Grooming your Golden Retriever can be a wonderful way to bond with him and to familiarise yourself with his distinct and unique body features. Here’s how to groom him beautiful!
Grooming your Golden Retriever has many benefits than you can think of.
- Help in identifying parasites before they become a problem.
- Keep track of lumps, bumps under and over the skin.
- Check and keep ears clean.
- Keep nails trim.
- Check and brush teeth.
- Avoid bacterial, fungal and non-specific dermatitis.
- Teach your Golden to trust you to handle his body.
The time you spend grooming can be a special time for both if you start it early and make it enjoyable for him.
Depending on their genetics, Golden Retrievers vary in their coat length, but brushing at least once a week is a must for all. Most Golden Retrievers like to be brushed slowly and gently, so make it a slow but enjoyable process.
Start brushing with a soft rubber brush when he is just two months old. Make grooming experience a pleasure for your Golden so that he will learn that being groomed is a pleasant experience. Even if you wish to get your dog groomed by a professional, it is a wise idea to familiarise him with the process at home.
Golden Retrievers shed a lot, all the year round. Brush your Golden Retriever regularly to remove as much of the dead fur as possible so that his new coat will grow back quickly. Frequent brushing is recommended to keep the volume of the coat to a minimum for easier maintainance.
It is important to use the right combs and brushes. For your Golden, you need the following tools:
- Long-toothed metal combs to penetrate the length, but with well-rounded bristles to avoid injury to skin. Authentic rolling combs, with moving teeth are safer.
- De-matting tools like the matt zapper to be used only on matted hair. But use it after a proper know-how on the technique as wrong handling could bruise the skin.
- Use brushes made out of rubber to get the dead top coat out and improve circulation adding luster to the hair.
Dealing with matts, burrs and tangles…
A Golden Retriever has a talent for picking up all kinds of material in his coat, which can get his coat matted around the ears, groin, or feathering on the rear legs. Remove matts and tangles carefully as a dog’s skin is quite elastic and the danger of injury to the skin is high. A professional groomer with the help of correct de-shedding tools can remove stubborn matts and it is wise to get their help as soon as you notice the first stubborn matt. Conservation of the natural beauty of the hair, its colour and texture, being of prime importance, shaving or clipping the hair to a very short length should be completely avoided.
The bottom of a dog’s foot is very sensitive but it is important to check your Golden Retriever’s paws on a weekly basis to be sure that the pads are not cracked and bleeding.
The hair between a Golden’s toes can prevent him from gaining enough traction on a slippery floor and may cause him injury and discomfort. Keeping the hair on his feet trimmed back will ensure that he can grip the floor without slipping and hurting himself. It will help keep good sanitation of the paws and avoid local irritation and infection.
Trimming nails is the toughest area of grooming but very important too. If you are unsure of doing it
yourself, visit a professional groomer to trim his nails.
Goldens don’t need to be bathed all that often, and may solely depend upon how dusty they get. Most mud and dirt are easily brushed out of their coat if you allow it to dry first.
Always brush before a bath. Secure the dog in the bathing area. The water temperature should be warm and comfortable to the touch. Wet the coat, taking great care not to get water in the ears or up the dog’s nose or in the eyes. Start shampooing only with a good quality dog shampoo. Make sure they are free from chemicals and pesticides. Medicated shampoos should be used only on the advice of your veterinarian. If the dog is dirty, more than one shampooing might be needed. Pay close attention to feet, under the tail, the ears, around the mouth. Then rinse thoroughly. Use a dog conditioner after shampooing to avoid dry and itchy skin and to get the hair silky, shiny and easy to maintain. Rinse thoroughly after leaving the conditioner for three minutes. Towel dry him. Mild, cool air can be used to dry him further with a blower. Do not use hot air as it can over-dry and damage the hair.
You might also consider taking your dog to a professional groomer every four to eight weeks and simply doing maintenance brushing, ear and teeth cleaning, and matt checks in between. Keeping your Golden looking his best is attainable. The benefits for you are that this will leave more time to relax and play with your Golden buddy.
(Dr Lochana Baney runs Gordon – Just FUR Dogs in Pune. This pet corner provides individualised enhancement of the pet’s skin and coat, according to the dog’s breed, physical condition and age, following international standards. Gordon is voted for the best dog shop in Germany and is now open in India at Pune. Dr Lochana can be contacted at: 020-2680 6881).