The Truth About Short-Haired Golden Retrievers

Looking to get a short-haired golden retriever?

Well, you might be looking for a long time…

Technically, short-haired golden retrievers do not exist, however, some goldens do have shorter hair than others.

In this article, we’ll dive into the truth about short-haired golden retrievers, how to manage golden retriever shedding, some different types of goldens, and how to find the perfect golden for you.

Let’s dive in!

The Truth About Short Haired Golden Retrievers

Although there’s no such thing as a short-haired golden retriever, some golden retrievers do have shorter hair than others.

Some types of goldens, like field golden retrievers, typically have shorter hair than other types, such as those bred for shows.

And although you might be tempted to turn your regular golden retriever into a short-haired golden by giving them a haircut, that could actually put their health in jeopardy, as well as ruin their beautiful coats.

So let’s talk about the different types of goldens, first…

Which Types Of Golden Retrievers Have Shorter Hair?

short haired field golden retriever

There is only one breed of golden retriever, but there are several different variations within the breed.

One of those variations is the field golden retriever, also known as the field bred golden retriever.

These goldens are bred for hunting and working in the field.

They’re driven, athletic, and loyal.

They also tend to be darker in color, even red.

And, relevant to this article, their coats tend to be shorter.

On the other hand, you have golden retrievers bred for show.

Whereas field goldens are bred for their personality, athleticism, and drive, show golden retrievers are bred for their temperament and looks.

They’re bred to conform to what judges think is the breed standard for golden retrievers, and that is a stocky body with a long, flowy, golden coat.

If you’re looking for goldens with short coats, goldens from show lines (also known as conformation lines) are not your best bet.

But all that being said, companion goldens (dogs not bred specifically for work in the field or shows) can have shorter coats, too, if you know how to find them…

How To Get A Golden Retriever With A Shorter Coat

When my golden retriever, Oliver, was about six months old, I started to get a little worried.

He was lanky, had a really short coat, and looked exactly like my friend’s labrador

Was he a part lab?

Was he a short-hair golden retriever?

Check out the video below to see his adorable, short-haired lankiness.

As it turns out, he’s not a lab, nor is he a short-haired golden retriever.

He’s just a regular golden retriever with a relatively short coat compared to some goldens (see the picture below).

And I’m very thankful his coat is short because he doesn’t shed that much!

Now where did he get his shorter coat?

From his parents, of course!

Coat length is hereditary, so if you want to find a golden retriever with a shorter coat, you need to find a breeder who’s breeding goldens with short coats.

Oliver’s parents had relatively short coats, so he has a shorter coat, too.

Of course, when choosing a breeder you need to consider more than just coat length, but you can learn more about choosing a breeder here.

When Do Golden Retrievers Grow Their Full Coat?

adult short hair golden retriever
Oliver at almost two years old

Another thing to consider when looking at a golden retriever’s coat is how old they are.

Goldens grow very fast and reach their full height at about a year.

However, their coats don’t fully fill out until they’re about a year and a half.

So if you see someone walking down the street with a beautiful golden sporting a short coat, know that unless the golden was over a year and a half old, chances are their coat might grow a little longer.

What About Golden Retrievers And Allergies?

Now, if you’re looking for a golden retriever with a short coat for allergy purposes, you might be barking up the wrong tree.

For one, it’s not exactly the fur that causes allergic reactions.

Most people are allergic to dander (flakes of dead skin), and possibly the saliva and urine (according to WebMD).

So getting a golden with shorter fur won’t necessarily help you if you’re allergic to goldens.

There will still be dander everywhere, and they’ll probably have a hard time not licking your face because they’re so full of love…

Golden Retriever Shedding

If you’re looking for a golden retriever with shorter hair because you’re worried about shedding, you should strongly consider how bad you want a golden.

Although I got lucky with Oliver, most goldens shed a lot.

If you want a golden in your home you’re going to need to get used to having hair on your clothes, carpet, furniture, and sometimes even your food (fun fact: I found a little piece of golden fur in my salad tonight…).

