Can Purebred Golden Retrievers Have White on Them? Read Before Deciding


One of the most common questions for people who are raising golden retrievers is can purebred golden retrievers have white markings?

It can get confusing for some people to decide whether the golden is purebred or not, and while I believe all dogs are wonderful, it’s worth exploring how can purebreds have white markings and whether it even means they are still purebred goldens.

So, Can purebred golden retrievers have white on them? Yes, Purebred Golden Retrievers can have white on them. It’s much less common now than it was 50 years ago when it was common to find purebred golden retrievers with white markings. White markings are inherited and caused by genetics and you shouldn’t worry about them.

If the white markings have been the thing that’s holding you back from getting your golden, they shouldn’t, and you can welcome this lovely pooch at your home.

There is quite a bit more to the subject though, and an interesting history that I don’t see discussed much on the internet, so let’s take a minute to dig a bit deeper and learn everything there is to learn about this….

Can Golden retrievers Have White Markings? 

Golden retriever walking in water to answer can purebred golden retrievers have white on them

It is possible for golden retrievers to have white markings, however, white markings only appear in purebred golden retrievers because it’s an inherited gene.

Golden retrievers with white markings were very common fifty years ago, but not so much now, but it is still completely normal for the white marking to pop up from time to time in purebred golden retrievers.

Most people think that golden retrievers with white markings are a mix of a collie and a golden retriever, well, they can’t be more wrong because if it is, the dog’s coat will be black and not golden.

There are three types of golden retrievers; golden, light golden, and dark golden, or English, American, and Canadian.

Goldens are still all some shade of golden, but their fur can look to be different colors in different lighting conditions. Their fur can also change color as they grow, and you can learn why golden retrievers change fur color as they grow here.

Golden retrievers with white markings are usually Canadian goldens or any north American golden retrievers. 

Do all golden retrievers have white markings? 

No, not all golden retrievers have white markings, because technically golden retrievers shouldn’t have white on them but it could appear because of a genetic mutation or they carry that specific gene from their ancestors.

It’s kinda rare, that’s why not all golden retrievers have white markings. It’s definitely not a cause for concern, though, and you shouldn’t worry about it too much.

How can I tell if my golden retriever is really purebred?

Female golden retriever

You can tell if your golden retriever is a purebred by a DNA test, there are a few online places that can provide you with that, or you can buy a home kit from amazon it will give you information on their ancestors and it will provide you with some useful information about your dog such as their adult weight prediction.

Check out the this homekit which I have found particularly useful:

Can dogs have spots?

Yes, they can, goldens can be born with black or blue spots on their tongue or it can appear when they are young, and the same texture of black and blue can appear in the rest of your golden retriever’s tongue, and it will change shape and color as your puppy ages.

Why is my golden retriever losing pigment on his nose?

The most common reason for a golden retriever’s nose to lose its pigment or any other dog is the weather. It’s called snow nose or winter nose, their nose color changes from a dark color to pink when the weather is cold and it will turn dark again when the weather gets warm, another reason for losing their nose pigment is the age it’s a normal process.

Goldens are meant to live in cold areas, but they can adapt to hotter climates if you know what you’re doing. You can find out guide for goldens living in hot weather here.

What dog breeds get snow noses?

Snow nose appears in white and light-colored dogs such as 

  • Golden retrievers
  • Labrador retrievers
  • Siberian husky
  • Doberman pinschers
  • Boston terriers 
  • German shepherds
  • Samoyeds
  • Malamutes 

Why is my golden retriever white?

If your golden retriever is very light in color, still, they will not be white because this color does not appear in this breed genetically speaking.

They can have an amount of light-colored hair but according to the AKC it is not in the golden retriever standard and it is considered a fault and will be penalized in shows.

However, English cream golden retriever puppies tend to darken in color as they grow. 

What breed is a white golden retriever? 

A white golden retriever is just a broad name given to English golden retrievers because they tend to have a lighter coat and they are known as the English cream golden retriever.

Do white golden retrievers shed?

All golden retrievers shed especially in spring and fall, regular bathing and daily grooming will be required to get some of the loose hair out of the coat.

So you can keep your house, guests, clothes clean from their hair that is falling all over your place.

The right healthy diet will help with the shedding besides exercising, keeping them active can affect their hair too.

I have made a complete list of 17 tips to control your golden’s shedding here which I recommend you check out as it has everything I have learned through the years and some pro tips you won’t find anywhere else.

How long do white golden retrievers live?

The average lifespan for golden retrievers is about 11 to 12 years, white golden retrievers are known to have genetic disorders and some other diseases. It’s highly recommended you take them for regular vet check-ups to catch any health issues before they become a problem.

Related Questions 

Can goldens have white paws? 

Yes, golden retrievers can have small amounts of white in their paws especially in purebred goldens, but completely white paws, chest, or face are not common.

However, it is not something to worry about as it’s either because of a genetic mutation or they inherited that gene from their ancestors.

Are all golden retrievers Fluffy?

Yes, almost all healthy golden retrievers are fluffy, but your golden retriever could be perfectly healthy and still not fluffy.  Your golden retriever could be not fluffy because of poor nutrition, dry weather, age, genetics, or because of a health issue that’s affecting their coat and skin.

You can find out the causes and solutions for why your golden isn’t fluffy here.

What dogs look like golden retrievers?

If you are wondering if there are other dogs that look like golden retrievers, fortunately, there is, here are 8 dogs

  • Labrador retriever
  • Leonberger
  • English springer spaniel
  • Chesapeake bay retriever
  • The Great Pyrenees
  • Flat-coated retriever 
  • Bernese mountain dog
  • Nova scotia duck tolling retriever 
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