9 Different Types of Golden Retrievers (With Pictures)

Different types of Golden Retrievers

Are you curious to know the different types of Golden Retrievers? Perhaps, you weren’t aware that there are many versions of this astonishing breed, and there is definitely one that would be the best match for you!

Golden Retrievers are more than their adorable faces. Their lovable personalities and versatile purpose as guide dogs, trackers, hunting dogs, therapy dogs, and family pets. 

The types of Golden Retrievers discussed here all fall under the same breed. They may only vary in terms of origin, coat color, and purpose. Some are not even considered purebred Goldens, but they have adapted the breed name.

The 9 Types of Golden Retrievers

Golden Retriever sitting on the woods

As this article discusses the different types of Golden Retrievers, it must be clear that there is only one Golden Retriever breed, as stated by the Golden Retriever Club of America. 

All of the Golden Retrievers we know today descended from the same breed of Golden Retriever, which was produced by mixing a yellow-colored retriever and a Tweed Water Spaniel.

The litter from this combination was then crossed with other breeds, including the Bloodhound, the Irish Setter, and the St. John’s Water Dog, leading to other variants of Golden Retriever breeds.

To avoid any more confusion with the breed variations, let’s dig deeper and discuss each type of Golden Retriever. Hopefully, this can also help you decide which Golden Retriever to get in the future.

1. Field Bred Golden Retriever

Field Golden Retriever walking outdoors

Field Bred Golden Retrievers embody the original purpose of the breed — to hunt. Because of this, they are built with smaller yet athletic bodies. 

This type of Golden retriever is notable for its wedge-shaped head and shorter coat that come in a darker shade of golden red.

Since they are mostly in the field all day to retrieve gunned-down fowl, Field Bred Goldens are more agile, driven, and have active personalities.

Aside from being good hunting dogs and search and rescue canines, they excel in dog sports such as agility and dock diving.

Further, due to the high energy level of these types of Golden Retrievers, owners should always have a job for them to do. You can’t expect them to lounge around all day like lapdogs. 

When bored, you can expect Field Goldens to show disruptive and mischievous behavior, typically manifested by chewing up shoes or stealing socks.

Like other Golden Retrievers, they make great family pets. However, they usually need a lot of attention and mental stimulation. They can also be rather mouthy since they are used to retrieving things with their mouth.

To see a Field Bred Golden Retriever in action, watch the video below:

Retrieving with Ridge - His First Hunt

2. Show Golden Retriever

Show Golden Retriever playing on the snow

The opposite of the Field Bred Golden Retriever is the Show Golden Retriever. This dog is bred for conformation and is often tagged by dog show judges as the ideal Golden Retriever.

In terms of appearance, Show Golden Retrievers have thick, stocky builds and are big-boned compared to the slimmer Field Bred Goldens. They also have blocky heads.

Their long, full coats are also very standard to the Show Golden Retriever. They have feathering on the chest, ears, stomach, and legs, and their coats range from light to a lustrous golden color.

Because of their long coats, you should expect them to shed excessively. This means you need to get used to having fur all around the house.

When it comes to personality, this variety is deemed to be friendlier and more sociable. They also have lower energy levels, but they still love playtime and outdoor activities.

As family dogs, Show Golden Retrievers exhibit great temperaments. They easily get along with children and require less training. Some even make excellent service and therapy dogs.

3. American Golden Retriever

American Golden Retriever sitting outdoors

Compared to other Goldens, American Golden Retrievers are lankier and less muscular in appearance. However, they are no less remarkable than other Golden Retriever types.

In fact, this type of Golden Retriever only has subtle differences from the English Golden Retriever and the Canadian Golden Retriever.

You can easily recognize an American Golden Retriever by its rich golden coat that comes in various shades. However, according to the standard of the American Kennel Club, it shouldn’t be too pale or dark gold in color.

Like their English cousins, American Goldens have long, wavy, densely-furred, and water-repellent coats. 

Heavy feathering is present on the neck, chest, legs, and tail of this wavy-coated retriever, and they are darker than their British counterparts.

