Grooming Standards for Golden Retrievers

The golden locks of the golden are unmistakable.
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While the beautiful double coat of the golden retriever serves as protection from weather and outdoor elements, it also makes grooming necessary—and time-consuming. Creating a weekly routine for grooming your golden helps promote a healthy coat and gives you additional bonding time.


The golden retriever’s double coat requires brushing at least once a week to keep shedding at bay and distribute natural oils that create a shiny, sleek coat. Using a good-quality bristle brush and undercoat rake, as recommended by the Absolutely Golden website, helps remove dead hair and dander. Brush his coat with a bristle brush first and remove any mats with a metal comb. Follow up with an undercoat rake that removes loose hair from the second coat. Finally, go back over his coat with the bristle brush and notice how easily it moves through the coat.


After removing any mats and tangles, giving the golden a good bath helps keep her skin healthy by removing harmful bacteria. A quality dog shampoo formulated for long hair works well. When washing a golden, wet her entire coat and add a line of shampoo down her back. Next, massage the shampoo into her coat and skin. Rinse the shampoo out completely until the water runs clear, and follow up with a light conditioner for long-haired dogs. Allow the conditioner to set for about two minutes, and then rinse it out. Use a clean towel and dry the retriever. Finish up with a hair dryer on a low setting, or allow her to dry naturally.

Show Standards

The American Kennel Club show standards for grooming the golden retriever call for a natural, untrimmed coat. The coat should lie in a natural line, with the head, front legs and paws trimmed slightly shorter than the body hair. The feathering of the legs, neck, back and underside of the tail are desirable traits of the golden retriever.


Only a few areas of the golden need regular trimming. The toenails should be inspected and trimmed as often as necessary. Also, the hair around the ears, feet and tail grows faster than the body hair and requires a quick trim about once a month. Ear care is important in the golden retriever, as in any breed. Inspecting and cleaning the ears with an over-the-counter solution helps remove bacteria that may cause a foul odor.