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What Is An English Cream Golden Retriever?

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Have you ever heard of an English Cream Golden Retriever? Also known as the White Retriever, AKA the Platinum Retriever. This pale-coated dog IS NOT a new and rare breed.

In fact, the English cream and your typical golden are the same dog breed but with different breed standards. 

While the platinum golden retriever looks slightly different than your neighboring golden, this isn’t a new rare breed as some breeders claim. Similar to its American cousin but different at the same time, the platinum-coated retriever has a lot to offer.

Block Head English Cream Golden

If you are looking for a devoted, highly-trainable, family dog, the English cream retriever might be the right dog for you!

However, while very popular, platinum-coated retrievers are still hard to come by and a purebred puppy can make a big dent in your bank account. 

In this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about this type of golden retriever and help you decide if this is the right dog for you.

Note: We are using the terms English Cream Golden Retriever, Platinum Retriever, and White Retriever interchangeably in this article.

English Cream Golden Retriever AKA Platinum Retriever AKA White Retriever

English Cream Golden

The English cream golden retriever is known by several different names in the U.S.

Besides English Cream Golden Retriever, this breed also goes by Platinum Retriever, rare white European retriever, exquisite platinum imported golden retriever, and also simply White Retriever or White Golden Retriever.

Although there is just one golden retriever breed, there are slight differences, except for the coat color, between the English and American retriever types. However, the pale platinum coat is the trait that made English creams sought-after and popular. 

Breed History

Before we go any further, let’s set the record straight! The English cream golden retriever and golden retriever are the same dog breed.

There is a lot of misinformation floating around, but that’s only because some breeders wanted to market English creams as a rare dog breed and charge more to prospective new owners. 

The truth is that golden retrievers come in a variety of different shades and colors. The American golden retrievers have darker coats than their European counterparts.

However, all goldens come from the same original bloodline and are all, in fact, the same breed.

Originally bred in the 19th century, the golden retriever hails from Scotland where it was used as a gundog to retrieve shot waterfowl.

The breed’s creator, Lord Tweedmouth, wanted to create a dog breed that worked well both on land and in water to retrieve shot fowl. 

An unknown yellow-colored retriever dog and now extinct Tweed water spaniel were used to create the first-ever litter of golden retrievers.

One of these puppies ended with Lord Tweedmout’s son who bred it with his Irish setter, thus creating deep red golden retrievers. It’s believed that the paler coat color of English creams is the result of breeding the palest goldens. 

As the breed’s popularity grew, golden retrievers were imported to America and Canada, which led to slight variations in appearance and temperament.

But make no mistake, all subtypes of golden retrievers are descendants of the same Scottish bloodline.  

Size And Appearance

English Cream Golden Retriever staring back

According to the breed’s standard, the English cream should be a medium-sized dog with a muscular and athletic body. They should measure from 21 ½ to 24 inches tall and can weigh from 55 to 75 pounds.

The biggest difference between the American and English variations is the coat color. American goldens can range in color from golden to deep red, while English creams have a pale platinum coat. 

While both variations have the same standard, English cream golden retrievers have a stockier build and a slightly larger head.

They also have thicker and stronger necks, slightly wider muzzles, and a stronger jaw. Their eyes are also rounder and closer together, and the ears are at the same level as the eyes

Overall, the English cream retriever has a stockier and more robust appearance when compared to its American counterpart. As with all other breeds, male dogs are slightly larger than females, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. 


The breed’s friendly, affectionate, and devoted nature is what makes golden retrievers such amazing family companions. But although all goldens are the same breed, there are clear differences in temperaments between the American and English variations. 

Platinum retrievers are generally calmer and more sensible than American goldens. Furthermore, they are rarely hyperactive and rowdy, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t playful or active.

Think of a platinum retriever as a slightly calmer version of an American golden.

If you are looking for a smart, easy-to-train, companion dog that won’t bounce around the house at all hours of the day, the English cream retriever might be a great choice.

