Why Is My Golden Retriever Curly Or Wavy? (With Solutions)

As their name emphasizes, Golden Retrievers have beautiful golden coats that can range in color shades from light to dark. The Golden Retriever’s coat can vary in length and waviness, but the AKC is evident that the dog must be fit for working to meet the breed standard. This means its coat must possess the right qualities.

golden retriever

The Golden Retriever was bred for hunting: to retrieve game out in the fields, woods, and rivers so its coat must be warm, water repellant, and not have the tendency to get tangled. So long, flowing coats, although beautiful, do not meet these requirements. 

This might be a surprise to you if that was your image of a Golden Retriever. For some owners, their young pup’s adult coat turns out wavier than expected, but this is not a reason for concern, as you will find out.

Why Is My Golden Retriever Curly Or Wavy?

It is normal for a Golden Retriever to have a wavy coat. Bred to retrieve game on land and water, they need to be ready for harsh conditions like the cold and wet. According to the American Kennel Club, Golden Retrievers are double-coated with a dense, warm undercoat and a close-fitting water repellant overcoat, which, according to the AKC, is “neither coarse nor silky, lying close to the body; may be straight or wavy.”

What Are Curly Or Wavy Hairs In Dogs?

Whether your dog has curls, waves, or straight hair is down to genetics. The practical purpose of the curls is to repel water so that the fur doesn’t become waterlogged. A wet Golden Retriever gets cold and tires quickly, which is no use for a dog bred to work hard in the great outdoors.

Are Curly Hairs Normal In Golden Retrievers?

It is entirely normal for a Golden Retriever to have wavy hair. In fact, if your Golden Retriever has flat, loose, open fur, it may not be a true Golden. Golden Retrievers were bred as hunting dogs; they have a dense, thick warm undercoat that insulates them and keeps them heated. The water-repellant topcoat lies flat against the body like a snug jacket and can be straight or wavy, depending on the breeding.

Beautiful Golden Retriever

Want to know Why Isn’t your Golden Retriever Fluffy? You can read this article, where I’ve explained the causes with solutions in detail. It can help you to restore your Golden’s fluffy fur!

When Are Wavy Or Curly Hairs Not Normal In Golden Retrievers?

As the curl of your dog’s coat is down to genetics, there isn’t anything you can do about it. However, Golden Retrievers can have issues with their coat, such as excessive fur loss. If there are any changes to your dog’s coat and you are unsure, it is always best to consult with a vet. 

What Type Of Fur Do Golden Retrievers Normally Have?

Golden Retrievers are usually double coated. They have an undercoat of short, dense fur to keep them warm and a coarser wavy water-repellent overcoat. The undercoat acts like Velcro to keep the overcoat tight to the body to keep the heat in and the water out. 

Golden Retrievers also have the trademark feathering on the tail, back of the legs, and the neck’s front. The Golden Retriever has two significant shedding periods a year but will shed continuously to a lesser extent, which can mean extra work for you. Some dogs shed more than others. 

But if your Golden’s shedding is abnormal and your Golden Retriever is losing hair in clumps, then you should seek out help, talk with your vet.

Dogs kept outside in a kennel will generally shed less as they are exposed to the seasons. Depending on bloodlines, some Golden Retrievers naturally have thicker fur than others. Dogs bred for showing tend to have thicker coats than those used in hunting.

How To Get Back Your Golden Retrievers Curly Or Wavy Hair In Natural Form?

The condition of your Golden’s coat can depend on different factors such as bloodlines, gender, skin condition, and whether your dog has been neutered or spayed. Looking after your Golden Retriever’s health, nutrition and grooming will go a long way to keep your Golden looking its best.

Diet And Nutrition

Ensure your Golden Retriever has a healthy diet as this can stop them from shedding too much. As advised by your vet, a healthy diet will keep their skin – and health in general – in good condition. Omega 3 supplements might help to maintain healthy skin and coat. 


