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Black Golden Retriever: Info, Pictures, Origin & History

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on June 1, 2024 by Dogster Team

Black Golden Retriever side view

Black Golden Retriever: Info, Pictures, Origin & History

Can Golden Retrievers be black? Many people believe that they only come in a simple shade of gold, hence the name. However, Golden Retrievers can have an entire black coloration which enhances their long, fluffy coat and generally attracts many dog owners. These dogs have a lush, ebony-colored coat that shines. These are beautifully and fascinatingly colored dogs that have much to offer in the form of appearance and temperament. The Black Golden Retriever is highly intelligent and playful, with a loyal nature. Not only is their appearance striking, but their origin and history are fascinating as well.

Breed Overview


21 – 22 inches


55 – 75 pounds


10 – 12 years


Cream, yellow, golden, red

Suitable for:

Active families, service roles, therapy, hunting, companionship


Loyal, attentive, affectionate, active

If you are interested in learning more about this Golden Retriever coloration, then this article is perfect for you!

Black Golden Retriever Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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The Earliest Records of Black Golden Retrievers in History

The Black Golden Retriever originates from the United Kingdom, England, and Scotland. The Black Golden Retriever is not an AKC-registered purebred as it most likely has a mix of another dog breed in their ancestry – the Flat-coated Retriever or Labrador Retriever.

In 1868, a Scottish man bred a black wavy coated retriever to a Tweed water spaniel which produced a litter of three yellow puppies which were the base for continued breeding. He then used the sandy-colored Bloodhound and a flat-coated black retriever in breeding efforts to produce his goal breed. The result was an energetic and loyal dog that could retrieve downed waterfowl during a hunting trip.

The main reason the Black Golden Retriever exists is that it carries recessive genes from the flat-coated Black Retriever. It is also possible that a breeder added a new dog breed into the mix without reporting it to breeding authorities. The dog’s black coat could be from just one generation back in their ancestry lineage or span back several generations.

A black Golden retriever and Newfoundland mixed-breed dog walking through the forest
Image by: Bryan Neuswanger, Shutterstock

How Black Golden Retrievers Gained Popularity

Black Golden Retrievers first gained popularity in the 19th century when black was a preferred and rare color for a Golden Retriever to have. The athletic build and affectionate temperament drew in dog owners worldwide. Since this dog features a genetic mutation, there was originally a lot of fascination and confusion as to how such a unique-looking Golden Retriever was produced. The Black Golden Retriever has all the same temperament and husbandry requirements as the original Golden Retriever; however, their coat is more sought out and unique.

Furthermore, excitement over this color mutation spans way back and better quality lineages have been produced from this coloration to create a stark black and shiny coat that can be long or short, wavy, or straight.

Formal Recognition of Black Golden Retrievers

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Black Golden Retriever is not the official color form or dog breed relating to the Golden Retriever. The AKC states that their standard coat for a Golden Retriever is a rich, lustrous golden coat of varying shades, disallowing extremely light or dark coats. Following this information, it can be concluded that the Black Golden Retriever is considered a “polluted” genetic mutation of the purebred Golden Retriever.

However, the Black Golden Retriever has been part of many Golden Retriever clubs if their bloodline closely dates back to the generation of this dog breed.

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Top 5 Unique Facts About Black Golden Retrievers

1. Genetic Mutation

 The Black Golden Retriever is not a breed itself, but it can be considered a genetic mutation with a history of a Golden Retriever in their blood. This comes from generations of other dog breeds being mixed with the Golden Retriever to produce the ‘black’ coat we now see on the Black Golden Retriever.

Black golden retriever sitting in the middle of high grass outdoors
Image Credit: Fotoshautnah, Pixabay

2. Brains and Strength

Golden Retrievers are well-known and loved for their glamorous appearance and energetic and loyal temperament. Since the black coat is generally just a genetic mutation, the Black Golden Retriever has acquired the same popular temperament. These dogs are smart and easy to train while being incredibly strong and agile.

3. Rarity

The Black Golden Retriever can be considered rare. This is because there are not many specimens that have a black coloration while still featuring the typical look of the Golden Retriever.

4. Flat-coated or Golden Retriever?

There is a lot of confusion over whether the black coloration can only come from the Flat-coated or Golden Retriever, which are two separate breeds that have slightly different appearances. However, a Golden Retriever can have a black coat coloration because of a genetic mutation, but it is easy to get the two breeds mixed up.

5. Not AKC-Registered

Black Golden Retrievers are not a registered dog breed, as they do not meet the AKC’s breed standards for Golden Retrievers.

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Does a Black Golden Retriever Make a Good Pet?

This dog is great for children and adults alike. They are family-orientated and loyal which makes them a great guard dog that is active and goofy. Many owners will describe their Black Golden Retriever as a family dog that is willing to protect them, but not afraid to show their affectionate side by appreciating cuddles and pets.

Black Golden Retrievers are a great choice for a dog if you have an active lifestyle. They will gladly accompany you on walks, hikes, and runs with bursts of energy and excitement. This dog has all the loveable qualities of the popular Golden Retriever, which is why this rare coat coloration is so interesting.

Black Golden Retrievers are a lifelong commitment as they can live for over a decade. You need to be prepared to care for them for several years and plans are necessary to ensure that your Black Golden Retriever always has a safe place to go if you can no longer care for them.

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In Conclusion

The Black Golden Retriever has an interesting history and a confusing ancestry, but they are worthy dogs full of personality and a luxurious coat appearance. Aside from being such an undeniably family-orientated and obedient dog that can fit into nearly every family, the Black Golden Retriever will turn heads with its beauty, and this dog is guaranteed to be a great companion for years to come.

We hope that this article has taught you something new about the backstory of the Black Golden Retriever.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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