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Black Golden Retriever

What is a Black Golden Retriever?

The “Black Golden” is not a variant of the Golden Retriever. But rather, it is a separate breed known as the Flat-Coated Retriever. Breeding a Golden Retriever with a black Lab may also produce a pup with a black coat, but it increases the puppy’s risk for developing a myriad of genetic problems.

Black Golden Retriever

Do Black Golden Retrievers really exist? Aren’t Golden Retrievers supposed to be... golden?

Scrolling down my Facebook newsfeed, I saw photos of pet owners and their “Black Golden Retrievers.” I found people claiming that these are rare Goldens, and some backyard breeders are even selling these puppies at a premium.

As someone living in the Digital Age bombarded with information, you expect to know everything in a flash. Unfortunately, many of this information is downright false, causing even more confusion among the pet owner community. I knew something was not right, so I dug deeper and asked people around.

Do you want to know what I learned about the Black Golden Retriever? Stick with me here as I unravel the truth behind this mysterious black pooch. This article will also explain the difference between the Black Golden vs. Golden Retriever.

What are Black Golden Retrievers Called?

The Black Golden Retriever is a creature similar to the Loch Ness monster and chupacabra. Many people swear this canine breed exists simply because they do not wholly understand what they see. A similar problem exists with the “English Cream Golden Retriever.”

Moreover, the so-called Black Golden Retriever is not recognized by the American Kennel Club. A purebred Golden Retriever can't have a solid black fur because its golden coat is the result of two recessive “E” alleles.

Let’s do a quick recap on genetics. So, get ready to be nerdy!

Melanocytes are cells found in the hair follicles and bottom layer of the epidermis. These cells are responsible for producing melanin that determines the color of the skin, hair, and eyes. Despite the huge range of coat colors and markings, there are only 2 pigments that determine the color of canines: eumelanin and pheomelanin.

Full-strength eumelanin is black, while pheomelanin is red by default. Genes manipulate the intensity of the pigments. Thereby, diluted eumelanin can create other colors such as liver, grey, and pale brown. Pheomelanin, on the other hand, can range from red mahogany to copper, gold, cream, or tan.

Eight genes dictate the coat colors in dogs, and the Golden Retriever has the recessive “e/e” genotype. As such, a purebred Golden Retriever will always be a shade of gold, copper, or cream. Although rarely, a pigment somatic mutation can occur, which manifests as a black splotch on the face.

So, what is this dog people call the Black Golden Retriever? This gorgeous pooch with shiny, jet-black hair is no other than the Flat-Coated Retriever, also known as the Peter Pan of the canine world.

Black Golden Retriever vs Golden Retriever: What’s the Difference?

Apart from the coat color, the Golden Retriever and Flat-Coated Retriever, a.k.a “Black Golden,” have a few other differences. Without further ado, let me compare these gorgeous canines, so you can get a feel on which breed works best as your furry pal.


As the name suggests, Golden Retrievers have double coats that range in a shade of red mahogany, gold, and cream. The AKC says nothing about being black. On the other hand, Flat-Coated Retrievers have a lustrous moderate-length coat that is either black or liver and lies eponymously flat.

Both breeds have long plumes at the legs, tail, underbelly, and around the ears. The Black Retriever has a longer head and snout compared to the Golden Retriever. Other than that, these canines look similar as they both project a smart, kind, and happy expression.

Size and Weight 

The Golden Retriever features a sturdy and muscular built. In general, a male Golden stands between 23 to 24 inches tall and weighs between 65 to 75 pounds. Females are generally shorter and lighter. The average female Golden is 21.5 to 22.5 inches tall and weighs between 55 to 65 pounds.

Flat-Coated Retrievers are similar to Golden Retrievers in terms of structure and weight. However, these so-called Black Goldens feature a leaner and more elegant silhouette.

Temperament & Behavior

Perhaps the most lovable qualities amongst all Retrievers are their innocence and childlike love for their humans. As such, these cheerful dogs will do well with any loving pet parent. Both breeds are also tolerant of young children and other pets.

Due to their hunting roots, these playful gun dogs may like chasing and fetching a little too much. But rest assured neither breed is aggressive with people or animals because they are too friendly to boot. The only downside is that neither of them would make an ideal watchdog or guard dog. I won’t be surprised if they would greet a burglar and give him a house tour!

On the bright side, Goldens and Black Retrievers make ideal companions for the adventurous owner or laidback pet parent. Whatever lifestyle you have, adopting any of these wonderful breeds is a positive idea because they just want to be on your side all the time.

