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Is That A “Black” Golden Retriever? Do Black Golden Retrievers Exist?

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Sheena Paredes

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Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers wouldn’t be called that way if it weren’t for their beautiful, golden mane. But there are times when we come across a black Golden Retriever.

When this happens, we can’t help but ask if this equally attractive black coat retriever is still a Golden Retriever and if black Golden Retrievers actually exist?

Now, googling it must have only left you dumbfounded given all the contradicting info. But fret not, because Dog Food Guide is here to give you the real deal behind Black Golden Retrievers – whether such a breed exists, what you can expect from these lovely bags of fur, and more.

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What You Need To Know About Golden Retrievers

One of America’s most loved dog breeds, Golden Retrievers are high-spirited Scottish gundogs that enjoy hunting and field work. Besides that, you can also count on these smart four-legged creatures to do an excellent job in search-and-rescue ops and guiding the blind.

More than their intellect, dog lovers can’t help but fall in love with these dogs’ warm, lovey-dovey personalities, muscular, medium-size frame, and most of all, their dazzling golden coat.  

Back in the day, black sporting dogs gained popularity and were considered better hunting dogs. Sporting dogs born with other colors were seen as inferior. 

It was in the year 1868 when the first Golden Retriever breed came about. A dog called “Nous” – a gold-colored sporting dog with a wavy coat who had black parents – was bred to “Belle” – a liver-colored, now-extinct breed Tweed Water Spaniel. The outcome of that hookup was 3 yellow-colored puppies named Cowslip, Crocus, and Primrose. 

Is There Such A Thing As A Purebred Black Golden Retriever?

If you ask the American Kennel Club (or any Kennel Club for that matter), they’d say that there’s no such thing as a purebred golden retriever with a black coat. Simply put, black goldens are not AKC-registered purebred. And you know what? This can all be explained by science.

It all boils down to their genetic makeup. Like humans, several genes determine your dog’s coat color. When it comes to Golden Retrievers, the culprit behind these dogs’ lustrous golden coats (which can range from cream to light golden to dark golden and red) is the recessive gene – e/e genotype. 

Since ALL Goldens have these two recessive genes, no thoroughbred goldie can pass on the dominant “E” gene, aka “eumelanin,” that produces the black pigment. Of course, there’s always an exemption to the rule. Enter: Genetic Mutation.

Yes, genetic mutations can happen for some unknown reason. When it does, a purebred goldie can have patches of black fur on its body (think face and tail), but it won’t have an all-black coat. 

But you know what? Black-marked Golden Retrievers are Golden Retrievers through and through. The only difference is their genetic mutation that affected their color. From their physical characteristics down to their temperament, these black golden retrievers still share the same qualities as traditional Golden Retrievers.

Sadly, these lovable furballs can’t strut their stuff in AKC dog show rings since they don’t meet AKC dog breed standards.  

Black Golden Retriever

Black Golden Retrievers: What They Possibly Are?

So, what if you have an all-black Golden Retriever puppy or dog? Since they're not purebred goldens, what dog breed are they?

Now that you know that your ebony-colored golden retriever is not purebred, your pup most likely comes from a similar breed still a retriever but black like a black retriever). If not, then your black golden retriever might be from an entirely separate breed. 

It is also possible that your black golden retriever got its black coat from several generations back or the breeder added some other black breed to the mix making it a product of two breeds.

Flat-Coated Retriever

If your black “golden” retriever dog looks a lot like a Golden Retriever but with a shiny black flat coat and a narrow face, then you might have with you a rare kind of black dog breed called the flat-coated retriever. 

Like traditional Golden Retrievers, flat-coated retrievers are highly-intelligent, easy-to-train sporting dogs that are always happy, outgoing, and eager to please. They grow as tall as traditional Golden Retrievers and weigh as much. 

Difference Between A Flat-Coated & Golden Retriever

When it comes to physical differences, besides their black coat, a flat-coated retriever also looks leaner and more elegant.

