The Golden Retriever is a medium-large dog breed whose most distinct feature is its beautiful, dense, water-repellant coat. They are a common breed mainly due to their friendly, loving and kind nature. They are also loyal companions, originally bred to retrieve birds and game during hunting.
Golden Retrievers tend to shed a lot, and this is a major problem for many owners. Their long, beautiful coats are very prone to shedding, so as a golden retriever owner, you will find fur everywhere in your home. You can, however, significantly reduce the shedding by regularly grooming your dog.
Although golden retrievers may sound like a lot of work, they are sweet, loving and caring dogs that are definitely worth the extra attention. Hopefully, the following article will help you view Golden Retriever shedding in a different light.
How Can I Stop My Golden Retriever from Shedding So Much?
Golden Retrievers have a distinctively long beautiful golden coat. Unfortunately, this long beautiful coat is prone to a lot of shedding which makes Golden Retrievers to be a relatively high-maintenance breed. The excessive shedding can be a nuisance at times as the fur often finds its way onto your clothes and furniture.
With proper maintenance and grooming, however, the amount of fur shed by your Golden can be significantly reduced.
The best way of reducing the amount of fur that your Golden Retriever sheds is by brushing your dog as frequently as possible. Brushing your dog daily gets rid of all of the loose furs on your dog’s body. If you cannot manage to brush your dog daily, you should purpose to give him/her at least two to three good brushings per week.
The brushings should also be accompanied by regular baths, preferably with a rich oatmeal shampoo. This will ensure that your Golden not only has a healthy coat but also a healthy skin. Having a healthy coat will make it less likely for your dog to have loose hair to shed.
You should also ensure that your Golden Retriever has a high-quality diet rich in digestible proteins and fatty acids. This will reduce the amount of fur shed by your Golden since it will improve the strength and health of your dog’s coat.
Also, the excessive shedding of your Golden Retriever may be as a result of a serious skin problem. The solution to this is to consult your veterinarian. Excessive shedding may be a result of medical conditions such as skin allergies or thyroid disease.
The shedding of Golden Retrievers also tends to increase when they are anxious and stressed. You should, therefore, ensure that your dog is relaxed and comfortable. You can do this by keeping your dog busy with fun activities so that they are calm when they are indoors.
Why Do Golden Retrievers Shed a Lot?
Golden Retrievers are one of the few dog breeds that have a double coat. This double coat is made of a thick plush undercoat and a furry waterproof outer coat. This double coat makes it possible for Golden Retrievers to be able to tolerate different weather types.
The undercoat adapts to the temperature and environmental needs of the dog. This is the main reason why Golden Retrievers shed a lot. They tend to grow a thick undercoat during the cold seasons which they shed during the warmer seasons.
Another reason why your Golden Retriever might be shedding a lot could be as a result of a medical complication. When your dog starts shedding its fur in big clumps such that bald patches are left behind, then this is far from normal shedding.
Excessive shedding may be a sign that your dog has skin allergies or thyroid disease. You can handle this by consulting your veterinarian.
Also, if you live in a hot area, then your Golden Retriever will tend to shed more. This is because they need less hair in hot areas to stay warm.
At What Age Do Golden Retrievers Start Shedding?
Golden Retriever puppies have an extra thick fluffy fur coat as opposed to the long flowing golden coat that is seen on adult Golden Retrievers. This thick padded fur coat helps to keep the puppies warm during their first 4-6 months.
This coat will then be completely shed at around the sixth month to allow for the growth of the adult coat. After shedding their soft puppy coat, there will be an increased amount of shedding.
At What Time of the Year Do Dogs Shed the Most?
Golden Retrievers shed lightly throughout the year. They have a double coat whose layers are shed at different times of the year. The furry outer coat is shed once a year while its thick undercoat is shed twice a year. In some instances, the shedding of the outer coat coincides with the shedding of the undercoat resulting in heavy shedding.
During the winter months, your Golden Retriever will grow an extra thick undercoat, most of which shall be shed during Spring. With Goldens, shedding is heaviest during Spring and Fall. In Fall, they shed the lighter summer coat to give room for the growth of the thicker winter coat which is then shed during Spring.
