Hi Everyone! Recently a new owner of my first Golden Retreiver as of March! We got him at 13 weeks old and he has just been a bundle of joy and wow we already will never get a different breed!
Nash was born on December 1 - making him about 6.5 months old. He was last weighed at the beginning of the month at 58 lbs. Which seems very high actually for his age, but he is growing so fast. However, he looks very skinny. We feed him about 2.5 cups a day of Royal Canin Golden Retreiver Puppy and he chows it down very quickly. It took quite some time to find the food he loved and will just eat dry and of course he picked a very expensive one, but hey he is happy! He received about 2-3 standard size treats a day on a normal day. But boy he looks so skinny. Everyone comments on it and makes me feel like a bad Doggy Dad because people think he doesn't eat! I need some opinions! He sees his vet for regular 6 month check up in a few weeks but wanted to get other opinions first! I have uploaded some photos the best I could get of him to show his body size!
Also - does anyone have any tips on grooming? It is our first dog that sheds this much. We have been bathing him regularly (once a week). But is it time he gets a hair cut? Any good experience with PetSmart - it is very local and convenient. Is the FURMinator package a helpful thing for his shedding? Or should we just consider doing bathing still and a hair trim on his paws?
I await responses and can't wait to learn more about everyone's pups!
I did not take the time to read through the other responses, so forgive me if this has already been said.
First, his weight looks perfect to me! Better for his health to be 2 pounds too lean than 2 pounds too heavy. The people telling you he's too skinny are probably used to seeing dogs who are too fat-most pet dogs in America are overweight.
Next, I am a professional groomer and I would absolutely never use a Furminator on a golden. Will it take out a bunch of undercoat, sure; but it will also rip out topcoat and cut and damage his coat over time. I also do NOT recommend haircuts for goldens. Short or shaved will damage the coat causing it to grow back incorrectly-if it even grows back at all. (Its not common, but in some cases a shaved coat simply doesn't ever grow back or grows back in patchy and makes the dog look like it has mange.) Shaving or short haircuts on a double coated breed (which is what a golden is) will not decrease shedding-it will actually increase it. It will seem to shed less right after the haircut, but that is because what is shedding is a lot shorter. Then when the hair starts growing back, the undercoat (which is what sheds) actually grows back a little thicker each time: so you're creating more undercoat which creates more shedding. Also, the undercoat and topcoat work together to keep the dog cooler in summer and warmer in winter, much like the insulation on your house. When you cut the hair, the undercoat grows back quickly and the topcoat grows back slowly. With the undercoat growing in and the topcoat gone, your dog will literally be baking in his hair without that topcoat to keep airflow going. Also, short hair makes them much more susceptible to sunburn, heat stroke, insect bites, allergies and other skin issues. The best thing to do to help reduce shedding is to bathe (I bathe my own at least once a month-I know of others who do weekly baths.) and brush frequently-the more you brush, the less they shed-try for at least once a week (groomer confession: I often only brush my own dogs when I bathe them unless they get into burrs or something). Use a slicker brush making sure you get areas the mat easily (under and behind ears, tail, feathering on rear, armpits, between hind legs/belly) then an undercoat rake will help pull out any loose/dead undercoat, then follow that with a greyhound comb which will find any mats or undercoat you may have missed-a dog well brushed should have a greyhound comb slide easily through the coat. If you want easier maintenance, I have trimmed up feathering on the rear, belly, and front legs for people, but I never take length off the body (see attached before and after photo-this is about the most trimming I would ever want to do on a golden-he comes pretty regularly so there isn't a huge difference; also something else I would normally do on all goldens is ears, but his owner specifically requested no ear trimming so his ears are still way fluffier than I'd prefer). As far as groomers go, chain store (Petsmart, Petco, etc.) groomers tend to work with quantity over quality so tend to not be the best groomers (not saying they can't be good-I know a former Petsmart groomer who is great-just much more likely to not be good.) Also, if you do decide you want feathers trimmed up, be very specific and cautious-many groomers hear the word "trim" or "cut" and shave the whole dog bald. I always suggest to people that when contacting a groomer for the first time, ask them if they will shave your golden; if they say yes without hesitation, run; if they start explaining to you why shaving a golden wouldn't be the best thing, they have potential.