About Me:

I am a professional Pet Groomer. I have been grooming for 28 years. This Blog is a kind of diary of my work. I wish I had started years ago, writing some of the experiences I have had while grooming. Most days are fun, some can be sad, some can be just down right crazy. If you are a pet owner and come across this blog, I hope it helps you understand how your pet is groomed. If you are a Pet Groomer, I hope you can relate to some of the stories. Maybe even learn a grooming tip or can leave a friendly grooming tip for me. There is always something to learn, no matter how long you have been grooming.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Grooming a Golden Retriever Short but not Shaved

The Golden Retriever.




If you are a groomer you have had these lovable guys come in in different sizes and hair coats.





Some are very large, like big bears.

Some have unbelievably full thick coats.








Some are a little more on the petite side.

Some have thinner coats with little feathering or long flowing feathering.








I get many calls from people asking for a price quote for grooming these dogs, but they vary in size and coat type so much, it is impossible to give an exact quote over the phone without seeing the dog.
As a groomer, if you feel the need to give a price quote over the phone, I would never give an exact quote, make it a ballpark quote, such as 50 beans to 80 beans (or whatever your price range runs for your area) and higher depending on whether any clipping or scissoring is done.

There is nothing like giving a price quote over the phone based on the owners description of their dog, only to have the dog show up and turn out to be twice as much work as you were lead to believe.
To top that off, the price that you quoted comes nowhere close to the amount of time and work it is going to take to groom the dog.

I get a lot of calls, especially in the summer months, about clipping Golden's short.
"He's hot!"
"He's shedding all over my house!"
"He has too much hair!"

I don't know how other groomers feel about it, but I think that the coat on a Golden Retriever is one of things that makes this breed so beautiful.
I can truly say, that in 27 years of grooming, I have never shaved a Golden.
I have talked every customer out of shaving their Golden's down and ruining the coat.
I talk them into a good bath, comb-out, and heavy trim depending on how much hair they want removed.

I have found, while talking to the owners, that a lot of them will say "shave his hair off", only to find out that when I question them more, shaving is not what they really want.
Now, if a customer really wanted me to shave their Golden's hair off, I would begrudgingly do it.
After all, they are the paying customer, but I ask them to try the Bath and Trim first.
If they don't like it, and still want their Golden shaved, I will shave it.
In 27 years, not one customer has come back and asked me to shave their dog.
Some have come back for the next grooming and asked me to scissor the dog a little shorter.

I don't have any pictures of a shaved Golden, having not ever shaved one, but I have seen them shaved, and excuse me for saying, it is a sorry sight.
Not that the groomer did a bad job, the clip was nice and smooth, I just think that a shaved Golden looks terrible.

If groomers take the time to educate their customers (if the customer will listen), let them know that a good bath and comb-out will remove all of the dead coat and undercoat, in turn thinning the coat out.
Regular baths will help keep the shedding down.
Trimming the feathering will also help to keep the dog clean and cool.

Below are the different trims that I do on Golden Retrievers.
I had a Golden in on Saturday that gets one of the shortest cuts that I do on a Golden, so I used her to show the different trims.








This is a picture of the dog after the bath / blow dry, and before any trimming.









All undercoat has been removed, and a comb glides easily through the coat.

*Note: the undercoat pictured is only a tiny fraction of what was removed from this dogs coat.
The rest is in the tub, on the walls, on the ceiling, on my drying room floor, on my grooming room floor, floating in the air, in my hair, in my eyes, and up my nose.




This is a basic Bath, Brush-out & Trim.

~A bath with Best Shot Shampoo.
~A HV blow dry to remove most of the undercoat.
~A combout to remove any remaining undercoat.
~A CoatKing can also be used to thin out the neck, chest, and rear.

Only the feet and the inside of the ears are trimmed.









The pads of the feet are clipped clean.







The feet before.












The toe tuffs are brushed up and trimmed tight.





A Bath, Brush-out & Trim all feathering.

The amount of hair that is removed from the feathering, (or outline of the dog) depends on how much hair the owner wants removed.

Because the feathering was not very long on this dog to begin with, I only neatened the feathering by taking about a 1/2" off. 












