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White Face Golden Retriever

White Face Golden Retriever

Starting at the age of five or six, this is when Golden Retriever faces start to turn white. There can be other reasons for the change in colors, such as health conditions, sun, genetics, and stress.

Although age is the number one factor for this change in your dog’s face, this blog post will explore the other reasons why your Golden Retriever’s face is turning white. One reason being is that a medium-sized dog is more prone to premature aging, so the Golden Retriever size fits the profile.

Read on to find out more!


Why Is My Golden Retriever’s Face Turning White?

Your Goldie has a lifespan of ten to twelve years. At around the halfway mark, this is when the Golden Retriever’s face usually starts turning white. This is because they no longer produce melanin.

There are several other reasons why your Golden Retriever’s face may be turning white. If you’re concerned about your dog’s changing appearance, be sure to consult with your veterinarian for a definitive diagnosis. Here are the seven reasons why there could be a change in color in this breed:

1. Genetics

Many factors can affect the color of a Golden Retriever’s face. Genetics is one of the most important factors. The genes a Golden Retriever puppy inherits from its parents can determine the final coat color and the Golden Retriever’s facial coloring.

These purebred dogs are born with a light-colored coat that darkens as they grow older.

The final coat color is usually reached by 18 months of age.

Genetics can also be the reason for other health issues in Retrievers, such as hip and elbow dysplasia.

2. Age

The aging process in dogs is a lot faster than in humans, as we all know. Premature aging can happen in dogs at around the age of four just like premature aging can happen in some humans around the age of 30. Therefore human hair has a similar aging process to your pet. Another name for this is premature whitening or premature graying.

As puppies, a Golden Retriever is often born with a darker coat that lightens as they age. Any dog breed usually enters its senior years between the ages of seven and ten, but some larger breeds look more senior at an early age (five or six years old). This is part of their natural aging process.

The reason for your dog’s body (fur) or face looking white is due to melanin not being produced by their bodies after a certain age. Melanin is the pigment cells responsible for color.

Bigger dogs age faster than smaller dogs as certain genetics make the larger dogs stop melanin production earlier. That’s why your Golden Retriever might start turning white earlier than your friend’s Chihuahua.

3. Exposure to the sun

Exposure to the sun can cause a Golden Retriever coat to lighten or darken, depending on how much time they spend outdoors. This is one of the many reasons for pigment loss.

The sun’s rays can bleach your Golden Retriever’s face and make them age faster in appearance. Steps you can take to prevent this sun damage include putting sunscreen on your Golden’s face, minimizing exposure to the sun and wearing protective clothing on hot, sunny days.

Just make sure you don’t get the sunscreen in your Golden Retrievers’ eyes and don’t use human sunscreen on pets. A great sunscreen for your Golden Retriever is Epi-Pet Sun Protector Sunscreen.

4. Stress

It’s no secret that stress can take a toll on your Golden Retrievers’ physical health, but did you know that it can also affect the color of Golden Retrievers’ faces? That’s right; stress can cause a Golden Retriever’s fur to turn pale or even white. Stress prevents your Golden’s production of hair pigments.

So, if you’ve noticed that your Golden Retriever’s face has become paler or even white, it could be a sign that they’re feeling stressed.

Changes in their environment, loud noises, separation from their guardians, and even other animals in the home can cause Golden Retrievers to stress.

If you think your Golden Retriever is stressed, there are a few things you can do to help them relax. Spend some extra time cuddling and playing with them, and make sure they have a comfortable place to sleep. You might also want to try using a calming supplement like CBD oil to help ease their anxiety.

There are calming coats and blankets that have been proven to work. Music therapy and exercise are other great ideas to calm your Golden Retriever. Signs of stress include cowering, shedding, shaking, panting, humping, and yawning. Keep an eye out for this and if the problem persists, take your dog to your local veterinarian.

5. Vitiligo

There is a skin condition called vitiligo, and it can affect the color of a Golden Retriever’s coat in two ways. It can either lighten the color of the coat by causing the fur to go white or light pink, or it can cause patches of hair to turn white. It’s not contagious, but it is hereditary. Golden Retrievers usually get this skin issue in young adulthood.

It always starts on the face, and it causes the nose and lips to lose pigment. The process of the hair pigments losing color is called depigmentation. There are no current treatments available for your Golden Retriever to regain pigment in the affected areas. Golden Retriever owners that are dealing with this skin problem on their pets should know that it causes no discomfort.

There are two different types of vitiligo in dogs – congenital and acquired. Congenital vitiligo is present at birth, while acquired vitiligo develops later in life.

An interesting fact is that this is a rare skin condition that both humans and dogs can get. The best thing to do is focus on your Golden Retriever’s happiness and keep them healthy.