If there are a few things that make the Flat-Coat Retriever a little different from his cousin, it has to be his rambunctious side and love for courting trouble. The AKC considers the Flat-Coat Retriever as the canine counterpart of Peter Pan. But in my opinion, he is the canine Loki, Doggo God of Mischief!

Some pet parents say their Blck Goldens never seem to grow up at all, retaining their impish traits into old age. Depending on your tolerance, this can be either amusing or exasperating.


With tender loving care, your Golden Retriever pup can live up to 12 years. But as with any purebred dog, he will become vulnerable to diseases as he ages. Commonly seen issues among this dog breed include: skin allergies, cataracts, heart disease, hip and elbow dysplasia, luxating patella, hypothyroidism, and progressive retinal atrophy.

However, the number one cause of death in Golden Retrievers remains to be cancer. Over 60% of Golden Retrievers in the USA develop cancer by the time they are five-years-old and older.

Flat-Coated Retrievers are also plagued by hip dysplasia and luxating patella as they grow older. But in general, these dogs have fewer health risks compared to their cousins. The only caveat is that they have short lifespans. Flat-Coats may live up to 14 years, but many of them cross the Rainbow Bridge by the age of eight.

Price and Costs 

A purebred Golden Retriever and purebred Black Golden Retriever ranges between $500 to $2,000. Puppies priced at the lower end of the spectrum may be dogs coming from a backyard breeder or pet store without proper documentation. If you wish to ensure excellent bloodlines, expect to shell out between $2, 000 to $3, 000.

However, you don’t have to break the bank to have these dogs in your life. Adoption fees for both breeds through shelter costs only $300 or less.


Golden Retrievers and Flat-Coated Retrievers shed quite a bit all-year-round, and they molt profusely during the spring and fall. The best way to prevent loose hair from getting onto carpets and furniture is to brush your pooch at least 5 to 10 minutes a day.

Fortunately, you do not need a plethora of grooming tools. A bristle brush, slicker, and a metal comb is enough to make grooming sessions easy breezy.

Since these dogs have dense featherings at the legs, tail, underbelly, and around the ears, regular check for tangles is essential. Goldens and Flat-Coated breeds do not need a haircut, however, a professional trim is recommended for maintenance.


These heavy shedders are as energetic as the Energizer Bunny. Regardless of how busy you are, you need to spend at least one hour to get active with your pooch. This exercise can come in the form of playing games, swimming, going for a trial run, etc. Golden Retrievers are particularly prone to obesity, so never ignore any opportunity to have a workout with your dog.


The Golden Retriever and Black Golden Retriever are incredibly smart dogs and easy to train. Both canine breeds are eager to please their pet parents and thrive on positive reinforcement. Hence, you can effortlessly house-train and teach these pooches basic commands.

Also, these retrievers have not lost their affinity for water, so you can train them to hunt waterfowl. But although these canines are both receptive to training and obedience, the Flat-Coated Retriever is better left as a companion or gun dog because he is a bit stubborn when you teach him other roles.

Goldens, on the other hand, is quite versatile. These dogs can perform a special mix of skills, such as:

  • Guiding the blind and aiding physically challenged individuals
  • Providing affection and comfort to depressed patients
  • Participating in search and rescue missions
  • Sniffing out contraband for law enforcement
  • Picking up on symptoms and prompting patients of an oncoming attack

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 3 types of golden retrievers?

Golden Retrievers come in three varieties: American, Canadian, and English. American Goldens feature several lustrous shades of gold and moderate feathering, while their English counterparts have shorter curlier coats that come in creamy shades. Canadian Retrievers have a thinner frame and darker coats.

Do Retrievers have black skin?

Golden Retrievers have pinkish skin but unfortunately, they are prone to allergies and skin disorders that may darken the skin.

Can two Golden Retrievers have black puppies?

Two purebred Golden Retrievers can't have black pups because they do not have the dominant “E” allele. 


The “Black Golden Retriever” can only be as realistic as the Pink Unicorn. While genetic mutations are plausible, two purebred Golden Retrievers can't produce a pup with a solid black coat. After all, the mutation will only manifest as a small patch of black fur, similar to a human birthmark.

The Black Goldens that you see on the street or social media could be a Lab Golden Retriever mix or a different breed, such as the Flat-Coated Retriever. The latter is not as popular as the Golden Retriever, but they are loving and playful dogs nonetheless.

Flat-Coated Retrievers are fantastic family dogs. These playful and affectionate canines behave towards their humans as kids do. If you are looking for a furbaby that will stay forever young temperamentally, this canine Peter Pan is your best bet!

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