Fact or Fiction: Examining the Short Haired Golden Retriever

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Have you ever seen a short haired golden retriever? If yes, you might be wondering if golden retrievers can have short hair. After all, aren’t they known for their luscious and long golden locks?

This article will give light to the questions surrounding short haired golden retrievers. Are they for real or simply a product of some people’s breeding talents?

Fact or Fiction: Does a Short Haired Golden Retriever Exist?

Yes and No.

The answer to the question is both yes and no. Technically, there is no specific type of breed for a short hair golden retriever.

However, some goldens do have shorter hair than others brought about by genetics and even mix the golden retriever breed with a Labrador with short hair.

Some of you may be tempted to get a short haired golden retriever since it likely won’t shed as much as long haired goldens.

Unfortunately, these short haired dogs are very rare to find. Some breeders can give you a short-haired golden as well, but you need to be vigilant since there are disreputable breeders who claim that they are giving you a purebred short haired golden when in fact they are of mixed descent. So, you pay a price that does not even equate to the true golden retriever.

Why Do Some Goldens Have Short Hair?

Different factors cause a golden to have a shorter coat than others. Here, we will tackle three different reasons you may find a short haired golden retriever.

Breed Type

Technically, there is only one breed of golden retriever. However, there are many subtypes under this breed. One of the subtypes is the field golden retriever. This type of golden does have shorter hair compared to the ones bred for show and competition.

The field golden retriever is bred to do hunting and fieldwork, as the name suggests. Just like any golden retriever, these retrievers are also known to be loyal, active, and athletic.

The coat of field golden retrievers is darker compared to other goldens. Sometimes, their hair color can be so dark that it comes out as red instead of gold.

If you have a field golden retriever, then you don’t have to worry about shedding so much. Because of the short hair, field goldens also has less fur to shed.

But still, that is not an excuse for neglecting your dog. You still need to manage golden retriever shedding and keep your house clean as much as possible.


Another factor that contributes to a golden retriever having short hair is genetics. Short haired golden retrievers are exceptional.

This uniqueness is attributed to their parents. Even if a dog is not a Field Golden, he can still exhibit short hair because his parents also have short hair.

A dog’s coat is usually hereditary. So, if a breeder originally has a short-haired golden mom and dad, expect that their puppies will have the same coat length too.

Looking for a reputable breeder is always time-consuming and difficult unless you have your own trusted connections already. Just make sure that you deal with a reliable breeder so that you get a purebred golden retriever, instead of a mix.

Mixed Breed

Now, if you do not worry about getting a purebred golden retriever, you can opt to have a mixed breed canine. Most often than not, the mixed breed factor is the reason why you see a lot of golden retrievers with short hair.

Typically, a golden retriever mixed with a yellow Labrador retriever has short hair. It’ll look like a short haired golden retriever at first glance.

Due to the close similarities of a golden and a Lab in terms of their size, you can easily mistake the mixed breed as a pure golden retriever. The temperament and personality of both breeds are also mostly identical.

Goldens and Labs have profound intelligence. They are also quite friendly and make great family pets. If you are not particular about having a pure breed golden and you want a short haired one, then a mixed breed is your best option.

They Are Not Golden Retrievers!

If you see a short haired golden retriever but the above factors do not apply, then chances are they are not a golden retriever at all. It is easy to mistake some dog breeds as a golden due to distinct similarities across different breeds.

People who are not dog-savvy may not know that there are also other retriever breeds. There are 6 types of retriever dog breeds; some of which confuse people. The other four retriever types aside from goldens and Labs are:

Flat-Coated Retrievers

The flat-coated retriever falls under the new breed category. This breed is particularly close to a Labrador retriever. They have a thick and flat-lying coat.

The coat usually comes in black, or liver colored as described by the American Kennel Club. However, some flat-coated retrievers do have a yellow color coat. Though the yellow coat isn’t a standard color for this breed, it still falls under the registered color of this specific breed.

Curly Coated Retrievers

When mixed with a pure golden, the breed can have a wavy coat. The color of a curly coated retriever ranges from black to liver. This breed is also known to be one of the oldest retriever breeds in the world.

The curly coated retrievers have the same affectionate and gentle traits as Labs and goldens. However, they are less clingy, which makes them a good pet for busy folks.

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers

The Chesapeake Bay retrievers have colors that range from brown to tan. Sometimes, the coats are so dark that they lean slightly red, or they can be as light as golden straw.

