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Hi all,

Greetings from Sonoma, CA, where it is 90-100 degrees every day. My 4 year old golden Lucky was really feeling the heat. Sleeping next to the fan all day long and very sad. In an error of judgment, I asked the mobile groomer for a "summer cut" and the groomer clipped Lucky way too close. The fur is probably an inch long and all the feathers are gone, except for his feathery fan tail. He looks like a yellow lab or a poodle. I can't post a photo as I am horrified that this happened! I am aware of the implications of such a grooming job vis a vis his fur growing back in and sunburns etc. It was a terrible mistake!

However, my family is noticing that Lucky is over the moon happy! Running around playing with my kids and other dogs with an enormous grin on his face. He was really suffering from the heat and now he is much cooler. I know my dog and believe me, he is behaving like this is the greatest thing that has ever happened to him.

My friends are now asking if I feel guilty for not having cut his fur in the summer sooner! He is that much happier!

What do I make of this situation? What should I do in the future?

Thanks!
 

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Mom to Sonny and Seamus
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I do not believe in trimming a Golden Retriever's fur in what is called a "summer cut" or "puppy cut". I believe the fur insulates the dog.

I do, however, believe that it's a personal decision.
 
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Kristy
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I'm another who doesn't believe in summer cuts for Goldens, it's insulation. I do know that many conformation bred dogs have excessive coat and it's probably holding in heat - my guess is that thinning out her belly and under thigh area might give her relief if you asked for that in the future. A lot of this you can keep on top of yourself by building a routine of a quick daily grooming with a shedding rake - be gentle - to get that loose undercoat out. Thinning the undercoat without damaging the top layers of hair is the key to doing it the right way. A good groomer can recommend tools to help with this.

Use this on the underneath area gently: https://www.amazon.com/Mars-Stainle...79&sr=1-2-spons&keywords=mars+coat+king&psc=1

Again, use this gently, on the shoulders, back and sides to remove loose undercoat, this is the best: https://www.amazon.com/Intrepid-Int...&sr=1-7-catcorr&keywords=shedding+blade+horse
 

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Puddles
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I had so many golden clients and a good percentage of them had their dogs clipped every summer vs. a good "shed out" (that's what the groomers in FTW called it) raking treatment. What happens over time is the hair changes... the flowing coat turns into a fluff more like a Pomeranian. It tends to come back with increased undercoat.
My girl is one of those with massive coat and it was a chore to rake all that undercoat but once you get the majority it doesn't take long to do a quickie to maintain it throughout the summer.
If you have ever done scuba diving or have noticed divers with wet suits... those rubber suits let in enough water so your body can heat the water and maintain a comfortable body temp. Same theory with a double coated dog.. that undercoat protects the skin. Without it the dog has no way to manage the temperature hot or cold.
One clip won't be a big deal, I'm talking about people that do it every summer.
But not clipping is just my choice... I'm willing to clean up the hair and rake the coat several times a week to enjoy the soft, silky looking, flowing golden coat. I was the same way with my collie. It's just part of owning a long haired dog.
 

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I'm another owner who doesn't like to clip double coated dogs. My Bear had a lot of fur but as long as I kept on top of it, with regular brushing and the occasional blow out, it was never an issue.

During the summer we love to hang out at the beach or pool. Any dip in the water helps too.
 

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If you have ever done scuba diving or have noticed divers with wet suits... those rubber suits let in enough water so your body can heat the water and maintain a comfortable body temp. Same theory with a double coated dog.. that undercoat protects the skin. Without it the dog has no way to manage the temperature hot or cold.
Thank you for this description. It paints a picture for me that makes it a easier to understand :)
 

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I considered doing that with my Fenris, but never did. We live in Cedar Rapids Iowa and our constant neighbor is the Cedar River. I had a very willing companion any time I said "Wanna go to the river?" :)

While I miss him still, and *so much* at times, Bagheera has totally adopted the river thing. Goldens and Labs were born to swim. To me that's always been part of spring summer and fall. Winter too, as long as there's no ice. My yellow lab Raja was a fool for swimming in frigid water, and I don't think Fenris shied away from it either.
 

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I'm a professional groomer, and I too do not think double coated dogs should be clipped. More than likely your dog's coat will come back fine since its usually several clips before any noticeable coat change happens. He probably does feel cooler for the moment, and so he probably is more excited about that. However, in a couple months or so when his undercoat starts coming in longer, he may start to be really hot again. So bear that in mind as his coat grows back in and keep him inside during the heat so he doesn't overheat since his partly grown back coat will not keep him insulated. For future reference, lots of people like to do what I call a maternity trim in the summer. As the name suggests, it was developed for momma dogs nursing puppies to keep the dog cleaner while she nursed and so puppies could find the milk bar more easily. It is basically shaving the whole underbelly-this makes it a bit easier for you to maintain (especially if your dog carries a lot of coat), plus it is only visible when the dog rolls over on his back, so he'll still look like a golden. :)
 

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I strongly am against shaving a golden, and agree with the previous posts. My friends family shaved their golden and he looked like a huge Pomeranian when his fur grew back.
 
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