Have you bought a Labradoodle because you’ve heard they are easy to have, and they are a non-shedding breed, and yet, there still seem to be excess amounts of hair from your dog everywhere?
Do Labradoodles shed? Most Labradoodles shed, and the answer is simply because your Labradoodle is more Labrador retriever instead of Poodle. But fear not, there are ways in which you can make everyday life a bit easier.
How To Prevent Labradoodle Shedding
If you’ve already got a Labradoodle that sheds, you can skip this section and go to “How you can help.”
But if you’re in the market for getting one there are a couple of tips you can follow to have the least possible risk of getting a Labradoodle that sheds.
Perhaps get a purebred Poodle. As we established earlier, this won’t mean that you will never have a single loose hair from your dog, but Poodles are known for shedding very little.
And as the market for Labradoodles is still tainted by shady sellers, getting a Poodle from a responsible breeder might be easier.
Try looking for an Australian Labradoodle. They are the only breed of Labradoodles that have an organized breeding program.
Get an F1b or Multi-gen Labradoodle. These variations of Labradoodles will shed far less than a first-generation Labradoodle.
- RELATED ARTICLE: LABRADOODLE GENERATIONS EXPLAINED
Reasons for Shedding
When you get a Labradoodle, you’re getting a mix of a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle.
The Labrador Retriever is a dog that’s able to shed quite a lot. And the Poodle is often thought of as a less shedding dog.
But when you get a breed from a combination of those two kinds of dogs, you can’t really say how much you get of each dog.
You might get 50% Labrador, 50% Poodle. Or it could be 75% Labrador and 25% Poodle, it’s impossible to predict.
Shedding is a perfectly natural thing your a dog to do and it helps to replace the dogs’ fur.
And the fur is there to protect the dog from dirt and filth as a part of a natural system for having a healthy dog.
A dog will also start shedding hair for the simple reason that it doesn’t need it. When you take a dog into your nice and warm living room, there isn’t as much need for a thick and warm fur as if it was forced to live outside all the time.
This is just a natural side of dogs that you can’t change. All dogs have two periods each year where the shedding might be extra severe.
During fall a dog will lose most of its summer fur, and start to build up fur for the winter. In this period the shedding usually won’t be so bad.
But then comes springtime, and now the winter coat has to come off.
There are also different ways to define shedding. There isn’t a breed of dog out there that doesn’t in some form lose its hair occasionally.
Of course, you’re not supposed to be able to swim around in dog hair, and if there are excessive amounts of hair your dog might have an infection of the skin or something that’s disturbing its’ hormones.
If that is the case you should see a veterinary immediately and have him/her take a look at it to see if that’s the case.
If it’s just an annoying amount of hair, and you just want to have a little less to clean up every day, grooming your dog often is the easy answer.
But generally do expect to have dog hair somewhere in your house, no matter which breed of dog you get.
Do Labradoodles Shed?
Dog parents often choose the breed they want based on the breed’s “look,’’ and dogs come in nearly infinite combinations of sizes, coat types, and colors. Obviously short-haired dogs need far less maintenance than their longer- or thicker-haired brothers and sisters. But since you have a Doodle and one reason you chose this breed was because of its full, luscious coat, it’s an absolute necessity to keep that coat free of tangles. Here’s why:
Doodles have “hair,” not “fur.” Although both hair and fur are chemically identical, there are differences in their growth cycles and textures. The fur is dense, typically short in length, has a short growth cycle and continuously sheds. Hair is longer and finer, most often wavy or curly, and appears to grow continuously. The curliness traps the shedding hair and keeps dander inside the coat. This is what gives Doodles (and other dogs with hair) the reputation of being non-shedding and hypoallergenic.
Knowing that your Doodle doesn’t shed gives a distorted picture of what it takes to maintain the dog’s coat. You don’t brush a Doodle to combat shedding, as you would with, say, a Golden Retriever. Doodles must be brushed often to prevent tangles; a coat that doesn’t shed is much more sensitive to tangles than a coat that sheds.
Every’ day Doodle owners find out that maintaining a thick, long coat is not exactly convenient for their lives. Since many Doodles have a mix of coat structures their coats can be quite frustrating to manage.
People who brought Poodles into their homes knew (or learned very quickly!) what was required to care for the coats of their little darlings. But most new Doodle owners are unaware of how much work they must do to keep their dogs’ coats tangle-free. In nine out of ten cases their lack of knowledge leads to problems.
You must start taking proper care of your dog’s coat when it first enters your life, usually as a puppy. Unfortunately, many first-time Doodle owners have no clue what to do. They assume they are brushing correctly, their Doodles don’t have a single tangle. Then at about 7 or 8 months, a puppy starts shedding its entire puppy coat, which has a loose and soft structure and replaces it with the firmer adult coat, which suddenly makes maintenance a lot harder. A simple (cat) brush can be used for the puppy coat, but it will definitely not get through the adult coat, which tangles on a daily basis.