Chesapeake Bay retrievers also have shorter hairs compared to typical goldens. Their coats are wavy as well. However, if you combine Chesapeake and golden retrievers together, the mix produces a pup with a long wavy coat.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers

This gundog is considered the smallest of all retriever breeds. The coat of a Toller is often a shade of crimson that can range from golden red to dark copper colors. What keeps Nova Scotia duck tolling retrievers more unique, however, is the inclusion of their standard white markings.

Does Age Affect the Length of the Coats?

Puppies do not have thick coats as adults do. At least, not yet.

It takes around 3 months for the topcoat to appear on golden retrievers. And it’ll take a year, or a year and a half, before a golden achieves his full-length topcoat. By this time, it’ll start to feather. Hairs will grow longer on other parts resulting in feathering away from the body.

So, the next time you see a short haired golden retriever, check the age first. The reason behind the shorter locks may lie behind the age.

Puppies do not retain their short hair forever. The hair length will grow as the puppies mature into adult dogs. You can never consider them short haired golden retrievers.

Golden Retriever on Road

Can I Cut My Golden’s Coat to Make it Shorter?

Never ever attempt to cut your golden retriever’s coat just to make it shorter. Remember, the coats are there for a reason. The length of the coats is also useful in the set of activities specific for this breed.

No matter how enticing it may be to have a short haired golden retriever, you should do so by getting a dog that already has short hairs rather than groom a golden to have one.

The main reason you should not cut a golden retriever’s hair short is the fact that you are putting his health at risk. It also destroys the natural beauty of the long golden locks.

Golden retrievers naturally have double coats. These double coats have an undercoat that regulates their body temperature, and waterproofed-outer long coats that shield them from debris and dirt.

Even when summer comes and you think shaving or cutting your golden’s hair will do him some good, well then, think again. Despite the warm weather, the undercoat still regulates your pet’s body temperature.

Additionally, the dog sheds more during spring and summer to accommodate the changes in season and temperature. There is no need for you to grab the shears and cut a golden’s hair on your own; always seek out a qualified groomer.

How to Improve Coat Health and Manage Shedding

Whether you have a long haired or short haired golden retriever, you have to manage the shedding. Some simple tips to follow to help manage shedding and maintain the beautiful golden locks are the following:

Brush Daily or Every Other Day

Some pet parents brush their canines daily while others prefer every other day. Brushing frequency depends on the condition of your dog’s coat, how thick it is and the length.

For short haired golden retrievers, you can probably choose every other day brushing as not to overdo it. Check out these best brushes for golden retrievers to get the most beneficial brush for your pooch.

Look for the Right Shampoo

A dog shampoo plays a vital role in keeping the coats of every dog healthy. That is why you have to look for a high-quality shampoo that is right for a golden retriever’s coat and skin condition. Shampoos help moisturize and hydrate the dog’s skin.

Feed Only the Best Dog Food

You might wonder what’s the connection of dog food to maintaining a beautiful coat. Just like in humans, the food that the dog eats affects their general well-being.

For that reason, you need to provide your pooch with the best dog food for golden retrievers to help keep their skin and coats in good health.

Give Vitamins and Supplements

Fatty acids should be an essential part of every golden’s diet. The lack of fatty acids can result in heavy shedding. To address this, add fish oil supplements to your dog’s daily intake.

Fish oil contains high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids. These acids help promote silky coat and maintain optimal skin and coat health.

Do Allergies Affect a Short Haired Golden Retriever?

Others wondered if golden retrievers with shorter hair do not have to worry about getting allergies. Please note that allergies do not come from how thick or thin their fur is.

According to the Mayo Clinic, dog allergies often come from saliva, urine, and sweat found on their fur… not the fur itself.

Dander or flakes of dead skin cells also act as a culprit for skin allergies. However, if you give your dog regular baths and brushing, you can minimize these allergies. Hence, getting a short haired golden retriever does not save them from any allergy attacks.

Both long and short haired goldens will also likely experience allergies caused by external stimuli such as pollen regardless of what their coat lengths are.


The reasons why some goldens have shorter hair than others are genetics, and if they are products of a mixed breed. A field golden retriever also has shorter hair compared to other golden subtypes.

Additionally, age affects the length of a golden’s hair. Puppies have shorter coats than adults, which make them look like short haired Golden Retrievers.

The coats of golden retrievers determine their health as well. Never resort to cutting your golden’s hair shorter just because you want a short haired golden retriever. Love a golden retriever for their temperament and personality, not because of how long their locks are.

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