black golden retriever

The Black Golden Retriever – Do They Really Exist ?

Curious to uncover the truth about black golden retrievers? While they may appear irresistibly adorable and exude sweetness, the reality is that they are not genuine golden retrievers. This is because a true purebred golden retriever cannot possess a black coat due to the genetic basis of their golden color, which is determined by two recessive alleles.

If you happen to come across a dog being marketed as a “black golden retriever” either in person or online, it is highly likely that the dog is of a different breed altogether. Common examples include flat-coated retrievers or various Labrador or golden retriever mixes.

In this post, we will delve into several aspects related to black golden retrievers, including why their existence is scientifically implausible. We will also explore the dog breeds that may resemble black golden retrievers, such as flat-coated retrievers.

Additionally, we will shed light on the authentic color range of golden retrievers, highlighting the various shades they can naturally exhibit. It’s essential to provide a cautionary note regarding black golden retrievers, emphasizing the importance of accurate breed identification and responsible breeding practices.

Lastly, we will cover a wide range of additional information surrounding this topic, aiming to provide you with comprehensive insights into the truth behind black golden retrievers.

Are there black golden retrievers ?

Understanding the reasons behind the non-existence of black golden retrievers requires us to explore the intricate genetics involved. According to, a crucial gene called MC1R, or the E-Locus, plays a pivotal role in regulating the production of pigment in melanocytes, which in turn determines the color of the skin or fur.

Here’s where it gets interesting: The MC1R gene has two alleles that influence pigment production. The dominant allele, denoted as “E,” enables dogs to produce black pigment known as eumelanin.

On the other hand, the recessive allele, represented by “e,” causes all eumelanin to convert into phaeomelanin, resulting in a yellow or red coat color. Since all golden retrievers possess the recessive genotype “e/e” for the MC1R gene, it becomes genetically impossible for a purebred golden retriever to pass on the dominant “E” allele.

Consequently, golden retrievers will always display shades of gold or red in their coat, ruling out the possibility of them being black. While the color of a dog’s coat is determined by several other genes in addition to MC1R, it is important to note that dogs with the “e/e” genotype will consistently exhibit a yellow coat, regardless of the influence of other color genes.

Genetic Mutations

By delving into the scientific intricacies of the MC1R gene and its impact on coat color, we gain a profound understanding of why black golden retrievers cannot exist within the purebred golden retriever lineage.

Let’s delve deeper into the subject of genetic mutations and explore the possibilities of dogs that resemble black golden retrievers. While it’s true that genetic mutations can occur, it’s important to note that in golden retrievers, such mutations typically result in localized patches of black fur, commonly referred to as “birthmarks” rather than an entirely black coat.

Dogs that look like black golden retrievers

There are several dog breeds that bear a striking resemblance to the black golden retriever. One notable example is the flat-coated retriever, which shares similarities in appearance but is a distinct breed.

It’s worth noting that golden retrievers themselves have a fascinating ancestral history, originating from a crossbreeding between a wavy-coated retriever and a Tweed water spaniel. As a result, other retrievers and spaniels can also possess traits that closely resemble those of black golden retrievers.

Here are some dog breeds or mixtures that may exhibit a black coat similar to that of a golden retriever:

  • Flat-coated retrievers
  • Black Labrador and golden retriever mix
  • Other combinations involving Labrador or golden retriever mixes
  • Golden retriever and black German shepherd mix
  • Newfoundland
  • Hovawart

While these breeds or mixtures can share visual similarities with black golden retrievers, it’s important to understand that they are distinct breeds or mixtures with their own unique traits and characteristics.

Flat coated retriever vs golden retriever

When comparing golden retrievers and flat-coated retrievers, it becomes apparent that the flat-coated retriever closely resembles a golden retriever in terms of appearance. However, they also share many behavioral qualities. Here’s an in-depth exploration of the similarities and differences between these two breeds, drawing information from Dogtime and the AKC (American Kennel Club) as references specifically for the flat-coated retriever:

Similarities between golden retrievers and flat-coated retrievers:

  • Both breeds have feathering, which refers to the longer hair on their legs and tails.
  • Both were originally bred as hunting dogs, showcasing their shared instincts and capabilities in retrieving game.
  • Both breeds exhibit a puppy-like attitude for an extended period, although flat-coated retrievers tend to maintain their playful demeanor for a longer duration than golden retrievers.
  • Both breeds are energetic and require ample exercise to remain happy and healthy.
  • Both breeds are known for their affectionate and joyful nature, making them loving companions.
  • Both breeds have a tendency to chew and jump, emphasizing the importance of providing appropriate outlets for their energy.

