top of page

Golden Retriever Coat Colors

Are all golden retrievers "golden"? As surprising as it may sound, there is actually a variety of acceptable colors for golden retrievers. 

The American Kennel Club defines three colors for the breed: 

1. Dark Golden
2. Golden
3. Light Golden

It's important to keep in mind that the golden retriever personality is constant in the breed, regardless of the type of coat. Goldens are affectionate, playful, intelligent, and highly trainable in all coat colors. Choosing a particular color often comes down to personal preference.

Another factor to consider is that puppies' coats are almost always lighter than their future adult coats. We look at the puppies' ears to help predict their adult coloring. Their ears tend to stay consistent as they grow older. Most goldens will mature into their adult coloring in their second year. When the puppies' parents have different coat colors, the puppies' coats are usually a blend of the parents' coloring.

Now let's examine what each of these color varieties look like.

Dark Golden

Dark golden retrievers have a striking, almost reddish coat. While not a true red color, their dark coats stand out as distinct from other varieties of golden retrievers. Sometimes people mistake dark goldens for Irish Setters, but they are still golden retrievers. 

Golden retriever puppies for sale
Golden retriever puppies for sale
Golden retriever puppies for sale
Simba 1.jpg
Simba 3.jpg
Simba 2.jpg


The majority of people think of the classic golden color when they picture a golden retriever. As the most popular coat color, the golden variety is beloved by many. Occasionally referred to as "honey," the golden color shines for its time-honored beauty. 

Rose 1_new.jpg
Rose 2.JPG
Rose 3_new.jpg
Sadie 1_new.jpg
Sadie 2_new.jpg
Sadie 3_new.jpg

Light Golden

Light golden retrievers are sometimes referred to as "cream," "blonde," or "English cream" golden retrievers. While the golden retriever breed originated in Scotland in the 1830s, the family tree diverged over time to create the coat differences we see today. One of these branches is the cream variety. While they are normally not pure white, their coats are significantly lighter than most other golden retrievers. Cream-colored golden retrievers may also have broader, stockier faces and bodies.

Easter 3_new.jpg
Easter 2_new.jpg
Easter 1_new.jpg
Dooly 1.2_new.jpg
Dooly 1.1_new.jpg
Dooly 1.3_new.jpg

Whether you prefer a dark, golden, or light golden retriever, their friendliness and devotion is constant. They all love being with people! They continue to stand as one of America's most popular and versatile dog breeds. 

bottom of page