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Can Labradors Be Shaved?

Keeping your dog healthy includes things like what kind of food to buy, taking them to the vet and keeping them groomed.  It is important to make sure that your Labrador is healthy and taken good care of when bringing them home.

Can Labradors be shaved?  Labradors should not be shaved.  Even when it becomes summertime, your Labrador Retriever has a dual coat that is helpful to keep them cool, safe, and to protect them from the environment.  Shaving your Labrador Retriever can be harmful to your pet’s health.

Labradors have a dual coat or a double coat that is there to help to protect your Lab in both the summer and the winter months.  The outer coat of your Labrador is a coat that is used as a protectant to protect your Labrador from things such as dirt, rain, snow, and other elements that your dog may become a part of while being outside and even inside.

The inner coat of your Labrador is there to act as an insulation.  This coat is a coarse coat and acts as a heating tool in the winter and a cooling tool in the summer.

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What Happens to My Labs Coat in the Summer?

Huge Pile of Fur Brushed off Black Labrador

In the summer months, your Lab will start to shed the inner coat.  The inner coat, or the undercoat will get thinner as the months become warmer.  The outercoat also gets thinner during the summer months and it will get thicker as it gets cooler outside.

Why Is Shaving My Lab Harmful?

Shaving your Labrador Retriever can cause more harm than it does help. 

If you decide to shave your Labrador Retriever’s outercoat, it can cause the undercoat to not grow back the correctly leaving your Lab with little or no protection in both the summer and the winter.

Another problem with shaving is that it can cause your dog to be exposed to more sunshine and UV rays which can lead to their skin burning just like a human’s sunburn. 

Shaving can also cause spots to form on the coat and it can be painful for your Lab when the hair starts to grow back.

Does My Labrador Need a Haircut?

A Labrador Retriever is a breed of dog that is considered a short hair breed. 

This means that their hair will less likely get tangled or really long and this means that they do not need to have a haircut on a weekly or even monthly schedule. 

In order to keep your Labrador Retriever’s hair shiny and glossy, it is important that you take the time at least once a week to really brush your Labrador. 

Since your Lab has a dual coat, it is important to really, really brush their fur, getting down deep to the inner layer of fur so that their coat stays healthy.

What Other Grooming Does My Labrador Need?

Since your Labrador does not really need much in terms of haircuts, there are other things that you can do to help make sure that your Labrador Retriever is healthy and clean.  Some of these include:

  • Clipping Nails
  • Cleaning Ears
  • Bathing

Clipping Nails

If you walk your dog over a surface in your home or outside that is hard and you hear nails making a clicking noise, then this is a good sign that your Labrador Retriever needs their nails clipped. 

Since Labrador Retrievers are so active, it is important to make sure that they have healthy nail care and if their nails get too long then they can get hung up or torn which is painful for your Labrador Retriever.

If you can clip your Lab’s nails, then do so carefully, but remember that there is a vein that runs in their nails and you have to make sure not to clip this part.  If you do not feel confident in clipping their nails, take them to a groomer and let the groomer cut your Lab’s nails.

If you see that your dog is acting weird about walking or limping, take your dog to the vet and let them check to see if your dog has a nail injury.

Cleaning Ears

Labrador Retriever’s are known for getting ear infections, so it is important that you keep their ears clean and dry.  Make sure that you wipe the outside of the ear and that you lift all of the ear flaps to make sure that all of the areas are clean. 

Once you have cleaned the outside of your Lab’s ears, clean the inside.  Use a cotton ball or a washcloth with warm water.  Be sure to not push anything down into the ear canal so that you do not hurt your dog’s eardrum. 

If you notice that your dog is pulling at the ear or rubbing their ear on the sofa or the carpet, take your Lab to the vet and let them check to make sure that your dog does not have an ear infection.


Most of the time, bathing will be an exciting time for your Labrador Retriever because they are a breed that loves to swim.  Make sure that you take the time once or twice a month to really give them a good bath.  Try not to bath them too often because it can cause the oils to leave their coat and make their skin irritated.

When you bath your Lab, make sure to use shampoo that is safe for your Lab, dog shampoo should be just fine.  Begin washing at the base of their neck and wash their complete body.  Do not forget to wash their feet, their tail and their legs.  When you finish soaping your Lab up, rinse off all of the soap, avoiding the eye area.  When you finish with the body, wet a washcloth and wash your Lab’s face, ears, mouth, neck and make sure that you get in all of the grooves.

Conditioner can be applied to your Lab after rinsing off the shampoo but is not necessary.  The conditioner can help to make your dog’s fur a little shinier. 

How Can I Stop My Labrador Retriever from Shedding?

We talked about the reasons that shaving your Lab is unhealthy, but we did not cover what needs to be done if your Lab is shedding.  Even though the Labrador Retriever breed is known to be a short haired pet, they still shed a lot and you can find hair almost anywhere if you own a Lab.

In order to keep your Lab’s coat from ending up all over the furniture, here are some things that you can do to help keep the loose hair in check:

  • Brush
  • Comb
  • Bath
  • Vet Checkups


It is important to try to brush your Lab’s coat at least twice a week, more if you have time to do it.  By brushing your Lab, it can help to remove some of the hair that is loose from the outercoat.  When you brush, start at the neck and go to the tail.  Even though your Lab will shed year-round, keeping them brushed will help to get rid of some of the loose hair.


Using a comb will help to get rid of some of the shed hair.  The undercoat of your Lab sheds just as much or more as the outercoat, so it is very important to make sure that you get to the undercoat when you are grooming your Lab.  Make sure to use a soft comb and one that will not hurt your Lab when you comb their fur. 

When brushing or combing, make sure to go in the direction of the hair growth so that the grooming can be enjoyable and helpful to your pet.  Also, be careful around the leg area when combing because the fur is not as thick, and it could cause skin irritation.


Bathing your Lab is important for many reasons, but when you do bath your Lab, make sure that you work your fingers through their fur to help remove some of the loose hair.  Labrador Retriever’s hair does not get tangled so if you rub your fingers through their hair, it will not pull their hair or be uncomfortable.

Vet Checkups

If you feel that your Labrador is shedding more than they should, go to the local vet and have a health check done on your Labrador.  A Labrador that is constantly scratching or seems to be uncomfortable might have something going on more than just a little shedding.  Make sure that your lab does not have any type of underlying health issues that are causing them to shed.


You should not shave your Labrador Retriever, but you can help to keep them healthy and clean by bathing them, brushing and combing their fur, keeping their nails clipped and by taking them to the vet on a regular basis.  By doing these things, you can help to make sure that your Labrador Retriever is healthy, cool and that their fur and the rest of their body is as healthy as can be!