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Do Golden Retrievers Shed? Unveiling the Truth About Golden Retriever Shedding

Smiling golden retriever being pet

What’s not to love about Golden Retrievers? According to the American Kennel Club, these gorgeous, golden-locked good boys and girls are friendly, loyal, intelligent, kid-friendly, and intelligent. They’re hard workers who are desperately eager to please, relatively easy to train, and wildly outgoing. With so many wonderful traits, it’s no small wonder why so many people consider the golden retriever to be one of the best family dog breeds around. 

However, as any loving and devoted pet parent will tell you, there’s one significant piece of information you need to know about owning a Golden: shedding.

Golden Retrievers typically shed the most during the fall and the spring, as their coats thin and thicken for summer and winter, respectively. This period of “blowing their coats” or as we like to call it, the Golden Retriever shedding season, typically lasts for around 3 weeks, and it’s a doozy!

Do Golden Retrievers Shed? How Badly, You Ask?

Short answer: yes.

Long answer: Good heavens, yes. Oh my word, it’s everywhere. There aren’t enough lint rollers in the western world to keep up with this sweet angel’s shedding. 


Yes, Golden Retrievers shed with the absolute best of them. While the breed is technically classified as a moderate shedder, any Golden owner will tell you that there is nothing moderate about pulling another entire dog’s worth of fur off of your best friend’s coat.

Golden Retrievers typically shed the most during the fall and the spring, as their coats thin and thicken for summer and winter, respectively. This period of “blowing their coats” typically lasts for around 3 weeks, and it’s a doozy!

The Secret Behind Golden Retriever Shedding: It's All About the Double Coat!

The reason for the Golden Retriever’s excessive shedding is their double coat! Double coats consist of a top coat and an undercoat and are commonly found among waterfowl dogs

The double coat is a vital part of your pup’s natural defenses against harsh fall and winter weather. The double coat acts as vital insulation, trapping in warmth and protecting your dog’s sensitive skin against the damaging effects of brutal winter winds. In addition, their outer coat keeps snow and ice off of their skin, helping to prevent frostbite and other cold-related health issues.

While managing the Golden Retriever's shedding may seem daunting, understanding the root cause can help a lot. Here's something that often pops up when the topic is how bad do Golden Retrievers shed. The double coat is a vital part of your pup’s natural defenses against harsh fall and winter weather. The double coat acts as vital insulation, trapping in warmth and protecting your dog’s sensitive skin against the damaging effects of brutal winter winds.

Meanwhile, in the spring and summer months, the double coat does an excellent job of keeping your pet cool and safe from the heat. How is that possible if their double coat keeps them cool while also keeping them warm in the winter? That's the beauty of the double coat! The undercoat traps cool air and keeps it close to the body while the outer coat wards off the potentially dangerous effects of UV overexposure.

Your Golden’s double coat is an integral part of how they keep themselves safe, healthy, and happy. However, all that hair has to go somewhere once it eventually stops growing, and all of that protective hair is exactly what makes your furry best friend such an iconic shedder.

Strategies for Handling Golden Retriever Shedding

Now that we know why Golden’s shed like their lives depend on it, it’s time to talk about how to manage it! Remember, caring for a Golden Retriever’s coat is an important and unavoidable part of owning one. Our dogs rely on us to care for their unique needs, so if shedding is something you’re not sure you can handle, we recommend considering a different breed.  

Golden retriever showing their belly

Brush Your Golden Retriever Regularly to Keep Shedding in Check

Managing a Golden Retriever’s shedding requires frequent brushing! The exact amount of brushing necessary will likely vary depending on your dog’s coat, but at the very least, you should be brushing them once every few days. Carving out this time to care for your pup is vital to minimizing excess shedding and avoiding a house completely covered in dog hair.

The good news is brushing is excellent for your pup’s skin and coat. Brushing your dogs helps prevent painful mats by removing dead hair and skin cell build up. It also helps to distribute natural oils across their fur for a healthy, shiny coat! 

