What Is A White Golden Retriever? – All You Need To Know

Updated: October 12th, 2022

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white golden retriever

Golden retrievers are one of America’s favorite dog breeds—but they are not always golden in color. Across the United States, the white golden retriever is becoming increasingly popular. As these goldens are becoming more common, more and more people have questions about them.

If you’ve ever seen a white retriever, you may be wondering what makes them different from the traditional golden retriever you see every other day. Are English cream golden retrievers the same as American golden retrievers? What makes these white-coated dogs so unique?

In this article, I’ll answer these questions and look at how these dogs compare to traditional goldens. Continue reading to learn the truth about English cream golden retrievers!

What Is The White Golden Retriever?

An all-white golden retriever is simply a golden retriever with a pale-colored coat. Unlike their more golden-toned cousins, these dogs have a cream or almost white coat color. The difference between the two dogs emerged over time.

Golden retrievers were originally created by Scottish breeders in the 19th century. This dog breed was developed over the course of more than 50 years. Several different types of breeds were introduced into the mix over time to create the dog we know and love today.

Eventually, the standard golden retriever breed was born. But this breed’s diverse genetic background is likely the reason there is a color difference.

Over time, the golden-toned dogs and the lighter-toned ones developed into two different “types” or variations of the same breed. Today, we call these American golden retrievers and English cream golden retrievers.

Truth be told, the white golden retriever is actually just a broad name given to English cream golden retrievers. This is because this variety tends to have lighter-colored coats—hence the white name.

In fact, these dogs go by several different names, including platinum retriever, rare white European retriever, exquisite platinum imported golden retriever, or simply white retriever.

Although English cream golden retriever puppies or white golden retriever puppies are just becoming interesting to American dog lovers, that doesn’t mean they are rare.

In fact, there’s nothing rare about these dogs, and they are easy to spot throughout the United Kingdom. If a breeder or anyone else claims differently, know that they are trying to scam you!

English Cream Golden Retriever vs. American Golden Retriever

English Cream Golden Retriever vs. American Golden Retriever

As I touched on earlier, the white retriever is simply a different type of golden retriever.

Since they are essentially the same breed, there truly isn’t very much difference between an English cream golden retriever and an American golden retriever. In general, they will have the same temperament and exercise requirements. They will both shed profusely and will need similar amounts of mental stimulation.

However, there are still a few key differences that are worth noting here. The largest and most obvious one is appearance. Instead of having a yellow-toned coat color, the white retriever has, as you might imagine, a cream-toned white coat. There can be some shading variation within this category, but not very much.

There are also some other physical differences. These include blockier, broader heads, bigger bones, and darker skin than traditional goldens. The white retriever variation has a more rounded eye shape, whereas traditional goldens have darker, more almond-shaped eyes.

There is also a slight difference between the two in terms of size. The breed standard states that male English cream golden retrievers should be from 22 to 24 inches tall, while females are between 20 and 22 inches tall. On the other hand, the breed standard for traditional golden retrievers states that males should be 22 to 23 inches in height, while females are anywhere from 21.5 to 22.5 inches tall.

Another difference worth noting is that English cream golden retrievers have an average lifespan of 12 years. Traditional golden retrievers, on the other hand, have slightly shorter lifespans at around 10 to 11 years.

If you are thinking of getting a golden retriever, you should know that a Cambridge study found that 40% of golden retrievers from Europe will die from cancer. Additionally, according to the Morris Animal Foundation, 60% of golden retrievers in America will get cancer at some point in their lives.

This is definitely something worth considering if you have set your eyes on bringing a golden into your home. Having a vet fund on hand for your dog is essential in case of emergencies or sudden health issues.

In terms of temperament, the dogs are roughly the same, though white golden retrievers have been noted to be somewhat more relaxed than American golden retrievers. That, however, doesn’t mean this dog doesn’t require exercise. You need to be sure to take your golden outside every day for exercise and enrichment–otherwise, you will have a mischievous and even destructive dog on your hands.

Should You Get A White Golden Retriever?

If you are interested in a new companion, a white golden retriever dog is a great choice. These dogs are fun-loving, patient, and extremely loyal to their humans.

In particular, we highly recommend goldens for families. These dogs love lots of attention and enjoy groups of people. They are also easy to train and are perfect for young children.

On top of that, English cream golden retrievers adjust to any type of home, and they especially like being involved in all family activities. As long as they get enough exercise, your white golden will happily curl up on the couch next to you at the end of the day.

An English cream golden retriever will also be a great companion for family movie nights, only asking for belly rubs from time to time during the film. This is in stark contrast to Labradors and some other types of retriever dogs that get bored easily and need a lot of mental stimulation.

All types of retrievers, including English cream golden retrievers, are highly intelligent and easy to train. Known for their eager-to-please and obedient natures, goldens make great pets even for newbie dog parents who have no prior experience training a dog.

On the other hand, a golden retriever might not be the best choice for you if you live alone or don’t exercise often. They also are not the best guard dogs. Though goldens are loyal to their owners, they quickly befriend strangers and are more likely to greet an intruder with a wagging tail than a threatening bark!

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How Much Is A White Golden Retriever?

How Much Is A White Golden Retriever?

The cost of a white golden retriever depends on many factors, including the breeder, location, supply and demand in your area, and the puppy’s pedigree. Sometimes, you may even be able to find goldens that are up for adoption for $500 or less. However, as a very popular breed, any goldens that are put for adoption usually quickly find their forever homes.

