Can You Shave a Golden Retriever? (Everything You Need to Know)

Yes, you can shave your golden retriever. However, you should never consider doing it unless it’s recommended by a vet (which, of course, would be for health reasons).

The soft, silky fur of a golden retriever is part of what makes it one of the most adored dog species. And their playful, loving, and caring nature, coupled with their dazzling golden coats, makes them irresistible to anyone who loves dogs.

Most people assume that, because of their double-coated nature, golden retrievers cannot survive in hot weather temperatures. That might be why you may want to shave your golden retriever, especially when summer is approaching. But what you should know is that shaving your golden retriever causes it more harm than good. 

In this article, we’ll discuss why you should not shave your golden retriever, except it’s a strict medical requirement. Therefore, before you shave your furry friend, ensure you’ve read this article to the end.

What is a golden retriever’s coat?

A golden retriever’s coat is the two-layered golden fur that covers its body. The first layer is made up of long, smooth furs (the outer or guard coat), while the second layer is made up of soft, silky furs (the undercoat).

Both layers of the golden retriever’s coat are vital to its overall health and well-being. Apart from giving it a very colorful look, they also protect it from all harsh weather conditions.

During the summer, they protect the golden retriever from the hot sun and heat, while in the winter, they work to protect the goldie from cold and moisture. Furthermore, the fur helps regulate the body temperature of the golden retriever.

The functions and advantages of the golden retriever’s coat are numerous, and we’ll get to discuss them below. But first, let’s see if you can shave your golden retriever.

What happens when you shave a golden retriever?

Shaving your golden retriever exposes it to the sun or cold. This might result in sunburns (which can cause cancer), parasitic attacks, and other severe weather complications. 

While it might look like shaving a golden retriever will help keep it cool, it is actually a bad idea as you’d be exposing it to more danger. You might think you’re protecting it from heat, but you’re literally taking out its protection against the sun and exposing it to severe sunburn.

The undercoat will surely grow back, though it will take some time. However, the act damages the guard coat, which has no guarantee of growing back to its usual texture and size. Depending on how old your dog is, the guard coat may never grow back, as the chances are slimmer as the dog ages.

So why should you not shave your golden retriever? Because the undercoat is already doing what you intend to achieve with the shaving. The undercoat serves as insulators for the doggo.

They help shield it from the heat that comes from exposure to hot temperatures. That means, when you shave the coats of your golden retriever, you destroy its insulator and leave it vulnerable to the harsh weather. 

Does shaving your golden retriever stop it from shedding?

No, shaving your golden retriever won’t stop it from shedding. The shedding will still continue, though less noticeably this time because of the shorter hairs.

It’s also very important to understand why your dog is shedding so regularly. This will help you manage the shedding, especially if it’s causing any form of discomfort for you.

One important issue to address is the food you give it. Feeding your golden retriever poor-quality food will make it shed much more. You also have to check if your dog has any food allergies, as they could also make them shed more regularly.

Secondly, health-related issues and stress cause dogs to shed. Your golden retriever might be suffering from a thyroid issue, a single flea bite, or even stress if it’s shedding more than normal.

Finally, the ultimate reason your furry friend might be shedding more than expected might be a lack of grooming. Grooming is a sure way to ensure your golden retriever doesn’t litter your home with hair.

To ensure your dog doesn’t shed hair around your home, make sure you groom it properly on a regular basis. This can be anywhere from daily to weekly to biweekly, depending on how long the hairs are.

If going to the groomer frequently would be an issue, you should consider getting a few grooming tools and learning how to do it yourself. Moreover, grooming your Goldie will help create a more special bond between you two.

How fast can a golden retriever’s hair grow after shaving?

Though it might seem like it’d take forever, your golden retriever’s hair will surely grow back in about three to six months. 

When it’s shaved, the hair goes through a dormant stage, which might have you wondering if it will ever pick up again. Then it comes up and grows at a very slow rate, before covering up. A golden retriever is a very hairy dog with two hair layers that grow separately.

The undercoat will have to grow first, and this can take anywhere from four to twelve weeks. The guard coat might take another four to twelve weeks to get back to its texture prior to shaving.

How do you groom your golden retriever?

For a more professional look, it is best you take your golden retriever to a groomer. However, if you want to do it at home, these steps will guide you properly: 

Bath your golden retriever

Bathing your golden retriever is the first step to a successful grooming session. Use lukewarm water and shampoo to bathe your dog properly.

Avoid using hot water, as you may end up giving your doggo burns that could get more complicated later.

Dry and brush your golden retriever

After bathing, dry and brush the fur of your golden retriever to remove any tangled or matted hairs. To avoid seeing lots of hairs in your home, you may choose to do this outside. Brushing the coat will make the long hairs more visible, thereby making it easier for you to trim.

Trim the long hairs

Once you’ve brushed your golden, the long hairs will sprout out, and you can easily trim them. It’s advisable that you trim only the excessively long hairs to avoid cutting your golden retriever’s hair too short.

You can start trimming from the neck or ears, depending on the position of your dog. However, you have to make sure you trim all parts equally to avoid uneven hairs later.

Trim the nails

Trimming the nails of your doggo would require more carefulness. This is to avoid cutting into its skin and giving it unnecessary pain. Use dog-specific nail clippers to ensure a smoother process.

How short can you cut a golden retriever’s coat?

If you must cut your golden retriever’s coat, it shouldn’t go beyond one inch. This is to protect it from sunburn and bug bites. 

However, as said earlier, it’s best not to cut the fur of your golden retriever. You can trim it, by shortening the excessively long hairs, but cutting it is a very bad idea.

How do you keep your golden retriever cool without shaving it?

You can keep your golden retriever cool by regularly bathing and brushing it, trimming its paws and stomach of excess fur, and making sure it has access to cool water and shade.

Your dog’s cooling sweat glands are located on his feet. So the actual cooling effect that you want to achieve by shaving its entire fur can be achieved by trimming off the excess fur on its legs.  

Getting your golden retriever cold snacks like beef broth, iced water, and other cold liquid meals would help keep them cool.

In addition, golden retrievers love water a lot. You can take them to nearby rivers, ponds, or lakes and let them play around in the water. Alternatively, you can set up a kiddie pool in your house and let them cool off in it.

Summary: Can You Shave a Golden Retriever?

Though they shed off regularly, which you might find uncomfortable, golden retrievers are the best family pets you can have. In fact, one might argue that they aren’t just pets.

They can be your friend, family, comforter, and companion when you need them. Golden retrievers are affectionate dogs. They’d never let you leave their sight and trust me, it can be comforting to know that someone is looking out for you.

Now that you know the health implications of shaving your golden retriever, I do hope you’ll go on to educate everyone around you on how to groom these furry cuties.

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