Do Black Golden Retrievers Exist, Or Are People Mistaking One Breed For Another? 

Some dog breeds come in only one color, and any deviation from that standard is considered a flaw in their breeding. In the case of purebred Golden Retrievers, the only accepted color is right there in the name: golden. 

Purebred black Golden Retrievers don’t exist—the only time you’ll see a Golden with a black coat is if that specific dog is a mixed breed. 

black golden retriever

Dog breeding programs producing purebred dogs like Golden Retrievers adhere closely to breed standards to preserve the integrity of the breed’s look while working to create healthy bloodlines. Even if someone claims to have bred a black Golden Retriever puppy, the chances that its parentage includes secondary breeds in addition to Golden Retriever are 100%.

So, why do some people swear up and down that they have seen, know, or own black Goldens?

Let’s dive into why there’s no such thing as a black Golden Retriever, what breeds might be mistaken for black Goldens, and a few answers to your questions about mixing dog breeds and how designer dogs are bred. 

Accepted Golden Retriever Coat Colors

In the world of the Golden Retriever black fur is considered a breed flaw. The American Kennel Club and other official breed registries accept only one color in three shade variations for purebred Goldens. The three accepted shades are light golden, golden, and dark golden.

black golden retriever

Because Golden Retrievers have been bred to have one consistent coat color for well over 100 years, there is no way to produce a purebred Golden that has a different coat color entirely. Black, blue, or gray are drastically different from the yellow-red hue of traditional Golden Retrievers, and it would require the addition of another breed to produce a litter of black Golden Retriever puppies. 

Can Golden Retrievers Be Black Because of Recessive Genes? 

No—purebred Golden Retrievers do not carry recessive genes that could give their offspring black coats. Some Golden Retriever mixes can look nearly identical to purebred Goldens and produce puppies with black coats, but these are not examples of black Golden Retrievers. Golden Retrievers mixed with any other breed produce a mutt or a mixed dog, not a purebred puppy. 

Purebred Dogs That Look Like Black Golden Retrievers

Most of the time, people who say they know of purebred black Golden Retrievers are misidentifying a different dog breed. These four dog breeds could accidentally be mistaken for black Golden Retrievers, and one in particular looks almost identical to a Golden, but with jet-black fur. 

Let’s count down four breeds to discover the one that looks most like a black Golden Retriever. 

4. Barbet

If you’ve never heard of a Barbet, you’re not alone, and this breed is often mistaken for a Doodle or a black Golden Retriever! Originally used for hunting water game—just like Golden Retrievers—Barbet today aren’t too common, but are still much beloved by dog enthusiasts. Not all Barbet are black—the breed comes in five official solid colors. 

3. Portuguese Water Dog

Curlier than a Golden Retriever, Portuguese Water Dogs otherwise look physically fairly similar to a Golden Retriever. Around the same size though a little smaller, Portuguese Water Dogs are also talented retrievers who were once used by fishermen to retrieve lost tackle and nets. Eager to work, physically strong, and immensely powerful swimmers, some Portuguese Water Dogs are still used as water rescue canines today. 

Perhaps the most well-known pair of Portuguese Water Dogs—Bo and Sunny—belonged to President Obama and his family during their time in the White House.

2. Black Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers come in three standard colors: yellow (golden), chocolate (brown), and black! Black Labs and Labrador mixes are often mistaken for short-coated black Golden Retrievers. Despite their similar origins and physical composition, these two breeds are distinct, and combining them would produce a mixed-breed dog. 

1. Flat-Coated Retriever

This breed is so similar looking to Golden Retrievers that some people purposefully call it the “black Golden Retriever.” The Flat-Coated Retriever is the closest you can get to a black Golden while still owning a purebred dog—and they’re pretty similar to Golden Retrievers! Cheerful, easy to train, and eager to please, Flat-Coated Retrievers were once the popular choice as waterfowl retrievers before Labs and Goldens took over. Flat-Coats also come in a liver coat color, and like the Golden, Flat-Coat Retrievers have thick double coats. 

Black Golden Retriever FAQ

We’ve cleared up the mystery of the black Golden Retriever, but you probably still have a few more questions! Take a look at what other dog lovers like you are asking about this subject. 

Do Black Lab Golden Retriever mixes have black fur? 

Sometimes. Some puppies with one Black Lab parent and one Golden Retriever parent will have black fur, but others will be golden. 

What is a Golden Retriever Black Lab mix called?

A Black Labrador Golden Retriever mixed is called a Black Goldador! Goldador is the name for any puppies produced by mixing Golden Retrievers and Labradors, which can be golden, chocolate brown, or black. 

Are there any designer breeds that look like black Golden Retrievers? 

There are no mixed-breed dogs that have been purposefully bred to look like black Golden Retrievers. If you do find a breeder advertising their mixed-breed black Golden lookalike puppies, steer clear. 

The people producing designer mixes are typically backyard breeders and puppy mills who do not perform proper genetic testing or follow ethical guidelines for safe breeding practices. Many of the dogs bred in these unethical programs have health issues that are often undisclosed to buyers. 

Are there rare Golden Retriever colors?

Very light golden or English Cream Golden Retrievers are considered somewhat rare, but all shades of Golden Retrievers are relatively common. 

How much does a Flat-Coated Retriever cost? 

Ethically bred Flat-Coated Retriever puppies typically cost anywhere from $1,000—$3,000. Keep in mind that ethical breeders only produce a few puppies a year and are not breeding excessively or for profit. The price you pay for a well-bred puppy covers the extensive knowledge, experience, medical testing, and time put into the breeding of your new best friend.

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