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golden retrieve running on a beach sporting a summer cut
Credit: Asa Kristensson / Getty

Who's the goodest boy in the whole wide world? The golden retriever, of course!

With a heart of gold and a coat to match, it's no wonder how the golden retriever is known as one of the most popular dog breeds. Friendly, loyal, and intelligent, goldens make great family dogs and fur-ever companions. They love adventures and love to play, meaning, their medium-length locks will inevitably get dirty and have to be groomed.

However, before you take any dog to get groomed, it's important to know what type of coats they have—a single coat or a double coat—as some haircuts may not be the best fit for your canine companion.

Due to their upbringing as gundogs bred to retrieve waterfowl and upland game, golden retrievers have a double coat, or two layers of fur—a dense, water-repellent outer coat and a thick, soft undercoat. For this reason, golden retrievers shouldn't be shaved since their double coats keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Ready to take your playful pooch to their next grooming session? We've selected the best golden retriever haircuts to fit any pup and pet parent's preference, lifestyle, and budget.

5 Best Golden Retriever Haircut Styles

1. Puppy Cut

The puppy cut is a fan favorite among dog parents—and for good reason! It's simple, cute, and low-maintenance. While the length can vary based on the pet parent's preference, your golden's fur is typically cut to be around half an inch in length and is trimmed to the same length all over their body, says Reda Elabd, certified master groomer and owner of Central Park Pet Spa in New York, N.Y.

"A puppy cut is easily recommended if you are looking to maintain and provide comfort for your dog," Elabd says. "I would consider this to be a short cut and is recommended if you want to keep it simple and have your retriever well-maintained."

2. Summer Cut

Want to keep it easy, breezy, and beautiful for your cover dog in the summertime? The summer cut is calling your golden's name!

Opting for a cut like the summer cut provides comfort for your retriever when temperatures start to rise. The summer cut keeps your dog's ears, chest, and feet well-trimmed, as well as their sanitary areas.

"This cut allows you to keep the existing shape of your dog's coat. [It] keeps the shape of the coat, but cuts it down to an inch or shorter," Elabd says. "This cut is for the hotter seasons and is good when you want to keep the look of the coat while offering a cleaner situation for your dog."

3. Simple Trim

If you're looking to keep your golden retriever's natural shape, the simple trim is—well, simple—and a wonderful option to keep your retriever's fur tidy. Plus, it doesn't require much cutting at all.

It's a style Elabd recommends year round. "The coat is feathered and any long hairs are removed. The coat around the dog's neck and chest could also be thinned," he says. "The whole point of the simple trim is to keep the specific shape of the breed while keeping the dog neat and clean."

4. Show Cut

Let your golden's natural beauty shine with this low-maintenance, natural cut. The show cut does not require much cutting, just trimming the fur along with the paws, ears, and sanitary areas. This cut has many small details that your groomer will be able to make to show off your golden retriever's beautiful locks.

5. Teddy Bear Cut

What does your pup have in common with a teddy bear? They're both cuddly, golden cuties! The teddy bear cut is another great haircut option for summer.

Elabd describes the cut as one where the legs are kept at their natural length, the body is kept short, and the tail and feet are trimmed and curved to shape. This helps regulate your retriever's temperature with a double coat and keeps him fluffy and tidy.

How to Maintain a Golden Retriever's Hair at Home

If you have a golden retriever at home, you know goldens have feathery, soft coats that shed a lot as it is—but especially in spring and autumn. Chances are, your black clothes have your sweet pup's hair all over them.

So, what can you do to (somewhat) control your dog's shedding?

"The best way of maintaining your retriever at home is by brushing their coat with a slicker brush," Elabd says. Golden retrievers should be brushed every day to remove dead hair and prevent matting.

These pups do not necessarily require "haircuts" but more so hair trims because of their double coats. It's best to get your golden retriever on a routine grooming schedule with a professional groomer to keep their coats healthy and well-maintained.

Other Golden Retriever Grooming Tips

Getting your golden comfortable with grooming practices, like teeth brushing, nail trimmings, bathing, and ear cleanings when necessary will help keep your dog healthy and happy.

It's recommended to brush your dog's teeth at least twice a week, trim his nails at least once a month, bathe him once a month (more if dirty), and check his ears frequently and clean with an ear cleaner if you notice they have an odor or are red.

Happy grooming!