Like any other double-coated dog, a Golden Retriever’s fur is its natural defense mechanism against changing external temperatures. Contrary to what it seems, A double coat regulates the pooch’s temperature not just in winter but also in summer.
Hence, shaving your dog in summer for a better adjustment to the weather is not a good idea, you may be doing more harm than good to your pooch.
Also read: Dogs that should not be shaved
Can You Shave A Golden Retriever? 4 Reasons You Should Not
There are some dog breeds that should never have their hair shaved like German Shepherds, Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, Belgian Shepherds, Border Collies, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Great Pyrenees, Mastiff breeds, etc.
While the short answer to this question of whether to shave a GR is a big NO because it interferes with the natural shedding cycle, and creates a lack of heat insulation, parasite protection, and sun protection.
Let’s discuss them further.
1. Interference with the natural shedding cycle
A GR will shed heavily naturally once or twice a year, apart from that there is regular moderate shedding.
The shedding is aided by regular brushing of your dog after bathing and drying about a couple of times a week and daily during the seasonal shedding.
Now If you decide to shave your dog, you will be interfering with this natural cycle.
Shaved fur grows back much slower than naturally shed one, during this time your dog will not be able to control its body heat in the wake of changing external environment.
This will harm your dog and deteriorate its health and for the most part, it will have to remain in the artificially regulated environment of your home all through this time.
2. Lack Of Heat Insulation
During winter, the outer layer of a double fur traps heat keeping the body warm. In summer, when the outer layer is being shed naturally, the inner layer traps air, creating a cooler layer of insulation around the dog’s body. This keeps the dog cool.
Also, double-coat dogs do not perspire through their fur but rather through their mouths as panting and their paws. Thus their double-coat acts as a major mechanism to keep their temperature stabilized.
When you shave the fur, you disrupt this natural cycling of temperature regulation and expose your dog to the harm of the external temperature.
Thus, your dog will suffer both in winter and summer unless you keep it in an artificially regulated surrounding that is both expensive and deprives your pooch of its natural mobility.
3. No Sun protection
All double-furred dogs lack a dense melanin pigmentation beneath their coats. They rely on their fur for protection against the harmful sun rays especially the ultraviolet part of the spectrum.
A shaved dog is directly exposed to these harmful radiations that cause several skin changes ranging from local burns to dysplastic growth of skin that can end up in skin tumors.
Such a grave consequence of shaving your Golden Retriever in the summers should never be overlooked.
4. Protection against parasites
Where temperature regulation and protection from sun rays remain the most important function of a dog’s double coat, there are some other features of this fur as well.
A double coat shields a pooch from all sorts of skin parasites like lice and mites, preventing them from going deeper into the skin and then into the blood where they can wreak havoc.
Hence, A large number of skin infections and systemic illnesses are prevented by the mere presence of a double coat. Dogs deprived of this coat suffer from parasite infections more often and it is a constant headache for their owners to take extra precautionary measures.
When To Shave A Golden Retriever?
You only need to shave a double-coated dog when it is part of the treatment of any skin condition where medicine needs to be applied directly or the fur needs to be shaved immediately.
This should only be prescribed by a veterinarian and never done due to popular opinion. There are even some groomers who recommend shaving some retrievers in summer.
People Also Ask
Let me share some common questions that people mostly ask.
Does shaving a Gold Retriever help with shedding?
No, a Golden Retriever will shed its coat naturally regardless of whether you shave it or not. You will only be creating more problems for the dog as you are depriving it of natural protection against the sun rays, heat, and parasites.
Do Golden Retrievers grow back after shaving?
All GR will grow their fur back when shaving, however, it would take them a good 3-5 months before the fur reaches its natural length. During that time you have to take extra care of your pooch and protect it against cold, heat, sun rays, and parasites.
How do I stop my Golden Retriever from shedding so much?
Brush regularly about twice a week and during shedding season brush daily. You can smoothen the hair by shampooing it but always dry the fur before brushing. Take additional care of your dog’s diet as a healthy diet ensures a healthy coat, for this consult a dog nutrition expert.
Golden Retrievers are a double-coated dog breed and this coat serves a myriad of functions.
It protects them from the harmful sun rays, regulates their body temperature, and protects them from parasites.
Hence, a shaven double-coat dog is prone to heat dysregulation, sunburns and skin cancer, and infection from all sorts of parasites.
Apart from that, A GR will shed its fur naturally and you would only need to aid that shedding through baths and brushing.
I advise you never to shave a double-coat dog unless it is for the treatment of a medical condition and is advised by a veterinarian.