How To Groom a Golden Retriever at Home

Updated January 26, 2023
How To Groom a Golden Retriever at Home

Visiting a professional groomer every two weeks is costly, so you can benefit from knowing how to groom a golden retriever at home.

Golden retrievers’ coat requires a lot of upkeep to remain lustrous and smooth, but every owner can master the home grooming technique.

A lack of grooming makes the dog’s fur look unappealing and increases the risks of skin conditions and parasite infestation.

The good news is that golden retriever grooming doesn’t take much time if you do it regularly and don’t have to deal with stubborn mats and knots.

Many owners are intimidated by the thought of grooming their dogs at first but soon find themselves fully confident and even enjoying the process.

How Often To Groom a Golden Retriever

Golden retrievers’ dense, long fur requires regular care, but how often to groom a golden retriever depends on many factors. As a rule of thumb, golden retrievers need to be bathed at least once in eight weeks and brushed at least once a week.

Too frequent bathing can harm a dog’s skin and coat, drying it out and making it vulnerable. On the other hand, you can brush your golden retriever’s coat daily without risks.

The grooming frequency may vary depending on an individual dog’s lifestyle. Golden retrievers that spend more time outdoors, walking in forests and wild meadows with a higher risk of parasite infestation, need grooming more often.

In contrast, dogs that spend most of their time indoors and only walk in a clean backyard may not need to be bathed as frequently, but they need weekly brushing regardless.

Golden retrievers swimming in stagnant water or pools need to be bathed after every swimming session to remove pollutants from their coat. Grooming can be less frequent in the winter than in the summer.

As for how often to trim golden retriever feathers, once a week is enough for most dogs. However, some goldens need to have their feathers cut every couple of weeks.

Additionally, golden retrievers need to have their nails trimmed every three to four weeks and teeth brushed at least twice a week. However, if that seems like too much hassle, you can get dental toys for your dog.

Choosing The Right Supplies

Grooming quality largely depends on the tools you use. Generally, a porcupine brush is considered the best brush for golden retrievers because it’s universal.

It combines a pin comb with a bristle brush, simultaneously brushing golden retrievers’ undercoat and overcoat.

During seasonal shedding seasons, you can use a slicker brush with fine wire teeth to remove excess fur and prevent knotting and matting. If your dog’s coat is extremely dense, you can use an undercoat rake.

However, don’t attempt to get rid of mats and knots with a slicker brush or undercoat rake. The best way to do this is to cut a mat off with scissors unless it’s located very close to the skin.

For trimming your golden retriever’s feathers, choose scissors from hard metal with a long blade. You can use regular straight dog grooming scissors or thinning shears that have two serrated edges for a more natural effect.

When it comes to shampoo, pick one that doesn’t contain any allergens. As a rule of thumb, the fewer ingredients in a dog’s shampoo, the better. Pick a shampoo that targets your dog’s unique needs.

Conditioners are unnecessary for most dogs, but you can get one if your dog’s fur is prone to knotting and tangling.

Alternatively, buy two-in-one shampoo and conditioner for dogs. Never use human shampoo on dogs because it contains too many chemicals.

How to Bathe a Golden Retriever

Bathing a golden retriever is pretty straightforward and typically hassle-free because these dogs love water.

Start with gathering your supplies – a shampoo, brush, treats, and a towel. You may find a detangling brush more convenient for brushing wet fur.

Brush your dog’s hair, ensuring there are no tangles and mats left. If some knots are particularly stubborn, use oil to get rid of them. Then, get the water ready – it must be lukewarm.

Soak your dog’s coat for a couple of minutes, then shampoo it and let the shampoo soak for a bit. Rinse the shampoo and brush your dog’s hair again. Repeat the process if the coat is really dirty. Optionally, use conditioner afterward.

Lastly, drain the water and blot your dog’s fur with a towel. You can dry it with a blow dryer if your dog isn’t afraid of the sound but use the lowest heat setting. Reward your golden retriever with a treat.

