If you’re thinking about bringing home a Labradoodle puppy, you’re probably wondering, “Do Labradoodles shed?” You’ve also probably heard the following promise from every Labradoodle breeder out there:

“Non-shedding AND hypoallergenic!” 

But maybe you’re skeptical and still find yourself asking…

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Seriously, Though: Do Labradoodles Shed?

Unfortunately, Labradoodles DO shed. A 100% non-shedding dog doesn’t exist on this planet, and yes – that includes Labradoodles. (Anyone who says otherwise is just trying to sell you something 😉)

The GOOD NEWS is that, while they do shed more than Poodles, Labradoodles tend to shed way less than your average dog. So, in that respect, they are considered low shedders, especially if they happen to have a wavy fleece or curly wool coat. 

So to answer the question, “Do Labradoodles shed a lot?”… Well, that will depend highly on the generation of the Labradoodle (F1, F1B, F2, etc.).

But, before we get bogged down with all of that, let’s take a quick look at…

Why Dogs Shed 

Like just about any living thing with fur or hair, dogs shed because it’s a natural part of fur/hair’s growth cycle. 

Basically, there are four stages to the process: 

  • Anagen – when the fur/hair is actually growing
  • Catagen – a transitional phase that signals the end of fur/hair growth
  • Telogen – the resting period when the fur/hair isn’t growing 
  • Exogen – where the strands are released from their follicles and fall out

Now, as fur typically doesn’t grow as long as hair (and so spends less time in the actual growth stage of the cycle), it sheds more frequently. This effect is compounded by the fact that fur is far more dense, so there is simply more of it to be shed. 

Many dogs, including the Labrador Retriever, actually have both hair and fur. They have a longer hair coat as the top layer and a shorter fur coat underneath. This latter layer helps with temperature regulation and provides protection from the elements, among other things. 

Now, it’s the combination of these two coats that make these dogs such big shedders – especially around the changing of the seasons. However, the good news for Labradoodles owners is that Doodles don’t typically inherit double coats. 

Yet, naturally, that doesn’t mean they won’t shed at all. 

What Are The Chances Of A Labradoodle Shedding A LOT?

To understand how much any given Labradoodle will shed, you have to know a little bit about genetics. If you don’t, no worries; we’ll walk you through it.

F1 Labradoodles

Let’s say you have a first-generation (F1) Labradoodle whose parents are a purebred Labrador Retriever and a purebred standard Poodle. Since Labrador Retrievers are typically heavy shedders and Poodles are typically really light shedders, their offspring pups genetically/statistically will be “medium” shedders – i.e., in terms of F1 Labradoodle shedding, they will do it less than a Labrador Retriever but more than a Poodle.

What are the chances?

Take a look at the table below.

F1 LabradoodleParent: Poodle – light shedding (pp)
Parent: Labrador Retriever – heavy shedding (LL)ppLL

What “ppLL” basically means is that the Labradoodle will have a 50% chance of heavy shedding and a 50% chance of light shedding. But since genetics are never black and white, most likely, the Labradoodle’s shedding levels will fall somewhere in between.

It really just depends on how its genes are expressed.

To understand this better, think of yourself and your siblings as an example. Your mom may have blonde hair, and your dad may have dark brown hair. Yet, you may have light brown hair, while your sister got mom’s blonde hair and your brother got dad’s dark brown hair.

Genetics are never black and white.

F1B Labradoodles

Now, if you have a first-generation backcross (F1B) Labradoodle whose parents are an F1 Labradoodle and a Poodle (making the F1B pup 25% Labrador Retriever and 75% Poodle), there’s a much higher chance that the F1B pup will be a light shedder. This is because he has more genes from the Poodle side.

Unlike the table for F1 Labradoodles, this one for F1B Labradoodles has three variables from the “parent: F1 Labradoodle” side: one for heavy shedding, one for light shedding, and one for medium shedding.

F1B LabradoodleParent: Poodle – light shedding (pp)
Parent: F1 Labradoodle – heavy shedding (LL)ppLL
Parent: F1 Labradoodle – medium shedding (Ll) (most likely)ppLl
Parent: F1 Labradoodle – light shedding (ll)ppll

What are the chances?

So, do F1B Labradoodles shed… much? Well, if a heavy shedding F1 Labradoodle is bred with a light shedding Poodle, in theory, the offspring (F1B Labradoodle) will have a 50% chance of heavy shedding and a 50% chance of light shedding (ppLL).

If a light-shedding F1 Labradoodle is bred with a light-shedding Poodle, in theory, the offspring (F1B Labradoodle) will have a 100% chance of light shedding (ppll).

