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What Color Will My Golden Retriever Be?

What Color Will My Golden Retriever Be?

Golden Retrievers are a classic breed, and it’s hard not to fall in love with this gentle and loving doggo. If you are planning on getting a new puppy, then you may be wondering what color your Golden Retriever may turn out to be.

Well, contrary to popular belief, Golden Retrievers are not gold (but their hearts sure are made of gold). A Golden is known for its shiny and luscious coat, and it can vary in color from dark gold to cream, and you can even get red Golden Retrievers.

So, if you have been asking the question: what color will my Golden Retriever be? You have come to the right place. Barks in the Park are here to tell you everything you need to know about Golden Retrievers’ coat colors.

Golden Retrievers And Their Colors

Goldens are generally a solid color, and you might notice some light color variations on their tails, legs, and bellies. When it comes to the breed standard, The American Kennel Club only recognizes golden, light golden, and dark golden Golden Retrievers.

Most Goldens fall in this range, so your Goldie puppy should fall under one of those categories. Although there are only three main color categories, Goldens actually come in various colors. This is because there are loads of different golden hues and tones, and your doggo could be any one of them.

No two Goldens look the same, they may be gold, but they certainly are two very different shades of gold. Some Golden Retrievers can be so richly pigmented to the point that their coats look ginger or amber-colored. At the same time, some have much less pigment and look like fluffy snowballs. Your pup is still a purebred Golden Retriever, regardless of what shade of gold it is.

The main Golden Retriever colors include:

  • Standard Golden Retrievers
  • Light Golden Retrievers
  • Dark Golden Retrievers
  • Cream Colored Golden Retrievers
  • Red Golden Retrievers

Golden color

A golden or standard Golden Retriever puppy is the most common color when it comes to the coat shades of a Golden Retriever. The golden color is generally honey-toned and bright. This is generally the color that comes to mind first when you think of this wonderful breed.

The coat of a traditional Golden Retriever is a solid color of warm honey gold. Their coats are also double-layered. This is one of the more common Golden Retriever colors.

Light golden

There is also the light Golden Retriever coat color. A light gold doggo may appear white in different lighting, but its color is actually a bit of an ivory color. Goldies with this coat color are also referred to as English cream Golden Retrievers.

The light gold color is a very popular choice in the United Kingdom (hence the name). People there love a light gold pup. Light golden doggos are pretty common, and you can find them just about anywhere in the world.

When it comes to the Golden Retriever, light Golden Retrievers come in second place regarding the most popular color preferences. Goldens of this color make incredible show dogs and family pets. They are also accepted into shows by the standards of the UK Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club.

People usually struggle to see the difference between a traditional Golden Retriever and a light Golden. This is because light gold is a lot lighter than standard gold but darker than cream. Basically, they look like light traditional Golden Retrievers.

Red Golden Retriever

The red Golden Retriever coat color is a fairly rare color. However, it is not that rare that it is impossible to find. You can easily get your hands on one of these beauties. And when we talk about red, you should note that it is merely an umbrella term. A red Golden Retriever is generally a shade of amber, dark brown, red-gold, or mahogany.

A Golden Retriever puppy with this coat color, well rather an adult Golden, is often mistaken for an Irish Setter doggo. Various historians have theorized that the red hair gene was introduced to the Golden bloodline via interbreeding between Irish Setters and Golden Retrievers.

A red Golden Retriever has a very distinct coat color, and you may also find that its coat is not as wavy or long as other Golden Retrievers. Red is the rarest Golden Retriever color.

Dark Golden Retriever

The dark Retriever coat is a shade between the red and standard golden varieties. In most cases, Golden Retrievers that have this coat color are often mistaken for Red Golden Retrievers. This is understandable as the colors are similar, and it can be tricky to differentiate the two.

However, the best way to tell the difference is to look for some amber undertones. If there are no amber undertones, then you can be sure that your doggo has a dark golden coat. A dark Golden Retriever puppy meets the standards laid out by the AKC.

Dark Golden Retrievers will have no signs of rusty or dark brown shades in their coat. If your Golden Retriever puppy has dark golden fur from its tips to its roots, you can be assured that it will stay the same color into adulthood. If you do notice different shades in their coat, then there is a high chance that their coat color will change as they get older.

