The Labradoodle is a cross between the Labrador retriever and a Poodle. Having been bred since 1989, the Labradoodle is one of the more recent (and very popular) additions to the canine kingdom. Due to their easy-going nature, cute faces, and beautiful curly coats, Labradoodles are among the most sought-after breeds in the country. They are great with children and get along well with other pets. If you’re thinking about bringing one of these loveable puppies into your home, you are probably concerned about shedding. Read on to determine how much shedding to expect, shedding frequency, and if Labradoodles are indeed a hypoallergenic breed.
Do Labradoodles shed? Yes, Labradoodles do shed. But compared to other breeds, Labradoodles are considered low shedding pups. Some Labradoodles will shed more than others; it depends on genetics. The good news is that your Labradoodle will shed significantly less than the average dog, and there are ways to manage the shedding so that it doesn’t become a nuisance in your home.
Nobody wants to have fur creeping into every crevice of their home, so there’s such high demand for non-shedding and hypoallergenic breeds. But the truth is no dog is entirely non-shedding, yes— including the Labradoodle. The amount of shedding you’ll have to deal with as a Labradoodle parent depends on genetics. So, before you decide to adopt one of these loveable pups, understand that there’s no guarantee that there will be no shedding. In the following sections, I’ll answer any questions you might have regarding Labradoodle shedding so that you know what to expect when you finally bring your new pup home.
How Much Do Labradoodles Shed?
All dogs shed, including Labradoodles. But how much do Labradoodles shed exactly? Generally, not much. Usually, you shouldn’t be chasing fluff balls around your home as you would with other dogs. A Labradoodle’s shedding is extremely low compared to breeds such as Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, or even a purebred Labrador. Many pet owners see Labradoodles as non-shedding because they lose so little amount of fur. Of course, some Labradoodles will lose more hair than others due to their genetic makeup — more on that later. Labradoodles do shed but not nearly as much as their other furry counterparts.
Why Do Labradoodles Shed?
As stated previously in the article, some Labradoodles shed more than others. So, why do Labradoodles shed? Well, the reason why your Labradoodle is shedding has a lot to do with its coat type, which is determined by genetics. Labradoodles are mixed-breed dogs, a cross between the typically heavy shedding Labrador retriever and the light shedding Poodle. They can inherit the hereditary qualities of either parent to any degree. If your Labradoodle has half Labrador retriever genetics and half Poodle genetics, there is a 50% chance that it inherits the Labrador retriever’s straight coat, which is more prone to shedding.
As a result, your 50% Labrador retriever and 50% Poodle Labradoodle will shed more than a multi-generational Labradoodle (where both parents are Labradoodle). The F1, F2, or F3 Labradoodle generations have a 50% chance of inheriting the Labrador retriever’s genes and straight flat coat, which is more inclined to shedding. A breeder will have more information about a Labradoodle’s family tree and can help you choose one with the least likelihood of shedding.
Shedding Seasons and Frequency
While Labradoodles shed more than Poodles, the amount of fur they lose is considerably less than other purebred breeds. Your pup will shed every day, but the shedding is minimal and far less conspicuous. When do Labradoodles shed the most? Unlike many canine breeds, especially those who spot double coats, Labradoodles don’t go through seasonal shedding. You can expect your Labradoodle to drop the same amount of fur all year round. If you notice that your Labradoodle’s shedding levels are higher than usual, it could be a sign that all is not well with your pup health-wise. More about that in the next section.
There are a few possible reasons why your Labradoodle may shed more than usual. Stress and anxiety, parasitic infestation, allergies, and skin conditions are some of the more common reasons why Labradoodles may shed more than normal. Below, we examine each of these potential causes of unhealthy shedding more closely.
Stress and anxiety. One of the most common causes of excessive shedding in Labradoodles is stress and anxiety. Like many other dog breeds, Labradoodles can become very attached to their owners. Long periods of separation can trigger stress and anxiety, leading to hair loss. In addition to an increase in alone time, other changes that affect your Labradoodle’s moods, such as moving houses, can also lead to excessive fur loss.
Another common culprit for unhealthy shedding in Labradoodles is parasitic infestations. Parasites such as fleas, scabies, and mites may cause your Labradoodle to start shedding more than usual. As a cause of fur loss, fleas are more visible and easier to identify. A parasitic infestation needs to be diagnosed by a veterinarian. The good news is that you can quickly treat parasitic infestations with oral or topical medications.
