Do Golden Retrievers Have Hair or Fur? [& Why It Matters]

The terms “hair” and “fur” are usually used interchangeably when referring to dog coats. 

However, when it comes to double-coated dog breeds like Golden Retrievers, there’s a difference between the two, which causes their owners some confusion.

So, do Golden Retrievers have hair or fur? Golden Retrievers have fur, not hair. They have double coats that consist of two layers of fur which causes them to shed heavily. The fur on the inner layer of their coat provides them with insulation against cold. Meanwhile, the fur on the outer layer is longer to repel water and dirt.

Now that you know what kind of coat your Golden Retriever has, it’s time to see how this affects the way you groom your golden, so keep reading as we do just that… 

What’s Difference Between Hair Coats and Fur Coats?

Telling hair coats and fur coats apart mainly comes down to how many layers the dog’s coat has, whether it’s a single coat or a double coat.

Dogs with single coats have one layer of hair covering the dog’s body. These coats are the ones often referred to as “hair coats.”

On the other hand, dogs with double coats have two layers of fur covering the dog’s body. These coats are the ones often referred to as “fur coats.”

There are also some differences between hair and fur when it comes to texture, shedding frequency, and grooming requirements. 

Let’s quickly breakdown these differences:

  • Texture – Hair coats are finer in texture, making them feel a lot smoother and softer than fur coats.
  • Shedding – hair coats tend to have a longer growth cycle which means they shed less than fur coats. It also means that they won’t spread any allergens in the air, so they’re more hypoallergenic than fur coats.
  • Grooming Requirements – Hair coats tend to be easier to groom than fur coats since they shed less.

Now that you know this, you should be able to tell what kind of coat any dog has, so let’s start with something easy; can you guess what kind of coat a Goldendoodle has?

After guessing, check out this post on what kind of coat Goldendoodles have to check if you’ve got it right.

What Kind of Coat Do Golden Retrievers Have?

red golden retriever to answer do golden retrievers have hair or fur

Golden Retrievers have double coats, and generally, dogs with double coats are referred to as having fur coats.

Their coat consists of an undercoat, an outer coat, and “feathers.”

The undercoat or the inner coat has one layer of short fur that provides insulation against the cold and helps regulate its body temperature.

The outer coat, on the other hand, has one layer of long fur that helps repel water and dirt away from the dog’s body.

Finally, there are the “feathers,” which is a term used to refer to the longer fur found on the dog’s chest, legs, and tail. 

What Are the Stages of Golden Retriever Coats?

There are two main stages of growth for Golden Retriever coats. They’re born with only one coat, the undercoat, then the second coat, the outer coat, grows over it as they get older.

As puppies, Golden Retrievers will have a thin coat of fur with a soft, fluffy texture. The main purpose of this coat is to provide insulation against the cold and regulate its body temperature.

By the time they reach 3 to 4 months of age, they will start growing “feathers,” which is the longer fur on their chest, legs, and tail.

By the time they reach 18 months of age, longer fur will grow all over the first coat of fur on their bodies, the undercoat, to finally form the adult outer coat. 

The main purpose of this coat is to repel water and dirt away from the dog’s body. 

Keep in mind that the age at which Golden Retrievers start growing their final adult coat and the rate of growth might vary from one dog to another depending on the dog’s genetics and health.

How Much Do Golden Retrievers Shed?

Since Golden Retrievers have double coats of fur, they tend to shed a lot more frequently than other dog breeds with single coats.

This high shedding frequency means they’re not hypoallergenic as the dander trapped inside the dog’s coat will get discharged in the air the more the dog sheds, which could trigger an allergic response in some people.

There’s no way to stop your Golden Retriever from shedding completely; however, you can minimize the shedding to some extent with regular grooming.

Shedding in Goldens is annoying; it’s one of the biggest challenges with having a Golden Retriever. I have made a complete guide with all my life’s experience in managing my Golden Retrievers’ shedding here, so make sure to check it out as I think it will be helpful even to experienced Golden Owners. 

How Many Times A Year Do Golden Retrievers Shed?

Golden Retrievers typically shed all year round. However, they tend to shed more profusely twice a year, once at the beginning of spring and again at the beginning of fall.

This process is known as “blowing their coats” or “seasonal shedding”, and it’s a completely natural occurrence in all dogs with double coats as it prepares them for the change in seasons and allows them to grow healthier coats.

The shedding in spring is usually heavier than that in fall; however, it will vary from one dog to another depending on its genetics, age, and health.

Are Golden Retrievers Easy to Groom?

Having a double coat with two layers of fur may make it seem that Golden Retrievers require a lot of time and effort to groom; however, they will be quite easy to groom as long as you remain consistent with their routine.

Grooming your Golden Retriever will prevent its coat from becoming tangled or matted, and it will also prevent the accumulation of dirt, grease, or bacteria on the dog’s coat to keep it clean and healthy.

So, it’s very important to establish and maintain a grooming routine for your dog that involves regular brushing and bathing.

How Often Do You Need to Groom Golden Retrievers?

As mentioned before, grooming your Golden Retriever needs to be a regular and consistent process. However, the frequency of the grooming will vary.

When it comes to brushing, it’s recommended to brush your Golden Retriever almost daily in order to remove loose fur and prevent its coat from getting severely tangled.

If you’re too busy to brush your dog daily, you can brush it at least once or twice a week instead. The most important thing is to remain consistent and don’t go too long, over six weeks, without brushing your dog.

Meanwhile, when it comes to bathing, it can be done less often than brushing. 

It’s recommended to give your Golden Retriever a bath at least once every month, but make sure to wipe its coat down with a wet cloth weekly to prevent the accumulation of dirt, grease, or bacteria.

