Do Golden Retrievers Shed? How Much?
If you have Golden Retrievers or any other dog for that matter sharing your home, you will be aware of the excess fur on the floor, on your furniture and on your clothes. We’ve also all seen the dog shedding memes on social media too. With these memes, dog lovers tell people to stay away if they’re going to be offended by dog hairs all over the place. This shedding of hair occurs when your furry friend loses dead fur to make room for new fur to grow.
Why Do Golden Retriever’s Shed?
Golden Retriever owners love their smiling, friendly golden beauties so much that they’re ready to solve the shedding problem any which way they can. They do research on the different pet vacuums available and that work with ease on hardwood floors, carpets and tiles. Just don’t use it on your Golden!
Of course, not all dog breeds are the same – some have short hair, others medium length fur and others have long hair The way your dog sheds will depend on its breed and other factors. A dog that spends much of their time outdoors will have thicker fur compared to indoor dogs. There are also genetic and seasonal variations.
Your Golden has a Double Coat
Golden Retrievers have two coats for a reason so you should know that your Golden’s coat should never be sheared. The hair helps the Golden to maintain temperature all year around in hot and cold weather.
As the Golden Retriever matures it will have longer feathered hair around the neck, belly area, legs and tail. These areas are all prone to matting and will need to be brushed. Read about the best brushes for your golden retriever here.
When Do Golden Retrievers Shed?
The Golden Retriever is such an awesome family dog and his gorgeous golden coat is his trademark. If you have owned a Golden Retriever you will know that these beautiful, social, energetic, intelligent dogs shed the entire year round and that their shedding can be described as moderate to fairly heavy.
Grooming your Golden Retriever is key to keeping him healthy. You do, however, need the right grooming tools for shedding.
To keep your Golden’s shedding under control, brush him on a regular basis. This can be done with different kinds of brushes and also an undercoat rake. You can keep on top of Golden Retriever shedding by brushing with special grooming equipment on a regular basis.
They start shedding at 6 months of age
An undercoat also emerges which thickens as the dog matures. Your Golden Retriever puppy will shed his coat when he is about 6 months old. Once he starts shedding his puppy coat it will take a year or so to grow in. Some Goldens are already 18 months old before the entire double coat growing process is completed.
Shedding for the Golden Retriever is at its heaviest during the late Spring when the weather starts to warm. Your Golden gets rid of his winter undercoat to make way for the lighter undercoat.
The Golden Retriever develops a double coat. Goldens also get feathers over the stomach and around the legs. To ensure your young Golden’s coat develops as it should, you want to ensure he is fed properly.
Shedding Triggers For Golden Retrievers
Take a good look at his diet to ensure he is getting the best nutrition possible for a healthy, silky coat. Shedding, grooming and nutrition go hand in hand. A healthy coat is always soft, smooth and shiny and not greasy with odor. A dog with an unhealthy coat usually has dry, brittle hair with plenty of loose hair. Signs of an unhealthy coat include bare spots.
Shedding is perfectly natural, but dog owners can still do one or two things to help their dogs shed just a little less. Shedding can be a sign of a nutritional deficiency. Of course, grooming is essential but there are dog foods specifically formulated to reduce dog shedding because of the right mix of nutrients a canine needs.
Omega 3 fatty acids
With a Golden Retriever puppy, a food allergy can cause unnatural hair loss. Controlling allergies will stop your pet from ongoing scratching at their skin. Lots of scratching can increase the amount of hair your pet sheds, so make sure your Golden is being treated for fleas.
Some foods such as tuna have essential nutrients such as Omega 3 fatty acid. Fish oil also contains EPA and DHA which can help with excessive shedding. You can even add tuna into your Golden’s regular food. A specifically formulated vitamin supplement together with a healthy diet can do wonders for your dog’s health, skin and fur.
Coconut oil added into food can keep the skin hydrated. It is also great for reducing dandruff and preventing fleas. Flaxseed oil can help improve the skin and fur of your Golden. There are supplements with natural ingredients that can promote a healthy immune system and guarantee your dog’s shedding is its normal amount.
A dog’s body is largely composed of water and to limit too much shedding, adequate water intake is important because a lack of water can lead to dry skin which encourages shedding because of dehydration. Ensure your Golden has constant access to fresh, cool water. Make sure the water bowl is always clean. Some people buy a dog water fountain as the fun aspect of splashing his snout around in the water encourages more water intake.
While bathing your dog is a way to get rid of excessive loose fur on your Golden, you have to be careful about bathing your dog too often as the situation with troublesome, itchy skin can backfire.
Bathing your dog too frequently will just dry out your dog’s skin and worsen the shedding problem. The natural oils of your Golden Retriever help to keep his coat dirt resistant and water-repellant. Brushing keeps these oils well distributed over your Golden’s body.
Nevertheless, your Golden will require bathing, but very occasionally, say every 6 weeks or so. You have to look at the lifestyle of your dog. If you live on a large farm-type property and your Golden is constantly plunging into the farm dam, this frequent swimming can lead to a dirty coat and an unpleasant smell.
