Golden Retrievers, being one of the most popular dog breeds around the world, is well-known for their lovely coat and loyal temperament. With that said how exactly do you groom your Golden Retriever? After all, grooming any dog could be a challenging experience at first. But, once you’re armed with the right information, grooming your dog won’t be a problem.
A Golden Retriever might not need a full-body haircut but they do need to be trimmed regularly and properly. This will make their ears, tail, feet, neck, and all other parts of their body clean-looking. Grooming them in all aspects will also help prevent skin diseases caused by matting and infections.
So, if you want to find out more about Golden Retriever grooming, read our article below – we have a lot of guides and references for you!
At what age do you start grooming a Golden Retriever grooming?
Golden Retrievers can be groomed as early as 16 weeks old during their puppyhood. When you train your Golden Retriever pup at an early age, they will get less anxious when you take them to the grooming salon and get exposed to frequent touching, grooming tools, and the like.
When should a Golden Retriever puppy get his first grooming?
As mentioned above, it’s best to start grooming a Golden Retriever puppy at around 16 weeks of age. In this way, you’ll get your puppy more used to the grooming tools, especially the loud noises and the sharp objects.
A pup could get grooming anxiety if they haven’t been introduced properly to tools so by helping them get over the fear and starting at a young age, they will develop the coping skills into adulthood.
How often to groom a Golden Retriever?
A Golden Retriever should be brushed every 1 to 2 weeks to avoid shedding and matting problems. As for the nails, they should be trimmed monthly but you should trim them carefully or you can get help from a professional groomer.
Bathing a Golden Retriever should be done about every 6 weeks because too much bath time would end up drying their skin of important oils. The Golden Retriever is a double-coated breed so make sure they get proper bath time and sufficient time to dry.
How to groom a Golden Retriever
When it comes to grooming your Golden Retriever, here are the specifics for each part of their body:
If it is obstructing their view or ruining their looks, the facial area only needs to be trimmed using blunt-tipped scissors to avoid the likelihood of injury. Just trim off any loose hair. Since Golden Retrievers do not have a lot of facial hair compared to other breeds, you can just skip this step and go to the ear section below.
Golden Retrievers can be groomed on their ears. Start by using gentle and blunt-tipped scissors on the outside edge of each ear. Use quick cuts as much as possible but don’t forget to be careful and observant with what you’re doing.
When trimming your dog’s ears, don’t go farther into the front to avoid creating accidents. You can also trim around the tip of the ear but as said above, it should be done gently. Trimming the ears is usually the trickiest one since it is quite sensitive.
For cleaning inside the ear, you can use a canine ear solution and a cotton ball to gently clean their ears. Or, if you don’t have that, using mineral oil is okay but don’t let it get into their eyes.
Wiping your dog’s eyes is also important to get off any “morning dust” or debris. Mineral oil is also best used with this grooming routine, much like with ear cleaning. And since a Golden Retriever doesn’t have a lot of hair on their face, you might not need to trim anything around the eyes.
Legs and Feet
When trimming your Golden Retriever’s feet, use safety scissors that have a dull end. Work on the edges of the feet and you can also use a comb to separate it from the skin. This makes the hair easier to cut. The rule of thumb is around half an inch long for the hair around the dog’s feet.
Next, gently grab your Golden Retriever’s legs and trim the excess hair, following up with thinning shears to make it smooth and even. Usually, a Golden Retriever should have longer fur on its back legs compared to the front.
Chest and Neck
The Golden Retriever’s chest and neck also need to be properly trimmed because of the excessive and fuzzy coat. However, with this part of the dog, you only need to use the thinning shears to keep it flat and less messy.
Start by rubbing the toothpaste using your fingers or using a dental sponge. Then, try the dog toothbrush once your dog has been attuned to the sensation. Always gently perform the brushing and begin with the front teeth to the back. Once you’re finished, you can reward your Golden Retriever with some fun chew toys.
When choosing a dog toothbrush for your Golden Retriever, look for a bigger-sized one. Usually, dog toothbrushes are bundled together with doggy toothpaste. Always consider natural ingredients that are safe for your Golden Retriever.
If your Golden Retriever is initially scared of the toothbrush, you can condition them to like it by showing them beforehand. Do the same toothpaste licking method mentioned above and eventually, your Golden Retriever will get used to the dental habit.
Before you groom your dog’s body, make sure that any matted fur is removed using a brush. You should brush gently to avoid touching the skin and causing irritation.
We prefer to get the Golden Retriever fully groomed after a good bath. The concept is similar to how hairstylists spray our hair with water before cutting or trimming hair. This makes it easier to cut.
After a good bath, you can also use a blow dryer while using a comb. Alternatively, you can also use an undercoat comb. Always remember to not thoroughly trim the whole coat of the Golden Retriever to avoid ruining their undercoat. This undercoat is needed for their temperature regulation throughout the different seasons of the year.
