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Black Golden Retriever? Can Golden Retrievers Be All Black, And Can You Get One?

Black Golden Retriever

If you’re a fan of our favorite dog groomer influencer, Girl With The Dogs, you may have spotted her video with a rare black Golden Retriever and fallen in love. Golden Retrievers are known for being shades of gold (it’s in the name), and as much as we adore the cream and red hues, the idea of different colors or gorgeous black fur in this beloved breed is tempting!

Golden Retrievers are known for their luscious locks that need special attention, with only the most nourishing dog conditioners. And their long, soft coats are part of their charm. This is why the idea of glossy black locks on a Goldie is so alluring.

But let’s look at whether you can find black Golden Retriever puppies for sale (or anywhere else).

In the video below, the dog is not actually a rare black Golden Retriever but a Golden Retriever Black Labrador mix.

So while a dog like a Chihuahua Great Dane mix is possible with medical intervention, looking for purebred black Golden Retrievers for sale will disappoint. Anybody claiming their black puppies are purebreds are likely trying to scam you, so be careful. 

Golden Retrievers have a very closed set of color genetics that determines their colors (which we’ll explain below), and the only way to get different colors is to outcross them with other breeds, like in the Golden Cavalier or Miniature Golden Retriever.

It is possible that Golden Retrievers get a pigment somatic mutation that can cause a black patch of fur. But this will never make their entire body black. 

But What If You See A Black Golden Retriever?

But What If You See A Black Golden Retriever?

Golden retrievers have a specific genetic makeup that produces their characteristic golden coat color. This means that they can only produce puppies with red or cream-colored coats. In short, if you see a dog resembling a black Golden Retriever, it is probably a different Retriever breed, called the Flat-Coated Retriever, with a signature black coat.

The other possibility is that it is a Golden Retriever crossed with another breed with a dominant black gene. This could include Golden Retrievers mixed with:

  • Black Labradors
  • Newfoundlands
  • Black German Shepherds
  • Flat-Coated Retrievers

The dog may be a Border Collie mix if you see a Golden Retriever with a black coat and white markings, such as white paws or white markings on the chest. Rare colors like Merle could only result from outcrossing with dogs like Australian Shepherds.

Of course, it’s important to note that crossbreeding can come with some risks (although this is true for purebred dogs too). When two different breeds are bred together, the resulting puppies can inherit a wide range of traits from both parents, making it difficult to predict their temperament, health, and physical appearance. 

In short, obtaining a puppy from an ethical breeder who is knowledgeable about the breed and committed to producing healthy, well-socialized puppies is always essential.

Why Is it Impossible To Get A Black Golden Retriever?

Let’s look at the genetics behind the Golden Retriever coat color. Dogs have various gene pairs (called alleles) that determine their coat color and patterns. Coat genetics is complicated, so we will only cover the two essential major genes determining Golden Retriever colors.

Firstly, black dogs have a kind of pigment called eumelanin, while red or yellow dogs have a pigment called pheomelanin. Goldens only have gene for pheomelanin, which means they can only be shades of red or cream (never black). This is unlike their black Labrador or Flat-Coated Retriever cousins that have dominant black coat genes.

The gene for black coloring is the E-locus gene, which is a dominant gene. The e-locus (small “e”) is recessive, and if dogs have the “e/e” genotype, they can only be shades of yellow or red. 

So all purebred Golden Retrievers have a recessive gene that ensures their signature golden cream, yellow, and red coloring. You can only get a black dog from a Golden Retriever parent by crossing them with a dog with a dominant E-locus gene. 

Now some sources on the internet claim that it’s possible to have a purebred black Golden Retriever because Flat-Coated Retrievers were used to create the breed. Therefore, some “recessive” genes for a black coat may show up in a Golden Retriever litter. The problem with this is that the gene for a black coat is a dominant gene, not a recessive one. This dominant E-locus has been bred out of the Golden Retriever bloodline and true Goldens only have recessive genes for cream, yellow, and red coats as per their breed standard.

This is similar to how it’s nearly impossible for two blue-eyed parents to have a brown-eyed child.

Finally, how rich or intense their color is, is determined by their recessive dilute gene. Dogs with dilute genes will be a light cream color, and those without may be rich dark red color.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Get Silver Golden Retrievers?

Just like the black Golden Retriever, silver or blue is not a color that exists in purebred Golden Retrievers. Silver, blue, or gray are dilute versions of the black color gene. To get a Golden Retriever that has this color variation, you would likely have to mix them with a silver dog like a Weimaraner or rare blue German Shepherd or Blue Bay Shepherd.

Can You Get A White Golden Retriever?

There is no such this as a white or platinum Golden Retriever. English Cream is the lightest color you can get, which is nearly white, but is a very dilute yellow color. It is unclear if any albino Golden Retrievers exist, and if they do, it is exceptionally rare. Albinism in dogs is a genetic mutation where they lack any pigment in the skin.

What Kind Of Dog Is Black But Looks Like A Golden Retriever?

The Flat-Coated Retriever looks exceptionally similar to the Golden Retriever, with glossy black coats instead of shades of gold. These dogs are slightly more independent, have longer noses, have a sleeker build, and are generally more energetic. When people are searching for “black Golden Retriever name,” on Google, they are probably thinking of the Flat-Coated Retriever.

Are there Green Golden Retriever Puppies?

In 2017, the internet went wild over a picture of a newborn green Golden Retriever puppy called Forest. The reality is just green fluid from the placenta stained the puppy’s fur while mom was in labor. This natural discharge would simply wash off over time.

Why Does My Golden Retriever Have A Black Spot On His Tongue?

Golden Retrievers are one of many dogs that get patches of pigment on their tongues, causing a black or purple spot. This is usually not more than a birthmark or a freckle and is nothing to worry about. Our article on black spots on a dog’s tongue goes over why this happens and when it is a problem. 

What Are The Rarest Golden Retriever Colors?

One of the rarest Golden Retriever colors is sometimes called “English cream,” which refers to a very light, almost white shade of gold. This color is more common in European bloodlines, and some breeders specialize in producing English cream golden retrievers. This color is still considered within the range of acceptable colors for the breed, and it does not represent a distinct genetic mutation or variation.

Another color that some people consider rare is the “dark red” shade. This color is deeper and richer than the typical golden or red shades, and some breeders selectively breed for this color. However, like the English cream color, it is still a standard color for Golden Retrievers.

It’s worth noting that while some breeders may advertise their dogs as being rare or unusual colors, it’s important to research and work with reputable breeders who prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs above all else. While coat color can be an interesting and appealing aspect of a dog, it should never be the sole reason for choosing a particular breed or breeder.

Final Thoughts

The idea of a black Golden Retriever (or silver or any other color) is charming, but there is no way for this to happen in purebred dogs. Suppose you do come across a black golden retriever. In that case, it’s likely that you are really looking at a Flat-Coated Retriever or a Golden Retriever Cross with Black Labrador, Newfoundland, Black German Shepherd, Collie, or another dog with a dominant black color gene.

Regardless if the puppy is a mixed or designer breed, it’s always important to obtain a puppy from a reputable breeder committed to producing healthy, well-socialized puppies. Dogs should be bred for health and temperament before color, which is the most important thing to look for when buying any puppy. Alternatively, adopting a rescue dog is always a good option.


Tamsin De La Harpe


Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions.

Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

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