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When Do Golden Retrievers Get Feathers?

The Golden Retriever is a British breed of retrieval dog of medium size originally bred to retrieve fowl during hunting activities with a striking golden coat.

Their feathers’ layout gives these dogs a golden look when they run or hunt.

This breed is a frequent competitor in dog shows and obedience trials. It can also be a gun dog, and also, when trained, it becomes a guide dog.

Golden Retrievers usually weigh between 25-34kg and have a lifespan of about 12-13 years.  

But when do their feathers start to show up in their coats?

What Age Do Feathers Appear?

Golden Retrievers are known for their golden fur that glides with the wind.

When golden retrievers are born, they usually don’t have a coat. 

Might you be wondering about the “feathers on a dog?” Well, for Golden Retrievers, the term references patches of fur that you can find around the dog’s stomach, leg, and tail.

As the Golden Retriever matures, these patches transition into long feathered fur, thus referred to as feathers. 

The feathers are very important for Golden Retrievers because they regulate their body temperatures in various weather conditions.

We shall describe how feathers transition at different stages and the characteristic features associated with the stages.

golden retriever with baby teeth

At Around Three Months

There will be some noticeable feathers as the puppy grows into a more adult coat.

Usually, it’s a transition between fluff and fur.

However, different Golden Retrievers vary depending on their genes.

Three to Eight Months

This is the coat transition stage which indicates the start of feathering.

The feathering is a bit more noticeable.

The feathering starts at the tail and progresses along the rest of the body as the puppy grows.

Usually, the dog’s tail is the starting point for the growth of the adult coat.

Then gradually, the rest of the feathers will grow throughout the Golden Retriever’s body.

The new feathers in this stage are slightly darker than when the pup is around three months.

A remarkable fact is that the Golden Retriever puppy is different from other breeds in that it does not shed its puppy fur.

Instead, the puppy fur is pushed aside by the newer coat that grows in. 

One Year

At this stage, feathering is entirely noticeable and is also fully present. 

Two Years

This is usually the final stage, where Golden Retrievers get their full coats.

Again, change is very noticeable, and all feathers are visible. 

Can You Speed up Coat Transition?

golden retriever in back of car

There are ways to transition faster from puppy feathers to full-grown coats.

They include:

  • Pin brushing- Through this, you can remove loose hair. Removal of this hair prompts new hair growth, which speeds up the transition.

Pin brushes also encourage blood circulation and distribute natural oils as the brush massages through the skin.

This regenerates the skin hence fast-tracking the coat transition process.

  • Proper nutrition – The Golden Retriever’s body needs essential nutrients. Dog owners should administer the diet efficiently and sufficiently. When this is followed, a healthy coat will grow faster. 
  • Omega 3 and omega-six fatty acids supplements for dogs – the essential oils are magic. In addition, they help contribute to natural skin oil.

The components they contain speed up the growth and transition of a Golden Retriever’s coat.

You can serve one tablespoon together with the dog’s food.  

Golden Retriever Coat Care

Knowing your Golden Retriever coat care is essential.

Following a proper coat care routine ensures the golden retrievers’ coat is healthy and shiny.

Steps to take care of a dog’s coat

  • Brushing the coat- Use a soft brush for puppies and transition to a stiff-bristled brush for adult puppies. Frequent brushing helps reduce shedding and loss of hair. 
  • Clippers and thinning shears are the best tools to clip out thin overgrown feathers. In addition, they help the dog’s feathers look full and shiny. 
  • Small twigs, burrs, and leaves get caught up in a dog’s hair. They tangle together, making it difficult to remove. After taking your dog out, be sure to remove this material to enhance the coat’s cleanliness.
  • Bathing the Golden Retriever once every six to eight weeks. Using a shampoo specifically designed for dogs will ensure effective coat care. Avoid human shampoos because it disrupts the acid mantle and leaves your dog vulnerable to viral, bacterial, and parasitic infection. 
  • Proper nutrition is critical to Golden Retriever’s coat health. A dog owner should concentrate on a dog’s diet with the right amounts of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fiber, fats, and magnesium.
  • Vitamin E, found in the commercial diet, is an antioxidant that protects the skin from oxidative damage to the skin caused by external sources helping to maintain the coat and skin of a Golden Retriever. 

Do Golden Retrievers Shed?

golden retriever in forest

An adult Golden Retriever sheds fur year-round.

This shedding is heaviest during the late spring and late fall.

The dog sheds the heavy winter undercoat during spring in preparation for the warm season.

As a result, lighter fur will form, allowing a thicker undercoat to grow.

However, excessive shedding offseason can be a result of a medical condition.

Medical conditions that can lead to this include:

  • The endocrine disorder is also known as hypothyroidism Cushing’s disease.
  • External parasites, which may include fleas, mites, and other insects
  • Fungal infections such as ringworm
  • Bacterial infection 

What To Do About Smelly Golden Retriever Coat?

Even with proper feather coat care, the feathers may have an odor.

We shall look at various remedies that a dog owner can use to remove the smell altogether.

They include:

  • Use apple cider vinegar- mix a generous amount with water and spray it on the dog’s coat neutralizing the odor.
  • Dogs deodorizing spray- The sprays will help remove the bad smell from the dog’s feathers.
  • Expressing the Golden Retriever’s anal glands is mainly done by expert groomers, as dog owners may consider this gross, but removing built-up secretions reduces the bad scent.

Take Away 

The Golden Retriever is one of the most beautiful dogs.

It is smart, making it not only a pet but a companion.

It is also very fluffy, which makes it the best to snuggle and chill when you need to.

But it is also a demanding dog when it comes to how to take care of it and its feathers.

But with the right knowledge, you can give your canine friend the life and care they deserve.

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National Canine Research Association of America