Start by putting your dog in a high position. While holding the tail upward, use your scissors to trim the bottom part of the tail, which should be about 1 to 3 inches in length when properly trimmed.
Next, start trimming your dog’s rear from the center. Make sure that the clippers are working properly and that the blade is sharpened properly. Don’t shave too close to avoid cuts on your dog’s skin.
If you’re cutting near your dog’s genitals, make sure to do it very gently. Alternatively, you can pull the fur away so that it will be easier to cut. Pulling back the leg will also help you to easily see the coat you need to trim between their legs.
The ideal nail length that you should cut should be 2 mm away from the quick. To find the quick, look for the reddish part in the middle of the nail and avoid it as much as possible.
A Golden Retriever should be groomed for at least 2 to 4 weeks when it comes to their nails. This may vary depending on how much outside time your dog gets. That’s because going outdoors and walking on different surfaces automatically files their nails short. This makes them easier to trim and thus, will need less frequency of trimming.
Another way to know if your Golden Retriever needs to have their nails trimmed is to listen to clicking. This is only applicable if they step or walk on hardwood flooring. If your home has more carpets than hardwood flooring, you’ll have to trim them more often because the surface is too soft.
When your dog steps on rough or hard ground, that’s when their nails get automatically filed, especially if they go outdoors often. That’s why you have to trim them more if you have a carpeted home.
Your Golden Retriever can be bathed every 6 weeks or when they get muddy. Before bathing, they should be brushed and groomed properly. When bathing your dog, you should use a quality dog shampoo that’s free from harsh chemicals.
If your dog has allergies to scents, consider an unscented formula for them. Bathing your Golden Retriever is almost the same as with most dogs – lather and rinse. Blow-drying your pet can also be done but make sure the heater mechanism of the dryer isn’t too hot.
Golden Retriever Grooming Styles
If you want to groom your Golden Retriever, you’ll need to have a specific look or hairstyle for them. Here are the most common ones to consider:
- Regular trim. This is the most popular cut of a Golden Retriever’s pet hair. It is mostly a trim so it only kind of thins out the neck, body, chest, and the ears. With this kind of cut, it’s easy to brush your Golden Retriever’s lovely coat.
- Show cut. This type of doggy hairstyle is similar to the regular trim with a few differences. It focuses on the sanitary areas of the dog, as well as their paws and ears so that they are properly trimmed. The focus of this pet hairstyle is the golden coat of your dog. It should have clean feathering.
- Teddy cut. This is a shorter clipping for your Golden Retriever, which is ideal for the summer. A Golden Retriever with a teddy cut will feel more refreshed in hot weather. Aside from the shorter clipping, it also involves a trimmed tail and curved-cut feet, similar to that of a cat.
What grooming tools will you need for your Golden Retriever?
Now that we have tips on how to groom your Golden Retriever, what are the tools that you’ll need? We’ll cover some of our picks that you can try out, which we think are the best for your Golden Retriever:
For the best brush for a Golden Retriever, we picked the Pet Neat Pet Grooming Brush, which is made with a 4-inch (100 mm) stainless steel for its blade, making it a durable grooming and de-shedding tool for your pet.
It also has an easy-grip handle (made of non-slip TPR and PP) to keep your hands from getting fatigued. With its detachable head design, cleaning and storing it will be a breeze. The design of the grooming tool will help take out up to 95% of shedding fur or loose hair within about 5 minutes of frequent combing.
Shears & Scissors
For a Golden Retriever’s grooming kit, we suggest the GLADOG Professional Dog Grooming Scissors Set, which is a 4-in-1 set that includes two scissors (6.5 inches), one thinning shear (6.5 inches), and a comb. Moreover, the scissors have a dull or rounded tip for added safety.
All of them are made with quality stainless steel (4CR titanium-coated) and are kept in a pouch. Aside from that, they come with a cleaning cloth to keep the tools maintained. Since the scissors have two designs (straight and curved), you have more control over trimming your dog with ease. The rubber bumper at the handles also dampens the noise to prevent your dog from feeling anxious.
When it comes to grooming your Golden Retriever properly, the lightweight yet powerful oneisall Dog Shaver Clippers is for you. This rechargeable pet clipper has 5 adjustable functions for its included comb. Running up to only 50 dB, it will less likely scare off your Golden Retriever with its noise levels.
It comes with 6 attachment guide combs for you to use, as well as other accessories such as a cleaning brush, scissors, a comb, and the charger for the unit. The unit has two blades: a stainless steel fixed blade and a ceramic moving blade for flexibility.
The Oster CryogenX Detachable Pet Clipper Blade is a great size 10 blade to consider, which will make cuts up to 3/32 inches. This pet clipper works best for large breeds, which makes it suitable for a Golden Retriever. If your Golden has problems with matted fur, this pet clipper blade will work for them.
