Last Updated on November 11, 2023 by Linda Richard
Labradors are amazing, cheerful and full of energy animals. They are able to dispel any moping and put their owners in a great mood. In addition, dogs are excellent babysitters and loyal friends. They are non-conflictive and prefer to avoid quarrels with other dogs by any means. But that doesn’t mean they are cowardly. They have enough strength and courage to deal with any offender! The perfect pet for home keeping. If it weren’t for one difficulty – the Labrador molts.
When getting a new pup, the problem of shedding is always front and center – so, do labrador Retrievers shed a lot and how can you deal with that challenge if they do? Does the type of Labrador you get matter in terms of shedding? Are there any tips and tricks that can help you mitigate the issue? We’ll cover all those questions below.
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Do Labradors Shed A Lot?
In a word – yes. Dog hair is thick and there is a lot of it. Labradors are a “water retriever” breed that has evolved with a double-layered coat. The fact is that the dogs of this breed have a specific coat structure, which is reflected in the standard. This is the so-called double coat. The upper layer consists of a stiff, tightly fitting pin hair, the undercoat underneath is soft, short and very dense. Due to its natural lubrication, Labrador wool has water-repellent properties. It practically never gets wet, as water rolls off the shaft hairs without penetrating into the undercoat, and practically never gets dirty, as all dirt is not absorbed, but remains on top of the hard covering layer. The lower layer is for temperature management and the upper layer is waterproof which aids with swimming. The consequence of all that, however, is that your lab will shed a lot.
Do Labradors Shed A Lot Year-Round Or At Specific Times?
Yes and no. Because of how much hair they have, labs will shed pretty consistently all year long. That amount of shedding is easily manageable, however – brushing your lab every other day, regular baths, and adequate vacuuming will solve the problem.
However, twice a year, a lab will go through what’s called “seasonal shedding”. In both early spring and early fall a labrador retriever will shed a truly spectacular amount of fur. This is done to get rid of the dog’s winter or summer coat in preparation for the next season. You will need to take some extra measures for this twice a year – we’ll mention some tips and tricks below.
It’s also scientifically proven that male dogs shed more than female dogs. Therefore, the problem of systematic hair loss in boys is a normal phenomenon. Of course, we are not talking about those moments when the loss is abundant and bald spots began to appear. In this case, vitamins will not help, it is necessary to consult a veterinarian and identify the cause of the ailment.
The molt in a Labrador Retriever girl is associated with hormonal changes. Therefore, during heat and pregnancy, a slight loss of hair can be observed. But in a normal state, when the hormonal background is stable, it will not be possible to pull out even one hair. If a Labrador girl has severe hair loss, regardless of the time of year and well-being – you should contact a veterinary clinic to determine the cause.
Do Black Labs Shed A Lot?
Depending on who you ask, you’ll be told either that black labs shed the least or the most of all labs. As far as we can tell, black labs shed as much as any other lab. If anything, the black color of their coat will make their hair less noticeable in most situations. This can both make a black lab’s shedding feel less impactful and potentially cause you to ignore the shedding a bit more than you should.
Do Yellow Labs Shed A Lot?
Yellow labs are most frequently cited as the biggest shedding offenders. However, this is most likely due to the bright yellow color of their coats. When a yellow lab is in seasonal shedding mode you are guaranteed to notice it.
Do Chocolate Labs Shed A Lot?
Similar to their black brethren, chocolate labs’ fur can seem a bit less noticeable because of its dark brown color. However, chocolate labs do seem to shed as much as any other type of Labrador Retriever. If you have a mostly dark brown wooden interior you may notice it less but the lab hairs will still be there. Especially during the seasonal sheddings, even the camouflage color of the hair won’t prevent you from noticing it.
Do Labradors Shed A Lot Due To Certain Health Concerns?
If your lab is shedding in truly absurd quantities, this may be caused by certain conditions. It’s not that uncommon for hormone imbalances to lead to certain skin disorders, excess shedding, and even balding in dogs.
Another possibility is that your lab has allergies to certain products. This happens most commonly with shampoo and other skincare ointments as well as some medications. Yes, it is the wrong hair care products that can cause excessive hair loss. Reconsider your shampoos and conditioners, and pay attention to your combs – they may be the cause of unmotivated dog hair loss. By the way, it is not superfluous to exclude harmful chemicals for cleaning the apartment and washing the floors. Or stop your choice on natural products that do not have harmful chemical impurities. Of course, the human body is not as sensitive to household chemicals as a dog’s, so often this point is left without proper attention. If your dog has a strong allergic reaction, you can expect to see quite a bit of extra shedding.
Malnutrition. Yes, yes, as we often say, nutrition is the key to a pet’s excellent health, well-being and good looks. Abundant shedding, unrelated to the natural process, can be the cause of poor nutrition. Products – allergens, budget dry food or frequent use of treats can provoke the fact that the Labrador’s coat is heavily shedding. How to determine this? Very simple. If you have recently changed the diet or decided to experiment, treating your pet with something new and very tasty, think about it. Try to exclude from the diet products with a high content of allergens, transfer to high-quality dry dog food. Of course, the next morning you will not notice the result. But after two weeks, the losses will stop, if the cause was in the wrong diet.
