers are not healthier.
  10. English Cream Golden Retrievers have a lower cancer risk.

Let’s take a deeper look into English Cream Golden Retrievers to discover if this is the right dog for you or simply to quench your interest in this beautiful type of Golden Retriever.

Is there such a thing as a White Golden Retriever? Introducing the English Cream Golden Retriever.

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1. English Cream Golden Retrievers Are Not Actually White

Technically there is no such thing as a “white” Golden Retriever. Having said that, English Cream Golden Retriever’s coats come in a variety of lighter shades, some of which can appear almost pure white in color.

An almost white retriever is sometimes falsely advertised as a “white” or “platinum” Golden Retriever, when in fact its coat color is actually a light shade of cream rather than pure white.

The English Cream Golden Retriever is a purebred Golden Retriever with a cream-colored coat that if pale enough can look close to white.

This distinction, however, is unimportant if you simply like the aesthetic look of a white Golden Retriever and are looking to add one to your household. This only becomes important if you’re planning to show your Golden Retriever in competition.

2. The AKC Frowns On English Cream Golden Retrievers

According to the American Kennel Club, they deem very pale Golden Retrievers as inferior according to their breed standards. However, contrary to popular belief, the AKC still recognizes them as purebred Golden Retrievers and will register them accordingly, as long as the breeder is registered.

English Cream Golden Retrievers have the palest coat of all Golden Retrievers. However, they are still a shade of gold.

Golden Retrievers overall have an extensive range of coat colors within their breed. Their coats can range from very light and pale in color to rich gold, which almost looks red. There are also many shades in between.

Perhaps due to being described as “undesirable,” these English Cream Golden Retrievers are not as commonly found in America as in European Countries.

Opposing the AKC, the Kennel Club in the UK accepts “any shade of gold or cream.” Both Canada and Australia have similar standards in favor of cream shades as well.

Related: Golden Retriever Colors in Pictures

3. English Cream Golden Retrievers May Have Dark Siblings

An interesting fact to know is that a white Golden Retriever puppy can have both light and dark siblings in the same litter. Therefore, a good breeder cannot always expect the whole litter to only contain light golden puppies, for example.

Variation in the colors of your Golden Retriever’s litter comes down to its bloodline.

Something to note is that most Golden Retriever puppies are initially light in color but may darken as they get older. Usually, you can determine how dark or light they will be by looking at the color on the tip of their ears.

Related: Find out how to pick the best puppy from a litter

4. English Cream Retrievers Originate From Scotland, Not England

Another surprising fact about the English Golden Retriever is their origin. Regardless of the name suggesting that this breed originates from England, they actually come from Scotland.

Golden Retrievers themselves have been around for many years. The first mating for this breed occurred in 1864 (between a Wavy Coated Retriever x Tweed Water Spaniel), and it produced four puppies. Since 1864, modifications have been done to the breed, resulting in what we now know to be the popular Golden Retriever.

We learned earlier that a range of colored coats could be found within the same Golden Retriever litter. Therefore, cream-colored Golden Retrievers can be bred anywhere in the world, not just in England. However, you will see them more commonly in Europe.

According to the Golden Retriever Club of America, most English Cream Golden Retrievers found in America were bred in America or are descendants from imported dogs. These imported dogs, however, were not limited to England but many other European countries as well.

It is incorrect to call a light Golden Retriever “English” if they were bred in America. They would have the characteristics of an American Golden Retriever with a pale coat. They do not become “English” simply because they have a pale coat.

5. English Cream Golden Retrievers Should Be Called British

An English Cream Golden Retriever on a white background.

According to Bev Brown, the first dog championships in Britain (dogs competing from England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) used to occur in England. Due to this location, these Golden Retrievers became known as “English Champions” instead of British Champions.

Going hand-in-hand with that, The Golden Retriever Club in the UK, which determined the standard for the breed, was located in England. People from around the world ended up referring to this standard as the “English Breed Standard.”

With these two strong “English” titles passed down over the years, it is no wonder why people incorrectly call them English Golden Retrievers instead of British Golden Retrievers.

However, something to note is that English Golden Retrievers are known as Golden Retrievers in the UK, while Americans call them “English.” Calling them English categorizes them from their American Golden Retrievers that have slightly different characteristics.

6. English Cream & American Golden Retrievers are Different

Although the English, Canadian, and American Golden Retrievers come from the same bloodline, transatlantic breeding has resulted in variations. However, these Golden Retrievers have more in common than not.

Variations have occurred due to:

  • The different AKC and UK Kennel Club standards. Breeders typically aim to produce the desired Golden Retriever according to the Club’s standards.
  • The closed gene pool. Dogs confined to their continent typically breed with each other.
  • Dogs being bred for preferred purposes.

I have drawn up a table to compare the key differences between the English Cream Golden Retriever and the American Golden Retriever.