However, don’t forget they are working dogs at heart, and your platinum dog will need a job to do.

Highly intelligent and eager to please, the platinum golden is easy to train and excels in obedience and agility. Amiable and affectionate, this breed likes to spend time with its people and is an amazing family dog and a great companion.

Gentle and sweet, the English cream retrievers get along with everyone they meet and won’t hesitate to meet strangers.

Due to their trusting nature, they are poor watchdogs and are more likely to greet an intruder with a wagging tail than alert you of any suspicious activity.

Despite their size, platinum golden retrievers need to live indoors with their human family so they can be included in all family activities.

However, this playful and energetic dog needs some type of outdoor space and isn’t suited for apartment living. A fenced backyard is a must if you want to keep your goldie happy and properly exercised. 


English Cream Golden Retriever Brothers

The English cream retriever is generally a healthy dog. However, like all other purebred breeds, they are prone to certain health issues. 

You might have heard that platinum retrievers are healthier than their dark-coated counterparts.

However, there is no evidence to support this and these claims were probably spread by breeders who wanted to market their dogs as “healthier” golden retrievers.

However, there is a 2010 study that shows cancer risk in European-bred Goldens to be lower than in North American Goldens:

Interestingly, cancer risk in European-bred Goldens appears to be significantly lower. A 2010 study put the mortality figure at 38.8 percent (Dobson 2012, Adams et al. 2010). Although much higher than average, the incidence is substantially lower than that found in North American Goldens.

The Bark

The most common health problems seen in English cream golden retrievers are:

Hip And Elbow Dysplasia

Hip and elbow dysplasia are hereditary conditions that are commonly seen in large-breed dogs.

Essentially, the hip and elbow bones aren’t joined properly with the socket. which puts a strain on the ligaments and bone causing pain, discomfort, and lameness.

Both of these conditions become worse with age and can be extremely painful for a dog if not treated. 

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Progressive retinal atrophy is an eye condition that causes a slow deterioration of the retina. In the first stages of this disease, dogs start to lose night vision and, as the disease progresses, they become completely blind.

The good news is that most dogs adapt to complete or partial vision loss as long as their living space remains the same. 

Heart Problems

English cream retrievers are affected by several heart problems, including dilated cardiomyopathy and subvalvular aortic stenosis. Dilated cardiomyopathy causes the heart to become enlarged and weak, and usually ends with congestive heart failure. 

On the other hand, subvalvular aortic stenosis is caused by the narrow connection between the aorta and the left ventricle and can be treated if diagnosed in time.  


Bloat is a life-threatening condition that affects many large breed dogs and is commonly seen in deep-chested breeds like goldens.

Dogs who eat only one or two larger meals per day, exercise shortly after eating, or eat too fast are at the highest risk of developing bloat. 

Bloat happens when a dog’s stomach twists, thus stopping the blood flow to the heart.

The most common symptoms of bloat include drooling, lethargy, restlessness, and a rapid heartbeat. If you notice any of these symptoms or suspect your dog has bloat, call your vet right away. When not treated in time, this condition can be fatal.

Exercise Needs

English Cream Golden Retriever At The Beach

While generally, they are calmer than their American cousins, the English cream retrievers still need a lot of exercise.

As a working dog breed, your platinum golden retriever will need at least an hour of high-intensity exercise every day.

Otherwise, your dog will become bored and restless and might decide to release all that pent-up energy by damaging your house and belongings.

Besides regular exercise sessions, you should also spend at least 15 minutes every day playing with your dog.

As a highly intelligent dog breed, your cream retriever will need a lot of different toys to stay entertained and mentally stimulated. Games such as fetch, tug-of-war, and flyball will keep your dog occupied and help him stay in good shape. 

Platinum golden retrievers are active dogs and as such are best suited for active families who like to spend time outdoors and can meet their high exercise needs.

