Black Golden Retriever – Your Complete Breed Guide

Golden retrievers are fondly referred to as “Golden” as a tribute to their distinctive blonde mane. The color is so characteristic, in fact, that it has divided the dog community on whether Black Golden Retrievers even exist. 

So, are Black Golden Retrievers a real thing? Unfortunately, there is no definite evidence that purebred Black Golden Retrievers exist, but there isn’t evidence against it either. If you do see a Black Golden Retriever, it is most likely due to a genetic mutation or cross-breeding. Purebred Black Golden retrievers are extremely rare. 

In this article, we will give you a detailed run-down of all things related to the mysterious Black Golden Retriever. From temperament to common health problems, this guide includes all the essentials for “Black Golden Retriever Parenting 101.” 

But first, we need to get a few things out of the way. Specifically, we will discuss whether the name “Black Golden Retriever” is even accurate, considering the breed’s ancestors, resemblance to the Flat-Coated Retriever, and scammy breeders.

What Are Black Golden Retrievers Called?

The American Kennel Club does not recognize the Black Golden Retriever as a purebred dog breed. This would suggest that Black Golden Retrievers are rare, but there is little consensus on what to call Black Golden Retrievers. 

Typically, what people call “Black Golden Retrievers” are actually Black Flat-Coated Retrievers.

Image from Instagram:@flatcoatedretrievers

However, Black Golden Retrievers do indeed exist, thanks to genetic diversity. This diversity can occur in many different ways. 

The Retriever Family Tree

Surprisingly, the distinctive golden shade was itself the result of a genetic anomaly. 

The first Golden Retriever pup was actually the runt amongst a Curly-Coated Retriever litter. Unlike his black-coated littermates, this puppy boasted a bright yellow coat- which is unusual for Curly-Coated Retrievers.

Later, this dog was bred with the now-extinct Tweed Water Spaniel, eventually producing a litter of blonde puppies. These yellow-haired furry tykes are what we now fondly call the Golden Retriever. 

But is it possible to see a Black Golden Retriever in rare cases, considering that the first Golden Retriever was itself a rarity? 

How Black Golden Retrievers Get Their Color

All purebred Golden Retrievers have the same recessive genes that are responsible for the blonde coat.

However, sometimes, variations in color can occur due to genetic mutations. These variations usually manifest as speckles of darker pigment, but a full coat of black hair is very rare.

The more plausible possibility is that the Golden Retriever has been bred with another black dog, likely a black Labrador Retriever due to its similarity to the Golden Retriever. It’s more likely that the pups’ entire coat will be a consistent black.

But keep in mind that a fully-black Golden Retriever might not be a purebred Golden Retriever- no matter how much a breeder might claim so.

How Long Do Black Golden Retrievers Live?


Purebred Black Golden Retrievers have a lifespan of 10 to 13 years. 

Even if your Black Golden Retriever has a mixed parentage, the lifespan doesn’t vary much. Unfortunately, both pure and mixed-breed Black Golden Retrievers are vulnerable to some common health issues.

Image from Instagram:@flatcoatedretrievers


Lymphoma is a very common health issue among purebred Black Golden Retrievers. It refers to a type of cancer that affects their immune system. 

Cancer treatment in dogs is still underdeveloped and very expensive. If left untreated, Lymphoma reduces the life expectancy of Black Golden Retrievers to a maximum of six weeks after diagnosis. 

Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia is a developmental deformity of the hip joints. Early symptoms of Hip Dysplasia among Back Golden Retrievers include:

  • Decreased activity 
  • Reduced agility (jumping, running, climbing stairs)
  • Unstable gait
  • Lameness in the rear portion

Hip Dysplasia isn’t a life-threatening health issue for Black Golden Retrievers. Even if your senior pooch develops Hip Dysplasia, they will still be able to live out the rest of their golden years. 

In the worst case, severe Hip Dysplasia can turn into arthritis of the joints. In this case, you and your canine companion are looking at a long journey of physical therapy, doctors’ appointments, and medications. But don’t worry- you’ll both survive it. 

Other Common Health Issues

The American Kennel Club urges responsible dog owners to have routine checkups for hypothyroidism, elbow dysplasia, and eye disorders. 

Of course, if you’re concerned about your furry friend’s health, then be as vigilant as you can with their diet and exercise routines.

How To Take Care Of Black Golden Retrievers?


Good diet practices for Black Golden Retrievers involve a balanced combination of quality and quantity. 

Be wary of overly-processed, colored kibble- they may be cheaper and look aesthetically pleasing, but they’re extremely dangerous to your dog’s health. 

