Can a Golden Retriever Be White?

by Matt Bostic

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One of the defining features of a Golden Retriever is that they have some beautiful gold fur. 

The fur can be done in a lot of different shades of gold and some are even slightly red. 

But all of them tend to have a lot of gold in them, especially if they are purebred. 

Some pet owners may see some variations to this coloring and wonder if a purebred golden retriever can have white in them?

Can a Golden Retriever Be White?

While it is not common for the Golden Retriever to be all white, it is not that uncommon for them to have some white markings on them. This is actually from an inherited gene for the dog, so it is not a sign that something is wrong with the dog or that they are not purebred. There are plenty of purebred Golden Retrievers that will have white markings on them. 

A purebred Golden Retriever can have some white on them. 

It is not as common now as it was in the past though. 

These white markings are going to be inherited and since it is a genetic thing, you may not have much control over whether the white markings are going to show up. 

Unlike some of the other coloring that you can pick for the Golden Retriever, having white on them is not a sign of a mixed breed at all. 

There are different markings and colorings that are completely normal for the Golden Retriever. 

Let’s take a closer look at the different fur coloring options for the Golden Retriever and see which ones are normal, including white, for this dog breed. 

About fifty years ago or so, it was common for most Golden Retrievers to have that white marking on them. It is less common now. 

Even though we do not see the white as much as before, it is completely normal and not a cause for concern. 

In fact,  you may still see the white marking show up from time to time, even when both parents are purebred. 

Many pet owners assume that when a Golden Retriever has the white markings, it is because they have been mixed with a Collie. This is not true. 

If the golden retriever and the collie are mixed together, the coat is going to turn more of a darker color, and even black, rather than have the golden or the white in it. 

We need to remember that there are three main types of golden retrievers that you can have and the one that is in your home will determine the coloring of their coat. 

The three main types include the dark golden, the light golden, and the golden. 

These can also go by the names of Canadian, American, and English. 

Goldens are still going to have some kind of golden shade in them, no matter what type of the breed you have. 

However, there is a big range within the term of golden and you may see a lot of variance with it. 

Their fur also has the ability to change as they are growing, so the color they are born with may not stay the same as they get older

All golden retrievers will be able to have some white markings on them. 

However, it is more likely for this inherited gene to show up in the American or the Canadian golden retriever. 

If you have one of these breeds, then. You will probably see the white markings show up. 

Do All Golden Retrievers Have White Markings?

It is possible for any golden retriever to get some of the white markings on them. It will all depend on their parents and whether one or both have the gene for this white marking on the dog. It is a rare thing to happen though and very few dogs in this breed are going to have those white markings on them at all. 

Not all Golden retrievers are going to have the white markings. In fact, most golden retrievers should not have this white because it is a type of genetic mutation. They will either get it from one of their parents passing it down to them or there will be a genetic mutation that makes that gene show up for the pet as well. 

This does not mean that the dog is going to be in harm’s way or get sick because of the genetic issue. But it does make it rare. 

This means that most Golden Retrievers are not going to have the white on them so it is not common to see this appear. 

You do not need to be concerned if you see it show up, even if neither of the parents had the white marking. 

Can My Golden Retriever Lose Pigment on the Nose?

While the white is often going to show up in the fur of the dog, it is possible that other areas of the dog can start to lose pigmentation and will change color over time. 

One of the areas where this is going to happen is on the nose of the dog. 

The most common reason that the dog is going to lose pigment in their nose, whether they are a golden retriever or another type of dog, is the weather. 

This is something that is known as winter nose or snow nose and it is where the color of the nose is going to change from a dark color to more of a pink color when the weather gets cold. 

This can happen to any dog, and is not really tied to any genetic factors or anything else that the pet owner is going to need to worry about. 

When the weather, or even just the dog, gets warm, they will get their regular pigment back in the nose. 

This is part of the normal process and while it can look a little silly, it is going to be a normal thing to happen to the dog. 

Why is My Golden Retriever White?

If you notice that the golden retriever is a light color in the fur, they will probably be more of a cream color rather than white. 

The white fur all over the dog is not common, it is going to be more of a few spots and patches of the white instead. 

The full white is going to be unlikely because the Golden Retriever is going to be a shade of gold instead. 

They can have some light hair that is present, but it is not standard. 

If you try to show the dog at a show, then they are going to be penalized if the hair is too light. 

You will need to check with the show to see whether the dog is going to have too much of the white present when you try to show them or not. 

A few patches is generally OK, but it is best to have them in the darker shades of gold. 

One thing to keep in mind is the exact breed of this dog that you are working with. 

Many of the puppies are going to start out in a cream color, which is much lighter than some of the other golden colors that you will have. 

However, the English cream golden retriever will often start out in cream and can get darker in color when they get older. 

Are White Golden Retrievers Different Than Golden Retrievers?

The white golden retriever is going to be just the same as the standard golden retriever. 

The only difference that you will see is that they have some of the white patches on their fur. 

The amount of white that shows up will depend on the dog and how much of that gene is going to show up. 

Otherwise, the two dogs are going to be the same. 

This means that you will get the same lifespan of 11 to 12 years or longer for the dog, the same kind of shedding abilities, and the same energy levels. 

If you have been a fan of the golden retriever for some time, then you will be just fine with the dog having some of the white on them. 

It will not affect their energy levels, health, affection, or anything else if this white spot does show up in the dog. 

Overall, whether the dog has white on them or is the traditional golden color, they are going to be one of the best pets for you to own. 

Finding White on Your Golden Retriever

Finding some white spots on your golden retriever is not something to cause concern. 

It likely means that somewhere in their lineage, they had someone that had the white as well. 

Since this is a genetic trait, you will likely be able to trace it back up the line for the dog. 

It will not cause them any health conditions or worries along the way and they will be perfectly happy and healthy, and even a purebred, just like the traditional golden retriever. 

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