Do Golden Retrievers Have Black Noses Naturally?

One of the most asked questions about golden or labrador retrievers is do they have black noses naturally or is it caused by something? Is the color permanent or is it just temporary and caused by the weather (snow nose) or something else.

Even I had that question when I had my first golden but I did the research and I am here to answer all of your questions.

So, do golden retrievers have black noses? Yes, golden retrievers have black noses naturally, goldens are born with pink noses that get darker with age but they also have something called winter or snow nose which is a common condition in goldens, labs, malamutes, and huskies that turns their nose to pink or light brown in the winter.

If you want to know more about if golden retrievers have black noses or what is normal golden retriever nose color? Then just keep on reading.

Do Golden Retrievers Have Black Noses? 

and up close of a golden retriever nose to illustrate why do golden retrievers have black noses naturally

yes, they do, they are born with pink noses and it gets darker as your puppy grows older, however, golden retrievers have a condition known as “winter nose” or “snow nose” and you can easily guess why it’s called that, some dogs such as goldens, labs, malamutes, and huskies are prone to have their noses turn pink or light brown in the winter.

This condition is also called “hypopigmentation” and it’s a type of vitiligo, it’s temporary and not a health issue so you don’t have to worry about it.

What is the normal golden retriever nose color? 

The normal color of golden retriever nose is black but they’ve pink nose when they’re puppies and it gets darker as they grow older, however, their nose may turn pink or light brown in the winter because of a condition called “hypopigmentation” or “winter nose” and will turn black again in the summer.

Do Golden Retrievers Noses Change Color? 

Yes, golden retrievers noses do change color because of a condition that some dogs develop, it’s called “snow nose” or “winter nose” it changes their nose color from black to brown or pink during the winter and it’s not a health issue, also senior goldens often develop brown noses permanently.

However, a snow nose is not the only reason to make your dog’s nose change color.

Your dog’s nose could change color due to one of these things as well.

  • Bacterial infection
  • Injury 
  • Nasal de-pigmentation 

Bacterial infection 

Bacterial infection will not only make your dog’s nose change color and lose its pigment but also will make their nose sore, crusty, and may look inflamed.

It will make their nose look unhealthy as well, so if you want to check if what they have is a bacterial infection before you take your dog to the vet, here are some signs to help you out.

Signs of bacterial infection:

  • Diarrhea 
  • Fever 
  • Vomiting 
  • Lack of appetite 
  • Lethargy 
  • Digestive upset 

If you noticed one or a few of these signs, you need to take your dog to the vet to make sure that they are okay.


If your dog had some kind of trauma such as abrasion or scrape then it can be the reason why your dog’s nose turned pink as a way of healing.

However, their pigment will usually turn back if their nose heals completely.

Here are the signs of abrasion or scrape

  • Redness 
  • Swelling 
  • Bleeding 
  • Pawing the damaged area
  • Trying to hide their face
  • Signs of being in pain
  • Bruising 
  • Hair loss
  • Pus around the wound 
  • Scratched nose 

Nasal de-pigmentation 

Nasal de-pigmentation or “Dudley nose”, this condition will turn your dog’s nose pink or even white for reasons scientists have yet to discover but for now, it’s a random condition that can regain your dog’s pigment, or sometimes the dog’s nose never changes back.

Here are some signs of nasal de-pigmentation 

  • Scaling
  • Crusting 
  • Erosions 
  • Erythema 
  • Ulcerations 

At What Age Do Golden Retrievers Noses Change Color? 

Golden retrievers noses change color when they are about 12 weeks, their nose will gradually turn into its permanent color, in that age not just their nose will change color but also their coat will get darker as they get older and their nose will turn back to pink when they become seniors and won’t turn black again.

You can learn more about how and why your goldens’ coat will change color as they grow older here. It’s a complete but simple guide that takes you through the whole process and reasoning, and It’s extremely important for first-time golden retriever owners so make sure to check it out.

How to keep your golden retriever’s nose black? 

Golden retrievers’ noses change color in the winter due to lack of sunlight and vitamin D, so if you want to keep their nose black, you’ve to provide them daily with enough vitamin D and take them for a walk whenever you see sunlight in the winter.

You don’t have to worry about their nose turning pink or light brown because it will turn black again in the spring or the summer.

It also depends on their genetics so if you tried to provide them with vitamin D and sunlight in the winter and still it didn’t work then it’s totally normal because some goldens don’t have this condition.

Will Your Dog’s Nose Turn Black Again? 

Yes, your dog’s nose will turn black again in most cases, if their nose changes to pink or light brown in the winter then it will turn to black again in the winter unless a health issue causes pigment loss, then it needs medical attention or they’re seniors then it won’t turn black again.

Here is why your senior dog’s nose will not turn black again;

There is something called the culprit which is thought to be a breakdown in an enzyme called “tyrosinase”, this enzyme makes melanin.

The melanin is what gives pigment or color to their nose, skin, part of the eyes, and their coat.

This enzyme is sensitive to the temperature and gets weaker as your dog gets older.

Is a snow nose bad for a dog?

No, it’s not, snow noses are not harmful in any way, however, if your dog has a snow nose and you are going out on a sunny day then it’s recommended to put on their nose some sunscreen to protect them from the sun.

The snow nose means that your dog doesn’t have enough pigmentation on their nose in the winter due to a lack of sunlight and vitamin D and that pigmentation usually protects your dog from sunburn and skin cancer.

Is a pink nose on a dog bad?

No, it’s not because puppies are often born with pink noses and it gets darker as they grow older, however, when a dog’s noses lose its pigment and turn pink, it could be for multiple reasons such as de-pigmentation, injury, getting old, bacterial infection, and winter or snow nose.

If it’s de-pigmentation or bacterial infection then it could be an indication that your dog needs medical attention but if it’s just a snow nose then there is no need to worry.

If you liked this article and found it useful, you can share it with your friends and family, it might be useful to them as well and I will certainly appreciate it.

Related Questions 

At What Age Do Puppies Noses Turn Black? 

Puppies’ noses turn from pink to black when they are about 8 to 12 weeks and you can see their dramatic change in pigment during that time, if your puppy’s nose hasn’t darkened yet then you can expect it to turn black in the next few months.

Why Does My Dog Have A Black Nose? 

Your dog has a black nose because of genetics and black nosed dogs have more pigments on their nose which is great because it protects them from sunburn and skin cancer, also, the color of their nose depends on their breed and coat color so if you have a black dog, they will have a black nose.

What is Kennel Nose? 

It’s a common condition that most dogs get when they try to get out by chewing at the doors of the kennel, they basically get a red raw spot on their nose, also, they can get a kennel nose if they are suffering from anxiety and you can help their sore nose by gently washing it with soap and water. 

Helpful Resources 

What is Dog Snow Nose and What Can You Do About it?


Hey there, I'm Matt, the author behind With a deep love for dogs and a dedication to strengthening the bond between owners and their retrievers, I've created a hub of resources for enthusiasts like you. Through engaging articles, training guides, and product reviews, I aim to provide practical advice that makes a real difference in your life as a dog owner. Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the world of retrievers, my approachable and informative writing style ensures that you'll find valuable insights. Join me on this incredible journey of discovering what makes retrievers tick, unlocking their potential, and creating an unbreakable bond with your furry companion. Let's embark on an adventure of dog ownership together. Thank you for visiting and being part of our vibrant community.

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