How to Groom a Golden Retriever the Right Way: Spa Day for Your Dog

People who pet dogs, particularly the ones with thick furs, are often criticized for not keeping up with their grooming. It’s a given that it’s the owners’ responsibility to groom their dogs on a regular basis. Grooming keeps your dog healthier. You remain aware of allergies, infections or any other skin condition when you diligently take care of your beloved canine. Last of all, you actually also ensure the wellbeing of yourself and your family with a regular routine of grooming.

Golden Retriever Grooming Is Simple

Golden Retrievers are one of the most endearing double-coated canine bread that people want to pet. Their naturally shiny and wavy gold fur and friendly temperament make them a good pet choice. There is a general misconception that it’s one heck of a task to groom a furry dog. It might be true with some breeds.

However, this is not the case with Golden Retrievers. Their grooming is as simple as doing the ABC’s. If you are a new retriever keeper and not sure about how to groom a Golden Retriever, then just sift through this article.

How to Groom a Golden Retriever the Right Way: Spa Day for Your Dog

If you fear that it will be quite an exhaustive process to groom an adult golden canine, we would want to address this apprehension at the onset. No, grooming a Golden Retriever is not a backbreaking activity. Grooming a Golden Retriever is pretty straightforward due to some of its own inherent characteristics.

Soft and Silky Golden Retriever Fur is Easy to Take Care of

Unlike schnauzers and terriers that have hard and knitted fur, both the under and the outer coats of Golden Retrievers are made of soft and silky hair. One doesn’t have to put any extra effort in combing, shampooing and drying their furs.

Affable Temperament Also Helps

Grooming a Golden Retriever is also easy due to its innately friendly and non-aggressive demeanor. You are not going to exhaust yourself while controlling them. In fact, a trained retriever enjoys being groomed.

Three Key Parts of Grooming a Golden Retriever

We are just making the answer to ‘how to groom a Golden Retriever’ simpler by breaking down the entire routine into three basic parts.

1) Comb, Bathe, Comb


The simplest and essential element of any canine grooming is regular fur brushing. It just makes them more adorable. Brushing Golden Retriever is a cakewalk because of their natural silk. If your Golden Retriever is not suffering from excessive shedding, then it is recommended to comb it at least once a week. If you have time in your schedule, then there is no harm in combing your golden pup every day.

What Type of Brush Should Be Used?

Use pin brushes for everyday combing. Oster Combination 2-in-1 Dog Brush and Hartz Groomer’s Best Combo Dog Brush are some good and inexpensive pin brush options. However, it is important to use the slicker brush once in a while particularly to inspect the dog for any skin condition and flea and tick infections. The FURminator Undercoat Deshedding Tool  is particularly designed to groom breeds like Golden Retrievers. It can effectively de-matt the undercoat of your golden doggy.

Why Combing Is Important?

The first and foremost benefit of combing is that it protects your Golden Retriever from excessive shedding. Apart from that, combing a Golden Retriever in its everyday grooming is also important for the following reasons.

  • Combing with a slicker comb also acts as a skin massage. This reinvigorates their fur with the essential oils produced by the skin.
  • Combing is an effective measure to pick up any dog allergy before it becomes acute.

Combing makes your Golden Retriever matt-free. A dog can’t grow healthy when its skin is decked with too much matting. Safari De-Matting Dog Comb is a purpose-built comb specially designed to help you in keeping your retriever’s fur all smooth and silky with no matt patches.

While doing a detailed combing that includes undercoat or when your dog is shedding extra, it is recommended to use grooming gloves for the sake of personal hygiene. Always move the brusher from top to bottom and head to toe to keep the combing gentle, fewer hairs break when you comb like that.


Bathing is another essential element of grooming a Golden Retriever. Some people, however, prefer to trim their Golden Retriever before bathing them. We would recommend you to bathe your Golden Retriever prior to trimming. It makes the trimming easy when your dog’s fur is not dirty and stinky.

Use a Good Quality Shampoo

Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner and Burt’s Bees Oatmeal Shampoo with Colloidal Oat Flour & Honey for Dogs are one of the best dog bathing shampoos on the block. They are tear-free and produce a good amount of lather. Their natural ingredients also rule out any possibility of chemically-induced allergies in your dog.

Directions for Bathing Your Golden Retriever

  • Lather an adequate amount of shampoo all over the fur of your retriever
  • Massage it for a couple of minutes
  • Rinse thoroughly
  • Don’t leave the fur wet and soapy. Rub dry it with a towel

You can also use a blow dryer to make your golden pup look extra magnificent. However, keep the heat at a very low level and blow the fur in the direction of the growth.

Brush Again After Bathing

Once the fur is completely dry, brush it again to straighten it out.  Avoid combing through wet hairs.

Golden Retreiver

2) Trimming the Fur

For some people grooming a canine is just mostly about trimming. This is quite true when you own Golden Retrievers. They are a double coat. Moreover, their hair grows at a rapid pace. So, grooming of a Golden Retriever can’t be completed without giving your Golden Retriever some timely trims. We are breaking down trimming into multiple phases to keep it simple for you.

