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7 Tips to Manage Golden Retriever Shedding

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Golden Retrievers are very popular family dogs, and it is easy to see why: They’re not only friendly, loyal and smart, they also have some of the most beautiful coats around.

But unfortunately, these gorgeous golden coats can also cause headaches for their owners.

We’ll talk about the Golden Retriever shedding below, as well as the best ways to manage the problems the double coats and shed hair of Goldens can cause.

Golden Retrievers Shed

The Golden Retriever’s Coat

Before we begin talking about the ways to deal with Golden Retriever shedding, we need to explain the basics of their coats.

Golden Retrievers have a double coat, comprised of two separate layers.

  • The outer coat of a Golden is waterproof, comprised of medium to long hairs and primarily intended to protect the dog from the elements. Some Goldens have wavy hair, while others are primarily clad in straight hair. The outer coat of many Goldens exhibits “feathering” on the legs, tail and
  • The inner coat is extraordinarily dense and quite soft. The inner coat isn’t very visible, but if you run your fingers through the coat of a Golden, you’ll easily feel the soft hairs underneath. The primary job of the Golden Retriever’s undercoat is to keep the dog warm in cool weather.

Golden Retriever Colors

If you thought that golden retrievers are only available in gold color, you are mistaken. Apart from regular gold color, they are also available in cream and red color. Among these, cream-colored golden retrievers are the lightest ones and are believed to be healthier and calmer than other golden retrievers. The red golden retrievers are the darkest colored goldens, and many of them are field bred, which implies that they were actually bred to hunt.

Do Golden Retrievers Shed?

All mammals shed their hair periodically. Individual hairs only last for so long, so they’re typically jettisoned once they wear out.

But while some animals (including humans) tend to shed at a relatively consistent rate, others shed particularly heavily in specific seasons or portions of the year. Golden Retrievers are a good example of the latter.

Golden Retrievers typically shed a little bit all year long, so you’ll have to contend with this issue more-or-less constantly.

However, they tend to exhibit a punctuated shedding pattern, in which they shed especially heavily during the spring and fall. These are the times in which it is most important to take steps to manage the shed-hair problems they present.

SEE ALSO: Do Labs Shed? How Much and When?

How Much Do Golden Retrievers Shed?

There isn’t an easy way to quantify how much Golden Retrievers shed, but they are surely one of the heaviest-shedding breeds in the world.

Retrievers shed enough to leave a constant dusting of hair on your floors and furniture, and they’ll bury your entire home in a layer of golden fur each spring and fall.

The first time you give your dog a thorough brushing during a heavy-shedding period, you’ll surely be shocked at how much hair you are able to remove from your dog.

It is important to note that the length of a Golden Retriever’s fur not only makes it seem like they shed even more than they actually do, it also makes it harder to clean up after them.

Long hairs are more likely to become stuck to the fibers of your carpets and upholstery.

They are also more likely to clog vacuums and form “tumbleweeds” that will end up blowing around your home.

Golden Retriever Shedding Frequency

Golden retrievers shed at a moderate rate, but they shed all around the year. But, during the shedding season, goldens shed a lot. Goldens grow a new coat during this time of the year to prepare them for the upcoming season.

Generally, the shedding seasons comprise the spring and the winter months. During this time, its light summer coat falls off, and new thicker coats arrive, which prepare it for the upcoming winters. By doing this, a golden regulates its body temperature.

When Do Golden Retrievers Shed the Most?

Golden retrievers have double coats. While the smooth outer coat protects them from filth and foreign objects, their fluffy and thick undercoat saves them from heat and cold. This helps them to regulate their body temperature as well.

Golden retrievers shed a lot in the spring and the fall for roughly three weeks each time. By doing this, they are getting ready to leave their lighter summer coat, and their new thicker winter coat prepares them for the upcoming chilly months.

7 Ways to Manage Golden Retriever Shedding

Golden Retriever Double Coat

Again, there’s no way to completely eliminate Golden Retriever hair shedding (or any other breed of dog).

However, there are a few things you can do to limit the problem.

1. Brush Your Golden Frequently

Since you can’t completely stop your Golden Retriever from shedding, the next best option is to remove your dog’s hair in a controlled manner.

And the easiest way to accomplish this is by simply brushing your Golden once a week (or more frequently), collecting the hair trapped in the brush and putting it right in the trashcan.

Most dogs, including Golden Retrievers, will enjoy the attention and stimulation a thorough brushing provides, and they’ll learn to accept it as part of their weekly routine.

It will also give you a good chance to observe your dog’s coat and skin, increasing the chances that you’ll discover ticks, abrasions, wounds and other problems that require attention.

Additionally, by brushing your Golden Retriever regularly, you’ll be able to eliminate mats and tangles and keep his thick coat looking its best.

Scroll down to the next section to learn about the best brushes for Golden Retrievers.

2. Bathe Your Golden Retriever Regularly

bathing golden retriever shedding

Brushing your dog isn’t the only way to remove his soon-to-be shed hair in a controlled manner – you can also bathe him regularly.

