Most Golden Retrievers like to be brushed if you familiarize them with the brush slowly and gently, and don't get hung up on getting too much done all at once. If there is a way to turn a dog off from grooming, it is to make the process long and uncomfortable. Make sure that your Golden's first encounters with the brush are pleasant ones, and you are sure to teach your dog that being groomed is a pleasant experience.
The basic brush that you will need to get out the most dead hair is a regular flat slicker brush. There are all different kinds of brushes available on the market, and each is used for a different coat type or to groom a certain part of the dog: the feathering on the legs, the tail, or the whole body. The slicker brush will remove the undercoat and dead hair next to your dog's skin. This brush will allow you to remove the most dead hair from his body and feathering on his legs.
Golden Retrievers shed a lot, all year round, but they tend to lose the most coat in the spring and fall. At these times of year, you may want to brush your Golden Retriever twice weekly or more to ensure that you remove as much of the dead fur as possible so that his new coat will come in quickly. Frequent brushing is recommended to keep the volume of fur to a minimum.
There are many products on the market that will help cut down on the mess. Decorative covers for your car seats, couches, and the lining of your van or SUV are also available, making it easier to contain the shed hair. Most die-hard Golden Retriever lovers have also given up wearing black, or have simply learned to just close their eyes to the golden locks that adhere to their dress-up clothes.
Brushing your dog outdoors will prevent you from spreading the mess all over your house and may make cleanup a bit easier. As a bonus, the birds and squirrels will love the loose fur for nest lining.
Mats, Burrs, and Tangles
Depending upon the length of your Golden Retriever's coat, you may find that he has a talent for picking up all kinds of plant material in his coat, or that his coat gets matted around the ears, groin, or feathering on the rear legs. Removing mats and tangles should be done carefully as a dog's skin is quite elastic and the danger of cutting the skin is high. A great technique for removing mats and tangles is to use a comb under the mat held close to the skin (so that you remove the danger of cutting it) and then trim the mat out with the scissors. Thinning shears can then be used to even out the fur so that the cut does not leave a hole in the coat.
Checking your Golden Retriever for tangles and mats on a weekly basis will help prevent this from becoming a huge problem in the future. Always brush and remove all mats before bathing your Golden or letting him swim, as water will tend to make the mat even more difficult to remove.