Trimming the Trunk

Start with the biggest part of the dog’s body. The trunk of a Golden Retriever is excessively grown with two coats of fur. However, that doesn’t mean you just start with the clipper and trim the entire outer coat. Retrievers are not sheep. There is a reason why nature has given them this rich double coat fur.

Golden Retrievers are quite sensitive to weather and temperature changes. The combo of undercoat and outercoat actually regulates temperature for them. It keeps their body cool in summers and warm in winters.

So, extra care should be taken while giving your Golden Retriever a trim. Instead of the clipper, use a standard pair of scissors for trimming. You can also use a thinning shear to reach the undercoat. Here’s the list of trimming accessories that would be enough to take care of all phases of trimming.

Four Paws Grooming Scissors, 7.5-in

Pet Magasin Professional Thinning Scissors with Toothed Blade

iSeaFly Safety Ball Tip Dog Shears Kit

Besides giving a slight trim all over the trunk, also get rid of all these hard knitted matt patches that can’t be smoothed out with brushing and shampooing.

Trimming on Feet and Legs

Trimming the fur on legs and feet is a tricky part in grooming a Golden Retriever. Just trim the tousled fur on the legs. Make sure the hair on retriever’s leg lay down smooth when it sits. After trimming the leg fur, trim away all the fuzzy growth around the feet. It is also important to trim the hair growth in between the toes.

Trimming toe hairs of a canine is not as hard as it sounds. Just lay the dog down and hold its paw with one hand and comb down the toes hairs. Then use a scissor and just trim them half an inch. Don’t try to cut the hair from the roots.

Trimming on Chest and Neck

Golden Retriever’s chest and neck often see the thickest hair growth. So, it would be better if you use thinning scissor first to reduce the volume. Don’t go overboard with it. Just make sure the furs in those parts don’t look like a thick hair ridge.  After thinning it down, use simple scissors to just trim all the extra and uneven hair ends.

Trimming Around Ears

It is important to trim the fur of your Golden Retriever around its ears to ensure their health. There is no recommended length for the hair at the front and the back of ears. Just make sure they are not entirely concealing its ears.  Also, thin down the hair grown on ears with the light-handed use of thinning spears.

Trimming the Tail

While trimming the tail, don’t shorten its length. It looks unnatural and ugly. Just taper the tail here and there with the thinning shear.

Pro Tip: Instead of trimming the fur to adjust it to a particular length, focus on rumpled and fussy patches. A retriever has a loose fur that looks more beautiful and natural when it possesses some jaggedness.

3) The Finishing Touches

The grooming of a Golden Retriever isn’t complete without the finishing touches explained below.

Clean Its Ears, Nose and Eyes

Use cotton buds along with natural oils to clean the skin around the eyes, the inner part of ears and the nose. Also, look for any subtle allergies while gently scrubbing the facial region. Use Petpost Coconut Oil for Dogs to prevent any itching and inflammation on that part of the skin.

Trimming the Toenails

Some owners might find it the most critical part of Golden Retriever grooming. There is no doubt that an extra carefulness is needed to trim the extra length of toenails. It is recommended to train your Golden Retriever to remain calm when its toes are being handled. Positive reinforcement (giving a treat afterward) can help in this training.

Cut the nails way above the quick (the live part of nails) and don’t try to achieve symmetry with trimmed nails. It’s perfectly fine if your Golden Retriever has irregular nail length.

The objective is to just take some length off their nails to limit the chances of impact breakage. Broken toenails can lead to infections and swellings. Some nail cutters that are particularly designed to trim Golden Retriever’s toenails.

Safari Professional Nail Trimmer for Dogs

Dremel 7300 Pet Nail Grooming Tool

If you are not confident in doing it on your own, then get your Golden Retriever to some professional groomer.  However, with some training of your puppy and the right trimming tool, you can easily carry out this finishing touch on your own.

Once you’re done with all the trimming and clipping, give your Golden Retriever a dry shampoo treatment. There are some dry shampoos that already come in spray bottles (e.g. Wahl Natural Pet No-rinse). So, you just have to spray it directly on the fur. Spray from the close range so that the shampoo can thoroughly work inside the fur.

Waterless No Rinse Cleanser Dog Shampoo Spray is another good option for dry shampooing your Golden Retriever at the end of the grooming. 15-20 minutes after the application, comb the dog to remove all the excessive shampoo powder.

Our Final Thoughts

It’s not necessary to always go through all three parts of grooming. Adjust this routine as per the requirements of the given time. For instance, your Golden Retriever might not need toenail trimming for a long time. So, just bypass it. Similarly, if you are bathing your pup more often, then you can directly proceed to the trimming from combing.

Always use quality products and tools to do all different grooming activities. Here you can find all the things that you will need for grooming a Golden Retriever.

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