Ah, the Golden Retriever. One of the most popular and loved dog breeds out there. If you don’t own one, I am sure somebody around you does! This loyal and intelligent dog is a great option for a family pet.
But Goldie is not only a family dog – it is also an assistance dog, therapy dog, and a marvelous hunting dog! One thing that also needs to be mentioned when talking about general characteristics of this popular dog is its look.
The beautiful golden coat of this dog will make any dog lover stop by and admire it. Anybody would love to cuddle that soft, lustrous coat. But, how hard is it to take care of the Golden Retriever’s coat?
Well, it can be said that this is quite challenging. This dog needs regular brushing and, in some cases, Golden Retriever’s owners decide to leave things in the hands of a professional, so frequent visits to groomers with this dog might be inevitable.
This is where we come to the idea of a shaved Golden Retriever. Will shaving your Golden Retriever save you a lot of time? Will this make life easier for your dog, too?
Let’s find out!
Shaved Golden Retriever: Why Do It?
Golden Retriever dogs have a double coat. This coat might be characterized as difficult to groom. Maybe some dog owners have enough time to brush their dog on a regular basis, while some others do not.
However, no matter if your Goldie has a wavy or straight coat, the ultimate truth is that you will have to spend a lot of time grooming your dog.
The Golden Retriever’s top coat is water-repellent and coarse, while his undercoat is thick and curly.
Golden Retrievers shed quite a lot and they are not considered a hypoallergenic dog breed. So, owning a Golden Retriever will be all the fun, as well as working really hard to have your house clean.
After reading this, the idea of a shaved Golden Retriever does not sound so bad, right? Your dog will not shed excessively anymore, you will not have to spend so much time grooming him and cleaning your house.
But, is it really okay to shave our Goldies? Or, is there another side of the coin?
What Are The Benefits Of Shaving Golden Retrievers?
If you are thinking about shaving your Golden Retriever, let’s see if there are enough benefits that will assure you that this process will be good for your double-coated dog.
At a first glance, anybody would think that shaving will help dogs cool down during the hot summer months. Also, if your Golden Retriever’s hair is prone to matting, you could consider shaving as a way of dealing with this problem.
And, shaving might rid the problem of the hot spots in your Golden Retriever. Furthermore, shaving will mean less grooming for you. And also, a cleaner house! So, you might be thinking: Shaving my Golden Retriever would actually be a pretty good idea.
However, we will explain how there are more arguments against shaving a Golden Retriever, rather than those that are for this action.
What Are The Bad Sides Of Shaving Golden Retrievers?
When you read some of the supposed benefits of shaving your Golden Retriever, you may have quickly concluded that this is exactly what you need to make things easier for both you and your dog.
But, before you make such a decision, we would like to warn you about a few important side effects of shaving your Golden Retriever.
1. Shaving Will Not Help With The Overheating
Photo from: @wosara16
Summertime is here again and you might be happy about it, but your Golden Retriever will not agree!
Whenever you look at him, he seems to be struggling with high fever, breathing fast, and panting.
Even if you let him out in an air-conditioned area for a short time, this will not help your Golden Retriever cool down for good. You have a feeling that shaving your dog’s hair would make these hot months a lot easier for your dog.
Wrong! This dog’s coat serves as an insulator to help him in all kinds of weather conditions: his fur makes him warm in the winter and cools it in the summer. So, the Golden Retriever’s double coat is there for a reason and shaving will not make your dog cooler.
This dog’s fur is helpful for regulating his body temperature, and, therefore, getting rid of the fur would mean a disruption of the normal functioning of the dog’s organism.
2. Shaving Might Increase The Risk Of Sunburn
If your Golden Retriever likes to lie in the sun, you definitely shouldn’t be thinking about shaving your dog! As we mentioned, the double coat protects this dog from strong sunlight. If the dog is shaved, it is more likely to get sunburn.
Did you know that dogs, just like us, can get sunburned? They are even more susceptible to sunburn, since their skin is more sensitive! If you notice that your dog’s nose has turned pink, it is possible that it is precisely a sunburn.
So, shaving is definitely not a good idea if your Golden Retriever spends a lot of time outside. What you should always do is to use sunscreen for your dog.
Dogs also need sunscreen, just like humans. Today, such products are available on sites such as Amazon. Additionally, it would be a good idea to avoid walking your dog during the hottest parts of the day.
3. Shaving Might Increase The Risk Of Skin Cancer
If your Golden Retriever likes to roll on the floor and feel the warmth of the sun, at that moment it is significantly exposed to ultraviolet radiation.
