Do Labradors Need Haircuts and Is Shaving a Lab Safe? Well, Labrador owners are always concerned about their dog’s grooming; in that process, they often make a few wrong decisions. Especially since Labrador’s coat maintenance is still a debatable topic, some enthusiasts suggest cutting or shaving it on some occasions. But do Labradors really need a haircut? Or is Shaving a Labrador safe? Well, we will learn about it all in this article today.
Labradors are dogs known for their short coat, and therefore they never actually need a haircut. Haircuts and Hair shaving are generally for more hairy dogs or canines who have fast-growing and long hair. But Labradors are none of them and are counted among one the heavily shedding dogs. Their dead or extra-long hair is shed naturally and thus asks for no extra haircutting or Shaving. Instead, regular brushing and grooming are enough to maintain a healthy and soft coat for your Labrador.
When Do Labrador Retriever Puppies Need Their First Haircut?
Many first-timers believe that their Labrador Retriever puppy may need a haircut at some stage, but in reality, they don’t. Labradors have a thick double layered coat, but their hair often remains short.
And even when the length could have grown to some inches, Labs shed, and since they do so throughout the year, they never actually need a haircut.
Labrador Grooming: Can Labs Get Haircuts?
Haircuts are popular amongst breeds like Pomeranian, Afghan hound, Bearded Collie, Bolognese, and more such hairy dogs but not Labradors.
Lab Retrievers instead need regular brushing and grooming in order to keep their coat healthy and shedding at bay.
Proper grooming of both the topcoat and the undercoat helps Labrador to maintain their temperature and ensure healthy skin.
During winters, the thick layered double coat keeps Labradors safe from the cold and snowy breezes. During summers and monsoon, the same coat protects Lab’s skin from scratching heat and even keep water from reaching inside.
Regardless of the season, Labrador’s hair, both the inner and outer layers, ensures providing dog comfort and added safety.
Cutting their hair, even the top layer, will expose Lab’s inner coat and skin and make them vulnerable to many dangers. Grooming undoubtedly doesn’t get easier with Labradors but cutting them short is never an option.
Should I Shave My Labrador in the Summer?
Labradors shed drastically during two seasons, Fall and Spring. During Falls, they shed and prepare a fresh coat for winter. And similarly, when Labradors shed during Spring, they get a new coat that allows them to survive through the summer heat.
Labrador’s coat isn’t the same as human hair, and therefore they do not need cutting or Shaving, despite the season. Instead, Shaving should never be a solution if you are looking forward to keeping your Lab cool during the hot summers.
Do Shaving Help Labradors with Shedding?
On the other hand, many people think Shaving helps Labradors if they are shedding, but in reality, it does not. Labradors are short hair dogs, but when they shed, it can surprise a lot of people since the frequency and tendency for the same are extremely high.
Given such surprises, many Lab owners think of shaving their dogs to prevent the issue of shedding. However, Shaving has no impact on controlling the amount of shedding, let alone stopping the same. Instead, shaving your Labrador can prove harmful for the dog.
Shaving a Labrador means clearing his coat and exposing his skin. Unfortunately, doing so can lead to exposing the dog’s skin to sun, heat, cold, and other harmful elements present in the environment.
Remember, Labrador’s coat isn’t just for aesthetics, but since it is carved specifically not similar to other dogs, it is meant to serve some special purposes.
The double coat of Labradors has longer guard hair (outer), slightly coarser, whereas the short inner hair is slightly softer. Their coat is ideally designed to protect the dog from cold temperatures, ice, dirt, water, and sun.
Lab’s coat functions as a natural body temperature controller. It plays a crucial role during weather/ temperature changes and keeps the dog warmer and cooler whenever needed.
Now when you allow the dog to live in his natural body, he will easily handle environmental and climatic changes. However, if you shave their hair, the exposed skin will find it difficult to adapt to climatic changes and will easily become prone to any external factor.
