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Question: Do labs shed a lot?
Answer: Well, for all their beautiful appearance as short-haired dogs, Labs are notorious for shedding a high amount of hair, regularly and without prejudice!
You shouldn’t be surprised if you find Lab hair gathering in your carpets, at the corners of your hardwood floors and, of course, upon the seats of your car.
How Often do Labs Shed?
While Labradors regularly shed some amount throughout the year, the hair loss is especially evident in two short periods during the year as the seasons change.
For around three weeks apiece, you’ll find your Lab will shed a lot of hair in the Spring as they lose their heavy winter coat, and again at the turn of Autumn as they lose their Summer coat and get ready to ‘bulk up’ for the winter.
Lab owners often refer to these periods as “shedding season”, and you can expect to be using your vacuum cleaner a lot more during these weeks!
SPOILER ALERT: One of our favorite vacuum cleaners for picking up pet fur is the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Plus Allergy. It’s not cheap, but you get what you pay for.
Why do They Shed?
Labs tend to shed more than other short-haired breeds because their hair is incredibly dense and boasts something called a double coat.
This double coat is made up of a sleek outer layer of hair, which is waterproof, as well as a fluffy undercoat to keep your Lab warm whatever the weather.
This fabulous coat is what makes Labs so tolerant of different temperatures and rainfall.
Do Some Labs Shed More Than Others?
It’s more or less impossible to quantify exactly how much hair your Lab will shed, and it will, of course, vary from dog to dog.
Various rumors persist that yellow Labs shed more than chocolate and black varieties, but there is no hard evidence to back this up – it’s probably more likely that lighter hair from yellow Labs just shows up easier on your upholstery, carpets and clothes.
If you decide a lab is the dog for you then you’ll probably want to buy lint rollers in bulk.
Essentially, you should be prepared for a degree of shedding regardless of what variant of Lab you own.
A couple of factors that are thought to contribute to increased shedding is the female heat cycle – you should expect unspayed, female Labs to shed a lot when they’re in heat – and dogs living in hotter climates as they require less hair to keep warm than their equivalents living in colder countries.
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Could Excessive Shedding be a Potential Health Problem?
Although a shedding Lab is entirely normal, you should consult your vet if you think your dog’s hair loss is verging on excessive as it could indicate some underlying health conditions.
Allergies, stress, and hormone imbalances are all known to cause excessive hair loss.
If no health issues are discovered but you’re still concerned at the rate of shedding, it may be worth tweaking your Lab’s diet.
As with humans, the healthier your dog is on the inside, the more it will show on the outside.
Be sure to feed your Lab with a nutritious and balanced diet, and you’re sure to see an improvement in their coat condition.
What’s the Best Way to Manage Shedding?
To best manage and minimize shedding, it’s recommended that you brush your Lab regularly to remove the dead hair straight from their body, instead of allowing it to fall out and congregate in your carpet fibers.
When we pick up our Guide Dog puppies the school sends us home with a Zoom Groom brush and require us to brush our Lab puppies daily. It’s not just for removing loose fur, but also helps your dog get used to being handled.
In the shedding season, many Lab owners choose to brush their canine pals at least once per day, perhaps easing up a little during the rest of the year to just a couple of times per week.
While many owners are happy to remove hair manually from furniture and carpet with a normal dog brush or comb, some owners swear by more heavy-duty equipment, like a Furminator for example, that strips out the dead hair with its blade-like contraption.
This video highlights a few of the best tools you can use on double-coated dogs:
Responsibility must be exercised when using these tools as it’s imperative you don’t damage your dog’s coat or reveal their skin, which could leave them vulnerable to sunburn.
Always be especially careful when brushing the tummy area and lower legs, as the hair is thinner and less dense at these points, with the skin more exposed.
A gentler way to remove hair is to treat your Lab to a quick massage while they’re in the bath to help loosen and separate the dead hair.
You could use a rubber or silicone brush, or even a dog-friendly bath mitt, to be as thorough as possible.
We like massaging our Labs in the tub with the aforementioned Zoom Groom brush. It works great and works up a good lather.
There are also specialist shampoos and conditioners on the market designed to minimize shedding which may be of use to you – just make sure you don’t shampoo them too much!
Finally, one of your best weapons against shedding is a high-quality vacuum – it’s essentially impossible to stop Labs shedding but you can ensure cleaning up after them is quick and easy.
Look out for vacuums designed specifically for pet hair to achieve the best results.
We’ve had dozens of Labs at our house as puppy raisers, sitters, and of course our own personal pets. I can tell you first hand Lab’s shed!