At this point, the owner senses that the dog’s coat is more than he/she can handle and takes the dog to the grooming salon for the first time. Most groomers groom multiple dogs per day in order to make a living, so when a matted Doodle arrives in the grooming salon there is either no time or no willingness to completely get rid of the tangles and mats.
A dog like this messes up the entire schedule. Some groomers find it genuinely sad to have a Doodle stand on a table for hours while they painstakingly detangle and de-mat. And they deserve credit for that.
Owners are shocked when the groomer tells them that their dog’s coat is tangled and full of mats. The wind-up is that several hours later their dogs emerge from the salon shaved to the skin, leaving the owners shocked and disillusioned, with big dents in their wallets. Such is the daily reality for many Doodle owners.
I’ll bet you didn’t think about all this when your precious darling came into your life. But you have to know that as much “trouble’’ as this may seem to you, grooming is not necessarily a walk in the park for your Doodle either. Since most Doodle owners don’t know how to handle their dog’s coat, most Doodles aren’t taken to the grooming salon until they are full of tangles and mats. And no matter how carefully the groomer works on your dog, getting rid of the mess is a long, unpleasant experience for both of them.
This is why, as I mentioned in the previous paragraph, the groomer has no option in this case but to shave your dog down to the skin. Then, as the hair regrows, you must get on a regular grooming schedule of about 5-6 times a year minimum. Supposing your Doodle reaches the respectable age of 15 years, you will have to spend a small fortune just on grooming.
In order to help you and your Doodle avoid this fate, you need to know exactly what to do and how to do it. Conscientious dog owners are hungry for correct, consistent, no-nonsense, workable information to give their precious, loving Doodles the best care possible. The more owners possess the right tools and insight, the more their Doodles can lead happy, healthy and tangle-free lives.
How You Can Help
If you’ve already gotten a Labradoodle and it appears that it is shedding quite a bit, here are a few tips on how to take care of that.
And it first and foremost basically boils down to grooming the dog as effectively as possible.
I’ve previously written a guide on how you can groom your Labradoodle yourself, and that should be able to help you in your quest for less labradoodle hair around your house.
Of course, you can also choose to take the Labradoodle to a professional groomer, but that can get expensive fast.
And grooming your labradoodle yourself really isn’t that hard, so why not see it as an opportunity to learn a new skill, and connect with your dog through some quality grooming-time.
What Do You Need To Groom a Labradoodle’s Coat?
If you purchased an easy do-it-yourself pet grooming kit, and it has one screw on the blade and a bunch of combs, I am sorry to tell you, that will not do. Those are not designed to cut through your doodle’s massive coat and even if it does and your convinced that it’s the tool, I am telling you-you must invest in good tools if you want to do a good job on your doodle.
The first thing you need is a metal “greyhound” comb. I recommend getting the one with very small teeth that goes to the larger teeth. The very first step to grooming your doodle at home is the preparation work, and this comb is your guide to finding the knots and tangles so you can eventually clip through the hair with ease.
Once you have your comb, you will need an A-6 clipper.
In addition to the previous tools listed, you will need a slicker brush and a pair of thinning shears. Since you pay for what you get, I highly recommend paying upwards of over $60 for a high-quality pair of sharp double teeth thinning shears.
When shaving the underneath of the pads, most groomers can use a 10 blade, in my experience the dogs usually don’t like how large the blade is in between their feet. I recommend for this job a small “peanut” hair trimmer, which can be found at any grooming supply outlet.
Overview of tools needed
1. Greyhound Comb
2. A-6 Clipper
3. 10 blades and 30 blades
4. Set of metal snap-on combs
5. Slicker Brush
6. Double Teeth Thinning Shears
7. Peanut Hair Trimmer
8. Grooming Noose
It is recommended to keep the tools in a safe waterproof container or toolbox. If your tools are kept in good condition they could last a couple of years easily.
Try not to drop the scissors or clippers on the ground while grooming as you could easily break them.
Creating a Safe Place to Successfully Groom Your Doodle
Investing in a grooming table is your best bet for a quality job. Being bent over on the ground while grooming your doodle can easily cause injury to your back. A standard grooming table goes for about $100 and can be found online.
If your Doodle happens to be under 20 pounds you may want a table that goes to your belly button. Most standard, cheap grooming tables work fine for Doodles. Just make sure it comes with a grooming arm and a grooming noose.
Don’t ever leave your dog on your grooming table, they could hang themselves in seconds, leaving you with a horrible tragedy. I recommended for hyper dogs to take them for a long walk before grooming them, so they can be more still.
