6 Golden Retriever Colors: What You Need to Know

6 Golden Retriever Colors: What You Need to Know

Golden Retrievers are beloved for their friendly personalities and their beautiful coats, which come in a variety of colors. From classic shades of gold to creamy whites and even darker reds. The range of golden retriever colors is truly stunning. So, let’s take a closer look at the different coat colors of Golden Retrievers.

Golden retriever colors, color of golden retriever,
šŸ’” Key Takeaways
The colors of Golden Retrievers include English Cream/White, Light Golden, Dark Golden, Red, and Chocolate/Black.
Black and white coat color is not a recognized color for Golden Retrievers by the breed standards.
Environmental factors such as sunlight, temperature, and humidity can affect coat color.
Certain coat colors may be more prone to certain health issues.

 Golden Retriever Colors

The colors of Golden Retrievers include English Cream/White, Light Golden, Dark Golden, Red, and Chocolate/Black. These types are shown below:

English Cream or White Coat 

English cream golden retriever, white golden retriever
  • The English Cream or White Coat is a specific color and texture of the coat of Golden Retrievers.
  • Golden Retrievers with this coat color are sometimes referred to as “English Cream Golden Retrievers.”
  • The American Kennel Club (AKC) and other breed standards do not recognize English Cream as a separate color from the traditional golden color.

While English Cream Golden Retrievers are recognized as purebred, white Golden Retrievers are not actually Golden Retrievers. White coat color in Golden Retrievers is considered a fault by the AKC, and breeders who advertise white Golden Retrievers may be breeding mixed-breed dogs or breeding for the white coat color alone.

Therefore, it is important for potential owners to do their research and ensure they are purchasing a purebred Golden Retriever with a recognized coat color.

Light Golden Coat

Light golden color golden retriever, baby light golden color golden retriever
  • A light golden coat is a distinctive color range in Golden Retrievers that is shiny and lustrous.
  • This coat color is an acceptable option within the breed standard and is easy to maintain with regular brushing.
  • Light golden retrievers are friendly, outgoing, intelligent, and make great family pets.

Dark Coat 

Dark red golden retriever, Dark red golden retriever puppy
  • Dark coat Golden Retrievers have a deep and rich coat color ranging from mahogany to reddish-brown.
  • Their coat is dense and shiny, with feathering on the tail and legs adding to their majestic appearance.
  • This coat color is less common but highly sought-after for its striking and beautiful appearance.

Red Coat 

Red Golden Retriever
  • Golden Retrievers with a red coat have a warm, reddish-gold color similar to a ripe cherry.
  • This coat color is not as common as some of the others but is highly sought-after for its unique and beautiful appearance.
  • They are highly intelligent and trainable, with loyalty and quick learning abilities.
  • Regular grooming, including brushing and bathing, is necessary to maintain their coat’s texture and feathering.
  • Their coat color is the result of breeding dogs with a reddish tint to their coats.

Chocolate/Black Coat

Black golden retriever
  • Golden Retrievers with a chocolate/black coat have a dark and rich color that ranges from deep chocolate brown to black.
  • This coat color is the least common among Golden Retrievers, as it is the result of a recessive gene and careful breeding.
  • Their coat is very shiny and has a lustrous sheen that sets them apart from other Golden Retrievers.
  • Despite the common misconception, true black-coated Golden Retrievers do not exist, and any such dogs are a result of crossbreeding.
  • Regular brushing, bathing, and exercise are necessary to maintain their coat’s shine and prevent matting.
  • Golden Retrievers with a chocolate/black coat are highly intelligent and active dogs who benefit from frequent exercise and mental stimulation.

Standard/Classic Golden Coat Color

golden retriever
  • Standard or classic golden coat color is the most common for Golden Retrievers.
  • The coat color ranges from light, almost white to deep gold.
  • Their fur is thick, wavy, and has feathering on the legs, chest, and tail.
  • The coat is soft to the touch.
  • Known for their friendly and playful temperament.
  • This is the most popular coat color for Golden Retrievers.

Factors Affecting Coat Color

Golden Retriever coats can be affected by various factors. Such as, genetics, environment, nutrition, and grooming. 

Environmental Factors

  • Sunlight: Exposure to sunlight affects the intensity of a Golden Retriever’s coat color. Light coat colored dogs are more susceptible to sunburn. They need sunscreen to prevent skin damage.
  • Temperature:  Changes in temperature can affect the color of a coat. When it’s hot, the coat can look more yellow, and when it’s cold, the coat can look darker. 
  • Humidity: High humidity make a coat appear frizzy or curly, while low humidity make it appear dull or flat.


  • Eating a balanced diet with lots of protein, healthy fats, and important nutrients makes your coat healthy and improves its color.
  • Giving your pet food with good ingredients like salmon or flaxseed can make their coat shiny and glossy. 
  • Giving too much food to your Golden Retriever can make them gain too much weight. It causes problems with their skin, which makes their coat look bad.


  • Regular grooming can help maintain a healthy coat and enhance its natural color.
  • Brushing your Golden Retriever’s coat on a regular basis helps distribute natural oils, which can make the coat appear shinier.
  • Bathing your dog with a high-quality shampoo formulated for their coat color can enhance its natural shade.
  • Trimming your dog’s coat regularly can also promote healthy growth and enhance the appearance of the coat.


  • As Golden Retrievers age, their coat color may change. This is a natural process and can be affected by genetics, hormones, and environmental factors.
  • Older dogs may also experience gray hairs or a lighter coat color due to aging.

By understanding the various factors that can affect Golden Retriever coat color, owners can take steps to maintain a healthy, vibrant coat for their furry friend.

While coat color does not necessarily indicate a dog’s health, certain coat colors may be more prone to certain health issues. For example, dogs with lighter coats may be more prone to skin allergies and eye problems.

It’s important to work with a reputable breeder when selecting a Golden Retriever, as they will be able to provide you with information on the dog’s health and potential health issues related to coat color.

Does Color Matter?

Golden retrievers colors, golden retriever color,

While coat color is certainly an important consideration when choosing a Golden Retriever, it should not be the only factor you consider. Temperament, health, and personality are also important factors to consider when selecting a dog.


When it comes to selecting a Golden Retriever, there are many factors to consider, including coat color and pattern. By understanding the various coat colors available and their unique characteristics, you can make an informed decision about which Golden Retriever is right for you. Remember to work with a reputable breeder, provide proper grooming and care, and choose a dog that fits your lifestyle and personality.

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