If a medium-shedding F1 Labradoodle is bred with a light-shedding Poodle, in theory, the offspring (F1B Labradoodle) will have a 75% chance of light shedding (ppLl). This is the most likely scenario.

See How a Ton of Labradoodle Parents Answered the Question of “Do Labradoodles Shed?”

As part of our ongoing Doodle Characteristics Survey, a ton of Labradoodle parents rated their pup’s amount of shedding. Survey participants evaluated their Labradoodle’s Amount of Shedding from Poor (a lot of shedding) to Excellent (no shedding).

Most people reported Excellent.

Not knowing whether an individual Labradoodle puppy will shed a little or a lot is simply an issue of mixed-breed dogs – they can take on the characteristics of either parent to any degree, and there’s no real way to control how they physically turn out.

So if you’re here because you want to bring a Labradoodle into the family but don’t want to risk it shedding a ton, we suggest looking for an F1B Labradoodle whose parents are an F1 Labradoodle and a Poodle. Keep in mind, though, that an F1B Labradoodle will look more like a Poodle and less like a Lab.

Dealing With Labradoodle Shedding

In any case, Labradoodle shedding is definitely manageable. If you find your nose a little too runny or clothes a little too hairy, it’s a great idea to start practicing good grooming on your Labradoodle. You should settle for nothing less than daily brushing.

Some quick Labradoodle shedding prevention grooming tips include:

Settling for nothing less than daily brushing. This is especially important if your Dood has either a curly wool coat that is prone to tangles or a straight, silky one that is more likely to shed. In this way, you can gather up and dispose of as many of those pesky hairs as possible in one fell swoop so that they aren’t left to drop all over your floor. Use a slicker brush to eliminate loose hairs, dirt, and dander, as well as to prevent matting.

Being sure not to over-bathe your pet. More than a couple of times a month, and you’ll be doing more harm than good. The reason for this if your pup’s skin produces protective oils that keep their coat in good condition (and thus reduce shedding). Each time you wash them, you are stripping away these oils, drying out their skin and exacerbating the problem. However, less frequent bathing is great for washing dead hair and dander right down the drain. Use a shed-control shampoo for extra hydration action. We recommend these ones for Labradoodles.

Booking them in for a trim. Regular haircuts are also the key to shed control success. These are pretty essential for most Doods and especially for Labradoodles because often if you leave it, their coat will just grow and grow! While some owners hand this job over to the professionals for convenience, others like to take on the task themselves. If this is you, but you’re not quite sure where to start, check out our handy Labradoodle grooming guide, complete with video tutorials! 

Some quick Labradoodle shedding prevention grooming tips include:

See Also:

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So, Are Labradoodles Hypoallergenic, Then?

Typically, people associate the shedding of fur with triggering allergies. In actuality, animal allergies are triggered by dander, which is just a fancy term for dead skin particles.

For anything to be considered hypoallergenic, it must be relatively unlikely to trigger an allergic reaction. BUT, since Labradoodles don’t shed that much (and anything they do shed, you now know how to deal with quickly and efficiently), in theory, this means that their dander isn’t released into the air as easily.

As such, the Labradoodle is almost totally hypoallergenic, making them a great choice for people with allergies, but again – it depends on the generation of the dog.

How Labradoodle Parents Rated Their Pups’ Hypoallergenic Levels

As part of our ongoing Doodle Characteristics Survey, a ton of Labradoodle parents rated their pup’s hypoallergenic levels. Survey participants evaluated their Labradoodle’s Hypoallergenic Level from Poor (triggers allergies) to Excellent (doesn’t trigger allergies).

Most people reported Excellent.

The low-shedding hype is one of the key reasons people seek out Doodles of all kinds. Labradoodles are numbered among the top picks, likely because of the popularity of the Labrador Retriever as a family pet. However, there can be variation in shedding levels in these dogs depending on their genetic inheritance and their resultant coat type. That being said, Labradoodles come nowhere near close to losing as much coat as their Lab parents, so even if you end up with a higher-than-average shedder, this is perfectly manageable with a solid grooming routine. However, if you are seeking out a hypoallergenic Labradoodle, it’s best to chat with the breeder about what kind of coat to expect before purchasing a puppy. Either way, shedding or not, there’s no substitute for the cuteness that Labradoodles bring to the world!

If you already have a Labradoodle, how is yours when it comes to shedding? Let us know in the comments below.

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One thought on “Do Labradoodles Shed A Lot? Busting All The Myths

Tom and Shelly Reply

Thank you for the information! Very informative. Currently looking at an adorable F1 puppy right now. I was really concerned about shedding, but I think it’s love at first sight.

August 19, 2020 at 12:15 pm

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