Shave Golden Retriever: To Do Or Not To Do?

Before you head out and make a new cut for your dog, I think you should get the right training beforehand. Nothing is worse than leaving your dog looking like a rugged old mop head that has been used to clean a dirty bathroom for the last six months. To save you time and trouble, we’ve put together a little guide to help you groom your dog in the right way. Should you shave golden retriever?

We’re sure you’re here to find out if you can even shave a golden retriever right in the first place. There’s a lot of talk about this subject, and today I’m here to set the record straight once and for all on whether you can shave this breed.

Do You Shave Golden Retriever: Everything About The Coat

shave golden retriever

Golden Retrievers are famous for their long, lustrous fur, but do you know why they’ve got so much of it? Let’s look at the two types of coat that your Golden Retriever has to find out the answer to this question.

A. The Undercoat

The undercoat is the coat that is closest to your dog’s skin. It is also referred to as ‘down hair’ and consists mainly of curly and wavy wool hair. It also helps maintain a dry skin and hair layer that repels water and provides thermal insulation to the dog. The undercoat will grow rapidly during the winter as it protects the dog from the cold weather. It’s going to go down during the summer when the weather gets warmer.

B. The Overcoat

The overcoat is the top layer of the coat and the luscious and beautiful golden fur you love to chew. It is also referred to as a guard layer and consists of long, straight, and coarse hair shafts above the undercoat. This layer also has brilliance and pigmentation to give your retriever that shines on their fur.

Shave Golden Retriever: Should You Do It?

Most people end up making the mistake of shaving their dog when the summer comes, but some dogs are not meant to be shaved. The idea behind shaving the dog’s coat is that it will help keep the dog cool, but it depends on what kind of dog you have and their coat. There have been numerous instances of people shaving their dog’s coat and permanently destroying it. It might seem like a good idea to shave your dog for the summer. However, you should be careful because it may be one of the worst things you can do at the expense of your dog.

Shave Golden Retriever: Think Before You Do It

shave golden retriever

Have you ever thought about shaving your dog in the summer? Of course, you’ve got. People tend to go above and beyond their furry little companions. You may think you’re doing them a favor by helping them keep cool in the summer, but shaving your dog may have the opposite effect as well. The most important thing you need to know before deciding to shave your dog is what kind of coat your dog has.

Yes, the type of coat your dog has will determine whether or not it should be shaved. So if you’re thinking of shaving your dog, just remember that double-coated dogs shouldn’t be shaved. You’re not going to help double-coated dogs keep cool by shaving their coat. You can make things worse for them instead.

Single-coated breeds like Poodles may have their fur shaved down to the skin or clipped, and it will grow back the way it was. However, the case for double-coated breeds is different. Not all dogs should be shaved, and we’re going to look at that in more detail below.

Shave Golden Retriever: Why It’s A Bad Idea

When deciding whether to shave your dog, you must determine whether your dog has a single coat or a double coat. Double-coated dog breeds have two layers of fur. The top layer consists of hard guard hairs, while the bottom layer has a thick layer of fur known as the undercoat. The undercoat has a layer of fine hair close to the dog’s skin to keep it warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

 When spring arrives, they will go through the shedding period, where most of the undercoat will be released so that a lighter summer coat can come to its place.

Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Labradors, Pomeranians, Chows, and Huskies are common double-coated breeds. Most herding dog breeds are double-coated as well. If you decide to shave it, you can permanently damage the fur of a double-coated dog. Shaving them doesn’t keep them cool during the summer. 

You should only consider shaving double-coated dogs if they have a skin condition or mating in extreme cases. Here are the main reasons why a double-coated dog should not be shaved.

shave golden retriever

1. Shaving Doesn’t Help Them Cool Down.

Most people decide to shave their dogs because they assume they will keep them cool in the summer. You’re not supposed to do that with double-coated dogs since their coat acts as natural insulation from both cold and hot weather. Your dog will warm up more if they don’t have that layer of insulation to protect them.

2. Shaving Increases The Risk Of Skin Cancer & Sunburn.

The top layer of your dog’s fur helps protect them from harmful sunrays and bug bites. If you shave their top layer, you leave them exposed to the sun, which increases their risk of developing skin cancer or sunburn.