However, individually some shed more then others. Archer, by far shed more than any other Lab in our house. He was an almost white Lab. On the other hand Stetson, our black Lab was a more moderate, year round shedder.
Every individual Lab is different, but we haven’t come across one that did not shed.
Do you have a Labrador Retriever?
Does your Lab shed?
Tell us about your Labrador Retriever in the comment section below.
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The best answer I know, which is true of our lab, Toby, he only sheds twice a year. From January to June and July through Dec. Ha. Ha but that wouldn’t keep us from owning one they are the best.
I have golden male lab, he is shedding hair in bunches, what to do for that
I have a 2 year old chocolate lab namec Apollo. He sheds all the time but really bad during the spring and the fall. I dont have a lot of money to be spending on every single thing that comes out. What things can I use that aren’t so expensive to minimize his shedding?
My Lab is 2.5 months old. She is still learning to go up and down the stairs and she also sheds a handfull of hairs.
We have a year old black lab retriever who is great and swims nearly every day up until know she as lost very little but is know shedding all I do after she as had her swim is when we get back shower hose her down and brush her at the same time she enjoys it and then dry her off
We have a black lab and she continually sheds. She is so smart and does so many cute things. She is 7 years old. Still active.
Our yellow Lab (he was actually closer to white), Archer shed more than any of our other Labs ever did! :)
We’ve had two labs in the past one chocolate and a yellow and just got a black lab that is 8 weeks old. I can say that Maggie, our yellow shed way more hair then our chocolate, Bella ever did. It’s so strange how different they are like that. Our sweet puppy has a thicker coat and hasn’t started shedding yet. I’m curious where he is going to fall in the shedding department. I have always used a “sponge” that they sell at the container store to remove hair from furniture. It works great!
We’ve had both yellow and black labs and the amount they would shed was always different no matter the color. Thanks for the tip on the “sponge”! I’m always looking for something to remove fur from the furniture.
I own a 4 year old red fox lab named Duditts. He is a rescue and one of the best dogs I’ve ever had, he serves as an emotional support animal to me. This guy sheds constantly and abundantly we joke that the hair we sweep up daily is enough to build a whole new dog every time! But i wouldn’t trade him for the world.
We’ve had labs forever…yellows def seem to shed more than blacks, especially the paler ones. Shedding is a pain, esp at this time of year…but I can’t imagine life without these wonderful companions! They’re the best!
We have a Fox Red Lab named Cassidy that sheds like a confetti canon. She’ll be 1 year old next month. The heavy shedding started back in February and is still going strong as I write this. So the three week window has not been our experience. We got a furminator and a zoom groom and both work well but there’s no point at which we “got it all”. We just have to decide when we’ve had enough of brushing. We wouldn’t trade her for the world but we are living in her hair!
Our friends had a fox red Lab and just like yours used to shed like crazy. I remember every time I would pet him I’d have a clump of red fur on my hands. :) We all loved him none the less. He was a career changed guide dog.
I have a yellow blonde lab she is my service dog and she sheds but hates the water so I take her once a month to a groomer she saved my life in April as I was in a plane having a heart attack and had to under go triple bypass love her a bunch
My girl Kira is my first lab. A black lab and she is so sweet. She is shedding big time. Glad to have read the comments of shedding for Labs. We love her anyway. What a sweet girl..
I have a 2 year old Yellow Lab and she sheds like crazy It’s August so I’m not sure if she’s getting into shedding season but I have her hair. I brush her daily as she is new to me and I’ve heard it’s a good way to develop a good bond. I’m sweeping the floor daily to pick up all her hair. I generally get enough hair from her in one day’s brushing to make a small cat! Hahaha! I use a shedding brush with her that strips out the soft undercoat. I had no idea that labs she’d so much. Well she’s the sweetest dog I’ve ever had and I love her to pieces. I don’t mind the hair because of that.
I have 3 months old white lab, this is my first time,she shed so much that i dont know if its ok or not,she also not eating her meals,she drink only water,please help,i dont have much money to go to vet clinic to treat her
We have had 3 labs. Two chocolate males and our current tan (really white) female. While the two chocolate labs shed, the white female really SHEDS. And it doesn’t seem to be seasonal. She sheds all year long. We’ve tried giving her periodic baths that are supposed to reduce shedding. There isn’t a noticeable reduction in her shedding after these baths. I’ve found that using the furminator a couple of time a week reduces the amount of fur on the floor. Labs are a special breed. They give return your love many times over. We would have any other breed. But, if your going to own a lab, especially a white one, invest in a good quality vacuum!