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Should I have my golden shaved?

The answer is a resounding — NO!


Shaving will keep the dog cool — FALSE

Some people mistakenly believe that shaving or severely clipping their golden retriever is a wonderful way to keep the dog cool and comfortable in warm weather. What they don’t know is shaving a golden retriever actually has the opposite effect and exposes the dog to other health hazards including skin cancer. A golden’s coat is made up of two parts — the long and smooth outer coat called the guard hairs and the soft and fuzzy part called the undercoat. These two layers work together to protect the skin from sun, heat, cold and moisture. No one ever debates that fur protects the animal from cold. However, a study conducted by veterinary medical scientists proved that fur acts as an insulator against BOTH heat and cold and concluded that fur should be considered a protective “shell.” Besides helping your dog regulate his body temperature, fur provides significant protection against UV-induced skin damage. Shaving a golden who has little pigment could be dangerous and result in skin cancers. The outer coat also protects the skin from exposure to allergens such as grass and pollen and traps dirt and debris which can easily be brushed off.

Shaving will prevent shedding — FALSE

A shaved dog will still shed. However, brushing or combing your golden several times a week will help to reduce the amount of free-floating hair in your home. The thick undercoat should be combed on a weekly basis to remove dead hair. For regular brushing, a high quality bristle brush should be effective. For combing the undercoat, an undercoat rake is probably your best choice since it has strong teeth designed to remove tough, heavy hair. Frequent brushing is one of the most effective ways to control dog shedding in a golden retriever. If you have a pool, the “pool guy” may tell you to shave your dog because the fur will clog the filters. Keeping the dog brushed will reduce the amount of fur that ends up in the filters, however, depending on how frequently your dog swims, you may need to clean the filters more frequently.

Bottom line — there are NO good reasons to shave your golden, and you are actually harming your dog if you do so.