Why Does My Labrador Retriever Shed So Much?

I recently adopted a rescue Labrador retriever.  She is very fun-loving and playful, the perfect fur baby for me.  About a week ago, I started noticing that there is dog hair everywhere.  I don’t have any other pets in the house, so I know it is coming from her. 

I haven’t had a chance to read very much on this breed, but I need to know how much she will shed.  I understand that every dog will shed some amount of dog hair, but there seems to be so much around the house that I am concerned that something is wrong with her.

I decided to sit down one afternoon and do some research, and here is what I discovered.

Why does my Labrador retriever shed so much?

Why does my Labrador retriever shed so much?  Your Labrador retriever sheds so much for a couple of reasons.  The first reason they shed so much is that their hair is denser than other dog breeds.  The second reason is that they have what is known as a double coat of fur.  Finally, the third reason that the Labrador retriever sheds so much hair is that their coat of hair is designed like an interwoven waterproof rug. 

When someone says that a dog’s fur is denser, it means that they have a lot more hair than another dog.  The Labrador retriever has more hair on a smaller area of their body than another dog will have. 

A double coat of hair is the second layer of hair on the Labrador retriever’s body’s underside that acts as added protection. 

Their fur coat is naturally interwoven, aiding in protection from water to keep them healthy and dry.  This design means that they naturally have more hair than another dog, even though they may not look like they do. 

This means that anyone who owns a Labrador retriever will find that they have more hair dog hair around the house or on their clothes. 

There are ways to manage this situation, allowing the owner or family to feel like they are not surrounded by hair.  Despite this large quantity of hair, the Labrador retriever is an excellent dog to have as a pet should someone work diligently to manage it.

The Labrador retriever is a breed of dog that was historically used for hunting and the hunt of waterfowl. 

Originally they were used during fishing and did excellent work of retrieving the fish that had gotten away from their human companion.  After that time, they became prized for their work as a gun dog used in hunting.

Hunting waterfowl or anything else required that this breed spend a lot more time out in the weather with their human counterparts.  They might trudge through water and marsh or thicket. 

The Labrador retriever might find themselves fishing and hunting for hours on end and keeping a long day out in the harsh elements while doing there job.

As a sporting dog breed, the dog needs to be protected from the elements a little better than perhaps a companion dog that sits on the couch. 

Characteristically they have what is known as a double coat of hair found on the underside of their bodies that protected them from the harsh elements.  They might deal with these elements in hunting waterfowl or anything else their human companion chose.

Naturally, their hair coat is dense, which means that they have more hair in one small area than another dog may have.  Lots of hair means lots of hair to find around the house and lots of hair to clean up.

This dense hair also has another element that helps them during their occupational work as a gun or hunting companion.  Their coat of thick hair is tightly interwoven as one would find in a sweater. 

This thick coat works to protect them from the elements of the outdoors while they are performing.   This interwoven coat of hair means more hair that is likely to come out together at one time.

What is a double coat of dog hair?

A double coat of dog hair is the second layer of hair on the underside of the dog’s body that protects them from the outdoor elements.  It is a physical characteristic that hunters and outdoorsmen prize when looking for a companion to share in their adventures.

The dog boasting a second layer of hair on the underside has the added protection of wearing two coats that help keep them dry and healthy. At the same time, they spend extended amounts of time in the elements.  This double coat acts as insulation for the dog.

This insulation is what serves them well during fishing and hunting expeditions.  The Labrador retriever is a breed of dog that is pretty much waterproof due to their interwoven coat of hair, and the double coat of hair on their underside.

Concerning shedding, it means that there is a second layer of hair to come out when the dog sheds.  This double layer combined with a naturally interwoven coat of hair on a dog, the whole dog from top to bottom has a lot more hair than other breeds do.

Do all Labrador retrievers have a dense layer of hair?

Yes, this high hair density is characteristic of this dog breed.  The Labrador retriever has a lot of hair follicles in a small area.  These numerous hair follicles also mean that they have a lot more hair to shed around the house.

This shedding is a breed characteristic, but it should be noted that each dog is an individual.  There are those dog owners that may find that their particular Labrador retriever has less dense hair than another.  Characteristically all Labrador retrievers have high-density hair.

This essentially assisted them to keep them warm and protected as a outdoor dog when they were working alongside their human companions during hunting and fishing.

How often does the Labrador retriever shed?

The Labrador retriever will shed twice annually like most other dog breeds.  This shedding is seasonal, climate, and weather changes and part of a natural process for the dog.

The Labrador retriever will continue to shed at other times as most dogs and humans do.  This shedding of hair happens naturally regularly.  It may, however, be more noticeable due to their unique coat of fur.

During the regular shedding seasons, there will be a dramatic increase in the amount of hair shed from the Labrador retriever.  Owners can be prepared by being more diligent about brushing and grooming and house cleaning to keep household hair at a more tolerable level.

These typical seasons occur in Spring and Autumn when there are often dramatic weather changes.

EDITOR’S PICK: Most Lab owners use a tool like this to reduce shedding. However, I find using this type of rake outside to work really well. Plus it is nearly $10 cheaper!

Is the Labrador retriever a hypoallergenic dog breed?

No, the Labrador retriever is not a hypoallergenic dog breed.  Their hair has some unique features that make them a waterproof dog, but they are not healthy for those who suffer from dog hair.

What can be done to minimize the Labrador retrievers dog hair around the house?

There is much that can be done in this area to minimize hair around the house.

The first step has a daily routine or schedule that includes grooming to keep dog hair minimal in the house and on clothing.

The Labrador retriever should be brushed approximately three times per week to keep shedding hair from getting everywhere. 

During the high shedding season, this should be increased to at least five times per week, if not more, depending on the individual dog.

Grooming is a great way to help keep shedding to a minimum while naturally allowing care and bonding time.  Positive words of praise, loving attention in the form of petting, and a few well-placed treats can make this time enjoyable for the Labrador retriever while getting the job done.

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Bathing will also help keep hair away and should be done once or twice a month, depending on the individual Labrador retriever. The Labrador retriever tends to get extra dirty or spends a great deal of time out of doors than they can be bathed more.

To keep shedding at bay while grooming, this breed can be brushed and bathed in a bathroom or other accessible, simple to clean area.  Outside is another excellent spot to bathe and groom them, keeping the excess hair out of the house entirely.

Having a good quality vacuum and cleaning ritual will also keep hair from taking over the entire household.  Setting a routine cleaning schedule will keep this from getting out of control during the Labrador retriever’s usual shedding seasons.

In Conclusion

The Labrador retriever is a dog breed that does have a lot of hair to shed.  While this can’t be changed, many things can be done to minimize this issue.

As with owning any dog, hair is a natural part of life.  In those moments, when the hair bunnies get out of control, taking a look at the Labrador retrievers adorable face may help put a smile back on your face!

Hannah Rose

Hannah loves animals and has been writing with Embora Pets since 2018.

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