Grooming and Trimming

It is recommended that your Golden is trimmed at least once a month to keep them in good health and comfortable.

Even if your dog is never to be shown it will look better after a bath and trim. If your Golden is a pet, he needs to be kept clean, neat and tangle-free. This will necessitate bathing, regular brushing and combing. The show Golden Retriever needs regular trimming to enhance his outline.

The secret of successful trimming is to remove a little hair at a time and then to comb so that you can monitor the effect. Remember, you can always take more off, but you cannot replace any removed in error. Once properly trimmed it is a lasting job – remains neat and tidy for quite some time.

Before we start on trimming if you have any doubts about trimming or feel too nervous the first time, the breeder of you puppy will be able to show you correctly.

The basic equipment used for trimming includes:

Brush – Thinning Scissors – Comb – Straight Scissors – Nail Clippers

The main places requiring trimming on a Golden are the tail, ears, feet, hock, chest and around the neck and shoulders.




Lift each ear in turn and trim off all the untidy fringes around the underside of the leathers. When trimming the inside of the ear, where it joins the head, be careful to observe the double flat of skin on the ear edge.


Trimming your Golden Retriever’s feet is something that is not done just for show ring presentation, but for health reasons.

Golden Retrievers can grow a great deal of hair between their toes. When this becomes excessive, their feet can splay which may make it difficult for them to walk. The hair underneath the foot will hold moisture and can result in the skin becoming diseased with conditions such as eczema. If your dog is a typical Golden, it may enjoy playing in it’s water bowl which can contribute to the problem of wet feet.

A Golden’s feet should appear round and compact. With straight scissors, trim around the outline of the foot as near to the pads as possible, then take out any excess hair between the pads and any hair sticking up between the toes. On the front legs tidy up to the second pads on the hind legs, trim the backs of the hocks.




Nails should be trimmed regularly. When clipping your dog’s toenails, be sure and cut off the excess nail as close as possible to the quick. Often dog groomers only take off the very tip of the nail and this may not be enough. You need to be careful not to cut too closely though as the quick will bleed if cut. This is also very painful for the dog. When dog’s nails become excessively long, the dog may be forced to walk on the back of their feet. In extreme circumstances, they may be forced to walk on the back of their pasterns. This too can be painful for the dog. The dewclaw, the claw on the inside of the front feet part way up the leg, should receive particular attention. If left untrimmed, this claw can grow into the dog’s leg causing pain and infection.



Goldens usually have a considerable amount of hair around the neck and shoulders. Use an upward movement, constantly combing at the same time, taking out just enough hair so as to give a smooth effect. Always cut the way the hair grows and use the scissors underneath the top layer of hair will then lie front. It is much better to trim the neck and shoulders in two or three attempts, rather than take too much hair out at once. A clean neck and shoulders improves the overall outline of your dog.

For more information, please contact the Golden Retriever Club of Queensland Inc.