 English Cream Golden RetrieverAmerican Golden Retriever
ColorTypically lighterTypically darker
TemperamentCalmer and less boisterousMore energetic and confident
HeadsLarge and blocky headsBroader and arched heads
CoatsShorter and wavyThicker and longer
BodiesStocky bodiesAthletic bodies
Risk of CancerMedium risk for cancerHigher risk for cancer
LifespanAround 12 yearsAround 10-11 years

Discover how to train your Golden Retriever by playing games: 21 games to play with your Golden that will make them smarter and better behaved!

Although there are quite a few differences, they are slight. A Golden Retriever is a Golden Retriever, regardless of where they are from or bred.

7. They Need a Lot of Mental and Physical Exercise

English Cream Golden Retrievers were bred to hunt, and they are very intelligent. Due to these qualities, they will need a lot of physical and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy.

The recommended amount of exercise time for your English Cream Golden Retriever is about an hour a day.

If you are not an active person, this may seem a bit overwhelming. You could either consider getting a more relaxed breed instead, like a bulldog, or you could break the exercise up throughout the day.

A more manageable exercise schedule may involve a 30-minute walk twice a day, once in the morning and again in the evening.

Physical Exercise for Your English Cream Golden Retriever

An English Cream Retriever will love the water and is more than happy to jump into the river to fetch their ball or to go for a swim with you in the waves. Taking them to the beach or river for the day to play, sniff, swim, and run will do them a world of good.

Here are a few other physical exercises that you can try with your dog:

  • Playing fetch: This is a task that your English Cream Golden Retriever will love and excel at! It gives them a lot of exercise without putting too much strain on you.
  • Tug of war: You and your dog will enjoy this game and exercise. It is a good activity for a rainy, indoor day.
  • Cycling: If you aren’t much of a runner but enjoy trail cycling, train your dog to run next to you on your daily cycle. Having them do this will give them the exercise they so badly need.
  • Running on the treadmill: Another great activity for a miserable day outside is having your Golden Retriever dog learn to run on the treadmill. It will give them a great workout with little effort on your part. Make sure not to leave your dog unsupervised and make sure that they are safe and comfortable.

Mental Exercise for Your English Cream Golden Retriever

English Cream Golden Retrievers need not only physical exercise but also mental stimulation. These dogs were bred to work and therefore strive off of tasks and challenges.

Mental stimulation also prevents brain decay as your dog ages and combats boredom, leading to destructive behavior.

A lot of aspects go into mentally stimulating your dog. Let’s take a look at a few that you can try out.


With your English Cream Golden Retriever being so clever, they will learn basic obedience commands and life skills quickly and easily. Obedience commands include but are not limited to sit, down, rollover, and paw. Examples of life skills are potty training, crate training, and independence training.

Working for Their Food

English Cream Golden Retrievers used to hunt and therefore really enjoy working for their food. I recommend using something like the KONG Classic Dog Toy from Amazon.com. This product works by putting food inside of it. The only way your dog will get their kibble is by chewing and playing with their Kong until the kibble falls out a few at a time. Using the Kong will help slow down mealtime, burn off extra calories, and give your dog a stimulating activity to do at the same time.

Food Puzzles

Your dog may require a little training to understand how these puzzles work at first, but once your dog has caught on, they will have their brains working at full capacity. These products require your dog to flip and slide lids to uncover hidden treats. An excellent food puzzle for dogs is the Outward Hound Dog Toy from Amazon.com.

Food Games

An easy and affordable food game that can mentally stimulate your dog is hide-and-seek. All you need to do for this game is hide several bowls of their food around your house or garden and allow your dog to sniff them out and enjoy their meal.

Quality Time

Spending time with your dog, and playing with them is brilliant stimulation. It is also essential to have your English Cream Golden Retriever socialize with other people and dogs.

Giving your English Retriever the physical and mental exercise they need is a way to bond with you. It is also your responsibility as their owner.

Dogs that can release their energy will be well-behaved and happy. They will also love you the more for it!

8. English Cream Retrievers Are Not One-Person Dogs

An English Cream Golden Retriever puppy playing in the backyard.

Depending on your personality, English Cream Golden Retrievers not being a one-person dog may be a positive or a negative fact for you.

A dog, such as this, that is heavily dependent on its owner and family may struggle to function when they are separated.

If you have a household with children or other pets, the English Cream Golden Retriever is perfect for you. These dogs are incredibly social, patient, and loving to people and other family pets. They also get on well with small children and are even friendly with strangers you approve of.

Related: Find out if Golden Retrievers have a favorite person

They are easy dogs to take to the beach or park as they won’t typically try and fight with the other dogs that they pass, nor will they try to nip at new people that come up to chat with you.

Although they aren’t one-person dogs, they are still known to be loyal companions. With their quick ability to learn and be trained, along with their strength, they are a desired service dog breed. Due to them originally being bred to hunt, they are also a very helpful breed in search and rescue missions.