The right side of the rear feathering has been lightly scissored to neaten and shape up the rear.





A Bath, Brush-Out & Heavy Trim.

A heavy trim usually means scissoring up all of the feathering (body outline) very close and tight to the body.















Shape the rear round and tight.









Round off and scissor the chest tight blending into the head.


 A Puppy Cut on a Golden
(My Version)

To me, a Puppy Cut on a Golden means cutting the coat on the entire body, not just the feathering.
How I do a Puppy Cut on a Golden, depends on the coat type.
Some Golden's I will totally hand scissor to the length I am looking for.
Some I will use a comb attachment to skim off some of the coat.









On this Golden I combed up the rear feathering and scissored it nice and tight to the body.








I also clip out the belly and skim down the inside of the back legs to give a nice, neat look.








I lightly skimmed the entire body with the 12mm comb attachment.
I took a 1/2" to an inch off the top, and skimmed off about 2-3'' off the sides.








I skimmed and scissored about 2" off of the chest.






Then blended the chest into the belly.

The best way that I have found to do this is to have the dog sit.








I scissor the front leg feathering tight to the leg.








Then I scissor the ears to blend into the head.









The area around the inside of the ears is clipped.








 I do this on every Golden no matter how much hair is being trimmed.











The rear feathering before and after.


The neck and chest before and after.




When a customer comes in and asks for their Golden to be shaved, or any other breed for that matter, take a few extra minutes to question them and make sure that they truly understand what it means when they say the word 'shaved' to a groomer.
I have also been known to part a Golden's hair and show the customer that all of the beautiful color on the outer coat will be cut off leaving the dull color of the undercoat.
So many customers don't realize just how short our blades can take a dogs hair.

I, for one, don't want a customer in tears in my lobby asking me; "what have you done to my dog? I didn't want him that short!"

Happy Grooming, MFF

51 comments:

  1. My biggest pet peeve is groomers shaving Goldens!! The last groomer I worked for shaved 9/10 goldens that walked through that door (with a #7 because it's faster), convincing all the customers that "it's too much hassle to keep up with ALL that hair, so why not just keep it short? no more shedding!" . Now there are all these poor goldens running around town with bland, short, choppy undercoat-coats. The worst part is the head is still the original color of the dog and the coat doesn't ever grow back to normal, it just grows thicker!!! I will never shave a golden unless absolutely absolutely necessary.

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  2. love love this post! where we work we also have managed to talk everyone out of shaving their goldens. where i use to work we shaved goldens all the time not only does it not flatter the dog its just a difficult task to do! they aren't use to it than if they are a sitter? oh boy! glad i'm not the only one that trys to talk owners out of it instead of just saying its hair it'll grow back or most owners have common sense and will keep the dog out of the sun.

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  3. this is a great post. i am trying to help my husky/samoyed mix be more comfortable in the summer. i think this is just what's needed! i will ask my groomer for a puppy cut. Thank you!

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  4. Hi Anonymous,
    Being that your dog is a Husky/Samoyed mix, I would ask the groomer to scissor all of the feathering up tight to the body and clip the belly out so that when your dog lays down his/her belly can touch the cool ground. This way you don't cut into the beautiful top coat.
    Thanks for reading my blog. :)
    Lisa, MFF

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  5. My golden has a very thick shaggy coat with a huge lion like mane. I trimmed about an inch off his mane and he looks a lot better. His back feathers are so hard to maintain, as he spends hot summer days laying in a doggy pool and becomes so matted. Would a longer trim on the body be best for him, with a closer clip to his fins be best?? It is so hard to get to the bottom of all that fur to get the mats out.

