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Golden retrievers have been stealing the hearts of families for decades. Their loveable personality and beautiful coat make just about everyone think about adding one to their family.
But something most people wonder is, do golden retrievers shed? And if so, how much?
Do Golden Retrievers Shed:
After surveying 100+ real golden retriever owners asking them to comment on if their golden retriever shed and if so, to what degree, the answer was clear. Unfortunately, golden retrievers shed, and they shed a lot. 92% of owners said their golden retriever shed a moderate to extreme amount.
In this post you’ll discover:
- What real golden retriever owners had to say about their pups shedding
- 6 things that cause golden retrievers to shed more than usual
- 5 tips to help limit & manage a golden retrievers shedding (Tip #3 is simple yet effective!)
- And much more
Let’s jump right in.
What Real Golden Retriever Owners Had To Say About Shedding
IHeartDogs did a survey asking 379 real golden retriever owners to pick 1 of 4 options in relation to how much their golden sheds.
- Extreme Shedding
- Moderate Shedding
- Low Shedding
- No Shedding
28% said their golden retriever was an extreme shedder.
64% said their golden retriever was a moderate shedder.
7% said their golden retriever was a low shedder.
1% said their golden retriever didn’t shed.
I was a little surprised to see that the majority of people considered their golden retrievers shedding ‘moderate’.
So, I dug a little deeper and conducted my own survey.
I found an additional 19 golden retriever owners through reddit, blog comments, and other forums like quora to see if I would find similar results.
Here’s a list of the usernames of golden retriever owners who weighed in:
|Excessive Shedding||Moderate Shedding||Low Shedding|
In my survey, 58% of people shared that their golden retriever was shedding excessively.
Many people posted pictures of huge clumps of fur and said how it seemingly never ended.
32% of people shared that their golden retriever would moderately shed.
10% said that their golden retriever only shed a little bit.
In my survey, not one person shared that their golden retriever didn’t shed.
Which is more inline with what I expected as opposed to the IHeartDogs survey results.
In their survey, people who said their golden retriever was a moderate shedder also often mentioned that they were brushing them every day, vacuuming often and taking them to the groomers frequently.
This sounded more like they were on top of grooming which makes it appear like their golden is a moderate shedder.
But if you have to brush a dog everyday, buy a robot vacuum, and take them to the groomers often to keep their shedding under control, I wouldn’t consider them a moderate shedder.
A few people gave detailed answers I felt were very helpful that you can find below.
Slowsheep1 – “Ours golden sheds pretty bad twice a year, but it’s not too crazy in between. Daily brushing will help. A quality, light vacuum helps a lot too, just so you don’t dread vacuuming as much.”
Own-Cartoonist266 – “They shed but like others have said, it’s super easy to clean. The fur is light and soft so it kinda just floats on top of stuff if that makes sense. If you have hardwood floors it will collect into little tumbleweeds you can pick up with your hand.”
IsItTheFrankOrBeans – “Golden retrievers always shed some, but it’s heaviest twice a year when the seasons change. Brushing helps a lot, but you’re still going to need to vacuum regularly because they’re always dropping fur. It can be annoying, but you get used to the extra vacuuming quickly, and they’re totally worth the extra effort.”
Significant_Return_2 – “They do shed and shed a lot. But it’s soft and easy to clean up. If you have wooden floors, a quick scoot around with a dry swiffer mop does the trick. It only takes a minute.
Yes, they get hair all over your clothes, but it’s easy to get off. It’s all worth it for the furry friendliness they give you!”
My Take On The Survey Results:
All in all, it’s pretty well unanimous.
Over 300 different golden retriever owners shared their dog sheds, and they shed a lot.
So if you decide to add a golden retriever to your family, expect them to shed.
Something important to note is that EVERY person who said that their golden shed a lot also mentioned how it was a small price to pay for what a great companion their golden is.
They also said that you quickly get used to vacuuming and the routine of brushing them.
Okay, if you’re not off-put by the survey results and still wanting a golden retriever, let’s look at reasons why they’d shed more than usual and the best shedding management tips.
What Causes Golden Retrievers To Shed Excessively?
Where You Live
Where you live has a large impact on the amount a golden retriever would shed.
The reason being is warm weather creates more shedding than usual and cooler weather reduces shedding.
If you live somewhere where it’s warm all year round, you’ll likely notice a lot of shedding all year.
However, if you live in a place where it has warm seasons as well as cold seasons, you’ll notice excessive shedding twice a year with moderate shedding throughout the year.
When the seasons change from hot to cold or cold to hot, a golden retriever sheds more than usual to help regulate their temperature for the new climate.
The quality of food that a golden retriever gets fed will directly affect how little or how much they shed.
A diet that is lacking in key nutrients will cause a golden retriever to shed excessively.
Their skin will often be dry which will translate into a dry coat that sheds a lot more than you’d like.
On the other hand, a diet that’s rich in nutrients will help reduce shedding.
The stronger, healthier their skin is, the less fur will fall out.