As mentioned earlier, this breed doesn’t do well in apartments and needs to have access to a fenced yard where it can run, play, and burn excess energy.


Highly intelligent and eager to please, the English cream retriever is very easy to train. They excel at obedience training and will learn commands quickly when properly motivated.

Use positive reinforcement techniques and reward-based training to encourage good behavior and your dog’s learning efforts.

Due to their calm nature and trainability, platinum retrievers are a great choice for novice owners. Even if you didn’t own a dog before, you won’t have any trouble house training and teaching your dog basic commands.

Although they are naturally friendly, start socializing your goldie from a young age, as you would any other dog.

Try to expose your puppy to as many different people, places, sounds, and situations as soon as you bring him home. This way, you will help grow into a well-mannered and balanced dog. 


The English cream retriever needs to eat high-quality kibble that contains all the necessary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Since they are the same breed, the platinum golden retriever can eat the same food as a golden retriever.

We feed our dogs a combination of foods including fresh (The Farmer’s Dog), premium kibble (Wellness Core), and Dehydrated (Honest Kitchen).

You should make sure the food you are feeding contains the right balance of proteins, fats, carbs, fiber, and omega-fatty acids.

Since all dogs are individuals, the amount of food your dog will need will depend on his age, size, activity level, and overall health. If you don’t know how much food your dog needs, consult your vet, and follow his advice. 

Bear in mind that your dog’s nutritional needs will change with age. An English cream retriever puppy will need to eat high-quality puppy food for large breeds that are formulated to support growth and development.

Dog foods for large-breed puppies are specially designed to prevent rapid bone growth, thus minimizing the risks of bone disorders such as elbow and hip dysplasia. 

Pay special note to the amount of food your cream retriever is eating, and try to offer three or more smaller meals throughout the day. This way, you will prevent overfeeding and also reduce the risk of bloat. 

Coat Color and Grooming

The English cream retriever’s breed standard permits any shade of gold or cream coat color, which is neither mahogany nor red.

This means these dogs don’t necessarily have to have a cream or platinum coat. However, platinum dogs are highly popular and there is always a higher demand for puppies with a paler coat.

The English cream has a medium-length, silky, water-resistant double coat that sheds moderately all year round. This breed also goes through a heavy shed twice a year – in the spring and fall.

You’ll have to brush your dog at least three times a week to prevent mats and tangles and keep his coat in tip-top condition.

When it comes to bathing, you can bathe your English cream once in a couple of months or more often if he gets very dirty. If you need to bathe your dog more often, use a hypoallergenic natural dog shampoo that won’t damage your dog’s skin or coat.

English Cream Golden Retrievers As Pets

English Cream Golden Retrievers As Pets

The English creams are excellent pets and make amazing companions to people of all ages and families with small children.

Affectionate, gentle, and fun-loving, these dogs get along with everyone and like to be involved in all family activities. They also get along with other pets and will enjoy having someone to keep them company while you aren’t around. 

Please note, that although they like children and are exceptionally gentle, English creams are large dogs. They can easily knock a small child in the heat of a play session accidentally. To avoid accidents of this sort, never leave young children unsupervised with your dog.

Furthermore, show your children how to interact with your dog and play with him nicely. Explain why they should never pull your dog’s ears and tail, and supervise all playdates.

No matter how socialized and well-behaved your dog and your kids are, they should never be left unsupervised.

English Cream Golden Retriever Images & Pics

We bred and donated several English Cream Golden Retriever puppies to service dog schools across the country. Here’s a look at a couple of puppies at different ages and stages from our program.

Male English Cream Golden Retriever

Charlie is a male English Cream Golden Retriever puppy from Raven’s fourth litter.

2-month-old male English Cream Golden Retriever

2-month-old male English Cream pup, Charlie hanging out in the backyard.

5-month-old male English Cream Golden Retriever

5-month-old male English Cream Golden Retriever, Charlie carrying around his toy squirrel. This age always seems like the awkward not quite a puppy, not quite an adult phase.