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    Replies
    1. Hi,
      I am so sorry it has taken me a while to reply. Some Goldens have amazingly thick rear feathering that gets loaded with undercoat and also mats up.
      A lot of my Golden customers like me to clip out the hair on the belly and shorten and shape up the rear feathering short and tight, as you can see in one of the above photos.
      I always tell my customers to groom their dogs the way that will help them to maintain their dogs coat, and make their dog feel comfortable.
      Lisa, MFF

      Delete
  6. Of the 40 or so Golden clients we have, we do shave a handful with a #5F in a "swimmers cut". There are some Goldens with hair so thick that it doesn't fully dry between their swim/splash in the lake/river in the evening and their swim/splash the next day. Let me tell you, a Golden that never fully dries gets some serious funk going on! We live on a lake here with a good number of rivers so it's a water-lover's heaven here. It's not something we do lightly or to just any Golden; but I think they are adorable when finished. They look so young and, being Goldens, are just goofy and so proud to show off their new 'do. We haven't had an owner unhappy with the "swimmer's cut" and they become great ambassadors for having a Golden groomed - not necessarily as a shave but as part of the groom, we take out so much of the undercoat, they start to understand how important it really is for the health of the breed. And for the sanity of the person who cleans the house! Judge me if you must, but our priority is the dog, and we do believe that this is better for the dog "in this case". Now, if you want us to shave the dog because he sheds too much, come in and sit down, we need to talk about basic canine anatomy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bev,
      I don't judge you in least. I can only imagine what the coats and skin on those Goldens looks and smells like if they are always swimming in The Lake. A 'swimmers cut' sounds like it is just the thing for Goldens that are always swimming.
      We don't get much of that here. Unfortunately, the Goldens that I see clipped in our area have almost always been shaved with a #10 or #15 blade, and the ONLY reason is because the dog is shedding. I am sorry, but it just looks awful to me. I would much rather see the #5F blade used for a 'swimmers cut' that you described then see a Goldens coat shaved with a #10 or #15 blade.
      I am sorry if my post came across as if I were judging other groomers. That was not my intention. I wanted to show other groomers that there are other ways of shortening a Goldens coat without reaching for the #10 or #15 blade. I learned that on my own. Unfortunately, the grooming school that I went to didn't teach trimming and deshedding. EVERYTHING was shaved with a #7 or shorter.
      I am with you on the 'our priority is the dog'. I have no problem shaving any breed of dog if there is a health issue involved.
      Thanks for the comment and setting me straight about the reasons why some groomers shave Goldens. Those continuous Lake and River swimmers never crossed my mind when I wrote this post. :)
      I learn something new everyday!
      Lisa, MFF

      Delete
  7. I took my very thick, very curly, long tail feathers and long feathered pants, two year old golden retriever to a groomer and discussed what I wanted. She led me to believe that she would follow my directions and when I went back to get him I was shocked to see that she had shaved him. The only feathers she left were on his tail. She gave me a lecture about the matting under his pants and said that because of his age that his coat would grow back even thicker. This is not two months later and his coat is starting to grow back. However, it looks doubtful that his pants (feathers) are going to come back. this was one of the features that made him stand out and I am really worried and upset that this has happened. This groomer was recommended to me and I wish I had done more research. I had him groomed by another groomer six months prior to that and found that the groomer did not take enough off. Don't know what route to take now. Maybe I will have to do this myself. Oh, it does not appear that the last groomer took the time to clip his nails either. Very sad indeed and she charged me a lot more than was quoted. I paid $70.00 and no receipr and they only take cash???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,
      I am so sorry that your grooming experience with your Golden went so badly.

      I honestly do not understand why the groomer completely shaved your Golden if only the rear feathering was matted. If, for some reason the groomer felt that your dog needed to be shaved after you had left, she should have called to tell you that she felt your dog needed to be shaved. That is what I do, but unfortunately not all groomers see things the same way. Some groomers feel that if one area of the dog is matted that the whole dog has to be shaved. This is not always the case.

      In your dogs case, I would have clipped out the mats in the rear feathering leaving as much good hair as I could, then shaping it up to look nice.
      That all being said, I was not there and did not see your dog before the grooming. Sometimes what an owner thinks is a thick coat, is really a matted coat. Although I must say, in my 28 years of grooming, I have not ever HAD to shave a Golden because he was too matted to save, but that is just me.
      Barring any underlying health issues with your Golden, he is young enough that the hair should grow back, although it may never be exactly the same. As for the rear feathering, that is a hard one. It should grow back, but it may take a couple of years to get it back to its former glory.

      I once had to clip an area out of my Poms rear feathering (that is so long it drags the floor) It killed me, and I was worried that it would not grow back to the same length. Thankfully it did, but it took awhile.

