Canadian Golden Retriever: Info, Facts, Pictures, FAQs & More

Canadian Golden Retriever standing by a cliff

No one can argue that Golden Retrievers are cuddly, loyal, and affectionate dogs. But is this also the case for the Canadian Golden Retrievers?

As products of decades-long breeding, Canadian Golden Retrievers have developed few distinct traits which distinguish them from other Golden Retriever varieties — the American and English Goldens.

Most of these identifiable traits are observed in their physical appearance. If the Canadian Golden Retriever has caught your curiosity, I suggest that you should keep on reading this article.

Pictures, facts, and FAQs about the Canadian Golden Retriever will be presented in this guide, which could help you better understand this Golden variety. Let’s start!

What Is a Canadian Golden Retriever?

The Canadian Golden Retriever is not a separate breed but rather a subtype. It is one of the three varieties of the Golden Retriever breed we know. This type of Golden Retriever was developed and bred mainly in Canada; hence, the name Canadian Golden Retriever.

Canadian Golden Retrievers possess the traits and characteristics of the Golden Retriever breed stated on the standards of major kennel clubs.

What distinguishes them from the other varieties of the Golden Retriever breed are the nuance differences in their physical appearance which were cultivated through years of breeding.

Compared to English (British) and American Golden Retrievers, Canadian Goldens usually have thinner coats and darker colors in general. They are also leaner and taller than the other two varieties.

In terms of temperament, the loyalty and affection of Canadian Goldens are on the top of the shelf.

They are considered healthy dogs but unfortunately, they are also susceptible to the health issues that are common for the Golden Retriever breed.

Do Canadian Golden Retrievers Differ Greatly From English and American Golden Retrievers?

Most of the differences between the Canadian and its American and English (British) Golden Retrievers siblings lie in their appearances.

They only have slight differences which is why it is hard for people with untrained eyes to distinguish them.

The distinct physical trait that primarily distinguishes a Canadian Golden Retriever is its thinner and shorter coat compared to the long and dense coats of American and English Golden Retrievers.

They also have fewer feathering on their neck, back of their forelegs, and tail. The fur of Canadian Golden Retrievers also lays flat on their skin unlike the fluffy coat of the other variants. Their tail is curved just like the American Goldens.

Canadian Golden Retrievers can also exhibit any of the shades of gold regardless of whether it is a dark or light shade.

This distinguishes them from American Goldens whose standard considers “extremely pale and extremely dark” pigmentations undesirable.

In terms of height, the Canadian Golden Retriever can grow a few inches taller compared to the other two varieties, although it grows slightly less heavy compared to English Golden Retrievers.

On the other hand, factors such as temperament, behavior, trainability, and health are similar across all of the Golden Retriever varieties.

Thus, we can say that the Canadian Golden Retrievers do not differ greatly from English and American Goldens.

You can take a look at these photos to clearly see how the three Golden Retrievers look and differ from each other.

Canadian Golden Retriever

American Golden Retriever

American Canadian Retriever

English (British) Golden Retriever

British or English Golden Retriever

History and Origin: Did Canadian Golden Retrievers Really Come From Canada?

Canadian Golden Retrievers are not native to Canada just like the American Goldens. In fact, the three variants all came from a single lineage that originated from Scotland.

The ancestor breeds of the Canadian Golden Retriever and other Golden variants we have now were said to be a yellow wavy-coated Retriever named “Nous” and a Tweed Water Spaniel (now extinct) named “Belle” which were bred in the late 19th century by Sir Dudley Marjoribanks, later known as Lord Tweedmouth.

Due to their popularity and incredible working skills, they were imported to Canada and America.

It was in 1881 when Golden Retrievers first arrived in Canada. It is believed that the lineage of most Golden Retrievers in Canada and America can be traced back to “Lady,” the first Golden Retriever in Canada that was brought by Sir Archie Marjoribanks, son of the breed founder.

The breed was only officially recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) in 1927 but it is believed that Canadian Golden Retrievers were already bred and developed years before.

Nevertheless, the official breeding and modification of the Canadian Golden Retriever based on preferences in Canada started after the breed was listed on the CKC studbook.

