Golden retrievers were named after their shiny, flowing, golden coat of soft fur. As a dog owner, it is important to take proper care of your dog if you want their coat to stay beautiful. Grooming and trimming golden retrievers is really easy, and just regular care can do the trick. This dog breed is known for being easy-going, and their coats are pretty easy going as well. There are just some steps and tricks that you need to know. This will ensure that trimming golden retriever dogs is an enjoyable bonding time for you, and not a chore.
Preparing a Golden Retriever for Trimming
There are some steps that you have to take before you begin trimming your golden retriever.
Brushing the Coat
To begin trimming a golden retriever, you need to start by brushing the dog. It is vital to spend time on any matted or thick fur anywhere on the dog’s body. It is recommended by experts to brush the dog at least once a week from head to toe. This can ensure that it stays in good shape and will help to avoid matting and shedding.
Brush out any mats in the fur properly. Do make sure not to pull it excessively since that can hurt the dog. Hold the fur close to the skin of the dog to prevent this. Start from the tip of the mat and work upwards to the skin. Sometimes, these mats can be brushed out or at least reduced. If you spot any matted fur that is too tangled to be brushed or combed out, you will have to remove the mats entirely. You can cut them out with a sharp pair of scissors before they grow in size. Do be careful not to cut your dog in the process. Brushing the dog every week will also keep the mats to a minimum.
Bathing the Golden Retriever
Now, it is time to bathe the golden retriever in some warm water. Getting a good quality dog shampoo is a good idea because it won’t irritate the pup and will result in shiny fur. Some experts recommend bathing after trimming the golden retriever, but others maintain that you should wash it first. If your pup is smelly or dirty, it is a better idea to bathe the dog before you attempt any grooming. You can skip this process if your dog has been bathed recently or do it afterward to get the excess hair off.
Some owners bathe their dogs only when the dog is dirty, while others have a regular bathing schedule. This is left up to the owners, but regular bathing is known to reduce shedding.
Rinse the entire body of the dog carefully, making sure the coat is soaked thoroughly. Lather the shampoo from the tail to the tip of the dog and wash it off thoroughly. It is important to not leave any shampoo in the fur since that can increase chances of matting. Rub your dog dry with a large towel. If you want your pup looking show-worthy, you will have to blow-dry your pup instead. If you blow-dry, make sure to keep the heat low and not to move opposite to the direction of the fur’s growth.
You need to comb or brush your dog again right after bathing it. This will help straighten the fur so that it is easier when you start trimming the golden retriever. Some people also use an undercoat comb so that they can get as much of the undercoat as possible.
Trimming Your Golden Retriever’s Coat
The entire coat of the golden retriever doesn’t need to be trimmed. These breeds have two coats: an undercoat and an overcoat. The combination exists to keep the dog comfortable in any temperature and season. On hot days, cool air gets trapped between the coats, and on cold days, warm air gets trapped between the coats. Trimming the entire coat of the dog is a step in the wrong direction because it can inhibit the natural cooling and heating system of the golden retriever.
Some owners use clippers while trimming their golden retriever, but this is unneeded. All you need is a good pair of scissors and some thinning shears. Start by trimming the fur on the legs and feet of the dog. You’ll need to trim the fuzzy hair growth at the edges cleanly with a scissor. Lift up the paw of the dog and trim the hair between the toes. You will need to comb or brush the hair between the toes before you trim it to allow you to trim it in the best way. The new length should be till the top of the dog’s feet. You can now comb it back down so that it is at the level with the dog’s pads.
The fur on the feet of your dog should be around ½ inches long. It should be able to lay smooth at the level of the foot’s surface. Once you are done, you should examine the pads of the dog as well. If you find any cracks in the pads, you can put Vaseline on them. Check to see if the nails of the pup need to be trimmed as well.
Now you can move onto the back of the legs, which you can trim with the thinning shears. You don’t need to trim the longer fur that grows near the rear end of the dog. Just focus on trimming any unkempt or fuzzy hair. The fur on the back of the legs needs to be a few inches longer and flare out behind the dog a little. The fur on the front should lay flat against the dog and should be a little shorter.
Thinning the undercoat around the neck and chest is a good idea. This area usually has excess hair growth. Begin by trimming the golden retriever’s shoulders if a ridge of fur has formed. Then start thinning the hair on the chest of the dog until it stays there flat.
The length of the fur can vary since golden retrievers are known for their long hair. This is why it is better to focus on any unkempt or fuzzy fur instead of trimming it to any specific length. If you are unsure whether you have removed enough hair, you can simply comb it out to see if the coat is lying flat. The goal of trimming golden retrievers should be to get a symmetrical and balanced coat.
The thinning shears need to move in the direction of the growth as you trim the hair. Trimming the chest and neck will give the dog a more clean and natural look rather than an unkempt look.
You will need to trim the ears of the golden retriever next. The goal is to thin the fur around the front and back of the ears so that your dog’s ears stay healthy. Then you can trim the fur on the ears of the dog and take the stray hair off the top of the ears with thinning shears. Make sure to reach out and trim the tail as well so that it’s not too long. Do make sure not to cut it too long, which you can do by trimming the length and tapering it from base to tip. The thinning shears can help make it look natural.
Completing the Grooming
There are some other steps that you can take to make sure your dog stays healthy and happy.
Firstly, you can start by wiping the dog’s eyes and cleaning its ears. Experts recommend using cotton balls and mineral oils. Do make sure that you don’t mess with any of the internal parts of the dog’s ears or get any sort of irritant into its eyes.
Secondly, you will need to cut the toenails of the dog. While taking off the entire nail can be traumatic for the dog, trimming the nails is a necessary part of dog care. Nails that are too long can sometimes break when your pup is playing or running. This can cause an irregular gait or infection, which is why it is necessary to trim them to a proper length.
Remember to take your time so that the dog doesn’t fuss. You should use a good pair of dog nail trimmers since it will make your work easier. You avoid cutting the live part of the nail like you do when you cut your own nails. Whenever you trim their nails, remember to give your dog some treats so that they associate good things with the process.
At the end of the day, it is important for dog owners to realize the importance of grooming and trimming their golden retrievers. These processes are an essential part of keeping your pup happy and healthy.