How Long Do Golden Retrievers Shed for?
Golden Retrievers shed almost throughout the whole year. They tend to shed heavily in Spring and Fall and moderately in Summer and Winter. Generally, these shedding seasons last between three to eight weeks depending on where you live, with the shedding process taking longer if you live in a hotter place.
However, if your Golden Retriever has been neutered or spayed, then you should expect to experience much heavier shedding for several months after they have been fixed. This is more evident with neutered males due to the changes in his testosterone levels and the hormones responsible for maintaining his fur thick and shiny.
How Much Do Golden Retrievers Shed?
Golden Retrievers are moderate to heavy shedders. According to VetStreet, they are the 5th heaviest-shedding dog breed. They shed their fur more heavily than most other dog breeds. They shed their coats heavily during Spring and Fall and moderately in Summer and Winter.
What Age Do Golden Retrievers Get Their Full Coat?
Most Golden Retriever puppies start growing feathers in their puppy coat t around 3 months of age. However, this may differ depending on your puppy’s bloodline such that if your puppy’s parents got their adult coats at a later stage, then so will he.
At about 3 months, your puppy’s coat will start transitioning to an adult coat. First, long hair (feathers) will start growing on your puppy’s tail. The feathers will then spread to the puppy’s legs, tail, and stomach. This new hair will be of a slightly darker shade compared to the puppy fluff.
The adult hair then continues growing until it replaces the puppy fur as the dog’s undercoat. This undercoat will then continue to thicken until the outer coat grows in. This transition period from puppy fluff to an adult coat takes about 18 months to complete.
Does Shaving a Golden Retriever Help with Shedding?
Golden Retrievers have a double coat that works to protect the dog in Winter and Summer. Significantly shaving this coat is potentially harmful to your Golden as this leaves its skin exposed, making it more susceptible to getting sunburns, exposure to UV rays, excessive moisture, heat, and cold.
Shaving can also expose painful hotspots on your dog which are difficult to heal. Besides, excessive shaving of a Golden’s coat will inhibit the regrowth of its undercoat during Winter, resulting in less insulation during the cooler months.
Shaving your Golden Retriever’s undercoat will also affect your Golden’s natural protection and the coat may never grow back to its initial state. Shaving your Golden Retriever may ruin its beautiful golden coat forever.
Do Golden Retrievers Shed More than Labs?
Similar to Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers also have a double coat. Likewise, Labs shed their undercoat in warm weather. Golden Retrievers, however, have feathers on their tails, neck, and ears, unlike Labradors.
Even though they have shorter fur than Golden Retrievers, Labradors also shed more than the average dog. Both dogs require intensive grooming to deal with their heavy shedding. Golden Retrievers, however, tend to shed slightly more than Labradors hence they usually require more grooming than their counterparts.
Are There Any Health Reasons for Increased Shedding?
Golden Retrievers shed their hair all year round, with heavy shedding or “blowing of their coat” experienced twice a year. However, excessive shedding might be a cause of concern as most of the time it might be a symptom of an underlying issue that could require medical attention and care.
Most of the time, the shedding will generally not be visible on your Golden’s body. However, if you notice patches of missing hair, you should take your pet to the vet.
Some of the causes of hair loss in your dog include allergic reactions to food, medication, pest bites, a new soap or shampoo. They can also lose hair as a result of hormonal imbalances in your dog’s thyroid or during pregnancy and lactation.
Another reason is the lack of a balanced diet or a mineral deficiency in your dog’s diet. Also, your Golden Retriever may experience increased shedding as a result of emotional stress. All these can be remedied after a trip to your local vet.
What Dogs Do Not Shed?
Although there are no dog breeds that do not shed any hair at all, there are breeds that shed minimal amounts of fur and can be tolerated by people who suffer from dog allergies. These dogs are referred to as non-shedding or hypoallergenic dogs.
Hypoallergenic dog breeds are increasingly becoming popular as dog allergies are common. Examples of these non-shedding breeds include the Tibetan Terrier, Maltese Terrier, Brussels Griffon, Shih Tzu, Portuguese Water Dog, Chinese Crested, Labradoodle, and the Basenji, just to mention a few.