Upon close inspection, you will also notice that the eyes of American Golden Retrievers are lighter in color. When observed from the side, their eyes almost appear triangular instead of almond-shaped.

Despite being more slender than the British Golden Retriever, the American Golden Retriever is surprisingly larger. 

The male typically measures between 23 and 24 inches tall, while the female American Golden Retriever grows to around 21.5 to 22.5 inches in height. 

In terms of body mass, male American Goldens weigh around 65 to 75 pounds, whereas females weigh between 55 and 65 pounds.

4. Canadian Golden Retriever

Canadian Golden Retriever out in the snow

Another type of Golden Retriever you will fall in love with is the Canadian Golden Retriever. This dog can be distinguished from American Goldens and British Goldens through their coats.

Canadian Golden Retrievers generally have darker, shorter, and thinner coats than their cousins. You will also see less feathering on the neck, forelegs, and tail.

Unlike the American Kennel Club and the British Kennel Club, the Canadian Kennel Club allows Canadian Goldens to come in all shades of gold.

This means that the puppy coat of this type of Golden Retriever can be light cream or dark golden in color and can be registered just as easily. White markings on the chest are also permissible.

Canadian Golden Retrievers also have broad heads, dark cone-shaped eyes, and ears set further on the back of the head. 

They are also slightly taller than British Golden Retrievers but more or less share the same measurements as American Golden Retrievers.

The height of a male Canadian Golden Retriever ranges between 23 and 24 inches, while a female Canadian Golden can reach around 21.5 to 22.5 inches

Further, male Canadian Golden Retrievers generally weigh around 65 to 75 pounds, and females usually tip the scales at around 60 to 70 pounds.

5. Mini Golden Retriever

Mini Golden Retriever exploring in the backyard

The mini Golden Retriever is not a dwarf version of the breed but is a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Cocker Spaniel or a miniature Poodle. 

The name adaptation was probably a marketing strategy done by breeders to attract customers to this type of Golden Retriever mix.

Mini Golden Retrievers are cute, but they weren’t only created to pass the adorable puppy test. The main goal of breeders is to produce more compact but healthier Goldens that shed less than the purebred Golden Retriever.

These hybrid dogs are not just easy to take care of, but they also have excellent temperaments. They make perfect home companions and family pets.

The appearance of mini Golden Retrievers will depend mostly on their genetic makeup. Some may resemble their Golden Retriever parent, while others may look more like a Cocker Spaniel. 

Compared to standard Golden Retrievers, adult mini Goldens only grow between 14 and 20 inches tall and weigh around 20 to 40 pounds

Further, given its cross-breed stature, it is not a recognized breed by the American Kennel Club.

6. English Cream Golden Retriever

English Cream Golden Retriever front profile

Seeing a pale cream, almost white Golden Retriever may seem too good to be true, but they do exist!

English Cream Golden Retrievers have angelic light golden coats. Because of this, they are often referred to as white Golden Retrievers, European Platinum Retrievers, and light Golden Retrievers.

Just as there are many names for this variety, there are also a lot of myths surrounding English Cream Golden Retrievers. 

Many people think that English Golden Retrievers are rare and have better temperaments. Some even believe that they aren’t purebred.

In reality, though, English cream Goldens are as widely available as American and Canadian Goldens and share the same temperaments. 

On the other hand, while they are purebred, they can’t be registered as English cream Golden Retrievers, and the cream color is not recognized as one of the American Kennel Club’s permissible Golden Retriever coats.

The English Golden Retriever may instead be registered as a regular Golden Retriever with a light golden coat.

Further, the British Kennel Club describes the English or British Golden Retrievers as stocky dogs with block-shaped heads and thick coats. Their height and weight are the same as fully-grown American Golden Retrievers.

English Golden Retrievers tend to be more expensive than other types of Golden Retrievers. Most breeders put a higher price on them since they are advertised as rare breeds.

7. Red Golden Retriever

Red Golden Retriever on a hike

The red Golden Retriever is one of the three color variations of the Golden Retriever breed. They have a double coat ranging from light rust to deep mahogany. 

Moreover, the coats of red Goldens can either be wavy or straight. It is also water-resistant and silky to the touch.