Allergies and skin infections. Dogs can be allergic to all kinds of skin irritants, including plant-based. Allergies can cause your Labradoodle to shed only some times of the year, even though they are typically not seasonal shedders. Your vet can conduct some tests to help you identify allergens in your pup’s environment or food. Certain skin conditions can also irritate the skin and lead to excessive shedding. Talk to your veterinarian if you notice bald patches, brittle fur, and other physical symptoms.
Note that a poor diet can also cause unhealthy shedding, so ensure that your Labradoodle is getting all the necessary nutrients (more on this later in the article).
What Type Of Coat Does A Labradoodle Have?
Labradoodles come in three distinct coat types that vary significantly in look and feel. These are hair (straight), fleece (shaggy), and wool (curly). Your Labradoodle’s fur type is ultimately determined by its genetic line. And, in case you were wondering, Labradoodles are double-coated. They inherit their double coats from their Labrador retriever parent. But unlike other double-coated breeds, these pups do not blow their coats. Let’s take a closer look at each of these labradoodle coats.
Hair (Straight). The hair coat is the least common of the three Labradoodle coats. This type of fur is common in first-generation Labradoodles, such as the cross between a Labrador retriever and a Poodle. The offspring often inherits the Labrador’s parent fur, which looks straight, scruffy, and is more prone to shedding. Keep in mind that a straight hair Labradoodle doesn’t shed nearly as much as a Labrador retriever, and their shedding is relatively easy to manage.
Wool (Curly). The wool-coated Labradoodle, commonly known as the curly Labradoodle, is the second most common within the breed. This Labradoodle is quite similar to the Poodle in terms of texture and feel. Expect some curly Labradoodles to have loose-curled coats, while others have tight curls like their Poodle parent. The coats are typically low shedding. Your curly Labradoodle will need regular brushing to prevent matting.
Fleece (Shaggy). The fleece textured Labradoodle, also referred to as the shaggy Labradoodle, is the most preferred of the three Labradoodle coats. These pups can have a soft spiraling curl look or a straight wavy look, the typical Labradoodle look. Labradoodles spotting the shaggy fur tend to shed less than the other two types and are extremely easy to maintain.
How to Manage and Reduce Labradoodles Shedding
While they may not lose as much fur as their other canine counterparts, Labradoodles do shed. Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to minimize the impact of your pup’s shedding on your health (if you are allergic to dogs) or just to keep your home fur-free. Managing your Labradoodle’s fur loss is quite easy. These pups have lower grooming needs than other dog breeds because of their typically low shedding coats. Here are a few steps you can take to manage and reduce your Labradoodle’s shedding.
As stated previously in the article, Labradoodles are double-coated and have undercoats. It’s just that they don’t shed as much as other double-coated breeds. For that reason, regularly brushing your Labradoodle is particularly important for coat health. Since they don’t shed much, the only way to remove dead fur from their undercoat is by brushing. Failure to brush your Labradoodle regularly will lead to matting, which is difficult to deal with and quite unpleasant for your pup. The frequency of brushing and combing depends on fur type (Straight, Curly, or Shaggy) but be sure to groom your Labradoodle at least once a week.
As mentioned earlier in the article, a poor diet can contribute to excessive shedding. Your pup’s skin and fur are a reflection of what they eat. A poor diet means that your dog isn’t getting enough essential nutrients, like proteins and fatty acids. These nutrient deficiencies, especially when they are maintained over a long spell, can lead to fur loss. Besides the shedding, your pup’s hair will also grow weak and brittle as the skin gets dry. To avoid that, be sure to incorporate proteins and fatty acids, especially Omega 3s, into your Labradoodle’s diet. A healthy diet can help your pup’s fur grow strong and shiny.
Another great way to control Labradoodle shedding is to bathe them routinely. Bathe your pup at least once or twice a month using specialized dog shampoo. Like brushing, bathing your Labradoodle helps remove the dead fur that will inevitably fall off sooner or later. As far as a healthy diet goes, consider boosting your pup’s nutrition with supplements to improve coat health. As discussed in the previous section, Omega 3 unsaturated fats are essential for healthy skin and fur. If incorporating foods that contain these fatty acids in their diet doesn’t work, you can buy Omega 3 chews for your Labradoodle to limit shedding.
Are Labradoodles Hypoallergenic?
No, no dog is allergy-free. When it comes to canine allergies, your immune system is not actually reacting to fur but to the proteins in your pup’s saliva and urine. These proteins attach to your pup’s skin and fur when the dog licks itself. The skin will dry and fall off as dander (dead skin particles), and fur will eventually fall off due to shedding. The fur and dander will release the allergens into the air and trigger reactions among allergy sufferers. Although the Labradoodles don’t shed much, they are not considered hypoallergenic. You may, however, think of Labradoodles as more allergy-friendly than other canines.