      It sounds like the first groomer was more conservative and most likely would have taken more hair off for you at the second grooming if you told her that she didn't take it short enough with the first grooming.
      I tell all of my customers that I would rather not take enough off than too much. I can always take more off, but I can't put it back on. :)

      I would try to find a groomer that does not routinely shave Goldens and only shaves if absolutely necessary. There are groomers out there like me who do not believe in shaving Goldens.

      This is just my personal opinion; I feel that Goldens should be groomed regularly, at least every two months to keep their coat free of undercoat and healthy. I would have your Golden given a good bath and High Velocity dry. I truly feel that the High Velocity driers help wake up and revitalize the skin and coat, encouraging it to grow.

      As for only taking cash...every shop is different in that respect. If it is a very small business, the credit cards fees are TOO high for them to take credit cards. Some small businesses also stop taking checks after they have received too many bad ones.

      Again, I am so sorry that your Golden was shaved against your wishes. The hair should grow back. Hopefully by this time next year there will be no signs of it ever being shaved.

      Good Luck. Please don't give up on having your guy professionally groomed. There are plenty of good groomers out there that will work with you and groom your guy the way you want. If they can't, they will explain the grooming to you without lecturing you.
      Lisa, MFF

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  8. Very helpful post! I am a first time Golden owner and want to make sure we don't go overboard. This puppy is a Florida girl. Her tail feathering is very cool to me and she is only seven months old. Reading this gives me some insight in how to talk to my dog's groomer.

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  9. Hi
    Even I am completely against shaving a golden.We were always taught at the grooming school not to clipper and only scissor a golden. I have a client who after me suggesting not to shave down the dog still insists on doing so as she feels the dog gets too hot.I have neva used snap on combs on a golden do u think i can use it on the dog without affecting the quality of the coat? IF YES what length wud u suggest? What blade no do u use for clipping the belly (#10 i am guessing)

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    Replies
    1. Hi,
      Clip combs can look really nice on some Goldens as long as they are used after the dog has been bathed and completely combed out. We have used them on a couple of Goldens, and at first the hair was growing back normally. Now, after 7 years of this clip, the hair is now starting NOT to grow back. I think that it is always good to warn the customer that there is a possibility that the hair may not grow back one day.
      I use a #15 on the belly, but I don't use full pressure. I get all of the hair off of the belly, but I clip very lightly, if that makes any sense.
      Lisa, MFF

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  10. Hello, I learned a lot on here. I am going to dog grooming school. I'm very excited. I love dogs. Do u think it will be easy to find a job when I get out. I live in ok.

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    Replies
    1. Hi,
      Congratulations on going to Grooming School! Loving dogs is a great start. Be prepared...Pet grooming is a very hard physical job, but the reward is knowing that you sent a dog home feeling really good. :) Work hard, learn everything that you can, and take pictures of your work to show perspective new bosses. I really do not know the opportunities for groomers in OK. If you do a good job, work hard, and are kind to the dogs, I would think that a grooming shop would grab you up quickly, but be prepared to continue learning even after Grooming School. :) Good luck.
      Lisa, MFF

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  11. Hello
    I try to groom my own dog and found your post very helpful. The dog is 7 and I find her coat gets thicker and longer every year. We spend the summer at the lake and I find she rarely dries and gets stinky in-between swims. Come the end of the summer, she is full of mats, sometimes the size of a hotdog. I have been blow drying the ears after swims, to help. How often should I shampoo the dog, (I do this in the lake with friendly shampoo) if she swims daily? When doing a groom, should I always wash and dry her first, then trim?
    Thanks for your help.

