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Everything You Need To Know About Black Golden Retriever Breed

Dog Breeds, Dogs

Last Updated - May 30, 2023

If you ever come across a black version of a golden retriever, you may wonder, is that a black golden retriever? Does a black golden retriever exist? Black Golden Retrievers exist, a dark, glossy version of the well-beloved golden retriever dogs.

Because of their coat texture, a black golden retriever is called a flat-coated retriever. These lovable dogs are easy to raise and are incredibly affectionate lifelong companions. They make excellent family dogs and calm and even-tempered service or therapy dogs. Black golden retrievers are rarer than the standard golden ones but share the same basic lovable personality. Could this stunningly gorgeous yet playfully goofy dog breed be the perfect choice for you? Let’s find out. 

Breed Characteristics


Apartment Living

How easily a dog deals with living in an apartment. Despite the dog's size, you should also consider energy level, calmness, and friendliness.

Being Alone

Some breeds bond very closely with their family and are more prone to panic and separation anxiety when left alone. When left alone, they can become very destructive, bark, whine, chew and cause mayhem. These breeds do best in a home with a family member around during the day, can go to work with their owner, or recommend attending doggy day care if the owner is not home during the day.

Sensitivity Level

Low sensitivity dogs are easygoing, tolerant, and resilient. They can handle a noisy and chaotic household, a loud or assertive owner, and tolerate an inconsistent or variable routine.

Tolerate Cold Climate

Short coat and little to no coat breeds are vulnerable to cold climates. These breeds will have a low cold tolerance and need to live inside in a cool climate and should have a jacket or sweater on for chilly walks.

Tolerate Warm Climate

Breeds with a thick and double coat are vulnerable to overheating. Breeds with a short nose and flat face are also vulnerable as they can't pant as well to cool themselves off. If these breeds of dog live in a warm and humid environment, you will need to be extra cautious about taking them outdoor in the heat.


Cat Friendly

Friendliness towards cats and humans is very different. Some breeds are gentle and accept cats readily as part of the family. Some breeds will chase, fight, or rough play with a cat and cause severe injury. However, no matter the breed, proper socialization, and training can improve the situation.

Dog Friendly

Friendliness towards other dogs. Some dogs may try to dominate other dogs and attack and fight, while others would rather play. However, no matter the breed, proper socialization, and training can improve the situation.

Family Friendly

How affectionate a breed is likely to be with family members or other people he knows well. Some breeds are independent, some breeds can be aloof with everyone but their owner, while others treat everyone they know like it's their best friend.
Breed, however, isn't the only factor affecting affection levels. Proper socialization and training can improve the situation.

Kid Friendly

Kid-friendly dogs should be gentle with children, be more tolerant of screaming and running children as well as other children's behavior.

Openness To Strangers

How welcoming a breed is likely to be towards strangers. Some dogs will greet a stranger with wagging tails, while others are shy, reserved, cautious, or aggressive. However, no matter the breed, proper socialization, and training can improve the situation. 

Health And Grooming

Coat Grooming Frequency

Amount of bathing, brushing, trimming, and professional grooming needs. Consider how much time, patience, and budget you have for this type of care when looking at the grooming effort needed. All breeds require regular nail trimming.

Drooling Level

Drool-prone dogs may drape ropes of slobber on your arm or wet spots on your clothes when they come over to say hello. If you've got a laid-back attitude toward slobber, fine. But if you are a neat freak, dogs that are drool prone may not be the right choice for you.

General Health

Due to poor breeding practices, some breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems. However, this doesn't mean that every dog of that breed will develop those diseases, and it just means that they're at an increased risk.
If you're adopting or rescuing a puppy, it's a good idea to find out which genetic illnesses are common to the breed you're interested in. You may also want to ask if your shelter or rescue has information about the physical health of your potential pup's parents and other relatives.
If you are purchasing from a breeder, be sure to do your research. Purchase from a reputable breeder and ask for the parent's health records to understand what potential health issue your pup may have.

Shedding Level

Amount and frequency of dog hair shedding.

If you are getting a dog, you'll need to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothes and in your house. However, shedding does vary greatly among the breeds. Some dogs shed year-round, some "blow" seasonally, some do both, and some shed hardly at all. 


