Our complete guide to the shaved Labradoodle looks at the pros and cons of shaving your Labradoodle’s coat, as well as when it’s necessary and how to do it safely.
- What does a shaved Labradoodle look like?
- Should I shave my Labradoodle?
- How to shave a Labradoodle
- Shaving to combat shedding and grooming
Labradoodles are low shedding dogs that often have wavy or curly fur. Though this fur type can help to trap shedding hairs, and stop them from falling around your house, Labradoodles need more grooming than the average dog. So, some owners naturally wonder if shaving all that fur off will be easier. But, completely shaving a Labradoodle’s fur can cause more problems than it solves in some cases! So, let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of a shaved Labradoodle before you make a decision.
Can You Shave a Labradoodle?
Labradoodles are a popular modern mix that combines Labrador Retrievers with Standard Poodles. The resulting puppies can be quite varied. Some will have fur like their purebred parents – either straight double coats like the Lab, or very curly Poodle coats. And, others will have wavy fur that falls somewhere in between.
Though Labradoodles are known as teddy bear dogs, there are tons of haircuts available for Doodles, just like their purebred Poodle parents. One popular option for purebred Poodles is to be partially shaved. So, many Labradoodle owners will consider the same option for their mixed breed dogs.
Advocates of shaving claim that a shaved coat can help to keep your dog cool in hot summer months. Shaving certain body parts can also be functional. For instance, shaving your dog’s feet to make cleaning mud off easier, or shaving their face to stop their curls growing into their eyes and ears. In some cases, a complete shave is necessary, for instance for medical purposes or if you have let your Labradoodle’s coat become matted. However, shaving fur too short does have some drawbacks that owners should learn about first.
What Does a Shaved Labradoodle Look Like?
The appearance of a shaved Labradoodle will depend how short their fur has been cut and how much of their body has been shaved. Some people will choose to shave their Labradoodle’s fur short, but not to the skin. In these cases, they will still often look quite Doodle-like. But, they may look a little more Labrador than Poodle!
In other cases, owners choose to, or have to, shave their Labradoodle to the skin. A Labradoodle shaved this way will often look ‘naked’! They will have little to no fur on their bodies.
Sometimes, owners will choose to shave only some areas of their Doodle, such as the face or feet. The purebred Poodle parent can have some interesting haircuts, like the Continental Cut. This involves shaving their face, throat, feet, hindquarters, and the base of the tail. Fur is left in pompom shapes around the Poodle’s joints. This haircut is possible on Poodles because of their fur texture. But, a Labradoodle’s fur is usually made up of looser curls. So, a haircut like this will often not have the same striking, sculpted effect.
Because the options vary so much, one shaved Labradoodle can look very different from the next. The fur type that your Labradoodle has can also play a part. For instance, whether they are hair type, fleece type, or wool type.
Should I Shave My Labradoodle?
When it comes to shaving your Labradoodle down to the skin, the answer is usually no. Most Labradoodles will not need to have their fur shaved so short. In fact, it can do more harm than good. It will expose your dog’s skin to friction, sunburn, and physical damage. They will no longer have a barrier to protect them against cuts and scrapes on walks, and will need some form of sun protection, like a dog-safe sunscreen.
Some owners say that shaving their dog completely ruined their dog’s coat. If your Labradoodle is more like its Lab parent, and has a double layered coat, shaving can impact the growth of their undercoat. This undercoat functions to protect your dog’s skin, but also to insulate them in the winter.
Shaving advocates claim that shaving your Labradoodle can help to keep your dog cool in the summer. But, it can be dangerous for a shaved dog to go out in the sun, as they will be much more prone to sunburn. There are many other ways to help your dog stay cool in hot months, which we will look at a little later in this guide.
When Shaving is Necessary
Sometimes, professional groomers will have no other option but to completely shave a Labradoodle. This is most often the case when a Labradoodle’s fur has become extremely matted from infrequent grooming. Extreme matts and knots can be very painful for your dog, and are near impossible to brush out without causing a lot of pain. So, most groomers will have to shave the entire coat instead.
How to Shave a Labradoodle
Shaving a Labradoodle is usually a lot harder than it sounds. All dogs can be wriggly when we need them to stand still, and so it’s really easy to accidentally hurt your dog if you aren’t careful. And, you may need to introduce your dog to the process gradually, from a young age, so they are comfortable with the sound that your clippers make.
It’s a great idea to watch videos on shaving Labradoodles made by professional groomers, as you will get a better visual idea of how to use clippers safely. Generally, it’s a good idea to use the corner of the clippers in short, upturned strokes on delicate and difficult areas. This includes your dog’s feet and in between their toes. But, take care not to cut your dog, especially on sensitive areas like their paw pads and the webbing between their toes.
