What Are Golden Retriever Feathers?

Quick Answer

Golden retriever feathers are long, light sections of hair typically seen on a golden’s tail, chest, legs, sides, belly, and around their ears.

Feathering is very characteristic of golden retrievers, and is often a very desirable trait for your dog to have. The feathers are usually made up of lighter, softer fur, which contributes to the graceful flow you might notice when your golden is running around.

You’ll likely notice your dog’s feathers growing in early on, but you won’t see the complete feathered look until your golden gets their full coat.

1.5 year old golden retriever fur feathering
Feathering along Luna’s chest and ears.

Owners sometimes mistake puppy fur for feathering, but the two are distinct – your golden puppy will lose his puppy fur eventually, whereas actual feathers are there to stay once they start growing in.

Should You Trim A Golden Retriever’s Feathers?

Trimming your dog’s feathers should be done on an “as needs” basis. Feathered fur is typically longer than the rest of your golden’s coat, so you will want to trim it if it’s interfering with your pup’s every day life. It also depends which coat stage your golden retriever is currently in – if they’re going through a coat transition, it may not be worth worrying about until you see what their full coat looks like.

Some areas you’ll want to keep an eye on:

  • The feathers around your dogs paws – if you notice your golden stepping on its own fur, you’ll want to trim the feathers in this area.
  • The feathers around your dog’s rear end – if you notice urine or fecal matter getting trapped in your golden’s rump feathers, you’ll want to trim the fur in this area.
  • The feathers around your dog’s ears – if you notice an increase in fur mats around this area, you’ll want to trim these feathers.

How Do You Trim Golden Retriever Feathers?

It’s best to trim your golden’s feathers using a pair of hair scissors. You shouldn’t need to trim more than an inch or so around problem areas where needed. When trimming you generally want to keep the natural shape of your dog’s body in mind so that you end up with a flowing, appealing silhouette when done trimming.

If you’re unsure of trimming your retriever’s feathering yourself, you can always take your pal to a dog groomer for a more professional touch.

You can also use the AKC’s Golden Retriever Standard as a guideline when trimming:

Coat on head, paws, and front of legs is short and even. Excessive
length, open coats, and limp, soft coats are very undesirable. Feet may be trimmed and stray hairs neatened, but the natural appearance of coat or outline should not be altered by cutting or clipping.

Will Golden Retriever Feathers Grow Back?

Yes, your retriever’s feathers will grow back after trimming. It may take a few months for the feathering to grow to its former length, at which point you may want to re-trim any areas you noticed problems in to begin with.

Related Reading

roger stanley site owner and primary author
Meet The Author Roger Stanley

Co-owner of goldenretrievergoods.com. 15 years of experience living life with Golden Retrievers and 15 years of experience spending way too much money on them – I believe life’s not worth living without a Golden involved!

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