Black Golden Retriever: Do They Exist? (Flat Coated Retriever)

Estimated Reading Time:

It is rare, quite rare to come across a black Golden Retriever, and in fact what many people mistakenly call the black Golden Retriever should be of a different breed and should be the Flat Coated Retriever. The Golden Retriever breed standard provides that the allowed colors are those from cream to golden while the Flat-Coated Retriever offers two colors, black, and liver. So what might look like a black Golden Retriever is a dog of a similar but different breed, the Flat Coater Retriever.

But if according to the standards the black Golden Retriever does not exist, since the golden color of the Golden is the result of perfectly selected crosses based precisely on genetics, it is also true that certain American texts and articles confirm the existence of the Golden Black retriever. However, that would be extremely rare.

It is expected that there is only a small percentage, equal to the 0.4% chance that a black puppy will be born in a litter: according to a recent estimate, in the United States there is no there are only 1500 and there is no kennel specializing in black retrievers.

Black Golden Retriever: Genetic Characteristic

But how is a black Golden Retriever born? According to documents of American origin, the black coloring is due to a recessive gene that appears sporadically. This would stem from the fact that some specimens of Flat-Coated Retrievers with dark, black, or liver coats were also used in the Golden Retriever selection phase. The height at the withers, between Golden Retriever and Flat Coated retriever, on the other hand, would overlap even though the Flat-Coated retriever is slightly taller and slender. The male Golden Retriever has a height at the withers that varies between 56-61 cm; the female between 51-56 cm.

black Golden Retriever

 The male Flat Coated Retriever has a height at the withers between 59 and 61.5 cm (weight 27-36 kg), the female between 56.5 and 59 cm (weight 25-32 kg).

Also in Italy, the Flat-Coated Retriever or Black Golden Retriever is not very widespread, but obviously, the price depends on the lineage, the Pedigree, and the type of breeding. Even in the United States, black Golden Retrievers are extremely rare and highly sought after and sold for very high prices.

Physical characteristics of the Flat-Coated Retriever

The Flat-Coated Retriever looks a lot like its ancestor the Newfoundland… but in a reduced and significantly "thinned" format. It is a lively and active dog of medium size, with a powerful but not heavy structure, and an elegant appearance without a trace of slenderness. The head is long and well shaped, with a flat and moderately broad skull, and a slight stop. The eyes are medium-sized, dark brown, or hazel in color. The ears are small, well set, and pendulous and they adhere well to the sides of the head. The limbs are straight and muscular. The tail is always carried gaily, but it should not rise above the dorsal line.

  • Hair: thick, as flat as possible, full, with feathered limbs and tail.
  • Colour: only black or liver brown.
  • Size: 58 to 61 cm for the male and 56 to 59 cm for the female
  • Weight: 27 to 36 kg for the male and 25 to 32 kg for the female

Origins and history

The origin of the Flat-Coated Retriever is not defined, but it is believed to come from a cross between Newfoundland and an Irish Setter. Interbreeding with Collies has certainly taken place as well. Its ancestors were called “Wavecoated retriever”, that is to say, “wavy-haired retriever dogs” and we can deduce that the first copies did not have smooth hair like the current breed. In the last century, Flat-Coated was very widespread in England; subsequently, the Labrador and the Golden Retriever were preferred. Currently, interest in the breed has grown and its distribution is constantly increasing.

black Golden Retriever

Character and Abilities

We are surprised not to meet this dog more often. He's a real little hidden gem, and it's precisely this that keeps him from becoming an overused fashionable dog. His character is gentle, he adapts easily and is extremely friendly without being pushy. Do not underestimate his intelligence and his desire to move. The Flat-Coated Retriever only becomes a couch potato when his mind and body have been challenged enough. Fetching, running, swimming – his favorite program is suitable for active people as well as children. The demanding tasks of the companion dog for the handicapped are well suited to the Flat-Coated Retriever.

Affectionate: He is very close to his master with whom he favors tactile contact.

Player: Always happy, this dog loves to play with his masters or children, especially in games of reports and research.

Calm: If he knows how to be very calm at home, he is all the more lively outside.

Clever: This dog knows how to make itself useful, and in addition to its predilection for hunting and marking (the art of pinpointing the precise spot where the game has fallen), it stands out in many other disciplines and activities in the service of man: assistance to the disabled, rescue, search for avalanches...

