A Golden Retriever’s beautiful, wavy, luxurious double coat is one of their defining features. If you own one of these magnificent dogs, you know that means they tend to shed heavily too! While we may look at these dogs and think that they must be sweltering with all that hair in hot weather, the double coat is actually designed to protect the dog and keep them comfortable. In this article, we look at the differences between single and double coats.
What Is a Double Coat?
When Golden Retrievers are born, they are covered in their first coat, which is their undercoat. Their second coat grows-in over time. A double-coated dog has a soft, inner coat of hair that is close to the skin. The outer coat is made up of long, coarse hair. The outer coat is what gives the dog their coloring, and it does not shed as much as the inner coat.
Double-coated dogs shed much more than single-coated dogs because their undercoats lose more hair. Dogs with undercoats have an added layer of protection. This coat works to keep them warm, protect them from wounds and sunburns, and keep them dry.
What Is a Single Coat?
Dogs with single coats don’t have an undercoat. Their hair is in one layer covering their bodies. These dogs tend to shed less and can have smooth, curly, or wiry hair. Single-coated dogs can get cold easily and don’t look as fluffy as double-coated breeds. Their hair takes longer to grow out, and while they do shed, they tend to shed less than double-coated dogs.
Grooming a Double-Coated Dog
When the weather is hot, some people think that cutting their Golden Retriever’s coat short or even shaving it down to the skin will help keep them cool. But cutting their coats short can actually do more harm than good.
The undercoat is there to keep them cool. The undercoat and outer coat work to protect the dog’s skin from sun, moisture, heat, and cold. By shaving the outer coat off, the dog is only left with their undercoat. This doesn’t provide the dog with protection from the elements, and while it may not seem that way, this coat alone can make the dog have a harder time keeping cool. It also won’t repel water or block the sun’s rays. The dog will be more susceptible to insect bites and sunburn.
Your Golden Retriever should be brushed regularly and bathed when necessary. If you do need their coat trimmed or tidied, a professional groomer will know how to cut their hair the right way without compromising their coat.
If you’d like to groom your dog yourself, make sure you know how to groom a double-coated dog to avoid trimming their coats too close to their skin and leaving them vulnerable.
Golden Retrievers are double-coated dogs, meaning they have a soft undercoat beneath a long, coarse outer coat. These two coats work to keep the dog dry, warm, cool, and protected from the elements. Double-coated dogs shed more than single-coated dogs, and care should be taken during grooming to ensure that their protective outer coat is not compromised.
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