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They don’t just shed… they practically leave a cloud of hair behind them during spring and fall.
Retrievers are some of the worst shedders out there, so it’s definitely something you want to weigh before deciding to own one.
Do golden retrievers shed a lot, is it super unnoticable?
Don’t worry; we’re going to answer all that and more. It’s important to know that your retriever is going to shed whether they’re a puppy or a full-grown adult, so regardless of the stages of life they’re currently passing through, this is going to be something you’ll end up dealing with.
When do Golden Retrievers Shed?
If I told you it was all the time, would you be upset?
No, really – it’s basically all the time. Golden retrievers are going to shed and keep on shedding, but it’s because of a hardwired element that they can’t control. This is what your year is going to look like with a golden retriever.
When your pup begins shedding in winter, it’s not going to be a whole lot. They’re already prepared for the winter because of how much they shed and readied themselves in fall. That’s when they begin to grow a new coat.
Winter shedding is unfortunately mostly going to be indoors, as well as in your car (if you let your pup in the car), since outdoor conditions will be too cold for long walks.
If you live in a warmer area, like Florida, then you might be able to get away with those walks and let them shed outdoors. Just keep in mind that shedding will occur regardless of weather, so even if it’s a hot winter in a place like that, they’re still going to shed a little bit.
Massive, massive shedding season. Arguably even worse than fall.
They shed so much during the spring because they’re thinning out their coats for when summer hits. Spring is when things start to warm up, so they can get rid of all that winter fur and take a bit of the bulk out.
You should be brushing them every day for the first few weeks that you notice more and more dog hair popping up around the house. Spring shedding goes pretty heavy for the first few weeks, but even after that, they’re still going to shed a considerable amount throughout the rest of the season.
Summer is just like winter in the way that your golden sheds. They’re not going to let a crazy bunch of hair off, because they already did that during the spring. You’ll notice their coat is thinner than usual, but that’s going to change as the season progresses.
Older hair is shed to make room for the new, and in the back half of summer, you’ll be able to feel moderately thicker coats of hair. This is preparing them for the brunt of fall as the cold air begins to hit. They’ll be ready for the first frost as well.
Despite this being a season that they need to have body heat for, golden retrievers actually begin to shed a lot during fall, just like spring.
This is because they’re in a mix between the heat and the cold, so they have enough of a coat to stay warm, but not too much of a coat to stay prepared for winter.
They’ll shed a lot, and towards the end of the season, their coat will come in thicker. This comes full circle, because like we talked about earlier, there’s not a lot of shedding in the winter for a reason.
You can’t escape the shedding, so instead, you need to find ways to cope with it. We have a few suggestions throughout this article that will help you keep hair off your clothes and out of your home, at least as well as possible.
How Much do Golden Retrievers Shed?
There’s a lot of variables to account for here, but for the most part, golden retrievers shed an absolute ton of hair.
My recommendation is to get a high-powered pet-friendly vacuum cleaner. These come with a bit more strength behind the motors and blowers, as well as filters that are specifically designed to take pet hair out of the air (as well as dander).
If you have allergies to pet dander or dog hair specifically, then this is one breed of dog that’s really going to set those allergies off like nothing else. When they shed for their seasonal coats, you will experience higher levels of dander in the air.
Do All Golden Retrievers Shed?
Yes, all golden retrievers are going to shed. It’s unavoidable. You have to think that golden retrievers, while relatively new in terms of dog breeds, were still created from dogs that stayed outside in the cold and didn’t have owners with central AC and heating.
Biologically, they’re hardwired to shed their coats when the seasons change to keep themselves alive. Their disposition is to grow a coat, protect themselves from the cold, and shed it off to prepare for the next season.
You’re going to be cleaning up dog hair year-round, especially if you live in a cold climate where goldens tend to produce thicker coats when the season rolls around. Dogs don’t sweat, so their coat changes are one of the ways they stay cool in the hotter months, too.
Do Labs Shed Less Than Golden Retrievers?
They’re both retrievers and closer in breed than you could imagine. They have very few differing qualities, and do not technically shed more than golden retrievers.
There are external factors that can influence shedding, which end up creating these myths that one breed sheds more than another (in terms of retrievers). Variables include:
Humidity and heat can affect the shedding process, primarily if your dog has sensitive skin or issues with their coat. Yes, the thermostat could affect it, making shedding periods last longer, and making it seem like there’s more hair to lose.
If you’re not brushing your dog’s coat, you should be. The brush that you use, however, could impact the length of their shedding. Some brushes assist with shedding, pulling hair/fur off of your dog that’s already loose (don’t worry; it’s gentle). Switch up the brush to expedite the process.
Dogs can get fungal infections on their skin rather easily, and it’s not based just on breed alone. If you have a lab, and your friend has a golden, you can’t compare notes on their shedding patterns since you don’t know their skin conditions or health chart from the vet.
How to Deal With Gold Retriever Shedding
We love our golden retrievers, but that doesn’t mean we have to be happy with how much hair is being left all over the place. These are some simple things you can do to account for all the additional hair, and the dander that follows.
A specifically optimized pet vacuum can do wonders. It pulls more dander out of the carpet, and picks up hair without clogging up the chamber. I would avoid handheld versions of these since they don’t boast the same power.
You’re inevitably going to find pet hair on your clothes and your bed, and if you’re about to head out the door for work, you don’t want a bunch of golden hairs just dropping off your shoulders. Lint rollers are a must.
For central AC users, a HEPA filter helps pick up more dander and pet hair, so it’s not being circulated through the home’s vents as much. This reduces that house-wide dog smell, but also helps control dust and allergies.
It should be noted that HEPA filters put more stress on your central AC system, so you should research if your current system can handle them first or not.
Better Nutrition for Coats
While not everyone is in agreement, many dog owners say that switching to coat-healthy foods help your dogs shed their coats faster. It doesn’t change anything other than this, but it’s less time with hairs cropping up all over your house. That’s got to count for something, right?
Shedding: It’s Just a Part of Dog Ownership
One way or another, you’re going to have to learn to deal with all of the puppy fuzz that’s going to be littering the living room, bedroom, and their dog beds.
Retrievers are some of the best dogs you could ever ask for, but they come with this little quirk. You’re not going to hold it against them, are you?
Invest in a good vacuum that’s designed to pick up pet hair, get some emergency lint rollers for your clothes (try to have one on-hand in a purse or Dopp kit), and you’ll adapt soon enough. It takes some getting used to, but it’s worth it.