Easy To Train

Easy-to-train dogs are more adept at forming an association between a prompt, an action, and a reward (such as treats, appraise, or toys). Other dogs need more time, patience, and repetition during training.


Dogs bred for jobs requiring decision-making, intelligence, and concentration, need to exercise their brains. Such as, dogs bred to run all day need to exercise their bodies. If they don't get the mental stimulation they need, they can become destructive and exhibit behaviors such as digging and chewing. Obedience training and interactive dog toys are good ways to give a dog a brain workout, as are dog sports and careers, such as agility and search and rescue.

Potential To Mouthiness

Common in most breeds during the puppy stage. Mouthiness means a tendency to nip, chew, and play-bite (a soft, fairly painless bite that doesn't puncture the skin). Mouthy dogs are more likely to use their mouths to hold or "herd" their human family members, and they need the training to learn that it's fine to gnaw on chew toys but not on people. Mouthy breeds tend to really enjoy squeaky toys, as well as a good chew on a toy that's been stuffed with kibble and treats.

Prey Drive

Dogs who were bred to hunt have an inborn desire to chase--and sometimes kill. Anything whizzing by, such as cats, squirrels, or rabbits, can trigger that instinct. Dogs who like to chase need to be leashed or kept in a fenced area when outdoors, and you'll need a high, secure fence in your yard. These breeds generally aren't a good fit for homes with smaller pets that can look like prey, such as cats, hamsters, or small animals. Breeds that were originally used for bird hunting, on the other hand, generally won't chase. But you'll probably have difficulty getting their attention when birds fly by.

Bark Or Howl Tendencies

Some breeds are more vocal than others. When choosing a breed, think about how often the dog vocalizes with barks or howls. While some breeds will bark at every passing bird, some may use other sounds to express themselves.

Physical And Mental Needs

Energy Level

The amount of physical and mental stimulation a breed needs. High-energy breeds are ready to go and eager for their next adventure. Low-energy breeds are like couch potatoes - they're happy to lay around and sleep.

Exercise Needs

Some breeds do fine with a slow evening stroll around the block. Others need daily, vigorous exercise, especially those originally bred for physically demanding jobs, like herding or hunting.

Mental Stimulation

How much mental stimulation a breed needs to stay happy and healthy. Purpose-bred dogs can have jobs that require decision-making, problem-solving, concentration, or other qualities. Without the brain exercise they need, they can be destructive and have unwanted behavior issues.


A dog's inclination to be protective of his family members, home, yard, or even car.

Watchdog Ability

A breed's tendency to alert you that strangers are around. These breeds are more likely to react to any potential threat, whether it's the mailman or a squirrel outside the window.

Origin of Black Golden Retrievers

The origins of the Black Golden Retriever are the same as that of the standard Golden Retriever. Golden Retrievers were developed in Scotland in the mid-1800s for the purpose of having hunting dogs that would retrieve downed game birds. The breed became a blend of Irish Setter, Bloodhound, and a now-extinct breed of dog, the Tweed Water Spaniel. At some point in the development, flat-coated retrievers were also introduced, thus adding a recessive black coat color gene to the breed’s DNA. In very rare cases, a purebred Golden Retriever can turn out black and become a Black Golden Retriever. 

However, the more common ancestry of a black golden retriever is that it is a Golden Retriever mutt with “polluted” genes, having been mixed with some other breed in its history, often a Labrador. These are not purebred Golden Retrievers, though they closely resemble them. 

Regardless of whether or not a black golden retriever is a purebred black golden retriever or a golden retriever mix, they cannot be recognized by any major kennel club like the American Kennel Club or the Kennel Club because they are not a breed of their own and they do not conform to the color requirements for a standard Golden Retriever. 

Regardless of the exact ancestry or breed purity, most black goldens will have the temperament and physical attributes of a Golden Retriever. 


Height: 23-24"

Weight: 65-75 lbs


Height: 21.5-22.5"

Weight: 60-70 lbs

Life Span: 10-12

Breed Group: Sporting


A black golden retriever is not a purebred dog, so their height and weight can vary. In general, black golden retrievers grow to 21.5-24 inches tall and weigh between 60 and 75 pounds, making them a large dog breed. 