Most Goldens enjoy the occasional bath and it is a very effective hair-management technique that’ll help keep your home looking great.

Just be sure you don’t bathe your Golden too frequently, as this can cause coat and skin problems.

Anytime you bathe your dog, you’ll end up washing off many of the hairs that we’ll be shed soon, as well as those that have already been released from the follicles, but still cling to his coat.

Additionally, the massaging action of your hands and fingers will help dislodge soon-to-be shed hair, and it’ll free the hair that becomes trapped in his coat.

Then, once you’ve bathed your dog, you can simply dispose of the hair left in the water. If you’re bathing your Golden Retriever outdoors, you can simply dump the fur out on the ground (this will even help your local birds, as many use hair while building their nests) or collect it and throw it in the trash.

If you bathe your Golden indoors, you’ll want to use a drain guard, which will collect the hair as it washes down the drain. This will prevent the hair from clogging your pipes and make clean up much easier.

SEE ALSO: The 5 Best Dog Shampoos for Shedding

3. Take Your Golden Retriever for a Swim

golden retriever swimming to shed hair

Swimming is a great form of exercise for most Golden Retrievers. It burns a ton of calories, it’ll help wash off a bunch of hair, and most Goldens love playing in the water.

In fact, because swimming is a low-impact activity, it is a great way to exercise dogs with aching joints.

If you are taking your pup to a lake or river, you don’t have to worry about the hair he sheds.

But if you decide to let him swim in your swimming pool, you’ll want to be sure to remove the hair that collects around the filters and traps to ensure the pump keeps working efficiently.

It’s a good idea to give your dog a bath after letting him swim, as lake and river water can contain bacteria and other pathogens.

Even if you let your dog swim in a pool, it’s a good idea to bathe him afterward, to help rinse the chlorine from his fur.

SEE ALSO: Top 5 Best Dog Dryers for Home Grooming

4. Feed Your Dog a High-Quality Food

It’s obviously important to provide all dogs with healthy and nutritious dog food.

However, it is especially important to do so for Golden Retrievers, as proper nutrition will help keep their skin and coat as healthy as possible. This, in turn, will help ensure he isn’t shedding more hair than he should.

You can check out our comprehensive guide to the best dog food for shedding here – any of the recipes highlighted should make a good choice for your pet.

However, you’ll want to give special consideration to those foods that contain an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation and promote coat and skin health.

You can also begin providing your dog with omega-3 fatty acid supplements.

These supplements come in a few different forms, including tablets and liquids designed to be added to your dog’s food, so be sure to pick the one that should work best for your pet.

5. Keep Your Dog’s Stress Level Low

Stress and anxiety may increase the rate at which your dog sheds, so it is important to ensure that your Golden remains healthy and happy.

You can do this in part by providing your pet with plenty of opportunities to exercise and giving him lots of attention.

But it is also important to provide him with interactive dog toys to help prevent boredom and give him the chance to exercise his chewing instincts.

It’s also a good idea to provide him (as well as all other dogs) with a secure crate, in which he can retreat when desired.

Many dogs appreciate having a safe place to hang out when they’re feeling worried or stressed, which may help prevent him from excessive shedding.

There are a number of crates on the market, but be sure to check out our guide to the best crates for large dogs, which are perfect for big breeds like Golden Retrievers.

READ MORE: 10 Ways to Help Your Dog With Separation Anxiety

6. Keep Your Couch Clean by Giving Your Dog a Comfortable Bed

The tips mentioned above can certainly help you reduce the amount of hair your Golden sheds and prevent some of the hair that is shed from covering your floors and furniture.

But it won’t completely eliminate the problem – your Golden Retriever will still end up leaving hair around your home.

However, most of the hair your Golden sheds will cling to the surfaces and areas in which he spends the bulk of his time. So, be sure to provide your pet with a comfortable bed (or kennel pad) and teach him that the couch is off-limits.

This may take some time and effort to accomplish, but your efforts will be worth it, once you start noticing less hair on your furniture.

It’s also important to remember that Golden Retrievers often suffer from joint problems, such as hip dysplasia.

One of the best ways to help take coddle your canine’s joints is by providing him with a high-quality, orthopedic dog bed that is designed to provide exactly the type of support he needs.

7. Color-Coordinate with Your Golden

Although it won’t do a thing to reduce your Golden’s shedding, you can often reduce the visual impact of your dog’s shed hair by trying to use furniture (both your furniture and his) that matches his coat color.

In the case of Golden Retrievers, this means opting for things that are strawberry blonde to yellow-white.

We’re not suggesting that you go out and buy all new furniture, but it is a good idea to consider the color you choose whenever buying new furniture.

You can also cover your couch and other furniture with covers that are similar to your dog’s fur color. And it is always wise to purchase dog beds and similar furniture that matches the color of your dog’s hair.

What is the Best Brush for Golden Retriever Shedding?

Golden Retriever Hair

Daily brushing is one of the most effective ways to manage your Golden Retriever’s shed hair. But you must choose the right type of brush to enjoy the best results.

There are two different types of brushes most Golden Retriever owners find helpful. Undercoat rake-style brushes are excellent for removing shed hair and tangles.

