Shaving a Labradoodle is the easiest DIY grooming style. It is convenient, easy to maintain, and perfect for certain situations.
As a Labradoodle expert (and owner) I get asked all the time about whether it is okay to closely shave a Labradoodle. Does the coat suffer? Does shedding or softness change? Does coat color change?
If you and your Labradoodle
- Live in a warm environment
- Regularly take your Labradoodle to the beach
- Struggle with knots and matts
- Want to reduce the volume (not quantity) of Labradoodle shedding
Then a shaved Labradoodle haircut is RIGHT for you!
Many people who own Labradoodle dogs are considering shaving their pets’ hair. But what does it mean to shave a Labradoodle? Is it safe? What do you lose by shaving your dog? And what do you gain?
Can You Shave a Labradoodle?
Yes, you can shave a Labradoodle. Labradoodles have a Poodle style coat with a single layer – which means you can safely shave most of their coat with very few drawbacks.
The cute teddy bear look of a Labradoodle is lost when you shave their coat – however, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The downside is that the shaved look will mean a fairly long wait for regrowth if you want to go back to a full-coated look later on.
Labradoodles shed less than other breeds due to their Poodle coats. This is not affected by their coat length.
- A lot of information is out there about how to properly shave your dog
- Some dogs prefer having hair, while others don’t
- Shaving your dog incorrectly could cause health problems
Why should you Shave your Labradoodle?
There are pros and cons to shaving your Labradoodle. You gain utility, but lose looks.
A shaved coat can help to reduce heat during hot weather. If you live in an area where temperatures regularly reach high heat or high humidity, shaving your Labradoodle may be beneficial. There is less chance for moisture and heat-related rashes – as well as general overheating. You ARE removing some of the protective sun-blocking hair though so be mindful of dog sunburn,
Shaving your Labradoodle can make them easier to groom. They won’t need as much brushing or combing. You can also use a shaver on your Labradoodle’s undercoat to remove mats and knots. There is less matting under the leg areas like where harnesses and collars rub.
A shaved coat makes it easier to clean your Labradoodle. It is much easier to shampoo and wash a dirty Labradoodle with shorter hair.
Shaving your dog is an extremely controversial topic among dog owners. There is a distinction between the types of coats that dogs have they makes all the difference. It should NOT be controversial to shave the coats of dogs with a single coat like Doodle dogs (Labradoodles, Cavapoos, Goldendoodles, etc).
If your dog DOES have a double coat though – listen to the expert advice from groomers and Vets – and steer well clear of a full shave.
What Does a Shaved Labradoodle Look Like?
A Labradoodle with shaved hair looks like… a Labradoodle. Obvious point aside, check out the images throughout this article.
Shaved Labradoodles DO appear more Poodle-like in most cases. Many Labradoodles have a higher percentage of Poodle genetics. F1b and F2 Labradoodles are super low shedding and sometimes smaller. They are the most in-demand generations of Labradoodles.
They have a higher percentage of Poodle genetics (learn about the Labradoodle generations here) and therefore have the body type of a Poodle.
Hiding beneath the glorious and fluffy Labradoodle coat is the lithe body of a dog breed that was specifically bred for water retrieval while hunting. Surprisingly skinny!
Shaving a Labradoodle to the bare skin will often leave them looking naked. Try to leave a little length for some dignity.
Most Labradoodle owners will trim the face and ears of their Labradoodle but leave them a little longer. This helps maintain some of that gorgeous and distinct Oodle look (the teddy bear face) that Labradoodles are so known for.
With Max my apricot miniature Labradoodle – we DO trim the ear hair a little – but try to leave the furnishings around the snout to give a less extreme look.
How Fast Does Labradoodle Hair Grow?
Most Labradoodles have surprisingly long hair, making grooming simple, when there is no knots. Labradoodles’ coats grow back quickly after cutting.
If you do commit to a shaved Labradoodle – remember the old saying that the difference between a bad haircut and a good haircut is a few weeks of regrowth. For a shaved Labradoodle though expected 8 weeks before you get decent growth that makes your Labradoodle much more like a teddy bear again.
How fast does Labradoodle hair grow?
The average length of time for a Labradoodle to grow back after being shaved is approximately 8 weeks. The first week is usually the hardest visually – but the hair IS growing. The follicles don’t take a rest after a shave. The hair grows at a steady pace.
It takes about 2-3 months to fully recover from a shaved Labradoodle back to luscious locks.
6 Ways to Help your Labradoodle’s Hair Grow Back Faster
The only thing that will make your Labradoodles’ hair grow back is time. You just need to wait. You can’t do much to increase the growth rate of hair – but you can do the following to ensure there are no obstacles to hair regrowth.
