Golden Retrievers, on the whole, are fairly simple to groom. They have a double coat that is smooth and has hair of medium length. The texture of their coats is not prone to matting.
Golden Retrievers should be brushed about twice a week with a stiff bristled brush and should be dry bathed on a regular basis. Save wet bathing for just once every few months, as the Golden Retriever's skin can become irritated from too much bathing. When you do bathe your Golden Retriever, you may notice that his hair has a wavy look when it is simply toweled and allowed to dry naturally. If you want your Golden Retriever's coat to look smooth and straight, you will need to use a blow dry, straightening the hair with a brush as it is blown dry. However, unless you're showing your dog, there really is no need for the coat to look straight and smooth.
Occasionally, your Golden Retriever's ears will need to be trimmed of hair, in order to keep them looking neat. This is especially important if your dog is to be shown. Start at the top of the ear, trimming away stray and fuzzy hairs. Use thinning shears, and work all the way around the outside of the ear, trimming and thinning the hair so that it lies down neatly along the ear and neck. It's best to avoid an "over-groomed" look; just try to trip up the hair around the ear so that it all looks uniform and even in length. You may also need to trim some strays from inside the ear in order to ensure a neat appearance.
You may also need to trim the feathering on your Golden Retriever's hind and front legs. Holding your thinning shears vertically, start at the foot and trim up the back of the legs. In most cases, you want your Golden to have some feathering on the backs of the legs, so don't trim too closely. It's better to trim just a little and have to trim again, than to trim too much off at once.
Most Golden Retriever owners also trim their dogs' tails from time to time. The easiest way to do this is to comb the tail out until it is tangle free and then have the dog lie on his side so that you can spread the tail out on the floor in a fan shape. Trim the tail so that it looks a bit like a knife blade when you're finished, with the hair at the base of the tail longer than the hair at the end. The hair at the tip of the tail should be rounded off into a point. In most cases, the longest hair on the tail should be about 4 inches. However, your dog should look proportionate all over, so judge the length of the tail hair by the overall proportion of the hair and the body.