Labrador Retriever Shedding Problems and Solutions

Labradors are notorious shedders, there is nothing you can do to stop a Labrador Retriever from shedding. As Lab owners we have a accept the fact that our beloved retrievers not only will fill our homes with love and happiness, but they will also fill our houses with hair. Luckily there are some steps we can take to handle the shedding of Labradors. Let’s find out why Labradors shed so much and how we can deal with it.

labrador retriever

Why do Labradors shed?

Wild animals, like foxes and wolves, change their coats twice a year to adapt to changing seasons. This is known as molting.

This happens just as spring is starting and the temperature starts to rise, these animals will shed their thick winter coats for thinner ones, to help them stay cool during summer. And then again, just before winter as the weather begins to get colder, animals will shed their summer coat and start to grow heavier coats for the winter.

Dogs and other domestic animals have retained this evolutionary trait from their wild ancestors. This means that they will molt twice a year.

Some dog breeds molt more than others. Some will barely molt at all. In the case of Labradors, they shed all year long, and a lot more during molting seasons.

Labrador’s double coat

If you are familiar with the history of Labrador Retrievers, you would know that this breed originated in the cold Canadian island of Newfoundland. There these dogs would swim in the icy waters of the Labrador Sea. For this reason, Labs have double-coated fur that consists of a top coat and an undercoat. Each one has different functions.

The undercoat is a short and dense layer of hair that regulates the dog’s temperature. In winter this coat grows thicker to keep the dog warm. And the other way around in the summer, as it grows thinner to help the dog stay cool. The undercoat also helps protect the dog’s skin from the sun.

The topcoat is a waterproof layer of silky fur, that protects the undercoat from getting wet, and therefore keeps the dog from getting cold in the water. It’s like a natural wetsuit. It also helps to keep the dog’s skin from getting dry by keeping it isolated from the wind.

Labrador Shedding

How often do Labs shed?

Labrador Retrievers are known for shedding a lot of hair. Labs shed a small amount of hair all year long, but the shedding increases noticeably twice a year during molting season, this is also known as shedding season.

For two to three weeks in spring Labs will get ready for the summer by losing their thick winter coat and growing thinner ones. And again, in autumn Labs change their summer coats for thicker ones to stay warm during the coming winter.

How do I stop my Labrador from shedding?

Shedding is a natural process of your dog’s body, and there is no way to stop it from happening. Although shedding is good for your dog, it is not so pleasant to have your house and furniture covered in dog hair. But, you can minimize the amount of dog hair in your house by taking these simple steps.

How to deal with shedding

The first thing you can do to avoid being submerged in dead dog hair is to set some limits and keep your dog away from furniture, beds, and carpets. Labradors like to be next to their humans all the time, but you can set up comfy spots in some areas of the house that are easier to clean or in the yard where they can spend some time during the day and reduce the amount of hair all over the house.

But, if don’t have a yard or if you enjoy the close company of your Lab, there are only two things you can do; groom your dog and clean your house constantly.

Grooming a Labrador

Even though Labradors have short hair, because of their special double coat and their tendency to shed hair, they require a lot of grooming, especially during molting season.

If you don’t want to clean tons of hair from your floor and furniture, you will need to groom your Lab once or twice a day.

You will need to use grooming tools that can remove dead undercoats. Doing this can dramatically reduce the amount of dead hair laying around your house. We covered Labrador grooming in more detail in this post.

Check out the best grooming products for Labrador Retrievers

Is shaving a Labrador a good idea?

The idea of shaving your Labrador can be very tempting. It seems like the perfect solution to deal with the shedding, particularly in the summer when the shedding is at its worst. You might even think that this is the best for your dog, you see your Lab panting heavily and think that it would be more comfortable without that thick coat of hair. So should you shave your Labrador?

The short answer is NO! Shaving your Lab is a bad idea that can hurt your dog’s skin. Doing this can cause sunburn or dry skin issues, as one of the functions of their coat is to protect your dog’s skin from the environment. Shaving a Labrador will also be detrimental to your dog’s body temperature regulation. Your dog needs its double-coated hair.

The best thing you can do to deal with your Lab’s shedding is grooming. However, even with diligent grooming sessions some of your dog’s hair will end up on your house and furniture. That’s why cleaning your house is the second step to combat the dog hair invasion that will emanate from your dog’s body.


How to clean dog hair in your house

To control the effects of shedding in your house, you have to train your Labrador not to get on the furniture. This can be difficult to do, but it will help a lot as cleaning dog hair off the furniture is very difficult.

The next thing to do is vacuum your house regularly to avoid dog hair building up and make your living room look like a dog kennel. Don’t forget to clean the drapes and carpets in the house, and also clean and sanitize all surfaces of your house. Most of your dog’s dead hair will deposit on the floors, but some of it will float around the house and end up in places where your dog has never been.

It’s worth to invest a high-quality vacuum as you will be using it a lot. Robot vacuums are a good option for Lab owners that don’t have the time to vacuum the house.

Check out these Vacuum Cleaners For Dog Hair

Having a Labrador is a wonderful experience. Labs are the best family dogs. We hope that this post will help you deal with the Labrador Retriever Shedding problem and you will be available to enjoy your time with your beloved Lab without being submerged in dog hair.

Click Here To Find The Best Pet Insurance for Labrador Retrievers

Recent Posts