How much do Golden Retrievers shed? How can you possibly keep up with it? Is it possible to get them to stop shedding? Is it a good idea to shave a Golden Retriever?
We’ll answer all of these questions and more below!
How Much Do Golden Retrievers Shed?
Golden Retrievers will shed, and certainly aren’t a hypoallergenic breed! For some owners who are used to a single coated, non-shedding dog or cat, this might seem like a lot. Compared to many other breeds, it really isn’t.
Golden Retrievers are double-coated breeds. They usually don’t shed nearly as much as a Siberian Husky or German Shepherd, but they will still shed throughout the year. You could call it mild to moderate shedding.
Many Golden Retrievers will then blow their coats twice a year, during the spring and fall (assuming your weather changes throughout the year). Their bodies are preparing themselves to cope with a change in the climate.
How Do I Manage My Golden Retriever Shedding?
Brush your Golden Retriever regularly. If you associate praise with brushing, most dogs even grow to enjoy the feeling of the brush against their backs.
Once weekly bushings are recommended. You don’t want to go with anything less than once every two weeks. Lightly brushing your Golden Retriever once every two days will ensure you can easily keep up with that shedding!
Poor nutrition, and other nutritional problems, can cause your dog to lose fur. Make sure to provide a high quality diet with several different nutritional sources!
Will Shaving Your Golden Retriever Help?
Shaving your Golden Retriever might reduce shedding for a time, assuming there is no hair left to fall out, but there is an enormous catch. You should absolutely never shave any double coated breed unless strictly necessary for medical reasons (i.e. surgery).
If that is the case, your veterinarian or veterinary technician will be the ones shaving your pup.
Imagine a dog’s two coats, an undercoat and a topcoat. The undercoat will shed more frequently than the topcoat, constantly replaced by new hairs. They grow at different rates, not at the same pace. If you shave them both, they might never grow in sync again!
This isn’t the most important reason though.
A dog’s 2 coats will work in sync to help trap cool air close to the skin, helping your pup stay cooler during the summer. Shaving him removes this protection, makes him more susceptible to sunburns, and can actually increase the chances of heat injuries.
What is a Double Coat?
This means your dog has two layers of hair, both serving different functions. The undercoat is usually denser and fluffy, acting to keep your Golden warm. The outer layer is composed of longer hairs that protect your pup from the elements.
A dog’s coat will be thicker or thinner, longer or shorter depending on the climate the breed was originally intended for. With so many new ‘designer breeds’ of today, sometimes coat length is a genetic roll of the dice, depending on what the breeder thinks is desirable.
When Do Golden Retrievers Shed the Most?
Your Golden will shed all year long. Most owners say this shedding is relatively moderate or mild.
He’ll shed much more heavily twice a year, normally with the upcoming seasonal changes. This is called ‘blowing the coat’. Your Retriever’s body is preparing to handle differences in temperatures.
For example, his coat won’t need to be so thick during those hot summer months. Your pup can get rid of some of that fluffy winter coat. The exact months will depend on what part of the world you live in, but the heaviest shedding times are generally during fall and spring.
Can I Find a Golden Retriever that Doesn’t Shed?
A Labrador/Poodle was cross-bred for a blind owner back in the late 1980s. The owner’s spouse happened to be allergic to animal dander, and purebred Poodles (hypoallergenic single coats) didn’t make the best guide dogs at the time.
The resulting Labradoodle was an enormous success! These dogs are still extremely popular today, over 30 years later.
Golden Retrievers and Labradors weren’t bred for the same purposes, but they do have similar personalities. Both breeds are highly intelligent and both are used for service-related tasks. It wasn’t long before breeders decided to cross the Golden Retriever and Poodle, creating the Goldendoodle!
No dog is completely 100% hypoallergenic as all will shed some degree of dander, but Goldendoodles are pretty close.
Can I Make My Golden Retriever Stop Shedding?
Shedding is a normal, healthy process many dogs go through. Old, damaged hairs will be gradually replaced by new hairs. It’s a continuous process, and shouldn’t stop.
There is some kind of medical problem if your Golden does stop shedding! It’s much more likely he/she will begin to lose fur as a result of itching, some kind of allergic reaction, or another medical problem.
The best way to make your golden stop shedding is to control the amount of loose dander! Brush your dog at least twice a week.
Some sources recommend bathing once a week, but this could have consequences. You could continuously wash away normal oils that rest on the skin. Bathing once a month is ideal! You absolutely don’t want to bathe your pup more than once a week, unless advised to by a veterinarian.
If you’re wondering how much do Golden Retrievers shed, this is really going to depend on how often you groom or brush your Golden.
Is Golden Retriever Shedding Bad Compared to Other Breeds?
Golden Retriever shedding is considered in the moderate range.
Heavy shedders would be dogs like Alaskan Malamutes, American Eskimos, German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies, etc.
Low shedding dogs would be single coated breeds like the Basenji, Maltese, Poodle, etc.
Why Do Golden Retrievers Shed? Final Comments
This dog breed was bred in Tweedmouth, England. These were bred as water dogs, used to retrieve fallen waterfowl for the hunter (originally the Lord of Tweedmouth). They cave longer, double coats to support them in colder northern climates of the area.
All double coated breeds will shed as older, damaged hairs are replaced. Some shed more than others.
Bottom line, if you ask yourself “Do Golden Retrievers Shed a lot?”, then you know proper care and maintenance of your canine friend’s coat is important. And if you are considering getting that dog breed, now you know what you are up to.