The golden retriever is known for its sun-kissed and feathery coat, hence the term golden being added to their name. Their coat ranges from cream to mahogany. But like the majority of breeds, you might have heard that they also have “rare colorings.” If you are looking for colors of golden retriever online, you might have stumbled upon the black golden retriever. Is there really such a thing? Get to know more about that here.
Black Golden Retrievers Physical Features
Black golden retrievers display all the physical attributes of a typical Golden retriever, but they come in a midnight shade. The only thing that separates black golden retrievers from the others is their coat color. Other than that, you can expect them to have the same features: they have wavy coats, they grow as large-sized dogs, they have almond-shaped eyes, and they have a muscular build. They stand about 23–24 inches tall and will weigh between 65 and 75 pounds when fully grown.
As per the breed standards set by The Kennel Club, golden retrievers should have a symmetrical look. This dog is known for its kind gestures that perfectly display its friendly and confident nature. Regardless of their color, Golden retrievers should have strong and powerful, clean and muscular necks, as well as good-boned forequarters.
Is Black a Normal Golden Retriever Color?
The colors of Golden Retriever range from cream to mahogany. Pure white does not exist in golden retrievers, contrary to some breeders claiming that the dogs may be born as white. The ones you see in super light color are classified as the English cream golden retrievers. You can find them being sold by breeders worldwide, although they are not as popular as the golden-colored retrievers. Likewise, black ones are not generally accepted by kennel clubs.
Black goldens can also be a result of pairing a Golden retriever and a black German shepherd. This mix has a distinct appearance and looks a lot like the black German shepherd parent. It’s also possible for your black golden to have Newfoundland’s gene. The golden newfies, however, are very fluffy and they are easy to identify from retriever dogs.
One of the drawbacks of owning a black golden retriever is you cannot let them join in show rings. Both the British and American Kennel Clubs, as well as the Canadian Kennel Club, are firm in their coloration requirements. As per AKC’s breed standard for golden retrievers, their color should only be in gold or in its various shades. Extremely dark colors are not accepted.
Did you know that during ancient times all retrievers were only black? The yellow retrievers only occurred during the 1860s when Sir Dudley Coutts Majoribanks, Lord Tweedmouth paired a retriever with a water spaniel dog. The first ever litter of golden retrievers were produced by pairing “Nous,” a wavy-coated retriever and “Belle,” a tweed water spaniel.
According to canine genetics, it’s unlikely for two yellow dogs to produce a black puppy unless there’s a modification in the DNA of the cell. Such mutations can actually result in a Golden born with spots of black in their otherwise golden coat or even with an entirely black coat.
There’s also a possibility that the black golden retriever is half golden retriever and half Labrador retriever. Unlike golden retrievers, a Labrador’s coloring is not limited to yellow, they also come in black and chocolate. The golden retriever lab mix, also called the “golden Labrador” is among the popular mixes. A puppy usually costs around $1800 from reputable breeders.
A Flat-Coated Retriever may also be used in the breeding process to come up with a Golden Retriever. The Flat-Coated Retriever is a separate breed. In fact, they were recognized in 1915, 10 years before Golden retrievers were officially recognized. Unlike golden retrievers, this breed is not as recommended for novice pet owners. It has an intense inclination to walk around more than the Golden and might have higher exercise requirements. The flat-coats also find it more challenging to control its energy, making it a better option for older children rather than for young ones.
Kennel clubs have different opinions regarding the origin of black Goldens. A black pup can only occur if you pair a yellow dog with a chocolate-colored dog. In such a case, it’s impossible to have a purebred black golden retriever because goldens do not come in chocolate color. The darkest color a golden retriever can have is mahogany, which appears like a dark red coloring.
On the other hand, there are claims that they are possibly black due to the genetic diversity that was added to the bloodline in the evolution of the breed. Goldens have yellow coats because of the presence of “e/e” in their genes. Experts agree that a mutation in golden retrievers will show itself as a patch of black fur that looks like a birthmark, and not a pure black coat.
Golden retriever experts will tell you that you likely have a flat-coated retriever. This breed closely resembles its retriever cousins, but it has a few differences from them. One of its obvious features that golden retrievers don’t have is its thick and shiny coat. If your dog’s coat looks flat and shiny rather than wavy and silky, chances are you have a flat-coated retriever. But all in all, their height and weight are almost the same. Both are large breeds but the golden retriever can grow an inch taller or five pounds more than flat-coats toward adulthood.
How to Know If You Have a Golden Retriever
The best way to determine your dog’s breed is by performing genetic testing. Some people are not convinced how precise DNA tests are as far as breed accuracy is concerned, but you can send in a sample and get your dog examined by a genetic testing company. These companies are easy to find online and the cost of having your pup tested ranges from $60-$150. Some tests cost more because they have a more detailed analysis. Some tests can identify up to hundreds of breeds and can give you the list of common inherited disorders of a particular breed.
