Got dog hair? Same. My American Bulldog, Bruce, is a shedding machine. Hi dog moms and dads!
My name is Bri, and as a dog mom, I’ve gotten used to mass amounts of dog hair in my home and on my clothes at all times. Bruce is totally worth it, but I’m always amazed at how much he sheds without going bald.
However, some dog parents get overwhelmed by all the dog hair if they didn’t know the shedding habits of their breed before bringing them home. That’s where I want to help!
One of the best family dogs, and most common, is the Golden Retriever. My sister-in-law wanted one her whole life, and finally convinced her husband to bring home Ralph.
What she did not expect was the mass amount of dog hair Ralph came with. He is a loving, energetic pup that is everything she wanted in a dog, but the shedding took her by surprise.
To help dog parents avoid going through a little bit of culture shock when they bring home a Golden Retriever, I put together this shedding guide.
We will cover the ins and outs of shedding for Golden Retrievers, as well as some useful tips and tools to help manage it.
Before we get into the nitty gritty, let’s get to know the breed a bit more.
History of the Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers are well-known as being the number one family dog you can bring home. Their big smiles, loyalty and high energy make them the definition of man’s best friend.
The breed was first developed in the mid 1800’s in the Scottish Highlands. Bred as a hunting dog, Golden Retrievers were the ideal choice for their hunting instincts and athletic capabilities.
Now, Golden Retrievers are still owned as hunting dogs but are more commonly kept as family companions.
What is a Golden Retriever’s Coat Like?
Golden Retrievers certainly live up to the “Golden” part of their name when it comes to appearance. They have medium to long hair that is a beautiful, shiny gold color.
Some have more of a copper or red color tone to them, and others might be more “blond” with lighter colored fur. Either way, they have gorgeous coats that attract owners all over the world.
These pups have a double coat, meaning they have two layers that each serve important roles for the dog. The first layer is thick and warm, and the top coat is water-repellant.
Their fur is soft, but is very fine and can become easily matted and tangled.
Do Golden Retrievers Shed?
Absolutely yes! Golden Retrievers actually shed just as much if not more than most dog breeds.
You will find Golden Retriever hair on your furniture, on your clothing, all over the floor, in your car, at work, in your coffee, etc.
I don’t even have a Golden Retriever but I find Ralph’s hair in my house all the time.
How Much do Golden Retrievers Shed?
Like most dog breeds, Golden Retrievers shed moderately year-round and heavily twice a year.
While this is normal for dogs, Golden Retrievers have long, fine hair and a ton of it, making it seem like they shed three times as much as another dog.
However, there are times when Golden Retrievers shed more than others. We will talk about that next.
When do Golden Retrievers Shed the Most?
Like I said before, Golden Retrievers shed moderately year-round and then heavily twice a year. This, along with other factors, contribute to the amount a golden Retriever sheds.
Let’s break these factors down.
Time of Year
As all dogs do, Golden Retrievers shed heavily twice a year. When the seasons change, Golden Retrievers will shed their heavy coats.
When the weather gets cold, their undercoat needs room to grow in nice and thick to keep them warm, so they drop their summer coats. The same is true for summer, only opposite.
During warmer seasons, they shed those heavy winter coats for a thinner summer coat that helps keep them cool. These are the two most common times of year where Golden Retrievers will experience much heavier shedding.
Stage of Life
You have probably heard before that puppies typically do not shed as much as adult dogs. This is also true for Golden Retrievers.
Once a puppy hits their transition to adulthood, they start to shed like crazy! This is normal though, just like losing baby teeth (which dogs also do).
Older dogs also start to shed more when they start to reach their senior stage of life.
Diet and Exercise
The right diet can have a huge impact on a Golden Retriever’s coat, as well as their health and exercise. If a Golden Retriever is not getting the right nutrients to support their active personalities, their coats will show signs of it.
This can happen through excessive shedding or just dry, brittle and discolored fur. The same is true for exercise.
These pups have a ton of energy and need exercise. If they are not living a healthy lifestyle, you may be able to see the signs in the health of their coat.
Pests and Skin Conditions
Fleas and ticks along with other pests can wreak havoc on a Golden Retriever’s fur. Constant scratching, licking and biting can cause hair loss and excessive shedding!
There are also diseases these pests can carry that could cause changes in a dog’s fur. You could notice balding, irritated patches or even just excessive shedding.
How to Combat Golden Retriever Shedding
Grooming, grooming and more grooming! Golden Retrievers depend heavily on getting brushed regularly to maintain a healthy coat as well as to control excessive shedding.