The Golden Retriever requires regular brushing and grooming. This is not a dog for those who like a low maintenance pet or the very house proud as it sheds a lot – predominantly twice a year in spring and fall, but also all year round to a lesser degree. 

Brushing your Golden Retriever should be part of your routine from a young age to get them used to it. You may find this time together becomes part of your bonding process. 

Suggested – Best Dog Brush For Golden Retrievers

Brush your Golden two to three times a week to remove any loose hairs, which will otherwise end up on your carpet. While you are at it, make it a habit to check teeth, nails, and ears. Keep claws neat and trimmed but avoid cutting too close to the ‘quick’ – the tender, delicate part. 

Recommended Reads – Do Golden Retrievers Have Dewclaws?

Keep Them Clean

Your Golden is a muck magnet and loves nothing better than playing in water and mud, as you are probably well aware. It helps if you have an outside tap to hose off your dog after running around outside in the dirt.

golden retriever fetch

Keeping your dog clean is essential as dried-on dirt can irritate the skin, causing problems. A hose down with fresh water when they are muddy is sufficient. Try not to bathe your dog too frequently, as they can lose some of their natural coat oils. Always use a special dog shampoo as human shampoo can dry out their skin.

Ensure you dry off your Golden Retriever thoroughly as wet fur can become a breeding ground for bacteria, leading to skin infections. This is especially true with Golden Retrievers as they have such a thick coat.

List Of Dog Breeds With Curly Or Wavy Hair

If you like the curly look, then check out some of these breeds. 

  • American Water Spaniel
  • Labradoodle 
  • Bedlington Terrier
  • Toy Poodle
  • Barbet
  • Kerry Blue Terrier
  • Bouvier Des Flandres
  • Lagotto Romagnolo
  • Standard Poodle
  • Airedale Terrier
  • Portuguese Waterdog
  • Bichon Frise
  • Curly Coated Retriever


Can A Golden Retriever Have Curly Hair?

Golden Retrievers don’t have curly hair in the same way as, say, a poodle that has tight curls. The waves of a Golden Retriever are predominantly along their back. Their coat lies flat against their body and is neither coarse nor silky.

Why Does My Golden Retriever Tail Curl?

Tail curling could be a genetic deformity. It is not expected in Golden Retrievers. If your dog’s tail develops a curl, you should visit your vet as something is wrong.

Is It Ok To Have Curly-Coated Golden Retriever?

As long as your dog is happy, healthy, and well looked after, there should be no concern arising from your Golden Retriever’s wavy coat. 

Can Golden Retriever Puppies Have Curly Hair?

Golden Retriever puppies are not born with curly hair. Golden Retriever puppies have straight, soft fur. They are bundles of fluff initially, but even as early as three months old, you should start to see feathering on the legs, tail, and neck. The puppy coat becomes the dense, insulating undercoat when the coarser, wavy overcoat comes in. When they are a few months old, the topcoat will start to grow, and by eighteen months, your Golden should have its full, beautiful adult coat

Can A Golden Retriever Have Oily Fur?

A Golden Retriever’s fur has natural oils in it. For example, Goldens is not typical to have particularly oily fur, unlike a Border Terrier. If the fur becomes overly oily, there is an imbalance, perhaps due to diet or too-frequent bathing, and you should consult your vet


It is usual for a Golden Retriever to have wavy fur. Depending on breeding, your Golden Retriever will have wavy or straight hair. This is an essential feature in a dog that was bred for outdoor hunting and retrieving waterfowl. 

Without the dense, water repellent, and wavy outercoat, your Golden would get cold too quickly and get tired easily when performing its job. For this reason, a coarser, wavy overcoat is the norm and not the exception. 

In recent years, the long-flowing coat has become favorable to some owners, but this is not typical of a true Golden Retriever. There will be differences in coats between dogs, but wavy hair in your Golden Retriever is not something to worry about.

Well, that was it for your query “Why Is My Golden Retriever Curly Or Wavy?” I hope that I’ve helped you throughout this article! If still, you have any questions left, leave them in the comments, I’ll get back to you.

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