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Personality- and temperament-wise, flat-coated retrievers are considered the happiest among all dog breeds. They are known to retain their puppy-like behavior and never grow up. They’re also highly energetic and require stimulation and enough exercise (even more exercise than their cousins). A lack of both can turn them into a bunch of mischief-makers. 

Given the limitless energy these flat-coated retrievers have, small children might find them a bit too rowdy. However, if you can keep up with this dog’s energy levels, a flat-coated retriever is still considered a perfect family dog that can get along well with children and other dogs or pets.

Labrador/Golden Retriever

If your dog isn’t a flat-coated retriever, your black golden retriever might be a mix between a Golden Retriever and a black Labrador Retriever, aka “black goldador.”

The most popular breed in the US, a Labrador Retriever shares the same temperament as a Golden Retriever. A great family dog, they’re also friendly, active, easy-going dogs that require lots of physical and mental stimulation.

So, what’s the difference between a Golden Retriever and a Lab? In terms of appearance, Labs show off a broader snout and a shorter mane.

German Shepherd/Golden Retriever

Besides mixing a black retriever in the breeding process, your black golden retriever puppy might also be a mix between a Golden Retriever and a black German Shepherd. 

Like Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds are also gentle family pets with boundless energy. However, unlike an uber-friendly Golden Retriever, German Shepherds are brave, agile furballs ready to protect you at the sight of danger. They're also a couple of inches taller than Golden Retrievers. 

Other Black Golden Retriever Look-Alikes

A breeder may also breed a Golden Retriever with other breeds with black coats to come up with a dog that looks a lot like a black golden retriever. This includes the following:

Is That A “Black” Golden Retriever? Do Black Golden Retrievers Exist? 1

What To Expect From Your Black Golden Retriever

If you have a black golden retriever whose parents are both Golden Retrievers, then the color won’t matter. Its temperament and everything else will be the same as a typical unmixed Golden Retriever. 

On the other hand, black golden retrievers born out of mixed breeds may show characteristics of the other breed.

How Should I Train My Black Golden Retriever?

Black golden retrievers still carry with them the genes of a Golden Retriever, so  you can expect these bundles of soft, feathery fur to be smart and highly-trainable. 

Since it’s not a purebred dog, the risk of a black golden retriever getting the common health issues experienced by most goldens is less. However, it’s still best to check with a licensed veterinarian. Our team may know a lot of information about dogs, but our site does not constitute pet medical advice.

Also read: Mini Golden Retrievers

Tips On How To Take Care Of Black Golden Retrievers

Black Golden Retrievers are often a product of dog breeds that are highly energetic and outgoing yet smart and friendly (think Labs, Retrievers, and German Shepherds). If you have this kind of dog, it’s best to ensure that the following is provided to keep your dog healthy and happy.

  • Regular playtime and lots of exercise (think hikes and walks)
  • Weekly grooming or brushing (at least twice a week)
  • Complete and balance diest
  • Regular check-ups

Since it’s not a purebred dog, the risk of a black golden retriever getting the common health issues experienced by most goldens is less. However, it’s still best to check with a licensed veterinarian. Our team may know a lot about dogs, but we do not constitute pet medical advice.

Final Thoughts

Black golden retrievers are not thoroughbreds in the eyes of all the Kennel clubs and are not a recognized breed. But this shouldn’t change anything. 

Even if they’re not registered, full-blooded Golden Retrievers, your black golden retrievers will still turn heads regardless. Your pet dog may not be AKC dog show-worthy, but your dog is absolutely worth keeping until the end.

Now, if you’re curious about your dog’s breed, there’s no harm in asking. Ask the breeder or check with a black golden retriever specialist.

Remember, though, that your dog, whether it is pedigreed or not, deserves to receive the same respect and TENDER, LOVE, and CARE (or TLC) that you’d give a thoroughbred dog.

Is That A “Black” Golden Retriever? Do Black Golden Retrievers Exist? 2

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