Yes Labradors shed fur. The coat on Labs makes them beautiful dogs and soft cuddle partners, but black, yellow or brown fur all over floors and furniture just doesn’t have the same effect. Luckily, there are lots of ways to address the coat your Labrador retriever may be leaving behind.
Labrador Retriever Shedding
Shedding from Labrador Retrievers usually tends to be a moderate to heavy amount depending on the dog. However, by keeping a simple brushing and coat grooming routine, you can reduce the amount significantly.
How Much Do Labradors Shed?
Stating exactly how much a Labrador Retriever will shed is not so simple, because shedding can vary a good deal from one individual dog to the next. For most Labrador Retrievers, you can expect moderate shedding to be healthy. Moderate shedding can be thought of as finding stray hairs floating around on flooring and fur sticking to furniture or clothes the dog is up against.
Certain factors, however, can cause more substantial shedding. Heavy shedding can look like tufts of dog hair falling out as opposed to stray hairs. Knowing when to expect extra shedding can help you stay on top of it!
Do Labradors Shed Regularly? Types of Regular Shedding
There are three types of regular shedding. While there are many reasons that a Labrador might shed, here are the three most common found in dogs.
Many Labrador owners will notice that twice a year shedding briefly, but sharply, increases. During the fall season, your Labrador Retriever will be growing in a thicker, warmer winter coat. This means the lighter, thinner coat from summer will be distributed wherever they go in the meantime.
Come spring, that heavy coat is not going to be doing them any good. So, your Labrador Retriever’s shedding will pick back up as they lose their winter coat in preparation for warmer weather.
Puppy Coat Shedding
If you’ve brought home a Labrador Retriever puppy, you should be prepared for some extra shedding in the first few months. When Lab puppies are born with a coat that is extra thick and protective. Since they will not need the extra warmth as they get bigger, Labradors shed this coat by the time a puppy reaches four to six months old. So be patient if you’re dealing with an avidly shedding Labrador Retriever puppy! The amount of fur they are losing should decrease around the sixth month.
Shedding After Neutering or Spaying
If you have noticed extra dog fur floating around following the neutering or spaying of your Labrador Retriever, you’re not crazy. Especially in male dogs, changes in their hormones after the procedure can affect their coats. Labradors shed a bit more for a few weeks following the surgery.
They will adjust to this change, and shedding should go back to normal as they recover. If you are considering neutering or spaying, be prepared for the possibility of extra shedding.
Effect of Diet on Shedding
Labradors shed more if they are not on a high-quality diet. Poor diet can affect their skin and coat. Dry skin and a more brittle coat will increase shedding. A healthy diet that is rich in fatty acids and digestible proteins will make for a robust and healthy coat and less shedding.
Shedding Caused by Stress
Stress can have adverse effects on dogs, similar to the way it affects humans. So, Labradors shed more when they are under high-stress. For example I notice that when Labs are at the vet clinic the amount of fur is much greater than when they are comfortable at home. When considering your Labrador Retriever’s stress levels, ask yourself:
- Have there been any significant changes in your home?
- Are they regularly fed and given water?
- Are they able to regularly get enough rest?
- Are they getting enough exercise?
- Are they being given attention?
By ensuring proper care in these areas and a safe, consistent environment, you will keep your labrador happy and healthy, and your home less furry.
How to Manage Shedding
Below are a few ways to deal with shedding. While some of the ways minimize the amount of fur that Labradors shed, others are ways to deal with the fur already shed.
The good news is that by implementing some regular grooming, you can significantly reduce the amount of fur that falls off throughout your house.
Brushing out your Labrador’s coat will catch a good portion of their loose fur before it falls out around the house. Not only does this help with shedding, but smooths out the coat and distributes the oils that make Labrador Retrievers’ coats shiny and beautiful!
Start by brushing your Labrador Retriever three or four times weekly and increase brushing if needed. At times when shedding picks up, like spring and fall, daily brushing may be required to have a significant impact of shedding.
Check out our article Best Dog Brushes for Labrador Retrievers to learn more.
Bathing your Labrador Retriever works like brushing by gently removing stray fur before it falls from the coat naturally. Using quality shampoo will help to keep their coat intact by making hair healthy and strong.
Bathe your Labrador at least once a month, but no more than every other week. Not overdoing bathing is big because too much can dry out your dog’s skin causing more shedding.
Once you have committed to the daily maintenance of grooming your Labrador Retriever, a deshedding tools will help to make sure you’re getting the best results out of all that time brushing away.
Your regular dog brush will undoubtedly get the job done in removing some excess fur, but you can prevent even more shedding by using brushes designed to pick up loose fur. To find the best product for you and your dog, make sure to find a brush meant for coat that labrador retrievers have.
If you have a dog who can’t sit still, a brush that covers more area and makes grooming quick may be best for you. A dog who enjoys being brushed will love sitting still to be pet with grooming gloves! Besides what will best suit your pup, there are plenty of options in price, colors, and features.
Controlling the Mess
Despite your best efforts, some fur will inevitably trail behind your Labrador Retriever. The right cleaning products can make all the difference in keeping fur at bay in your home.
A good vacuum can make keeping up with fur much more manageable, or much more difficult. If you have a Labrador Retriever, you will likely find yourself vacuuming behind them at least three days a week or more during the heavy shedding period. If you rely heavily on a vacuum, consider one made specifically to catch and pick up pet hair. By picking up the most hair the first time around, these vacuums will save you time and stress.
Covering furniture prevents dog hair from sticking to surfaces that it easily clings to and is harder to clean. Covering your furniture does not have to mean uncomfortable plastic over your couch. Slipcovers offer protection for your furniture, keeping your home cleaner all while being comfortable and looking beautiful.
For the fur that finds its way on your all-black outfit or favorite sweater, a lint roller is a perfect solution. Keeping one by the door for after saying goodbye to your Labrador Retriever can be very handy. In a pinch, lint rollers can also be great to clean pillows and small chairs!
Let’s face it…Labrador Retrievers shed. But as Labrador Retriever lovers, we understand we have to take the bad with the good. We love their beautiful coats and their lovable personalities. Read our article Labrador Retriever Coat Care to learn more about taking care of your loved one’s fur.
By combining the proper care with effective cleaning methods, you can keep your home clean, and you and your Labrador Retriever happy. Don’t let a little fur get in the way of a great relationship with your dog!