There are few dogs more lovable, hardworking, and faithful than the golden retriever. There are even fewer dogs more adorable than a cream colored puppy, sometimes mistaken for a white golden retriever. These days, many people are in search of the English cream golden retriever. So, how do you find the perfect puppy? What do you need to know, and what should you be looking for? In addition, how would you find one of these handsome retrievers in America?
I remember when I first saw a snowy colored golden retriever. I wondered, what breed is this dog? These dogs can be called white, platinum, blonde, cream, English, British, and by other names. All of these names refer to the same dog, as long as that dog is a purebred golden retriever. To understand this mysterious white golden, you must learn a few things about the Golden Retriever Breed Standard. The Breed Standard in America is slightly different than the Breed Standards in Europe and other countries. This is why American goldens have their own distinctive look. They tend to be a little taller, more slender, and often have longer coats.
British and European Breed Standards allow a golden retriever to have a coat of a pale, cream shade of gold. Technically, this is not a white color which is not allowed. The American Breed Standard does not allow a golden’s coat to be this light in color. So, our ‘snowy’ looking golden retriever should conform to a European Breed Standard, and should have the look and temperament of a British or European golden. Another example of these differences is that you will often see American goldens with coats having a reddish or mahogany shade of gold. European rules do not allow coats of this color. You can read the British Breed Standard at The Kennel Club’s web site, thekennelclub.org.uk. The American Breed Standard can be found at The American Kennel Club (AKC)’s web site, akc.org.
If you are looking for a cream golden retriever puppy, it is best to buy from a breeder. Whenever a dog becomes as popular as the golden, the breed becomes a victim of over-breeding for profit. Health defects and bad temperaments become common. That is why it is important to find quality breeder with a responsible breeding program. A little extra work and research is important when you are investing in a puppy that will live about 10-15 years. The internet is a good place to start searching for a breeder. However, it is a tremendous advantage if you can find a breeder within travel distance, so you can visit the breeder and see the dogs in person.
Your breeder should be breeding cream colored golden retrievers conforming to a European Breed Standard. These dogs could be British or Australian, but never American. All of the dogs in the program should be purebreds, and should be registered with the KC, or the appropriate kennel club. In America, the dogs should be registered with the AKC, because imported purebreds can be reregistered with the local national kennel club. Your American breeder will have imported cream goldens from a European country and their registration paperwork. You can always check the registration numbers by contacting the KC, AKC, or the appropriate kennel club. Look for a 3-5 generation pedigree. Asking the breeder should be no trouble.
Good breeders pay close attention to the health of their dogs. A puppy should not be sold until he or she is 7-8 weeks old. Bad breeding has led to a number of hereditary health problems in goldens. Goldens should be tested for common health problems, so they don’t pass on these defects to the litter. The dogs should have certified paperwork for hip dysplasia with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). Also look for testing and certification for the eyes, knees, thyroid, and heart. Sadly, cancer is the leading cause of death for goldens. Often, a good breeder will offer a puppy and health guarantee. If something goes wrong, you will be able to return the dog. It is also a good sign if your breeder’s goldens have a record at dog shows and competitions.
If at all possible, visit the breeder in person. You can see the conditions of the grounds, and spend time with the goldens. Meet your puppy’s parents, and if you were lucky enough to make early reservations, pick out your new puppy from the litter. Make sure you are fully committed before making a lifelong investment in a puppy. Remember, goldens grow up to be large and energetic dogs. Make sure you have the space and can make the time commitment to care for your golden. Also, adult golden retrievers shed and require grooming about twice a week. This breed is great for families, and have many talents as hunting, service, and competition dogs. Best of luck!