When trying to find a dog breed that will become your canine companion, there are obviously many things to consider. Their temper, how easy (or not) they are to train, their size… the list goes on and on.
But some of you might also be wondering whether or not the dog breed of your choice, in this case, the Golden Retriever, might be prone to shedding a lot.
We can confidently say that your Goldie is probably one of the dog breeds prone to shedding quite a bit. They are hairy dogs with lots of fluffy and beautiful fur that even comes with an undercoat. So you will have to deal with dog hair quite a lot.
This article explains why Golden Retrievers shed. You’ll find strategies to prevent your whole apartment from being covered in loose hair. We’ll also deal with whether your dog’s excessive shedding might connect to an underlying issue.
Read on to learn all about Golden Retriever shedding!
Table of Contents
- 1 Why Do Golden Retrievers Shed A Lot?
- 2 How to Reduce my Golden Retriever’s Shedding
- 3 Tools to Help You Deal with Golden Retriever Shedding Season
- 4 FAQs
- 5 Final Thoughts
Why Do Golden Retrievers Shed A Lot?
Most Golden Retriever owners will confirm that these dogs shed quite a lot of hair all year round.
If you do not tackle this issue properly, fur clumps will occur in the weirdest places.
But why does this dog breed shed so much when other dogs practically never lose any hair?
Firstly, all dogs do shed a little, but the amount of shedding depends on their type of fur.
While their beautiful golden coat is definitely one of the Golden’s most favorable features, it is also why your couch now has an extra layer of doggy fluff on it!
In this section, we will look at a Golden Retriever’s coat in order to understand their shedding a little better.
The coat of a Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers are double-coated dogs. Their hair consists of a shiny, very dense topcoat and a thick undercoat.
Their coat’s outer, or top layer, is silky and quite long. The undercoat is very soft and much shorter than the top coat.
The latter serves to regulate their body temperature throughout the seasons. If it is cold, their undercoat will keep them warm by trapping warm air, while it will trap cool air to minimize their body temperature in the summer heat. Pretty neat to have your own air conditioning/ heating system, right?
To maintain this function, Golden Retrievers shed a lot all year round. But, they will shed more during shedding season, which typically occurs twice a year. This is also referred to as “blowing their undercoat.” This means you will find a lot more short hair flying around your home than long hair when cleaning up after your Golden.
When is shedding season?
Shedding season happens twice a year as the seasons change.
This happens during spring and the last days of fall, shortly before winter.
This is vital for them to maintain their coat health and ability to regulate their body temperature year-round.
At the same time, if Goldens get exposed to sudden changes in weather, they might also spontaneously start to shed more. This is something we owners might have to buckle up for in the future, with more irregular weather patterns due to climate change.
Other reasons for shedding
Apart from the climate, there are many reasons behind your Golden’s shedding.
As we mentioned, they shed quite a bit, so it is normal for you to find furballs flying around the apartment, no matter what.
You may feel the hair loss is getting out of hand outside of the shedding seasons. If so, there might be some other underlying issues causing your Golden Retriever to shed excessively.
If you have just spayed or neutered your dog, you might have to deal with some unexpected shedding. This is because your dog is adjusting to the change in hormones. This can also be the case as your dog ages and goes through natural hormonal imbalances.
If your dog sheds while showing signs of lethargy or losing a lot of weight in one go, we recommend taking it to the vet immediately. It might be suffering from some severe health issues.
Other health-related circumstances that might cause your Golden to shed more than usual are:
- a recent surgery
- sicknesses like a cold or a flu
If shedding comes with a dull-looking coat, your dog might need a change in their diet. Your dog could be suffering from food allergies or lack of nutrition.
In this case, it is perhaps best to take your dog to the vet and get expert advice on keeping its coat healthy.
Adding omega fatty acids to your dog’s food might also do the trick.
