Updated: June 1st, 2022
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Golden retrievers have a thick, luscious double coat that looks and feels gorgeous and offers them a lot of protection. But many pet parents worry that their goldie will overheat in the summer and therefore are looking for great golden retriever summer cuts.
While summer can be a good time to give your golden a trim, unless you live in a very hot climate, your dog is not at great risk of overheating. The double coat is actually designed to protect against that, and doing something drastic such as shaving their coat can do a lot more harm than good.
You probably only need to give your golden’s coat a trim if you live somewhere where temperatures are consistently above 85 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius) for extended periods. If that’s you, in this article you will find advice on the best cut for goldens (the teddy cut) and how you can do it at home.
But just because a golden retriever doesn’t need a haircut doesn’t mean they won’t benefit from some protection from the heat. We’ll share some of the best ways to protect your dog and keep them cool when the hot weather hits.
Summer Cuts For Golden Retrievers – Why You Should Never Shave Your Goldie
While you might be tempted to shave your own head in the summer, or even the coat of a poodle, you should never shave a golden retriever.
Shaving will almost certainly permanently damage their coat as it will never grow back the same, and this can have a lot of health implications for your dog.
Goldens are a breed with a thick double coat. The undercoat is short with a wooly texture and grows faster than the outer coat. This is the layer that does most of the shedding. But this part of the coat acts as insulation to maintain your dog’s temperature, whether it’s hot or cold. So, the undercoat is actually essential to keeping them cool, and therefore should never be shaved in the summer.
The outer coat consists of longer guard hairs that repel water, catch dirt and debris and prevent it from penetrating the under layer, and protect against UV rays. If the outer coat is cut too short and not kept longer than the under coat, then it can’t do its job.
So, not only will shaving your dog not keep them cooler in the summer, it can also put their health at risk. But how?
- Their coat is perfectly evolved to provide them with natural protection
- It prevents overheating in the summer as well as keeps them warm in winter
- It prevents skin irritation
- Their coat protects them from UV rays, preventing sunburn and skin cancer
- When you shave their coat you increase the amount of allergens they produce
You should only ever shave a golden retriever’s coat if it has become badly damaged or it’s necessary for something such as surgery. Instead, remember your Goldie should be groomed once to twice a week to avoid instances such as painful matting and excess shedding. Here are our top recommended brushes for Golden Retriever.
Golden Retriever Grooming Styles – Puppy Cut
If you live somewhere that is extremely hot, or you just want to make your dog’s coat more manageable, you can safely give your golden what’s called the puppy cut.
This is a cut that doesn’t touch the undercoat, but will trim your dog’s outer coat more or less evenly all over to 1-2 inches. This will basically leave your dog looking like they did when they were a puppy.
If you are confident with a pair of clippers, you can do this cut at home. Make this as easy as possible for yourself by investing in a good pair of clippers. Try one of the following, available from Chewy:
- PATPET Removable Black Dog & Cat Grooming Clippers
- Wahl Arco Cordless Pet Clipper Kit
- Oster A Golden Pet Clipper
Aim for an even length all over for the outer coat, and never let the clippers eat into the undercoat.
Golden Retriever Haircut Styles
If you take your golden to the doggy salon, there are a few other styles beyond the simple trim that can be a good choice for your dog.
Summer Cuts For Golden Retrievers
Your groomer might offer you a summer cut, which trims your dog’s hair down their chest and around their ears to ensure they get a good breeze while running. They’ll also trim the feathering on the back of the legs and the hair around their genitals, for hygiene as well as to help keep your pup a bit cooler.
Importantly, this cut retains the existing shape of your dog’s coat but removes an inch or so from the outer coat to help deal with temperature without compromising on protection.
Golden Retriever Teddy Cut
The teddy cut is distinctive because it’s the leg hair that’s kept long and the body hair a little shorter, giving your dog a distinctively curved look. This draws attention to the tail and hind area, and leaves your pup looking a bit like the name suggests: a teddy bear.
Golden Show Cut
This is a natural looking cut that many goldens will get if they’ll be competing as a show dog. It is designed to show off your dog’s best features. The cutting focuses on the paws, ears, and sanitary areas. An experienced groomer will know exactly how to do this cut for the best results.
Keeping Your Golden Retriever Safe In The Summer
Your dog’s coat is just one of many things that you might consider when it comes to keeping your golden retriever safe and comfortable in the summer months.
Your dog is more likely to be out and about with you, enjoying the great outdoors in summer, so it’s more important than ever to make sure their vaccinations are up to date, since they’reexposed to a lot more risk.
