Black Golden Retriever Breed Guide

Black Golden RetrieverKnown for its unique coat, the Black Golden Retriever is a friendly dog breed that shares most of the Golden Retriever qualities. But are they the same? The general answer is yes, Black Golden Retrievers are also Golden Retrievers but with a black coat. The dark shade is only caused by genetic factors but they are still purebred dogs.

Some people might also tell you that the Black Golden Retriever might have been caused by breeding a Flat-Coated Retriever but that is a different breed altogether.

But how can you tell apart a Flat-Coated from a Black Golden Retriever? The answer lies in the blackness of the dog. So far, there is no such thing as a purely black Golden Retriever, which means that if the dog has only patches of black, that’s a purebred. If not, that’s either a Flat-Coated Retriever or some other mixed breed.

As a lovable breed variation, the Black Golden Retriever is a great family pet and companion for anyone who wants a dog that’s easy to train and has a free-spirited temperament.

Origins of the Black Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers come from Scotland around the 19th century and were used as a companion for retrieving downed game. Today, the Golden continues to be a working dog and has served the military, police, and even worked as therapy dogs or assistance dogs.

However, when it comes to Black Golden Retriever, that’s something else. There’s a lot of confusion when it comes to the black-colored variations but if you spot a Golden Retriever that has a partially black coat, it is still considered a purebred. They will most likely have a black coat on their tail and face.

Regardless of that, unfortunately, such Black Golden Retrievers can’t receive recognition from the AKC due to the fault of their black coat. If you don’t intend to have a show dog, this is probably not a problem for you, though. However, many breed registries still recognize the Black Golden Retriever.

How a Black Golden Retriever is produced isn’t always dependent on its parents but it may have a dog in the family tree way back in the older generations that had a black coat. Or, if the dog is purely black, there’s a chance that it’s a Flat-Coated Retriever, a Labrador Retriever, or a hybrid that makes it similar in appearance to the Golden Retriever, but pure black.

Physical Appearance

Height: 23 to 24 inches

Weight: 70 to 76 pounds (purebred), 55 to 70 pounds (flat-coated or other breeds)

Not much difference can be seen between the Black Golden Retriever and the Golden Retriever when it comes to physical appearance, save for the coat color. Their coat also sheds the same way as the regular Golden does. A purebred Black Golden Retriever will mostly have a black tail or face. In some cases, the black may have a bit of gold to it, so it is not entirely black. They may also tend to have a darker shade of their overall gold color.

When it comes to eye color, the Black Golden Retriever usually has brown eyes. However, there are some cases where a genetic mutation could result in a different color.

If you see a suspected Black Golden Retriever that’s slightly taller and leaner when compared side by side with a purebred Golden, there’s a chance that it’s an entirely different breed called the Flat-Coated Retriever.

With that in mind, both the purebred and the flat-coated retrievers do have similarities (which might make it difficult to tell them apart), such as the following:

  • High energy and the likelihood of chewing
  • Loving temperament
  • Requires a lot of exercises
  • Needs a lot of patience during puppyhood
  • Originally hunting dogs for downed game
  • They have leg and tail feathering

Temperament and Behavior

The temperament of the Black Golden Retriever depends on whether it’s a purebred or an entirely different breed (or hybrid):

Purebred Black Golden Retriever

When it comes to temperament, the purebred Black Golden Retriever is not that different from a standard Golden. They are great companions with kids and are quite affectionate and silly, which the children will love. They make a great family pet and are loyal to their owners.

Moreover, the Black Golden Retriever that is purebred loves to swim and travel, making them very sociable dogs. They also like to get stimulation so giving them lots of activities to choose from will keep them physically healthy and mentally happy. If they don’t get enough playtime, they will get bored and destructive. If you want to own a Black Golden Retriever, always consider keeping them busy.

Flat-Coated Retriever

In contrast with the purebred Golden, the Flat-Coated Retriever will be a difficult puppy to train. They are known to be sensitive to training methods so you have to be very careful with employing positive reinforcement. They may also get stubborn at times and they may refuse your commands. That’s because they tend to mature slower than a Golden.

With that said, the Flat-Coated Retriever is also a breed that needs a lot of exercises. They have a sweet temperament but they may also become exuberant in a negative way, which makes them difficult for first-time dog owners.

Black Golden Retriever Training

Just like with their temperament and behavior, they may have different training methods whether you have a purebred or flat-coated retriever:

Purebred Black Golden Retriever

When training the Purebred Black Golden Retriever, it is the same as with Golden Retrievers, meaning that you should start training as young as 7 weeks old. Consider positive reinforcement training or using treats to get them motivated. Always make sure they are praised to avoid negative habits from forming.

Like the standard Golden, the Purebred Black Golden Retriever is easy to train and a family-friendly breed. Proper training for this variation will take about 2 years depending on their obedience and upbringing.

Flat-Coated Retriever

The Flat-Coated Retriever is a highly-energetic breed and likes to play games and please people. With that said, obedience training is important as it could be difficult to socialize. They work best for older kids and adults but maybe not for kids when it comes to training. When compared to the standard Golden, the Flat-Coated Retriever might be a bit of a challenge.

