The hair between a Golden's toes can prevent him from gaining enough traction on a slippery floor and may cause him injury and discomfort. Keeping the hair on his feet trimmed back will ensure that he can grip the floor without slipping and hurting himself. You'll also be helping to prevent ice and snow buildup on his feet during the winter and mud and dirt from being tracked in the rest of the year.
Trimming your Golden's feet is an easy process if he is used to having his feet handled. Have your dog lie down, and have a helper feed him treats while you trim the excess fur around each foot. Use your straight scissors to trim the excess hair on the bottom of his feet, but to avoid accidentally cutting the foot pad, rest your scissors on the foot pad and point them away from the rest of the foot. Stand your dog up and cut around the outline of each foot, then pull the hair up from between his toes and trim off the excess with the thinning shears. Use the thinning shears to blend the fur so it looks less choppy and gives more of a sleek outline to the foot.
The more often you do it, the better you will get at it. If you find it a difficult task because your Golden will not hold still and allow his feet to be touched, see Chapter 7 for a detailed recipe for teaching him to have his feet handled.