If in doubt, or if you’re not feeling confident about shaving your Labradoodle, it’s always a great idea to take your dog to a professional groomer. They will be experienced at trimming those hard to reach areas, and will be able to offer plenty of tips for caring for your dog’s exposed skin whilst the fur regrows.
How Fast Does Labradoodle Hair Grow?
Hair growth rates vary from one dog to another. But, generally, Labradoodle fur is fast growing. Once shaved, your Labradoodle will likely have fur all over their bodies once again in as little as 3 weeks. But, these rates will vary. Some dogs may take longer, and others might take even less!
Will Shaving my Labradoodle Prevent Shedding?
Despite popular belief, Labradoodles are not hypoallergenic dogs. Many Labradoodles are low shedding, but not all. The curlier your Labradoodle’s fur, the less likely you’ll see shed hairs around your home. This is because any loose hairs get trapped in the curls. However, if your Labradoodle inherits the typical Labrador coat, they’ll shed a lot. Especially in hot months.
Shaving can help to reduce shedding for a short period. But, it isn’t a permanent fix. And, if your Labradoodle has very curly fur, it can actually increase the amount of dander that sheds around your home, because there is no fur to catch the dander.
In general, shaving a Labradoodle won’t prevent shedding in the long run. It may help for a few days, but Labradoodle fur grows quickly, so the benefits will often not outweigh the cons in this case.
Can I Shave my Labradoodle Instead of Grooming Them?
Labradoodles have very high grooming needs, particularly if they inherit the Poodle’s woolly coat. Most owners will need to groom their Labradoodle multiple times per week to prevent knots and tangles.
Shaving a Labradoodle would remove their fur, and so, would remove the need for grooming. But, it can cause problems like sensitive skin, and can increase your dog’s risk of injuries and sunburn. So, though less time will be spent on grooming, you may need to spend more time and money fixing and preventing these other problems. And, you would need to start grooming as soon as your Labradoodle’s coat grows in again, unless you’re going to shave it every few weeks.
Grooming is a huge part of owning a Labradoodle. If you aren’t willing to groom them, you can take them to a professional groomer. But, if this is not an option for you, it may be better to consider an alternative breed with lower grooming needs, like the purebred Lab.
How to Keep my Labradoodle Cool Without Shaving Them
Some Labradoodle owners choose to shave their dogs to keep them cool in the summer. But, shaving your dog’s coat completely is not necessary for this. Many groomers will recommend trimming it more frequently in those hotter months, but shaving a Labradoodle in the summer can actually just expose their skin to sun damage.
Labradoodles, like all dogs, will pant to keep themselves cool. In the summer, make sure your dog has constant access to water and shade, particularly if they are outside. You could also choose to invest in a doggy pool. When exercising, make sure you aren’t walking your dog on hot pavements, and be aware of how hot your dog is. Heatstroke can be a real problem for dogs in the summer, so stick to the cooler times of day when exercising, such as early mornings or late evenings.
Shaved Labradoodle – A Summary
Most groomers will recommend a regular trim for your Labradoodle dog, and they will only fully shave them to the skin if it is absolutely necessary. Shaving a Labradoodle has pros and cons. It is easier to manage than longer fur, but can leave your dog prone to sunburn and other skin-related injuries.
Have you had to shave your Labradoodle before? Do you prefer to shave certain parts of their bodies, like the feet and face? Let us know in the comments!
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References and Resources
- Ali, M. (et al), ‘Genetic Analysis of the Modern Australian Labradoodle Dog Breed Reveals an Excess of the Poodle Genome’, PLOS Genetics (2020)
- Nicholas, C. (et al), ‘Dog Allergen Levels in Homes with Hypoallergenic Compared with Nonhypoallergenic Dogs’, American Journal of Allergy and Rhinology (2011)
- McGreevy, P. (et al), ‘The Reinforcing Value of Physical Contact and the Effect on Canine Heart Rate of Grooming in Different Anatomical Areas’, Anthrozoos (2005)
- Vredegoor, D. (et al), ‘Can f 1 Levels in Hair and Homes of Different Dog Breeds: Lack of Evidence to Describe Any Dog Breed as Hypoallergenic’, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (2012)
- Chan, S. & Leung, D. ‘Dog and Cat Allergies: Current State of Diagnostic Approaches and Challenges’, Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Research (2018)
- Goncalves Caldas, C. (et al), ‘Heat Stroke in Dogs: Literature Review’, Czech Academy of Agricultural Sciences (2020)
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