Golden Retriever in Cage

5 Different Grooming Styles for Golden Retrievers


Author Bio

When we brought home the adorable Golden Retriever puppy above, he looked like a wriggly soft teddy bear that would never need any kind of grooming. We knew better, but if someone had told us there were 5 different grooming styles for Golden Retrievers, we would probably have laughed in disbelief.

Goldens do require basic grooming – as do humans. Goldens may need a groomer now and then – as humans may need a hairstylist. Humans choose from many hairstyles – but 5 different grooming styles for Golden Retrievers? What are they?


Having our own golden retriever taught us – so let me share 5 different grooming styles for Golden Retrievers:

1.  Basic DIY Style
2.  Kennel Cut Style
3.  Teddy Cut Style
4.  Traditional Cut Style
5.  Show Cut Style

Below, you will find a brief description of each of these 5 grooming styles.

Beach Bum


First of our 5 different grooming styles for Golden Retrievers is a Basic DIY Style.

Golden Retrievers get dirty. They require regular brushing, bathing, and nail clipping, much as you require. Those simple necessities shape the Basic DIY Grooming Style.

Basic because this grooming style lets you meet your dog’s absolute cleanliness necessities. Our dog, above, loved the ocean, and looked clean when he came out of it, but he required a bath to remove salt from his coat.

DIY people choose to “do-it-yourself” instead of hiring a professional to groom their dogs. Even if you go to books or the Internet for help, it counts as “do-it-yourself” since you seek the knowledge and develop needed skills on your own. You do it instead of paying someone else to do it. DIY isn’t just for handyman ideas either. You can use it for tasks like cutting your own hair – or grooming your own Golden Retriever.

Grooming your Golden with a Basic DIY Style gives you the convenience of a quick groom at home, at a campground, or at a vacation spot. It’s as natural as your own bath, hair, and nail care. You need no special training.

Bathing Your Golden Retriever

Bathing Golden Retriever in Creek

Golden Retrievers carry a thick, water-repellant double coat as you see on the above stranger. That double coat provides insulation and protection for your Golden in every season. Throughout the winter, its undercoat grows to protect it from cold. In summer, it sheds its undercoat to let the air cool its skin and body.

Bathing your dog helps loosen dead hairs before you brush it – but how often should you bathe a Golden Retriever?

Some say, “You can bathe it as often as you want – once or twice a week it you want.” Ask whether that’s good for its coat and skin, and they’ll assure you that frequent baths won’t harm either the Golden’s coat or skin. Wrong!

The American Kennel Club (AKC) offers all Golden Retriever lovers expert bathing advice:

The type of coat your dog has makes a big difference in how often it requires baths. Hairless breeds require weekly baths. Breeds with medium-to-large coats can go 4-to-6 weeks without bathing, depending on how dirty they get.

Golden Retrievers fall between those two categories. An AKC expert writes:

“Thick or double coats on breeds such as … Golden Retrievers … naturally insulate the dogs seasonally. Over-bathing could strip too much oil from the skin and disrupt this process.”

~ Monica Handy of Woofie’s Mobile Pet Spa

Our Golden got the AKC treatment. We could have bathed him in the stream or lake when we lived at the campground – but we chose the more confining RV bathtub.

Shampoo choice helps your Golden stay clean, and helps it avoid shedding too much. Amazon sells an all-natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo + Conditioner. Ask a vet for advice, especially if your dog develops sensitive skin.

Brushing Your Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever with Brush

Make sure your dog dries completely before you begin brushing it after a bath. We found the brush above on Amazon – a quality bristle brush with a pincushion side for careful coat care. You will want an undercoat rake also.

Grooming Tools

These two tools are all you need for a successful DIY brushing routine. Otherwise, you simply trim your Golden’s nails regularly every 4 to 6 weeks.

Do Not Shave


Second of our 5 different grooming styles for Golden Retrievers is a Kennel Cut Style. You may train yourself to do this, and buy the proper equipment, or you may decide to visit a groomer as summer approaches.

Please say “Do not shave” to your Golden’s groomer. The dog’s skin can sunburn, attract insects, experience rashes, or develop infections. If you feel hot just looking at your Golden’s long coat, consider a Kennel Cut Grooming Style.

Kennel Cuts have become an inexpensive, easy-to-maintain favorite. Your dog stays cool and you stay carefree.

Before you ask a groomer to give your Golden Retriever a Kennel Cut, decide how much length you want to keep in the coat. The groomer will cut it all at the length you request – everywhere. Busy owners love the Kennel Cut because it cuts down on the time you spend grooming and makes your dog’s coat more low-maintenance.

This and those remaining in our list of 5 different grooming styles for Golden Retrievers make use of the same tools and techniques used in the Basic DIY Style. Professional groomers will know how to give you any of the five grooming styles.

Golden Retriever n Grass


Moving to the third of our 5 different grooming styles for Golden Retrievers, we come to the Teddy Cut Style – or the teddy bear trim. It looks much as though your Golden, no matter how old, slipped back into puppy days, as our young Golden above appears naturally – without a cut.

The aim of the Teddy Cut is to style your dog like an adorable stuffed animal. It turns a stately Golden Retriever with silky, flowing hair into a huggable stuffed toy. Goldens need no help becoming huggable, of course. Nevertheless, groomers say this has become a much-requested style choice.

To achieve the Teddy Cut style, your groomer will use clippers adjusted to leave the hair one-half (1/2) inch long or a bit more. After clipping your dog all over, the groomer will use scissors for a perfect, blended finish. This style might seem maintenance free, since they cut the hair so short. However, that teddy bear trim requires a lot of upkeep to keep it even throughout.


Fourth in our series of 5 different grooming styles for Golden Retrievers is the Traditional Cut Style. Some call it the Companion Dog Style.

Each dog breed boasts its own special trim. Poodles, Border Collies, Great Danes, etc. – all have a traditional style. Each of these specialty trims comes with its own set of rules,​ and they are not meant for show, but for everyday dogs. They may look like a Show Cut Style, but the rules modify them.

The two Golden Retrievers pictured above (not ours) appear to be wearing the Traditional Cut. Looking at the dog’s head, you see a soft look on both male and female. You want your Golden to look soft, as is its nature. This style trims along natural lines, encouraging the silky hair to fall into place naturally. Cutting back long hair on the lower leg and around toes keeps your companion dog cleaner – not shaggy. Trimming the tail slightly to have a smooth curve also gives a soft, natural look.

A Traditional Cut Style leaves your dog looking like an everyday, loving companion.


The final of our 5 different grooming styles for Golden Retrievers goes by the name of Show Cut Style. Some call it Full Coat Style or Show Trim. By whatever name, this fine-point grooming must follow very strict show dog standards. Groomers must trim Golden Retrievers, as an officially recognized dog breed, according to the special Golden Retriever style. Although the style includes basics such as bathing and brushing, it demands much more. For that reason, many groomers choose not to offer it.

Owners who show their dogs must give constant and consistent attention to maintenance of this style so that it remains faultless. Seldom will a casual owner try that difficult task, unless that owner wants people to know clearly the breed of his or her dog.


Those 5 different grooming styles for Golden Retrievers come as a result of our experience and study as Golden owners. For more information about Golden Retrievers, please visit The American Kennel Club (AKC): .

Four photos listed below © 2019 by David E. Hamilton. All rights reserved.
1. Puppy in cage
2. Dog at ocean beach
3. Dog on couch with brush
4. Puppy in grass