Why is my Golden Retriever Curly or Wavy?

by Kern Campbell

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Why is my Golden Retriever Curly or Wavy

I adopted a Golden Retriever many months back, and as she is now fully grown, I can see that she has curly fur, and I am curious to know why this is so.

On my lunch break today, I decided to hunt down any details on this topic.

Why is my Golden Retriever Curly or Wavy?

If your Golden Retrievers fur is curly or wavy, it could be due to genetics.  This is not their typical fur coat style, but it can happen if that is what the Golden Retrievers parents have.  Pet parents can get a good idea of what their Golden Retriever puppy will have by looking at their dog parents.  While some Golden Retrievers can have curly or wavy fur, it is normal for them to have straight and fluffy fur. 

Golden Retrievers can take a long time to grow in their mature coat. It can also go through many stages as they grow.  When a Golden Retriever is a puppy, they will have straight fur, but as they grow through the phases, they may eventually have curly or wavy fur.  

This process can take up to thirty-six months but depends on the individual Golden Retriever.   Selecting a reputable breeder can reduce the chance that your Golden Retriever has a curly or wavy fur coat.  All reputable breeders seek to match the appearance that is characteristic of the breed which is guided by the American Kennel Club.  Whether a Golden Retriever has their typical fur coat, or a curly or wavy fur coat can depend on their diet as they go through the puppy growth stages. 

Puppies going through the process may not have the right amount or proper kind of nutrition, and they suffer a lack of fur coat growth, which can cause the fur to appear wavy or curly.  Grooming can also cause a lack of fur coat growth for a Golden Retriever puppy and cause them to have curly or wavy fur.

Golden Retrievers are a breed of dog that is loveable and beautiful with a gorgeous fur coat.  When it comes to breeding, the breed standard concerning appearance is a flowing, and fluffy fur coat.  There will be some Golden Retrievers that have a curly or wavy fur coat.

When this happens, it is related to their genetics and comes from their parents.  If their parents had a wavy or curly fur coat, they too would have that.

Selecting a reputable and responsible breeder can reduce the chance that a Golden Retriever will have a fur coat that is wavy or curly.  Reputable breeders seek to match the breed standard for the dog breed.

Like some other dog breeds, Golden Retrievers can take a long time to fully develop their fur coat from puppy to mature adult.   Their coat will go through many stages as they grow from puppy to adult.  Puppies will begin with a straight fur coat that will mature and pass through the stages, possibly changing to wavy, curly, or not, and eventually finishing growth around eighteen to thirty-six months.

Diet can affect this growth as a Golden Retriever goes through each puppy stage.  If they are fed too little or even too much, or their diet is inferior, they can lack fur coat growth.

This issue can also be caused by improper grooming as they grow.  These issues can cause a Golden Retriever to eventually have a curly or wavy coat versus their typical flowing and fluffy fur coat.

Can I change my Golden Retrievers fur coat from curly or wavy to straight?

This answer depends on why their fur is curly or wavy and who they are genetically.

If it is not related to genetics and who they are as a dog, there are a few things that can be done to help their coat take on its natural appearance.

First and foremost, focus on their diet.  Make sure they are eating a healthy and nutritional diet.  Ensure that they are getting enough food to eat daily, which may need to go up or down from one day to the next based on their energy and activity level.

A healthy diet can also reduce shedding and create a beautiful, smooth and healthy fur coat.  It can also be helpful to supplement with fish, coconut, or olive oils containing Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which are known to promote a healthy-looking fur coat.

Make sure that your Golden Retriever is groomed regularly.   Daily brushing can make all the difference in how anyone’s fur or hair looks, including your Golden Retrievers.  It can be difficult to determine if a Golden Retriever has curly fur if they are always knotted or tangled.  These knots and tangles can make them look like they have curly fur, but they may not.

They should be bathed regularly, with every six weeks being average.  Some Golden Retrievers that get extra dirty will need baths done more frequently, but bathing can ensure that their fur coat appears as fluffy and beautiful as possible.

They should also have ample daily exercise.  This dog breed is athletic and outdoorsy, so providing them with fresh air and exercise can benefit their health, including their fur coat.

On the flip side, overactivity can cause unnecessary stress on the body and bring about issues with their fur coats appearance, including loss of fur.  Each dog is unique, and pet parents will need to closely examine how much is healthy and appropriate for their individual Golden Retriever.

When should I consult my Golden Retrievers veterinarian about his fur coat?

When to consult a Golden Retrievers veterinarian about his fur coat would be when you notice any of the following symptoms aside from fur coat issues.

These include:

  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in energy level
  • Loss of fur in clumps
  • Fever
  • A dry nose
  • Eyes that are watering or oozing
  • Excessive scratching, licking, or biting.
  • Changes in how much they drink.
  • Excessive sleep or lack of sleep

These and other changes to their daily habits can be a sign that something is wrong with their health.   Consulting their veterinarian can offer a clear picture of what could be going on and address it before it is a prolonged issue.

Why is my Golden Retriever Curly or Wavy
Vet examining the dog

Any noticeable changes in how they behave regarding daily life can sometimes be subtle and gradual, happening over time.  They may begin to eat less, drink less, or sleep more for days or weeks, which their pet parents can easily miss.  Once issues are noticed, a veterinary visit can put them on the right track to good health.

If a curly or wavy fur coat is not typical for the Golden Retriever, what do they usually have?

Golden Retrievers are a double-coat dog breed.  This means that they have two layers of fur.  The top or outer fur coat is long, flowing, fluffy but smooth, while their inner coat is a fuzzy type of fur that is soft.  Both coats work together to create a barrier against weather and outdoor elements, keeping the dog insulated and protected.

Golden Retrievers also have a very thick and dense fur coat. For this reason, they tend to have an oiler fur coat that is naturally water-resistant and creates a barrier between them and the outdoor elements.  This is part of their breeding as a hunting and retrieving companion, as they would spend tremendous amounts of time outdoors in diverse weather.

While this fur might not be necessary in our modern world, many a Golden Retriever spends time indoors with their loving family.  They may not all be hunting companions today, but their genetics and physical features are still prominent in who they are as a dog.

If my Golden Retriever has wavy or curly hair, is there something wrong with her?

No, nothing is wrong with your Golden Retriever if she has wavy or curly hair.  While this is not the breed standard, and most good breeders will attempt to match the breed standard, your dog is perfect just as she is.

Genetics play a part, and it is possible that her breeder or the breeder of her parents didn’t follow as strict of breeding practices or was not as concerned with matching breed standard for appearance.

There is nothing wrong with your dog. She is beautiful and unique, which makes her the dog that she is.  Love her for who she is as a dog, care for her overall health, and she will be happy and content for many years.

Appearance is just the outer image of who we are on the inside, including a dog.  While she might not match the set standard for the Golden Retriever breed, everyone is unique, dog and human.

In Conclusion

Why a Golden Retriever has curly or wavy fur depends on their breeding and who they are as a dog.

While there is a breed standard, it makes them no less loveable if they don’t match that set standard.  Whether curly, wavy or straight, embrace the uniqueness and diversity, even in the dog world, as we are all perfect!

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