Do Golden Retrievers Have Hair or Fur? (A Golden’s Coat)

Keeping up with the dog hair is likely the worst part about owning a Golden Retriever; it gets all over our couches, rugs, floors–you name it, there’s a clump of dog hair embedded in it or rolling around underneath it. While we generally refer to a Golden Retriever’s luscious coat as ‘dog hair’ is it really? Do Golden Retrievers have hair or fur?

Golden Retrievers have fur, instead of hair. The double coat of a Golden is made up of two coats of fur that sheds continuously throughout the year. While there are some single-coated dog breeds that have hair, dogs with a double coat, like Golden Retrievers, are referred to as having fur.

Due to their abundance of fur, Golden Retrievers require regular grooming. Read on to find out more about hair vs fur in a Golden Retriever, how to properly groom their coat, and how to get their fur out/off of surfaces in your home and automobile. There are a few tips and tricks that may surprise you.

does a golden retriever have hair or fur?

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Golden Retrievers: Hair or Fur?

In scientific terms, hair and fur, are actually considered the same thing because they are made up of the identical chemical compounds. Even in practice, the terms ‘hair’ and ‘fur’ are often used interchangeably when talking about a dog’s coat. There is, however, a difference between the two when it comes to the type of coat a dog has.

Generally speaking, all dogs have one of two different types of coats. A single coat or a double coat.

What Is a Single Coat? (Hair)

A single coat is just what it sounds like, a single coat of hair that covers a dog’s body. Dogs with a single coat are said to have ‘hair coats.’ A poodle is an example of a dog with a hair coat. This type of hair coat often requires cutting or shaving during the grooming process. The hair of a single-coated dog can be either long or short.

Some common dog breed with single coats and hair are:

  • Poodle
  • Fox Terrier
  • Whippet
  • Bearded Collie
  • Sheep Dog

What Is a Double Coat? (Fur)

A double-coated dog is one that has two layers of fur. A short undercoat to keep them warm and to protect them from cuts and scratches, and an outer coat that grows out longer over the top that helps to repel water and dirt. A Golden Retriever has a double coat, and in general, dog’s with double coats are referred to as having fur instead of hair.

Note: A Golden Retriever puppy is born with its under coat, and its longer top coat will grow in later. Find out what age a Golden’s longer fur grows out in my article here.

Some common dog breeds with double coats and fur are:

  • Golden Retriever
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Alaskan Husky
  • Pomeranian
  • Akita

The real differences between dogs with hair or fur is in regards to grooming practices and allergens. Dogs with hair coats tend to shed less, and trap allergens in their hair, making them less irritating to allergy sufferers. They also tend to require grooming less often.

Double coated dog’s like Golden Retrievers, tend to shed their fur a lot more than single-coated dogs with hair. This requires more regular brushing and grooming to detangle and remove the dog’s fur before it sheds.

Now that it’s clear that Golden Retrievers have fur instead of hair, let’s take a look at what is required to effectively groom a Golden’s fur.

Are Golden Retrievers Easy To Groom?

A Golden Retriever’s coat has three different lengths of fur. The short fur of the under coat, the medium length fur of the outer coat, and the longer fur, found on the chest, legs, and tail, known as ‘feathers.’

The feathery fur (the feathers are just longer fur) aren’t the main parts that require grooming, however. It’s the thick mass of fur of the outer and under coat that need the most attention when grooming a Golden Retriever.

Since they have so much fur, you’re probably wondering if it’s going to be challenging to grooma Golden. However, that’s not the case!

In general, Golden Retrievers are quite easy to groom. No special skill is required to groom a Golden, it is more about consistency. If you brush out your Golden Retriever weekly, that is usually enough to keep his fur coat from becoming tangled or matted, and will remove much of the excess fur before it sheds.

Additionally, Golden Retrievers are very sweet and easygoing, so you don’t have to worry about them not sitting still when you groom them. In fact, most Goldens will come to enjoy a good brushing. Not only does it feel good, but they get to spend some extra time with their favorite person!

You should also keep in mind that you need to bathe them once or twice a month as well. You’ll need to use the correct shampoo and products that work for your dog’s skin and fur types. This way, you can prevent infections, rashes, excess hair loss, and more.

Recommended Reading: How Often Should I Wash My Golden Retriever? (Explained!)
Grooming a Golden Retriever

How Often Should Golden Retrievers Be Groomed?

Golden Retrievers shed a lot, so it may seem like you’ll have to groom them quite often. Thankfully, that’s not the case. You should give them a full grooming (bathing, brushing, trimming, etc.) about every six weeks. You shouldn’t let your Golden’s coat go ungroomed for longer than six weeks.

Regardless of the 6-week limit for a full grooming, you should still regularly brush your dog’s luscious wavy coat at least weekly if not more often. That way, you can keep the shedding under control, making it a lot easier to groom them when the time comes.

