Black Goldendoodle 101 (Color, traits & cost guide)

Black Goldenpoo

A true Black Golden Doodle is a mix between a Golden Retriever and a Black, blue, or brown Poodle. The dominant black gene must be present in the Poodle and/or Golden Retriever for a black coat. This gene is found on the K-locus and allows the dog to produce eumelanin color pigment (black by default).

If a doodle produces this pigment the coat and skin beneath are black. Eumelanin only affects coat, eye, and skin color including the color of the nose, paws, lips, and eye rims.

However, this pigment can be modified by other genes: the dilution (blue), brown (chocolate), merle (merle), and greying (silver) genes. Silver (G) and merle (M) Poodles cannot produce adult Goldendoodles as they are both dominant for progressive greying and the merle coat pattern respectively.

But it is possible for a blue (gray) or brown Poodle to have black Doodles since both the Golden Retriever and Poodle parents need to carry the dilution (dd) and brown (bb) gene.

Golden Retrievers do not affect the black coat color as they are all red or its shades: cream, golden, light cream, etc. This makes the Black Goldendoodle quite rare as the Poodle has to have a dominant black gene (Kb at the K-locus). The Poodle does not have to be black.

For more on the K-locus and Kb, scroll on.

About the black Goldendoodle

What does all this talk of genes, locus, and Kb mean? Let me explain;

  • Gene– A sequence of codes that determine a dog’s characteristics including color. Genes come in pairs: one from each parent. For example, KbKb at the K-locus.
  • Locus– This is a specific location where a gene is found on a chromosome (DNA chain), plural loci. Kb is found on the K-locus. The K-locus is the specific location for the black gene.
  • Kb– Kb is a dominant allele that is responsible for the black coat color of most dogs including the Goldendoodle. Only one copy of the allele is required An allele is a variation of a gene on a specific locus. Other than Kb, a dog can also be Kkbr (brindle) or Ky (allows red pigment markings to show) at the K-locus. Kb is dominant over all of them and thus a doodle that is KbKb, KbKkbr, or KkbrKy at the K-locus will be black. This is unless it is e/e at the E (Extension) locus like the Golden Retriever.

Most if not all Golden Retrievers have a red coat- or one of its shades such as cream, golden, light cream (chalk white). This is because the Golden Retriever is e/e at the E-locus. The E-locus controls whether a dog will produce eumelanin (black) or phaeomelanin (red) pigment. If the pooch is e/e at the E-locus, the coat will be red or one of its shades.

It is genetically impossible for a dog that is e/e at the extension locus to produce black color pigment since e/e is dominant over all other color genes. However, the red color pigment (phaeomelanin) only affects the coat color and not the skin and eye color which is controlled by the black color pigment.

Thus a Golden Retriever can be Kb, Kkbr, or Ky but none of them will show. All these copies can be passed down to the Goldendoodle offspring. But Kkbr (brindle), and Ky (red/tan markings) do not affect the black doodle color unless the Poodle also has a copy of each at the K locus. Even then, there is a chance some pups will be black if the Poodle has at least one copy of the dominant black gene. If the Poodle is e/e at the E-locus, none of the puppies turn out black.

As I mentioned earlier the black pigment can be modified by other genes that alter its appearance;

  • Brown
  • Dilution
  • Progressive greying
  • Merle
Goldendoodle Black
Black Doodle

Brown (Chocolate or its shades)

The Brown (b) gene alters the black color pigment (eumelanin) making it appear chocolate or one of its shades. This gene (b) is recessive to black (B) which means that 2 copies from each parent are required (bb) to make the dog brown/chocolate other than black.

Any dog with 2 copies of the brown gene will have a brown nose and hazel eyes. You can tell if a Golden Retriever or Poodle carries two copies of this gene by looking at the eye or skin color (including the nose.

A black dog can be a carrier of the brown gene which will not be visible on the coat or skin color. Thus two black Goldendoodles can produce some brown pups if both are carriers of the gene.

The now brown pigment can be modified by the dilution, greying, and merle gene- coming next.

Dilution (Blue-gray & lighter shades of brown)

The dilution (d) gene reduces the intensity of the black or brown eumelanin pigment making it blue-gray, or a lighter shade of brown respectively. This gene only affects the eumelanin pigment and is recessive non-dilution (D). Two copies of the gene (dd) should be present for dilution.

You can tell if a dog with a red, cream, etc coat color has dilution by looking at the bluish or light brown nose and pale brown eyes. It is thus possible for a blue Poodle can produce black doodles if the other parent is not blue. A black Poodle and Golden retriever can produce diluted pups if they are both carriers of the dilution gene.

Blue and light brown Goldendoodles are rare.

Progressive greying (Silver & cafe or silver beige)

The greying (G) gene is dominant to not greying (g). Thus only one copy of it is required to be visible on some puppies that inherit it.

It only affects eumelanin pigments (black and brown to silver or cafe au lait/silver beige respectively). This gene will always be visible on an older black or brown doodle.

A Goldendoodle pup may be born black and progressively fade into a blue-greyish color with age. The same goes for a brown doodle pup that may develop a cafe or silver beige (a light chocolate shade).

Merle (Merle pattern)

The merle gene (M) is dominant to not being merle (m). All Goldendoodles that inherit it, are born with a merle pattern- a lighter color with torn/jagged black or brown patches- instead of solid black or brown.

The eyes, skin, and nose pigments will be affected as well. All merle Goldendoodles have one or two blue eyes, patched skin, and a blue (blue merle) or light brown/pinkish (brown merle) nose.

Merle seems to have been bred into some Goldendoodles or Poodle line from other breeds. No merle Poodle or Golden Retriever is purebred and should be (mm) at the Merle locus.

