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How To Groom A Golden Retriever At Home

At A Glance

Grooming a golden retriever at home is possible, if you know how and you have the right tools.

  • Grooming your dog will involve brushing its coat, bathing it, trimming its nails, cleaning the ears, and cleaning its teeth and gums.
  • Invest in a high-quality brush, a slicker brush, a fine-toothed comb, dog shampoo, absorbent towels, nail clippers, ear cleaning solution, a toothbrush, and dog-friendly toothpaste.

Last Updated on: May 23, 2023

Owning a Golden Retriever is a rewarding experience but comes with its fair share of responsibilities. One of them includes grooming a golden retriever at home.

These active dogs are known for their glossy, long hair, which requires regular grooming.

The charming personality and gentle nature of Golden Retrievers are what make them a favorite choice for active families.

A clean dog is a healthy dog. Bathing your golden retriever is an essential part of their hygiene routine.

Our strategy focuses on gently cleaning your dog from head to toe while following the proper do’s and don’ts of dog grooming.

Whether you are an experienced pet owner or a new Golden Retriever parent, keep reading this article to learn how to groom your Golden Retriever at home.

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Golden Retriever’s Coat

The most notable feature of Golden Retrievers is their glossy, long-haired coats that lie flat against the body and can be either straight or wavy.

Golden Retrievers have moderate feathers on the backside of the legs, with heavier hair tufts on the neck area, thighs, and the bottom part of the tail. The remaining coat has light feathers and shears.

Golden Retrievers shed fur throughout the year, but there is typically a more significant shedding period during the transition months of fall and spring, which is related to seasonal changes.

Here are the steps to grooming a golden retriever at home.

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Grooming The Coat


Brushing your Golden Retriever regularly is vital to maintaining its coat’s smoothness and texture. Goldens’ double coat changes throughout the year, so it’s important to groom it to help control seasonal shedding.

Investing in a high-quality brush for Golden Retrievers is essential for effective grooming.

Aim to brush your Golden regularly to control shedding and prevent matting. We recommend you start early so that the puppy can get used to brushing, and you can learn how to handle them during grooming.

Glide through the dog’s coat gently but firmly in the direction of hair growth using a good boar-bristled brush. We recommend that you start at the back of the head and work your way down to the tail.

Avoid sensitive areas such as the face, stomach, privates, and ears, as the bristles can be rough on those areas.

Next, you can run a slicker brush to smoothly and firmly remove loose undercoat and debris such as foxtails and twigs.

During heavier shedding months, you can use a pin brush to back-brush the entire body and loosen weak hair from the undercoat.

Be extra gentle when brushing your dog’s coat. Running the brush too hard might cause it pain and discomfort.

Once you’re done brushing the entire coat, use a fine-toothed comb to softly glide through sensitive areas like the stomach and tail.

If you come across heavily matted or tangled hair, you can use a de-matting tool or blunt-edged grooming scissors to carefully trim it out.

Spray clean water on the clumps or use a coat conditioner to smooth out the lumps. This will make it easier for you and less painful for your dog.

If you’re unsure about dealing with matted hair, we suggest that you speak to a professional pet groomer.


It is generally recommended to brush a dog before bathing it. Begin by placing a rubber mat on the bottom of the bathtub before moistening your dog’s coat. The mat will prevent the dog from sliding.

Wet the dog down to the skin using lukewarm water and gently rub it down with your fingers. Be careful not to fill the bathtub completely with water. A few inches of water level are sufficient for both adults and puppies.

Moistening your dog’s coat before applying shampoo will reduce static electricity and prevent the hair from sticking up in all directions.

Apply high-quality dog shampoo and conditioner to your Golden Retriever’s coat, while avoiding sensitive areas.

Gently massage the entire lathered body for about five minutes, while avoiding the ears, eyes, and private parts.

Do not use human shampoo or other human-care products on your golden retriever. These products contain a higher pH that can cause a pH imbalance on the dog’s skin.

Use a detachable shower head to rinse off the soapy areas on the coat with warm water. You can clean the face using a moistened facecloth.

Dry the coat with a clean towel or use a dog hairdryer, which is cooler than a human hairdryer, to dry your fluffy Golden.

Blow moderately warm air up against the skin in the opposite direction of the hair. Align the coat by gliding through a slicker brush.

You can bathe your golden once every four to six weeks, depending on its activity level, or as the vet recommends.

nail trimming


If your Golden Retriever’s nails are clicking on the ground when walking, it means that they are too long and uncomfortable for it.

Use dog clippers or grinding tools to trim your Golden Retriever’s nails. Keeping the nails short and clean ensures your dog can go on a comfortable walk and reduces the risk of nail breaks due to snagging.

Be cautious not to cut into the quick, which is the part that contains blood vessels and nerve endings, when trimming the nails.

The quick is usually pinkish in many Golden Retrievers. If your pup has dark nails, you need to be extra gentle when grinding.

Cleaning The Ears

Don’t use water to clean your Golden Retriever’s ears. Instead, apply a few drops of an alcohol-free ear solution to soft cotton wool, and gently rub it through the interior part of the ear.

Avoid applying too much pressure to the inner parts of the ears. Always work on one ear at a time in a well-lit environment.

Ears are prone to attracting bacteria, so it is important to inspect them every few days to ensure they’re healthy and free from dirt.

Golden Retrievers who love swimming will require more frequent ear inspections because pool water can drip deep inside the ear canal and create a favorable environment for infections.

Always dry the exterior and interior parts of the dog’s ears with soft cotton balls after swimming.

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Dental Care

Dental care is another important part of grooming a golden retriever at home. Cleaning your Golden Retriever’s teeth helps prevent periodontal diseases and gives them fresh breath. Brushing the dog’s teeth at least three times a week will help prevent the buildup of plaque.

Never use human toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth, as it contains ingredients like fluoride that are toxic to dogs when ingested.

Instead, use canine toothpaste to brush your Golden Retriever’s teeth, starting with the front incisors and working your way down to the molars.

Some canine toothpaste is infused with high-quality flavor, making brushing your dog much easier.

The first step when grooming a golden retriever at home is to find the right tools for the job. A complete grooming set for dogs should include all the tools suggested in this guide.

We recommend starting early, during puppyhood, and continuing throughout your dog’s adult years.

When picking up that brush to run it through your Golden’s coat, remember that grooming is also a time for bonding. Take the process slowly and inspect your dog for any injuries on the body or skin infections.

Even with DIY grooming, we still recommend you visit a pet salon at least twice a year for a thorough clean-up by an expert.


Grooming grooming a golden retriever at home

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I am a full-time mum of two kids and a beautiful golden retriever. Writing is my passion: from food journalism to pets, parenting tips, etc. I can write on just about everything under the sun. I have been writing for the past 7 years and during that time, I have been a regular contributor to several blogs and pet magazines. I have also written feature articles, POV pieces, and dabbled in a few different formats of writing over the years.