Unlike other Golden Retriever types, this color variation is also known to have a thinner coat and less prominent feathering around the ears, neck, and stomach area.

As for temperament, you can expect a red Golden Retriever to behave no different from Golden Retrievers with common coat colors. Despite the darker coat, this dog is equally adaptable, friendly, and loving.

8. Black Golden Retriever

Black Golden Retriever sitting outdoors

Black Golden Retrievers may be jaw-dropping to witness, but unfortunately, they are not true Golden Retrievers. They are included in this list because many people think they are one of the breed’s coat color varieties.

To clear any misconception, black Golden Retrievers don’t exist. Black is not an existing coat color in Golden Retrievers. 

However, a black Golden Retriever is a collective term used to refer to any black dog that looks like a Golden Retriever.

If you see one, you’re probably looking at a mixed-breed dog. A black Golden Retriever puppy can be produced by mixing a black Labrador and a Golden Retriever. 

A black German Shepherd and a Golden Retriever mix can also yield a black puppy. Other breeds, such as Setters and Spaniels, can also be crossed with a Golden Retriever to produce black Golden Retriever puppies.

It’s also possible that you might be mistaking a Flat-Coated Retriever to be a Golden Retriever. There are many physical similarities between a Golden and a Flat-Coated Retriever, so this confusion is bound to happen.

To illustrate, both breeds have feathering on their legs and tails. However, Flat-Coated Retrievers are slightly taller and leaner than Goldens. Their flat coats are also straight, unlike the wavy-coated Golden Retriever.

9. Short-Haired Golden Retriever

Short haired Golden Retriever standing on the grass 1

Another non-existent Golden Retriever type is the short-haired Golden. Although there are variations with shorter coats, this one is not considered a purebred Golden Retriever.

More often than not, the so-called short-haired Golden Retriever is actually another dog breed. 

The English Springer Spaniel, Bernese Mountain Dog, Labrador Retriever, and Flat-Coated Retriever are some breeds often thought to be short-haired Golden.

At the same time, a Golden Retriever can be mixed with any of these breeds to produce a puppy with a shorter coat. One of the advantages of this mix is the development of a pup that is low-shedding.

In terms of temperament, the resulting puppy will usually inherit the behavioral traits of both its parent breeds.

Even if you can’t register these short-haired Golden Retrievers in kennel clubs, they are recognized by registries for designer dogs, such as the Designer Breed Registry, where they can also join dog events and shows.

Frequently Asked Questions

Golden Retriever leaning on a tree trunk

Which Type of Golden Retrievers Is the Most Expensive?

The most expensive Golden Retriever type is the English Cream Golden Retriever. 

When bought from a reputable breeder, cream Golden Retriever puppies cost anywhere between $1,500 and $3,500. Some may even charge higher depending on the dog’s bloodline.

On the other hand, while the price of a British Golden Retriever might be higher than other types, its cost of maintenance is the same as other Golden Retrievers. 

Are Red Golden Retrievers Rare?

Red Golden Retrievers are pretty rare since there aren’t many breeders specializing in this color variation. The gene for exhibiting this color is also recessive, so they are hard to produce.

Are Female Golden Retrievers Better Than Males?

This question can only be answered depending on what qualities you are looking for in a Golden Retriever. 

Aside from subtle differences in appearance, you may find that females are more independent and stubborn, while males are playful and loyal. However, both sexes exhibit intelligence and loving personalities.

Final Thoughts

Originally bred as a hunting dog, the Golden Retriever breed is one of the most popular dogs in the United States. This wonderful dog is not only iconic for its soft mouth but also admired as a family pet.

Generally, there are two ways Golden Retrievers can be classified. The first is by type, and the second way is by coat color. The types of Golden Retrievers mentioned in this article combine both these classifications. 

However, the miniature Golden Retriever, black Golden Retriever, and short-haired Golden are often mistaken as types, but as you learned, they are mixed breeds. 

It’s essential to make these distinctions so that you can better decide what type of Golden Retriever fits your preferences and lifestyle the most. It would be great to know your thoughts by leaving a comment below! 

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