Merle Golden Doodles or Poodles (Mm) can have black puppies.

Black Goldendoodle generations

F1 black Goldendoodle

This is a first-generation cross of a purebred Poodle with the dominant black gene a purebred Golden Retriever that may or may not be a carrier of the gene. The Poodle does not have to be black but can be blue or brown to produce f1 puppies.

As mentioned earlier all Golden Retrievers are reddish or a shade of red such as cream or gold. These shades of red are caused by a gene combination that is dominant to the black gene and thus black is not visible on Golden Retrievers.

F1b Black Goldendoodle

The Black Goldendoodle F1b is a first-generation backcross doodle with a dominant black gene. It is a result of mating a Goldendoodle with a Poodle or Golden Retriever to enhance certain features. In most cases, it will be a cross between a black Goldendoodle and a black Poodle.

F2 Black Goldendoodle

A black F2 Goldendoodle is an offspring of two Goldendoodle parents. One or both parents can be black but this is not required. But, at least one of the doodle parents needs to have the dominant black gene for the possibility of black pups in a litter.

This can continue into the F2B backcross with the addition of a Poodle or Golden Retriever and so forth to get subsequent generations.

Black and white Goldendoodle

A Black Goldendoodle with white markings is known as a parti, black parti, or random white Goldendoodle. This color combination (pattern) is believed to be caused by the white spotting piebald gene (Sp) on the S-locus.

The Goldendoodle should have both the dominant black and at least one copy of the piebald gene to be black and white.

Piebald is a complex gene that produces a wide range of white markings of various sizes depending on the number of copies the dog inherits. A black dog that inherits one copy of this gene may have minimal to moderate white marking predominantly on the chest, paws, underbelly, or tail tip. Others with one copy of the gene may have a solid black coat with no white markings.

A dog with 2 copies of the gene (SpSp), may have moderate to extensive white covering the underside (ventral surface), chest, tail, and legs. The dog may also have extensive white marking covering part or the entire neck area (collar), the face, and some parts of the black saddle (back).

Some black Doodles with minimal white markings on the chest, chin, paws, and or tail tip are not due to the spotting gene. These are known as residue white markings. They are caused by the failure of the pigment-producing cells to reach these areas during embryonic and fetal development (during pregnancy). Residue white markings may or may not clear out on some doodle pups as they get older to a solid black color.

As a said, white markings are complex and more research is required or probably undergoing to better explain it all.

Black Poodle Golden Retriever mix
Black Goldendoodle with minimal white markings visible on the chest and chin

Black Goldendoodle sizes

The Black Goldendoodle comes in 3 Goldendoodle sizes: the standard, mini, and toy size varieties.

  • Standard/Large Black Goldendoodle– 50-70 pounds & 20-26 inches
  • Mini Black Goldendoodle– 25-50 pounds & 15 -20 inches
  • Toy Goldendoodle– 10-25 pounds & Under 15 inches

The size of the Doodle will depend on the Poodle parent and whichever you choose will depend on your personal preference.

Black Doodle coat care

The coat of a black doodle may need to be groomed more or less often depending on the activities the dog engages in. Light dirt and debris will be more visible on a black coat but a light finishing spray can help keep away some light particles from the hair.

The coat can also lose its sheen after long exposure to the sun. This is an effect known as sunning which causes the black coat to appear faded over time. It is thus important to avoid exposing the black coat to the scorching sun for a long.

A conditioner or color-enhancing shampoo to clean the dog can help restore some of the vibrancy and bring out the black color. The proper diet will also keep the coat healthy and shining.

Black coats are also prone to absorbing more heat than lighter coats. Shading and cooling will be crucial for the dog during the hotter days.


How much is a black Goldendoodle?

On good price for a black Goldendoodle puppy from a reputable breeder is anywhere between $1000 and $2000. The cost can be lower or higher depending on;

  • The size of the doodle
  • Your location
  • The breeder
  • Pedigrees, etc

Do black Goldendoodles change color?

Not all Goldendoodle pups that are born black will stay black into adulthood. The color may change or fade from black to a blue-gray color with a silver hue. This is progressive graying and is caused by a dominant graying gene found on the G-locus of a DNA sequence.

Only one copy of the gene should be present for this gradual color change to occur. This color change may start as early as 6 weeks and take 1 to 3 years.

Are black Goldendoodles rare?

Black Goldendoodles can be a rare find but they are not as rare as some might have you believe. However, they are not as common as red shades such as apricot/gold, cream, light cream, red/tan, and so on.

With this shade’s increasing popularity more breeders are breeding for the color hence the increased number of black doodles.

Be wary of anyone using rare as a selling point for their black Poodle X Golden Retriever mixes.

Are Black Goldendoodles good dogs?

There is a theory that lighter-colored Goldendoodles are preferred over the black-color varieties. Black Doodles appear to take a bit longer to find a home for unknown reasons.

But the black Goldendoodle is as good a doodle as any other color variations. The gene responsible for the black coat color does not appear to affect the dog’s temperament.

Coat color does not dictate how well a dog will turn out or whether he will be fit for you. Each dog is an individual. Even pups of the same color in the same litter will have different behavioral traits. The dog’s personality will also be molded by how well he is raised, socialized, and trained.

Before buying spend some time with the pup and gauge if he will be a fit for your specific lifestyle.

But in general, Black Doodles have stable temperaments, a friendly demeanor, and are as outgoing as any other color. You can depend on them with an active lifestyle on a farm or apartment and as couch potatoes.

Does the black Doodle tickle your fancy? Let us know in the comment section below.

There you go, WOOF!


As a dog lover, George understands how they behave and how to best take care of them. He is also well versed with various dog breeds and loves writing about them.

Recent Posts