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  12. Hi,
    Okay, lets see where to start. lol
    If your Lake is anything like the Lake at my Mothers cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains, I would try to make a habit of rinsing your dog down with the garden hose AFTER each swim. (unless the water for the garden hose is also from the Lake) Even if your hose water is Well water, it would be much better then the Lake water. This will help to rinse scum and whatever else is in the Lake water from her coat.
    If you can, I would also stop washing her with the Lake water. The Lake water is not clean water. After you bathe her you could also give her a Baking Soda rinse. Take a gallon of warm water and add two table spoons of baking soda to it. Shake well and then pour it over your dogs coat. Keep out of the eyes. The Baking Soda helps with odors and softens the coat.
    Try to brush and cut any and all mats out of the coat BEFORE she swims, or you give her a bath. If the mats are left to air dry, they will tighten up and may leave sores on her skin.
    It might be helpful to take her to get a professional grooming at the beginning of the summer, let the groomer give her a nice tight trim like in the pictures above so that hopefully she will not get matted over the summer while swimming. Just make sure that the groomer understands that you DO NOT want her shaved and that you only want her feathering shortened. A good groomer will understand what you are asking for.
    I hope this helps a little.
    Lisa, MFF

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  13. I have a thirteen year old golden retriever. For most of her years her grooming consisted of cleaning and tidying inside her ears, occasional baths, trimming the fur around her feet and nails and lots of brushing. She had a very heavy coat but didn't seem to suffer from the heat. For the last three of four years she has been clipped all over. She really loves it and it puts a new spring in her step. She looks and behaves like a puppy and people are always surprised at her advanced age. She lives indoors. Clipping is definitely been good for her now although I never considered it when she was young.

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    Replies
    1. That sounds wonderful!
      I am glad that clipping her helped her to feel good in her advanced years. :)

      Delete
  14. I have just read your article and begun crying again. Just picked up my 11 year old golden at my regular groomer where she was left for her "summer trim" only to find that she had been shaved because that is what "everyone is doing now." I am devastated ! Will her beautiful dark red coat and feathers grow back or not ? Can I give her some type of supplements to help from the vet? I am sick over this. Please advise.

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    1. Hi,
      Sorry to take so long getting back to you. It has been a busy week.

      I am so sorry that this happened to your Golden. I am speechless. I just don't understand why they would take it upon themselves to shave your dog without your permission.
      I would ask your Vet about supplements. I would also continue to brush the coat even though it is short now, to help boost the coat to grow. Because your dog is 11 years old it is very hard to say as to whether the coat will grow back to its former glory. It depends on how healthy she is.

      The most important thing is that you keep telling her she is beautiful. If she sees you upset every time you look at her, she will think that SHE has done something wrong, and it could depress her. She does not understand that you are upset about her haircut and not her.

      Again I am very sorry that this happened. I wish that I could help you more.
      Lisa, MFF

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  15. Hello,

    I just found this site while searching "shaving golden retrievers." I must say I am so glad that I did. I am new to this breed. I usually have short hair dogs but now I have Buddy. He is a beautiful 9 month old blond retriever. Everyday we take him for a few walks, usually three times a day. Now, I have noticed that he is panting so much when we return did I almost dont want to walk him. That's when the thought of shaving him came to mind. There was something that just didn't seem right though. I have never seem a golden shaved....there must be something to that. That is how I ended up here. Trust me, I have no problem with dog hair. I live with three young boys, three dogs (the golden being one of them), and my husband so you know the messy hair is not the issue. I just feel like he is suffering just to enjoy his walk. Thanks for having this blog. I am going to talk to my groomer about a nice trim not shave.

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    Replies
    1. Hi,
      Please make very sure that the groomer that will be working on your dog understands in know uncertain terms that you DO NOT want your dog shaved in any way. I would make sure that I talk to the actual groomer that will be working on my dog so that there are no mix ups in the instructions.
      Lisa, MFF

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    2. I have 2 goldens which I groom & trim myself. They are show dogs but live life to the full running through the woods & swimming in a lake everyday. Here in Europe, we keep the dogs looking more natural, trimming neatly the feet, shirtfront & ears & the feathering is just tidied up & tail trimmed to a nice shape. The furminators are frowned upon for our golens. The dogs have towelling dressing gowns/coats that they wear to help them dry off after a bath or swim ( essential for my 11 year old ) & then cool coats that can be soaked in water for hot summer days. I was always lead to believe that the undercoat acts as air conditioning or a blanket as necessary. I have goldens because I love their long feathers & soft wavy coats. If I wanted a short haired dog, I'd buy a labrador!