If your dog usually plays outside and gets dirty in the process, you might need to bathe it more often; however, keep in mind that bathing your dog too often will lead to its skin getting drier and its fur weakening and falling off more.

How Long Does It Take to Groom Golden Retrievers?

A dog’s grooming routine typically involves brushing and grooming, so it should take about 2 to 3 hours to give your Golden Retriever a full grooming session.

The exact time it takes to groom Golden Retriever will vary depending on some factors such as:

  • The dog’s size
  • The length and thickness of the dog’s fur
  • The dog’s behavior and its ability to remain still thought the session
  • The amount of time it has been since the dog’s last grooming session
  • The presence of severe matting or fleas in the dog’s coat
  • The dog getting injured or having an allergic reaction to one of the grooming products
  • The waiting time at the groomer’s if you choose to groom your dog professionally and not at home

How to Groom Your Golden Retriever?

As mentioned before, a Golden Retriever’s grooming routine typically involves brushing and bathing. So, let’s take a closer look at how you can brush and bathe your Golden Retriever properly.

How to Brush Your Golden Retriever Properly?

Regular brushing is essential as it will remove any loose fur from the dog’s coat and prevent it from getting severely tangled or matted.

So, here are the steps you need to follow to brush your Golden Retriever properly:

  • Start by dividing the dog’s hair into sections using a metal comb from its head and all the way down to its tail
  • Next, brush carefully through each section of hair with a pin brush and make sure to pay extra attention to areas with tangles.
  • Once all tangles are removed from the dog’s coat, brush it again with a bristle brush to remove any loose fur.

How to Bathe Your Golden Retriever Properly?

Regular brushing is also essential as it will prevent the accumulation of dirt, grease, or bacteria on the dog’s coat to keep it clean and smelling fresh.

So, here are the steps you need to follow to bathe your Golden Retriever properly:

  • Start by getting the dog’s coat wet from the neck down. Avoid getting water directly on your dog’s face or into its ear.
  • Next, apply a dog-friendly shampoo and lather it evenly all over the dog’s coat.
  • Rinse the shampoo off the dog’s coat completely, as in remaining soap might cause irritation to the dog’s skin.
  • You can apply more shampoo and rinse again if deemed necessary.
  • Once you’ve rinsed off all the shampoo, dry your dog’s coat thoroughly using a soft towel. You can also use a blow dryer to dry your dog’s coat to make it appear fluffier.

Other Useful Tips to Follow When Grooming Golden Retrievers

Here are some other useful tips you can follow when grooming your Golden retriever to make the process easier:

  • Avoid brushing your dog’s coat while it’s wet, as this will make it more prone to tangling. If your dog is not too dirty, it’s best to brush it before giving it a bath.
  • Brush your dog’s coat in the direction of fur growth and try to keep your strokes short.
  • Be careful when brushing your dog so you don’t pull on its fur or press down too hard on its coat with the brush, as you might accidentally cause it some pain.
  • Make sure you’re using a dog-friendly shampoo and clean the grooming tools after each grooming session.
  • Make sure to give your dog treats and praise throughout the grooming session to keep it calm and encourage good behavior in future sessions.

Using the right tools can also make a big difference, so make sure to check out my guide to the best brushes for Golden Retrievers here and the best Shampoos for Goldens here as well. 

And I even included recommendations for goldens with allergies and sensitive skin, so do take a minute to check them out. 

Do Golden Retrievers Need Professional Grooming?

If you have the time to maintain your Golden Retriever’s grooming routine, they won’t necessarily need professional grooming. However, it might still be a good idea to take it to a professional groomer every now and then.

Professional groomers might be relatively expensive, but they can use better grooming tools and treatments to ensure that the dog’s coat is in the best condition.

They will know how to deal with any severe matting in the dog’s coat as well as how to check for any fleas.

Related Questions

Should You Shave Your Golden Retriever?

You should not shave your Golden Retriever. That is because its coat has two layers, undercoat and outercoat, to provide protection, so if you shave them completely off, they will no longer have that kind of protection and they will be at risk of getting razor burn and developing various skin conditions.

When to Trim Your Golden Retriever’s Coat?

You need to trim your Golden Retriever’s coat at least once a year. If the dog’s coat grows too quickly, you will need to trim it more often to prevent it from tangling. Normally, Golden Retriever coats shouldn’t be fully shaved unless they have severe matting on their coat that cannot be removed with regular brushing.

How to Remove Your Golden Retriever’s Fur from Furniture?

To remove your Golden Retriever’s fur from furniture, you can use a rubber glove soaked in warm water, then rub over the areas with fur stuck on them. After collecting a good amount of fur, you can just rinse off the glove and repeat the same process until all the fur is gone.

What Colors Are Golden Retriever Coats?

Golden Retriever coats colors are normally dark golden, golden, and light golden. As they grow older, their coat color might start to change gradually to become lighter or darker due to various reasons including their genetics, health, diet, and the amount of time they have been exposed to direct sunlight.

Can Golden Retrievers Have Black Fur?

Golden Retrievers can have black fur, although it’s very rare. The color of a Golden Retriever’s coat will mainly depend on its genetics. Some Golden Retrievers might be carrying a unique genotype that gives them black fur. This could be due to a mutation or crossbreeding with another dog breed carrying that genotype.

Which Dog Breeds Have Double Coats?

Dog breeds that have double coats include Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, Australian Shepherds, Alaskan Huskies, Siberian Huskies, Pomeranians, and Corgis. Meanwhile, dog breeds that have single coats include Poodles, Fox Terriers, Bearded Collies, Dalmatians, Greyhounds, and Boston Terriers.

Helpful Resources 

How To Tell If Your Dog Has Hair Or Fur, & Why It Matters

Dog Hair VS Fur

Living with a Retriever: Recommendations and Sources

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