When the dog is shaved, its natural protection against the sun and other harmful external influences disappears. If the dog does not have his guard hairs, one of the serious consequences can be the development of skin cancer in the dog.
All dog breeds can suffer from this disease, but hairless dog breeds, lighter-colored dogs, and dogs that have been shaved for various reasons are more susceptible to this skin condition.
Of course, exposing a shaved dog to the sun is certainly not the only or the main cause of skin cancer. But, this is one of the causes.
Also, if this disease is detected in time, it is possible to treat it. However, the real question is: Are we ready to shave our Golden Retrievers even though we know about these existing risks?
4. Increased Exposure To Fleas
Photo from: @ruger_the_golden_pup
Every time you notice extreme scratching in your dog, you immediately worry and the first thing you think of is fleas.
You are slowly getting tired of using different shampoos and sprays to get rid of fleas on your dog. In addition to this process being tiring for you, it is also uncomfortable and painful for your dog. Moreover, fleas can be very dangerous if treatment is not started immediately.
To prevent this problem from recurring, you thought it might be a good idea to shave your Golden Retriever. Less fur means less fleas, right? No, not at all!
It is true that it is easier to spot fleas on a shaved dog. So, you will get rid of them faster and you will not have to struggle with the huge fur of your Golden Retriever puppy.
However, this is only positive when it comes to the appearance of fleas in a shaved Golden Retriever. Shaving this dog’s fur will not make the fleas stop appearing. Moreover, fleas may appear more often in dogs that lack their natural fur!
5. The Shedding Will Not Go Away
Perhaps one of the main reasons why Golden Retriever owners would choose to shave their pet is to reduce shedding. But a shaved Golden Retriever will shed, too!
When his undercoat begins to grow back, he may shed even more.
Therefore, reduced shedding is often highlighted as a benefit of shaving Golden Retrievers, but this is actually a misconception. Every dog sheds, at least to some extent – including shaved ones.
Does Shaving Your Golden Retriever Hurt Them?
Shaving itself will not hurt your Golden Retriever. However, the dog might feel different and strange after shaving. In addition, shaving can cause rashes on the dog’s skin, increased sun exposure, and possible burns.
So, shaving is not a painful process for the dog, but it might cause pain afterwards. Therefore, shaving the Golden Retriever’s coat is not recommended. Instead, there are alternative methods, which we will talk more about later in this article.
Do Golden Retrievers Grow Back After Shaving?
Dog hair will grow back after shaving. When this will happen depends a lot on the dog breed, genetics, and nutrition. Some dogs will need several weeks, while for some this process will last up to 3-4 months.
Either way, your dog’s fur will grow back after shaving. However, this does not mean that it will be exactly the same as it was before shaving.
Dog’s fur may grow unevenly – in some places there will be more of it and in others less. The texture of your Golden Retriever’s coat might completely change after the shaving. You might even see your dog not as pretty as it used to be.
This, of course, does not have to be the case with all Golden Retrievers. All of this varies from dog to dog, so unless you are prepared for this, you should think carefully before making a final decision about shaving your Golden Retriever.
Is It OK To Shave Your Golden Retriever?
In general, we can say that it is definitely not okay to shave your dog. We have learnt that shaving a dog with a double coat like the Golden Retriever will not make a dog cool off easily. Also, it will not be helpful in flea prevention.
In some cases, shaving can also represent a kind of trauma for the Golden Retriever, especially for those dogs who do not like to get their hair cut.
If it is almost impossible to keep the dog calm during the haircut, minor injuries may occur. Of course, professional groomers always do their best to make the haircut as painless and comfortable as possible for the dog.
So, if you are thinking that shaving your Golden Retriever will be a life-saver for you, believe us, it will not.
However, there are some cases when it is acceptable to shave your dog. For example, if your dog suffers from a certain skin condition, it is possible that the veterinarian will advise you to shave the dog’s fur. But these are extreme cases.
Also, if your Golden Retriever’s hair has become so tangled that the condition cannot be corrected with any other means, perhaps shaving will be the only way out.
Overall, the decision to shave the dog’s fur should only be made after consulting a veterinarian or a professional groomer.
Instead Of Shaving… Groom Like A Pro!
Golden Retriever grooming is not a piece of cake, we have to admit. But, we have seen that a shaved Golden Retriever is not advisable. There are many bad sides of shaving your Golden Retriever’s fur.
So, instead, why shouldn’t you try to groom your dog at home? With the following tips, you will be able to maintain your dog’s beautiful, but demanding coat.
