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Is A Short Haired Golden Retriever Really A Thing?

Is A Short Haired Golden Retriever Really A Thing?

Coming across the Short-Haired Golden Retriever puppy is not that common if we take into consideration that these canines are not AKC recognized. 

In fact, there’s a huge discrepancy between flat-coated Retrievers and AKC-registered Goldies, as the first ones create a huge dilemma among breeders.

Still, this puppy is very desirable among dog lovers, as it doesn’t differentiate from a standard, purebred Golden Retriever in temperament. 

These canines are even favorable for their short coat, as their hair loss is less common, and they make more favorable pets when it comes to grooming.

However, in order to decide whether to buy this cute canine or not – you first need to meet this puppy in detail. Let’s roll!

What Is The Short Haired Golden Retriever

In a nutshell, the Short-Haired Golden Retriever is a large dog breed that qualifies among the purebred dogs, despite many conflicting opinions.

Even though a plethora of dog experts claim that these canines are just one of many Golden Retriever mixes, the most represented opinion is that these dogs are, in fact, Golden Retrievers with a slight deviation in their DNA.

Still, these doggies are not recognized by the American Kennel Club, as the Club recognizes Goldies with a medium or a longer coat. According to standard, these canines have a double coat, with both an undercoat and an outer coat.

These dogs are high-quality family dogs, but they are excellent as show dogs, too. In fact, show Goldens are quite popular in AKC dog shows, and their coat is usually characterized by long hair and prominent feathering.

The Origin Of The Short Haired Golden Retriever

golden retriever standing outdoor on the piece of wood

Even though the Short-Haired Golden Retriever is not the most popular type of Golden Retriever puppy, these canines are still pretty well represented among Golden Retriever breeders. 

In fact, this particular puppy was first promoted in the 1970s, even though the breed itself dates back to the 19th century.

It was first used as a hunting dog in Scotland, as these canines have excellent body physique and an athletic body. 

Famous for their water-repellent coat, Goldies have been perfect for retrieving ducks from water in a hunt. In fact, their coat in a way resembles the one of Chesapeake Bay Retrievers.

However, Golden puppies are mostly family dogs today, as they possess unique charm and great social skills. These canines are perfect for all types of families, as their adaptation process goes smoothly.

4 Possible Scenarios For A Short Haired Golden Retriever

golden retriever puppy smelling a flower

There is still an ongoing debate on whether these dogs are purebred or not. There is a significant number of breeders who still claim that Short-Haired Golden Retrievers are just dogs that look like Golden Retrievers, but they don’t actually belong to the breed.

However, this trait doesn’t necessarily have to be disqualifying, as there are several reasonable explanations for these canines’ shorter coat. Here, you can find four distinct reasons why these puppies have shorter hair on their coat.

1. Grooming

Unlike curly-coated Retrievers, many field Golden Retrievers are short-coated, as this grooming style is their owners’ personal preference. If you’re wondering if a shaved Golden Retriever is a safe solution – be at ease! Keeping your Goldie’s coat short, especially during the summer, is perfectly fine.

In fact, these canines are not hypoallergenic, and they tend to shed a lot! That’s why keeping their coat length short is easier to maintain, especially if you take your Goldie out on a daily basis.

Grooming the long coat of your puppy can be overwhelming, and if you take your puppy to a professional groomer, this process can cost you big bucks! There are excellent grooming kits available on the market for owners who prefer grooming their pets on their own, though.

On the other hand, show Golden Retrievers generally have longer hair, as this is the breed standard.

2. Crossbreeding

Just like Mini Golden Retrievers, some Short-Haired Golden Retrievers can be the result of crossbreeding – mostly with Labrador Retrievers. This mixed breed resembles a purebred Golden Retriever, but it comes from two different parent breeds.

However, this designer dog is quite popular among dog owners, as it represents a high-quality pet with great social skills.

Even though there are many Golden Retriever mixes, such as Goldendoodles and Golden Cocker Retrievers, the Golden Retriever Labrador Mix (of all Retriever breeds) resembles the Short-Haired Golden Retriever the most.

If you’re keen on buying a purebred Goldie, make sure you purchase it from reputable breeders only. There are a plethora of shady backyard breeders that tend to sell unreliable puppies. 

The bloodline of those puppies is not tested, and they usually don’t come with a health guarantee.

On the other hand, high-quality Goldie breeders will always provide full documentation of the dog, as well as (at least) a one-year health guarantee.