Dark Golden Retrievers generally have lighter-toned coats when they are born first. Their coat will then start to darken as they get older. Your doggo’s ears are the jackpot. The color of their ears can tell you what color your pup will be. This is because their ears change color before the rest of their body does.

Cream Golden Retrievers

Cream Goldens are very popular. This doggo’s coat is usually a pale brown, so pale that it may even appear white. Well, more of an off-white. Goldens that are cream are often mistaken for Labradors since their colors are so similar.

A Golden Retriever with a cream coat usually has a thinner coat compared to other colored Goldens. This colored Goldie is more common in the UK than it is in America. The UK Kennel Club accepts cream Golden Retrievers, but the AKC does not.

Golden Retrievers Can Change Color!

Your Golden Retriever puppy will not look the same or act the same once it grows up. So take this into consideration when looking for your new fur baby. Here are some important things you should note about the Golden Retriever coat:

These doggos change colors

Golden Retrievers are the chameleons of the canine world; they do change color over time. It won’t be a drastic change from cream to red. It will be a lot more subtle. A Golden Retriever changes a lot during its first year. Their top coat starts to grow in and slowly covers them in a stunning golden hue.

In most cases, a little white Golden Retriever will turn into a dark golden doggo as their coat color deepens over time. The coat color of your Golden Retriever does come down to its genetics. So it is best to take a look at the parent pups to get an idea of what your fur baby will look like when it gets older.

Determining a Goldie’s coat color as a puppy

You cannot really tell what color your Golden Retrievers coat will be by looking at its parents, but it is a decent indicator. Sometimes dark-coated doggos produce light-colored pups. It really does all come down to their bloodline.

The ears of a Golden Retriever are the best indicators. If their ears are darker than the rest of their body, then it is a telling sign that they will get darker with age. But if their ears are on the lighter side, then they will generally stay light until they reach full maturity.

By the time a Golden Retriever pup reaches the age of one, its coat will stop changing, and you can see your pup’s permanent color. You may notice as your doggo gets older (it’s senior years), the hair on their belly may start to turn blueish or black. This is completely normal and actually a healthy sign.

You can tell what color your Golden Retriever will be by looking at some specific areas on its body. The following are the few areas that you can focus on:

Behind their ears: The big clump of hair behind your doggos ears can give you a good indication of what color your Golden Retriever will be.

Tip of their ears: You may notice that your pup’s ears are not the same color as the rest of their coat. The color at the tip of the ear can give you a good idea of what their true color will be when they grow up.

Feathery hairs: Those flowing and wispy locks that hang from your pup’s legs and tail can also give you a good idea of what color your pup will be when they grow up.

However, it’s vital to keep in mind that the stage of life your golden is in might also affect its color. Your retriever’s fur will most likely be lighter when they are still puppies, but as they grow and mature, this will change.


What determines a puppy’s color?

Dogs contribute one allele from each locus when they breed, giving each gene a 50% chance of passing on to the pups. Each locus has one dominant allele, and this allele influences the features, such as coat color, displayed in the dog.

Is there a black Golden Retriever?

A “black Golden Retriever” is probably a flat-coated retriever, a Golden Retriever mixed with a black labrador, or a different black breed since Golden Retrievers only come in various shades of gold.

What is a dark Golden Retriever called?

Canadian Golden Retrievers are often the darkest, sometimes with a little more red in them.

Do Golden Retriever puppies get darker or lighter?

Golden Retriever coats typically darken with age after they reach adulthood. They may also lighten or turn grey in some regions of their bodies as a result of this darkening. Age-related changes in these regions, which include the nose and eyes, are common.

Final Thoughts

Every Golden Retriever will look different and be some shade of gold or a little bit darker. No matter what color Golden Retriever you end up with, you can be assured that you have a loving, fun, and loyal furry companion for life.

From a dark to a light Golden Retriever, they are all exactly the same. Only their coats make them different (and their unique personalities, of course). If your Golden Retriever has some odd colors outside of what is accepted by the AKC or the UK Kennel Club, then you may have a mixed breed doggo on your hands. 

If this guide has helped you out, why not read our post on potty training a Goldie next?