Is Shaving Bad For Labs? Disadvantages of Shaving Labrador’s Hair
Shaving may help several dog breeds, but Labrador Retrievers are not one of them. No matter what issue you have with your Lab’s fur, you should never consider shaving it. Even when it is unavoidably needed, Vet’s too shaves a small section of the Lab’s hair and not the entire body.
Here are some of the disadvantages of Shaving Labrador’s hair/ coat. If you unknowingly or purposely do so, it is time to stop.
- Shaving will make your Labrador’s hair coarse, and it will never remain of the same texture it was naturally. This is because the inner layer of Lab’s coat grows quickly, though the outer layer takes a lot of time. And when the inner coat grows coarse and unruly, it interferes with the natural temperature control mechanism and makes the dog feel even hotter.
- Shaving disrupts Labrador’s natural insulation system and other coat roles.
- Shaved coat means exposed skin, and this will make your Labrador prone to sunburn and other similar risks. In the worst-case scenario, the dog also becomes prone to Skin Cancer.
- If you have ever shaved any of your body parts, you might know that it feels slightly uncomfortable and itchy when the hair grows back. Now think how harsh it can get for the wordless animal. Coat regrowth after Shaving can lead to irritation and scratching. At times it can even transfer bacteria from Lab’s paw or mouth to its skin leading to skin infections.
- Shaving makes the Labrador more airborne and prone to allergies.
- Shaved Labradors can harm their skin and are difficult to clean as well.
Do Labrador Retrievers Really Need Haircuts?
Labrador Retrievers do not need a haircut, and it has no benefit even. Labs are heavily shedding dogs who change their coat twice annually.
Since they are naturally blessed with the process, pet parents must refrain from cutting or even trimming their Labrador’s hair.
How Often To Groom A Labrador? Easy Ways Explained
If you own a Labrador Retriever, remember you need to keep their grooming game top-notch. However, it is also important to keep yourself from ‘Overgrooming’ the Lab since it has its drawbacks.
- First, inspect the dog from head to toe for Grooming a Labrador. Check his ears, eyes, teeth, nails, coat, and paw for cleanliness and hygiene.
- Check your Labrador’s eye; if they need cleaning, use a wet wipe to clean discharge or irritation.
- Next, take a cleaning bud, damp it into an ear cleaner and clean the visible parts of your Lab’s ears with the same. Again, avoid removing wax from the dog’s ear, and do neither push the earbud inside the ear canal.
- Further, check your Labrador’s teeth and if cleaning is required, use a soft toothbrush and brush their teeth gently. Either use a kid’s toothbrush or go for one that is designed specifically for dogs. If required, you can also use dog toothpaste.
- To groom your Lab’s nails, ensure you never let the nail grow longer than the paw. The idea is to keep the nail length only 2mm over the Quick, and it should never touch the ground. Long nails can interrupt with dog’s walking and gripping power.
- For your dog’s coat, firstly massage him gently to loosen dead hair and skin. Take a dog-appropriate brush and gently use it over the dog’s coat. If you find any tangled hair or dry patches, try softening them with your fingers.
The ideal schedule for brushing and grooming a Labrador Retriever is once a week. And if the Lab is around the molting season, shedding season of extremely outgoing, increase the frequency to twice or thrice a week. Besides that, limit bathing your Labrador to just once a month.
- Lastly, make sure you check the area (external) around Labrador’s anal gland and wipe it with wet tissue often. Removing any stool residue from this area is a crucial part of a dog’s grooming.
It is generally not a good idea to give your Labrador a haircut or shave them entirely. Doing any of these will do more harm than good. Remember, Labradors are blessed with a double-layered, heavily shedding coat for a reason.
You, though, can help the dog by minimizing its shedding, but you must never interfere with its coat’s growth, regardless of the reason. If at any point you feel confused, better consult a reputed Vet than shave or trim Lab’s coat at home.