It has been cryogenically frozen after being heat-treated to add strength. It will fit a variety of pet clippers, such as the Oster A6, Turbo A5, Power Pro, and the like.
For a large breed such as the Golden Retriever, the Dudi Dog Nail Clippers and Trimmer is for you. It has a protective guard to avoid over-trimming, especially if you are a beginner at grooming your pet. It has rubber-coated handles with an ergonomic design to prevent user fatigue.
The nail trimmer measures 2 x 6.5 inches and is made with a durable stainless steel blade. Aside from that, it comes with a bonus nail file to smoothen your dog’s nails after cutting.
If you want a pet grooming table for your Golden Retriever, the Flying Pig Grooming Foldable Dog Pet Table is a good choice. It is made with quality stainless steel and measures 32 x 21 x 31.5 inches. Due to the non-slip rubber as the texture of the table, it will cause less likelihood of accidents with your pet.
What’s more, it comes with a grooming arm that you can adjust and fold as needed. There’s also a storage basket at the bottom for your other dog needs to save space.
The shernbao Pet Grooming Hair Force Dryer is a good pet dryer to consider for your Golden Retriever. It has 2 temperature settings (55 and 131 degrees Fahrenheit) for your dog’s safety. This dryer was made with large breeds in mind so it will suit the Golden Retriever just fine.
It has an adjustable speed from 515 to 64,00 FPM. The housing is made with ABS material that’s good with heat insulation. With its flexible hose that can be extended from 4 to 8 feet this dryer has 3 nozzles and air filters. It is backed by a 12-month warranty.
For dog shampoo, we chose the Burt’s Bees for Dogs Natural Shed Control Shampoo since it has omega-3 and vitamin E, which will help with nourishing your pet’s skin and coat. It has quality ingredients and is ideal for shed control for your Golden Retriever.
Since it is pH-balanced, it is okay to use for both dogs and puppies. It also doesn’t contain fragrances, colorants, harsh chemicals, and sulfates so it’s safe for your dog.
Golden Retriever Grooming Tips
To make your overall Golden Retriever grooming experience better (and safer), here are a couple of tips to help you out:
- You can apply Vaseline or petroleum jelly if you find that your Golden Retriever has cracked pads. This is also an important part of their grooming routine.
- Trimming the tail should be done with care. Make sure that the tail only reaches the Golden Retriever’s hocks. Snip off excess hair while holding the tail down and then use thinning shears afterward.
- The ideal length of hair on your dog’s feet should only be about half an inch long. This will help prevent or lessen tracking around the house.
- If you don’t have time for bathing your Golden Retriever, using dry shampoo is also okay. Dry shampoo for pets is now available in the market today, but make sure you wait at least 20 minutes before brushing off the excess spray shampoo powder.
Do you have certain questions about Golden Retriever grooming? We’ll try our best to answer most of them below:
My Golden Retriever licks paws after grooming! What should I do?
Although licking paws seem to be a natural cleaning instinct that dogs (and cats) do to groom themselves, there could be underlying problems if it is often done after grooming. It could be serious if the licking is aggressive.
When your Golden Retriever licks their paws, they could feel uncomfortable with something. One possible answer could be razor burn, which is usually caused by improper clipping or if they have sensitive skin.
A dog licking their paws often could also be a sign of irritation in their skin. If this is the case, you can either talk to your vet or your dog groomer. They could propose ways to help soothe your dog’s paw-licking antics.
What to do when grooming a very anxious Golden Retriever?
An anxious dog is difficult to groom and is bound for errors and accidents. To help them calm down during the grooming process, make sure that they are well-acquainted with the tools of the trade. Show them the clippers and the like so that they won’t feel overwhelmed or intimidated.
How do I choose a good shampoo for my Golden Retriever?
You’ll want to have a dog shampoo that contains vitamin E and oatmeal. This makes the coat soft, healthy, smooth, and nourished. This also makes their skin healthier and less prone to irritation.
There are many brands of shampoos for dogs out there but for Golden Retrievers that are often shedding or are prone to irritation, consider a formula that’s made for sensitive skin. It also helps if the shampoo in question doesn’t contain sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and other harsh chemicals that could irritate their skin.
If you can find a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner for a Golden Retriever, that will also help save time and effort. Conditioners will help you to brush your dog easier.
How do I groom a Golden Retriever during the summer?
The Golden Retriever should still be slightly trimmed or clipped – we think that shaving is still not a good idea. The summer season makes pets prone to allergies and even pests that could damage their skin and coat. That’s why they need their double coat to stay protected.
As long as you regularly brush their hair and bathe as needed, your Golden Retriever will be just fine. Brushing regularly removes loose hair and bathing will help clean out dirt and debris from their coat.