English Goldendoodle vs American Goldendoodle

Perhaps during your search for your forever pooch you’ve come across some confusing terms such as American Goldendoodle and English Goldendoodle. Or perhaps you didn’t even realize the two different types co-existed? Well, they very much do, and we set out to explore the two and just how they differ and what effect this has on factors such as appearance, temperament, health, size, and cost.

English Goldendoodles are bred using English Cream Golden Retrievers and American Goldendoodles are bred from American Retrievers. English Goldendoodles are lighter in color whereas American Goldendoodles have a larger color pool and are lankier in appearance.

We set out to discover the main differences between the two and whether it really matters if you choose one over the other.

English and American Goldendoodles – Explaining the Difference

The difference between English and American Goldendoodles comes down to the type of Golden Retriever used in the breeding process. English Goldendoodles come from crossing Poodles with English Golden Retrievers which come from European bloodlines. American Goldendoodles are produced by crossing a Poodle with an American Golden Retriever. Retrievers all originated from Scotland and this is the case for English, Canadian and American Retrievers. 

There is technically only one recognized breed of Golden Retriever and then many variants within the breed. The American Retrievers are bred to AKC standards which do not include cream-colored goldens. Both the UK and Canada are more accepting of the various colors of the golden retriever. AKC regards cream-colored retrievers as undesirable. It’s worth remembering that AKC also doesn’t recognize Goldendoodles because they are a crossbreed.


English Goldendoodles tend to be stockier in build and lighter in color than their American counterpart. They also typically have a boxier head, square body, and round eyes adding to this Teddy Bear appearance they are renowned for.

English Retrievers are generally lighter in color consisting of light cream or golden color. American retrievers tend to be darker with a coat in black, white, cream, golden, apricot, or red. Both shed minimally and are great for families with allergies.

Temperament of English and American Goldendoodles

Both English and American Retrievers are both loyal, intelligent, and great family dogs. Many people strongly believe that the English variety is more mellow and less highly strung. Maybe this is the case for some but ultimately behavior derives from a dog’s environment, socialization and routine.

The more physical the dog’s lifestyle is the less crazy their behavior will normally be at home. When you research English Goldendoodles, most of the articles will say they have a laid back and mellow approach to life.

Both Poodles and Retrievers were originally bred as working dogs to retrieve hunting kills and bringing them back with no damage. Therefore, Goldendoodles are likely to have the instinct to fetch and please their owners. They are very intelligent and easy to train which is great news for dog owners. They are also used as therapy dogs thanks to their calming nature.

Health Differences between English and American Goldendoodles

Now onto the more serious topic of health differences between the two types of Retriever. Sadly, it’s believed that the American Goldens have a higher cancer rate than the English Creams. American Retrievers have a cancer rate of over 60% compared to 38.8% in the English variety. 

Life expectancy is also shorter within the American breed averaging at around 10 years in comparison to the 12 of the English. Europe has a stricter health testing procedure than America which perhaps accounts for English creams to be considered healthier. Of course, any dog can become ill during its life so the focus shouldn’t rest too heavily here.

There are more American Goldendoodles in the US than English ones so if you do want to hold out for an English Goldendoodle you can expect a higher price tag. It’s all about supply and demand and breeders can breed American ones more easily. However, it may well be worth paying the extra to save on vets’ bills further along the line. Poor breeding may give you a cheaper dog, but it will cost you more in the end, both in price and heartbreak.

We are not saying all American Goldendoodles are poorly bred, far from it. So many reputable breeders care for these pups like they are their own. This is why it’s so important to research before choosing your breeder and checking their reputation.

American Goldendoodles have as much of the cute factor as the English ones and are hugely popular for their minimal shed qualities. Avoid puppy mills at all costs and be prepared to spend that bit more, safer in the knowledge they are bred in a loving and safe environment.

Size Differences between English and American Goldendoodles

Sizes vary greatly with Goldendoodles anyway because you can choose either small, medium, or standard where the sizes are dependent on the Poodle used for breeding. Both English and American Goldendoodles follow the rough sizing guide as below (measuring shoulder to paw):

  • Small: 12” to 15” high and 18 to 30 pounds.
  • Medium: 26” to 19” high and 30 to 50 pounds.
  • Standard:19” to 25” high and 50 to 85 pounds.

That being said American Goldendoodles often look less bulky and part of this reason is that often the English cream coat is fuller and thicker with a wavy to curly appearance.

Which Goldendoodle to Choose?

We’ve established that the appearance of the English Goldendoodle differs somewhat from the American. This may well be enough to sway you one way or the other and many opt for the cream color over the darker coat of the American. However, some prefer the red-gold color, so it really does come down to personal choice. It’s also important to learn their temperament, health, and breeding environment before making any final decisions.

Of course, the cost will be a big factor too. And generally speaking, the smaller the Goldendoodle the deeper you will need to reach into your pocket. What you can expect to pay for a Goldendoodle will very much depend on the demand for this breed in your area.

Sometimes it pays to be willing to travel a little further to find a location with several Goldendoodle breeders as you’ll likely save a few dollars. Whether you choose an English or American Goldendoodle you can be sure it’ll be love at first sight.