3. Poor Dieting And Digestive Problems

Some Short-Haired Goldies are the result of poor dieting and extensive digestive problems. In fact, puppies that lack omega-3 fatty acids in their feeding chart tend to have a poor, low-quality coat, which can be the reason why they are short-coated in the first place.

The advice is to always provide the best-quality food for your Goldie. Avoid table scraps and the worst dog food brands on the market. These purebred canines require a well-planned feeding chart, as well as timely feeding.

Poorly-fed Goldies face many health issues such as bloat (stomach torsion), diabetes, and heart disease. 

Furthermore, overweight or underweight puppies are generally lethargic, they don’t perform physically as well as their healthy counterparts, and many of them tend to be aggressive.

In fact, there is a positive correlation between the level of aggressiveness and a healthy lifestyle in all dogs, which is why giving your puppy high-quality food at all times is Puppy Education 101.

If you’re a first-time dog owner, a wise solution would be to seek advice from experienced dog trainers or from a veterinarian. These services can cost a few bucks, but they pay off in the long run.

4. Hormonal And Genetic Problems

Even though these canines may not be one of the healthiest dog breeds in the world such as Labs or GSDs, Goldies are pretty healthy dogs.

However, these canines can face some hormonal and genetic issues, too. In fact, genetic mutation can be the reason why some Goldies have a short coat. For instance, the presence of the FGF5 gene in your puppy can be the reason why your puppy didn’t grow its full coat.

That’s why it is highly important to hand-pick the most reputable Goldie breeders on the market. High-quality breeders generally do regular DNA tests, which track down potential abnormalities in their dogs.

Still, there can be a significant hormonal imbalance in a dog, which disables it from growing its hair fully. This shouldn’t be discouraging, as short-haired puppies will be as good of pets as long-haired ones.

However, short-haired Goldies are generally disqualified from competing in AKC shows, or from registering in the American Kennel Club. The breed standard doesn’t recognize short hair in a Golden Retriever, which is why there are not so many available short-haired puppies on the market.

Still, these canines are excellent companions, and their grooming process is a lot easier than in long-haired canines. They shed significantly less, and their grooming needs are far below the needs of a long-haired Goldie.

Physical Appearance Of A Short-Haired Golden Retriever

shorthaired golden retriever running in water
Photo from: @charlie.el.golden.retriever

Even though the breed itself is probably not the most fashionable dog on the market, there are some pretty amazing Golden Retriever haircut ideas that you can find online!

However, the short-haired Golden’s coat is not susceptible to many grooming styles, as these canines have a pretty obvious short coat.

This trait is advantageous if you are an active person who loves engaging in various outdoor activities. Short-haired Golden Retrievers are generally low-maintenance, and their grooming is a piece of cake!

This dog won’t shed much, which is good if you’re planning to keep the puppy inside a house. 

Still, purchasing a dog bed would probably be the best idea, as you will avoid unnecessary cleaning and hair trails all over the house.

Furthermore, this puppy is as large as its long-haired counterpart, which makes it suitable for families with small children. Physically, these canines are excellent with small kids, as they are tolerant and not as fragile as some small dog breeds, such as Chihuahuas and Cockapoos.

Goldies are athletic dogs, even though their body physique is not as noticeable as in some other large dogs, due to their coat. Still, the breed has respectable stamina and great athletic potential.


Generally, these canines grow up to 24 inches in height. When it comes to their weight, Goldies weigh between 65 and 75 pounds on average. The Golden Retriever growth chart is a pretty sensitive topic, especially if we take into consideration this puppy’s dietary needs.

Despite their athletic potential, Goldies are still prone to weight gain, which is why taking care of their feeding chart is highly required. Giving them timely meals, as well as foods enriched with protein, omega 3, and healthy fats is of crucial importance.

Due to their size, Goldies need to have at least two big meals during the day. However, make sure your puppy gets the proper amount of exercise in between meals, too. Daily exercise requirements for this dog are between 60 and 90 minutes.

On the other hand, using snacks as a positive reinforcement tool is favorable, as long as you give them in normal amounts. Try making healthy snacks at times and see how your puppy reacts!

The Golden Retriever’s Coat Color

Even though many breeders sell this puppy in some dazzling coat color variants, such as a black coat, the AKC recognizes three basic colors in the adult coat of a Golden Retriever. That includes the standard golden coloring with dark and light variants.

Anything different from these three color patterns is not considered an original Golden’s hair color.

Still, you can find several other Golden Retriever coat colors, such as red/golden or cream.

In order to keep your puppy’s coat as shiny as it naturally is, try using the best-quality dog shampoos. However, before purchasing a dog shampoo, consult a vet about possible allergies that your dog might have.

