Should I Shave My Golden Retriever?

Golden Retrievers are a fantastic breed of dog. Not only do they make fantastic companions, but they are highly intelligent animals. It is important that you are aware of how to look after them correctly. 

Care needs to be taken when it comes to grooming and their coat. If you have not previously owned a Golden Retriever, you may be unsure of how to correctly groom them.

While it is fairly easy, there are a number of things that you will need to be aware of.

In this article, we will be discussing a Golden Retriever’s grooming needs, while focusing on whether or not a golden retriever should be shaved.

Type of Coat

It is important to have a good understanding of the type of coat a golden retriever has. This will help to give you a better idea of their grooming needs.

A Golden Retriever has a double coat. This double coat is treated differently to a standard coat because it consists of a thick undercoat, and a dense top coat.

The top coat of a Golden Retriever’s fur is waterproof, and helps to keep the undercoat dry. The beauty of their double coat is that it helps them to regulate their own temperature.

The undercoat and top coat grow separately from each other. This is part of the temperature regulating process.

Some will have a straight double coat, whereas others will have a curly coat, depending on their genetics. They will also have feathers on their legs, tail, and thighs. These feathers are a lot thinner than the rest of the coat.

Should A Golden Retriever Be Shaved Or Clipped?

No, a Golden Retriever should certainly not be shaved or clipped. Due to their double coat, this will prevent them from being able to regulate their body’s own temperature. Their fur is designed to shed when necessary, and their top coat helps to provide them with protection.

Will Shaving A Golden Retriever Affect Its Coat?

Yes, shaving a Golden Retriever will affect its coat, and can even cause permanent damage, which should always be avoided.

If shaved, the coat can begin to grow incorrectly and can cause skin issues, sunspots, and no protection against different weather conditions. The hair can begin to grow unevenly.

The Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Shave A Golden Retriever

As discussed, shaving a Golden Retriever can greatly affect its coat, and can permanently damage it. A Golden Retriever’s double coat is created in such a way to help protect them.

If you over groom or shave a Golden Retriever, this will interfere with how they regulate their temperature, which can potentially be dangerous. It will also prevent protection from parasites, harmful rays from the sun, and will not provide protection when the dog is in the water.

The coat will begin to grow unevenly, and can become patchy in places if it is clipped. As the undercoat and top coat grow to separate lengths and thicknesses, you will be interfering with this when shaving.

The texture of the dog’s coat can become ruined, and it will also change. Instead of being soft and smooth, the coat can become sticky and feel almost wiry. This can have an impact on how much dirt and debris clings to the coat, too.

How Short Can A Golden Retriever’s Coat Be Cut?

A Golden Retriever’s coat should not really be cut. While you can brush them, the length should be left. You can trim the feathers on the legs, tail, and stomach of the dog slightly, and this should be by one inch. This should be done with a pair of grooming scissors.

How Do I Keep A Golden Retriever’s Coat Soft?

The best way to keep a Golden Retriever’s coat soft is through regular brushing and grooming. This will help to ensure that any excess dirt and oils are removed from the fur. You will be removing the dead skin cells, which allows the natural oils to work through the fur.

Will Clipping Their Coat Keep Them Cool?

No, clipping a Golden Retriever’s fur will have the opposite effect and will not keep them cool. When you remove the fur coat, this will increase the chances of a dog overheating. It prevents them from self-regulating their temperature and increases the chances of sun damage and burning.

How Should I Groom A Golden Retriever During Summer?

Yes, you should groom a Golden Retriever during the summer. This should consist of cutting back the feathers, and regular brushing.

The grooming should not involve clipping back the fur in any way. Ensure you are cleaning their eyes, and ears, and their nails are clipped to the correct length.

How To Keep A Golden Retriever Cool In The Heat

It is important to ensure that you are keeping your Golden Retriever cool in the summer months. While their double coat helps to keep them cool in the heat, it can cause them to become too warm.

To help prevent them from overheating, you should avoid taking them for a walk in the heat of the sun. Either skip a walk or two if it is too warm, or take them in the morning or evening, when it is cooler.

You need to ensure that they always have access to fresh water to drink, and that they are not lying in the sun when it is too warm. Instead, keep your dog inside and provide them with things such as cooling mats, cooling jackets, and cool water or a pool for them to lounge in.

You can also give them ice cubes, or cool treats, to keep them refreshed. Sun lotion should be placed on their paws, ears, and nose to keep them from burning.

What Shampoo Should I Use For Golden Retrievers?

We would recommend using a deshedding shampoo, and one that is suitable for sensitive skin. The shampoo you use should always be diluted with water, and needs to be safe and suitable for a Golden Retrievers.

Do Golden Retrievers Need Their Feet Trimmed?

Yes, the hair between their paw pads should be clipped back. If the fur is too long, this can cause the Golden Retriever to slip, especially on hardwood floors. In addition to this, the fur can become matted, or dirt and debris can get stuck, which can be a problem.

How To Correctly Brush A Golden Retriever

Ideally, you will want to brush your Golden Retriever a few times a week, even daily if they are going through a period of heavier shedding. This will help to remove the excess dead fur, and stop the fur from becoming matted or compacted.

The ideal brush you will want to use is an undercoat rake or a deshedder, these will help you to get through the top coat to the bottom coat, to remove any of the excess dead fur. Furminators are great tools to use.

Standard brushes are not the best options to use, but the rakes are useful. However, care should be taken when using the rakes and deshedders as the brushes are metal and can hurt the dog if they are used too roughly.

How Do I Correctly Groom Their Tail?

Grooming a Golden Retriever’s tail is easy. You want to regularly brush out the fur to help ensure that it doesn’t become matted. You can cut the feathers at the ends of the tail if they are too long. You should not cut more than one inch off the length.

How To Clean A Golden Retrievers Ears

Cleaning a Golden Retriever’s ears is important. This helps ensure excess wax and dirt is removed. This can be done with ear wipes, or an ear cleaning solution. Both are safe and easy to use. You should only clean just inside the ear, rather than further down the ear canal.

How Do I Cut A Golden Retriever’s Nails?

Care needs to be taken when you cut a Golden Retriever’s nails. Blood circulation runs through their nails, you need to ensure you are only cutting off the white tip. If you cut far down the nail, this is painful for the dog and will cause the nail to bleed.

How To Groom A Golden Retriever

Grooming a Golden Retriever is fairly easy, and you will need to follow all of the tips and tricks included in this article. When it comes to grooming, brushing is the most important thing to consider.

Ideally, a Golden Retriever should be brushed daily, or at least a few times a week to ensure their coat remains healthy and in a good condition. When it comes to washing their fur, this should occur every six to eight weeks. Anything more than this can affect the natural oils in the dog’s fur.

Always ensure that you are keeping the eyes, ears, and mouth of the dog clean. Regular teeth brushing is significant, and you should never be tempted to shave back a golden retriever’s fur.


We hope you have found this article useful. You should never shave your Golden Retriever. By doing this, you are affecting the way in which they regulate their body temperature.

Instead, you will want to brush their coat regularly, and trim any of the feathers that become too long. This is fairly easy to do, and while a double coat can seem daunting, it is fine to upkeep when you are aware of the correct methods.

If you are ever unsure, it is always best to contact a professional groomer, as they will be able to help you with any concerns you may have.