Differences between golden retrievers and flat-coated retrievers:

  • Golden retrievers are known for their distinctive golden coat color, whereas flat-coated retrievers are either black or liver in color.
  • In terms of temperament, golden retrievers typically exhibit exceptional compatibility with children, whereas flat-coated retrievers may display exuberant behavior that might be too overwhelming for young kids.
  • Flat-coated retrievers may have a slightly taller and leaner build compared to golden retrievers.
  • Golden retrievers generally possess a slightly calmer disposition when compared to their more exuberant counterparts, the flat-coated retrievers.

Understanding these similarities and differences can help individuals make informed decisions when choosing between golden retrievers and flat-coated retrievers, taking into consideration their preferences for appearance, behavior, and compatibility with their lifestyle and family dynamics.

Golden retrievers may not come in black, but they do exhibit a range of shades within the golden color spectrum. These variations in coat color add to the beauty and diversity of the breed. Here are the different shades that golden retrievers can display:

  • Cream: Some golden retrievers have a lighter, almost creamy hue to their coat. This shade often exudes a soft and elegant appearance.
  • Light golden: Light golden retrievers have a radiant and pale golden color that imparts a gentle and graceful charm.
  • Gold: The classic golden shade is the most common and well-known color for golden retrievers. This warm and vibrant hue captures the essence of the breed.
  • Dark golden: Dark golden retrievers possess a deeper and richer shade of gold, showcasing a slightly more intense and captivating coloration.
  • Red: While less common, some golden retrievers can exhibit a reddish tint to their coat. This stunning shade adds a unique and striking element to their appearance.

It’s important to note that the specific shade a golden retriever displays can vary based on its genetic lineage and parentage. Interestingly, within a single litter of golden retriever puppies, you may find individuals with different shades of gold, illustrating the genetic diversity within the breed.

When referring to the color standard for golden retrievers, as defined by the AKC (American Kennel Club), their description emphasizes a “rich, lustrous golden of various shades.” This statement highlights the desirable range of golden hues that conform to the breed’s recognized standards. It’s worth noting that the AKC’s description does not include any mention of black as an accepted color variation for golden retrievers, reinforcing the fact that black-coated golden retrievers are not considered part of the breed’s standard.

It’s important to be aware of a quick warning regarding the existence of “black golden retrievers.” Breeders who claim to specialize in breeding black golden retrievers may be attempting to capitalize on the allure of owning a rare and unique variation of the golden retriever breed. However, it’s crucial to understand that black golden retrievers do not actually exist within the breed.

Similar concerns also arise with regard to English Cream Golden Retrievers and mini golden retrievers. While English Cream Golden Retrievers are still considered golden retrievers, they are often marketed under a different name due to their lighter coloring. However, the main distinction is that English Cream Golden Retrievers are still genetically golden retrievers, unlike the nonexistent black variation.

It is advisable to exercise caution when encountering individuals or breeders claiming to sell black golden retrievers. It is possible that these claims are driven by monetary motives rather than a genuine focus on breeding healthy and well-tempered dogs.

When evaluating any breeder who specializes in pet dogs, it is crucial to prioritize two primary goals: temperament and health. The color or appearance of the dog should be considered a secondary factor in the breeding process.

To summarize, it is important to understand that golden retrievers only exist in shades of gold. Therefore, if someone offers a “black golden retriever,” it is likely a different breed such as a flat-coated retriever or a mix between a golden retriever and a black Labrador or another black-coated breed.

If you have any further questions or inquiries regarding black golden retrievers, feel free to share them in the comments below. Additionally, if you know someone who may benefit from learning the truth about black golden retrievers or is interested in acquiring one, please share this information with them.

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