Canadian Golden Retriever vs American – The Golden Guide 2021

One of the most popular dog breed in terms of being a great companion is the Golden Retriever. People of all ages and any family member, even children can pet and can get along well with this dog breed. However, this loving furry buddy has different types and coat color variations. That’s why when you encounter them; you may come to ask the difference between Canadian Golden Retriever vs American.

In this blog post, we will share with you the comparison between these two types of Golden Retriever. This will help you to differentiate these two types of Goldies as well as knowing the things that you’ll have to expect from them as your furry friend. We also have here an overview of the Golden Retriever breed standards you will need to know as a potential Golden Retriever’s pet owner.

Golden Retriever Breed Standards

Before we jump into differentiating the Canadian Golden Retriever vs American type, let us first take a look at the standards of the Golden Retriever. Popularly, the Goldies are known to be family dogs and show dogs. Rooting back their bloodlines in Scotland about the 1800s, the Golden Retrievers were used in retrieving ducks and other upland game birds without causing any damage.

Primal retrievers were crossed bred with the water spaniels giving birth to today’s medium-sized dog breed, the Golden Retriever. They really love and enjoy being on the water. Their coat is double-layered in which the inner coat gives lots of warmth. Meanwhile, the outer coat layer of the Goldies offers a water repellent action and flatly lies over their body.

The Golden Retriever has a good ability to adapt well to suburban or country-side environments. Moderate to outdoor activities are some of the requirements that this dog breed needs. However, they should be kept inside a fenced area most of the time as they have a great natural instinct as hunting dogs giving them the tendency to run and roam around.

Breed Standard
Male: 65 to 90 lbs / 29 to 41 kg
Female: 60 to 70 lbs / 27 to 32 kg
Male: 23 to 24” / 58 to 61 cm
Female: 21.5 to 22.5” / 55 to 57 cm
beautiful, soft, straight or slightly wavy
10 to 12 years
white/cream and golden to dark

The Golden Retriever Variations

The Golden Retriever, also known as the English Retriever or British Retriever, has three sub-types. These sub-types generally include the Canadian, American, and British types. In getting to know these three sub-types, we will able to identify the differences between the Canadian Golden Retriever vs American.

Well, to give you an overview, the three sub-types of the Golden Retriever generally vary on their coat color and physique. It is basically due to the breeding standards of their country of origin why these sub-types display those variations. Although there are three Goldies sub-types, we will just only discuss the differences or similarities between the Canadian Golden Retriever vs American type.

Canadian Golden Retriever vs American: Which One to Choose?

Generally, the Golden Retriever is a good family dog and a great furry buddy. It is a very gentle and loving companion to everyone. In terms of its recognition, The Kennel Club in the UK primarily recognized the Golden Retriever way back in 1911. After that in 1925, this dog breed had also been recognized by the American Kennel Club or the AKC. Come 1927, the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC), also gave their recognition to this breed.

Canadian Goldies

canadian golden retriever vs. american

Basically, the Canadian sub-type of Golden Retriever has a coat that is quite darker, flatter, and thinner compared to the American Goldies. Moreover, you will notice that they have lesser hair around the back of the forelegs, neck, and tail. The topmost difference of the Canadian sub-type is that all of its shades are of gold color.

They have broad and noticeable heads, eyes that are dark and delicately tapered, and ears that are standing a little bit further from the head. And, between this sub-type and America, the Canadian Golden Retriever stands taller by about two inches.

American Goldies

How will you recognize the American Golden Retriever from the Canadian sub-type? Well, look at their coat color; you will notice that it is generally in rich shades of gold. So, if you will see Goldies with too pale or too dark coat shades, then they are under the undesirable coat color by the breed standards.

Their coat is basically long and dense. Aside from that, it has water-repellent property and also comes in a wavy appearance. Hairs may also found around their chest, neck, thighs, and tail. Yet, when it comes to their eyes, the American Goldies have lighter eyeshades that are shaped like an almond.

Canadian Golden Retriever
American Golden Retriever
Male: 23 to 24 inches
Female: 21.5 to 22.5 inches
Male: 23 to 24 inches
Female: 21.5 to 22.5 inches
Male: 65 to 75 pounds Female: 60 to 70 pounds
Male: 65 to 75 pounds Female: 55 to 65 pounds

Canadian Golden Retriever vs American – their Differences

Since American and Canadian breeders follow different breeding standards imposed by the AKC and CKC, there are also slight differences on the Golden Retriever types being developed. Differences between the Canadian Golden Retriever and the American type are as follows:


Generally, the American Goldies have a dense coat that has water-repellant property and can feather averagely. Moreover, the coat is a little bit longer. On the other hand, the Canadian type of Golden Retriever has a thinner coat that is either straight or wavy.