The downside to English Cream Golden Retrievers being so social is that they aren’t good guard dogs. Instead of protecting your home, your dog is going to be thrilled to see a new face and love them just like they love everyone else.

Another downside to this overly social breed is that they can suffer from separation anxiety and can even get lonely and depressed if they’re left by themselves all day while you are at work or traveling.

You can combat your dog’s loneliness by keeping them occupied with the Kong toy I mentioned above. They’ll be playing with this toy for ages, and it will help them forget that you are even gone.

Leaving your laptop on to play calming music during the day can also bring a sense of comfort to your dog. These devices can also drown out noises from outside that might set off anxiety in your dog.

A sectioned-off area that is doggy-proofed and filled with your English Cream Golden Retriever’s favorite toys is another way to keep them feeling safe and secure until you come back home.

Related: Find out if your Golden Retriever is lonely or depressed and what to do about it

9. English Cream Golden Retrievers Are Not Healthier

A common myth that many people have latched onto, and one that you may have heard before, is that English Cream Golden Retrievers are much healthier than darker Golden Retrievers.

This myth is far from the truth. The color of a dog’s coat does not make it more or less healthy. As mentioned earlier, an English Cream Golden Retriever has the palest coat shade; however, they still have the same genetics and DNA makeup as all other Golden Retrievers types.

Although generally a healthy breed, English Cream Golden Retrievers experience the same health risks that other Golden Retrievers have. According to the Golden Retriever Club, their most common ones are:

If a breeder of a Cream Golden Retriever is advertising that their Creams are healthier than typical Golden Retrievers, they are incorrect and may simply be breeding for profit.

When looking to buy a healthy English Cream Golden Retriever, make sure you find a breeder that cares about their dogs and breeds healthy ones.

If you want a healthy dog that lives a long life, that responsibility is yours. Your dog is going to trust you to look after it and treat it well. A poorly cared for dog will produce an unhealthy and misbehaved dog.

Here are a few ways to best look after your English Cream Golden Retriever:

  • Make sure you give them their vaccinations: To prevent your Golden Retriever puppy from catching viruses, getting sick, and possibly dying, make sure you take them to your vet to get their necessary vaccinations.
  • A Proper Diet: Wellness Complete Health from Amazon.com is one of the highest-rated dog foods for Golden Retrievers by Dog Food Advisor. This dog food contains good nutrients needed for your English Cream Golden Retriever to stay healthy and shiny, unlike cheap dog foods that contain artificial preservatives or fillers.
  • Exercise: Exercise prevents your dog from becoming overweight, along with the other benefits mentioned previously. According to Golden Retriever Rescue of Mid-Florida, overweight Golden Retrievers may have a two year shorter lifespan than Golden Retrievers with a healthy weight.
  • Regular check-ups: Prevention is better than cure, so make sure to take your English Cream Golden Retriever to the veterinarian often to ensure that they are healthy and comfortable.
A “White” or English Cream Golden Retriever playing in the fall leaves.

10. English Cream Golden Retrievers Have a Lower Cancer Risk

Just like people, Golden Retrievers get cancer too. It is a reality and not something that breeders or people should be afraid to talk about. Knowing your English Cream Golden Retriever’s cancer risk will give you the awareness necessary to catch it early.

Although English Cream Golden Retrievers may not be healthier than darker Golden Retrievers, they have less cancer risk than American Golden Retrievers. Ancestry and careful breeding lines have a lot to do with this, not their coat color.

Here is a quote from VetStreet about the different genes between the two types:

“Interestingly, American Golden Retrievers differ from their UK counterparts: Goldens from the UK are largely spared this dreaded disease. When studied in a laboratory, the genes of American and UK Goldens are significantly different, suggesting that the risk of hemangiosarcoma is related to a relatively recent genetic alteration.”

This does not guarantee that your English Cream Golden Retriever may not encounter cancer as they are still at risk.

According to a Cambridge University study, 38.8% of their UK Golden Retrievers have died from cancer-related deaths. Likewise, the Golden Retriever Club of America National Health Survey, taken in 1998-1999, 61.8% of American Golden Retriever deaths are cancer-related.

Comparing these two percentages shows that the Golden Retrievers with a European bloodline typically have a 20% lower risk of dying from cancer.

English Cream Golden Retriever Final Thoughts

While English Cream Golden Retrievers aren’t actually white, they are often referred to as White Golden Retrievers. While their coat color may be lighter than many other Golden Retrievers, their characteristics are very similar.

If you’re looking for a Golden Retriever, a light-colored Golden may be slightly more difficult to find. However, with a bit of perseverance, you should have no problem finding a reputable breeder.

In the end, no matter the coat color, a Golden Retriever will make for the perfect family dog.

Bryan Mullennix

Bryan's a freelance travel photographer and happy dog dad. He currently lives in Las Vegas with his wife, his son, and two dogs Nom Nom & Speck.

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