We often get asked Do Labrador Retrievers Shed A Lot? Labrador retrievers are known to be heavy shedders and there’s nothing much we can do about that; it’s all part of what a Labrador Retriever is. Why do they shed a lot? Let’s find out!
The Labrador Retriever is a medium to large breed of a retriever-gun dog; bred to assist in hunting all year round. They have a short and dense coat that is not wiry. This makes grooming considerably easier to manage. They shed generally twice a year to prepare for the hotter and cooler seasons. As the climate warms up, their coat will be lighter than what it would be as it approaches fall or winter. The oily and water resistant coat helps the dog to get through the winters should it get wet. In a way, it is just like how we would dress down in the summer and be all bundled up from fall and winter.
Shedding is an evolutionary trait dogs carry on from their wild ancestors. It is normal for a Labrador Retriever to shed regularly, and even more so as the climate changes, known as molting seasons. It will shed off its winter coat in spring, and in turn, shed off its thinner summer coat when fall comes around.
While it is normal for a Labrador Retriever to shed quite a bit throughout the year, it wouldn’t be ideal to have dog hair all over the flooring, carpet and furniture. So, how can we manage all that shedding?
One simple way is to set limits. This would mean setting areas in the home that is out of bounds to your Labrador Retriever. They are known to be clingers so try to keep them around a part of the home that is easier to clean, i.e. spaces with hardwood or tile flooring or even the yard. If you prefer having your Labrador Retriever in close proximity throughout, your choices are limited to frequent grooming and cleaning of the house.
Should you decide that frequent grooming would be the solution to this issue, take note that grooming your Labrador Retriever should be done at least once or twice daily. Some of the tools you can use to groom your Labrador Retriever are:
These are inexpensive and very easy to use. Slip it on and do a combing motion to get rid of shed hair.
This helps remove shed hair from its undercoat, or even matted hair. This helps keep the undercoat clean and promotes healthy skin.
A slicker brush, like a rake, can help remove matted or tangled hair. However, some groomers recommend using a slicker brush for the face, legs, toes and tails.
Proper grooming sounds like a lot of work. Shouldn’t there be some kind of shortcut, like shaving off its hair?
No! Shaving off its coat is a bad idea. It may be tempting but it would hurt your dog in the long run. Its dense undercoat helps to shield it from the sun and shaving it off removes this form of protection. This will cause issues such as dry skin and even sunburns. To add on to that, having its coat helps the Labrador Retriever to regulate it’s own body temperature naturally.
To effectively manage the effects of shedding in your home, you will need to clean regularly. This includes carpet, curtains and furniture. Set aside some time to sanitize table and countertops, sweeping, mopping and vacuuming the floors and carpet.
Dealing with heavy shedding is just part of the experience in having ownership of a Labrador Retriever and we hope this article has been useful. Thinking of other similar breeds to adopt? Check out our Top 10 list of Calm Dog Breeds!