How To Groom Your Golden Retriever

Grooming your Golden Retriever should be easy if you’ve been regularly brushing them. Nonetheless, you’ll need to groom them no less than every six weeks. Here are the steps to follow for grooming a Golden Retriever:

  1. First, you’ll need to get your dog’s fur ready. Take a slicker brush like this one (Amazon) and brush from their head to their tail. You should spend extra time on sections that are thicker or tangled. If any matted parts aren’t brushing out, gently cut them out with a pair of scissors.
  2. Next, you should bathe your Golden. If they’ve got a nasty scent, you can do this before brushing. However, it’s best to do it after the brushing session. Gently lather your dog with the correct shampoo like this one at Amazon. Rinse out and dry with a soft towel.
  3. Brush your Retriever while the fur is still slightly damp. You can also get yourself an undercoat rake (Amazon) so you can remove clumps and dead hair from the undercoat.
  4. Then, you might want to trim some areas of the fur a bit. However, don’t trim it too much. By trimming or shaving the whole coat, you’d be messing up a Golden’s ability to regulate their body temperature. You’ll want to trim the longer fur around the bottom of their feet, as it can get pretty uncomfortable for them. If there are any cracked pads, you should definitely rub in a bit of Vaseline or a substitute you think works best.
  5. After trimming around the feet, lightly trim the fur on their legs. The main goal is for the fur on the front of the legs to remain to lie flat whilst the fur on the back of the legs trails out about an inch.
  6. Next, use thinning shears to thin out the undercoat of your dog’s neck and chest. You’ll want to make sure that the fur is less frizzy and matted. Then, gently thin out the fur around their ears as well.
  7. As for the tail, you can trim the feathers a bit, starting at the base and gradually going down to the tip. For a more natural appearance, you should use thinning shears.
  8. You’re not done yet! Gently wipe your Retriever’s eyes to get rid of any nasty eye crusts. Then, gently cut a small bit off of their nails.
  9. Finally, you can add a flea/tick-preventing substance as well. This will help keep your dog nice and healthy.
  10. To finish it off, give your Retriever some treats for being such a good dog during their grooming session. Great job!

For all your trimming needs, you can pick up an entire grooming kit like the Gimars Titanium Pet Grooming Kit (Amazon). It contains thinning shears, a pair of curved and straight shears and a stainless steel comb.

Recommended Reading: How to Take Care of Your Golden Retriever’s Coat: Step-by-Step

How To Get Golden Retriever Hair Out

Excess dog hair is the worst part about owning a Golden Retriever. It gets everywhere! Luckily, there are various ways to remove it from many different household areas. So, if you’re looking to remove the hair monster your dog left behind on your couch, floor or in your car, then look no further.

Getting Golden Retriever Fur Out of Furniture (Couches, etc.)

To remove Golden Retriever dog hair from couches, try using a damp rubber glove and dragging your hand across the couch. This will pick up a ton of fur. Just rinse off the glove when it gets too full. This works well but is a tedious method if you have large chairs with caked-in hair.

You can also spray a light coating of fabric softener and water all over the couch at once, and then wipe off the fur. This is a much easier method compared to a wet glove. But even that’s pretty tedious. Fortunately, there is a better way!

Luckily, you can purchase the ORDORA Pet Hair Remover over on Amazon. It’s self-cleaning, and comes in two different colors. It’s the easiest way to remove hair from your carpet, couch, or bed. However, the one downfall is it doesn’t work on wood or tile surfaces. So how do you clean dog hair off of your floor, then?

How to clean pet fur off of furniture.

Discover how to train your Golden Retriever by playing games: 21 games to play with your Golden that will make them smarter and better behaved!

Getting Golden Retriever Fur Off Floors

Depending on the floor, cleaning dog hair can be quite tricky. But don’t fret! You’re sure to find a method that’ll work best for your floor type.

For carpets, you can simply use a vacuum. A regular vacuum will work, of course, but you’ll get better results using a vacuum designed for picking up pet hair. The best one I’ve found is the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser at Amazon. This thing really scoops up the pet hair and the best part is it has a tangle-free brush so that the longer fur of a Golden Retriever won’t get all wound up around the roller.

For hardwood floors, you can use a dry mop. Unfortunately, on hard/bare floors, vacuums don’t work as well. You can either use a dry mop or a broom and dustpan instead. Whatever works best for you! My preference for hardwood and tile floors is just to use an inexpensive and lightweight stick vacuum.

The one I use is the Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik (Amazon). It’s a stick vac and hand vac in one. It has no rollers so it just sucks the pet hair right up off the floor.

How To Get Golden Retriever Hair Out Of Car

Getting Golden Retriever hair out of the car is the worst! Somehow dog fur seams to weave itself magically through all the fibers in the seats and carpets. The easiest method I’ve found is to use Duct Tape (Amazon). Just roll some duct tape around your hand with the sticky side out and press your hand onto the car’s seat fabric or carpeting.

Make sure to use new duct tape whenever your current piece gets matted with hair, dirt and debris. Repeat this process until you’ve covered the entire area you want to clean. Any remaining Golden Retriever hair should be fairly easy to vacuum out of the car at this point.

How to get Golden Retriever hair out of the car.


Golden Retrievers are the proud owner of a beautiful thick coat of fur. You’ll need to brush them at least once a week, and groom/bathe them regularly in order to keep that fur from going everywhere. Grooming a Golden Retriever is a fairly easy process. It’s just important that you keep a somewhat consistent grooming schedule. It will end up making your Golden Retriever a lot more comfortable and happy!


Bryan Mullennix

Bryan's a freelance travel photographer and happy dog dad. He currently lives in Las Vegas with his wife, his son, and two dogs Nom Nom & Speck.

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