Labrador Retrievers, known for their friendly and outgoing nature, also have a distinct coat that requires proper grooming.
Naturally, Labradors have a smooth double coat that doesn’t require shaving or trimming.
However, due to recessive genes, some Labradors exhibit a long-haired coat. These rare long-haired variants might need occasional trimming to maintain their coat at a manageable length.
First of all, we will discuss whether you should shave your Labrador Retriever’s coat or not, and then we will also provide you with some simple grooming tips and haircut ideas for your Labrador.
To Shave or Not To Shave A Labrador’s Coat?
This is a common question asked by Lab owners when summer rolls around. A thick, dense coat seems like it would get hot in those dogs during summer days.
However, according to dog groomers shaving down your Labrador to the skin is not advisable.
Labradors have a thick double coat. The coat shields from temperature extremes in both hot and cold environments.
Removing that insulation makes it harder for them to maintain a comfortable body temperature. So, shaving them could actually make them hotter in summer.
The thick coat also protects your lab from sunburn. Shaving removes that protection and the process puts them at risk of nicks, cuts, and ingrown hairs.
On the other hand, some Labrador owners and dog groomers claim that shaving actually keeps the dog cooler in summer.
Eina, a Labrador owner living in Florida says, “I have been giving a lion cut to my Labrador every Spring and it really helps him keep cool (far less panting) during walks. The coat grows back quickly in fall and he’s set for our very brief winter.”
Another Labrador owner named Margaret Towler says, “Been trimming my lab for decades. No problems associated with it. There is a huge difference between trimming a dog versus shaving it down.”
Labradors also shed a lot of hair and the shedding increases during spring and the coat gets thinner in summer naturally. So, many groomers are against trimming also.
Based on the arguments, it is clear that it is best not to shave your Lab, as there are possibilities of harm. At max, you can trim your Labrador’s coat slightly in summer to help it beat the heat more effectively though it is not necessary either.
Best Labrador Retriever Haircuts
If you want some haircut styles for your Labrador Retriever that is achievable by slightly trimming and brushing, check the styles below:
1. Slightly Trimmed
It involves a slight trim of the Labrador’s coat to neaten it up. The focus is on trimming uneven areas and brushing the coat to its growth direction for a neat appearance.
This haircut is perfect for owners who prefer their Labradors to have a short summer trim.
2. Classic Look
As the name suggests, this style maintains the breed’s characteristic appearance, The coat is kept at a uniform medium length, ensuring that it’s neat but still showcases the breed’s natural double coat.
3. Puppy Cut
The Puppy Cut is a popular choice for those who adore the youthful appearance of a Labrador puppy.
In this style, just brush your Labrador puppy’s coat without trimming it and use a dog bandana to make him look cuter.
4. Winter cut
Winter haircut involves no trimming at all, allowing the Labrador to retain more of its natural coat for insulation against the cold.
5. Evenly Trimmed
In some cases, Labrador puppies grow longer coats. For those, you can choose this haircut which evenly trims the body to keep the fur medium in length.
How To Groom A Labrador
Labrador Retrievers are easy to maintain as they do not require frequent grooming.
Generally, brushing your Lab’s coat for a short 5-10 minute session once a week is sufficient for removing the dead hair. But you will have to brush daily during spring when they are shedding heavily.
Always finish by stroking your hands along your Lab’s coat to feel for any tangles or mats you may have missed.
For cleanliness, trim the longer fur on the feet. Carefully use scissors around the paws.
Shower your dog only when it’s dirty. If your Labrador primarily stays indoors, bathe it every 2-3 months. However, if it stays outdoors, bathing might be needed once a month.
Regularly check for lice or fleas in its coat. If any are found, use an anti-lice shampoo for bathing.