Hunter: A hunter at heart, he is employed to search for and bring back game, an activity in which he excels and for which he is highly appreciated by hunting enthusiasts.

Fearful/wary of strangers: The Flat-Coated Retriever is a sociable dog and good with everyone, including strangers.

Independent: He is a dog very dependent on his master, he needs to be surrounded.

black Golden Retriever

Best Products for Black Golden Retriever

Felix Small Dog HouseFelix Small Dog House
On sale 31% off


Endure loneliness: He hates loneliness, it is most certainly his only but greatest fault.

Easy to train / obedient: His impetuosity must be channeled from an early age by education without weakness but imprinted with gentleness. Passion tends to take over in the Flat-Coated Retriever, so rules and limits must be established quickly to promote good integration into its new social group.

Barking: The Flat-Coated Retriever never barks for no reason.

Runaway: His environment must be secure to prevent runaways.

Destroyer: Inactivity and loneliness breed destructive behaviors in this working breed that hates being separated from its social group.

Greedy/gluttonous: We could qualify this dog as a bon vivant. His daily rations must be balanced to avoid being overweight and above all be divided into two meals to avoid stomach upsets.

Watchdog: He is a poor guardian in the sense that he likes everyone and is unsuspecting of strangers. On the other hand, if he feels his family is in danger, he can be a deterrent.

First dog: He is an adorable dog that suits many profiles, even beginner owners. However, they should still be aware of the importance of the spending needs of this working dog.

black Golden Retriever

Living conditions

Flat-Coated Retriever in an apartment: He is of course more at ease in the countryside, but this Retriever can also adapt to city life and an apartment if he has the opportunity every day to walk for a long time in vast spaces.

Need for exercise/sport: He is a working dog who needs a lot of exercises to express his energy and express his full potential. You have to know how to occupy it physically and psychologically, especially through sports (hunting, agility, hiking...).

Travel / Ease of transport: Its average size allows it to follow its masters everywhere but on the only condition that good socialization has been offered to it from an early age.

  • The Flat-Coated Retriever and Cats: He can easily coexist with a cat if he is used to its presence since childhood.
  • The Flat-Coated Retriever and Other Dogs: Like many retriever dogs, this one is very sociable and quickly acquires the canine codes inherent in respectful congener encounters.
  • The Flat-Coated Retriever and Children:Playful, sweet, and affectionate, he is a perfect companion for children.
  • The Flat-Coated Retriever and the Elderly: This dog must be accompanied by master hunters and/or sportsmen to be fully fulfilled. It is necessary to avoid a sedentary and inactive daily life.
  • Grooming And Maintenance If you value your couch, you should get the Flat-Coated Retriever used to his basket from the start. Thanks to Newfoundland and Water Spaniel genes, the river, lake, and ocean waves magically attract all Retrievers. With a puppy, a puddle will do. Fortunately, its shiny coat is perfectly suited to this preference. Nevertheless, daily brushing should be part of the program. Only in this way is the beautiful and typical appearance of the coat of this breed (fine hair on the legs, tail, and belly) preserved.
  • Hair loss: Losses are moderate.


If the products are of high quality and adapted to their daily expenditure, their age and their state of health, and industrial diet based on premium croquettes are very suitable.

black Golden Retriever


Resistant/robust: It is a very solid and robust dog, although it does not live very long.

Withstands heat: Its activities must be arranged during a heat wave.

Withstands the cold: Its coat gives it good protection against cold and humidity.

Tendency to grow: If his diet is not balanced or adapted, there will be a risk of being overweight.

Average life expectancy: about 12 years

Common illnesses: Hip dysplasia, Dislocation of the patella

Good to know

The Flat-Coated Retriever loves to swim, so it is advisable to take him to the edge of a lake or river as often as possible.

Notes and tips

He should be rediscovered as a companion dog (and also as a working dog) because the Labrador and, to a lesser extent, the Golden tends to be preferred. Indeed, the Flat-Coated Retriever is not to be put in everyone's hands and must imperatively be channeled from an early age. Thus he will be very close to his master with whom he will favor tactile contact. If he knows how to be very calm at home, he is all the more lively outside. This is why it is necessary to know how to occupy it psychologically, particularly by sport (hunting, agility, hiking...). With this balance in life, the Flat-Coated Retriever will be a happy dog.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published