When Do Golden Retrievers Get Long Hair and a Full Coat?

by Matt Bostic

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It is usually pretty easy to pick out a Golden Retriever from the rest of the dogs around them. 

They are going to have a golden coat that flows and looks really beautiful. This can make them a really fun dog to have around. 

However, they are not going to be born with that full hair. 

Instead, their coats will start out fluffy and then grow into long and shiny hair

But at what age does the Golden Retriever get their full coat of long hair?

Golden Retrievers begin growing their full coat at around three months of age. Feathering will appear first on the tail followed by the stomach, chest, and legs within their first year.  The exact time frame, coat length, and color will depend on the individual dog, and there are many variations within adult Golden Retrievers.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the different aspects of the Golden Retriever hair and learn more about what is normal, such as when they will get their full coat in, and what you need to do to care for your Golden Retriever as they make this transition. 

When Do Golden Retrievers Get Long Hair and a Full Coat?

Many pet owners understand that the coat a dog breed has when they are puppies is not going to be the same coat that they have when they are older. 

While the Golden Retriever will be known for their full coat as they get older, they are going to look a little bit silly having all that hair when they are a puppy.

They will start out with some shorter hair and then it will grow out to be more later on. 

A purebred Golden Retriever is able to show off their flowing outer coat along with a thick, protective undercoat to go along with it. 

The outer coat is going to include long hair and will extend all the way to the underbody and the tail. 

It will often be the longest in the tail, legs, stomach, and chest. 

The exact amount of hair can depend on the specific dog. 

While the coat is going to be similar in length for both the male and the female dogs, it is important to note that some of these dogs will have more feathers and longer hair than others. 

This is going to come down to the genes that these dogs will get from their parent. 

The hair will start to grow out pretty quickly when the dog starts to grow. 

Some of the feathering will start to show up later, but you can see that the tail and a few other areas will begin the growing process when the dog is close to three months old.

The feathering takes a bit longer and may not come in until they are almost a year old. 

For most Golden Retrievers, the longer hair is going to be all in, and they will have their full coat, by the time they are a year old. 

Some will be able to grow that long coat earlier, so do not be surprised to see that happen as well. 

The genes of the dog, their health, and even the diet that you provide them will make a difference in how much hair the dog has and when the full coat will come in. 

First Signs of Hair Growth on the Golden Retriever

It is a good idea to look for some of the first signs of hair growth on your Golden Retriever. 

While you may be excited to see that full coat come in, you will have to wait a few months to see much of it. 

Most Golden Retriever puppies are not going to start seeing the longer hair until they are close to three months, and this is often going to be the hair that grows on the tail first, rather than the lush and thick hair that you want over the rest of the body. 

Once the tail starts to grow longer hair, the dog owner will start to see other areas growing as well. 

It does not take long for the puppy to start showing some of the longer hair that will make up that full coat later on. 

This growth marks a departure away from all the puppy fluff and will be the beginning of the full coat that you should see with the adult dog. 

If the coat of the puppy’s parents took a long time to grow in, then it is more likely that the puppy will take longer to grow that full coat as well. 

Under most circumstances though, the short, fluffy coat of the puppy will last for the first three months. 

Then it will slowly start to change into the longer coat. 

This does take a few months to happen and there are exceptions, especially if the dog’s parents took longer to get the full coat. 

What are the Hair Growth Stages for the Golden Retriever

Now that we know a bit more about when the full coat starts to come in for the Golden Retriever, it is time to learn more about some of the hair growth stages that this dog will go through.

The initial growth that is going to start showing up at three months old is going to be really subtle and you may not notice it as much until they are one year old.

The Golden Retriever is going to have a full coat that they will keep in their adult lives when they reach the age of two. 

The long adult hair will be one of the first places where the hair will grow longer. 

This is a process that will start at the tail and then the feathering process will proceed to the legs and to the stomach. 

With time, the entire body will end up with the full coat and longer hair.

It will not only be longer, but it is likely that the adult coat is going to come in at a slightly darker color than the puppy fur. 

Feathered fur that is found on the tail, legs, and stomach, will often be light and soft, especially when compared to the longer hair that is on the top. 

This is a good thing because it provides for temperature regulation. 

This same fur will be able to thicken when it gets cold out, allowing the dog a way to stay warm. 

Keep in mind here that this breed will not shed off their puppy fur. 

This can seem a little strange, especially if you have worked with other dogs in the past. 

Instead, the new hair is going to start to grow and this will nudge the puppy fur to the side. 

The newer and longer outer coat will take over and give them the appearance that you are looking for in the Golden Retriever. 

This means that this dog is going to have a double coat. 

The puppy fur is going to be the undercoat to keep them warm and then the longer hair is going to be the outer layer as well. 

Eventually, the undercoat is given time to grow thicker and the outer coat will start to cover it up. 

This is a transition that will take about 18 months for most Golden Retrievers to finish. 

However, it is not uncommon for most retrievers to have their full coat growing in when they turn a year old. 

The thickness that will be found in this coat will depend on the environment that is around the dog. 

If they spend a lot of their time outside, they will get a thicker coat compared to when they spend their time inside. 

The body of the dog will help to regulate how much coat they need to stay warm. 

The full coat of this dog is going to go through a lot of changes in their lifetime. 

It starts as puppy fluff and then can mature and change to be a coarse and water resistant coat that will serve them well in their adult years. 

The mature coat is important because it will help the dog to stay dry and warm, based on the weather around them. 

In the summer, the coat will be able to shed a bit to help the dog stay cool. 

Keeping the Full Coat Healthy for Your Golden Retriever

A Golden Retriever has a gorgeous coat that many dog owners are going to love.

Understanding how this grows in and some of the steps that you can take to keep it healthy will make a big difference in how healthy it can be. 

Learn more about the coat, and give it the proper grooming, to make sure that your dog is as healthy as possible for years to come. 

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