Canadian Golden Retriever Appearance: What Does a Canadian Golden Retriever Look Like?

The Canadian Golden Retriever’s appearance reflects the conformation standards set by the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC). This is the reason why this type of Goldens is more preferred on CKC sponsored events.

The CKC describes the general appearance of the Canadian Golden Retriever as a balanced, symmetrical, powerful, and active dog that displays self-confidence and a kindly and alert expression.

The heads of Canadian Golden Retrievers are broad and well defined. Their eyes are well set apart with close-fitting dark eye rims.

The eye color is preferably dark brown and no lighter than the shade of the coat. The ears should be hanging flat against the head with the tips slightly below the jaws.

The topline or back of these Goldens should be leveled from the withers to the croup, same with the English Goldens.

Their neck should be muscular and sturdy with an untrimmed ruff. They also have a slightly curved tail similar to American Golden Retrievers.

The coat of Canadian Golden Retrievers can either be straight or wavy. Nevertheless, the texture of their fur should not be too hard nor too silky.

They can come in any of the lustrous shades of gold. A few white marks on the chest are permissible but considered undesirable.

The feathering on the back of the forelegs should be moderate but heavier in front of the neck, behind the thighs, and in the underside of the tail.

Nevertheless, the overall amount of feathering should be lesser compared to the other two variants.

The CKC standard considers any white markings aside from few hairs on the chest as faults, including low hound-like earsets. Deviation of more than one inch in height would also result in disqualification.

Canadian Golden Retriever Size and Weight: How Big Will a Canadian Golden Retriever Get?

When you hear about Golden Retrievers, you probably think about large dogs.

Well, in general, Goldens have a stocky and heavy build which is why they belong to the large breed category. However, is this also true for Canadian Golden Retrievers?

The short answer is yes. In terms of size, male Canadian Goldens stand from 23 to 24 inches tall while their female counterparts range from 21 ½ to 22 ½ inches tall.

The weight of male Canadian Goldens ranges between 65 and 75 pounds while the female Canadian Golden Retrievers fall between 60 and 70 pounds.

The Canadian Golden Retriever is known to outgrow the other variants for a few inches, making them the largest among the Golden variations. But then again, I’m speaking in general.

The final size and growth of each Golden, regardless of its type, will be influenced by its diet, lifestyle, and health condition.

Most Canadian Golden Retrievers reach adulthood at the age of 16 months. But this does not mean that their growth will completely halt. Some may still gain a few inches and pounds as they grow old.

It would be safe to say that the final size and growth of a Canadian Golden can be determined after it turns two years old.

Do Kennel Clubs Recognize the Canadian Golden Retrievers?

Major kennel clubs such as the American Kennel Club (AKC), Canadian Kennel Club (CKC), and United Kennel Club (UKC) only recognize the Golden Retriever as the official breed in their standards.

If you look at the written standards, you will not see the breed name Canadian Golden Retriever nor any other variety of the breed.

However, this is not to say that the Canadian and other Golden Retriever types cannot be registered or are not legitimate Golden Retrievers.

It just means that major kennel clubs consider all of the varieties of the Golden Retriever as one single breed.

Hence, you can have your Canadian Golden Retriever participate in conformation and sporting events organized by any of the mentioned kennel clubs.

One thing to note, though, is that some kennel clubs and judges favor Golden Retrievers which are considered more desirable in certain regions or countries.

There are also few points in each kennel club standard that are slightly different from what other kennel clubs state.

Say, for example, CKC allows a coat color in any of the lustrous shades of gold. It does not restrict a light or dark color. The AKC, on the other hand, considers extremely pale and extremely dark shades as undesirables.

As for Canadian Golden Retrievers, they are more favored in CKC sponsored events because they are bred and raised following the standards set by the CKC itself.

Canadian Golden Retriever Temperament: Are Canadian Golden Retrievers Good Family Dogs?

Canadian Golden Retrievers are friendly, intelligent, reliable, and trustworthy dogs. They excel as working dogs and companion pets.

They can also serve as excellent guard dogs for your family and properties. They are the perfect pooch to have at home!