1. Regular Brushing
Regular brushing is very necessary with dogs, especially with dogs like the Golden Retriever who have both inner and outer coats. With daily brushing, your dog will shed less and will always look neat.
In order to do the brushing in the right way, it would be good to use a bristle brush and even an undercoat rake. This way, your Golden Retriever will be the most beautiful dog in the neighborhood! With fur like this, it would really be a shame to shave it, wouldn’t it?
2. It’s Bath Time!
The Golden Retriever loves water and everything related to it! While with some other dogs you might have problems talking them in for bathing, this is not the case with Golden Retriever puppies.
Together with brushing, dog’s bathing is a very important step of the grooming process. How often should you bathe a Golden Retriever? It is recommended to bathe this dog every six to eight weeks.
You should not bathe this dog too often, in order to not to strip off the natural protective oils out of his skin. However, if your dog gets pretty dirty or you notice that unpleasant dog odor, it is definitely time for a bath!
So, in the end, the frequency will depend a lot on your dog’s lifestyle and habits.
Always make sure to use dog shampoo that will fit your Golden Retriever the best. If your Goldie has a problem with dandruff, maybe you have thought of using a Head & Shoulders on your dog.
Using this shampoo might actually be beneficial for your dog’s problem with dandruff, but you should not use this shampoo on your dog regularly. Humans and dogs have different pH levels, and dog shampoos are the only products completely safe and harmless for our furry friends.
If you need some suggestions on quality dog shampoos, take a look at our list of the best smelling dog shampoos for all kinds of dogs’ coats.
3. Additional Steps Of Grooming Process
There are a couple of more steps that should also be a part of your standard routine when it comes to your Golden Retriever’s grooming.
First, you should clean your dog’s ears regularly. In this way, you can help your dog avoid suffering from ear infections. Also, the ear wax color chart might be a very helpful tool in taking care of your dog’s health.
Furthermore, regular nail trimming is very important for your Golden Retriever. If your dog’s nails are too long, this might make it hard for him to walk. This process is something many dogs are really not crazy about.
To solve this problem, find some advice in our article How to sedate a dog for nail clipping. Also, start with this process when your Goldie is still a puppy, so he gets used to it early. And, choose proper nail clippers!
Let’s not forget this dog’s tail! Dogs are especially sensitive when someone touches their tail, so you need to be gentle and patient.
First, you need to brush the tail to get rid of dead hair. The Golden Retriever’s tail should never be short. When you groom it, try to keep the dog’s tail in its natural shape – that is, that it looks like a fan when extended.
4. Choose A Fancy Hairstyle
We hope you will adopt our tips to be able to groom your Golden Retriever at home. However, you will most likely, at least sometimes, take your dog to a professional groomer.
To make yours look even more beautiful and elegant than it is now, we suggest you choose one of the adorable hairstyles for Golden Retrievers!
If you are a simplicity lover, the best choice for you will be the Simple trim. This haircut involves the removal of long and dead dog hair.
With this hairstyle, it is also possible to additionally thin the hair around the dog’s neck and chest. This hairstyle is the closest to the natural look of your Golden Retriever.
We have found that shaving is not a good solution to make your Golden Retriever more comfortable during the hot summer months. However, there is a hairstyle that could significantly ease his fight with the heat, and it is known as the Summer Cut.
This haircut involves trimming the dog’s hair so that it is as short as possible and that follows the shape of the dog’s body. Trimming body parts like chest, ears, and paws will make your Golden Retriever feel more comfortable and clean.
If you like your dog to look like a teddy bear, you might like a haircut called the Teddy Cut. In addition to looking adorable, having this hairstyle, your Golden Retriever will tolerate the warm weather better.
In the end, we can conclude that a shaved Golden Retriever is not a smart idea.
Shaving may sound like a quick and easy solution to your pet grooming nightmare.
By shaving, you’d cut down on the time you spend brushing your dog, you’d have to clean up the excess hair around the house less often, and your dog would be more comfortable without all that fur during the high heat.
But, the reality is quite different.
By removing the fur, we are actually harming our Golden Retrievers more. The natural fur of these dogs protects them from weather conditions and acts as a natural insulator. So, by shaving the dog’s fur, we actually disturb their natural balance.
Finally, every Golden Retriever owner, with a little effort and the right tools, can learn how to take care of their dog’s fur at home. And for emergencies, there are always professional groomers.
All in all, we should leave that beautiful coat of Golden Retrievers intact, and take regular home care to keep it healthy, shiny, and clean.