      Delete
  16. Hi!
    I cannot agree more with you Lisa! I just started back up with grooming after being at home for 15 years raising babies and I have been shocked that my large corporate place of grooming employment also shaves Labradors and Pugs!! I just had a sweet lady of retirement age bring her Golden in and asked to have it "shaved down" when it has been less than 2 or 3 months since the last shave down. I was so grateful that I was able to convince her to allow me to trim her girl up high and tight! She turned out beautiful!! And the owner was very pleased. I also saved her on the overall price. I think that shaving a double coated dog down can hardly be considered "grooming" when anyone can run a pair of clippers. Grooming a dog requires skill and talent and so far, I am unimpressed with groomers I encounter that consistently do nothing but shave a dog bare.

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    1. Hi,
      Congratulations on returning to grooming!
      Sadly, I don't think that a lot of groomers are taught something other than 'shaving'. I know that the Grooming School that I went to 29 years ago only taught 'shave downs' and 'Pattern cuts', nothing in between. I had to learn that on my own. :)
      Lisa, MFF

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  17. Thank you so much for this article! I have 2 Goldens (ages 11 & 7) and do most of their bathing at home. We live on the river and the Boys love to swim a couple times a week, along with rolling in fresh cut grass, and the occasional pile of "smelly stuff". I bathe them in Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo and always hose them off with water after a river swim. However they can still get stinky in between hose offs & baths. I was reading your suggestion of a Baking Soda rinse. How often can this be done? I am also getting them groomed and trimmed (!) in a few days to lighten the coat a little. NO SHAVING!!! The Golden coat is just too pretty. I am telling the groomer to trim and shorten feathering (mainly their rear end as it seems to be the smelly part). Any other suggestions to keeping my boys happy and smell-free in between river swims?
    Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,
      Sorry for the late reply....I was on vacation.

      The baking Soda rinse could be used each time you hose your dogs off after a swim. Add 2 tablespoons of Baking Soda to a gallon of warm water. Pour over your dogs coat (avoid the eyes) an then rinse them off with the hose as normal. You can also purchase Dry Shampoo Spray to use on your dogs between fulls bathes.

      Lisa, MFF

      Delete
  18. Hi, my dod has a lot of anxiety, and freaks out when we get to the groomer. Because of this, I have not had her groomed recently, though she needs it! Any suggestions?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Judy,
      Does your dog have anxiety during the grooming process, or just when you drop her off? I have several dogs that come to my shop and put on a hack of an anxiety act in the lobby in front of their owner. After their owner leaves they calm right down and are great for the groom. They put on that act, just like a child going to kindergarten, to see if their owner will take them right back home.

      If your dog is one of the dogs that really stresses when away from their owner, or away from home, you may want to try a Mobile Groomer that can groom your dog in a Grooming Van right outside of your house. If that is not possible, there are groomers out there that groom only one dog at a time and only keep your dog as long as the grooming takes. There are also in-home groomers that will come into your home to groom your dog. You would have to spend some time calling around to find these types of groomers. (Some may specify these special services in their adds in the phone book or on the internet)
      Find a groomer that understands your dogs anxieties and is willing to take the extra time to work with your dog.
      I hope this helps you find the groomer that is right for you and your dog.
      Lisa, MFF

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  19. This post and the comments have been very helpful to me. We have a 7 year old Golden and have never had her professionally groomed but as another comment stated her coat seems to get thicker and shaggier every year no matter how much I try to brush her out. I've often wondered if I should leave the toes, cut the toes, trim the feathers and knots or just brush out. Now I'm more confident that I just have to redouble my efforts with the undercoat and hose her down after her daily pond adventure!

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  20. Hi there,

    Reading this blog has been interesting.

    I've been grooming for a few years now and within the last 2 years I've had one customer who insists I shave down her goldens.

    I shudder every time I have to do it and usually try to worm my way out it it!! (these are INSIDE dogs and I get it even LESS now)

    It's a sad thing that people just don't get how important a coat is for a paticular breed. Here in Australia, we have shitty hot summers that can be a killer. I say if you take your dog to beach or to a dog pool (there's plenty here) then there's no need. AC should be fired up to keep your pooch cooler!!

    Now I'm working in a Salon and just been approached about shaving one down and I told them the dog could be tidied rather than shaved. They're still insisting on a clip off... grrrrrrrrrrrr....... pisses me off but in the end I have to do what I'm asked to do.

