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Thinking About Shaving Your Golden Retriever? In A Word--Don't!

Some people mistakenly believe that shaving or severely clipping their golden is a wonderful way to keep the dog cool and comfortable in warm weather. What they don't realize is that they're actually putting the dog at greater risk of health problems like skin cancer. Here's why:
A golden's coat is made up of two parts -- the long and smooth outer coat and the soft and fuzzy under coat. These two layers work together to protect the skin from sun, heat, cold and moisture. The fur acts as an insulator BOTH against the heat and cold.

When you shave your golden, you remove all of that natural protection that he or she was born with, thereby exposing the dog to the sun's harmful rays, a risk of overheating in the summer, and more. Because they were bred to retrieve water fowl, the golden's coat also acts as a water repellant and is designed so that dirt and debris brush off easily.
We've also had applicants think that shaving their golden would help protect it against fleas and ticks, would reduce shedding and eliminate hot spots – ALL UNTRUE! The golden will still shed, fleas and ticks are better controlled with a spot-on preventive such as FrontLine, and hot spots can be controlled with a premium diet and supplements. Simply put, there is NO good reason to shave your golden on a regular basis, and you are actually harming your dog if you do so.

Grooming Your Golden
Golden retrievers do require basic grooming. They shed, but basic maintenance will significantly reduce the amount of hair you find throughout the house. 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.
The only areas of hair that require grooming are the nails, ears, tail and feet.
  • Nails: The golden's nails should be clipped regularly. Long nails are uncomfortable for the dog and for anyone they might jump on. Check the nails and trim them regularly by carefully snipping the tip with a pair of dog nail clippers or a mini Dremel tool. If you are lucky enough to have a dog with clear nails, you will be able to see the quick. Do not cut too close, and keep styptic powder on hand in the event you do clip the quick. It is a good practice to trim the nails weekly taking off small amounts each time.
  • Feet: Using an ordinary pair of grooming shears, trim the hair around the pads, keeping the length even with the pads. Goldens tend to grow “slippers” – fuzzy hair that protrudes from the top and sides of the feet. Keeping this hair trimmed will reduce matting and keep the dog from tracking in sand and dirt. The look that you want to create is that of a cat's paw.
  • Ears: 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 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 the ears weekly with a quality ear cleansing solution.
  • Tail: The golden retriever's tail should be groomed to look like a fan when extended. 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 toward the base of the tail.

Originally posted by:
Golden Retriever Rescue of Mid-Florida, Inc
PO Box 1449, Goldenrod, FL 32733-1449
Voice Message Info Line: (407) 332-2840


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