Here’s a more detailed explanation of how Canadian Golden Retrievers behave and interact with family members, other pets, and strangers.

  • With the Family: Canadian Golden Retrievers are affectionate towards their family members. They are born to please their owners. They are also incredibly gentle and calm with children and they know when to act as a guard dog. Their loyalty to their family members is of no question.
  • With Other Pets: Canadian Goldens are also known to be calm and friendly with other pets especially if they have grown along with them. While they might playfully chase smaller pets from time to time as their hunting instinct kicks in, this behavior is manageable. They are considered to be one of the easiest dogs to train with their intelligence.
  • With Strangers: These Canadian Goldens know how to interact with strangers. They are friendly towards other people but can also become protective when they sense danger. Their sheer weight, smartness, and loyalty can be useful traits for a guard dog.

On a side note, you should understand that the behaviors and demeanors discussed are generally observed among Canadian Goldens.

The individual personality and temperament of each Canadian Golden Retriever will vary as they are influenced by their environment and training.

Canadian Golden Retrievers must be exposed to early socialization to familiarize themselves with people and pets while stimulating their senses.

READ NEXT: Male vs. Female Golden Retriever: Which Is Better?

Canadian Golden Retriever Lifespan and Health Issues: Are Canadian Golden Retrievers Healthy Dogs?

Canadian Golden Retrievers can live for 10 to 12 years on average. However, each dog can live longer or shorter than the average depending on their nutrition, health condition, and lifestyle.

Unfortunately, Canadian Golden Retrievers can be susceptible to common health issues although they are considered to be healthy dogs in general. Some of these health issues are manageable and can be treated.

Here are the common health issues that your Canadian Golden Retriever could suffer from:

  • Hip Dysplasia: This joint disease is pretty common for large dog breeds such as the Canadian Golden Retriever. It occurs when the hip joint abnormally develops making it unfit for the hip socket. When this happens, the ball joint grinds roughly instead of sliding smoothly against the socket which causes pain.
  • Obesity: It is not uncommon for Canadian Golden Retrievers to become overweight especially if they have a poor diet or they lack physical activities. This condition should be given immediate attention as it can lead to worse health issues such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease if neglected.
  • Cancer: Unfortunately, the Golden Retriever (including all of its variety) is one of the many breeds which have a high risk of acquiring cancer. Some of the cancers Goldens are prone to include hemangiosarcoma, mast cell tumors, melanoma, lymphoma, and bone cancer.
  • Luxating Patella: This condition occurs when the kneecap dislocates from its normal alignment. This can happen in both of the dog’s knees. Normally, dogs can reposition their knee caps by extending their legs. However, a more serious degree of luxation can lead to the deterioration of ligaments.
  • Von Willebrand Diseases: A Canadian Golden Retriever with this disease tends to bleed a lot when injured. They also experience nose and gum bleeding because this disease affects the normal blood clotting process of the dog’s body.

Most of the diseases mentioned are manageable if not treatable. The best way you can ensure that your Canadian Golden Retriever will grow healthy is by providing it with a nutritious diet and engaging it in an active lifestyle.

You should also bring them to the vet regularly for check-ups and preventive medications.

Canadian Golden Retriever Puppy Price and Expenses: How Much Does a Canadian Golden Retriever Cost?

The price of Canadian Golden Retriever puppies ranges between $500 and $3,000 on average. The ones that come from champion bloodlines are even valued at a higher price with some even exceeding $6,000.

In addition, a Canadian Golden Retriever that is bred by a reputable breeder will likely be more expensive as they factor in their reputation, breeding expenses, and pedigree registration.

Nevertheless, buying an expensive puppy from a professional breeder can be deemed worthy as it could mean lesser hospital and medical bills in the future.

But wait, the expenses do not stop right after you bought your puppy! You still need to cash out a few hundred bucks in providing the essential supplies for your Canadian Golden Retriever puppy.

Before even picking up your doggo from the breeder, you should already have prepared its food supplies, beddings, bowls, toys, grooming kit, leash, and other pet accessories. These supplies will set you back for around $300.

Places to Find Canadian Golden Retriever Puppies for Sale and Adoption

Due to the breed’s popularity, you can find numerous kennels advertising their litters as Canadian Golden Retrievers. However, you should be careful not to fall under the schemes of puppy mills and backyard breeders.