Secondly, slicker-style brushes are pretty good at removing shed undercoat fur but primarily designed to remove tangles and make his coat look smooth and shiny.

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The GoPets Dematting Comb is a great option for Golden Retriever owners who want a rake-style brush or comb. This flexible comb is designed to deal with all types of tangles and mats, and it’ll quickly collect fur from your Golden’s thick undercoat.

This double-sided comb gives you two different options, so you can remove stubborn tangles gently or quickly collect undercoat hair without spending all day on the project.

The GoPets Dematting Comb is also designed to be comfortable for you and your pet. The comb’s teeth are all rounded to avoid scraping your dog’s skin, and the handle is gel-filled and ergonomically shaped to prevent hand cramps and fatigue.

Most owners who tried the GoPets Dematting Comb praised it highly, and it is priced very reasonably for such a high-quality tool.

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If you’d prefer a slicker-style brush, consider the Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush. The Hertzko Brush uses fine wire pins to help collect shed hair and remove tangles, but they’re flexible enough to avoid harming your pet’s skin.

And unlike many other slicker brushes, which can be difficult to clean, the Hertzko Brush comes with a self-cleaning feature that enables you to remove the collected hair quickly and easily.

The Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush also comes with an ergonomic handle that’ll prevent hand fatigue during long grooming sessions. Most owners who tried this brush were very pleased with the results, and it is priced very affordably too.

Do Golden Retrievers Shed


Why do Golden Retrievers shed so much?

If you are in awe of a golden retriever’s fuzzy and warm undercoat, let us inform you that it is the same undercoat that causes most of the mess. The thick double undercoat and the furry layer make golden retrievers shed so much throughout the year.

Can I shave my Golden Retriever to avoid him shedding?

Shaving your golden retriever is never a good option. Their double coats are important to maintain their health, and shaving their hair makes them more vulnerable to the weather. Even if it is summer, you should not shave golden retrievers, as goldens’ coats protect them from both heat and cold, and by them, instead of helping them, you shall be doing a great disservice.

How do I know if it is time to see the vet?

In addition to visiting your vet with your furry friend for regular checkups and timely vaccinations, there are certain signs that you should be looking out for in your pet. While some of these signs may not seem to be important initially, they often indicate underlying serious health issues in your dog. 

Apart from obvious signs like change in stool, breathing difficulty, and frequent vomiting, you should also watch out for other signs as well. Some of these signs are aggressive behavior, loss of appetite, drinking less fluids, rashes on the skin, hair damage, whining and crying, red or swollen eyes, difficulty with regular movement, and lethargy.

How do I get my Golden Retriever to stop shedding?

Goldens are known for their distinctive long hairs, and they do shed a lot. But with daily grooming and coat maintenance, their shedding can be controlled to a great extent. Here are some simple ways that you can follow at home to control or lessen their shedding.

Goldens require a lot of daily grooming. To begin with, you need to brush them quite frequently to rid your dog of all its loose hair. By this, its hairs won’t keep falling all throughout your home. You can aim for at least two good brushings in a week.

You also need to give them baths quite often. It is advised to use shampoos rich in oatmeals, which will keep its skin moist and its coat healthy. This will ensure that there is not a lot of loose hair on your golden. After bathing, drying their hair is equally important.

Besides, you can feed your golden retriever a high-quality diet that is rich in fatty acids and proteins, which will help your dog to keep its coat healthy and strong. This, in turn, will decrease excessive shedding in your goldens.

Do Goldens Shed more than labs?

Both golden retrievers and labradors retrievers shed alike. You will find their fur almost everywhere in your house. The only difference is that since golden have longer hairs than labradors, they often require more grooming in the form of bathing, combing, and drying their long hairs.

Do Golden Retrievers smell?

As a general rule, all dogs can smell if they are not properly looked after by their owners. It is the same with golden retrievers. They do not have any particular odor, and they smell pleasing as long as their owners properly groom them. Goldens are not particularly afraid of water. 

Goldens have double coats, and to ensure that your Golden does not develop a foul smell, you can bathe them about once a week. Please remember that proper brushing and drying are equally important as bathing. This grooming process will maintain its healthy skin and ensure that it does not develop any foul smell.

Who sheds more Golden Retrievers or German Shepherds?

You may want your best friend to have a lot of furs but let us let you know that furry dogs shed a lot. Both German shepherds and golden retrievers have thick, double-layered coats, and these furballs shed. 

So, if you are not very fond of dog hair, we don’t recommend you either of these dog breeds. However, in comparison, golden retrievers may shed more than a German shepherd. They need more brushing and bathing using those shampoos that are particularly manufactured to deal with their hair.

Summing Up Golden Retriever Shedding

Golden Retrievers certainly shed pretty heavily, and given the length of their coats, the fur they shed can cause quite a mess.

But if you employ the tips and advice presented above you can keep your Golden’s shedding under control and ensure that your home doesn’t become a giant furball.

Have you figured out any other ways to control your Golden Retriever’s shedding problem? Tell us all about it in the comments below.

You May Also Like:

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