7-month-old male English Cream Golden

7-month-old male English Cream, Charlie. What a difference two months make. Also, what a difference the lighting makes in this pic.

10-month old male English Cream Golden

10-month-old male English Cream, Charlie. At 10 months old he looks pretty much like the adult version of himself. Can you tell Charlie likes going to the dog beach?

Female English Cream Golden Retriever

Mochi is a female English Cream Golden Retriever puppy from Raven’s fourth litter.

2-month-old female English Cream Golden Retriever

2-month-old female English Cream Golden Retriever, Mochi sitting happily on her bestie’s lap.

3-month-old female English Cream Golden

3-month-old female English Cream Golden, Mochi with something in her mouth. Yep, Goldens are mouthy dogs. You have to watch out that they don’t swallow any unwanted items.

10-month-old female English Cream Golden

10-month-old English Cream Golden Retriever, Mochi. Yep, Goldens can get into all kinds of mischief. Keep your eye on them.

12-month-old female English Cream Golden

12-month-old female English Cream Golden, Mochi poses for a photo.

English Cream Golden Retriever Puppies

Over the years we’ve snapped thousands of pics. Here are just a handful from our English Cream Golden Retriever puppy archive:

English Cream Golden Retriever Puppies

We pulled the puppies around the neighborhood in the wagon before they were vaccinated. We wanted them to experience some of the sights and sounds outside the house while also keeping them safe. They were about 6 weeks old in this pic.

English Cream Puppies in the whelping box

Here’s a pic of one pup sticking his head out of the whelping box. Until our puppies go to their forever homes at about 8 weeks old they spend a good amount of time in the whelping box.

English Cream Golden Retriever Christmas Pups

Our English Creams pups were about 7 weeks old in this pic. Yep, we had a litter of Christmas puppies and gathered them together for a festive photo.

English Cream Goldens In Pet Pen

We used the Carlson Portable Pet Pen as an outdoor play area for our puppies so they could experience a different environment at a young age.

Check out this post to see some more pics and our experiences raising English Cream Golden Retriever puppies.

FAQs About English Cream Golden Retrievers

What Is A Platinum Retriever?

The platinum retriever, also known as the English cream golden retriever and rare white European retriever, is a pale-coated variety of golden retriever.

While some breeders advertise platinum retrievers as a rare breed, these dogs are the same breed as regular American goldens. 

While similar, these two types of golden retrievers are slightly different. Platinum retrievers have a pale coat, are stockier built, bigger heads, and rounder eyes. They are also calmer than American golden retrievers, but no less playful or fun-loving.

What Are The Three Types Of Golden Retrievers?

There are three different types of golden retrievers – American, Canadian, and English golden retrievers. Although there is only one golden retriever breed, each one of these three subtypes has its own breed standard. 

The American type is recognized by the American Kennel Club, the Canadian retriever by the Canadian Kennel Club, and the English by the United Kennel Club.

How Much Does An English Cream Golden Retriever Cost?

The platinum retrievers that are bred according to the United Kennel Club breed standard are still fairly rare and can be expensive.

On average, a platinum retriever can cost between $1,500 to $3,500. However, the price of a puppy can vary from one breeder to the next and will depend on your location, the breeder’s reputation, and the pup’s lineage. 


Platinum golden retrievers, also known as the English cream golden retrievers, are highly intelligent, affectionate, and easily trainable companion dogs.

Playful and friendly, the English Cream makes a great family dog and gets along with people of all ages. The breed’s selling points are:

  • Calmer than the American Golden Retriever
  • Affectionate and devoted companion
  • Quick learner and easy-to-train

If you are looking for a loyal, devoted, and highly energetic dog that will fit right into your family, the platinum golden retriever is an ideal choice.

So, have you decided to get an English Cream Golden Retriever?

If so, tell us about your decision in the comment section below.