How to Reduce my Golden Retriever’s Shedding
If you wish to reduce Golden Retriever shedding for the sake of your sanity and your home, you can do a few things to get better control over a Golden Retriever’s coat. Ultimately, you will never be able to fully control shedding, as a Golden’s shedding is part of its nature.
But there are ways to minimize the dead hair flying around your home and assist your dog in maintaining a healthy coat.
There are many reasons you should try to get ahead and reduce Golden Retriever shedding. For one, your home will be much cleaner. Secondly, your dog will likely be a lot more comfortable. All the while, you are making time for a lovely bonding experience over grooming your Golden. Sounds like a win-win to us.
It should be pretty evident that your Golden requires to be brushed a lot – likely every day if you want to keep the flying hair to a minimum. Especially during shedding season.
Below are some helpful steps you can take at home to get ahead of your Golden’s shedding.
1. Get a de-shedding tool
A de-shedding tool will make it much easier to deal with your Golden’s coat.
They are specifically designed for double-coated dogs and will tackle their thick undercoat by removing hair before it ends up on your furniture.
These tools are perfect for when your dog sheds excessively, i.e., during shedding season.
2. Get a shedding brush
As we already said, you will not prevent shedding, but you can learn to manage it.
This is done best with a shedding brush, i.e., a slicker brush, that you use as frequently as every day.
Brushing your dog daily really does not take up that much time or effort.
Doing this a few times a week (like two to three times) will significantly reduce Golden Retriever shedding.
3. Groom and bathe your dog regularly
It is crucial not to over-bathe your dog, as this will remove much of the natural oils needed to maintain a healthy coat. You can still be proactive about shedding seasons, though.
If you bathe and groom your dog before the heavy shedding starts, you might be able to prevent the hair from falling out gradually. You can remove a significant portion of it through a good wash, brushing, and trimming their coat.
Washing also helps access the coat better. Try to massage their double coat with your hands to loosen up any mats and detangle a potentially thick winter coat. You can also use a slicker brush on your dogs when they are wet to remove excess hair.
Bathing and combing your dog are probably the best Golden Retriever shedding solutions you have access to.
Never, we repeat, never shave your Golden Retriever! Even in the hottest summer, they will not need to be shaved. Their lighter summer coat is exactly what they need to keep them cool during the hot season. If you shave their coats, they will struggle to regulate their body temperature and potentially get stressed or ill.
On top of that, not having their double coat to protect their sensitive skin will lead to skin irritations. This, in turn, will lead to itchiness and scratching, which will lead to shedding. A vicious cycle you don’t want to get started.
4. Use food that is good for the skin and coat of your dog
We have touched on it briefly, but providing your Golden with an appropriate dog diet can make a world of difference to excessive shedding.
Unfortunately, many cheap dog foods contain ingredients that can trigger unusual shedding. Grains, artificial flavorings, and preservatives are hard to digest and can damage a dog’s digestive system. This directly impacts a dog’s coat health and leads to dry skin.
Providing your dog with high-quality dog food and potentially adding some fish oil (like omega fatty acids) supplements to the mix will save you a lot of trouble cleaning up after a dog that is shedding excessively. Believe us, it is worth the investment.
5. Keep your dog hydrated
A dehydrated dog does shed more. So keeping your dog hydrated by keeping their water bowls full will assist in lowering the amount of shedding year-round.
6. Don’t miss out on flea treatment
Nasty pests such as ticks and fleas can cause excessive shedding and lead to a lot of dander, making your dog’s hair look dull.
The itchy side effects of those pests will also leave your dog scratching itself excessively, leading to even more hair loss.
You can easily prevent this by providing your Golden with regular tick and flea treatments in the form of drops or pills. Usually, this is administered every three months.
7. Reduce potential stress factors
Every dog, even the happy Golden Retrievers, sheds when stressed.
Many factors can cause stress. Unfortunately, this sometimes goes unnoticed by owners, who then wonder why their Golden Retrievers shed a lot.