Coat Color

Actually, looking at the coat color, you will immediately notice the difference between these two types of the Golden Retriever. However, the variations in color may be very minimal unlike that of the Labrador that has three distinct colors. The Golden Retriever color shades maintain within the limited color spectrum.

*American Golden Retriever Coat Color

Generally, the American Kennel Club (AKC) breed standard does not accept pale and extreme dark colors. They actually state that coat colors that fall on these spectrums are considered undesirable. Although other shades of gold are present, there are only three distinctive shades of Golden Retriever that are recognized for showing. Those colors are:

  • Light golden and cream color
  • Golden
  • Dark golden excluding red

The color spectrum from AKC is very strict most likely for show dogs. In case the Golden Retriever falls outside of the range, it means that they will not be allowed to register with the AKC.

*Canadian Golden Retriever Coat Color

Unlike the AKC, the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) accepts more colors of the Goldies coat. This generally includes the cream color. Yet, with the desire to have a gold color, dogs fall out of that range. So, the colors may vary from pure white, mahogany, and black, although rare to find.


Keep in mind that the red coat color of the Golden Retriever is not highly acceptable and permitted by any Kennel Club. That’s the reason why the red-coated Goldies can’t fight in show rings. On the other hand, this Goldie’s variety can also be a good pet like the other Golden Retrievers.

The coat colors of the Golden Retrievers are actually hereditary. And the good thing about this is that they can generally have the puppies with the same coat colors in their litter. So, you can actually guess the color of the Goldies pup according to their parent’s coat color. A good indicator of their true coat color is the fur behind their ears. Check that and you will be sure of the color of the Golden Retriever puppy.

Cancer Rate

Compared to other dog breeds, the Golden Retrievers are more prone to cancer. And it is believed that cancer is the number one killer of this dog breed. Generally, between the Canadian and American types, the latter is more prone to cancer.

The Golden Retriever Club of America conducted a health study in 1998 which revealed that 61.4% of death of the American Golden Retriever is due to cancer. Hemangiosarcoma is the most common cancer attacking the American Goldies. This is then followed by Lymphosarcoma, Mast Cell Tumor, and Osteosarcoma.

Similarities between Canadian Golden Retriever vs American Goldies

Well, as mentioned above, there are slight variations between these sub-types of the Golden Retriever. Having that said, here are their shared commonalities:


canadian golden retriever vs american

No matter their type is, both the Canadian and American Goldies are descendants of one bloodline which is originally from Scotland. It was during the mid 19th century when a yellow retriever was bred with a Tweed Water Spaniel. They were used to retrieve waterfowl during that time.

Nowadays, they were also used for hunting but are also known for being compassionate family dogs. Give credits to their friendliness, gentleness, and easily trainable character. Moreover, they also have a high level of intelligence making them good working dogs like therapy dogs, guide dogs, and dogs for search and rescue operation.


Both the Canadian and American Golden Retriever share the same qualities. The following are a common temperament that all Goldies have:


The Golden Retrievers are intelligent and they also ranked as the 4th smartest dog breed based on obedience-command trainability. This is also the reason why the Golden Retrievers are used as guide dogs, hearing dogs, and dogs for search and rescue operations.

2-Eager to please

This dog breed generally loves to please humans and they will always urge to get treats and even affection and attention. They always smile making them easy to train.

3-Loyal and loving

They generally love to spend time with their favorite human companion. Moreover, even with strangers, the Golden Retrievers like to walk and come after them just to say hello. The Goldies are also not a shy type of dog breed. However, they may be seen sitting beside their human buddy most of the time as a sign of their protectiveness and being loyal.

4-Great family dogs

The Golden Retriever can easily get along well with the other family members and even with children and other pets.


Being top-notch in dog sports like agility and obedience training, the Golden Retrievers are naturally athletic. They are also natural-born swimmers adding up their water-repellent coat and webbed feet. It will be very surprised if you will see a Golden Retriever that doesn’t love to swim.

Daily Requirements

Generally, the Golden Retrievers require daily exercise. This will be a big help for them in reducing their boredom thus resulting in digging and any other unwanted behaviors. And because they are medium-sized and intelligent, they really need this physical and mental stimulation every day.

