Why Do Golden Retrievers Have Mysterious Black Spots on Their Tongues?

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golden retriever black spot on tongue

Have you ever noticed a black spot on your Golden Retriever’s tongue and wondered, “Is this normal?” Here’s the good news: it is! These spots are merely a result of excess melanin deposits and are common among 30 different breeds.

This blog will walk you through everything there is to know about these mysterious spots, dispelling myths and easing concerns along the way. Ready to debunk some doggy dilemmas? Let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

Why Do Some Golden Retrievers Have Black Spots on Their Tongue?

Golden Retrievers can have black spots on their tongue due to genetic factors and similarities with other breeds.

Genetic factors

Genetic factors heavily influence the presence of black spots on a Golden Retriever’s tongue. This fascinating aspect is down to the power of genes, chiefly responsible for determining an individual dog’s physical features and traits.

The dark tidbits we see sprinkled on your beloved pet’s tongue arise from excess melanin deposits – a natural occurrence determined by their genetic makeup. Much like how some people have freckles, certain Retrievers have these pigmented marks due to diverse expressions in their genetic coding.

The immediate ancestors might not display this trait visibly, but rest assured that somewhere along its lineage, the genes responsible for increased melanin production were present and passed down to your furry friend!

Similarities with other breeds

The presence of black spots on a Golden Retriever’s tongue is not unique to this breed. In fact, it is quite common among around 30 different dog breeds. These spots are a result of extra pigmentation in the skin and can be found on other breeds like Chow Chows and Chinese Shar-Peis as well.

So, if you notice dark points or spots on your Golden Retriever’s tongue, know that they share this characteristic with other dogs too. It’s just a natural variation in their pigmentation and nothing to worry about.

Not only do these black spots appear on similar areas of the tongue in different breeds, but they also have no significant health implications across all breeds. Contrary to common misconceptions, the presence of these spots does not indicate any risk of melanoma or other forms of skin cancer.

What Do Black Spots on a Golden Retriever’s Tongue Look Like?

Black spots on a Golden Retriever’s tongue are pigmented areas that appear as small, dark markings on the otherwise pink surface of the tongue.

Appearance and Characteristics

The black spots on a Golden Retriever’s tongue can vary in size and shape. They may appear as small dots or larger patches and can be round or irregularly shaped. The color of the spots can range from dark brown to black.

Some dogs may have just one spot, while others may have multiple spots scattered across their tongue. These pigmented areas are usually smooth in texture and do not cause any discomfort or pain for the dog.

Golden Retrievers with black spots on their tongues often exhibit a striking contrast between the pink color of their gums and the dark color of their tongue. This unique characteristic adds to the charm and individuality of these lovable dogs. It’s important to remember that these spots are entirely normal and do not indicate any underlying health issues or concerns.

Is the Black Spot a Cause for Concern?

Don’t fret! Those black spots on your Golden Retriever’s tongue are nothing to worry about. Find out why they’re harmless and discover the truth behind common misconceptions. Read more to put your mind at ease.

Common misconceptions

There are a few common misconceptions surrounding the black spot on a Golden Retriever’s tongue. Let’s set the record straight:

  1. Mistaken for melanoma: The black spot on your Golden Retriever’s tongue may look concerning, but it is not a sign of melanoma or any other form of cancer.
  2. Health implications: Contrary to popular belief, the black spot does not indicate any health issues or oral problems in Golden Retrievers.
  3. Uncommon breed trait: While some people believe that all Golden Retrievers should have a black spot on their tongues, it’s important to know that not all individuals within this breed will have them.
  4. Dangerous pigmentation: The dark pigmentation of the black spot is just extra melanin and poses no harm to your dog’s well-being.
  5. Genetic variation: Just like coat color and eye color, tongue pigmentation can vary among individual dogs due to genetic factors.
  6. Unique charm: Rather than being a cause for concern, the black spot adds character and uniqueness to your beloved Golden Retriever.


In conclusion, the black spots on a Golden Retriever’s tongue are nothing to worry about. They are simply a result of excess pigmentation in the skin and do not indicate any health issues. The presence of black spots on a Golden Retriever’s tongue does not have any health implications. These harmless markings are merely pigmented skin and do not indicate any underlying health issues.

So, if your furry friend has a spotted tongue, embrace it as a unique and natural characteristic of their breed!


1. What does a black spot on a Golden Retriever’s tongue mean?

A black spot on a Golden Retriever’s tongue is likely due to canine tongue pigmentation and it mostly relates to genetic factors in dog tongue pigmentation.

2. Are spots on my dog’s tongue indicative of melanoma in dogs?

Not all dog tongue spots denote melanoma in dogs! But irregularly shaped, rapidly growing discoloration could be suspect and it would be prudent to seek advice from your vet.

3. Do only certain breeds have spotted tongues?

No, many breeds can have spotted tongues, but common ones with pigmented tongues include Chow Chows and Chinese SharPeis.

4. Should I worry about the color variations of my golden retriever’s tongue?

Tongue color variations in dogs are quite common and most times harmless; still, if you notice significant changes like sudden discoloration or new large spots, an oral health checkup by a vet would be advisable.

5. Can genetics impact the presence of spots on my golden retriever’s tongue?

Yes! Tongue pigmentation genetics plays an integral part in determining if your Golden Retriever may have darker markings or spots on its tongue.