This makes perfect sense as just like humans lose their hair under stressful conditions, so do dogs. Your Golden is such a happy, amicable dog with a non-stop wagging tail. Keep him that way by keeping stress at bay. This is done by means of –
- Regular exercise
- Providing a constant supply of fresh cool water
- Feeding him a regular, nutritious diet
- Providing him with loving attention
- Providing him with a warm, dry, peaceful sleeping area
- Getting him to the vet when he shows signs of illness
Shedding increases with spaying and neutering
When humans are under par, their immune system suffers and their hair is lank and unhealthy. Spaying and neutering your Golden Retriever is similar. It can be a setback for their system. Hormonal changes can alter his shedding.
You may see more shedding than normal. Give your beloved pet time to recover after the op, spoil him or her with nutritional treats and soon they will recover as they enter a new season of their lives.
Shedding is Impacted by where you buy your Puppy
Implementing a few simple ways to look after your dog’s coat because of shedding is worth every effort. Golden Retrievers are just sheer joy but there is that one downside – their shedding.
So apart from the tips mentioned above, what else can you do to make the best of their shedding? Make sure that you buy your Golden Retriever puppy from a responsible breeder.
With a poor breeder you always get unpredictability and poor qualities in your dog. Responsible breeders always take the trouble to find good homes for every dog they breed. They also take great care to produce healthy puppies with the right temperament – and the normal amount of shedding.
Not all dog breeders are ethical and you may spend a fortune in specialized dog products and vet fees to try and treat the problems you see in an il-bred puppy.
As a Golden Retriever owner, educate yourself on shedding, learn how to buy a puppy that gives you less problems and how to take the right steps to keep this natural process under control.
How To Manage Golden Retriever Shedding
A good brush will keep your sanity and is a superb tool for excessive shedding and matting of your Retriever’s thick coat. There are many brushes, but a slicker brush is ideal for keeping your dog’s coat free of loose hairs.
These slicker brushes have fine wire bristles that remove tangles and smooth the fur for a shiny coat. They are great for heavy shedders.
Rubber Dog Brush
It’s always cool to turn your brushing session into a bonding, therapeutic session too. That’s when rubber brushes are so good. They are great for shampooing your dog and for massaging while simultaneously removing loose hair.
At the same time they stimulate blood flow to encourage a healthy shine. They’re useful for dogs that shed a lot. After you have brushed your pet, take him outside and comb his hair with your hands in the same direction that his fur lies. You’ll be amazed at how much more hair comes off him, but luckily you’re outside.
These shedding tools are a must-have for a Golden as they get to the thick bottom layer to remove excess loose fur. These undercoat rakes for Goldens are great for removing dead hair from your pet’s undercoat during shedding time.
They don’t all look the same so you have to choose one that works for you. They make you work hard, so choose one with a well designed, ergonomic handle to prevent you from having an aching wrist.
Some of the best undercoat rakes have a double row of stainless steel pins that loosen dead hair but which are soothing for your dog.
A Good Dog Shampoo
Always look for a dog shampoo with natural ingredients that will keep your dog’s coat clean and which won’t make his eyes sting.
There are also medicated shampoos for treating the likes of fleas. If you don’t see your way clear to grooming your Golden, you can always take him to a professional groomer once in a while. There he will get a good bath, a good brush and rub down and the groomer will check his nails, and inside his ears.
Air drying can take quite a time and by then the damp hair has attracted new dust and dirt. A doggy doggy blow dryer gets the job done chop-chop and at the same time it blows out all loose hair.
You may think that you can use your own hair dryer but yours has been designed for humans and may be too hot for your dog’s skin. Rather invest in a doggy hair dryer that has been designed specifically for dogs. They can be ordered easily online at Amazon.
Dog specific microfiber towels are excellent for absorbing moisture and they are soft and gentle on your Golden’s fur and skin.
Yes it’s true that some dogs shed very little, some shed seasonally and some like the Golden Retriever are all-year shedders, This shedding is part and parcel of owning a dog and it’s a small irritation that is like a pin-prick compare to the vast dose of love and companionship you get from these loyal, devoted beauties.
Of course there are going to be factors to consider when it comes to choosing a canine family member for your home. You have to first of all take into account the size of your property and what size dog would suit your surroundings.
It’s no good getting a Golden Retriever if you live in a tiny apartment with no garden. These are large, active gun dogs that require plenty of activity and exercise. As a dog owner, you have a responsibility towards your dog.
He depends on you for his daily food, your love, shelter and care. You also need to consider this dog breed’s grooming requirements. As a fairly heavy shedder you’re going to find hairs all over your furniture and floors. If you have carpets and fabric type furniture, you’re going to be vacuuming a lot to get rid of all the loose hairs.
A dog like the Golden Retriever with his longer silky coat will shed more than a dog with a short, sleek coat.
If you’re looking to add a healthy golden retriever pup to your family, see all our available puppies here.