Check out this post for 17 tips to stop golden retriever shedding, but here’s a quick preview to decrease the amount of shedding:

And speaking of shedding, here’s what you should never do…

Why You Should Never Shave Your Golden Retriever

You can’t just decide to turn your regular golden retriever into a short-haired golden by giving them a haircut.

Golden retrievers have double coats that consist of a soft undercoat that helps regulate their body temperature and a long, smooth outer coat that is waterproof and protects them from dirt and debris.

Some people may think they’re doing their dog a favor by shaving them in the summer, but their undercoat regulates their body temperature even when it’s hot out, so doing this is very bad for their health.

Plus, if you cut their long outer coat, it may never grow back the same (I’ve heard lots of horror stories about unfortunate trips to the groomer where too much fur was cut off…).

Other Options If You Want A Short Haired Golden Retriever

If you want a golden retriever but don’t want to deal with the long hair, you might want to consider another type of dog.

Goldendoodles could be a good option, or labradors, or golden retriever mixes.

I have a friend who had a golden retriever and lab mix (known as a goldador) and he essentially looks like a short-haired golden retriever.

He’s sweet like labs and goldens, has a blocky head, and has lots of energy.


short hair golden retriever

So even though short-haired golden retrievers don’t exist, some goldens do have shorter fur than others, and there are steps you can take to help manage their shedding.

There are also other options, such as goldendoodles, goldadors, or other breeds.

Have any questions about golden retrievers and their coats?

Let me know in the comments below!

And if you liked this article, you’ll love our Complete Guide To Golden Retrievers.

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17 thoughts on “The Truth About Short-Haired Golden Retrievers”

  1. Thanks for this – I have a similar looking, pure breed, registered Golden. All Golden owners seem to know he’s a Golden, but most others ignorantly call him a Lab (despite 8 inch long feathers on tail!). I’ve given up correcting them and just go along with it. He’s 3 years old, so not going to change. He sheds more sand than hair as live near beach!

  2. Thank you for this, I was wondering about my 1 year old Golden’s coat. We have the AKC paperwork showing her genealogy but I was beginning to wonder if she was actually part Lab. I love Oliver’s coat, I hope our girl’s will be similar.

  3. I know there are black golden retriever as I own one. I bred my purebred golden retriever with a purebred red golden retriever stud and all her puppies came out golden except one, black. The black is because of genetic diversity that was added to the bloodline in the development of the breed long ago. If you bred your dog with a dog that has this gene it is possible to get a black golden retriever, but its a hit or miss.
    Its like anyone who does a DNA test and find out most of there ancesters come from this country or that, but when you compare it to your sibling they will have a different percentage or country than you. It is what was passed to them.
    To the people out there, study if you are interested in Black Goldens. Do your own research, have tests done on the parents to be sure they are purebred, because yes there are people out there that can scam you and write what ever they want on a paper (they do it on genealogy), but I do not agree that there is NO Black Golden Retrivers.

  4. Great article.
    Thanks for putting my concerns to rest. We were starting to worry too! What kind of dog did we get? Your video of Oliver at 6 months was great.
    Looks just like our 5 month old with that crazy tail and head.

  5. Hi
    My golden is almost 7 months old. She has feathered tail but her body coat relatively short. Does she has chance to grow thicker?

  6. Hanks for this article and the pictures! My pup is 5 months and I get so many questions about her being a lab. It’s started to worry me, but she looks exactly like lanky Oliver in the puppy video! Phew!

  7. Does the hair that grows underneath a golden ear differ from their normal coat? I have a 1 year old golden retriver/austrailian Shepard mix with dark red hair and white markings on face and legs. He has medium length golden hair (with undercoat), but the hair underneath his ears is curly and longer than his other hair. Is that normal

  8. do goldens have any more oily type hair because they are water dogs as in really like swimming and being in water because of special hair?

  9. My golden is 1.5 years old and has a coat length comparable to short coat German Shepherds… Is there any chance for his coat to grow???


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