Block Head vs. Slender Head Golden Retriever: All the Differences You Need to Know

Pet Type


March 21, 2022

If it’s your first time purchasing a Golden Retriever, it’s safe to say that you must be overwhelmed with all the cute options available. This is because this breed has various varieties that can confuse the purchaser, and block head vs. slender head Golden Retriever is one of these confusions.

There are various differences in both these varieties, such as:

Block Head Golden Retriever

The block head Golden Retriever is known for its large head and better fur as compared to other dog breeds, and these features make them great contenders in dog shows. These dogs might not seem different in the puppy age, but as they grow older, the size and shape of the dog’s head become more evident. Also, this particular variety is more popular.

Slender Head Golden Retriever

As the name suggests, these dogs have narrow or domed heads, which makes them look cute. These dogs are quite similar in temperament as well as health metrics to block head dogs. For this reason, it can be overwhelming to choose between two, and it ultimately comes down to personal preferences. However, they aren’t proper show dogs.

Differences Between Block Head and Slender Head Golden Retriever


Appearance is one of the most significant differences between these two dog varieties. However, don’t forget that female Golden Retrievers have a more refined appearance.

Block Head Golden Retrievers

These dogs have huge blocky heads, and the fur is longer than other varieties of Golden Retriever. In the majority of cases, these dogs belong to British and English families. However, the British Golden Retriever has light cream in appearance as compared to the English dog, and the coat will be way more feathery.

In addition, their eyes are rounder and darker as compared to other dogs that have eyes shaped like light-colored almonds. The British block head dog is smaller as compared to the Canadian variety, and the fur is also lighter. On the other hand, the American variety tends to be more muscular as compared to Canadian and British varieties. Moreover, their feather coat is dark and has light eyes.

Keep in mind that different Golden Retrievers will have fur in different fur lengths, such as the Canadian variety having short fur as compared to British and American varieties. Moreover, the British Golden Retriever head shape is more prominent and has a unique bone structure.

Slender Head Golden Retrievers

These dogs have narrow heads and are also known as wedge-shaped-headed Golden Retrievers. However, the size and shape of the head can directly influence the skull’s bone structure. This is because the bones align to make a narrow shape. Also, their fur is shorter, and most of them are Canadian and American varieties. Not to forget, the British goldies hardly have a slender head.


It can be pretty easy to tell them apart when they are adults because you can easily tell the difference by looking at the size and shape of the head. On the other hand, it can be challenging to tell the difference when they are still puppies because the head-defining features are hard to notice. It might sound challenging, but both slender head and block head Golden Retrievers can come from one litter.

This happens when Golden Retrievers with block heads and slender heads mate. All in all, since it’s challenging to tell the difference, you must be careful while selecting a dog. It is best to talk to the breeder and ask for the litter’s genealogy report to make an informed purchase.

Suitability as Show Dog

Be it block head or slender head Golden Retrievers, both of them are cute. However, in case you want the dog to take part in the show ring, you have no choice but to get a block head variety because the square and large heads are more preferred. In addition, it has a symmetrical body, friendly personality, and average length.

Moreover, block head variety has pleasant expressions, which makes them suitable for shows. On the other hand, if your Golden Retriever doesn’t have these features, it won’t be accepted in the show ring, and the slender head dog is one of them.


For the most part, the Golden Retrievers tend to be sweet, and they are always non-aggressive, loyal, smart, and eager to please. Moreover, they are gentle and playful around kids. This is why it makes a great pet for families with kids. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that they love being a part of your family. Having said that, there are no personality differences between block head and slender head dogs.


The block head variety has a thick fur that sheds excessively as compared to the slender head variety, which makes it a challenge to clean up and vacuum. In addition, the block head dog also has long fur, which increases the need for regular grooming as compared to a slender head dog since it has shorter fur.

As already mentioned, block head dogs are show dogs, which increases their grooming and care needs, and a dog owner has to focus on the behavior and weight of the dog as well.

Body Shape

The block head Golden Retrievers appear thicker and bigger with their bulky bodies. In addition, their big head gives them a big-boned structure as compared to the slender head dogs that look smaller with their narrow head. However, if well fed, their overall body gains mass, making them look stockier.

Energy Level

The energy level of the block head variety largely depends on the behavioral training because it’s specifically trained for shows and has to be friendlier and playful the entire day. On the other hand, the slender head variety is quite playful and energetic, but they mellow down after some time.


Golden Retrievers are extremely eager towards pleasing people, and they are also intelligent. In addition, these dogs love praise and treats. That being said, the block head variety needs more training to behave well on the show rings when compared to the slender head dogs. However, it’s pretty easy to train either of them.


When it comes to the block head dogs, they have the bloodlines of show dogs, but the slender head Golden Retrievers have field or stock roots, hence their usual behavioral pattern.

The Bottom Line

Choosing between block head and slender head Golden Retriever isn’t challenging as long as you are sure about putting up your dog on a dog show. This is because other than the show dog characteristic and care, there is not a major difference in their personality and puppyhood. However, if you don’t want to put it up on a show ring, any of them are cute and good to play with.