These puppies are prone to skin allergies, such as dander, which is why it is highly important to provide them with the highest-quality shampoos for their coat.

On the other hand, brushing a Goldie on a weekly basis is going to keep their coat shiny and good-looking. These canines are popular for their high-shedding nature, even though short-haired Goldies don’t have as much shedding potential as their long-haired counterparts.

Still, weekly brushing will save you from constant cleaning and collecting hairballs all over the house.

Golden canines shed during the whole year, which is why this dog breed is not recommended for people who suffer from dog allergies.

Golden Retriever Puppies’ Temperament

adorable golden retriever puppie running outdoor

There is a reason why these beautiful and charming canines have become one of the most favorable dog breeds in the United States and beyond. Despite their history of being hunting dogs – Goldies make excellent human companions.

The breed naturally has high social skills, which is why these dogs are favorable among all types of families. They adapt easily, which means that the Golden puppy is perfect for both city and country life.

Even though this breed might not be one of the easiest dogs to potty train, such as the German Shepherd or the Poodle, Goldies are pretty trainable dogs, too. In fact, this breed is a long-term contestant in many AKC dog shows, such as agility and conformation.

Their beautiful temperament and exquisite intelligence make them fantastic nannies and intuitive therapy dogs, too. The breed generally lives indoors, as these canines don’t stand solitude. Golden puppies can suffer from severe separation anxiety, which can result in self-destruction.

On the other hand, having them as family pets is favorable even if you have other pets. 

Goldies get along with other dogs well, but they still need a certain amount of socialization. Generally, early socialization and obedience training is the best way to remove undesirable traits in your pet.


If you socialize your puppy from an early age, the mystery of ‘‘How to socialize an aggressive dog’’ should not be a problem for you. 

This canine makes one of the best dog breeds in terms of social skills. It naturally has a high level of socialization, which means that Goldies are favorable dogs whether in big families or in big crowds.

However, in order to have a socialized puppy from the start, make sure you research the most reputable Golden Retriever breeders on the market.

Puppies purchased from reputable breeders are generally socialized from an early age, they are potty trained, and they have already been taught some basic puppy manners.

On the other hand, you will need to commit to your puppy one hundred percent, as Goldies require constant work and dedication. These puppies are not hard to train, as they respond well to positive reinforcement.

Interactive toys as well as healthy snacks are an excellent way to mentally stimulate your Golden pet. Furthermore, in order to keep them socialized and well-mannered, you need to give your puppy at least 60 minutes of exercise during the day.

Bear in mind that this is a highly active dog, which means it doesn’t stand the idea of being left alone twenty four hours during the day. Puppies that don’t receive the proper amount of exercise on a daily basis can display undesirable behavior.


You may be shocked, but Golden puppies actually do belong to the club of aggressive dog breeds. The reason for this label is found in their early history of being hunting dogs. Even though many of them make solid family dogs, these canines have preserved their high prey drive to this day.

However, no Goldie will attack their owner or a stranger without a justifiable reason. Generally, these canines might use their natural self-defense instincts against enemies if they feel threatened.

Furthermore, their aggression might be a response to improper breeding or puppy education.

Lastly, the reason why Goldies can display aggression is separation anxiety. 

Puppies that suffer from anxiety generally don’t do well behaviorally, as they are prone to self-destructive behavior and aggression. That’s why you should never leave your pet alone for more than six to seven hours during the day.

If you have a busy schedule or you have a highly demanding job – my recommendation is not to buy this puppy. Try with a more independent breed instead!

Are Golden Retriever Puppies Good With Kids

To answer this question shortly and to the point – Yes, these canines are excellent with kids! In fact, if you’re asking if Golden Retrievers are aggressive, be at ease. This breed will never display aggression without a good reason.

In fact, Goldies are excellent nannies and watchdogs of children, as they have natural parental instincts. They easily attach to an entire family, which is why they will do anything to protect their loved ones.

Another reason why this breed is perfect for families with small kids is that they naturally have a high level of tolerance. Some smaller dog breeds, such as Chihuahuas, have a pretty fragile body physique, which is why they are not favorable around kids.

On the other hand, Goldies won’t mind being occasionally mounted by a kid, or being pulled by their tail. Also, Goldies are pretty active dogs, which is why they will enjoy creative games with your kids, as they are kid-like themselves.

Goldies generally love big families, including families that have other pets. Their adaptation process goes smoothly, without major disturbances. 

Goldies are loyal, well-behaved, and affectionate by default, which is why they make one of the best family dog breeds in the world.