There are certain foods that help promote healthy skin and coat in dogs which in turn helps with shedding.
Some of these include: salmon, flaxseed oil, coconut, fish oils, etc.
Things that are rich in omega-3 & 6 are great for helping keep a golden retriever’s skin and coat healthy.
Which ultimately helps keep shedding at bay.
When a golden retriever is feeling overly stressed or anxious for a long period of time it can result in them shedding excessively.
Just like my dad would always say, “I used to have a full head of hair until I had you kids!”
Environmental changes can be very difficult for golden retrievers and is often the cause for them developing anxiety.
Things like moving to a new home, adding another pet to your family, a change in schedule, or losing a family member.
These types of things directly impact a golden’s daily environment which makes them feel considerably uneasy.
And the longer they feel this way, the more likely they are to shed more than usual.
Related Reading: Do Golden Retrievers Bark A Lot? (100+ Owners Asked!)
Allergies (Airborne Or Food-Based)
If a golden retriever has an allergic reaction to something in their environment it can cause them to shed more than usual.
While it can affect their overall health, it most noticeably makes them itch more.
Which almost always results in more fur lying around the house.
There are two types of allergies that can affect dogs, airborne and food allergies.
As you probably already know, airborne allergies are caused by things like pollen, dust, and mold.
While food allergies are caused by an ingredient in their food that doesn’t sit well with them.
Some common food allergens for dogs include: wheat, corn, pork, chicken, beef and eggs.
Thankfully golden retrievers aren’t known for having sensitive stomachs or being prone to allergies in general.
But, allergic reactions are still possible for them and if they do have some sort of intolerance it will cause them to shed a lot more than usual.
Age plays a role in how much a golden retriever sheds.
In my survey many people shared that their golden hardly shed at all up until about 5-6 months.
But after that, when they start to lose their puppy coat and their adult coat comes in, the shedding hasn’t stopped since.
Also, as a golden retriever gets older they’ll naturally start to shed more.
The reason being is their metabolism starts to slow down and they don’t retain nutrients as well as they used to.
This often leads to a decrease in the quality of their fur which causes them to shed more.
Hormones can have a big impact on how much a golden retriever sheds.
An imbalance in thyroid hormone levels is one of the most common causes for excessive shedding in dogs.
It can also happen after a golden retriever gets neutered or spayed as their hormones need to adjust.
Other hormonal imbalances that can lead to excessive shedding include: adrenal gland disease, Cushing’s disease, and diabetes.
All of these conditions throw off a golden retriever’s hormone levels which in turn causes them to shed more.
Top 5 Tips To Manage a Golden Retrievers Shedding
1) Create a Brushing Routine
One of the best ways to manage a golden retriever’s shedding is to brush them regularly.
This is something that 90% of golden retriever owners shared to help with their pups shedding.
Brushing daily or every other day really needs to become a habit to manage their shedding.
Otherwise you’ll often find clumps of fur gathered in the corners of your home or underneath furniture.
Related Reading: 10 Best Brushes for Golden Retrievers: Features & FAQs
2) Helpful Tools
Since there’s no way to stop the shedding from happening, equipping yourself with the proper tools to manage their shedding is the next best thing.
Many owners talked about having a robot-vacuum and how helpful it was to keep things decently clean until they had the time to manually vacuum.
They’d have the robo-vacuum run throughout the day and it did such a good job they only needed to manually vacuum once a week.
Lint rollers are also a must if you want to ever wear black clothes.
Also, getting a high-quality vacuum that can handle large amounts of fur was recommended by many owners.
Dyson vacuums seemed to be the top pick.
3) Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is important for all dogs, not just golden retrievers.
But it’s especially important if you want to limit shedding as much as possible.
A few owners in my survey said that they noticed a significant decrease in shedding after switching their pup to a high quality dog food diet.
Others saw improvements by simply adding fish oil or coconut oil to their pup’s meals.
But, as with anything related to diet, it’s best to speak with a vet before making any big changes.
They can help you determine if your pup has any allergies or sensitivities that need to be taken into account.
4) Bathing Schedule
It’s important to find a bathing schedule that works for you and your pup.
Bathing them too often can actually lead to more shedding as it dries out their skin and fur.
But, if you don’t bathe them enough then their skin and coat can become unhealthy or overly greasy which can also lead to excessive shedding.
For most golden retrievers, bathing them every 6-10 weeks is a healthy balance.
Of course if your pup is a mud puddle magnet they’ll need more frequent baths.
But creating a bathing schedule that ensures they aren’t being cleaned too often while also not neglecting their coat is very helpful to manage shedding.
5) Set Proper Expectations
If you’re thinking about getting a golden retriever, it’s important to set proper expectations from the start.
This includes being prepared for how much they’ll shed.
Yes, there are ways to manage their shedding like we talked about in this post.
But at the end of the day, they’re going to shed.
So if you’re not prepared to deal with that, then a golden retriever might not be the right pup for you.
But, if you are prepared to put in the effort to manage their shedding then you’ll be rewarded with one of the best companions out there.
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