Grooming your golden retriever is important to keep his or her fur and skin healthy.
But, it also gives your pet lots of other benefits.
Why should you groom your golden retriever?
Regular grooming will help to prevent your dog’s fur from becoming matted or tangled, which isn’t just unhygienic because of how it traps dirt but it can also be painful and irritating for your dog.
The problem for many dog owners is that they don’t know how, exactly, they should go about grooming their dogs. Golden retrievers also need some grooming tips that are unique to them. So, let’s start this grooming guide by looking at what you should know about your golden retriever’s fur.
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Understanding Your Golden Retriever’s Coat
Your golden retriever’s beautiful coat goes through different growth stages.
The first stage is when your golden retriever puppy is approximately three months old. Their fur is short and fluffy at this point. Around this time, you’ll also start to see some long hair starting to grow on the golden retriever’s tail.
Golden retrievers are a breed of dog that has what’s known as a double coat. They have an undercoat that’s dense and lightly colored, and a darker, coarser outer coat.
Interestingly, golden retriever puppies don’t completely shed their fur. The new, long fur – the outer coat – is what grows and takes over the other coat. The process for this to happen usually takes about 18 months.
Many golden retrievers will also have long feather-like hairs. These are fine hairs that you’ll see on their legs, belly, and behind their legs.
When You Should Start Grooming Your Golden Retriever?
You should start grooming your golden retriever when he or she is in the puppy stage. This is because these dogs shed a lot of hair! This is something that happens all year round, but it tends to occur even more when it’s late in the spring and fall.
This happens because during spring your golden retriever will be shedding his heavy winter coat to get ready for the hot months. Then, this light coat will be shed in fall just before winter arrives so that the thicker coat can keep him warm.
Although golden retrievers shed a lot of fur, you need to be aware of signs that your dog’s shedding is actually a sign of a health condition.
If you can see that your golden retriever’s shedding a lot of fur out of season and it’s leaving bald patches, this could be as a result of medical conditions such as a bacterial infections, allergies, fungal infections, external parasites such as mites or fleas, or an endocrine disorder such as hypothyroidism.
How To Groom A Golden Retriever Puppy
You will need to allow the puppy a chance to get used to the grooming process, so take it slow. With a soft brush, gently run it over your puppy’s back to get him used to it. You should brush your golden retriever once a week.
When you want to brush your dog’s coat, you don’t want to use any old brush that’s lying around the home. You should use a brush that’s appropriate for the stage of life your dog is in, like if he’s a puppy or adult dog, and it should be easy to use while being gentle so it doesn’t scratch your dog’s skin.
Brushing can actually help your dog’s shedding to decrease (so you don’t end up with fur all over your furniture!) because of how it gets rid of loose hairs and dead skin cells. It also spreads the dog’s natural skin oils all over its fur so that its coat can be glossy and healthy.
One of the best brushes to use for your golden retriever is a slicker brush. This removes tangles and knots from his fur. Go one step further and choose a self-cleaning brush that will make it easier to clean the brush. Just press a button on the brush and it will retract the brush’s bristles so you can remove all the hair that’s been collected.
Besides brushing your golden retriever’s fur on a regular basis, you should check your dog’s coat after you’ve taken him for a walk. This will help you to remove things like burrs, twigs, and sticky leaves immediately so that you can minimize how much your dog’s fur becomes matted.
Purchase An Undercoat Rake
Brushing your dog’s fur isn’t enough. You will need an undercoat rake. This is a tool that contains small teeth and it’s useful for penetrating your dog’s top coat so that loose hair can be removed from the undercoat.
This also removes matted, tangled hair. You can use an undercoat rake as much as your dog needs it, but you can also just add it to your dog’s regular grooming routine.
Although you won’t have to bathe your retriever as often as you brush him, you should aim to wash him once every two months – but more often if he tends to get dirty. Choose a shampoo that’s gentle and filled with as many natural ingredients as possible so that it won’t irritate your dog’s skin.
If your dog has an underlying skin condition or sensitive skin, it’s always a good idea to consult with your vet before you use any shampoo. To find the best shampoos for your golden retriever, read, “Best Shampoo For Golden Retriever: Keep Your Pup’s Glossy Coat Clean.”
Use A Spray
A spray that smooths your dog’s fur is a good product to invest in because you can use this on your golden retriever’s coat before brushing it as it will make the process easier.
A good spray to use is the TropiClean Tangle Remover. It removes dirt so that you can brush your dog easier, while it’s also a no-rinse formula so it’s extremely user-friendly.
