Grooming Your Golden Retriever
Golden Retriever's do require basic grooming. Goldens are a double coated breed. They shed, but some basic maintenance will significantly reduce the amount of hair you find throughout the house. The Golden Retriever's double coat is designed to protect them during any season. Throughout the winter, the undercoat grows to protect them from the cold. As the weather warms, the undercoat sheds as the Golden no longer needs it. Regular brushing with a quality bristle brush, along with regular use of an undercoat rake will significantly reduce shedding, which will make you and your Golden very happy.
Golden Retriever's require regular bathing. Yes, you can bath your Golden as often as you like without worrying about damaging the coat or skin. Use of a good quality shampoo is key to keeping your Golden clean.
The Golden's nails should be clipped regularly. Long nails are uncomfortable for the dog and for anyone they might jump on. Long nails can also compromise the shape of your dog's foot, causing it to splay. Check the nails and trim them regularly by carefully snipping the tip with a pair of dog nail clippers. If you are lucky enough to have a dog with clear nails, you will be able to see the quick. Do not cut to close.
NEVER shave your Golden. As mentioned earlier, the Golden's coat is designed to protect them in any type of weather. The only areas of hair that require grooming are on and inside the ears, the tail and the feet.
Using an ordinary pair of grooming shears, trim the hair around the pads keeping it's length even with the pads. Most Goldens also tend to grow "slippers". This hair should also be kept trimmed. The look that you want to create is that of a cat's paw.
The ears will require some general grooming on the inside and outside. The hair on the inside of the ear should be kept thin with the use of thinning shears and regular grooming shears. Hair covering the outer part of the ear and along the edges should also be kept neat.
Ear cleaning is a basic requirement in keeping your Golden healthy. Golden Retrievers have a tendency to get ear infections if they are not cleaned regularly. Clean your Golden's ears weekly with a quality ear cleansing solution.
The Golden Retriever's tail should be groomed to look like a fan. The best way is to twist the end, put your thumb just below the end of the tail bone and trim the end near your thumb. Then, working from the end, carefully form a fan towards the base of the tail.