What are the different colours of Golden Retrievers?

Golden Retrievers are beautiful dogs that can have many colours. I sometimes had to explain to people I know that a Golden Retriever cannot be black or totally white.

In this article, we will see what colours are accepted by most Golden Retriever standards and we will also look at the unofficial colours.

3 different colours of Golden Retrievers

If we look at the breed description given to us by the FCI, it is specified that the coat colour can be of “any golden or cream tone”. We also see that it “must be neither red nor mahogany” and that “the presence of some white hair only on the chest is allowed”.

In the United States, the AKC (American Kennel Club) stipulates that the coat must be “a rich, shiny gold of various shades” and that it can also be white if this is due to the age of the Golden Retriever. Furthermore, it is also specified that “any visible area of black hair […] constitutes a serious fault”.

You can see that the Golden Retriever can have different colours as long as he remains golden and does not deviate from the established standards. So, if we generalize, we can narrow down the colours of this breed of dog to three ‘general' colours:

  • Light golden
  • Golden
  • Dark golden

Light golden

This is the lightest Golden Retriever colour. The coat is darker than white without being golden. Here is a picture as an example:


This is the most classic colour of this dog breed. When you think of a Golden Retriever, you probably picture this one.

Here is an example:

Dark golden

The third and final official colour of the Golden Retriever is dark gold. It is not black or brown, just a rather dark gold.

Example in photo:

golden foncé
You may recognize his owner (even if he is not very famous😛)

The unofficial colours

You should know that if your Golden Retriever is black, brown or red, it is not a Golden Retriever (at least according to the different federations or clubs). It is probably a mongrel, but if it looks like a Golden Retriever, there is nothing to stop you from naming him after the breed.

After all, there are no dog police force that will come and arrest you because you say your dog is a Golden Retriever when it is not. Well, just don't show him at a dog show 🙂

Other Golden Retriever colours that don't exist:

  • white
  • brown
  • chocolate
  • tan
  • gray
  • chestnut
  • black and white
  • red

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