6 Dogs That Look Like Black Golden Retrievers (With Pictures)

Have you seen a dog that looks exactly like a black golden retriever?

Well, black golden retrievers don’t actually exist (more on this later), but this post will help you identify what you saw.

Here are six dogs that look like black golden retrievers:

  • Flat-coated retrievers
  • Newfoundlands
  • Black lab and golden retriever mix
  • Black German shepherd and Golden retriever mix
  • Other combinations of Labrador, golden retriever, setter, or spaniel mixes

In this post, we’ll dive into each of these dogs in more detail, but first, let’s talk about why black golden retrievers can’t exist.

Why Black Golden Retrievers Don’t Exist

If you ever took a genetics class, this section will make a lot of sense.

If you didn’t, and this stuff doesn’t make sense, just know that black goldens can’t exist because science.

Anyway, here’s the short version:

The E-Locus controls the production of pigment in melanocytes, which controls the color of skin or fur (source).

The dominant allele, “E”, causes dogs to produce black pigment, while the recessive allele, “e”, causes dogs to produce yellow or red pigment.

Since golden retrievers have two recessive “e” alleles, and two recessive “e” alleles mean the dog’s coat will be red or gold, they can only produce puppies with red or gold coats.

Any genetic mutations will leave black spots, not create an entirely black dog.

Click here to see the longer explanation and learn more about black golden retrievers and why they don’t exist.

Now, let’s dive into which dogs look the most like black golden retrievers.

Flat-Coated Retrievers

flat-coated retriever black golden retriever

These dogs probably look the most like black golden retrievers.

They both have floppy ears, similar-shaped heads, similar-sized bodies, and coats that look a lot alike (minus the color).

They even have similar personalities and tendencies (like the tendency to be playful puppies for life).

The biggest difference is the color.

Just like golden retrievers only come in shades of gold, flat-coated retrievers only come in black or liver.


newfoundland black golden retriever

Newfoundlands have blocky heads similar to some golden retrievers.

They also have similar shaped muzzles and can have some of the same facial expressions and tendencies as goldens.

The biggest differences are their size and coats.

Newfoundlands can grow up to 150 pounds (twice the size of most goldens) and they seem to have twice the amount of fur, too!

Plus, Newfoundlands drool a lot more than golden retrievers.


Hovawarts look like a mix between a golden retriever and a rottweiler.

They have the body and shape of a golden with the coloring of a rottweiler or doberman.

They’re also bigger than golden retrievers, growing up to 90 pounds and 28 inches tall.

Interestingly enough, they actually can be blonde in color, looking pretty much exactly like a golden retriever.

Black Lab & Golden Retriever Mix

black lab black golden retriever

Since Labrador retrievers often look like golden retrievers with short coats, and black is the dominant coat color, the possibility of a black lab and golden retreiver creating what looks like a black golden retriever is totally possible.

Labs and goldens are similar size, have similar personalities, and look a lot alike, so even a regular black lab may look like a black golden retriever.

Golden Retriever & Black German Shepherd Mix

Another mix that may produce what appears to be a black golden retriever is a golden retriever and black German shepherd mix.

Since these two breeds are similar in size and have roughly similar shaped heads, it’s easy to see how this mix might look like a black golden retriever.

A big difference between these two breeds is the ears.

German shepherds have pointy ears and golden retrievers have floppy ears, so a mix would probably have ears that are somewhere in the middle, like the picture above.

Other Lab/Golden Mixes

black golden retriever mix

In addition to a black lab and a black german shepherd mixed with a golden retriever, there are tons of other options that could produce dogs that look like black goldens.

Golden retrievers originated from a mix of a spaniel and a retriever, so mixes of spaniels, other retrievers, shepherds, or setters are likely candidates to produce a seemingly black golden retriever.

Bonus Breed: Chocolate Golden Retriever

Below, you can see my golden retriever, Oliver, doing his best to turn himself into a chocolate golden retriever.

If you see one of these in the wild, don’t let them in your house or your car before you spray them down!


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Although black golden retrievers don’t exist, flat-coated retrievers and Newfoundlands resemble them, and any mix of retriever, shepherd, setter, or spaniel could create a dog that looks like a black golden retriever.

If a breeder tells you they have black golden retrievers then run away because they’re lying, but if you see what looks like a black golden retriever at the shelter, even though it’s not a purebred golden, don’t let that deter you from considering adopting them.

Have any questions about black golden retrievers?

Let us know in the comments below!

And if you want to learn more about golden retrievers, check out our Complete Guide To Golden Retrievers.

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