    So, I try to keep the coat as long as possible. I aim to use a #5 blade or longer. Now that I've seen your pictures I hope you don't mind but I'd like to print them off and show them to people who insist on clipping these gorgeous goldens back to nothing. Please let me know if this is okay or not

    cheers mate!

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    Replies
    1. Hi,
      I have no problem with you using the pictures if you think that they will help you to explain cuts to your customers. Sometimes it really does help owners to see pictures. Unfortunately, you will most likely still get that one or two customers that still want you to shave a breed that really should not be shaved. :/ Good luck. :)
      Lisa, MFF

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  21. I just got my 4 year old golden retriever her very first puppy cut and I have to say I LOVE it! Her fur is so soft now that I just love to pet it and she is adorable with the overgrown puppy look. More importantly, the dog seems much happier not having to sit through 30 minutes a day of having foxtails removed and she is also more active outside now that she has "lost" the fur coat. I'm much happier without the dog hair all over the house or the nightly brushing/foxtail removal routine.

    I would like to keep it this way year-round (we have very mild winters here). How often will it need to be cut to keep this style?

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  22. I too have just come across these articles. I own a 5 year old golden and had never had him professionally groomed. I always did it myself, his feet, nails, tail, feathers on his front and back legs. Basically everything except his body. I recently took Max to a groomer to have a summer shave done, unlike some of the posts I have read, the groomer I had was very honest with me and talked me out of it, instead we settled on a short trim. Max seems to have short hair on his back but his mane around his neck is thick and his feathers around his tail is also thick. He dosen't have the long wisps on his barrel or legs either. So when she suggested a short cut I didn't think it would be short enough for summer. (I live in Canada our summers are very muggy) but I went with her suggestion and when I went back to get him I was sooo nervous, but he looked so handsome (I cried). He had that happy feet dance happening, he was so proud of how he looked. I will diffently do this next summer. Thanks too all the groomers out there who take the time to talk to us owners to make sure we are both on the same page, when it comes to groomer our best friends.

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    1. Hi,
      I am so happy the you liked the groom and gave your groomer the chance to show you how nice your dog could look with a trim instead of a shave. I totally believe that the dogs know when they are looking good. They also feel so good after a good grooming. I am so happy that your dog was happy too! :)
      Lisa, MFF

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  23. I found this to be so helpful and vindicating. I groom my own 3 Goldens because it can be pricey. All 3 have different coats. Darby is a big ole teddy bear with a very thick, long and fuzzy coat. I refuse to shave him but have given him what I call a puppy cut each summer. His puppy cut is equal to your "Bath, Brush out, Trim feathering tight". I LOVE his gorgeous coat and he gets so many compliments that I don't want to "ruin" it. But he also gets hot spots from swimming because he doesn't dry (and he is a yeast fellow). I have shaved his groin area because he gets rashes and I can prevent them turning into hot spots. The girls get variations, Kirby's coat grows very long so I mostly shorten her coat and Carlee has a silky, curly coat but long too. She also gets a trim just less then the other two. Loved your step by step approach. Thank you.

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  24. The baking soda rinse is awesome and I'm hoping it will help my stinky Boston terrier!

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  25. I love your post and how to "Short but not shaved" for the golden! I show goldens and have shaved goldens after they are retired and older. It has been my experience that the coat grows back very nicely, even grown back to show quality. I will start to trim/clip my older goldens like your pictures. They look great. Thanks.

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  26. This is a very helpful article. I have a golden retriever and I really wasn't too sure how to approach grooming. The first groomer I took him to suggested shaving, thankfully I walked away. After reading this article, I knew what to ask for. I took him to a lovely lady today who trimmed his feathering tight and he looks great - handsome just as a golden retriever should look!

