Grooming a Golden Retriever

 

Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in America. They are currently ranked the 3rd most popular breed by the AKC. Goldens are loved for many reasons. They are kind, intelligent, and loyal so they are great family dogs. Their intelligence makes them easy to train and their undying devotion makes them eager to please.  They have relatively few health problems, with the most common health issues being hip and elbow dysplasia, arthritis, and allergies. As an active breed, they require moderate, regular exercise so they are perfect for a person or family with an active lifestyle. They even love to swim!

Another great thing about golden retrievers is that they require minimal grooming. The biggest concern centers on coat care. Goldens have a dense coat made up of two sections: a soft, thick undercoat and a heavy outer coat. The undercoat is heaviest during the winter but begins to shed as the weather warms up. During this shedding process, its best to brush the coat daily to prevent painful tangles and mats. Once the moulting is complete, goldens only need to be brushed about once a week.  If you encounter mats which can’t be brushed out, you can use a comb to lift the fur away from the skin, then put scissors under the mat and slowly trim it out of the coat.

In addition to frequent brushing, goldens need to be bathed at least once a month. This will keep the coat healthy and shiny. Thorough bathing and rinsing is crucially important because residual soap will cause debris and irritants to accumulate in the coat. It is also important to completely dry the coat. You can begin with a towel-dry then finish off with a blow-dryer set to low/no heat.

Goldens generally do not require much coat trimming.  Long, straggly hairs on the outer ear should be trimmed using small scissors. The fur that pokes up between the toes and over the nails should also be trimmed. If you are unsure how to trim the fur in these sensitive areas you should enlist the services of a professional groomer.

References

  • The Stone Guide to Dog Grooming For All Breeds, Ben and Pearl Stone
  • The Illustrated Directory of Dogs, Juliette Cunliffe
  • AKC Breed Standard PDF 
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