Golden Retriever

Grooming a Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular breeds in the United States. With their soft brown eyes and golden coat, they have friendly good looks that make the ideal family dog. That long, soft fur makes them very huggable, too! But if you want to keep your Golden looking good it takes a little effort.


You can prepare to groom your Golden Retriever by making sure you have a few basic grooming supplies.

  • brush
  • comb
  • pinbrush
  • nail clippers or nail grinder
  • dog toothbrush and toothpaste
  • ear cleaner

Getting started

You can start grooming your Golden by simply brushing him all over. You don’t have to brush too hard — you don’t want to yank out snags or tangles — but you do want to brush him the same way you would brush your own hair. Brush gently but firmly. Brushing your dog should be something enjoyable for both of you. If your dog gets up and runs away when he sees you approaching him with the brush you’re probably doing something wrong.

If you do find a snag or tangle then you should leave it for the comb. Gently work the comb through the tangle a couple of hairs at a time. Don’t grab or pull them out. It’s best to carefully work them out without hurting your dog. If necessary you can put a little dog coat conditioner or coat detangler spray on a tangle to help the tangle loosen.

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Once any tangles are worked loose you can brush your Golden’s long hair with the pinbrush. The pinbrush is used to brush and separate the long hair on his legs, stomach, chest and “pants” area. The pinbrush makes this hair nice and fluffy.

Things to remember when grooming a Golden Retriever

After your Golden is brushed and combed all over you should check his nails. A dog’s nails need to be trimmed weekly. If you begin trimming his nails when he’s a puppy this won’t ever be a difficult task or frightening for your dog. It helps if you give your dog a treat as you trim the nails of each paw and tell him how good he is. Make doing his nails a positive experience and make sure that you don’t try to cut too much at one time. If you trim your dog’s nails weekly then you only need to trim a little bit each time.

When you trim your dog’s nails you can use either nail clippers or a nail grinder. Nail clippers come in both scissors and guillotine models. For a dog with nails that are as hard and thick as a Golden’s you will probably need the guillotine style. Remember to just cut off a little in each session and don’t cut near the quick of the nail. It’s fine if you prefer to use the nail grinder. It is a rotary tool that has a sanding drum for sanding down the nails. Again, even with the nail grinder, it’s possible to trim the nails too short. Only take off a little of the nail each week and your dog will never have a problem with having his nails done.

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Doggy dentists say that dogs should have their teeth brushed daily. They should have them brushed weekly at the very least. Many dogs have gum disease by the time they are three years old. You can find toothbrushes and doggy toothpaste at pet supply stores or online. You should never use human toothpaste for dogs since it contains artificial sweeteners that can be harmful to dogs.

Most dogs don’t mind having their teeth brushed. Doggy toothpaste comes in flavors that dogs like such as beef, chicken and peanut butter. It doesn’t take long for dogs to figure out that the toothpaste tastes good and they put up with the brushing.

Finally, it’s necessary to clean your Golden Retriever’s ears. Goldens have long ears and, as such, they are more prone to having ear infections. You should clean your Golden’s ears weekly to prevent bacterial and yeast infections from developing. You can get a good ear cleaner from your vet or from a pet supply store. Simply squeeze some of the cleaner in your dog’s ear and massage the base of the ear. Give the liquid a few seconds to do its job. You can clean out the ear with a cotton ball. You may have to put in ear cleaner and clean out the ear a couple of times before the cotton ball comes out clean.

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Those are the basics of grooming your Golden Retriever. This should be done on a weekly basis. You can brush your Golden more often. A quick daily brushing will help keep your dog looking nice.

Don’t forget to give your Golden a bath. Most dogs need a bath about once a month unless they get into something that makes them smell bad. You can also take a close look at your dog’s coat to see what kind of condition it’s in. If it’s dry or oily you may need to look for a special shampoo or conditioner and follow the directions for use.

If you take good care of your Golden Retriever’s coat you will always have a dog to be proud of. The Golden Retriever is one of the handsomest of dogs. Regular grooming will make him look his best.

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