Caring for a Black Golden Retriever

When you care for your black golden retriever, it may also depend on whether your dog is a purebred or another breed:

Purebred Black Golden Retriever

When you groom your Purebred Black Golden Retriever, you should not try to get rid of their black spots. That’s because such a black coat is still essential for their weather resistance to keep their body temperature just right.

Flat-Coated Retriever

The grooming and care for the Flat-Coated Retriever are relatively the same as with a Golden Retriever, They need a weekly brush but you can do more if the dog tends to shed more than you expect. Bathing should be done as often as needed depending on whether your dog goes out more often.

Brushing their teeth is important to maintain their gum health. Make sure they get brushed daily for that. Neatly-trimmed nails are also important and consider trimming them when they click on the floor.

The health of the Black Golden Retriever

The health of the Black Golden Retriever may also be categorized whether they’re purebred or flat-coated:

Purebred Black Golden Retriever

You can expect the Purebred Black Golden Retriever to live up to 12 years or so, depending on their lifestyle and the owner’s dedication. When it comes to health, they are not so different from the standard Golden Retriever. They are still prone to most of the problems that a regular Golden tends to have, such as:

  • cancer
  • allergies
  • epilepsy
  • Von Willebrand disease
  • patellar luxation
  • thyroid problems
  • eye problems such as cataracts
  • hip dysplasia

Flat-Coated Retriever

The Flat-Coated Retriever will live around 8 to 14 years with proper care. With that said, it has roughly similar health problems, such as the following:

  • hip dysplasia
  • cancer
  • patellar luxation
  • bloating and gas problems

Family-Friendly Breed?

So how does the purebred compare with the flat-coated when it comes to family-friendliness? Let’s have a look:

Purebred Black Golden Retriever

The Purebred Black Golden Retriever has a similar temperament to the regular version of the breed, meaning they are awesome family pets. They are used as working dogs, which makes them highly determined and energetic. If you have kids who love to play around with their pets, this is the dog breed for you.

All the Purebred Black Golden Retriever needs is obedience training and a lot of time devoted to playing with them. Just teach your children how to handle a dog properly and with respect and your Purebred Black Golden Retriever will follow suit, turning into a lovable, affectionate, and intelligent companion for life.

Flat-Coated Retriever

If your Black Golden Retriever turned out to be a Flat-Coated Retriever, they will be a bit more challenging to train. They tend to become more intimidating towards little kids so they are probably much better family pets for those who have older children and adolescents. They need a lot of energy-releasing activities and might be a handful when it comes to training and disciplining them.

Finding a Black Golden Retriever

So, are you ready to find this unique breed variation? Here are different ways:

Look for a Responsible Breeder

Since they have a rare color, the Black Golden Retriever might have a pricier tag when it comes to getting them from breeders. If you are looking for the purebred Black Golden Retriever, that’s going to take a miracle because they are only caused by genetic problems, such as humans (and pets) with heterochromia (differently-colored eyes).

If you’re still insistent on finding them, consider a breeder that specializes in Golden Retriever. Or, you can try breeders that crossbreed a Golden and another black breed to get one.

If you do find them, remember that when you want to ask for health certificates from the breeder. Do visit them and check out their living quarters to make sure that your puppy-to-be has been treated well so that they will grow up just fine.

Ask all the questions you need to know, such as their health history, temperament, and the like. A responsible breeder is one who is honest with everything.

Adopting a Black Golden Retriever

If you do want to adopt a Black Golden Retriever, we wish you the best of luck, since they are quite rare. Start by looking into your local shelters and asking away. However, if you can’t find one, you may also want to try a crossbreed of Golden and another breed, which is the easier choice.

If you ever do want a Black Golden Retriever that’s a literal cross between a Flat-Coated and a Golden, expect that they’ll need a lot of exercises as well. There are also crossbred black dogs that may have been from a black Labrador Retriever, which tends to have a shorter coat.

Finding a Flat-Coated Retriever

If for some reason, you found it difficult to find a purebred Black Golden Retriever, your next option is the Flat-Coated Retriever. Fortunately, they are easy to find but make sure that you’re prepared for house-training them. As with finding any breeder for any dog breed, always make sure you visit the living quarters, ask the important questions, and look for health certificates from the puppy’s parents.

However, if you are short on budget and just want to adopt, the Flat-Coated Retriever is often found in many shelters around the world. You may also want to ask your regional or national animal organizations to help you find a rescue that has this breed.


Whether you’re getting purebred or a flat-coated, the Black Golden Retriever is always a lovable dog that’s full of vigor and happiness. With the right training, food, exercise routines, discipline, and TLC, the Black Golden Retriever will grow to become a happy and healthy dog that will stay by your side and have fun with the kids.

Before you go to a breeder or adopt, always make sure that you’re prepared for the responsibilities that come with training, expenses, and feeding your Black Golden Retriever. They need a lot of dedicated time to play with so you should only get this breed variation if you have sufficient time in your hands.


I had my first litter three years later. It was by Tigathoe’s Pious Pete, a serious field competitor. After a great deal of cajoling and bribery on the part of my family members, I enrolled in an Obedience Class. At the same time, I took on my relative’s dog and went High In Trial with him.

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