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Do Golden Retrievers Need Grooming & How Often? Useful Tips

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on June 27, 2024 by Dogster Team

golden retriever having a haircut

Do Golden Retrievers Need Grooming & How Often? Useful Tips

Golden Retrievers have iconic, beautiful coats that are luscious and soft to the touch. They have two layers of fur—one water-repellent outer coat and a thick undercoat. They shed throughout the year, with heavy shedding occurring in the spring and fall. Because of their coat type, it’s important to maintain a consistent grooming schedule by brushing them at least 3-5 times a week.

Owners should stay on top of grooming to prevent tangles and mats from becoming serious skin and coat conditions for their Golden Retriever. They have specific grooming needs, so keep reading this guide for answers to Golden Retriever owners’ grooming questions.

divider-dog paw

How Often Do Golden Retrievers Need To Be Groomed?

hand holding the brush while getting the dog's hair
Photo Credit: sonsart, Shutterstock

Grooming a Golden Retriever is a straightforward process. If you stay consistent with grooming, you won’t need to worry about tangling or mats.

In general, Golden Retrievers should have the following included in their grooming schedule:
  • Coat brushing 3-5 times a week
  • Tooth brushing 2-3 times a week
  • Nail trimming every 2-3 weeks
  • Bathing once a month
  • Professional grooming every 8-10 weeks

How Do You Brush a Golden Retriever?

Brushing your Golden Retriever will typically take about 10-15 minutes. You can start from head to toe. Before brushing each section, check for tangles or mats so you don’t accidentally yank your Golden Retriever’s skin. If you notice a lot of dirt or debris on the coat, you can use a dryer to blow it away before brushing.

Don’t use force to untangle stubborn tangles or mats. Instead, use a detangling spray and gently brush out the knotted hair. Never use scissors to cut the base of matted fur. Matted fur can lie very close to your dog’s skin, and you can accidentally cut them.

Instead, you can try to cut the very tip of a clump of matted fur to help loosen it up. If the mat is too close to your dog’s skin, contact a professional groomer to remove it safely.

Which Comb Is Best for Golden Retrievers?

In general, Golden Retrievers will need two kinds of brushes:

A slicker brush keeps your Golden Retriever’s coat free from tangles and helps spread the dog’s natural oils throughout the body. Use it every time you brush your dog’s coat. Since Golden Retrievers shed regularly, they’ll also benefit from a de-shedding tool.

It collects fur that the slicker brush misses. You can use a de-shedding tool about once a week immediately after brushing with a slicker brush. You can also add a de-matting dog comb and a pin brush to your brush collection.

Golden Retrievers’ fur varies slightly, so some will need these additional tools while others won’t. If you have any questions about grooming tools, consult with your groomer.

Regular Brushing
Photo Credit: sonsart, Shutterstock

What Happens If You Don’t Brush Your Golden Retriever?

Inadequate grooming can lead to inconveniences and severe health conditions if left unaddressed. One of the consequences of infrequent brushing is the accumulation of loose hair throughout your house. The Golden Retriever’s coat will also get dirtier faster because dead skin cells get stuck in the fur. This buildup can also prevent new hair from growing.

The fur will lose its shine and softness and become tangled and matted. When mats aren’t treated, they become painful for dogs since they tug on their skin. They can also lead to hot spots, which are inflamed skin lesions that can be itchy and painful for dogs.

Our Favorite Products

Selecting the right shampoo and conditioner makes the world of a difference when grooming your pup. Our favorite products are the duo by Hepper. The Oatmeal Pet Shampoo is formulated with aloe and oatmeal to soothe skin and hydrate the coat. The Pet Conditioner works at eliminating tangles and taming frizz and static. Both products are pH-balanced and formulated with pet-friendly ingredients, free of harsh soaps, chemicals, and dyes. Give this duo a try to heal and nourish your dog's coat, and leave them with an irresistible just-left-the-spa cucumber and aloe scent. 

Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
Hepper Pet Conditioner and Moisturiser - Scented...
Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
Hepper Pet Conditioner and Moisturiser - Scented...
pH balanced
Gently cleanses
Cucumber & aloe scent
Free of harmful additives
Combats tangles & static
Soothes & hydrates
Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
pH balanced
Gently cleanses
Cucumber & aloe scent
Free of harmful additives
Combats tangles & static
Soothes & hydrates
Hepper Pet Conditioner and Moisturiser - Scented...
Hepper Pet Conditioner and Moisturiser - Scented...
pH balanced
Gently cleanses
Cucumber & aloe scent
Free of harmful additives
Combats tangles & static
Soothes & hydrates

At Dogster, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool pet company!



