Will My Golden Retriever Change Colour? [Revealed!]

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So, you’re wondering, “Will My Golden Retriever Change Colour?”

It’s a common question among new puppy parents, that I have asked myself.

Golden Retrievers come in a variety of shades ranging from light golden to dark golden, and perhaps you have your heart set on a particular shade.

How will you know what colour your puppy’s coat will be as an adult?

Does the colour of the coat change?

If colour is a deciding factor for you when choosing your Golden Retriever puppy, stick around as we answer all of your questions regarding colour changes in Golden Retrievers.

Will My Golden Retriever Change Colour?

Yes, Golden Retrievers will change colour as they get older. The colour of the coat will change, from a very light puppy coat to a darker adult coat. As your Golden Retriever ages and becomes a senior, the fur around his eyes and muzzle will turn white. Another colour change that may occur, is the colour of the nose, turning from black to pink.

1. The Puppy Coat Will Darken With Age

Will My Golden Retriever Change Colour - A Golden Retriever puppy laying in the grass looking off into the distance.

Golden Retriever puppies start off with a very light colour puppy coat. It is lighter in colour than that of their parent’s coat.

The puppy coat is soft and fluffy, and actually gets pushed aside once the adult coat starts to grow.

Around 3 to 4 months of age, you may notice longer and darker fur starting to grow.

This darker fur is what’s known as your Golden Retriever’s outer coat. The outer coat is darker in colour and consists of guard hairs.

The growth of your puppy’s adult coat starts at the tail, signalling the start of feathering. Golden Retrievers have feathers on their tails, legs, and stomachs.

You can expect your Golden Retriever’s adult coat to be fully set around the age of 2, and it will be darker than his puppy coat.

2. Your Golden Retriever’s Face Will Change Colour With Age

An older Golden Retriever with a white face standing next to a human.  The Golden Retriever is looking at you, while the human is holding a leash.

As your Golden Retriever gets older, you may notice his fur getting lighter in colour, particularly on the face.

This is a natural part of aging and usually occurs when your Golden is between the ages of 5 to 7.

However, there are some Goldens who turn white on their faces prematurely, and it can be caused by genetics or stress.

You will notice the fur around the eyes and muzzle start to get lighter, before eventually turning your Golden Retriever’s face white.

Just as humans get grey hair as they age, Golden’s faces turn white. It is simply because of a slow down of melanin production.

RELATED ===> When Do Golden Retrievers Faces Turn White?

3. The Nose Of Your Golden Retriever May Change Colour

A Golden Retriever sitting on a dirt path, with its eyes closed and tongue sticking out.

Another colour change that may occur in your Golden Retriever is his nose.

This is surprising to many owners when they notice their Golden Retriever’s nose is no longer black.

Instead, it has turned brown or pink.

This is what’s called snow nose or winter nose. Yup, you guessed it, it happens during the winter.

My Golden Retriever Ellie’s nose turned pink after her first winter and has remained pink.

Some Golden Retrievers’ noses go from black to pink and then turn black again. While others’ noses remain pink, or some don’t change at all and remain black.

Sounds confusing right?

While this change in nose colour may be alarming, it is completely normal and harmless. Scientists actually don’t really know what causes the change in colour.

It is quite common in light-coloured dogs, as well as certain breeds such as Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, and a few others.

RELATED ===> Golden Retriever Snow Nose.

How To Predict The Colour Of Your Golden Retriever

Alright, now that we have learned that Golden Retrievers change colour as they get older, it’s time to talk about how you can predict the colour of your Golden Retriever.

There are two ways you can determine the colour of your puppy as an adult:

By The Colour Of The Ears

A Golden Retriever puppy sitting on a tiled floor looking off to the side.

The colour of your puppy’s ears is a good indication of what your puppy’s adult coat colour will be.

Typically, the ears are darker than the puppy coat, and your Golden Retriever’s adult coat will be a very close match to the ears.

If the ears are dark, the coat colour will be dark as well. Light-coloured ears indicate a lighter coat colour.

This is the easiest way to determine your pup’s future colour, and many Golden Retriever owners swear by this method, myself included.

The Colour Of Your Puppy’s Parents

Three light coloured Golden Retrievers laying beside each other on a field of grass.  All three dogs are looking straight ahead.

Another way to get a sense of what colour your puppy will be as an adult is by looking at his parents.

If both parents are dark golden, then your puppy will be as well. The same goes for light-coloured.

What happens if you only see one of your pup’s parents, or if you can’t see any of them? Or, if one parent is dark golden and the other is light?

In these cases, I would refer to the colour of your pup’s ears.

At What Age Will I See A Colour Change In My Golden Retriever?

Golden Retrievers naturally change colours as they get older.

The first colour change occurs in Golden Retriever puppies around the age of 3 to 4 months. Their fur gets darker as their adult coat starts to grow.

Your adult Golden Retriever will show signs of aging beginning with his fur turning white around his eyes and muzzle. This occurs around the age of 5 to 7 years old.

Usually, a change in nose colour occurs after your Golden’s first winter, while he is young. Some Golden’s however, don’t see a change in nose colour.

What Are The Many Colours Of Golden Retrievers?

Golden Retrievers do come in a variety of shades that range from cream white to dark red.

This short video gives a brief overview of the different shades of Golden:

However, despite the many shades, there are only 3 colours that are recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Light Golden, Golden, and Dark Golden. The other colours are just varying shades of gold.

When looking at the colour of a Golden Retriever, it’s important to understand that there are actually 3 different types of Golden Retrievers. American, English and Canadian.

RELATED ===> English Retriever vs Golden Retriever.

The American Kennel Club has stricter breed standards of colour as compared to the UK and Canadian Kennel Clubs.

Here’s a look at what each Kennel Club has to say regarding colour:

American Kennel Club

As mentioned, the AKC only recognizes Golden Retrievers to be of 3 colours.

They frown upon any shade of extremely light or extremely dark body colour.

The UK Kennel Club

Accepted colours are any shade of gold or cream. They do not recognize darker colours such as red or mahogany.

Canadian Kennel Club

The Canadian Kennel Club allows for more shades of Golden as compared to the UK and American Kennel Clubs.

They recognize the colour to be “lustrous golden of various shades, ranging from cream to darkest gold.”

Final Thoughts

As we have learned, Golden Retrievers do change colour as they get older.

You can expect your Golden Retriever puppy to get darker as he starts to grow his adult coat.

To predict the future colour of your Golden Retriever, you can check the colour of his ears. The adult coat will be a close match.

Once your Golden starts to mature and become a senior, another colour change will occur. His face will start to turn white.

The third colour change that may or may not happen is that of the nose.

Regardless of what colour your Golden Retriever is, one thing remains the same, the pure love and joy that they give!

Did you notice a significant colour change in your Golden Retriever? Is colour a deciding factor for you when choosing a Golden Retriever?

Share your thoughts and comments below. I would love to hear from you!

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2 thoughts on “Will My Golden Retriever Change Colour? [Revealed!]”

  1. It was fun reading about golden retrievers! They are one of my favorite dogs. I think they have a loving personality as well. Just as children’s hair can darken as they get older, and again as we age, so does the golden retriever. I never would have thought of their nose changing color, however.

    • Hi Carolyn,

      Golden’s are a favourite among many, thanks to their sweet and loving personalities.

      The colour change on the nose surprises many owners, it’s purely cosmetic and it doesn’t happen to all Golden Retrievers.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts,



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