Golden Retrievers are known for a lot of things. They’re one of the most loyal and devoted breeds you can find, and they’re a great choice for owners looking to get out and be active.
One of the other things that these dogs are known for is their coats. It’s hard to mistake the Golden Retriever for any other breed with their silky, radiant, flowing coats.
However, not all Golden Retrievers have long fur. You may find some Golden Retrievers that have shorter fur.
So why is that? Does the Short-Haired Golden Retriever really exist?
The short answer to that question is: no. If you’re looking for a purebred Short-Haired Golden Retriever, those dogs don’t actually exist.
But if that’s the case, why do you sometimes see Goldens with short fur? There are a few common reasons why that may be.
The Golden Retriever’s History in Brief
Goldens originate from Scotland as gundogs. These are dogs that were bred to be hunting companions, helping their owners find and retrieve game. The Golden Retriever needed to be incredibly loyal to his owner, as well as intelligent and strong.
Goldens come from combining a different and now-extinct breed, the Tweed Water Spaniel, with other breeds. The dogs needed to be able to swim well, especially in frigid Scottish waters, so that they could retrieve game downed over the water. Their dense coats provide them with insulation, and their powerful tails are meant to act as rudders.
While these dogs were bred first and foremost as hunting companions, today they generally enjoy life as family dogs. Their playful and eternally youthful personalities as well as their incredibly friendly natures make them fantastic family dogs.
All About the Golden Retriever’s Coat
One of the most distinctive features of this breed is the Golden’s lustrous, beautiful coat. Golden Retrievers can range in color from light golden to a darker, more reddish gold.
Their fur is double-coated, meaning that there is a thicker, denser undercoat beneath their longer, silkier overcoat.
When it comes to grooming, you’ll most likely need to brush your Golden once or twice a week to remove dead hairs and keep the dog’s coat healthy. To help keep your dog’s fur and skin in good shape, a bath once every two months or so may be needed.
Golden Retrievers shed year-round, but twice a year they will “blow out” their undercoats in preparation for a change in seasons. During these periods, you’ll find your Golden Retriever shedding significantly more. Instead of brushing every few days, you’ll probably need to give your dog a daily brushing.
You’ll also find “feathering” on the dog’s coat, which refers to long hairs that stand up straight instead of lying flat against the dog’s body.
Short-Haired Golden Retrievers
In general, Golden Retrievers have long, silky fur. But you may have seen Goldens that have shorter hair. Are they really purebred Short-Haired Golden Retrievers?
Well, not exactly. There are certainly some Goldens that have shorter hair than others as a result of genetics. But those dogs are unlikely to have the short fur you might be picturing.
Rather than having a coat that’s as short as a Labrador Retriever, for example, they’ll have short coats in comparison to other Golden Retrievers.
So what about if you do find a Golden Retriever with very short hair? What might cause a Golden to have significantly shorter fur than the rest of the breed?
It’s Not a Purebred Golden Retriever
The most common reason why you might find a Golden Retriever with significantly shorter fur than other Goldens is that it’s not a purebred dog.
If you find a Short-Haired Golden Retriever that has very short hair, then the dog’s parents were likely a Golden Retriever mixed with another breed like a Labrador Retriever.
This is the most likely reason why you might find an adult Golden Retriever with particularly short fur. It’s not 100% a Golden Retriever.
And there’s nothing wrong with that! Golden Retrievers mixed with other breeds make wonderful companions. It only becomes an issue if you’re looking to register your dog or enter him into competitions.
It’s Still a Puppy
Puppies have a lot of growing and developing to do. If you have a puppy, then you’ll see some pretty significant changes throughout his life. You’ll find his energy levels changing, his behavior improving as you train him, and his body getting bigger and stronger.
One of the other physical changes you’ll probably see in your puppy is changes to his coat. Puppy coats are very different than adult dog coats. Your Golden Retriever puppy’s coat will probably be much softer and fluffier than an adult’s coat.
You may also find that your puppy’s coat is quite short. And it may stay short for longer than you’d expect!
While most Golden Retrievers reach full physical maturity at around a year old, their coats can take a little longer to grow in completely. Some Goldens don’t get their full adult coats until they’re about a year and a half.
So if you find a Golden Retriever with rather short fur, consider his age. If he’s under a year and a half and you’re positive that he’s a purebred Golden, then most likely he just hasn’t grown in his full coat yet.
How to Find a Short-Haired Golden Retriever
While true Short-Haired Golden Retrievers don’t exist, there are still ways to find Goldes that have shorter fur. The main option, of course, is to find a dog that’s actually a mixed breed.
The other choice you have is to try and find a breeder that is breeding shorter-haired Goldens. However, just remember that purebred Goldens with short hair only have short hair in comparison to the rest of the breed. This means that the fur will still be longer than a Labrador Retrievers, for instance.
When looking for any kind of breed from a breeder, remember to do your research beforehand. Always look for reputable and ethical breeders, and avoid puppy mills at all costs. Don’t forget to request health information from the puppy’s parents to help avoid getting a puppy with any health conditions.