Are White Golden Retrievers Rare?
No. Those who are looking for a “white” or “platinum” golden retriever will be disappointed. While some goldens may appear very light in color, they are not actually white. The color white doesn’t genetically appear in this breed. Any ad offering “rare white golden retriever puppies” should be interpreted as a scam! Terms like “white,” “platinum,” “rare,” or even “English cream” are marketing words used to trick buyers into paying more for an ordinary retriever with a lighter coat color.
A “white” golden is also frowned upon by both British and American kennel clubs. Any amount of light-colored hair is considered a fault and will be penalized.
Golden Retriever Colors
- Light Golden
- Dark Golden
The cream color was added to the English standard in 1936. After years of selective breeding, these lighter specimens were given the name “English cream golden retrievers.” Today, these light-colored specimens may also be called English golden retrievers, European golden retrievers, blond golden retrievers, light golden retrievers, white goldens, or platinum blond goldens.
How Much Do Cream (White) Golden Retrievers Cost?
Golden retrievers—no matter their color—cost anywhere between $500 to $2,500, depending on the location, the reputation of the breeder, and whether the puppy descends from champion lines.
If you adopt a golden retriever puppy with no health clearances or lineage documents, expect to pay around $500 or less. Anything above this range is a rip-off.
Depending on how reputable the pet store is and how well the puppy has been bred, the price can range anywhere from $500 to $1000.
The cost of a healthy puppy from a reputable breeder will set you back $1,500 to $2,500. Dogs descending from champion blood lines will be on the higher end of this price spectrum.
It is a huge red flag when a breeder tries to advertise their golden retriever puppies as “white,” “cream,” or “rare.” A reputable breeder will not advertise color, but rather health and bloodline.
Things to Keep in Mind When Buying a “White” Golden Retriever Puppy
- Make sure you are ready and that you go through the list of things to know before adopting a dog.
- Cream-colored dogs—very pale yellow dogs—who otherwise meet the standard are accepted as golden retrievers by English and Canadian authorities. The American Kennel Club doesn’t accept any other colors others than dark golden, golden and light golden.
- Don’t believe any claims that a “white” retriever will be recognized as a golden retriever by the AKC because that will not be the case. These dogs may be “registrable” but people bypass the system by registering them as light golden, which is not the case with white specimens.
- Be very skeptical of any breeder who claims that cream-colored retrievers are healthier, longer-lived, or more valuable than a darker gold-colored variety.
- Although English dogs are slightly genetically different from American ones, a cream-colored dog is not better than a darker one just because of its color. A dog’s quality depends on its bloodlines and the care it is given.
- Look for good structure, good temperament, full clearances, and great bloodlines. A good breeder shows his/her dogs in conformation, obedience tests, and hunt tests, and offers a history of health and longevity in its bloodlines.
- A good breeder will interview you to make sure that you and your home environment will be a good fit for their puppy.
- A good breeder will also show you the parents and allow you to socialize with the puppy as well as watch the puppy socialize with other dogs and other people.
There are quality, ethical breeders out there. It’s up to you to do your homework to find them. Look for ethical breeders that adhere to the Code of Ethics of the Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA).
What Different Countries’ Kennel Clubs Say About Cream-Colored Retrievers
Both Canada and the U.K. accept a broader range of coat colors within the golden retriever standard than the American Kennel Club does.
According to the American Kennel Club website, the standard coat color of the golden retriever is a “rich, lustrous golden of various shades.” The club further adds that the “predominant body color, which is either extremely pale or extremely dark, is undesirable. Some latitude should be given to the light puppy whose coloring shows promise of deepening with maturity.”
On the other hand, the Golden Retriever Club of Canada seems more inclusive of pale dogs. They state that “the acceptable range of colour in the golden retriever is broad. While a medium gold is always correct, coat colour can range from cream to a darker coppery gold.” The Club adds that as long as specimens are within this color range, they should be judged equally.
The Kennel Club of the United Kingdom seems to agree with the Canadian club’s standard when it comes to cream coats. It accepts a golden retriever that is “any shade of gold or cream, neither red nor mahogany.”
Brief History of American Golden Retrievers
All golden retrievers, whether they are American, Canadian, or English, originated in Scotland in 1868 where they were used as superior hunting dogs by sportsmen. The first goldens were registered with the British Kennel Club in 1903. Back then, they were listed as flat-coat goldens. The breed didn’t become popular in the U.S. until the 1920s when anything British was cherished, including dog breeds. In 1932, the American Kennel Club officially recognized the breed.
Golden Retriever Information: Temperament and Health
- They need a lot of exercise—a couple of walks a day at the very least. They love outdoor activities, especially swimming.
- While active outdoors, they are also calm indoors, making them ideal family pets.
- They are easy to train. They are people pleasers and are extremely intelligent.
- They are one of the best dogs for kids.
- They are even-tempered, well-behaved, and extremely faithful.
- They are social animals. They can develop separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time.
- They shed profusely, especially in the fall and spring. You must regularly brush them (at least twice a week).
- They will need 3 meals a day as a puppy and 2 meals a day as an adult. Each meal should be around 1/3 to 1/2 of a cup of dry food.
- Golden retrievers are prone to cancer, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, cataracts, and hypothyroidism.
- Before you get a Golden Retriever, make sure you are aware of the above traits and the care that Golden Retrievers specifically need.