Naturally, as with humans, stress can also lead to excessive shedding. Stress is not to be underestimated with canines and it can be caused by many different factors:
- Loss of a loved one, whether of an owner or a fellow pet
- Moving to a new home, even if it’s with the same human family
- Rehoming to a new family or becoming homeless
- Going to a shelter
- Home renovation
- The introduction of a new family member, be it a baby, a new pet, or a new adult
- Certain health conditions
How to Brush a Labrador Retriever
Despite the fact that the Labrador has a straight coat that does not bunch or tangle, it must be combed out regularly. Purchase two special combs for this procedure:
- a brush with metal teeth.
The Furminator is a long-handled comb with a special attachment that gently removes dead dog hair that has fallen out during the shedding process. Using the Furminator allows you to achieve the following goals:
- speed up the shedding process;
- clean the animal’s coat of loose hairs;
- evenly distribute the natural lubrication of the skin.
Furminator is used 1-2 times a month. This device is used only after bathing.
A comb with metal teeth is also a necessary acquisition for a Labrador. It is used to comb out prickles, dirt and insects, especially harmful mites.
Start grooming your Labrador Retriever at an early age. If you don’t teach your puppy to stand calmly in the bath when being bathed and to react calmly to being touched on his paws and mouth, it will be much harder to do so as an adult. Remember that it is you, not the puppy, who determines the length of the grooming session. Some Labrador breeders prefer to train their dog to respond calmly to grooming while on a special table. I realize there are advantages to this, but the thing is, I’ve never had a grooming table. I usually groom when the dog is sitting or lying on the floor or on a picnic table in the garden. It doesn’t matter where or in what position you teach your dog to respond calmly to certain grooming procedures. The important thing is that you have taught her to do so. And anything you do for yourself and your dog is already a good thing!
Follow all the recommendations and your Labrador will have a beautiful and healthy coat.
How Can You Deal With All Of Your Lab’s Excess Hair?
This may sound like a complex problem but it really isn’t. There are quite a few things you can do to deal with a shedding lab and most of them are very easy:
- Daily brushing
- Regular baths
- Get a pet-friendly vacuum and use it often
- Get a pet-friendly robovac
- A proper and healthy diet can have a good effect on reducing shedding.
- Manage stress levels
Do Labradors Sheld A Lot If You’ve Got Them To A Groomer First?
Getting your lab to a groomer twice a year before the seasonal shedding is one of the best things you can do. If you hit the right time, a good groomer will get the majority of the dog hair in their studio. This way, you almost won’t feel the seasonal shedding of your dog at home.
Is Shaving Your Labrador A Good Idea?
Definitely not! Even during shedding season and even in hot weather, your lab needs its double-layered coat. Even if you just want to help your pup cool down, the dog’s coat actually helps prevent overheating by providing isolation. It also protects the dog against UV, skin infections, physical harm, parasites, and many other potential problems.
Additionally, once a lab is shaved, the coat typically won’t grow back in the exact same way. So, you can very easily ruin your dog’s coat for the long term too.
Are Labradors Hypoallergenic?
As you probably know, Labrador shedding and long coats aren’t directly linked with whether a dog is hypoallergenic or not. There are long-haired dogs like the poodle that are quite hypoallergenic.
The Labrador Retriever, however, is not one of those breeds. If someone at home is allergic to dogs, getting a Labrador is probably not a good idea.
Does The Excess Shedding Mean A Labrador Is Not The Dog For You?
All in all, it’s all a matter of personal preference. Do Labrador Retrievers shed a lot? Yes, they do. Does this make them a “bad” breed? Not at all and the fact that they are one of the most popular dog breeds prove this.
So, if Labrador shedding is your main concern, you may want to consider some other breeds. However, if you really want a lab (and you’re not allergic to dogs), the shedding doesn’t need to stop you – just brush your pup regularly, get them to the groomer a couple of times a year, and vacuum your home from time to time.
To summarize. Of course, the Labrador Retriever, like many other dog breeds, sheds quite a lot. The main period of molting is spring and fall. During this period, a lot of hair falls out, leaving noticeable traces all over the apartment. But this is a normal, natural process, so your task is to properly care for the coat of the animal. There is no need to comb the dog’s hair every day. The Labrador’s coat is quite stiff and straight, it never tangles. Dogs have a specific double coat structure. Labradors are regularly combed out only during the shedding period, in order to remove the dying undercoat in time and to keep the apartment clean. It also makes sense to inspect and comb the dog with a brush after walks in the warm season. In this way you will be able to find and remove “stray” mites in time.
To do this, it is necessary: Purchase a brush and daily comb out dead hairs.
Coming home from a walk, wipe the animal with a damp towel, so you can remove some of the hair. The hairs will just “cling” to the damp cloth and there will be less dog hair on the floor.
Especially in summer, bathe your dog more often, but remember that it is not recommended to bathe him often with shampoo, it is better to just wash him with clean water, so part of the hair will be washed away.
Dog food should be of high quality and balanced. It will not be superfluous to give vitamins for dog hair. They contain all the necessary vitamin and mineral complex to accelerate the seasonal Labrador shedding and improve the condition of the coat in general.