Your Golden Retriever might be stressed due to a lot of reasons, for instance:
- You recently moved houses, and it needs to get used to the new environment.
- Its diet is insufficient for omega fatty acids from fish oil supplements. Yes, not being well-fed can cause stress – you know how hangry feels, right?
- You might leave them alone too much.
- They might not get enough exercise.
- The death of a fellow pet or owner.
It is up to its owner to be perceptive enough to notice it and prevent or minimize its stress as much as possible.
Tools to Help You Deal with Golden Retriever Shedding Season
Again, Golden Retriever’s shedding cannot be prevented, but it can be dealt with.
Here is how:
- Get yourself a lint roller to remove hair from your clothes and furniture.
- Invest in an animal-specific vacuum cleaner that specializes in picking up dog hair while not making too much noise. A robot vacuum cleaner is also an option. It is a handy automated device that removes hair from your floor without much effort.
- Brush your dog outdoors so no hair will stick to your furniture or floors.
- Carpet rakes work wonders in removing long hair that a vacuum cleaner might not pick up from your carpet.
Which Golden Retriever sheds the most?
We hate to break this to you, but no specific type of Golden Retriever sheds more or less than others.
Golden Retrievers of all colors and fur lengths shed the same. It doesn’t matter if it is a Canadian, English, or American Golden Retriever or if it comes in light or dark gold colors.
If you are looking for a dog that sheds less, we recommend a different breed, perhaps a Golden Doodle, as these come closest to the Golden Retriever. They don’t come nearly as close to a Golden Retriever’s shedding behavior, though!
Why is my Golden Retriever shedding so much all of a sudden?
As we’ve mentioned, many factors might be responsible for your Golden Retriever shedding more than usual.
Suppose the hair loss patterns go beyond normal shedding and are coupled with odd behavior or other signs of something wrong with your dog. In that case, we recommend visiting your vet immediately. These other signs could be:
- Dry hair
- Skin irritations or blisters
- Bald patches
- Negative reaction to petting
Here is a recap of what could cause Golden Retrievers to shed more than usual:
- An unhealthy and unbalanced diet that lacks omega fatty acids and vitamins.
- Not enough water to support a healthy coat and skin suppleness.
- Parasites such as ticks and fleas irritate your dog’s coat.
- Several diseases, such as:
- Cushing’s disease
- Skin trauma
Can I shave my Golden Retriever to avoid shedding?
Absolutely not! Shaving your Golden Retrievers will not make the shedding any less.
You should never shave a dog that has a double coat. The coat is vital for their body temperature regulation and overall health.
Shaving will only cause skin irritation and unnecessary exposure to bacteria or infections.
Remember, your hair and a dog’s hair are different, and shaving it will not have the same effect.
Removing a double coat impacts a dog’s hair follicles, potentially causing them not to regenerate correctly. This will cause your dog’s coat to struggle to regrow, which might lead to a plethora of other issues.
Owning a Golden Retriever means accepting and managing the fact that they shed a lot.
You will have to clean up a lot of dog hair when owning a Golden Retriever! However, this is just a small part of owning such a lovely dog and the price you pay for a loyal friend.
After a couple of weeks, it will be embedded in your routine and won’t feel like such a massive and daunting task anymore. Taking care of your dog’s coat will then be easy and, most importantly, a natural and fun task.
A Golden Retriever is a sweet and goofy dog that is fun to engage with. Therefore, spending extra time grooming your Golden Retriever will not be too much of a hassle. You might enjoy it and see it as vital bonding time.
We hope this article has given you enough information on why Golden Retrievers shed so much and some valuable tips and tricks on coping with a double-coated dog.
Visit our homepage if you’d like more information on the beloved Golden Retriever, with questions like “when do Golden Retriever puppies stop biting?”
Our team at barksinthepark has put together a number of informative articles. They’ll lead you through a Golden Retriever’s behavior and deal with how to care for your dog’s skin, for example, and anything else you might want to know!