Using a quiet room with no distractions is the best way to groom your pet. If you have a table you want to use to groom your dog, you can insert an eye hook into a stud in the wall and have your dog tethered to that while you groom. I do recommend using an actual grooming table, but if you’re looking to cut corners you can use this method as well.
A showerhead is recommended while prepping the dog in the bathtub. You want to make sure the dog can be properly rinsed off and not retain any shampoo.
Preparation of a Dog’s Coat
If you cannot completely comb your Doodle out with your greyhound metal comb, then you may have to take your pet to the professional groomers for a shave down and start fresh.
In order to successfully groom your Doodle, you must be a superhero when it comes to maintaining your Doodle’s coat. It does not have to be brushed every day, but you do have to be responsible and diligently comb your dog from the tip of his mustache, behind each ear, underneath his chest, to the very end of his tail. The reason being, you can’t have a patchy looking pup, shaving out matts can be unsightly so I recommended starting fresh. If you are reading this guide and cannot get the tangles out of your Doodle-go to a groomer and have the coat sheared and revisit this guide when your pup’s hair is long enough.
Once you get your Doodle completely combed out you are ready for the serious prep work!
Having a quality brand of shampoo that gentle suds away all the dirt is key to a beautiful coat. I always let the dog sit in the shampoo for about 5 minutes and work a later into their fur. On their faces, I use a “tearless” shampoo that I can scrub all their crusties with.
After a good shampoo, I like to use a thick dog conditioner. The only problem that can arise is if you do not wash the conditioner out. Hair that still has conditioner on it will take FOREVER to dry. To be safe always double rinse your Doodle and make sure you don’t miss any spots.
To save time on drying your Doodle, use several towels to dry your pet. The more water you can squeeze off your pet, the better. You do not want any soaking wet parts. For example, a properly towel-dried Doodle should take 10 minutes to squeeze out and probably two big bath sized towels.
Once your Doodle is towel-dried to satisfaction, place the damp towels on the grooming table and put your pup onto and secure them with the grooming noose.
Take your hairdryer on a warm/cool setting and keep it 5 inches from the skin-be mindful not to burn your pet. With your slicker brush, gently brush the hair as the air hits it, drying it straight.
Drying your Doodle will take up to an hour or more depending on the length of the hair and size of your dog. If you feel you need a faster blow-dry method, they make “force” dryers, but I am not recommending it for the faint of heart. Your Doodle may try to fly off the grooming table because of the loudness of the force dryer. If you feel that you want to work with your pet on the ground first and train them to deal with the loudness of the force dryer, it can easily cut drying time in half.
Once your beloved Doodle is dried, you must take out your greyhound comb and comb every single inch of your pet, I mean it, every single inch of your Doodle! If you find a few matts you can try to take the slicker brush to them and then slowly pick through them with the greyhound comb. The reason being is because the snap-on clipper combs will sharply come off if they encounter a matt, and it could scare your dog into -yes you guessed it-flying off the grooming table!!
Food for Your Labradoodle
Feeding your Labradoodle is not that complicated but you have to make sure that its level of activity, age, and weight should be taken into consideration to meet its nutritional diet needs. Labradoodles should be given the right amount of recommended food for balanced nutrition because proper diet can lengthen the life expectancy of your dog, protect them from serious illnesses and also keep up their energy levels.
- RELATED ARTICLE: BEST FOOD FOR LABRADOODLES
Nutritional Needs of Labradoodles
Most dogs are always hungry because as dogs evolved they have adapted to the feast and famine’ principle which means that they are genetically programmed to eat everything in sight because the pack might not make another kill for weeks. Good quality commercial pet food offers a perfectly balanced diet in every meal. You can choose to place a small amount of food available as a snack, whenever your dog feels like nibbling.
If you decide to use commercial food for your puppy, you should feed him/her top quality dry puppy food until 4 months. Do not change your pup’s diet for at least 4 – 5 days. The puppy may not eat that much especially if he/she just got to its new home. You have to keep in mind that your puppy has been through considerable stress and change in the last few days which also means that he could be predisposed to diarrhea – a sudden change of diet at this stage will almost certainly result in gastric upset.
Feeding your dog dry food has two major benefits; the first one is that since it is dry, it won’t eat a lot of food which of course would prevent overheating that could lead to obesity; and the second is that it will keep its teeth stronger because of chewing. Be reminded that dry foods should not be the only type of food for your dog’s entire diet; you should also feed them fresh ingredients.
Hopefully, this post helped a bit if you have ever asked yourself, “Do Labradoodles shed?”
As you can never be sure that your dog to some degree won’t shed some hair once in a while, you can at least with this list see some of the reasons why it happens and a few ideas on how you can hopefully make it less of a nuisance.
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