We are often asked if a Golden Retriever should be clipped or shaved. While grooming a Golden is a must, there are rarely good reasons for shaving or clipping a Golden’s coat. A Golden is a double coated bred and those two coats work together to protect the Golden in winter and summer. To prepare for the warmer weather, a great deal of the undercoat is shed. Shaving or significant clipping can be harmful because it now leaves the skin exposed to potential sunburn. Shaving can also bring about hot spots which are very painful to the dog and difficult to heal. Even clipping that does not expose the skin is not advised. Removing excess coat in the summer inhibits the regrowth of the undercoat in the winter. This undercoat is very important to keep your Golden protected in the colder months.
So to keep your dog comfortable in the summer, make sure there is access to fresh, cool water, and ideally access to cooler parts of the house. The Golden’s coat took hundreds of years to develop. It performs a number of functions to protect the dog in all types of weather. So to answer the question, unless there is a medical reason to shave or clip, we strongly recommend against it. The coat is not a hindrance to the Golden, it is an asset and should be left to do its job.