Black Goldens have the same personality as standard Goldens. They are affectionate, easy-going, gentle, playful, loyal, and goofballs that love to be around people. They are one of the easiest breeds to own due to their affable nature and fun-loving, people-pleasing personality. 


Black golden retrievers are big dogs with a strong yet graceful build. They have a medium-length black, double coat that can be wavy or straight depending on the purity of the dog’s genes. They have feathery tails and fold-over ears. 


Black golden retrievers have extremely mellow temperaments, making them some of the best family dogs you can get. Their affectionate and relaxed nature makes them perfect service or therapy dogs, and they can make great companions to seniors or small children. They are gentle and patient dogs making them ideal for families with even small children. They get along very well with other pets and dogs, and their stable and friendly personality makes them social even with strangers. 

Diet/Nutritional Needs

The black golden's nutrition needs are average to the dog’s size and breed type, and they will need quality food appropriate for their age, size, and activity levels. Goldens can be prone to bloat and weight gain, so feeding your black golden retriever two measured meals a day is recommended. Freshwater should always be available, and you should keep treats and table scraps to a minimum. 

Activity/Exercise Needs

Black golden retrievers are a sporting dog breed and, as such, have average to high exercise needs. These strong, agile dogs will benefit from living with owners who have an active lifestyle and can bring their dogs along.

Goldens love walks, runs, hiking, swimming, and fetching. Black golden retrievers also excel in dog sports like tracking, agility, and obedience. They also require mental stimulation to keep from being bored, and puzzle toys and trick learning are a great way to keep them mentally busy. 

This breed will become destructive if they are not exercised adequately and may chew furniture, bark excessively, or become stressed, so if you do not have the time to exercise your dog daily, this might not be the breed for you. 

Grooming Needs 

Black golden retrievers have moderate to high grooming needs. They have a double coat prone to heavy and seasonal shedding, so you will need to prepare to brush your dog daily to keep loose hairs under control. They need to be bathed once a month. You should check their ears regularly for irritation and keep their nails trimmed short. This breed is not prone to excessive drooling, but you should aim to brush their teeth regularly. 


Like all golden retrievers, the black golden retriever is a highly adaptable and easy-going dog. So long as these dogs have their people, they seem to be able to adjust to just about anything. They are not prone to excessive barking, so they can be good apartment dogs if you have the time to exercise them daily, but they do best in homes with a big, fenced-in backyard.

With proper training, the black golden retriever can get along well with other dogs and other pets, even cats and small animals. They love being around people, and the more, the better. They are very sociable and, as such, do not make good guard dogs, but it also means they are very friendly and polite in social and public settings. 


A black golden retriever puppy is very easy to train. They love to please and are very smart, so training should be easy. They are very focused dogs and learn quickly, so puppies can be taught how to behave and obey from a young age. You should strive to use positive training methods and stay consistent with commands and rules. Socialize your puppy early on to ensure they can be calm and unstressed in new situations.

Life Expectancy

The life expectancy for a black golden retriever is 10-12 years. 

Potential Health Issues

While black golden retrievers are considered generally healthy, there are a few diseases and conditions they can be prone to, given that they are a mix of standard golden. 

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

This genetic condition results in the malformation of the hip or elbow joints as early as puppyhood. This condition is primality heredity and can be painful.


Some of the breeding-in of positive attributes has led to an increased propensity for certain types of cancer in golden retrievers, including lymphoma, hemangiosarcoma, osteosarcoma, and mass cell tumors. 

Eye Issues

The three most common eye issues golden retrievers are prone to are cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, and GRPU or Golden Retriever Pigmentary Uveitis. 


This condition leads to the decrease of thyroid hormones which leads to symptoms like lethargy, hair loss, dull coat, difficulty healing wounds, weight gain, and a weak pulse.


Bloat is the buildup of gas in your dog’s stomach due to eating too much or too fast. Bloat can cause a dog’s stomach to distend and twist out of shape. This can be a severe condition as it prevents food from getting in or out of the stomach.

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About the Author

Doctor of veterinary medicine with extensive experience in animal welfare with a strong interest in feline medicine and plans to pursue ABVP-Feline specialty board certification. A key member of many local veterinary associations and avid reader of animal related science journals and studies.

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