Why Some Golden Retrievers Have A Black Spot On Their Tongue?

Written by Wen Duan

Does your golden retriever have a black or bluish spot on their tongue?

These spots can appear black or blue and have the same texture as the rest of your dog's tongue. Dogs can be born with these spots or they can appear when they are young. As your dog ages, these spots can change shape and color over time. 

What Are Dark Tongue Spots?

Like human birthmarks and freckles, spots on a dog's tongue are just deposits of extra pigments. These pigments can be found on their gums and also under their coats.

Dogs are not the only ones that have black spots in their mouths. Polar bears, giraffes, and certain breeds of cattle also can have blue or black spots on their tongue. 

Are black spots a problem? 

Typically no, these dark spots are not a problem for your pet. As mentioned, these spots are most often just pigmented spots on your dog's tongue.

If however, the spots do not have the same texture or feel as the skin around them, have a foul odor, are bumpy, or don't look like a part of your dog's skin, you should contact your vet.

Dog Breeds That Have Blue/Black Tongues

The black spots on their tongue are most commonly associated with the Chow Chow and Chinese Shar-Pei.

Some people falsely believe that if your dog has a spot on their tongue, they are not a purebred or are part Chow Chow. This is not true. It's just extra pigments of melanin.

More than 30+ dog breeds have spotted tongues. These spots can appear in any breed of dog, but are most common with breeds that have black coloring in their noise, eyes, lips, paw pads, and toenails. 

The following is a list of dog breeds that have been known to have black spots on their tongues: 



Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Shepherd

Belgian Sheepdog

Bichon Frise 

 Bull Mastiff, Cairn Terrier

Chow Chow 

Chinese Shar Pei


Cocker Spaniel


Doberman Pinscher

English Setter

Flat Coated Retriever

German Shepherd

Golden Retriever

Gordon Setter

Labrador Retriever






Shiba Inu

Siberian Husky

Soft-Coated Wheaten

Tibetan Mastiff

At the end fo the day, I believe we can call the myths about dogs with spots on their tongues exactly that... Myths.

That said, we may as well toss one more possible reason for the dark spots into the mix for everyone to consider.

Maybe golden retrievers have evolved to now come with a "place treat here" spot on their tongue to help new owners!

If you're not sure what treats to place on that spot, try a few of our homemade treat recipes from our new book!

Have any other questions about your dog? Comment down below! 

About the author

Wen Duan

Wen is a proud dog mom and a frequent contributor to our GoldenRetrieverLove.com blog.

  • Don Fraser says:

    Thank you for the article.


  • Are golden retrievers heavy panters? Our retriever pants a lot very heavy. Dr says he healthy

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