Instead, look for high-grade and freshly-made dog food such as PetPlate. PetPlate dog food takes care of all your dog’s nutritional needs, which means you won’t have to use additional multivitamins.

Additionally, since your dog doesn’t know when to stop eating, you need to be in charge of meal moderation. Obesity is a common problem among Black Golden Retrievers, and irresponsible dog owners are the culprits.

The same goes for treats; use them sparingly for training and as rewards for good behavior. 


Because they’re a sporting breed, Black Golden Retrievers demand a lot of daily physical stimulation. If you slack off on the exercise, all that pent-up energy will come out in other undesirable ways.

Luckily, you and your pooch can keep each other in check by going on long walks and hikes together. If you cycle or skate, your four-legged friend will happily sprint alongside you. 

Dental Health 

If your Black Golden Retriever doesn’t take kindly to toothbrushes, try investing in dental water additives for oral hygiene. You can think of them as a canine-friendly mouthwash that you can slip into your dog’s water bowl.

Socializing And Mental Stimulation 

Since Black Golden Retrievers are known for their natural socialization skills, you might think you’re off the hook. But remember: socialization is extremely important for all puppies- regardless of their breed.

Are Black Golden Retrievers More Aggressive? Temperaments Of Black Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers are notoriously gentle, and the Black Golden Retriever is no exception. However, there’s more to these dogs than their tender nature. 


Black Golden Retrievers are very quick-thinkers, attentive, and independent decision-makers.

Because of their high intelligence, Black Golden Retrievers require frequent mental stimulation. Training them is the best way to quench their thirst for learning, whereas regularly exercising them ensures that they don’t get bored.

If they do get bored, they will start digging, chewing, and doing other “focused tasks” to keep themselves engaged.

Image from Best Bully Sticks

Easy To Train

Black Golden Retrievers can pick up on new commands very quickly. In fact, it is because of their high intelligence and ease of training that they are most commonly used as guide dogs for the blind or other-abled.

Despite their natural talent to impress, however, you should enroll your pup in a training school and socialization classes as early as possible. This is to avoid any missteps that new dog-owners might make.


Black Golden Retrievers have the instinct to grab things in their mouth. This is because their ancestors were bred specifically to retrieve game, and this tendency has been encoded in their DNA. 

While mouthing is natural and inevitable for young puppies, continued mouthing in adulthood can lead to problems. The best way to override this behavior is by taking your canine buddy to a professional trainer.

Do Black Golden Retrievers Shed? Grooming Tips For Black Golden Retrievers

Black Golden Retrievers have a thick double coat, and they’ll often leave traces of it all over the house. 


Black Golden Retrievers do shed seasonally- twice a year. Apart from their seasonal shedding, Black Golden Retrievers tend to shed moderately throughout the year as well. 

Unfortunately, this regular hair-fall means that Black Golden Retrievers are not hypoallergenic. If you or anyone in your house has acute allergies, then this friendly giant might exacerbate the symptoms. 


When they’re not shedding, you can get away with brushing your Black Golden Retriever once or twice a week. 

However, when your dog is going through a seasonal shedding, you can help relieve their discomfort by brushing them daily. During these times, you need to gear up and use a specialized deshedding brush, like the Furminator Undercoat Deshedding Tool.

Keep in mind that even the best weapons can’t brush out dead hair. The only solution here is a bath.


During shedding season, frequent baths can help loosen up dead, matted hair. 

Otherwise, Black Golden Retrievers are pretty self-sufficient bathers. You need only bathe them once every few months depending on their needs or if they get super dirty.

Make sure that you’re using the right dog shampoo, like Mighty Petz 2-in-1 Oatmeal Dog Shampoo and Conditioner. Your dog’s skin is very different from your own, and you need to use a pH-balanced shampoo to avoid rashes or chemical burns. Consult with your vet before using any new product on your dog.

Are Black Labs And Golden Retrievers The Same? No, Black Labs and Golden Retrievers are not the same. While they are both sporting dogs and belong to the same “Retriever” category, Black Labs are a completely different breed than Golden Retrievers.

Can 2 Golden Retrievers Have Black Puppies? It is very rare for two Golden Retrievers to have a black puppy. However, it’s not scientifically impossible. A black purebred Golden Retriever puppy is the result of a genetic mutation that only affects pigmentation- everything else is likely very normal and healthy.

Do English Cream Golden Retrievers Have Black Skin? Yes, English Cream Golden Retrievers have black skin. This is in huge contrast with their otherwise light-colored coat. A common reason for their black skin is hyperpigmentation.

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Pete Decker