That I think you might expect with an older golden who has a "normal" coat.
I've shared similar pics before, I know.
Thought it might need to stay upfront in people's minds.
Jacks had a thick enough coat when younger... and now that he's almost 9 and 1/2, it's thicker than before. Most of it is turning white - especially on his back. His coat texture is still correct, I think. It does not matt. Rarely to never picks up junk when he's outside (like twigs). When he picks up burrs, they brush right out without tangling too badly. The feathering on his bum and behind his front legs isn't the super soft feathering that you may find on other dogs - particularly those who have been neutered. Jacks IS intact, so that's probably the benefit there.
That said, he has a TON of coat, especially in his bib area. It makes him look really bunchy in front when I let it go.
Saw somebody else out there post that they've been clipping their 8 year old golden for the same reason.
I don't think that's really necessary.
But I do definitely think the bib area esp needs thinning out. Which can be done if you have the right tools.
Jacks got a desperately needed bath tonight - he was rolling in dirt all day as I worked outside in the back garden area... >.<
As usual, if I get him up on the table to dry him off, I do go the extra step and pull the shears out as well.
^^^ Before pictures, you can see how thick he is in front. And his Grinch feet. >.<
^^^ The third pic above, you can see how much I cleaned out his bib area. Such a huge deal.
There's people out there who trim off all the coat around the top and sides, but I don't really understand the point of that. And hope I never do!
^^^ This is how much was stripped out of the bib + what was blown off as well during the drying.
Might add.... Jacks is not a show dog. Does not really need a frequent grooming to maintain his coat. I will say though that I do groom him every 2-3 weeks. This is a dog who responds to warm sunny days like the past few by digging and wallowing in dirt. When I bathe him, the water runs black from all the dirt coming out off his belly especially.
The feet start growing out noticeably within 2 weeks. The ruff/bib area doesn't need to be mowed back as often... probably more like every 2 months or so.
***Gotta say since it is a grooming issue... his face is clean. The fur is stained. It gets better or worse depending on the time of the year (mildew, etc). I could go nuts with a couple methods to clear the tear stains up, but it's not really worth it to me and it's stressful to him to have me putting powder on his face every day to clean up the stains. Plus his eyes don't bother him. He has never had eye infections and his beautiful eyes are going on about 8 straight years or so of normal OFA eyes.