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  27. Hi, I have a 15 month goldendoodle (75% golden, 25% poodle) and have only ever taken him to get professionally groomed twice. I NEVER say that I want him shaved, only trimmed, yet both times I've come to pick up my fur baby I've come to find that he no longer had any of that gorgeous 'fur'. The first time was not so bad, but I still shopped around before the second groom. I just picked him up from this second groom and he is not even recognizable. I over emphasized the fact that I JUST WANTED A TRIM. I said it over and over and over again. I specifically said to focus on his paws and ears and take some feathering off, but to keep most of his body hair. They kept reassuring me that they "know how to groom goldens". Well, I think they're wrong. His entire body is shaved so close to the skin and it doesn't even look like they touched his long tail. I'm terrified his hair will grow back all patchy - if it all grows back at all. I know it may be difficult to give any advice without actually seeing a picture, but do you have any reassurance for this worried mama?! Will I have a perma-bald golden??! Thanks.

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    1. Hi Alecia,
      I am so sorry that you have had this bad experience. I can't begin to know why they shaved your dog when you told them exactly what you wanted. Maybe, next time, (if you ever want to go back) ask to speak directly to the groomer that will be grooming your dog, so that there is no possibility of your instructions being translated wrong to the groomer. I would also tell them that you DO NOT want clippers used on your dog.
      As for the hair growing back....it may take a while, but without seeing him, and because he has some Poodle in him, I am fairly sure that his hair should grow back fine.
      Again I am really sorry that this happened. Unfortunately, there are a lot of shops out there that only shave everything. See if you can find a groomer that specializes in scissoring, or a groomer that has a website that you can see their work first. You may also be able to call a local Golden club, or rescue and ask if they know of a good groomer that will groom your dog correctly.
      Good luck, Lisa, MFF

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    2. Thanks so much Lisa. I know that without seeing him it's hard to give an opinion for sure, but you're words have given me some reassurance. You've given great advice, too. I will definitely search around for a club or rescue and get some references if I can. If I can't find anyone local that I trust, I better pick up some shears and learn it myself!
      Thanks again!

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    3. Also, I'm not sure if this is helpful but the groomer said she used a #1 blade...isn't that basically as short as it gets?

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  28. I have a 7 month old mini Golden Doodle who needs a clipping. I am so afraid to take him to a groomer as per Alecia's experience. I don't want him shaved or clipped close and I don't want his face shaved. He would look just like a Poodle and I love the scruffy Doodle. I groom my 3 Goldens at home and do pretty well but I just don't know where to begin with Dudley. Any pointers, advice would be very welcome. If I don't do something soon he will be walking into walls, I can't see his eyes anymore.

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    1. Hi 12MuddyPaws (Love that name)
      I wish that I could say just go a head and find a groomer to try out, but unfortunately there are some groomers out there that shave everything no matter whether the dog is matted or not. As long as your Doodle is not matted there is no reason why they should not groom your dog exactly how you would like. You need to call around and talk to some groomers and question them about how they groom Doodles.
      Another possibility is.....You could call around and find a groomer that will let you walk-in and wait while they trim the hair around the corner of the eyes and trim back the bangs some so that your Doodle can see again and you can see his beautiful eyes. This way you could try the groomer out, and ask questions with your dog right there, to see if that particular groomer would groom your Doodle the way YOU want. At least you will get around the eyes trimmed even if you decided that that groomer is not for you. I have had people do this to me every once in a while to test me out before they make a full grooming appointment.
      I hope that this helps,
      Lisa, MFF

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  29. Hello! I personally think golden retrievers look cooler with shaved hair �� probably because my head is shaved! If we were all in a room together, I'm sure id get beat up, but hey, in the end it's the owners choice, not popular opinions choice :)

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    1. Hi,
      You are right, it IS the owners choice. They are the ones paying, and they are the ones who have to live with the dog, BUT that still does not stop me from trying to educate them about their pets coat. :)
      Lisa, MFF

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  30. One of the things I love about our golden is the "fringe" on the back of his front legs. I would like to tidy it up though. How do I trim, just a bit, the back of his front legs?

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    1. Hi,
      Brush out the fringe well. Pick up the front leg and gently hold it out straight in front of your dog. Brush or comb the fringe so that it is hanging evenly down from the back of the leg. Now you can take your scissors and, starting at the back of the ankle, scissor up towards the elbow. You can take off as little as enough hair to just neaten, a 1/4 inch, 1/2 an inch, half the fringe, to all of the fringe off. Whatever length you want.
      I hope that this helps. :)
      Lisa, MFF

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