The Scottish Highlands were in fact the origin for English cream golden retrievers.
Bred for hunting, they are large, powerful, energetic and inherently tenacious dogs. Thanks to their dense and water repellent coats, they are impervious to the cold and wet.
Muscular under their luxurious coats, English cream golden retrievers’ sheer physicality and energy meant they could easily track game through undergrowth, forests and rivers. That was their beginning.
Once established as a breed, all these qualities meant English cream golden retrievers were here to stay.
Loyal, fun to have around and a genuine affinity for people, their popularity has grown ever since. They have become a favourite family pet. They are also often used as search and rescue dogs and guide dogs for the blind.
When people think about English cream golden retrievers, many physical and character traits spring to mind: that wagging tail, the irresistible upbeat personality, that lovely face, those big brown eyes, the gorgeous coat, and that infinite patience, mixed with boundless enthusiasm.
Male dogs can be around 24 inches high at the withers, and about 70 pounds in weight. Bitches are smaller, averaging 22 inches high, weighing around 60 pounds. The large powerful build is there for all to see when the dog is exercising; when it is relaxing, few people see past that friendly face.
The defining feature of a golden retriever is its wonderful coat, which comes in various shades of gold. The colours range from white to mahogany/rust. The coat is double layered, and should be groomed at least twice a week, more when they are moulting (shedding hair). They don’t need the “marine cut” which some breeds get, but straggly hairs should be regularly trimmed.The fur will be either straight or slightly wavy (it doesn’t matter which), but should lie flat against the body. The tail offsets the coat perfectly with its longer, feathered fur. The tail should be trimmed, simply to keep it neat.
Despite their origin in the Scottish Highlands, there is now a distinct difference between the British and American golden retriever. English cream golden retrievers are stockier, tend to have lighter cream coloured coats, with noticeable differences in the head, eyes and muzzle. The American dog tends to have a reddish gold coat. The Canadian dog, interestingly, mixes the features of both: its physicality matches the American golden, but its colour is closer to the British dog (but not quite as light).
Golden retrievers are very receptive to training. They can sit quietly for hours at a time (a throwback to their hunting heritage), or work tirelessly to the point of exhaustion.The unique combination of personality and physical traits means this breed of dog will continue to thrive for years to come.
Learn how to choose, train and care for English cream golden retrievers well, and you’ll have a true friend for life.