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Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow. How Bad Do Labradors Shed

At A Glance

Do labradors shed a lot of fur? How do they compare with other breeds? Well, to put it simply — labs shed a whole lot of fur, throughout the year. But why?

  • Labs actually have double coats, which causes them to shed more than the average breed.
  • You can expect excessive shedding during the change in seasons or if you haven’t groomed your pup regularly.
  • Managing shedding takes a bit of work, but it is manageable with regular grooming, proper diet, and of course — vacuuming.

Last Updated on: Nov 28, 2022

You’d expect labradors to not shed so notoriously, considering how they’ve got such short fur. But if you’re a lab parent, you know all too well how much trouble it is to get rid of all that hair from everywhere, every time.

Labradors, on average, will shed just as much as golden retrievers. The shedding happens owing to their unique double coats. And during some seasons, labs will also molt and shed their entire coats.

In this article, we’ll take you through questions like how often do labradors shed, what season do labradors shed the most, why they shed so much and what you can do to manage all that fur.

Keep reading!

How Much Do Labradors Shed

Do labradors shed all year round? More importantly, do labradors shed badly? Sadly, yes! You’ll find fur on practically every surface in your home. But why do labradors shed so much? And how often do they do?

Their excessive shedding may be attributed to how they have been bred.

Did you know? Labs were originally bred as waterfowl retrievers. This is why they have an inner coat that keeps them warm and an outer coat for better insulation against cold and wet climates.

So how much hair do labradors shed?

Let’s just say that shedding is quite literally in their genes. It doesn’t even matter what color your lab pup is. So, do all labradors shed? Yes — shedding happens regardless of whether they’re male, female, young, old, black, yellow or chocolate. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Labrador Shedding Season

Even though you can expect your lab to shed every day, there are certain times in the year when the shedding is heavy. Do labradors shed more in summer? Yes, they do, especially at the onset of summer.

So, when do labradors shed the most?

The shedding season is generally during winter and springtime. As your pup adjusts to the cold, it “molts” or “blows” its coat only to replace it with a thicker coat of fur to protect it against the cold.

During springtime, this thicker coat is blown off as well, giving way to a lighter coat to help your pet cope with the warm season. These two seasons are when your lab will shed the most.

Shedding in Labradors is partially seasonal – the undercoat sheds twice a year to prepare for summer/winter in the spring/fall. You should be getting off tons of fluffy undercoat daily for several weeks, at least in the spring and fall”, says Katie Bjorkman, Assistant Professor of Mathematics.

Year-Round Shedding

Do labradors shed in winter? Yes, but as mentioned earlier, year-round shedding is also quite common in Labradors. After all, they have a double coat, which means there’s plenty of hair to leave behind all over your couch, bed, furniture, and anywhere else you can think of.

If you’ve got a house-bound lab that generally stays indoors, or you live in a tropical area with very little temperature change during seasons, you might not notice as much molting or blowing of the coats.

So how often does a labrador shed? You can be sure that your lab sheds certain amounts of topcoat hair daily!

Why is My Lab Shedding So Much All of a Sudden?

If you notice that your lab is shedding loads of fur right as the season changes, there’s no need to worry. But, if this shedding is at some other time of the year and you notice symptoms like your pet is itching or biting their fur, it could indicate an infection, ticks, or fleas.

Shedding Triggers

Do labradors shed more when certain events take place? Yes! Here are a few shedding triggers that can cause your pup to shed more than usual.

  • Stress is a significant factor when it comes to extra shedding. If your lab is distressed about something, they might lose chunks of fur until they feel better.
  • Always check your lab for mites, ticks, and fleas since these are common triggers for excess shedding.
  • Certain skin conditions and infections can also cause more shedding.
  • If your dog has allergies, especially to things like grass or hay, it can shed a whole lot of fur.

black labrador shedding

Managing Your Lab’s Shedding

Do labradors shed a lot? Yes. But there are several ways to manage their fur and maintain your home at the same time.

Groom them regularly

It may sound simple enough, but grooming calls for a regular commitment. There is no off-season when it comes to a lab shedding – and you need to take time out to brush, comb and trim your lab’s fur.

Regular grooming will not only help reduce shedding, but it’s fantastic for your dog’s overall health and well-being. It will keep them safe from germ buildup and skin infections.


Take it from Chris Gabel, DVM, Ph.D. in Veterinary Medicine: “Labradors shed twice a year for six months at a time. I just sweep and vacuum. Brush the dog as often as possible. Short-haired dogs shed a lot.”


Treat your lab’s skin with the utmost care. It can be delicate, and you certainly do not want to overdo it with the shampooing. Once a month is good enough; it allows their skin to produce natural oils that lubricate their fur.

Experts suggest using mild oatmeal shampoos to bathe your lab pup in. Some labs might even need sensitive and gentle shampoos for baths.

In fact, you can even use a dish soap to shampoo your dog, provided they are gentle. Most dish soaps with gentle degreasers do not strip the natural oils of the coat and are very healthy for the skin.


Just like it does for us humans, what we feed our furry companions vastly affects their hair and fur. If you think omega fatty acids are only good for you, think again! They can work wonders for your dog’s hair and skin too.

Make sure your lab has a well-balanced diet with dog food that contains all the essential nutrients for the size and height of your pup. Including safe vegetables in their diet in small portions also boosts their skin and coat health.


If your lab is a picky eater, consult your vet about adding supplements to their daily diet. Fish oil supplements have omega fatty acids, which can help promote healthy skin and hair.

Chewable supplements are also an incredible option because they work as positive reinforcements for when you want to train your pup.


While you can only do so much to regulate shedding in your lab, you have complete control over your home space.. Regular vacuuming is a must when a lab is part of your family.

It’s always a good idea to invest in a good hand-held vacuum to get the fur out from places that might seem inaccessible. Many lab parents also swear by robot vacuum cleaners to routinely do the cleaning job. An automatic vacuum cleaner will save you the time and effort of cleaning up after your lab daily.

“The hair is like pine needles and will get into everything. Daily raking (with a dog rake) will reduce the amount of hair in the environment. There are also furminator grooming services out there, but ultimately, this would not be in the Lab’s best interest as it affects the skin”, says Sharlene Pitman of Brookhaven Labs.

Deshedding Products

Deshedding products are helpful to combat excessive shedding during the change in seasons. Deshedding brushes can penetrate to the inner coat of your lab’s fur and groom its coat thoroughly.

Use these brushes sparingly and gently, as they can be harsh on your pet’s skin. For daily use, general brushing and grooming should be enough.

owner combing labrador's fur

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Some Labs Shed More Than Others?

As a general rule of thumb, no. Even labs of different colors typically shed the same amounts of fur all year round.

However, if your pup has an allergy or skin infection, it may shed more than other labs. Speak to your vet if you notice excessive shedding even when the weather hasn’t changed.

Does Shaving a Lab Help With Shedding?

We’re sure you’ve asked, “How can I stop my Labrador from shedding?” But shaving it is not the answer. It doesn’t help with shedding at all. All it does is make the soft inside coating more frizzy and dense. The top coat will grow back no matter what.

Shaving your lab can also make it uncomfortable.


Paul Andrews

A digital marketing expert by profession, Andrews is a gifted writer and animal lover at heart. A self-confessed "pawrent", Andrews is well-versed in all things dogs. He uses his years of experience of raising puppies into show-quality dogs to help guide first-time pet parents. He believes in spreading the joy that comes with being a dog dad and advocates more families to adopt pets.