Health Issues Of A Short-Haired Golden Retriever

shorthaired golden retriever puppy standing on the piece of wood
Photo from: @charlie.el.golden.retriever

Even though these canines are generally healthy, they might display some undesirable health issues on occasion. That’s why subjecting your puppy to regular vet checkups is a must if you want to have a healthy puppy.

On the other hand, noticing any unusual symptoms such as puppy diarrhea at night, lethargy, vomiting or panting, breathing heavily, lumps on your puppy’s body and tail should all be a red flag that requires immediate vet intervention.

Things that you can do for your puppy are keeping its feeding chart healthy and well-organized, as well as giving it proper amounts of exercise during the day. These two things are crucial in a Goldie’s life, as these puppies require proper maintenance and a responsible owner.

Now, let’s see what the most common health issues are in a Goldie!

1. Bloat And Torsion

Bloat is generally related to large dog breeds that happen to have a wide chest. Bloat (or stomach torsion) is a pretty serious issue that requires immediate vet intervention. Otherwise, a dog with bloat can face deadly repercussions.

The most common symptoms of bloat are the stomach being filled with gas, lethargy, lack of activity, severe stomach ache, loss of appetite, or even refusing to drink water. ‘‘Will a dog with bloat drink water’’ is a quite serious dilemma that leaves no time for speculation.

Bloat happens as a result of unhealthy dieting or bad feeding habits. That’s why you should always avoid giving junk food or table scraps to your puppy. 

On the other hand, never feed your dog right before bedtime, as unprocessed food can be the reason for a bloated stomach.

Giving your puppy timely meals in smaller portions as well as purchasing only high-quality foods will reduce the possibility of bloat.

2. Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia in dogs is another major issue that affects both long-haired and short-haired Golden Retrievers. This is a hereditary issue, usually noticeable within the first several weeks of a puppy’s life.

Choosing a reputable breeder will probably reduce the possibility of getting a dog with hip dysplasia, as puppies are regularly examined and health tested. Also, getting a puppy from a reputable breeder means the possibility of replacing the puppy with hip dysplasia with a healthy one.

This issue represents the loosening of the hip joint, and it is generally characterized by a bunny walk, the inability to jump or run, and even walking improperly. Puppies with this condition are prone to further bone injuries.

Most of the time, the treatment for this issue is surgery. However, you should know that this surgical procedure is not that cheap, as the average price for hip dysplasia surgery revolves between $1500 and $3000.

3. Allergies

Goldies are prone to allergies, too. This dog’s skin is quite sensitive, as it gets dirty easily. Some Goldies are allergic to dust, pollen, and shed skin cells (dander).

The recommendation for Goldie owners is to allergy-test their puppies before taking them out for the first time. 

Allergies are not fatal, but they can be very unpleasant. Generally, puppies that suffer from allergies have red skin, lumps on their body, red eyes, and they sneeze more than normal.

Bathing a puppy after a long walk or road trip is probably a good idea, as you will prevent the possibility of them having an allergy.

Still, ‘‘how often should you bathe a Golden Retriever’’ should be a question directed to your vet, as some puppies don’t respond to frequent baths well.

However, a bath every two months or so should not represent a major problem.


golden retriever covered with mud
Photo from: @charlie.el.golden.retriever
1. How Much Does A Golden Retriever Cost?

The price for this puppy should go anywhere between $1000 and $3500. Generally, puppies bred for dog shows cost more, as they are obedience trained from an early age, and their breeder participates in affiliate programs with licensed dog trainers or dog behaviorists.

On the other hand, getting a puppy from a reputable breeder includes a health guarantee, dog papers, and additional supplements such as dog training collars, a leash, a blanket, and the first pack of food.

The recommendation is not to purchase the puppy for anything below $1000, as this price is generally related to puppies bred in shady puppy mills or back yards.

2. What Dog Looks Like A Golden Retriever With Short Hair?

Sometimes, Goldie Labs can look like short-haired Golden Retrievers. However, there are other dogs that resemble this unusual Goldie, such as English Springer Spaniels and Bernese Mountain Dogs.

However, you should know that neither of these puppies are the same as Goldies. Both male and female Golden Retrievers make fantastic family dogs with exquisite levels of intelligence.


Even though the short-haired Golden Retriever puppy is not the breed standard, these canines are highly favorable among dog lovers.

They shed significantly less, and their grooming process is much easier. However, a large number of breeders, as well as the AKC, don’t recognize this puppy as an authentic Golden Retriever.

Read next: Meet A Short Haired German Shepherd