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The Rare English Cream Golden Retriever: Fact or Fiction?

Jax, a British Style Golden Retriever, is a rich lustrous shade of gold and is pictured here with one of her cream colour puppies. Just two shades in a broad spectrum of golden colour that can not only be found in all styles of Golden Retrievers around the world but also in the same family.

During your internet search for a Golden Retriever puppy you have likely come across several websites that use the descriptive words of Rare White, English White, English Cream, Irish Cream, Rare white Russian, Platinum Blond and Strawberry Blond to promote the Golden Retriever whose colour ranges towards the lighter shades of gold. Unfortunately what many people don't realize is that these are terms used by some as a marketing ploy designed to mislead the public into believing that cream coloured puppies are special and rare, only coming from a specific style of Golden Retriever in order to grossly inflate their prices and separate unsuspecting buyers from their hard earned money.

Contrary to what these people would have you believe, cream is a relatively common coat colour found in the Golden Retriever breed. Truthfully the Golden Retriever has a broad spectrum of golden colour ranging from extremely light to extremely dark, and while the extreme range is not always desirable in terms of the breed standard of some countries all colours can still commonly be found in the North American Golden Retriever as well as the Golden Retriever overseas. This broad range of colour can not only be found around the world but both light and dark shades of colour can even be found in the same Golden Retriever family. The same can be said for the terms Rustic Red, American Red and other such descriptive words that are only being used as a marketing ploy describing Golden Retrievers who are a rich, dark, coppery shade of gold.

Many of these sites will also attempt to mislead you into falsely believing that one colour or style means a healthier, superior, rare or even a whole separate type of Golden Retriever. Unfortunately there are even some who are actually attempting to promote the idea of using the different colours and styles to separate the breed into two different and distinct breed types. The unacceptable consequence of this would be to drastically limit the genetic diversity currently available that is so important to the health of the Golden Retriever breed as a whole.

Although there are many "styles" of Golden Retriever there is only one "type" of Golden Retriever. Type is the hallmark of a breed. A dog with type is readily recognizable as being a member of its breed. Style is the effect of the choices breeders make as they interpret the breed standard in terms of both form and function. Dogs can vary in style and still possess type. Dogs which diverge so greatly from the breed standard as to be hardly recognizable as the breed in question lack type, and should not be construed as a style.

In Canada no matter what pedigree line or appearance style, all Golden Retrievers are registered as one breed with the Canadian Kennel Club. Breeders have the option of registering each puppy in the litter as "light gold", "golden" and "dark gold".

These 3 options cover the broad range of colour from the lightest cream to a darker coppery colour that is allowed for in the CKC Golden Retriever Breed Standard and accepted in the CKC conformation ring. In the UK breeders register their puppies as either "Cream", "Gold" or "Golden" but this too covers a broad range of colour from very pale cream to rich lustrous gold.

Colour does not make for a separate or rare breed of Golden nor does breeding strictly American lines, English/UK lines or a combination of these lines so when coming across websites that may be making these types of false claims please remember, while there are may be different styles based on each countries breed standard and each breeders interpretation of that standard, there is only one type of Golden Retriever the world over and all are equal in value and quality.

In recent years in an attempt to cash in on the "designer" fad there has been some promoting of "Comfort Goldens" or apartment sized Goldens. These are simply a crossbreed between Golden Retrievers and a Cocker Spaniels, much as "Doodles" are not a breed but a cross of Poodles with Goldens. Many of these crossbreeds end up in local shelters and rescues as a result of their not living up to the outrageous claims being made such as being hypoallergenic etc.

Prior to purchasing a Golden puppy please take a moment to visit the website of the Golden Retriever Club of Canada where you can read "The Golden Retriever: An Illustrated Commentary On the Breed Standard". Taking the time to do your research from well respected sources in order to make an informed decision can go along way towards protecting yourself from those who are less then reputable.


Eden is a registered kennel name with the Canadian Kennel Club. All rights reserved 2000. Copyright © 2014 Jamie Veraldi. This is an open access article which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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