1-Chewing incidence

Since retrieving waterfowls naturally runs in their blood, the Goldies love to pick things up through their mouth. The good thing is that you can able to control the Golden Retriever’s tendency to chew and to mouth things around them. It is actually important to have a box of toys available on hand for them to carry around.

2-Inclined to roaming

Again, the natural instinct of the Goldies in retrieving is the main reason for them to be inclined to roaming. Aside from their daily requirements of plenty of exercises, they also demand a fenced yard. This will generally be of big help in cutting down their inclination to roam and prey drive.

3-Dominance Aggression

Sometimes, the Golden Retriever may also get to be dominant. They will look very confident and stable. Yet, do not guarantee that they will not have to be aggressive. Keep in mind that aggression does not depend on who the dog is but it is about the way the dog reacts.

Fear, being territorial, being possessive, and defensive are the reasons behind the aggressive behavior of the dog. As a pet owner, it is actually essential for you to understand the proper way of recognizing and managing a dog’s aggression. You may consider feeding your Goldies with food for aggression.


Regardless if it is Canadian or American Golden Retriever, they will definitely shed. Yes, the Canadian Goldies may have thinner coats than the American type but it doesn’t mean that they shed less. Knowing this, it is very crucial to focus on their additional grooming needs. As much as possible, do frequent vacuuming and have an available lint brush on hand.

In order to manage the Golden Retriever shedding, consider doing the following:

  • Brush them regularly

It is highly advisable to brush the Goldies several times per week. This will basically helo in reducing the free-floating hair. As much as possible, do a weekly combing of the Goldies thick undercoat. If possible, use an undercoat rake for a better result.

  • Bathing regularly

Bathing the Golden Retriever should be done once every three to four weeks. This will generally help in preventing skin dryness.

  • High quality diet

Keep in mind the nutrition is one of the factors that affect the coat quality of the Goldies. So, it is better to feed them with high-quality dog food.


Generally, all types of Golden Retrievers are prone to ear infections. Keep their ears clean to prevent any occurrence of infection of the ears. Moreover, it is also important to cut excess dog’s hair so there will be a better exchange of air.

Health Issues

All types of Golden Retrievers are susceptible to similar issues affecting their health. The following are the conditions and genetic disorders that may be found commonly among the Goldies:

  • Ear infections
  • Eye diseases like cataracts and glaucoma
  • Heart disease
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Obesity
  • Skin problems like allergies and hot spots


Again, regardless of types, the Goldies are an expensive dog breed. Well, you may find it hard to buy a Golden Retriever for a price below $1500 from a well-trusted breeder. Generally, the price range may vary on the breeder, the location, and the bloodlines. It usually ranges from $1500 to $2500 or more than that.

Another thing to consider for the pricing of the Golden Retriever is the papers that it has. It should be registered with the Kennel Club so expect to pay more for that. In case you will be charged less by the breeder, ask if the Goldies is already registered because it has the possibility that it is not.

Moreover, there are some breeders that will price you based on the coat color. Well, this should not be the case. Remember that a reputable breeder should charge you for the temperament and health of the Golden Retriever and not for their color. So, be very keen on that if you are planning to buy a Canadian Golden Retriever or American Goldies.

Meanwhile, Golden Retriever adoption is another great choice. The fees are much lesser compared to the breeders’ costs. Aside from that, the Golden Retriever will also have the required vet care testing performed. It basically includes spaying or neutering, vaccinations, and microchipping.

Final Thoughts

If you were caught between Canadian Golden Retriever vs American Goldies, do not worry because no matter what you choose, you will have a loving, loyal, and smart dog. Actually, different colored Goldies are available in the market. They also come in various sizes and shapes but regardless of the coat color, Goldies are Goldies, they will still be your great family dog.

Do you own a Golden Retriever? What type of Goldies do you have? Are they really loving and loyal companions? Please share your thoughts with us!

About Tom Thorpe

Tom Thorpe has overtime interacted with different species of dogs mostly through breeding and training; according to him, man’s best friend is yet to find solace in the company of man, as they are continuously mistreated. He, therefore, runs a rescue center that provides shelter to stray dogs, and has been advocating for the rights of animals; the Golden Retriever dogs are among his favorites, the reason he came up with the extensive excerpts to help educate the society on the right treatment and care of the respective breed. Tom spends most of his time running his dog shelter; he is a husband and proud father of two boys and loves to go fishing during his free time.

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