SHOULD I SHAVE MY LABRADOODLE

Should I Shave My Labradoodle?

When the summer starts getting closer, some people might start to wonder if Labradoodles should be shaved, typically thinking that their Labradoodles’ long hair looks extremely hot in the heat of the summer. But does shaving a Labradoodle mitigate the heat or not. 

Logic might tell you that shaving the hair will cool the dog off. In this case, logic would be wrong. 

Should I shave my Labradoodle during the hot months? No. A Labradoodle should never be shaved down completely to the skin. Shaving a Labradoodle will make him hotter because it destroys the insulation value of the hair. It will also expose the dog to sunburns and sore spots. 

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Should I Shave My Labradoodle?

When nearing July or August, It is not uncommon to see Doodles wondering around shaved almost to the skin, and by reading the rest of this article, you will get to learn why their owners are doing more harm than good. 

Basically, the only time you should ever really shave your Labradoodle is when a vet does it for a medical purpose.

Occasionally your Doodles’ coat might become quite tangled or matted if you are not combing him out regularly, but if that condition gets too messy, you can end up having no other alternative besides taking your dog to a groomer and asking for a full shave. 

But besides in these very severe situations, you should trust that your dogs’ biology knows how much hair and where to grow it.

If you start to mess around with where the hair grows and how long it should be, you might screw up a basic function that keeps your dog comfortable and safe.

Why Is Shaving Labradoodles Popular?

But if there are so many problems that originate from shaving a Doodle, why is it so common? 

The main reason for that is probably because shaving is a good solution for other breeds.

The Poodle, for example, is a breed of dog that is generally shaved quite a lot and seeing as Labradoodles stem from those, it would often make sense that they should be shaved equally as much.

But unless your Labradoodle has extensive Poodle within its DNA genetic make-up, the Doodle coat is never as thick as a purebred Poodle.

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Shaving a Poodle is very common and that might be the reason why so many people also think they should shave a Labradoodle

So that might be why we see other dog owners shaving their dog’s hair almost entirely to the skin. 

Double-coated Dogs

Unlike breeds with hair, a Labradoodle has two layers of fur.

This type of fur is different from the hair on other breeds. One example of this is that double-coated dogs have fur that grows to a determined length. 

The layer on the bottom is called an undercoat and is softer and shorter, where the longer hairs are more coarse and they are placed over the undercoat much like a blanket.

It is also this outer coat that has the oils that your dog uses to repel water while the shorter hairs are there to keep the Doodles’ skin dry. 

When talking about temperatures, the outer oat and undercoat work together to insulate your dog against the heat and cold.

So if you shave the outer layer, it will allow the heat to come in. 

Think of it like leaving the lid open on a cooler and then expecting that it will still be able to keep your drinks nice and cold.

Protection From Sunburn

Not only is the double-coat able to insulate the Labradoodle but it also gives great protection against the sun. 

The outer coat is your dogs’ naturally powerful UV blocker, that will protect your dog’s soft and sensitive skin from getting a painful sunburn. 

Sunburns can lead to very severe issues for your dog, including heatstroke which can be fatal to anybody. 

This is another example of how our efforts to alleviate one issue expose our dogs to even more serious issues.

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Avoid Sore Areas

Another thing a good coat can protect your dog against, besides sunburn, is that it’s also able to reduce friction in sensitive areas. 

As an example, the coat under the legs is usually longer and softer and this helps to provide some friction relief when your dog is running around playing for hours or if he is following you for a long run.

Problems With The Undercoat 

But shaving your Labradoodle won’t only cause problems during the summer. 

Your dogs’ outer coat will grow out and start to look thick and lush heading into the cold months.

The problem with that situation is that the undercoat gets all messed up whenever you shave the outer coat. 

So instead of having its’ normal, healthy fluff, the undercoat might end up all tangled and matted. 

If that is the case, you have most likely not only ruined the insulation properties during the summer but now it’s also ruined during the winter.

Congratulations, your dog can now end up being too hot in the summer and too cold for the winter. 

How To Keep Your Labradoodle Cool In The Summer

So, if you really want to make sure that your doodle stays cool in the summer, shaving is perhaps the worst possible solution.

The reason for that is that Labradoodles doesn’t dissipate heat through their skin as we humans do.

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Panting is one of the only ways that dogs can regulate their body temperatures.

The way a dog regulates their body temperatures is by panting.

And that method isn’t really all the efficient, method, which is also why the heat can be so dangerous for all dogs.

And when people then assume that shaving their Labradoodle will help it endure hotter temperatures, the problem is that it only gets worse.

So, what can you do to keep your Labradoodle cool?

There are many different ways you can help your dog stay cool for the summer, and here are a few of my tips.

Get a pool in the backyard

Labradoodles love the water, and getting a pool in your backyard is a guaranteed success!

Place water in the shade

Remember that shade moves throughout the day, so moving a water bowl with the shade will prevent the water from getting overheated. 

Don’t feed your dog right before or after going outside

Dogs are susceptive to gastrointestinal issues, and eating around the time of being outside in the heat can increase the risk of some of these problems for your Doodle.

Avoiding Heat Strokes

Heat strokes can be fatal to anybody, so you should do anything possible to avoid it happening to your dog.

Hillspet.com has a great article on heat strokes in dogs, that you should read if you want to know more about the subject.

Conclusion

So while people might shave their Labradoodles because they think they are helping it, in reality, they aren’t.

A shaved Labradoodle is much more likely to get issues with the heat in the summer than one that has just been groomed properly without overdoing it.

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