Often trained as guide dogs or assistance dogs, Labradors are known for their mild temperament and their friendly, playful nature. Originating from Newfoundland in Canada, this gun dog breed was developed in the United Kingdom and is named after the Labrador region of Newfoundland.
More often than not, Labradors are short-haired, but their double coats mean they need a dedicated grooming routine to stay happy and healthy. Here are our top tips to help you with your Labrador grooming needs.
Yes, you must keep on top of grooming with your Labrador.
Labradors are a simple breed to groom at home, and doing so will keep them looking clean and fresh, discarding any loose, dead hair whilst keeping them happy and healthy.
However, if you want to give your Labrador some professional pampering, you should visit your local groomer for some well-deserved TLC. A professional groomer will be able to provide you with lots of hints and tips on how to care for your Labrador’s coat between appointments.
Labradors are a relatively low-maintenance breed to take care of when it comes to their grooming needs. Lovers of the great outdoors, they’re prone to exploring and love to jump in water and mud at the first opportunity, so they may need an occasional bath between their professional grooming appointments.
The good news is that, although they may be large, their love of the water makes them an easy breed to bathe. Comb through their hair to remove debris before bathing, then opt for a gentle, deep-cleaning shampoo that won’t irritate or dry their skin. Avoid bathing your Labrador too often, as this can strip the oils from their coat, leaving their skin dry and irritated.
When grooming your Labrador at home, check their body for any lumps and bumps or skin irritations and notify your vet should you notice any issues.
Labradors don’t require a complicated coat routine either - their dense, water-resistant double coats should never be clipped or trimmed, as this can prevent their coats from performing correctly. However, you must trim the hair between their paw pads with bull-nose scissors, to prevent them from slipping when walking.
To ensure that your dog’s coat is at its best, you must groom and brush your Labrador at least once a week or more frequently if your dog spends a lot of time outdoors. However, when it comes closer to moulting season, you will need to up your grooming to around four times a week to make sure any dead hair is removed.
Although you may be tempted to trim your Labrador's fur when it gets dirty or the warmer months approach, this isn't recommended.
The issue with trimming or shaving your Labrador's coat is that it can often damage the undercoat. This can lead to a lack of protection and disrupt their ability to self-cool during summer. Avoid trimming your dog; although it may feel like you are helping, you could damage their coat's temperature regulation skills without realising it.
Labradors, generally speaking, are a short-haired breed but on the rare occasion, you may come across a long-haired Labrador, which is a recessive gene. Labrador’s coats are dense and double-layered, giving them that lovely, smooth and sleek appearance.
Although it’s impossible to stop a Labrador from shedding completely, you can minimise the amount of hair shed naturally in your home by establishing a good grooming routine.
Alongside grooming, you will need to take close care of the nutrition your dog is getting from its food. This way, your dog’s coat will look its best, as a healthy gut is often reflected in the condition of their coat.
The amount of shedding your dog’s coat will undergo highly depends on each dog. It is impossible to quantify whether one dog will shed significantly more or less than another.