You should only buy a Canadian Golden pup from reputable and professional breeders.

Here are some of the credible breeders in the country where you can buy a Canadian Golden Retriever:

  • Gaylan’s Golden Retrievers – This breeder has been developing the Golden Retriever breed for nearly 40 years. They have committed themselves to producing multi-generational quality Golden Retrievers that conform to the Canadian and American standards. Their Goldens have already won more than 150 Canadian and American championship titles.
  • Chadwick’s Golden – This Southern Carolina-based breeder has dedicated more than 18 years to enhancing the breed and producing quality Golden Retrievers. They regularly have American and English-cream Golden puppies available. You might also find a Canadian Golden Retriever puppy from their litter occasionally.
  • Goldiva Goldens – The Golden Retrievers from this breeder participate in Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) sponsored events as well as in American Kennel Club (AKC) conformation shows. They have been breeding Golden Retrievers since 1984.

RELATED: 10 Best Golden Retriever Breeders (2023): Our Top 10 Picks!

Adopting a Canadian Golden Retriever is also a great option especially if you are not after conformation or show quality.

Many Canadian Goldens end up in shelters and rescues day by day for various reasons. If you opt to adopt, you will not only save a few hundred bucks but also save a poor soul.

Here are some of the best rescue centers in the United States where you can adopt a Canadian Golden Retriever:

  • Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue (DVGRR) – DVGRR is one of the few rescue organizations in the country that has a dedicated facility. This rescue ranks first on our list of the best Golden Retriever rescues in the United States. They have already rehomed more than 5,000 dogs including Canadian Golden Retrievers.
  • Golden Beginnings Golden Retriever Rescue (GBGRR) – This rescue facility practices ethical standards and procedures in rescuing and adopting Golden Retrievers. They ensure that all of the dogs they rescue end up in a forever loving home. Occasionally, they rescue Canadian Golden Retrievers as well as other Golden varieties.
  • Triad Golden Retriever Rescue (TGRR) – Aside from rescuing and rehabilitating Golden Retrievers, TGRR exerts its efforts to educate the community about responsible dog ownership. There’s a big chance that you will find a rescued Canadian Golden Retriever available for adoption in this rescue.

You can also check our Golden Retriever rescue directory if you weren’t lucky to find a Canadian Golden Retriever from the rescues mentioned above.

RELATED: 10 Best Golden Retriever Rescues for Adoption (2023): Our Top 10 Picks!

Frequently Asked Questions

Canadian Golden Retriever sitting by a cliff with a Canada mountain landscape

Do Canadian Golden Retrievers Shed?

Canadian Golden Retrievers shed just as much as American and English Golden Retrievers do.

They are considered to be a moderate shedding breed. It’s completely normal for Canadian Golden Retrievers to shed since they have double coats.

They have a soft undercoat and a water-resistant topcoat that serve as their protection against extreme temperature and weather.

It’s during the transition of seasons when Canadian Golden Retrievers shed or blow their coats. Usually, they shed their thick coat after winter to prepare themselves for a warmer season.

Nevertheless, the shedding of Canadian Golden Retrievers is at a manageable level. You can reduce the shedding of your Canadian Golden by brushing its fur regularly or by giving it a bath.

How Many Types of Golden Retrievers Are There?

Officially, major kennel clubs recognize the Golden Retriever as a single type breed with no varieties.

However, Golden Retriever fanciers and breeders have distinguished three types of Golden Retrievers with respect to the region where they are bred: Canadian, American, and English Golden Retrievers.

The differences between the three Golden Retriever types are mostly physical traits.

Final Thoughts: Is the Canadian Golden Retriever the Right Dog for You?

Everyone would agree that Canadian Golden Retrievers are one of the best dogs to own. They can serve as perfect family companions and guard dogs with their well-balanced demeanor and behavior.

If you think you are prepared and responsible enough to take care of a living being, then there’s nothing to stop you from getting one.

You might find owning a Canadian Golden Retriever seems costly and demanding at first but trust me, it’s all worth it in the end.


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