The finest tool for a prospective puppy purchaser or breeder to use for investigating the pedigree of a puppy or the ancestral lineage of a particular parent is http://k9data.com Please keep in mind that this site is an 'honor' system, which means that the information is only as honest and reliable as the person who input it.
If you see names in the pedigree such as Goldrush, Pekay, Jayba, Asterling etc....these are American kennels and would indicate an American lineage. Also I would advise that if you are researching an animal and you click back more than a couple generations and they are AKC registered, this is probably not an English animal. Canadian animals have had English influence for longer than we have here in American so you might go back a few generations there. Because of the travel exchanges between England and Canada, diversity has remained stronger in those Canadian lines.
**As a warning to pedigree reviewing. There are an increasing number of 'English Breeders' - you really need to look at pedigrees more than ever! There are quite a few English puppy mills here in America that sell full registration animals to people without concern of the future breeding practices. We are now seeing these animals in breeding and would be an easy giveaway to the quality of their breeding program. If they are using these dogs; their hearts were not aimed at producing healthy wonderful examples of the breed. Really a good reputable breeder will not have to advertise on the internet and can rely solely upon referral and reputation to keep litters under steady reserve. If someone is using puppy mill animals in their breeding program that really says a lot. Same with Americans in the lineage - if that is your intent, then that is fine - but you can no longer rely upon 'this is an English litter' just verify it is if that is what you are seeking.
As importing Golden Retrievers becomes more and more popular, a wider variety of lines is available to English enthusiasts here. This will serve to keep the diversity high and more closely model the breeding practices of Europe/UK. Changing the Culture of breeding is a bit slower, but we will get there. Never before has there been such information available to consumers and so much cooperation among quality minded English breeders here. This information on both sides of the breeding equation will ultimately serve to preserve quality standards here!
Consistent use of Champion lineage does have an effect. While I realize that most puppy families want a loving pet and are not so interested in studying pedigrees as breeders are; there is a benefit to seeing awarded animals in your lines. This means that the animals individually were so superlative that they could outshine their peers in the conformity ring. Generations of health, testing, and only breeding champions or near champions together lends to the consistency of quality in the line. Another important factor in breeding is breeding for TYPE. Take Snowflake as an example, this breeder started with the Champion factor in her lines, but through generations of breeding in methods called linebreeding and outcrossing she chose characteristics that she wanted to blend and 'harden' in her lines. This may have been breeding a blocky head stud with her blockiest of females and then crossing that puppy years later with an outside dog that had a full, luxurious coat. In this method, each small aspect of the whole is taken into consideration and the breeder must be able to acknowledge the strengths of their lines and more importantly the weaknesses in order to provide the right blend of redundancy with corrective outcrossing to perfect the look (and or temperament) of the dog as a whole. This can only be achieved when you have the reputation to access other superlative lines and the patience to wait for years and generations to continually improve your own lines. This type of breeding doesn't always include the flash of Pedigree, but it improves the health and conformity in attaining a TYPE through diversity (an important, often overlooked factor, in preventing genetic defects from entering one's lines).
Lastly on the issue of comparing American Goldens and English Goldens. As I've said before, they came from the same place; Scotland is where this breed was developed. However, due to dictates of standard from the AKC vs. virtually all the rest of the world - they really have quite a few differences. I contend, as always, that the beauty is not in the coat color; but in the health heritage and the temperament traditions. Here is an interesting link that does some analysis on the body types and their differences between the breed standards. http://brightongoldens.com/AboutGoldens.html I do want to point out however that the particular website is of a Pet Broker - not a breeder. This person imports the puppies and then resells them - not ideal IMHO. It is an interesting analysis of the two types of Goldens.
So, go see for yourself the standard as dictated by THE Kennel Club (UK) http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/item/108
And, our standard as dictated by the AKC http://www.akc.org/breeds/golden_retriever/,
Because English standard enthusiasts here are being omitted from the show ring in AKC events, there is a movement afoot to attempt to modify the standard to be inclusive of what the rest of the world adheres to. This, like so many things, is a politically charged arena. As the sector of Breeders and Exhibitors and puppy families who admire the English standard grows, finding an arena to compete in will become more and more important.
On occasion someone will ask me about my opinion on 'Golden Doodles'. Well, as you are already aware, I am one opinionated dog breeder! Boy oh boy do I have an opinion about that abomination. Look, a poodle is a fine dog for some people. There are poodle enthusiasts the world wide and I'm sure for their particular purpose and characteristics, Poodles are just fine. BUT A POODLE TEMPERAMENT AND A GOLDEN'S TEMPERAMENT COULDN'T BE FURTHER APART!! I think that a Golden is the finest all around dog you can fine. Loving, loyal, smart, companionate, humorous, gentle, patient, but that is not the same as a poodle. What will you end up with; a poodle in a golden's body or a golden in a poodle's body? A sweet loving Golden with the yippy un selfassured nature of a poodle? Golden's have much heavier frames than poodles do. Did the solid body type get mixed onto a light poodle frame? Oh and the fur, the fur....the breeders brag about the fur. They are taking the hypoallergenic properties of the poodle and hoping to improve the temperament of the poodle as well. What happens if you get the Golden's shedding coat and a poodle temperament? There are just too many unknowns in this experiment. This is why we have breed standards. The Golden's was dictated to be one way and the poodle's another. This is a bad, unreliable experiment that has ended poorly on more than one occasion. Get the poodle if you want one, get the golden if you don't; don't get the mix!
What do you get when you cross a Golden doodle with a Cock-a -poo? A Cocka-Doodle-do-Poo! That is just how ridiculous it is.