A cheek swab can be used in collecting a sample. Getting a dog’s cheek swabs is the recommended method, since it’s painless and non-invasive, not to mention that it can be done faster. Otherwise, you may collect blood samples. For the blood samples, you’ll need around 5 to 10 cc’s of blood placed into the test tubes. If you’re quite hesitant about doing this, get help from a veterinarian.
Black Golden Retrievers Caring Tips
Retriever dogs thrive in hot and cold weather because of their double layers of coat that protects them from the environment. If you have a flat coat dog, take note that it’s best placed in average to cold weather conditions. Due to the Flat-Coat’s black or liver coloring, it can be extremely sensitive to heat. A Flat-Coat can overheat quickly even if it’s merely warm and not hot. Be alert for indications of heatstroke because your pooch may be having so much fun outside without you knowing that it’s getting too hot. The Flat-Coated Retriever can survive in cold weather conditions and some of them are even great mountain dogs.
Large breeds need three to four cups of high-quality commercial dog food especially made for large dogs. This should be divided into two to three meals to avoid bloat, which is pretty common among golden retrievers.
Black Golden Retrievers Temperament
The personality of a Black Golden will depend on several factors, such as breed, environment, and upbringing. Purebred goldens are known for their relaxed nature and they are great family dogs. If given enough exercise, you can’t expect them to wander around or show destructive chewing behaviors.
Even if they are mixed with other breeds, many Golden retriever mixes still retain their activeness and playful nature. When bred with Flat-Coated Retrievers, you will notice that their need for social interaction is not that high. Unlike Golden Retrievers, the flat coats don’t need a lot of social interaction. The Flat-Coated Retriever barks occasionally whereas the Golden Retriever rarely does it. If you want the best watchdog, go for the Flat-Coated Retriever. Just keep in mind that they are not suitable for novice owners, because of their headstrong personality. This breed is generally not used as a service dog or a therapy dog because they are best known for their watchdog abilities.
Black Golden Retrievers Grooming
A purebred golden retriever will always require moderate to high amounts of grooming. If you have a goldador or a golden retriever Labrador mix, the grooming requirements will also depend on where your pup inherited its coat appearance. More often than not, goldadors also need moderate grooming to reduce their shedding. Goldadors need brushing at least once a week to keep their coat free from tangles and mats. For dogs with long and wavy coats, you may use a slicker brush or a deshedding brush. There are brushes that already come with a self-cleaning feature so you will have an easier time grooming your pet.
Black Golden Retrievers Health
A Black Golden has a life expectancy of 10–12 years. When taken care of well, some dogs even manage to live longer. If yours is actually a flat-Coated Retriever, do note that it has a higher risk of cancer than most dogs. Cancers such as Hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma, osteosarcoma, and malignant histiocytosis are among the conditions that have higher rates of occurrence in Flat-Coats than in many other breeds. Apart from cancer, here are the other health conditions prevalent in both golden retrievers and flat-coated retrievers:
Hip dysplasia – it may happen when the hip joints did not develop accordingly. Keep in mind that this condition can be passed on from one or both parents. A common incidence among large and giant dogs, hip dysplasia can be treated in a number of ways although there is no cure for it yet. There are joint supplements readily available for canines, as well as medications to fight inflammation. Natural methods include keeping the dog at a healthy weight to avoid stressing the hips and restricting exercise. Physical activities should be limited to walking as running and jumping may stress a dog’s hips.
Patellar luxation – in dogs, luxating patella occurs when they suffer from a developing orthopedic disease or after experiencing traumatic injury. There are non-invasive methods of treating patellar luxation. These include hydrotherapy and massage therapy. Surgery will only be advised if a dog experiences extreme weakness continuously. The cost of surgery will depend on the size of a dog and the severity of the condition. With golden retrievers, it can be anywhere between $2,000 and $3,000.
Bloating – large breeds are susceptible to Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) or bloating in layman’s term. They are at higher risk of developing it by up to 20% once they reach the age of 5. Vets have not confirmed the exact cause of GDV but they believe some factors such as stress and nutrition play a big role in it. One of the preventive measures in avoiding bloating is to keep an eye on your pet’s food. Make sure it’s the right amount for its age and size.
It’s impossible to have a black golden retriever that is purebred because black does not normally occur in the breed. Furthermore, you can’t have a black pup when you breed two yellow dogs. If you have a black golden retriever, it could be a mixed breed. It may be paired with other dogs possessing the black coloring, such as Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Flat-coated Retrievers. The best way to know about your pet’s ancestry is to conduct a genetic test. This can be done by sending a sample of swab or blood and the result can be delivered to you after a couple of weeks.