Get Some Scissors
When it comes to using clippers on your golden retriever, you really need to tread with caution because you don’t want to cut his beautiful hair too short. You can get away with a cordless trimmer because you won’t have a lot to trim, or just use your humble scissors.
When trimming your retriever’s tail, legs, and belly, use scissors instead of a trimmer to snip excess fur. This is because hair in these areas doesn’t grow very long so it’s easy to trim. You can also use scissors for the hair around your dog’s ears so that they aren’t covered by fur.
Some important areas you should trim are between your dog’s toes as these are prone to fuzzy hair. Also trim the back of the legs so that the fur around the dog’s body is symmetrical.
Although it might seem like a daunting task to use clippers or scissors on your golden retriever’s coat, you just want to trim any areas that are unkempt or fuzzy. Don’t go overboard!
How To Groom Your Golden Retriever’s Coat In Seven Easy Steps
Now that you know the tools and products you need to groom your golden retriever, let’s look at how to groom his or her coat in the best way.
- Start by spraying your golden retriever’s coat.
- Use a brush to gently glide across the coat. You want to choose a brush that has a large surface area so that you can do fewer sweeps over the coat.
- You can also use an undercoat rake if your dog has matted or tangled fur. Always move the rake in the direction of the hair growth. Avoid using the rake on the same area of fur as this can cause irritation.
- After brushing, give your dog a bath. Place your dog in the shower or bathtub and dampen their fur with a trickle of water out of a container. Avoid using a sprayer if your dog’s not comfortable with that. Then, lather the shampoo over your dog’s coat. Rinse it very well to prevent product residue, then dry your dog with a large towel.
- Once your dog’s coat is completely dry, you should brush it again to ensure that the fur will be straightened out.
- Then, you can go ahead and trim your pet’s coat with scissors or clippers. Start with the fur on their feet and legs, then trim fur on their chest and neck if they have any overgrowth of hair in these areas.
- Move on to trimming your dog’s ear hair and tail.
How To Prep Your Golden Retriever For Grooming
It’s not always easy to groom your pets. They can be nervous or scared, especially if they’ve never been groomed before. This is why it’s always great to get your puppy used to grooming from as early an age as possible.
It’s always a must to make the grooming process as enjoyable as possible for your dog, such as by having lots of treats or ending the grooming session with a fun playing session. Here are other tips to keep your dog calm.
Let your pet explore the room. If you’re grooming your dog inside, you want to secure a room so that it can’t escape. Let your pet walk around the room that has all your tools and products so that they can become familiar with the environment.
- Show them the tools. Your dog is less likely to be scared of your brush or clippers if you introduce them to him or her before you even try to groom them. Let them sniff everything and hear the noises they make so that they won’t see these tools as harmful.
- Take it slow. If your dog won’t stop fidgeting or trying to escape, you’ll have to get them used to the grooming process in small steps. This could mean that if you want to brush them, you only sweep the brush across their fur until they try to get away from you and then stop. You don’t want to make your dog view being groomed in a negative way because then the next time you try to groom them they will be even more uncomfortable and anxious.
- Stay calm! If your dog sees that you’re stressed out about the grooming process, he or she will mirror your feelings. So, try to stay calm and exude a positive energy.
- Give your dog rewards. When your dog does something, like stay still while you trim his ears, give him a treat or lots of praise. This positive reinforcement will help tremendously.
Should You Have Your Dog Professionally Groomed?
If your dog really dislikes it when you whip out the shampoo bottle or scissors, and you just can’t seem to make them calm during the grooming process, you’ll probably consider getting them groomed by a professional.
Since professionals have more experience with this, they will be able to help an overly-anxious or aggressive dog feel calmer.
Sometimes they will have to sedate your pet (via American Kennel Club), and that’s certainly something you can’t do at home so it’s best left to a professional who can also deal with things you might not be able to stomach, such as cleaning muddy fur or removing ticks and fleas from your dog’s fur.
What scissors are best for trimming golden retriever fur?
Thinning shears are a good idea as they’re versatile. You can use them on every part of your dog’s body.
Why do you need to trim your dog’s paws?
When they become too hairy, your dog’s paws can collect burrs, dirt, and mud, the accumulation of which is not only unhygienic but uncomfortable for your pet.
Grooming your golden retriever doesn’t have to be a difficult task.
Even if you’ve never done it before, once you have the right products and tools at your disposal it can be a stress-free and enjoyable experience – for you and your dog!