Plus, once your dog grows to enjoy their daily brush, it becomes a beautiful bonding moment that you can look forward to each and every day! Who doesn’t love the moment when their pup realizes their favorite time of day is coming up. 

Bathing Your Golden Retriever Can Help Control Shedding

They either love it or they hate it, but one thing isn’t up for debate: bathing helps reduce shedding.

A bath is not only a basic and important part of maintaining proper hygiene. Baths help to wash away fur that would otherwise end up shed across your furniture, your bed, and your clothes. The massaging action of working your pet-friendly shampoo into their coat helps to dislodge any fur that is already loose or close to falling out, which lets you keep one step ahead of their shedding!

However, it’s important not to get overzealous with bathing your Golden Retriever. Bathing a pup too frequently removes the natural, healthy oils from their fur and skin, oils that are required for a healthy coat and a happy pup! 

Unfortunately, there is no shortage of canine skin conditions, take bath time as an excuse to inspect your Golden’s skin. An ounce of prevention is always worth a pound of cure!

Smiling dog laying in a field

Stress Management: An Unexpected Solution to Golden Retriever Shedding

Our pets get stressed, just like we do, and dogs especially are quite sensitive to our moods. Stress affects countless aspects of our pet’s health and wellbeing, and shedding is a big part of that list. The more stressed your Golden Retriever is, the more they are likely to shed.

Our dogs rely on us to provide, so managing their stress is just another vital part of pet ownership. The good news is by managing your Golden’s stress, you are helping to manage their shedding at the same time.

Some tips for managing your Golden Retriever’s stress include:

  • Remove any obvious stressors
  • Keep a regular mealtime and exercise routine
  • Consider veterinary intervention for excessive stress
  • Keep your own stress levels under control

Another essential piece of information related to Golden Retriever shedding is their shedding cycle. So, when do Golden Retrievers shed? The shedding is typically cyclical, with peak shedding seasons in the spring and fall. However, they can also shed sporadically throughout the year. This understanding can help you prepare for the shedding onslaught, equipping you with the right tools and patience when the time comes.

Acceptance: An Important Part of Dealing with Golden Retriever Shedding

A big part of managing a Golden Retriever’s shedding is accepting that no matter how many steps you take, a certain amount of shedding is completely unavoidable. It’s a very small price to pay for the joy your Golden brings into your life!

Make sure to keep lint rollers on hand and spaced around your home for a quick spruce up of your clothing or furniture. For the eco-conscious among us, consider picking up reusable lint and pet hair removers, like the ChomChom or the Uproot Cleaner Pro! (Note: these aren’t sponsored placements, they’re just really great products!)

A Nutrition-Rich Diet Can Reduce Golden Retriever Shedding

Did you know that diet plays a huge role in controlling your Golden Retriever’s shedding? You do now! After all, as the old saying goes, “you are what you eat”!

Your pup requires a diet rich in proteins and omega-3 fatty acids to maintain optimal health, and when they are getting the nutrients they need, it shows in their coat. A strong, shiny coat that sheds less (even marginally less, in the case of our friend the Golden) is a sure sign that their diet is healthy and free of allergens.

In Conclusion

It bears repeating: if you hate shedding, don’t get a Golden Retriever. You also probably shouldn’t bring home a Labrador Retriever either, but that’s a topic for another day! Loose pet hair is part of owning this glorious breed and with the tips listed above, you can be sure to get ahead of their shedding before their golden locks overwhelm your home.

Another important aspect of managing your Golden Retriever's shedding is grooming. Regular grooming sessions, involving both brushing and professional grooming, can significantly help to manage the shedding. A groomer can effectively remove loose fur from the undercoat, which is where most of the shedding comes from. Remember, grooming isn't just for aesthetics; it's crucial for your Golden Retriever's overall health and comfort.

Do you have any go-to tips for managing shedding you’d like to share? We would love to hear them! Send an email with the subject line “Tips for Reducing Golden Shedding”. Your tip may even make it into a future blog post right here!

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