While adoption is much cheaper than buying from a breeder, you are unlikely to find a purebred dog this way. This is especially true of English cream golden retrievers, which are just beginning to become popular in the US.

If you decide to look for a breeder of cream-colored golden retrievers in the US, you’ll have a hard time getting conformation papers for white golden retriever puppies, since their color is currently frowned upon by the American Kennel Club. As a result, many breeders are registering their golden retrievers that are white under the “light golden” category, which isn’t accurate.

Having said that, white goldens from ethical breeders will cost a pretty penny! Quality breeders take great pride in their work and go to great lengths to ensure the health and longevity of their golden retrievers. These dogs will have multiple health checks and veterinary visits before they even come to your home.

Because of this, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,500 to $2,500 for a white golden retriever.

What To Look For In A Golden Retriever Breeder

If you would prefer to go with a breeder, you should search for a reputable one in your area. There are many things you should look for in a breeder, but the ones most worth noting are:

  • An emphasis on the dog’s health: This includes medical screenings, nutrition, and vaccinations. Reputable breeders will have extensive health records.
  • Knowledge of the breed and the lineage of their litter: A good breeder will be able to answer any general questions you have about golden retrievers. They will also have extensive information on the parents of the puppy.
  • Communication: A good breeder will want to have a connection with you and your family. They will care less about making money and more about finding a good home for the puppy.

In short, a reputable breeder will care heavily about their dogs. They will also come with excellent references. One of the best ways to find a great breeder is through word of mouth, so ask your friends who have English cream golden retrievers!

Is The White Golden Recognized By The American Kennel Club?

Unfortunately, English cream golden retrievers aren’t currently recognized by the AKC. The American Kennel Club only allows registration of golden retrievers with standard colors including dark golden, golden, and light golden.

Since only these three shades of golden are officially recognized in the US, you won’t be able to find a breeder of English cream golden retrievers with conformation titles. This also means you won’t be able to register or exhibit white golden retriever puppies or adult dogs in dog shows.

However, while golden retrievers with white coats are still frowned upon in the US, they are recognized in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.

The United Kingdom breed standard recognizes “any shade of gold, or cream, neither red, nor mahogany.”  The Canadian breed standard calls for “lustrous golden of various shades.” Finally, the National Golden Retriever Council of Australia recognizes “any shade of cream or gold, but neither red nor mahogany.

If you don’t plan on breeding or showing your dog and are just looking for a faithful companion, the white-colored golden retriever is a wonderful choice. English cream golden retrievers are not so different from traditional goldens, and they make great pets to outdoorsy people or families with children.

FAQs About All-White Golden Retrievers

Are white golden retrievers rare?

Sorry to disappoint you, but white golden retrievers aren’t actually rare! While some golden retrievers may have a light golden coat, they aren’t actually pure white. In fact, golden retrievers as a breed don’t carry the gene for a white coat, so they can never be truly white.

Terms like “platinum,” “rare,” “white,” and even “English cream” are simply a marketing trick used by disingenuous breeders to scam prospective owners into believing that they are buying a new and rare type of dog. The truth is, English cream golden retrievers are almost exactly the same as traditional goldens; they just have a lighter coat.

Can a golden retriever be white?

There is no such thing as a purely white golden retriever. While English cream golden retrievers are often referred to as white, they are merely a lighter-colored variety of traditional golden retrievers. A purebred golden retriever can never be white like a Samoyed, for example, or any other dog breed that actually carries the genes for a pure white coat.

Where are white golden retrievers from?

All golden retrievers, including the cream-colored variety, originated in the mid-1800s in Scotland. The breed was developed by Lord Tweedmouth, who bred a now-extinct Tweed water spaniel with a yellow wavy-coated retriever. The resulting litter became the basis of a breeding program that included an Irish setter, a bloodhound, a St. John’s water dog, and two more wavy-coated black retrievers.


At the end of the day, the white golden retriever is not very different from the traditional golden retriever. Both variations are smart, affectionate, active, lovable, and highly trainable family dogs. Some dog owners suggest that the white golden might be a little bit calmer than the traditional golden retriever, but that mostly depends on the dog’s individual personality and the way they are raised.

Whether you decide to welcome an English cream golden retriever or a standard American golden retriever into your family, you’ll certainly get a loyal and devoted friend for life!

Written By

Wendy is a self-employed beauty therapist, mother of two, life-long pet parent and lover of dogs who somehow manages to squeeze in the time to satisfy another of her loves - writing. Wendy is the founder, main contributor to and editor of TotallyGoldens.

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1 Comment

  • S.G.
    Posted September 5, 2022 at 4:50 am 0Likes

    What is not mentioned here is the reasoning behind the colouring. The article does mention that there is an overwhelming chance that your red/ginger/dark Goldie will get Cancer, hence why the original country of this breed no longer accept the Red/Mahogany colours of the breed. The white was bred because it reduces the carcinogenic gene, much like red heads….the more red you are the more the genetic predisposure, whilst beautiful, gene puts you at risk of the big C. I’ve just lost my second beautiful white boy, neither of them had Cancer and both lived until they were over 14 yrs, very happily. My most recent baby, was prone to different skin problems, ear issues and had a very sensitive stomach, particularly oat gluten, breed out one issue and it will be replaced with another. That said they were both the most loving, beautiful, calm but nutty fruitcakes you’d ever wish to meet! Don’t believe all the rubbish about them being bad guard dogs……both of mine have suprised me and stepped up when needed.

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