Do Labradoodles shed?
Labradoodles do shed, but they might not shed as much as Labrador Retrievers and other double-coated breeds.
Labradoodle shedding can be managed by grooming and vacuuming, but there is no guarantee they will be a suitable pet for a person with allergies.
The Labradoodle Mix
If you’re thinking about getting a new dog, you may have considered the fun-loving Labradoodle.
Not only are these dogs charismatic and fun to be around, but they are widely believed to be a “hypoallergenic dog.”
While there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic breed, it is true that Labradoodles do not shed nearly as much as their other furry counterparts.
If you are looking to raise a puppy that will not ever shed, unfortunately, you are probably not going to have much luck in your search.
However, there are plenty of other excellent reasons to raise Labradoodles, and it is easy to deal with the minimal amounts of fur that these dogs do produce.
Do Labradoodles Shed?
Do you have pet allergies? It’s estimated that as many as three in ten Americans do. You might be wondering if you can avoid all the sneezing and runny noses by purchasing a Labradoodle.
One of the most popular “hypoallergenic” dogs available, this breed is often marketed as being a great option for people with allergies.
Unfortunately, hypoallergenic is simply a marketing term and not a recognized trait by the American Kennel Club. That being said, there are many dogs that shed less or shed in a unique way.
For example, the Poodle sheds, but it has such curly hair that most loose fur ends up getting trapped in the curls before it falls off the body. Because Labradoodles are half Poodle and half Labrador, they may be less likely to drop their shed hair than other breeds of dogs.
That being said, a Labradoodle is also half Labrador. Labradors have glossy coats that easily drop hair as they shed. This can happen throughout the year.
The genetics of your Labradoodle may be less like a Poodle and more like a Labrador – or the alternative, too. Therefore, this “hypoallergenic” dog may not be so hypoallergenic after all.
Why Do Dogs Shed?
To understand whether your Labradoodle will shed, it is beneficial to know why, exactly, dogs shed in general. This is a natural process for dogs, just as it is for you every time you brush your hair.
Hair is constantly dying and regrowing, so even dogs with minimal amounts of hair – or dogs that are almost entirely hairless – will shed at least a little bit. This shedding often includes dead skin cells, too.
Some breeds of dogs, like Labradors, not only have a top coat of hair but also a shorter undercoat. This undercoat is what keeps your dog warm in cold weather. This is the layer that is the most likely to undergo seasonal shedding.
As your pet prepares for cooler or warmer weather, he or she is likely to shed some of the undercoat.
How Much Do Labradoodles Shed?
While all dogs shed, there are some dogs that don’t shed a lot – but there are others that shed excessively.
You might notice that there are other breeds of dogs that leave large clumps of hair on the floor as well as those who engage in shedding-related behaviors, like scratching or rolling.
This varies depending on the individual dog, as certain health conditions can cause increased shedding. However, it can also depend on the breed. Because the Labrador is a combination between a Poodle and Labrador, which is a mixture of high-shedding and low-shedding breeds, the exact amount of shedding that your Labradoodle will do is hard to estimate.
You could have a pup that sheds a lot, or you could have one that sheds less. If you have a dog that is more like a Poodle, it will not shed a lot. Instead, it will need to be brushed to remove the built-up fur.
However, if you have a Labrador, it will shed year-round. It may even blow its coat a couple of times a year as the seasons change. This means its undercoat will come out in large clumps.
Dealing with Labradoodle Shedding
Even though you won’t be able to prevent your Labradoodle from shedding, there are several steps you can take to reduce the impact that it has on your health (if you have allergies) as well as the cleanliness of your home.
You should brush and comb your dog at least once a week – twice is better. This can help reduce the amount of hair that builds up in your dog’s curls. Also, it can lessen the amount that ends up on your furniture or floors.
You should purchase a brush that is designed to de-mat your dog. These are known as dematting rakes. A wide tooth comb will also do the trick.
You might be unsure of how to groom your Labradoodle to reduce shedding at first. You can familiarize yourself with the process by reading this detailed guide to grooming a Labradoodle.
It may also be helpful to vacuum frequently. Although you can probably get by with vacuuming once a week during most seasons, it may be helpful to vacuum three times a week during the heavy shedding periods. You might also need to replace air filters.
If your allergies are particularly bad – or if you find that your dog sheds more than you expected – you can always close off certain rooms or pieces of furniture to your dog. This can isolate the impact of the shedding to a small area of your home. This can make the shedding more manageable to deal with.
You might not be interested in giving your Labradoodle the kind of glamorous haircut for which Poodles are notorious, but giving your dog a regular haircut can help reduce the amount of shed fur in your home. Frankly, short hair will be easier for you to maintain, too.
You don’t have to get crazy with the styling, but you can ask your veterinarian or groomer for advice about the best haircut for your dog.
It may or may not be easy to cut your dog’s hair. This depends on whether it is more like a Poodle or more like a Labrador. For example, Labradors can’t be shaved, because it affects the growth of their undercoat. This trait may carry through to your Labradoodle, too, depending on its genetics.
Do Labradoodles Shed Too Much?
After reading so much about how to care for your Labradoodle’s coat, you may be wondering whether Labradoodles shed too much.
The answer to that question is ultimately up to you. There is a great deal of variation in the shedding of Labradoodles within the breed. While some shed a lot – like Labradors – others produce minimal amounts of dropped fur – like Poodles.
If you make the decision to bring a Labradoodle puppy home, know that you probably won’t be able to tell how much it will shed until it is about a year old. It takes a long amount of time for the dog’s full coat to develop into adult growth.
If you aren’t comfortable not knowing upfront how much your dog will shed, you can always adopt an older dog. There, the staff will be able to tell you more about the dog’s coat and shedding habits.
Are you prepared to take on some shedding – even though it may only be in small quantities? That is a decision only you can make, but it’s one that will be easier now that you are educated on the intricacies of this breed.
References and Resources
“Common Canine Skin Conditions.” Texas A&M University Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. 2016.
Lockey, R. “The myth of hypoallergenic dogs (and cats).” The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2012.
Nicholas, C. et al. “Dog Allergen Levels in Homes with Hypoallergenic Compared with Nonhypoallergenic Dogs.” American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy. 2011.
Ramadour, M. et al. “Dog factor differences in Can f 1 allergen production.”Allergy. 2005.