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white retriever looking straight back at the camera

UPDATE: This post was originally published on May 9th, 2021. We are constantly updating blog posts with new and relevant information.

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  1. Please share your breeder information. I lost my beautiful ECGR after 10 1/2 years and I am paralyzed by grief.

  2. Hi there. I had the most wonderful ECGR. He was the most beautiful golden I’ve ever owned (my 5th GR). He was bred with elbow dysplasia and his breeder knew of the results so chose Penn State scores instead. Kaleb has been the most wonderful best friend. He passed away suddenly yesterday after 10 1/2 years. Just keeled over ov likely a massive stroke or a heat attack. I am devestated. I raised him differently than others. No running after frisbees, gentle excercises, surgery, special diet and a bond like no other. I am devestated. I have a black lab ish reside who is very sad missing him too. I will get another one. But want a true European heritage breed with cleaner lineage, the boxy white head and a wonderful disposition. Please help me in my search. Thank you.

  3. I’m looking to make a forever home for an English Cream Retriver. Does anyone have puppies ready for adoption?
    Sandy Spradlin

  4. The AKC only gives you the option of light gold, medium gold or dark gold, they have no listing for white, I have pure white puppies if you’re interested, only 2 males left

  5. To my understanding they never darken unless he was cream colored and not pure white, my 31/2 year old female still has white eyelashes

  6. I have never heard of one with few claws but Great Pyrenees have few claws and look very similar but their tail will curl up on their back, you might have a cross or a pure breed Great Pyrenees

  7. I have a female English cream golden and she just had her 1st litter, I have had goldens since 2020 but she was my 1st English cream. It has to be my favorite dog ever, she is so smart and her name is Prim and she is a little bit of a primadonna but that’s completely my fault. You can never go wrong with this breed.

  8. I have an English Cream fantastic smart & caring boy. I am curious why he has back dew claws. He was purchased as a pure bread and many people are saying that rear due claws are no big deal. Others are saying that he must be across with something.

  9. Hello,
    We purchased what was advertised as an English cream, but he has become darker over time. Still not the reddish brown of our other golden. Overall he is a great dog, I am wondering if there is a range of color that is considered English cream, or are they all platinum?

  10. Thank you for this article. I learned a lot. It’s the first time I heard ECGR being called Platinums. I have a question please:

    Is there a specific listing in AKC that defines an English Cream? For example, I have been looking at a certain breeder and upon researching the lineage of his dogs I found out they are registered as Golden Retrievers Light Golden. When I look at both the male and female they are mostly all white with a tad bit of discoloration on their coats. In other words, I can see some gold in their coats instead of being completely solid white. I haven’t reached out to AKC yet to ask about it. The Breeder is selling his puppies as English Creams and asking top price for them. Isn’t there some kind of designation with AKC that specifically says they are English Cream?

    Thank you and again, great article.

    Teresa J.

  11. I am looking to raise and train my own service dog. A local trainer is willing to help me as long as I get the puppy from a reliable breeder. Although the creams are pretty, I personally prefer the darker Golden’s with red highlights. The darker the better. We helped raise my daughter’s golden and I couldn’t get anything but a golden. They are almost human! So affectionate and willingness to please.

  12. Our English cream retriever is an angel.If you cough, sneeze, or cry,Bentley stops what he is doing and crawls on your lap. (Then he suffocates us) So full of love!!!

  13. Every dog is different. Our Raven is an English Cream Golden Retriever imported from Europe. Her first couple years she was very high energy and jumped on most people that came in our door. At around three years old her energy level came down. Now that she’s seven years old she’s just about the right energy level for our home. Calm, but also active. It could take some time before your Golden matures and calms down.

  14. I have an English Golden Retriever. I love her dearly, but she is anything but calm. We have had 3 American Goldens, and all were much calmer than she. I was told by the breeder that she appeared to be calmest of the litter. She is very sweet, loves everyone, but cannot contain her enthusiasm upon meeting someone.

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