Each and every dog are unique in every way. Each breed has their own type of fur. I’ve groomed many dogs, and each I would groom differently. Luckily golden retrievers are one of the easier ones to groom.
Golden Retrievers have two layers of coat. Both layers protect them from any type of weather. The undercoat also acts as a water repellent. The undercoat grow more in the winter for warmth. Which generally means they will shed some of it for the summer. Goldens do shed year around. Some breads will blow there coat, but this is not typical of goldens.
I prefer to use a slicker brush to brush from head to tail. Some breeds you want to go in the opposite direction of the hair, but with goldens you go in the direction of the hair. I also use a metal comb to work on the undercoat or sometimes matted hair that develop below the ears. I use LILYS PET 7″ Professional Grooming Kit for everything outside of my slicker brush. It’s a nice set that you can use for almost any breed.
Often times the hair around the ears become straggly. They can be trimmed to make them a little neater. Depending on the standard you are trying to follow, you may want to trim the ruff on the golden. The English standard often calls for a trimmed ruff. They like the longer neck look. American standard does not want them to be trimmed. I keep my English Goldens untrimmed, unless I show them. When I got my oldest girl, her chest was trimmed. It looked like her hair had been hacked. I choose not to trim it now since she is already a champion, and I just brush it.
The hair extending from the paws can be trimmed to make a cleaner line. Some choose to trim the feathers, however I like them long. For the tail though, most English Goldens are trimmed with a rounded tip. Americans are generally just left to grow.
Many years ago I bought a Furminator. It was one of the worst investments I’ve even bought. All it does is rip the hair from the dog. I’ve used it on Alaskan Malamutes, and Goldens. My Alaskan Malamute hated it with a passion. It’s like pulling someones hair out. You are far better off buying some cheap brushes and combs, and spend your money on some toys. The dogs will be much happier.
I always try and brush our dogs prior to bathing them. Once I get particles out of their fur I then bathe them. I’ve used many different types of soaps. Since our goldens are near white, I try and find a shampoo that is for white dogs. However, that is often more expensive. Many professional groomers will use a cheap soap concentrate and use Dawn dish soap on areas that have more yellow in them. Another way is buying a liquid bluing concentrate and adding it to your shampoo and using it on stained areas. The bluing counteracts the yellow that may develop from pee stains. For a general shampoo I do know many people who use Chris Christensen shampoo with good results, however it can be fairly expensive. To be totally honest though, I really don’t have a problem keeping my adult english cream golden retrievers clean with cheaper shampoos. The only problem I run into is with puppies. When puppies begin learning how to go to the potty they tend to walk and sit in their pee. That temporarily stains their fur, and in those cases I spend more time trying to eliminate the yellow stained fur.
After I bathe them, I then brush them again. I brush a couple times a week, and bathe them about once a month. The more often you do it, the more your goldens will enjoy the attention and experience. I do also blow dry their coats. If I don’t, when their coats air dry they tend to be a lot wavier.