The Golden Retriever is the third most popular breed in the United States. And with so many of these beautiful dogs running around, it’s only natural to get curious about their coats. After all, their claim to fame is their shiny golden fur. But how long does it take for them to grow into their adult coats?
As a Golden Retriever owner, you may wonder when to expect your dog’s coat to come in. Although it’s adorable when your pet is covered in puppy fur, it’s understandable that you’re curious about its full coat.
Luckily, Barksinthepark‘s short guide on the different coat transition stages will help give you a timeline of your pup’s hair growth.
Table of Contents
- 1 When Do Golden Retrievers Get Their Adult Coat?
- 2 Golden Retriever Coat Stages
- 3 How Dark Does A Golden Retriever’s Coat Get?
- 4 FAQs
- 5 Final Thoughts
When Do Golden Retrievers Get Their Adult Coat?
There’s a lot of debate over when a Golden Retriever gets its full coat. While some owners, breeders, and dog experts say that their adult coats come in as soon as their puppy fur grows out, others say it’s when their feathering starts to come in. So, when do Goldens get their full coat?
While there’s no mistaking the fact that there is a coat transition that happens every few months, most Golden Retrievers get their full coat at around six months old. However, the time they take to get their adult coats will depend on the puppy’s parents. If their parents took longer to grow out their coats, then your puppy may take a little longer, too!
Usually, Golden Retriever puppies will start to grow their fluffy puppy coat out and start feathering after six to eight months. But you should enjoy their puppy fluff for as long as possible! It’s undoubtedly one of the cutest stages in the coat growth process.
Golden Retriever Coat Stages
The puppy coat
When a Golden Retriever puppy is born, it has a soft, thin coat. This coat is short and sparse but will thicken as the puppy develops. This stage typically lasts for the first three months of the puppy’s life.
Eventually, the pup will be covered in light puppy fur. Before the next coat transition, you won’t need to groom your pup’s fur. Its mother should be able to groom it effectively without any outside intervention.
The fluffy coat
After three months, you should notice your pup sporting some new hair growth. Depending on your puppy’s heritage, it may take slightly longer for its coat to come in. But don’t worry! Every puppy will grow its coat at its own pace.
Its puppy fluff will develop into a thicker coat, but it should still be relatively short. Your pup may also have loose hair that can fall out in small patches, leaving it with an uneven coat. This scraggy coat is completely natural and will even out over time!
The additional hair growth is because your pup is growing its outer coat. Golden Retrievers are double-coated dogs, so they typically have much thicker fur than a single-coated breed. They will have a light-colored undercoat and a darker outer coat. While the outer coat is slightly darker, it will still resemble the golden coat Retrievers are renowned for.
Their full coat won’t grow in at this stage, but it may get longer. So you can expect some light shedding when the puppy fur starts to molt!
If you want to help your Goldie pup get rid of any extra hair, you can begin to groom it with a soft brush. At this stage, a pin brush isn’t recommended as it can cause injury to the puppy’s delicate skin.
The feathered coat
After your puppy reaches eight months old, you should notice that it has a thicker coat. But that’s not all that happens! Feathering is the most exciting part of Golden Retrievers’ coat stages! This is when your pup will finally start to resemble a real Golden Retriever. The feathering will start on the dog’s tail and slowly spread to other areas like its legs.
It may take as long as eighteen months for your Golden Retriever to grow all of its feathers, so you’ll need patience. The result is worth the wait!
The mature coat
Your Golden Retriever should have its adult coat at around two years old. It should have a light-colored undercoat and a darker outer coat, with soft feathering around its tail and legs. Sometimes, you may also notice feathering around the neck and chest area.
This full, golden coat should be long, thick, and have no patches. A Golden Retriever coat should be sleek and well-groomed at all times to avoid matting! The breed’s long hair is prone to knotting and causing painful mats, so you’ll need to groom them more often than many other breeds.
How Dark Does A Golden Retriever’s Coat Get?
The color of a Golden Retriever’s coat depends on the type of Golden Retriever it is. There are three distinct types of this breed: the Canadian, American, and English Golden Retriever.
An English Golden Retriever typically has a bright golden mature coat with a yellow hue. This, along with the Canadian Golden Retriever’s light cream-colored coat, is the most common coat color for the breed.
However, an American Golden Retriever can have a much darker coat that looks bronze. These coats have a red tinge to them but are not dark enough to be considered brown. Although most Golden puppies have a lighter coat when they’re born, their fur may darken as they mature.
You’ll notice the first color change in your retriever’s coat when they’re around three months old. And as they continue to age, their coat continues to darken. You’ll also notice that their face and nose color can change, although the whiteness in their face is usually associated with older dogs.
Some color changes that take place are only very slight, so you may not even notice them! Typically, Golden Retrievers will only go a shade lighter or darker than when they were born, which happens gradually over time.
A purebred Golden Retriever will never have a brown or black coat. Instead, dogs with these coat colors are usually a Golden Retriever mix. Some people may also confuse a flat-coated retriever for a black Golden Retriever, but this breed doesn’t exist!
Do all Golden Retrievers have fluffy coats?
A purebred Golden Retriever’s coat texture should be thick and fluffy. This full coat is part of their genetics and is evident in most double-coated dogs.
When Goldens are born, they have a soft, thin coat. This is because it takes time for their coat to grow into the long, gorgeous coat we associate with this breed. At around three to six months old, Golden pups’ coats should start to become thicker and fluffier.
Do all Golden Retrievers have long hair?
Golden Retrievers’ coat length may vary from dog to dog. Still, most goldens have a thick, full coat with long hair and feathering. Some dogs may have medium-length hair, depending on the puppy’s heritage. But a Golden Retriever will never have short hair.
Although Golden puppies aren’t born with long outer coats, their fur will usually become longer as they age. You’ll notice the coat getting longer after around three months!
If you’ve been stressing out over your Golden’s slow fur growth, you can rest easy! Although there are certain milestones that signify the start or end of a coat’s transitional stages, every dog has a different timeline.
So whether your dog is getting its adult coat quicker than expected or it’s a late bloomer, you’ll know what to look for when you want to know what stage it’s in.