Fortunately, vitiligo only impacts the pigment of the hair, and will not cause the fur to fall out. Since Golden Retrievers are not hypoallergenic, you definitely wouldn’t want excess hair around your home!

6. Hypothyroidism

One of the most common problems that can affect the color of your Golden Retriever is hypothyroidism. This is a condition where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of the hormone thyroxine. It causes by lymphocytic thyroiditis or idiopathic thyroid gland atrophy.

These health issues usually happen in Golden Retrievers (and other breeds) between the ages of four and ten. Larger breeds are at a greater risk for these health issues.

This can cause a number of problems, including hair loss, dandruff, weight gain, skin infections, diarrhea, a stiff walk, depression, increased heart rate, anxiety, and lethargy. It can also cause the coat to lose pigmentation and become lighter in color.

Normally, the thyroid glands make the hormones that help cells function correctly. If these hormones aren’t being produced in the right amount, the metabolism is affected.

If you think your dog may have hypothyroidism, talk to your vet about treatment options. A vet will be able to give oral administration of a hormone to substitute for the work the thyroid is not doing. This hormone will help with weight gain and all the other signs.

Your companion will have to stay on this medication for life for the upkeep of their general health.

7. Kidney Disease

Kidney disease and liver disease are the results of toxins not being released from the body fast enough. It can be a very rare symptom of Golden Retrievers’ faces going white. This process develops over a long period of time.

Regular checkups will be able to pick up early diagnosis, and your veterinarian can start treatment immediately. If your dog is showing signs of this disease, such as weight loss, decreased appetite, bad breath, increased thirst, or increased urination, then you should take them to the vet for a checkup.

This disease is a serious condition that can lead to organ failure and death. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment, as the course of treatment will depend on the underlying cause of the problem.



Do all Golden Retrievers’ faces turn white?

Yes. At some stage, all Golden Retrievers’ faces turn white. Some dogs age more prematurely than others, and some faces will turn white due to their health.

Why does my Golden Retriever have a white face?

One of the leading causes for a Golden Retriever’s face turning white is the aging process. They usually turn white starting at the age of around five or six. For some, the aging process will start to show at about eight.

Vitiligo is another reason for a Golden Retriever’s face turning white. Vitiligo causes skin complications, and the dog will lose pigmentation. According to scientists, vitiligo is hereditary.

Can a dog’s face turn white from stress?

Yes. Young dogs who have anxiety or signs of it can go grey around the nose area (muzzle). The grey color may appear white to some people. Females are more likely to go grey/white on their muzzles than male dogs. The researchers who came to this conclusion published their findings in Applied Animal Behaviour Science.

Can the sun affect my dog?

Yes. The sun can affect your Golden Retriever and any other dogs, just like it can affect humans. Golden Retrievers can get sun damage, and too much sun can cause cancer. Areas you need to watch out for are the lips, nose, stomach, eyelids, and ears. These areas are prone to sun damage as they have less hair and, in some cases, no hair.

The sun’s rays can make your Golden’s face turn white.

What age does vitiligo start in dogs?

Vitiligo usually starts in young adulthood. The exact cause of Vitiligo is unknown, but it is thought to be an autoimmune disorder.

Can purebred Golden Retrievers have white on them?

Yes, Golden Retrievers can have white on them. Starting as early as the age of five or six, a purebred Golden Retriever’s face can turn white. This white fur could be due to aging (a common reason), sun, vitiligo, hypothyroidism, genetics, or stress. A Golden Retriever’s face can age faster than others due to its large breed size.

What is white spotting in dogs?

Most white spotting is caused by genes on the S locus. It doesn’t look like white spots but more like white areas on the fur. It’s due to an absence of melanocytes which are found in the hair follicles and the skin. Another name for this condition is epistasis.

What are the signs of aging in dogs?

There are a few key signs that may indicate your dog is getting up there in age. These include: graying or whitening of the fur, thinning of the fur, loss of muscle mass, arthritis or stiff joints, and changes in behavior, such as increased sleepiness or decreased activity level.

Age-related changes are normal and nothing to be concerned about, but health problems should be treated as soon as possible.

What are the first signs of hypothyroidism in dogs?

The first signs are putting on weight, lethargy, getting cold easily, brittle nails, shedding, and lack of interest in exercising. Another unique sign is the loss of pigmentation. This can cause the face area to start going white. At first, the signs are subtle.



All in all, many factors could make a Golden Retriever’s face turn white. Age is the most common reason for this color change but so are stress and genetics. Still, other reasons could be due to health issues. Most health issues might require medical attention, such as vitiligo (a skin condition), hypothyroidism, and kidney disease.

You should get your Golden Retriever checked out if you feel there are signs of these two health conditions.

If your Golden Retriever is happy and healthy while turning white, there is nothing to worry about. Turning white is just a part of life. To have all your Golden questions answered, head over to our website.