Unless you plan to show your Golden Retriever, trimming is very limited. The most important parts to keep trimmed are her feet and rectal area. The fur in and around the feet should be trimmed regularly, along the top, below, and between the pads. Trimming a Golden Retriever’s paws is as important as trimming her nails.
Begin by clipping the hair around the bottom of the paw so that it is level with the pad up to the nails. Then, using your finger, bring the hair up from between the toes to the top of the paw and round it to the shape of the paw. Turn the paw over and, using short blunt-nosed scissors, carefully trim the fur from between the pads. Trimming the fur between the pads is particularly critical if you live in a region where it snows in the winter or is hot and humid in the summer.
In the winter, snow gets trapped in the fur between the pads and develops into painful snow or ice balls. In hot, humid summer weather, moisture can get trapped in the fur on the back of the leg from the heel pad up to the stopper pad.If you notice a reddish change in color on your Golden’s paw, it may be caused by persistent licking due to either an allergy or some sort of irritation. Check her feet and, if necessary, call your veterinarian.
Keeping the hair in her rectal area trimmed short helps prevent fecal matter from catching in her fur. This is of particular importance as your Golden ages or if she develops joint issues, because she may not be able to squat enough for the fecal matter to fully clear her coat.
Begin by gently trimming all of the fur, including the underside of her tail, about an inch (2.5cm) away from the anus. If you still find fecal matter in her coat, you may need to increase the trim area or shorten some of the plumes on her legs, tail, or both. If you take your Golden to a groomer, this is known as a sanitary trim.
Caution: If you plan to use electric clippers when trimming a Golden Retriever’s paws, read all of the instructions that accompany the clippers very carefully. Better yet, arrange to take a lesson or two from a professional groomer or someone with extensive experience using electric clippers on Retrievers.