- Rabies – There are more dogs out in the summer, and you don’t know who your dog might come into contact with at the park. While rabies is no longer common in dogs thanks to vaccinations, rabies will be fatal to your dog if they aren’t vaccinated. (It is also fatal to you if you aren’t vaccinated, though you are less likely to encounter an animal with rabies).
- Lyme disease – Ticks enjoy the summer months as much as dogs do, as there are many more animals for them to feast on, potentially causing Lyme disease. While dogs should be protected with a flea and tick medication, they can also be vaccinated against Lyme disease.
- H3N2 – This type of canine influenza spreads rapidly and is always a risk when dogs get together. This happens more in the summer as dog parks fill up or vacationing owners leave their pups at the kennel. Most kennels require proof of H3N2 vaccination before they will accept dogs.
Flea And Tick Prevention
You should definitely be protecting your dog against fleas and ticks year round, but they tend to be more active in summer, which means that it’s a bigger deal if you forget a treatment. As well as being an irritant for your dog, ticks can cause Lyme disease, and fleas transmit heartworms through their bites.
Also, keep your dog away from stagnant water, since this tends to be a breeding ground for these kinds of insects and can carry bacteria that’s harmful to their liver and kidneys.
Keep Fresh Water Available
Dehydration can be an issue for dogs in the summer months, especially if it’s hot and they’re too busy having a good time to worry about drinking.
It’s important at this time of year to make sure there is always fresh water available to your dog at home. And when you head out, carry a water bottle for them as well as one for yourself. Carry it in something with a bowl-like lid that your dog can drink out of. They will appreciate chilled water, just like you.
Let Them Swim
Golden retrievers love swimming, so why not let them take the occasional summertime dip to cool off. They would love a wading pool in the backyard to cool off when necessary.
Remember, you don’t need to shampoo your dog after every swim, and excessive washing is not good for their coat. It can be better to give them a thorough rinse. And try to avoid chlorinated water as it can turn their beautiful golden coat a bit green.
Look For Shady Spots
While dogs love to bask in the sun when it’s a bit chilly, in the sweltering heat they will be looking for somewhere cool to lie down. You might notice your golden seeking out places like cool bathroom tiles.
When you go out with your pup, make sure to keep an eye out for shady places where they can rest. Not only will this help them keep cool, but it can give them a break from the direct sun. Dogs can suffer from sunburn and develop skin cancer just like their human pet parents.
Avoid Asphalt & Hot Surfaces
When it is really hot, the asphalt can look like it’s steaming. You might even be able to feel a bit of heat through your shoes as you walk on the asphalt. So, just imagine what that can do to your dog’s feet!
More than that, asphalt reflects heat, and their body and head are much closer to the asphalt than yours are. It can get very hot for them very quickly. So look for grassy strips and light-colored surfaces for them to walk on. If that just doesn’t exist where you are, you might want to invest in some doggy shoes.
And it’s not just asphalt that you should worry about. We all know what burning hot sand feels like under the feet! Test surfaces with your own hand or foot before expecting your dog to walk on it.
Should I cut my golden retriever’s hair in the summer?
While it can be a good idea to give your golden’s hair a trim during the summer, extreme cuts are unnecessary, and you should never shave their coat as it can cause serious damage. As a rule, never cut their outer coat shorter than their undercoat.
Can you shave a golden retriever?
You should never shave a golden retriever because it disrupts the balance of the double coat. They have a short undercoat that acts as insulation against both the heat and cold. Then they have their longer topcoat that protects their skin from dirt and repels water. If you shave them, they will no longer have that topcoat protecting their undercoat and their skin. Plus, when it grows back, it will just never be the same.
How often do golden retrievers need haircuts?
Golden needs to be groomed every 4-6 weeks. But this means cutting the hair around their paws and private areas. They don’t need full haircuts on a regular basis, and certainly a maximum of twice a year during the shedding seasons.
The Verdict – Golden Retriever Haircut For Summer
It is normal to be worried about your dog overheating in the summer, especially when they have a thick double coat like a golden rRetriever does. While the heat can be dangerous to your dog, their coat is not the main concern. Their double coat works like insulation that keeps them warm in winter and cold in summer. You can give it a trim if you want, but most goldens will get by fine without.
But do think about keeping your dog cool in the summer by making sure they always have plenty of water available, that there’s shade for them to rest in, and letting these dogs that love to swim enjoy the water.
Remember that if you are feeling hot, they probably are too, so give the same consideration to their comfort as you do your own.
Do you have any tips for helping goldens fight the summer heat? Share them with the community in the comments section below.