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Blockhead vs. Slender Head Golden Retrievers: What You Should Know When Getting a New Golden Retrievers Puppy

Blockhead vs. Slender Head Golden Retrievers: What You Should Know When Getting a New Golden Retrievers Puppy

If it is your first time getting a Golden retriever, you may be overwhelmed with the multiple options in the market.

No doubt, this breed comes with a number of varieties that can leave you confused about what to pick.

Should you go for the American, Canadian, or British Golden retriever?

Should the puppy be fluffy or non-fluffy?

How about blockhead versus slender head varieties?

In this guide, we will touch on the last part. We will tell you all you need to know about block head vs slender head Golden retrievers.

Hopefully, this will help you make an informed choice when getting a puppy.


A. Block Head Golden Retrievers

As the name goes, a block head Goldie has a large blocky head. The fur is also longer than his counterparts.

This type is mostly common with English and British Golden retrievers.

The latter usually features a lighter cream color than the former and has a more feathery coat as well.

Apart from having a large block head and long fur, block goldies also have eyes that are darker and rounder than their peers with light almond-shaped eyes.

While all Block head Golden retrievers look somewhat alike, there can be distinct characteristics based on the type.

For instance, a British block head Goldie appears to be smaller compared to the Canadian version.

The former also has lighter fur than the latter.

American block heads are more muscular than British and Canadian varieties. They also come with darker coats and lighter eyes.

Besides the size, different block head Goldies have different lengths of fur depending on the type.

Ideally, Canadian goldies have shorter fur than American and British varieties.

Also, the British types have prominent skulls and unique bone structures and thus are often block heads rather than narrow heads.

B. Slender Head Golden Retrievers

Slender head golden retrievers have narrower heads than block heads.

You can also call them wedge-shaped-headed Goldies.

The shape and size of head have everything to do with the bone structure of the skull.

The bones align in a way that the head assumes a narrow shape rather than a square one.

Slender head goldies also have shorter fur than block head retrievers.

Most of them belong to the American and Canadian golden retriever types.

British slender heads are very rare.

Can You Tell The Difference At Puppyhood?

Golden retriever adults are easy to tell apart. Just look at the shape and size of the head and you can instantly tell whether you are staring at a block head or a slender head Goldie.

However, when they are puppies, it can be hard to differentiate between the two.

As a matter of fact, most owners cannot tell whether their puppy is a block head or a slender head until they are several months old.

As a puppy, the head-defining attributes are barely noticeable. 

To complicate things further, one litter can have both block head and slender head golden retrievers.

Of course, if two block head parents have a litter, there is a high chance that all the puppies in the litter will look like mummy and daddy.

On the other hand, if one parent has a block head while the other one has a slender head, the litter may consist of puppies of both varieties.

Because it is very hard to distinguish a block head puppy from a slender head, you have to be careful when selecting the best puppy to bring home.

It is in your best interest to talk to the breeder and ask them about the genealogy report of the litter.

Obviously, if you are only interested in having a Golden retriever puppy of any type, you can skip the entire step altogether.

Can Both Be Show Dogs?

Both block and slender head goldies look very cute.

However, if you want to have your dog participate in the show ring, you will be forced to get the block head variety.

The large, square head of the block head is preferred over the narrow head or a slender goldie.

The breed requirement for a show dog is a large, block head, deep-set eyes, straight muzzles, healthy teeth, and wide faces. The eyes should be dark or medium-dark brown and the nose brown or black.

Other things include a symmetrical body, average length, friendly personality, the ability to listen to commands, and a pleasant facial expression.

This means that not all block heads are automatically accepted as show dogs.

If yours doesn’t meet the above requirements, he doesn’t stand much chance on the ring.


Golden retrievers, in general, have sweet temperaments. They are eager to please, smart, loyal, and non-aggressive.

If you have kids, they will enjoy having a Goldie at home. He is playful while still being gentle, especially around kids.

The best thing about them is that they love every member of the family and will create a special bond with every last one of them.

Whether you want to adopt a block or a slender golden retriever, you will have a dog with all the qualities of the Golden retriever.

They only look different physically but everything else is the same.

Expect a dog that is smart, brave, and non-aggressive. He would much rather be submissive than aggressive.


Like personality, there’s a very minimal difference when it comes to caring for a block head and slender dog golden retriever.

Both have lots of fur on their coats that shed very heavily.

Perhaps the only difference is that the block head has longer fur, meaning he needs frequent grooming than the slender type with shorter fur on his coat.

The stakes are higher if you are looking to have a show dog.

His care and grooming needs will be higher than your average pet.

He needs to maintain a certain weight and behavior, look a certain way, and be in good health always.

Prepare to spend huge sums of money on this.

Final Thoughts

The choice between a blockhead and a slender head golden retriever is not difficult to make.

In essence, both dogs are equal except for the shape of their heads.

Unless you want to participate in show events, simply pick the one that looks good to you. You will never go wrong.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3

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