Posts Tagged ‘golden retriever with white markings’

This golden retriever puppy has a white spot on its head.

It also has a few white hairs on one toe.

Both of these features will likely disappear as the puppy matures.

Darker goldens often have these little white tags, and some are born with what look like full blazes running down their heads and spots on their chests.

But they almost always disappear as the dog matures.

This puppy will be quite dark as when it matures. The ear and muzzle color are significantly darker than the rest of the pup, and when it’s about two years old, its entire coat will be that color, although there may be some lighter shadings.

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This golden has a ton of white on her.

Except for the white markings, she could pass for my first dog.

This dog is a definite throwback to the ancestral setter of Ireland, which looked something like this.

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I’ve previously written about white markings on golden retrievers. These traits are very common in the working line goldens, and it is actually pretty easy to mistake them for over-sized Nova Scotia Duck-Tolling Retrievers.

Molson is a golden with lots of white on him who has appeared on this blog before.

Here he is with Zoe:

Zoe is a light-colored golden with no white on her. You probably wouldn’t have a hard time convincing someone that she is a pure golden. Molson obviously would have some difficulties in this regard.

The two produced a litter in which two pups had white markings.


And Abby:

Abby does not have as much white around her nose as it appears in this photo.

A profile shot shows that she has just a little flash of white towards the end of her muzzle:

I want to thank Layne Teal for sending me these photos. I was going to post them with the other posts on goldens with white markings.

I decided against it, simply because I haven’t written on this topic for a while.

These dogs are from Canada, but these white markings pop up in virtually all North American field lines.

Keep in mind that golden retrievers are technically not supposed to have any white on them, but two of the breed’s ancestors, the old Irish setter and the St. John’s water dog, did have limited white markings on their bodies.


After much thought, I have decided to go along with Mark Derr’s assertion that the St. John’s water dog was a cur breed. It was a “water cur.”

As I’ve written before, a cur is not a mongrel. A cur is a multipurpose working dog of which there are many different strains in the Western and Southern US. The local cur for my area is called the mountain cur, and it is used mostly as a varmint dog. They are used on squirrels and groundhogs, but some are also excellent coonhounds. Some may have been used to herd cattle here, usually if they have had a bit of collie-type crossed in.

The St. John’s water dog hauled nets and baited lines, retrieved shot birds, tracked wounded game, and hauled sleds and carts. Some were even used to retrieve seals that were shot from boats. One assumes that the seals were dead when the dogs were sent for them, for a big seal can be more than a match for any dog.  I would hate to be the dog sent after a wounded seal in rough seas.

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This dog is another golden with lots of white on it. For more analysis check out posts here and here.

I also found photograph of Mrs. Cottingham’s Woolley goldens. The Woolleys were really important as the breed developed into a more distinct type in the 1920’s and 1930’s.


At lest three of the Woolleys pictured here have large white spots on the chests.

These dogs are also very dark in color. Some of them are probably mahoganies.

And they have a flat-coat look to them, as most of the early goldens clearly did. After all, the flat-coat still has the working conformation that both of these dogs once had, while the modern show golden has deviated from that functional conformation.

White markings have always been around in goldens, and these white marks are not always confined to “a few white hairs on the chest.”

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