Additional Grooming Needs

How Do You Brush a Golden Retriever’s Teeth?

The best way to keep a Golden Retriever’s teeth clean is to use a dog-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste. Start by letting your Golden Retriever lick some toothpaste off your finger. Then, let them lick the same toothpaste off the toothbrush.

Once your Golden Retriever becomes familiar with the toothbrush, you can start brushing the teeth that are easy to reach. Praise your dog every time you do this until you can reach all the teeth.

Golden Retrievers benefit from brushing their teeth several times a week. You can also add dental chews and water additives to supplement your dental hygiene.

Owner brushing golden retriever teeth
Photo Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

How Often Do Golden Retrievers Need Nails Cut?

The frequency of cutting a Golden Retriever’s nails varies with each dog. If a dog consistently walks and runs along hard surfaces, their nails will naturally wear down against the grain.

Most Golden Retrievers have dark nails, and it’s challenging to see the quick. Therefore, it’s best to cut their nails in small increments. You’ll know that you’re close to the quick when you see a darker color in the middle of a cross-section of the nail.

You can use traditional nail clippers or a nail grinder to keep your dog’s nails at a healthy length. Most dogs initially resist getting their nails trimmed because they have sensitive feet. Make sure to be patient and reward your dogs every time they let you touch their paws and clip their nails.

What Is the Best Way to Wash a Golden Retriever?

Golden Retrievers typically need baths once a month. Avoid giving your dog too many baths because they can dry out and strip their skin of natural and essential oils. Many Golden Retrievers have skin allergies, so it’s essential to find shampoo and conditioner that don’t irritate sensitive skin. Look for products that use skin-soothing natural ingredients, such as aloe, oatmeal, or tea tree oil.

When you bathe your Golden Retriever, brush their coat first to remove any loose dirt and fur. Then, soak your dog with warm water. Make sure to cover their ears so that water doesn’t flow into them.

Gently massage the shampoo into the coat and brush your dog again with a bath brush to remove more loose hair. Then, thoroughly rinse your dog. Apply conditioner if you prefer. After rinsing your dog, brush the coat once more.

Before drying off your dog, clean the ears with an ear cleaner. Golden Retrievers have floppy ears that are more prone to ear infections, so keeping them clean and dry is essential. Finally, dry off your dog with a towel first. Then, use a blow dryer. Ensure your dog’s coat is completely dry before giving them one final brushing.

You can top off the bath with an optional finishing spray that helps control shedding.

man grooming golden retriever dog
Photo Credit: SB Arts Media, Shutterstock

Do Golden Retrievers Need Professional Grooming?

Yes, Golden Retrievers require professional grooming. There are many benefits to taking your dog to a professional groomer. They can detect skin conditions and safely remove any tough mats. They can also check for fleas and ticks.

If you want to treat your pup, you can request special treatments, such as blowouts and de-shedding treatments.

Do Golden Retrievers Need Haircuts?

Golden Retrievers don’t necessarily need full haircuts, even in the summer. However, they benefit from regular trimming whenever they visit their groomer. Trims will keep coats manageable and less prone to tangling.

A groomer will also be especially helpful with trimming the hair around sensitive areas, such as your dog’s feet and the inside of the ears.

Should Golden Retrievers Be Shaved?

Never shave your Golden Retriever. Their double coats help them stay cool by protecting them from the sun; shaving them will strip them of their natural protection.

Golden Retrievers will stay cool during shedding season as they lose more hair. Instead of shaving their fur, you can help them stay cool by brushing their coats to remove loose hair.

golden retriever outdoors
Photo Credit: Chiemsee2016, Pixabay



Consistent grooming habits are essential for Golden Retrievers, but all dogs require regular tooth brushing and nail trimming. In addition, Golden Retrievers require brushing several times a week and regular trips to the groomer.

Keeping a Golden Retriever’s skin and coat healthy takes work, but it’s not too time-consuming if you stick to a routine. Ultimately, the effort is worth it because you’ll have a healthy dog with a soft and luxurious coat that’s perfect for pets and cuddles.

Featured Photo Credit: Dina Gomankova, Shutterstock

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