How to Brush a Golden Retriever

Regular brushing will keep your golden retriever’s fur lustrous and smooth. It’s also your chance to check the coat for fleas, ticks, and other parasites. For regular shedding periods, use a porcupine brush, working your way from the dog’s head to the tail.

Avoid brushing sensitive areas, such as the face and ears. Next, use a slicker brush to reach the dense undercoat. Be extra-gentle, and don’t try to brush away tangles or mats.

For intense seasonal shedding periods, you may need to additionally use an undercoat rake after the slicker brush to pull out any remaining hairs.

If you notice a mat, cut it off with scissors but only if your dog can stand still and the knot isn’t too close to the skin. Otherwise, visit a professional groomer instead to avoid hurting your dog.

Lastly, give your dog a final all-over brushing with a fine-tooth comb or a detangling brush. You may spray the coat with detangling spray for dogs after the brushing session.

How to Brush Golden Retriever Teeth

Many golden retriever owners have no clue how to brush a dog’s teeth and are hesitant to do it, thinking it’s too complicated. However, the process is straightforward once your dog gets used to it.

Get a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head that will reach difficult areas. Don’t brush your dog’s teeth with your toothpaste. Instead, get dog toothpaste that doesn’t contain xylitol or fluoride from a veterinary pharmacy or pet store.

Remember that dogs don’t spit, so your dog will swallow the toothpaste. Now, assuming you have the necessary supplies, wait until your dog is relaxed and apply some toothpaste on your finger, then let your dog taste it.

Get your dog accustomed to the taste of toothpaste and the look of the toothbrush before brushing its teeth. When your dog appears comfortable, apply some toothpaste to the brush and massage it gently against your dog’s teeth, lifting the upper lip.

You don’t need to do anything after you’ve brushed all your dog’s teeth because pet toothpaste is designed for swallowing. If your dog hates the process, try to change its mind with treats or opt for dental sticks instead.

How to Cut Golden Retriever Claws

Cutting a golden retriever’s nails doesn’t take much time or experience, but it isn’t foolproof. Always use sharp dog nail clippers and make your dog accustomed to the tool before trimming its nails.

Wait until your dog is relaxed and take its paw in your hand, pressing gently. The tricky part with trimming a golden retriever’s nails is that they are black, so you can’t see the quick.

Make small snips and check the cross-section of the cut nail after every snip. You know you’re approaching the quick when the middle of the nail becomes darker.

How to Trim Golden Retriever Feathers

Golden retrievers have longer hair on the back of the legs, paws, tail, and stomach, known as feathers. These feathers give golden retrievers a gracious look when they’re walking or running and add a slight wave to the coat.

However, the long fur quickly gets tangled and dirty, so you may benefit from learning how to trim golden retriever feathers. You will need a narrow-tooth comb and a pair of scissors or thinning shears.

Start by brushing your dog’s fur and getting rid of tangles. Then, take your dog’s tail by the end and hold it horizontally. Shape the tail feathering as a large dog’s ear, leaving it about three to five inches long.

If your goldie is very fluffy, trim the feathering slightly shorter. Then, move on to the legs. Here, trimming is more about removing the excess volume rather than length, so use your judgment but don’t trim the feathering too short.

As you move to the paws, cut the fur shorter to prevent it from collecting dust and dirt. You may leave the stomach as is or trim the feathering slightly but be careful because some dogs have very sensitive stomachs.

If you feel uncomfortable trimming your dog’s feathers, better opt for professional grooming because you don’t want to accidentally hurt your pet.

Do Golden Retrievers Need Haircuts?

The short answer to “do golden retrievers need haircuts?” is – no. Shaving a golden retriever or cutting its hair too short is a common mistake that can permanently damage its coat. Regular feather trimming is sufficient.

Golden retriever double coat ensures correct thermoregulation and protects the dog’s skin from environmental hazards. Without the coat, a dog becomes vulnerable and isn’t able to regulate its body temperature properly.

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