Do Golden Retrievers Have Hair Or Fur? (Answered)

Golden retrievers have an abundance of fur, not hair, even though it bears the appearance of hair. One of the major differences between hair and fur is that hair only has one layer or coat. On the other hand, the fur has two layers, as is evident in a golden retriever. The outer layer and undercoat combine to make its characteristic fur.

A Golden Retriever’s fur is mainly mistaken for hair because of its volume. Dogs as hairy as golden retrievers usually have hair, as fur doesn’t typically grow that long. Golden retrievers, on the other hand, have long fur that some people usually categorized as hair, leading to mass confusion.

Interestingly, a Golden Retriever’s fur isn’t evenly distributed across its body. The length and amount of fur in different areas of the dog’s body usually varies, with the chest, tail and back being the most densely populated areas.

Trimming Your Golden Retriever’s Fur

The more fur or hair a dog has, the more haircuts or trims it will require. As Golden Retrievers are particularly hairy, they’ll need trims somewhat frequently. The frequency will always depend on the dog and how fast its hair grows. Trimming is delicate and comes with a few rules, or you risk ruining the dog’s appearance or even harming it. Some of the dos and don’ts associated with trimming a golden retriever include:


Remember the feet

Unlike most other dogs, the feet are one of the most important areas to consider when trimming a golden retriever. Their fur grows long between their paws and should be trimmed to prevent it from affecting them while walking. The feet are usually the first place to start when trimming your Golden Retriever. You shouldn’t wait till the growth is too much before the trim, lest it becomes difficult to separate from the feet.

Use special scissors

Trimming a dog’s hair is a delicate task and should only be done using special scissors reserved for this process alone. Scissors give greater control allowing you to have a greater influence on the outcome of the cut. There is also the issue of precision, as scissors allow you to control how long or short the cut is. You must also use one for dogs instead of human scissors, or risk damaging its fur or injuring the dog.

Pick a style

While trimming a Golden Retriever isn’t the main aim, you can select a style to give your dog a unique look. It may not make much difference, especially once the hair starts growing back. Not all styles might be compatible with Golden Retrievers, but there are many you could employ.


Never shave off its hair.

The golden rule of Golden Retriever hair trims is simple, ‘never shave off its fur completely. Firstly, shaving off a Golden Retriever’s fur completely will cause it to have an odd look.

Additionally, cutting off their fur may cause it to grow back oddly or not. While it doesn’t always happen that way, the odds of your Golden Retriever’s hair growing back normally are low. You are better served giving it a light trim instead of cutting it off. Luckily, there are several haircuts you can employ to that effect.

Avoid clippers

Clippers may be ideal for trimming humans or other dogs, but not for golden retrievers. Golden retrievers aren’t difficult to trim, but they require precision. Clippers are harder to control, leaving you prone to errors and possibly ruining your dog’s coat. Your best bet is to use scissors, especially when new to the process. The more comfortable you get, the better your chances of using a clipper.

The Stages Of Golden Retriever Fur Coats

Golden retrievers don’t always have their characteristic fluffy fur, though they usually look attractive. Their coat goes through different stages before finally arriving at the final state. There are three major fur stages in golden retrievers, which are:

The Puppy Stage

The first coat they are born with is the puppy stage, which is just as fluffy as the mature coat, especially considering their age. The coat isn’t always fluff, as when they are born, it is wet and flat but dries out to become fluffy.

This stage lasts about three months before it is shed, and a new one takes place. The main function of the puppy fur is to keep the dog warm and regulate its temperature, something it can’t do well at this point. Never shave off this fur, or you expose your puppy to extreme temperatures and, possibly, health problems.

The Fluffy-To-Fur Phase

Around three months, their puppy fur transitions to new fur, though some later bloomers may delay. The process typically lasts about three months, after which the golden retriever will have two layers of fur. The puppy fur becomes the new undercoat before being coated with an outer coat.

The growth process isn’t instantaneous, so you can expect the dog to appear somewhat awkward in this phase. However, once the process is complete, the dog will start to look more like the characteristic Golden Retriever.

Feathers Stage

The final stage of a Golden Retriever’s fur is the feathers stage and its final appearance. This coat comes in for most around 18 months, though many start to grow at the one-year mark. This phase is called the feather stage because of how long their fur is, and it covers most of their body.

The first place where the ‘feather’ grows is the tail before the chest, stomach and legs. Though it is very different from its first fur, the puppy fur is still a part of the feathers, just buried deeply. 

How Much Fur Do Golden Retrievers Shed?

Golden Retrievers are heavy shedders and tend to do so all year long. If you have one as a pet at home, you can expect to find their fur in the furniture and on the carpets all year long. While they are largely considered loyal dogs and most people love them, shedding is their biggest challenge. If you have to clean up after a shedding dog, then golden retrievers aren’t the ones for you.

There is no exact estimate of how much fur a golden retriever sheds, but it varies from one dog to the next. While Golden Retrievers all shed a lot, individual and environmental factors all play a role in how much each one sheds. Some owners may need to deal with fur daily, while others may deal with it less frequently.

Interestingly, cleaning after a golden retriever differs from other dogs due to how much they shed. Having more than one golden retriever equals twice the work, though many people still find it adorable.

How Many Times A Year Do Golden Retrievers Shed Their Fur?

Golden Retrievers shed all year long, but large shedding is periodically occurring only twice a year. Despite their reputation as heavy shedders, it could always be worse. Twice a year, their shedding increases as they shed their undercoat. Their shedding through the rest of the year is only from the outer coat; hence it is considerably less.

Interestingly, their shedding falls around the same time yearly and coincides with the changing of the seasons.  Both shedding sessions mark the start of the spring and fall seasons, with the shedding designed for better adaptation to the weather. They shed the coat compatible with the previous season, and a new one grows in its place, better suited to the new season.

Other external factors like allergies can also facilitate a Golden Retrievers’ shedding. If your dog is shedding more than usual while the seasons haven’t changed, you should observe for allergens. The more intense their allergies, the more they will shed, possibly mimicking the changing of the coats.

Reducing Golden Retrievers Fur Shedding

Golden Retrievers shed so much, and it can be hard to keep up with cleaning after them. Your best bet is to prevent them from shedding altogether. While that isn’t possible, you can reduce the possibility of them shedding or at least control it. There are a few methods you can employ to help reduce shedding, including:


Golden retrievers don’t need to be bathed frequently and don’t smell bad, but bathing can help with shedding. Bathing helps to improve fur health and remove dead or dying fur in the process. However, excessive bathing can cause skin conditions, creating more problems than solutions. Ideally, three times a year is enough to keep the dog’s fur in excellent condition.


Brushing is more regular, and rather than improving the quality of the hair; it removes the dead fur. Brushing can be done daily, saving you from having to clean up fur around the house. Instead, the fur is trapped in the brush, making it easier to clean.


De-shedding tools are an effective way to get rid of dead fur and don’t require as much frequency as brushing. While they can be used all year long, their effect is mostly felt during shedding season, with shedding at its peak. Once or twice a week is enough to use your de-shedding tool and will greatly reduce shedding.


What goes in greatly affects how healthy a dog is overall, including fur health. A healthy diet will affect hair glands, reducing the amount of dead fur and, ultimately, shedding. You may still have to worry about the same shedding frequency, but you’ll notice a reduction in the fur volume.

Do Golden Retrievers Have Hair Or Fur Summary

Golden Retrievers have fur, though it tends to grow longer than the hair of most dogs. The most important differentiating factor is the number of coats, with Golden Retrievers having two.

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