Many people make their dogs look like lions by giving them lions’ manes. How to make your Golden Retriever look like a lion? Most people make their small dogs look like they have lion’s manes. However, you can also do this with some medium-sized and large breeds, including the Golden Retriever.
How do you make a Golden Retriever look like a lion?
You can make a Golden Retriever look a little bit like a lion by giving it a haircut that looks like a lion’s mane. If you want to go farther in that direction, you can make a lion costume for your dog at home using common tools and materials.
Some ways of making your Golden Retriever look like a lion are easier than others. If you want to make a costume, you need to be reasonably good with a sewing machine, and there is a bit more to it than that. If you want a lion’s mane haircut, any groomer can probably do it.
Golden Retrievers look very cute and funny with a lion’s mane. A couple of years ago, I gave my dog a lion’s mane haircut, but then let the hair grow back again.
More recently, I sewed a lion’s mane costume together.
Lion’s Mane Haircuts
The easiest way to make your Golden Retriever look like a lion is to take it to a groomer and get a lion cut. A lion cut works very well with a Golden Retriever because of its thick double coat.
If you remove a lot of hair but keep the hair around the neck and the top of the head long, you can make it look like a lion’s mane.
Doing this yourself is a bit tricky, but if you have given your dog a variety of haircuts before you can probably manage a lion cut. Otherwise, take your dog to a groomer who can do it.
What Is a Lion Cut?
A lion cut involves cutting the hair on your dog quite short on most of its body but leaving the hair long around the head and neck. This makes your dog’s hair look like a lion’s mane. About 70% of your dog’s hair has to be cut short for this hairstyle to work.
Why Get a Lion Cut?
More than anything else, a lion cut looks cute and funny on a dog, including a large dog like a Golden Retriever or a German Shepherd. The lion cut is not for every dog, but it looks great on many small breeds and some large breeds of dogs.
Arguably, no dog looks better with a lion cut than a Golden Retriever. If you are out with a Golden Retriever with this look, people will love the way your dog looks and give it lots of attention. A Golden Retriever with a lion cut will stand out from the other dogs.
Lion Cuts Are Low Maintenance
Since you cut the hair on most of your dog’s body short with a lion cut, you won’t have to spend as much time grooming your dog. Grooming a Golden Retriever’s thick double coat takes time. You don’t have to groom short hair to stop it from tangling up.
Matted Hair Is Not Ok
Don’t assume that it is ok to let your dog’s hair get matted. Your dog will look bad with its hair matted and tangled. It is even unhealthy – your dog may develop skin issues if its hair is left matted for too long.
Will Your Golden Retriever Get Cold With a Lion Cut?
Yes, your Golden Retriever may get too cold in the winter if it is missing most of its fur. A dog’s fur is its winter coat, and with most of its fur gone, it may get cold very fast in the winter.
You can still give your dog a lion cut, but you have to be careful and reasonable. If you live in a hot area, you might not have to worry, though even if the winter is short, your dog might get too cold.
How Long Will the Hair Take to Regrow?
Thankfully, your dog’s hair will grow back fast if you don’t like the look of the lion cut or the temperature starts dropping. It will take about eight weeks for all of your dog’s hair to grow back. If you want your Golden Retriever to have a lion cut only for a summer, the hair will grow back fast enough.
How to Give a Dog a Lion Cut
If you have cut your dog’s hair into a style before, you can probably do a lion cut. It isn’t complicated. To make it look right, you should:
- First, shave all the hair on your dog’s back and sides. Don’t shave down to the skin, but make it short.
- Shave most but not all of your dog’s tail, leaving the hair long at the end of it.
- Shave the top 3/4s of the dog’s legs, leaving the lower part of the legs alone.
The thick hair left on your dog’s head and neck should look like a mane. You might then use some pet hair color to make the mane stand out.
What Other Breeds Can Get Lion Cuts?
Other than the Golden Retriever, people usually get lion cuts for small breeds of dogs. Some of the more common breeds are:
- Chow Chow
Another relatively large breed that can look good with a lion cut is the German Shepherd. The lion cut is not only for large dogs.
Making a Lion’s Mane Costume
A Golden Retriever is a great breed of dog to dress up like a lion. It looks just like a miniature lion if you make a mane and sew the mane around its head. The dog looks hilarious with its lion’s mane costume on.
Golden Retrievers are social dogs that love attention. It will amuse your dog as much as you if you show the dog in its lion costume to other people. Golden retrievers are also calm and relaxed dogs that won’t be annoyed by you measuring their heads or putting the costume on.
You Can Make a Costume Yourself
Making a lion’s mane costume is more time-consuming than taking your dog to someone who can give it a lion’s mane cut. However, it can make your Golden Retriever look like a lion much more than a mere haircut can.
You can also take the costume on and off whenever you want. With a haircut, you will have to wait two months for the hair to fully grow back.
How Do You Make a Lion Costume?
To make a lion costume, you need to be reasonably good with a sewing machine. You will need to first build a mock dog head out of tape and paper/cardboard.
You won’t be able to cut and sew the faux fur properly without a mock dog head. You won’t end up with a lion’s mane your dog can wear if you skip this step. It is too hard to figure out how to work with the faux fir without a mock head.
Start With Head Measurements
Use a soft, flexible measuring tape to measure your dog’s head. Take a few different measurements. Get enough information that you will be able to make the mock head.
Make a Mock Head From Paper and Tape
Once you have the measurements, making a mock head is not hard. You don’t need to use any solid materials – stiff paper is good enough. Fool around with it until it is reasonably close in size and shape to your dog’s head.
Cut the Fake Fur Into Shape
After you have the mock head, cut fake fur into strips and drape them around it. If you use a single piece of fake fur, it won’t look good at all.
You also shouldn’t use too many small pieces of fake fur, that won’t work well either. Use strips of fake fur and pleat them together. If you are disappointed in the volume you end up with, add another layer or two to increase the volume.
Sew It All Together
To hold the fake fur together, use pins. When you have all of the strips of fur attached to your mock head, you can see how it will look when you are finished.
Once you have the lion’s mane costume pinned to the mock head and looking like you want it to, you are mostly finished. Sewing it together is easier than making it look right on the mock head.
Put it On Your Dog
If your mock head was not too far from the dog’s real proportions and the fur was sewn together properly, the costume will easily fit and look great on your dog. A lot of the time, the costume will work the first time and you won’t have to give up or start all over.
The trick is to do everything slowly and carefully. Take your time when measuring, making the mock head, cutting the fur into strips, pinning it together, and finally sewing.
Tips for Cutting and Sewing Fake Fur
When you are cutting fake fur into strips, never use scissors. You will cut the little hairs, and it will look terrible.
Use a fine edge such as an exacto knife or a razor. When you cut through the fur, cut through the backing. Try to separate it while cutting through as little of the hair as possible.
You might also partly sew the strips of fake fur together by hand before you use the sewing machine. You want to hold all of your seams in place securely before you go to the sewing machine.