3. Shaving Can Permanently Harm Their Fur.

When you shave a double-coated dog, there is no guarantee that its top guard coat will grow back naturally. If the dog is older, it is even less likely that it will grow. The undercoat is coming back, but most dogs can’t grow their guard hair back. This leaves them with a frizzy, patchy, and dull-looking coat. So you should think twice about shaving them because their coat can be permanently modified.

4. Shaving Is Not Helping With Allergies.

If you think that shaving your dog will help with allergies, think again. Allergies are caused by dander on your pet’s skin and fur. Dead skin cells collect and sit in the undercoat of double-coated dogs, and when you shave them, you will be exposed to more irritants.

5. Shaving Is Not Reducing Shedding.

Shaving your dog has no impact on their ability to shed as they continue to shed after shaving. It’s the undercoat that sheds, and removing their top guard layer doesn’t stop them from shedding.

Shave Golden Retriever: An Alternative

shave golden retriever

Many people go to their groomer and ask for a “puppy cut” or a “summer cut.” What’s a puppy cut, exactly? A puppy cut or summer cut is an all-over haircut usually done with clippers to leave the hair evenly trimmed. Puppy cuts are not just for puppies. Any dog can get a puppy cut.

A puppy cut is an option to help keep your dog cooler and basically make your Golden Retriever look the way he did when he was a puppy. The hair is short but not shaved. Usually, your hair is trimmed to about one or two inches in length, and some feathering is left on your dog’s legs, and the tail is trimmed but left long.

When you ask for a puppy cut, make sure your groomer knows exactly what it is and how short you want your dog’s coat. At least one inch of hair should be left by the groomer and should not go past the undercoat. You can easily groom your Golden at home with the right pair of dog clippers, plus save time and money!

What Am I Supposed To Do To Help My Dog Beat The Heat?

There are several ways you can follow to help your Golden Retriever beat the heat in the summer. None of them is about shaving their fur. The best advice is to take care of them regularly, and here’s how you should do it:

A. Brush Your Dog Regularly.

You should invest in a good quality brush to brush your dog regularly. You can also use an undercoat rake to brush your dog. It will reduce the shedding intensity for your Golden Retriever, and you will also get rid of any tangles in your dog’s fur.

B. Keep Your Nails Trimmed.

You should trim your dog’s nails regularly, as long nails can be extremely uncomfortable for them. If left untrimmed, they may also interfere with their ability to walk properly and may also compromise the shape of your dog’s paw. It is recommended that you trim your dog’s nails every two weeks and be extra careful when clipping your nails.

C. Tails

Your dog’s tail must also be regularly groomed. You’re giving it the appearance of a fan by grooming it in a certain way. The best way to do this is by twisting the end of the tail, placing your thumb at the end of the tail bone, and then trimming the area close to the thumb.

D. Ears

Your Golden Retriever’s ears also need to be groomed from inside and outside. You should ensure that the hair inside the ear is thin, while the hair outside the ear and the edges should always be neat. Golden Retrievers are also prone to ear infections, which is why you should check their ears regularly and clean them up.

How To Trim A Golden Retriever

Whether you’re trimming your Golden Coat between grooming visits or you’re doing it for the very first time, the following is a step-by-step guide to help you through the process.

Step 1: Prepare The Trimming Coat.

Always start with a clean, dry dog. You may have to bathe your dog first if the coat is particularly dirty, and then make sure the coat is dry before you start. You’re going to want to brush your coat to remove any tangles and mats.

Step 2: Choose Which Part Of The Coat You Want To Start With.

Depending on your Golden Retriever location, you can choose which area you want to start trimming. If your Golden is sitting down, you can start with your ears or neck.

Step 3: Trimming Your Ears.

Behind the ears, the hair can get a bit thick. You’ll want to gently pull your Golden ears forward or upward and use thinning shears to thin out your hair behind your ears.

Make a couple of snips, brush it, and see how it looks. You may need to repeat the process until you are satisfied with the results. You don’t want to remove all the hair behind your ears, just thin it out so that your ear can lie down nicely along your neck.

Use thinning shears to trim the hair inside the ear. Be careful not to remove too much hair for a tough look. You want to keep your Golden look soft.

Also, be careful not to let your hair fall into the ear canal. Trim the hair along the edge of the ear flap to give the ear a neat, neat look. Be careful not to cut your ears!