Owners should take a quality brush to their Golden Retriever at least twice a week to keep shedding to a minimum. When the pup is in heavy shedding periods, it is best to brush them for a few minutes every day!
This is the best way to keep all that fur off of your furniture. Baths can help too, but should be kept to a minimum so their skin does not dry out.
It is also important to know that if you do give a Golden Retriever a bath, make sure they are FULLY dry before you try to brush them!
If you try to comb wet hair, it can become easily tangled and you will probably pull their fur more than brush it which could be painful.
Maintaining a solid cleaning schedule is also important. Vacuuming and lint rolling will be your best methods!
Let’s talk about some of the equipment you can use for Golden Retriever shedding.
Equipment Help to Combat Golden Retriever Shedding
Having the right tools can make any job easier. The same goes for taking care of your dog’s shedding!
If you have quality equipment to help you out, it will make your life so much easier.
There are quite a few tools that I have found to work the best for me, but I actually referred to my sister-in-law for a couple tips too since she actually owns a Golden Retriever.
Makes sense, right? Here are my top three tools for combating shedding:
A good brush
I always recommend a Furminator brush for any dog, and Golden Retrievers are no exception (sister-in-law-approved).
These brushes do the best job of grabbing dead hair and gently pulling it away.
They are also easy to clean with a simple push of a button on the handle that pushes the hair right out of the bristles. The brush is gentle but does a heavy-duty job!
A good vacuum
I will always and forever recommend the Dyson cordless vacuum for pet hair. I mean, it is literally made specifically for pet hair. Case and point, right?
But seriously, I love that it comes apart so I can use the small handle portion to get all the dog hair off my steps and out of hard to reach places in the couch. It is so easy to use and clean out, which is great because I use it A LOT!
A GREAT lint roller
I love the Magik Brush by Evicare because it is in fact a GREAT lint roller! Plus, it is reusable so you do not have to fumble with ripping sticky paper off and adding more trash to the environment.
This lint brush is double sided and clings to pet hair and even works really well on furniture or in the car!
Are Golden Retrievers Considered to be Hypoallergenic?
Hypoallergenic is a tricky term. Basically, it means that the dog does not trigger any allergies.
While many dogs are considered hypoallergenic, there is actually no dog that is fully hypoallergenic.
While some may trigger allergies less than others, unless the dog is a robot (unlikely but hey you never know), it will still have dander and fur that will occasionally come off.
So long story short, no. Golden Retrievers are not hypoallergenic. In fact, they are one of the dog breeds that are not even close to it.
Their fur is one thing, but they also shed dander as all dogs do. If you or a family member has bad allergic reactions to dogs, you might not want to bring a Golden Retriever into your home.
Do Some Golden Retrievers Shed More Than Others?
Not necessarily, but sometimes. This is all dependent on the situation and the dog because every dog is different!
There are certain factors, such as climate, that could make one Golden Retriever shed more than another. For example, a Golden Retriever in Los Angeles probably sheds more than one in upstate New York.
Los Angeles is obviously much warmer, so that Golden Retriever will probably shed more often to keep the thick fur from overheating them. One in a cooler climate like New York might shed less because they keep more of that thick fur!
On average, Golden Retrievers do not really shed more than another.
Health Reasons for Increased Shedding in Golden Retrievers
There are a lot of health related reasons why a Golden Retriever could be shedding more than usual. I mentioned before that pests like fleas and ticks can cause health issues that result in loss of fur, but there are many others too.
Skin conditions and allergies are just as common in dogs as they are in people. These conditions can lead to irritated skin and excess shedding.
Other causes for abnormal shedding can be more serious, such as cancer or internal issues. These are serious problems that should be addressed immediately, so do not ignore the warning signs!
It is very common for sick dogs to shed more than normal, so this could be extremely helpful in early diagnosis which could help save the life of your pup. That goes for all dogs, not just Golden Retrievers.
All dogs shed. It might be a lot, it might be a little, but dog parents have learned to live with it for the love of our furry companions.
Golden Retrievers are some of the most loving family dogs out there and are well worth the extra effort it takes to manage their shedding.
For a few minutes of brushing each week, you can have a life-long friend who will love you with all their heart!
Are you crying? Me neither… but seriously. Managing the dog hair from a Golden Retriever is not that bad, and the benefits are so worth it!
However, not every person is fit for a Golden Retriever. If you think you might not be able to keep up with the shedding or have allergy concerns, it might be best to research another breed.
Hope this helps! Happy Pet Parenting!