If you’re looking for some answers on the best way to groom and care for your Golden Retriever’s hair then you’ve come to the right place. The Golden Retriever is renowned for being loving, loyal and, most importantly, for having such a gorgeous amount of hair; but, this can be overwhelming if you’ve never had to care for it before. Here’s our short guide on how best to groom your Golden Retriever.
Your Golden Retriever’s coat will not need a full haircut, but simply just a trim. This trimming is usually done on the ears, feet, neck and tail for a Golden Retriever to keep them looking smart. Doing this will just neaten up your pup’s appearance, rather than drastically changing how they look.
A Golden Retriever’s coat should be well brushed every one or two weeks to avoid painful matting and to avoid too much shedding. You also shouldn’t bathe your golden retriever too often as this could damage their beautifully soft undercoat. Their nails should be carefully cut at least once a month but you shouldn’t do this if you’re unsure as you could end up harming your Retriever.
Golden Retriever grooming should begin in their puppy phase to get them used to the process. These double-coated dogs are shedders that will need regular grooming in adult life to stimulate their coats, keep shedding under control and prevent mats and tangles.
A Golden Retriever's coat doesn't develop properly until around 18 months, and as a puppy, your dog will have soft hair, which will form the undercoat once the overcoat develops. Get your puppy used to grooming by brushing its hair regularly with a soft-bristled brush, then moving onto a slicker brush as it ages and its coat begins to develop.
If you plan on having your puppy professionally groomed, it's recommended to take it for its first trip to the groomer at around eight to twelve weeks old so it can get used to the grooming process and the salon.
You should never shave your Golden Retriever’s hair, not even during the summer months. Golden Retrievers have a double coat which work together to protect your pup in both the winter and the summer months. In the summer, the undercoat is shed – if you were to then shave it even further this could leave the Retriever’s skin unprotected and bare for sunburn. Even clipping is not advisable with your Golden Retriever as it can hinder the growth of the undercoat later in the year.
Brushing is the best way to keep your Golden Retriever’s hair nice and soft. This is because it removes all of the dead skin cells from their body and distributes the pup’s natural oils across all of its hair for that extra shine. This is why it is important that you don’t over bathe your dog, as this can strip their coat of these natural oils leaving their hair dull.
Grooming your Golden Retriever shouldn’t alter in the summer. You still shouldn’t be reaching for the shaver, otherwise your dog will be at risk of overheating, more allergies and to coat damage. Instead, keep up with brushing their hair (perhaps even doing it more regularly to remove the dead loose hair) and regular bathing.
As long as your Golden Retriever doesn’t have a skin condition then you’ll be left with an abundance of options for what shampoo you should be using. Ideally, you need to be looking to purchase a dog shampoo that contains Oatmeal and Vitamin E. These ingredients will help keep your Retriever’s hair healthy, soft and smooth and will also help protect the skin underneath. A shampoo that also works as a conditioner is usually perfect for a Golden Retriever; this helps reduce the amount of knots and matting in your pup’s hair – making it much less painful when you brush!
As long as your dog’s nails have been trimmed correctly then you can get started on trimming their feet: First, push the fur between your Retriever’s toes down with your fingers. Hold the paw backwards and with straight edge scissors trim the unruly hairs so that they’re even and level. Turn back to the other side of the paw, pull the fur from between your dog’s toes up and carefully trim this hair. Always take critical care around your pup’s foot pads, doing this wrong could leave serious damage for them when they walk.
Every few days, at least, you should be brushing your Golden Retriever from head to toe, spending extra time on the thicker parts of your pup’s body. Regular brushing will reduce the amount of matting and make each brush a bit easier and softer. Watch out behind the ears, tail and the back legs of your Retriever, this is where they’re most prone to matting, so make sure to take extra care.
Before you trim your Golden Retriever’s tail make sure you have brushed it thoroughly, removing all tangles and matting. Your Retriever’s tail should just reach your dog’s hocks, hold the tail downwards and use your thumb to mark where this would be on the tail. Use thinning scissors and begin to trim past where your thumb is, taking small bit by bit. Taking your time this way you should eventually reach your desired length.