When Do Golden Retrievers Get Their Full Coat?

Pet Health


September 6, 2022

Golden retrievers are some of the most beautiful dogs on the planet. They are known for the double thick, golden coat of fur from which they derive their name. Their coat comes in different stages with it almost flowing by the time they reach adulthood.

Their breed has a thick coat as well as a good undercoat that is water-repellant. But before they get that full coat, they go through different stages when it comes to their coat growth and shedding. Here is what to know about the golden retriever coat growth pattern.

When Do Golden Retrievers Get Their Full Coat?

If you have been wondering “When do golden retrievers get their full coat?” the answer is that they generally begin growing their coat around the three-month mark. Most owners realize that the fur their puppy has is not going to be the same fur that they have when they grow up.

In the beginning, they look like little balls of fluff. Their fur can be a bit unruly as it grows and changes into what we know as adults. They start out with a lot of short hair that sticks up in many different directions. Eventually, that hair grows out and becomes the mane that we know.

Purebred golden retrievers will have a coat that is practically flowing to go along with a protective undercoat. The outer coat has long, flowing hair that extends all the way to the underbody and tail. It will be the longest around the chest, stomach, legs, and tail.

The coat will be quite similar in length for both males and females. That said, some will have a bit more feathering than others. It comes down to the genes that your dog’s parents’ passed down to him or her. When the hair does start to grow out, it will do so rather quickly.

It may take a little while before you start to see some of the feathering. That said, you should see a bit in the tail and other areas when the growing process begins. By the time they hit one year old, they should have most of their longer hair and full coat.

Some golden retrievers will be able to grow their coat earlier, but it isn’t the most common thing. Alongside genes, their diet and health can make a difference in their ability to grow out their full coat.

Looking for the First Signs

It can be helpful to know what the first signs of growth are for your golden retriever’s mane of hair. You might be excited to see that coat come in, just know that you are going to have to wait some time for that to happen.

Golden puppies are generally not going to see any longer hair until at least three months old. This is often starting with the hair on their tail first. You will notice their tail starting to fill out and fluff up far before any other part of their body.

That said, it won’t take long before your golden retriever puppy starts to show some of the classic long hair that represents the coat that is to come. This signals the move away from being a puppy and the beginning of the transformation into the adult dog that you will see.

Stages of Hair Growth

There are stages when it comes to the growth of their coats. That initial growth will start early, and it basically will be a little bit of stubble. As a matter of fact, it may not be all that noticeable until they are reaching adulthood at around a year old.

By the time they hit the later months of the first year, their coats should begin coming in rapidly. By 12 months, they should have the full coat that will be with them for the rest of their days.

Beginning with the tail, their fur will become thicker and fluffier slowly but surely. Growth will then happen around the belly, legs, and hind quarters. With time, their entire body will develop a thicker coat and the trademark long hair that the golden retriever has become known for.

Not only will their fur be longer, but for most adults, the coat will be a slightly darker color. Most golden puppies are quite light-colored. But depending on genetics, exposure, and other conditions, it is possible for your golden to develop almost a golden brown hue.

The fur around the legs, tail, and stomach, however, will be on the lighter side. Sometimes it is totally white. Wherever the fur grows, it will remain light, even to the point of being white.


One of the trademarks of golden retrievers is their long, flowing coat. When your golden hits the three-month mark, the growth of its coat will begin. But when do golden retrievers get their full coat? By the time they reach their first birthday, they should have the long coat that makes golden retrievers so beautiful.

It can be quite something to see your adorable, fluffy golden puppy transform into the huge, majestic dog that so many love. During that first year of life, you will see the fuzzy puppy become the gorgeous dog with the flowing mane.