Skip to Content

Do Golden Retrievers Shed As Much As Labs?

Do Golden Retrievers Shed As Much As Labs?

When it comes to shedding, the amount really depends on the dog breed. Dog owners of Labradors would know that their dog sheds quite a lot. But what about the much-loved family dogs, Golden Retrievers?

Golden Retrievers shed quite heavily too. Just like Labradors, they have an undercoat that sheds seasonally so that they can adjust to warmer and colder weather. It’s fair to say that the two breeds shed a hefty amount. And by that, we mean a good couple of handfuls of hair more than dog breeds with shorter and single-layer coats.

Read on to find out more about the two dog breeds’ shedding and tips to minimize excessive shedding.

What Type of Hair do Golden Retrievers and Labradors Have?

Goldens tend to have long and wavy hairs, while Labradors have shorter hairs. Despite the difference in hair length, both breeds have the same double coat.

What is a double coat?

A double coat on a dog is made up of two layers of hair. The top layer, called the guard hair, is made up of longer, coarser hair. This layer is water-resistant and serves to protect the dog from dirt and other bacteria. The bottom layer, called the undercoat, is made up of shorter, softer hair. This layer serves to insulate the dog and keep them warm.

Golden Retriever vs. Labrador Retriever: Shedding

You would think that long hairs on a Golden would mean that they shed more. This actually isn’t the case.

Golden Retrievers shed the same amount as Labradors. But, a Golden Retrievers’ hair is more likely to show on furniture because of its length (unless you have yellow Labs and black furniture!). This is what might make it seem as though they shed more than Labradors. As mentioned above, Goldens and Labradors have double coats, meaning that the shedding amount is pretty even for each dog’s coat.

Seasonal shedding

Golden Retrievers and Labradors shed all year round. However, shedding tends to increase as the seasons change. This is a natural process that helps dogs adjust to changes in temperature.

Going into summer, both breeds will shed their old winter undercoats to make way for warmer weather. In its place, they will then grow a lighter summer coat. Similarly, when winter approaches, they will shed again. Except, this time, it’s their lighter undercoats shedding and their thicker, warmer coats growing in.

Shedding as puppies

When Golden Retriever and Labrador puppies are born, they only have one layer of hair. Their second layer of hair will only come once they start shedding their puppy coat.

Both puppy breeds start to shed their puppy coat around 3-4 months of age. They will continue to shed as they grow and their adult coat comes in. This process can take anywhere from 6 to 12 months to complete, depending on the individual puppy.

During this time, you can expect excessive shedding. This is when you can start carefully grooming your pup. Or, if shedding inside the house gets too much, take them outside a couple of times a day.

Likelihood of allergies

Golden Retrievers and Labradors are wonderful breeds, but they are not considered to be hypoallergenic dogs. Both dogs produce dander, tiny flakes of skin that are known for triggering allergies in some people.

The two breeds also require regular grooming, which can contribute to the amount of dander and hair in the environment. When dander collects on carpets, couches, and other furniture, it can make life quite miserable for those who are allergic. Regularly cleaning your living environment is the best way to make sure that dander doesn’t become a big problem.

Tips to Minimise Golden Retriever and Labrador Shedding

While it’s not possible to completely eliminate shedding in Golden Retrievers and Labradors, there are ways to minimize it. See some of our tips below:

Regular grooming

A Golden Retriever will need more grooming than a Labrador because of their long hair. Nevertheless, both breeds need to be brushed daily. By keeping up with a daily routine, you can minimize the amount of shedding that happens over time.

Consider getting a de-shedding tool that’s specifically designed for dogs with double coats. These tools are perfect for gripping excess hair that would otherwise end up all over your home.

Once in a while, consider taking your Golden or Labrador to a professional groomer. Professional groomers know how to give your dog a good brush and cut, amongst other things like trimming claws and dew claws, washing, and styling. They are experts in the field of grooming, so you can rest assured knowing that a good job will be done.

A healthy diet

Feed both breeds a high-quality diet that contains Omega fatty acids. This should help improve the strength and resistance of their coat and reduce excess shedding.

Health checks at the vet

Sometimes, excessive shedding can be a sign of a health problem in dogs, including Golden Retrievers and Labradors. Parasites, infections and thyroid problems can all lead to excessive shedding.

If shedding is paired with symptoms like itching and scratching, gastrointestinal issues, and changes in weight, call your veterinarian. Your vet will be able to diagnose and resolve the root problem.

Cleaning Up Dog Hair in Your House

When you own a Golden or a Labrador, there’s no doubt you’ll have some cleaning up of their hair around the house.

Of course, you can go with the traditional form of cleaning up when your dog shed: sweeping. But this is usually a tedious and time-consuming job.

To make things easier, consider getting a vacuum. This way, cleaning up hairs will be much faster. A good idea would be to use a pet hair attachment so that you can easily clean up on all surfaces, including couches, not just the floor.

Another way to remove hair from clothing and fabrics is to use a damp cloth or a lint roller. This is a quick and easy option for when you don’t have the time or energy to vacuum.

Air purifiers are also an effective way to get rid of dog hair. They work by filtering out hair and dander in the air. This is probably the best low-fuss option for a clean and allergy-free home.


Are Golden Retrievers high-shedding?

Yes, Golden Retrievers shed quite a lot. Shedding happens all year round but is heavier during shedding season (spring and fall) when they start growing their summer and winter coats.

At what age do Goldens get their full coat?

Goldens typically develop their full adult coat around 2-3 years of age. Prior to that, they will have a softer, fluffier coat as puppies.

Can I reduce the amount of shedding in my Golden Retriever?

Yes, there are various ways to reduce the amount of shedding in Golden Retrievers. Some examples include regular grooming, a healthy diet, regular health check ups, and using a de-shedding tool.

Final Thoughts

Golden Retrievers are a wonderful breed for many dog lovers who don’t mind a lot of shedding. Compared to Labradors, Goldens shed around the same amount. Both dogs shed all year round, with shedding being heaviest right before the summer and winter months.

To find out more about Golden Retrievers and other dog breeds, visit our homepage.