Step 4: The Feet Trimming.

Without trimming, your Golden will develop the “slippers” look on his feet. This is when long hair begins to grow past the legs. Trimming the legs is pretty simple. Using a pin brush or a comb, you want to brush your hair back (against hair growth) to make your hair stand up. Using regular grooming scissors, you’ll simply trim the long hair so that it’s short, and you’ll put it nicely on the top of your foot.

Next, you’re going to want to trim the long hair between the paw pads. Hold the paw in your hands and trim gently and carefully using regular scissors.

Step 5: Trimming The Stool.

The hockey is a joint located on the back of your dog’s legs, just below the knee. It creates a sharp angle just at the back of the legs, similar to a human ankle.

Hock trimming is relatively simple (providing your dog co-operates). You’re going to want your Golden to stand or lie down.

Using a comb or brush, you want to brush against the hair growth and trim along the baseline using regular grooming scissors. The hair is getting thick, too, so you might have to trim it, then brush it and trim it again to make it look neat and tidy.

Step 6: Trimming The Back Of Your Legs.

The hair on the back of your Golden front legs can get quite long and thick. You still want it to be feathery, but you can use thinning shears to thin it out.

Brush or comb your hair out of your legs and use thinning scissors to make a few cuts. Repeat the process until you have a look you want.

Thinning shears are great for beginners because they give a forgiving, blended look. If you want a more sculpted look, you can use regular grooming scissors to trim longer feathers. You still want to keep some feathers on your legs, but you can make it shorter and more sculpted.

Step 7: Trimming The Neck And Shoulders.

Thinning shears will be the best one to use in this area. Most people prefer to leave this area longer, so using thinning shears to thin out the hair will give it a natural and blended look.

You’ll want to make a few snips with thinning shears, then brush and see how it looks. Repeat the process until you get the look you want. You don’t want to remove too much hair in this area, or you risk that your dog doesn’t look natural.

Step 8: Trimming Of The Bum Area.

The hair along the bum area just below the tail is referred to as the “pant.” This is always the thickest and most fluffy part of the Golden Retriever. Using thinning shears, you can remove some bulk and shorten the length while leaving the feathering look.

You’re going to want your Golden to stand to trim this area. Start by brushing and then making a few cuts using thinning shears, then seeing how it looks. You might have to repeat the process a few times to get the look you want.

Step 9: Trimming Of The Belly Area.

You want your Golden to have a bit of feathering along the belly. Usually, the hair along the belly is not very thick and does not require any trimming. If you notice any unruly hair, you can lightly trim the area to remove any scraggly hair.

Step 10: The Tail Trimming.

The tail can look pretty “bushy” if you don’t trim it. You want the tail to look pretty feathery but sculpted. The best position for your dog to be in is to stand up or lie on his side.

Brush out the tail to remove the tangles and the mats. If your dog is standing, you can hold up the tail and make a few cuts with thinning shears to thin it out. Brush it and repeat it.

Use regular grooming scissors to outline the tip of the tail for a tidier sculpted look. The idea is to give it the shape of a “half-moon.” If your dog is lying on his side, you can fan the tail on the ground. Use thinning scissors to thin it and use regular grooming scissors to give it a sculpted look.

Final Words

It’s not the best idea to shave your Golden Retriever, even if you live in an extremely hot place. Your dog’s fur will naturally protect him from parasites and weather. You can give it a light trim, but shaving it completely isn’t recommended at all.

As you can see, there are a few ways you can style your golden retriever. Just make sure you’re careful with shaving your dog because it’s not exactly what you’re meant to do. If you decide to do so, just approach with caution and make sure that you have a good set of tools to do the job.

About Tom Thorpe

Tom Thorpe
Tom Thorpe has overtime interacted with different species of dogs mostly through breeding and training; according to him, man’s best friend is yet to find solace in the company of man, as they are continuously mistreated. He, therefore, runs a rescue center that provides shelter to stray dogs, and has been advocating for the rights of animals; the Golden Retriever dogs are among his favorites, the reason he came up with the extensive excerpts to help educate the society on the right treatment and care of the respective breed. Tom spends most of his time running his dog shelter; he is a husband and proud father of two boys and loves to go fishing during his free time.

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