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Can Golden Retrievers Be Black?

Can Golden Retrievers Be Black?

The black Labrador retriever is one of the most popular breeds of dogs. But for many dog lovers, nothing beats the sunny disposition and goofy nature of a Golden Retriever. And even though the golden variations of this breed are easy to find, adopting a black Golden Retriever puppy may prove more challenging.

But there’s a reason for the apparent shortage of black Golden Retrievers. If you’re considering adopting a new pet, part of responsible pet ownership is knowing about the breed. Particularly when it comes to breeds that don’t seem to fit the mold…

Luckily, our guide on black Golden Retrievers will give you everything you need to know and help you make an informed and responsible decision when adopting.

Can You Get A Purebred Black Golden Retriever?

Purebred Golden Retrievers are known for their trademark lustrous golden coats. After all, the breed is even named after its coat color! But it may interest you to know that the dog’s genetics causes this light golden color.

Golden Retrievers carry a recessive genotype (the ‘e’ allele) that is responsible for the color of their fur. Lighter coat colors that range from cream to dark golden or red directly result from these alleles.

A dog breed with dominant genotypes (‘E’ alleles) typically has darker fur or a black coat. These ‘E’ alleles are what produce black pigment in the fur, making it impossible for breeds without the genotype to have black fur.

By this reasoning, it’s safe to assume that breeding two purebred goldens won’t produce black puppies. So, do black Golden Retrievers exist? Well, the easy answer is no. Purebred black goldens don’t exist and aren’t recognized by any canine associations.

Unfortunately, many dog owners who think they’re adopting a purebred black Golden Retriever are duped by breeders. These breeders charge extreme amounts of money for mixed breeds rather than purebred dogs knowing that a black Golden Retriever doesn’t exist on paper!

With so many tricksters out there, it’s essential that you adopt your Goldie from a reputable breeder. Alternatively, if you like the aesthetic of ‘black Golden Retrievers,’ there are plenty of Golden Retriever mixes in shelters that have a black coat. And they’re looking for a good home!

What Are Black Golden Retrievers Called?

Since the black Golden Retriever doesn’t technically exist, there is no official name for Golden Retriever mixes with a black coat. However, if you’re looking for a dog resembling a ‘black Golden Retriever,’ there are several other breeds that make the cut.

Most black-colored Golden Retriever pups are actually mixed breeds. The most common mixes that result in a black Golden Retriever lookalike are:

  • A Golden Retriever and a black Labrador Retriever
  • A Golden Retriever and a black German Shepherd

But these aren’t the only Golden Retriever mix pups that resemble what is mistakenly dubbed the black Golden Retriever. The Golden Retriever breed actually comes from a mix between a curly-haired retriever and a tweed water spaniel. Because of their original breeding, a Golden Retriever mix can resemble a number of different spaniel and retriever breeds.

In reality, what most people misinterpret as a black Golden Retriever is usually a flat-coated retriever. Check out our homepage if you want to learn more about different dog breeds. 

The Difference Between A Golden Retriever And A Flat-Coated Retriever

Since flat-coated retrievers closely resemble the look we typically associate with Golden Retrievers, they are often misidentified as black-colored Golden Retrievers. But in actuality, these two breeds aren’t similar at all!

Firstly, a purebred Golden Retriever will always have a golden coat. It may range from a light golden or cream color to a dark golden hue. But it will never be dark enough to be considered brown. Instead, it is usually only dark enough to be classified as bronze or red.

In stark contrast, a flat-coated retriever usually has a dark brown or black coat. Similarly, a flat-coated retriever has a different stature from a Golden Retriever. They are slightly taller and more muscular, whereas Golden Retrievers tend to be shorter and have more rounded features.

While both flat-coated retrievers and Golden Retrievers are historically considered hunting dogs, their personalities are also dissimilar. Golden retrievers have a gentle nature that makes them fantastic family pets. They usually get on well with small children and other animals.

On the other hand, flat-coated retrievers are much more energetic and typically require more attention and exercise than their counterparts. They are less patient and do better in families with older children.

Their hunting background also makes them prone to chase smaller animals like cats and rodents. So if you have any other pets, you may want to consider adopting a Golden Retriever instead!

Although the flat-coated retriever has been dubbed the ‘black Golden Retriever,’ they don’t have the same personalities or care requirements as a standard Golden Retriever. But if you wanted a black Golden Retriever for cosmetic reasons, a flat-coated retriever is the closest breed you can get!

If you have a Goldie of any color, you’ll know that their grooming requirements are pretty intense. That’s why we’ve put together a guide on how to trim Golden Retrievers’ paws to help you out!

Can A Purebred Golden Retriever Have Black Markings?

While you can’t find a black Golden Retriever, there are some retrievers who have black markings. A Golden Retriever can be bred with a black patch due to a genetic mutation.

However, this doesn’t mean that the mutation will result in an entirely black breed! Even when there’s a genetic variation, two purebred retriever parents won’t be able to produce a black pup. The black fur will only be achievable if the pup has mixed-breed parents.

The black patches on goldens typically only mark a small area of their coat. They may have black markings on their face or tail or smaller black patches of fur scattered around their bodies. However, most of their coat will still exhibit the golden hue the breed is known for!


What are the three types of Golden Retrievers?

Golden retrievers are a pretty common breed. So it may surprise you to know that there are three different types of goldens! And the type dictates the color of their fur. Light, cream-colored goldens are known as Canadian goldens. Whereas golden and dark goldens are known as English and American Golden Retrievers, respectively.

What type of Golden Retriever is rare?

All three types of Golden Retrievers (Canadian, English, and American) are common dogs for breeding. But American goldens that have a darker, rust or bronze-colored coat are some of the rarest variations of the breed. They even have a different coat, with sleeker, straighter fur than their English and Canadian cousins.

What breeds make a black Golden Retriever?

Black-colored Golden Retrievers are actually Golden Retrievers at all! They’re a variation of mixed breeds that resemble the appearance of a standard golden, but in black. Most of these mixes involve one Golden Retriever parent. The parent is then bred with dogs like black Labradors, German Shepherds, and even Newfoundlands.

The breed that bears the closest resemblance to a black-colored Golden Retriever is a flat-coated retriever. This breed has many of the same physical features, which is why it’s often mistaken for a Golden Retriever with a black coat.

Final Thoughts

No matter how hard you search, you’ll likely never find a black Golden Retriever. And that’s because they don’t exist! These dogs are actually a mixed breed masquerading as purebreds! But if you do want a purebred dog that resembles a ‘black Golden Retriever,’ the flat-coated retriever is the perfect pick.