- Brush your dog daily. You don’t want to overdo it, though. Just brush their coat once a day while waiting. Over brushing can cause hair loss itself – but this is unlikely from a quick slicker brush once every day or so.
- Keep up with bathing – but only when needed. Bathing, when required, helps prevent dry skin and keeps your dog clean – and stops irritation that can slow down hair growth. Make sure to use a Labradoodle-appropriate dog shampoo even when they have short hair.
- Use a blunt stainless steel comb. Combing your dog’s hair can(in theory) help stimulate growth. Try using a wide-toothed comb, especially if your dog has long hair.
- Trim your dog’s nails. Skin can become infected through excessive scratching. To avoid this, make sure to clip your dog’s nails regularly and ensure no sharp edges are left.
- Check for fleas. A flea infestation can lead to itching and irritation – which in turn slows down hair growth. Remove dead fleas immediately.
- Monitor for skin allergies from food or treats – as this can reduce the regrowth rate of hair.
Will Shaving my Labradoodle Prevent Shedding?
Shaving your Labradoodle will not reduce shedding. The hair that does shed will be shorter which can benefit some people – but the hair and dander will still shed.
There are risks associated with the process of shaving (if done poorly) which could increase shedding. These shedding increasing issues include injury to the skin and underlying tissue, infection, bleeding, and allergic reactions.
If you want to try shaving, start small. Try just trimming around their ears and muzzle.
How to Shave a Labradoodle
It is fairly easy to shave a Labradoodle – once they are used to it. Of the Labradoodle haircuts – this is the easiest for amateurs and at-home groomers.
You will need the following before shaving your Labradoodle
- A decent slicker brush
- A set of electric clippers for dog coats
- *maybe* a blunt ended set of scissors for trims, but not always
- A broom or vacuum for after (for the ground not for the dog)
And that is about it. There are other bits of equipment that are nice to have – but are not really necessary. A grooming table or restraint, nail clippers, a blunt stainless steel comb, and even detangling spray can be useful but are not essential in most cases.
Shaving your Labradoodle isn’t overly difficult if you have a good grooming routine in place. The hardest part is getting your Labradoodle to stand still for you to groom. We just hold Max (our Mini Labradoodle) by hand but a restraint or collar will help for some.
- Use a short plastic guard on the clippers – don’t use the shortest clipper. Start with a moderate length and then adjust once you get an idea of how the shaved Labradoodle will look. We go fairly short for the beach with about a 8-10mm (0.3 inch) but I recommend starting LONGER and then adjusting. Be cautious here – this is *much* shorter than you might expect.
- Start with the flat easy areas. The back and body first.
- Legs are tricky and fiddly with many angles. Do these next.
- The chest and belly that was not finished in step two is next.
- Now go *very* short and gently remove long hair between the Labradoodle paws (stops grass seeds and also slipping on tiles or wooden floors)
- The face is next – go long. If your dog has longer ears (akin to a Cockapoo) determine length and cut the length first before gently shaving the other surface only. You can use blunt ended scissors for a clean finish if your shaver is not up to scratch.
- When you shave your Labradoodle’s face, usually leave the fur a bit longer. Consider cutting the cheek and jowl area first, then under the chin, then finish up with the moustache. Leave the furnishings (moustache) if you want a teddy bear look on your shaved Labradoodle. If whiskers get cut during the shave this is not the end of the world – but it is ideal to leave them alone where possible.
It should take about an hour to DIY shave a Labradoodle. The first few times may be a bit longer. Remember the following tips to make your life easier
- Putting your Labradoodle on a raised surface (provided they are secured) will save your back and neck
- Have plenty of treats handy for bribery
- You can do a solid first pass then do a tidy-up the next day.
- Don’t spend hours and hours shaving your Labradoodle – know that it will get faster each time but do your best effort and roll with it. No points for perfection – spend the extra time rewarding and treating your dog.
Should I Shave My Labradoodle?
It’s important to keep your dog cool during hot weather. This is a common reason many of us do go for a shaved Labradoodle look. Personally, we live so close to the beach and the days are so warm that overheating from exercise outweighs many of the risks of shaving the Labradoodle coat.
Another thing to think about is how long you let your Labradoodle grow his/her coat out. Some people prefer to keep their dogs’ coats longer 365 days a year because it keeps them warm and in theory protects against water coldness and sun damage. However, keeping your dog’s coat shorter allows him/her to groom themselves better too. There are two sides to shaving your Labradoodle.
Shaving too short causes problems when it comes to grooming and hygiene. When you shave your dog’s hair too short, he/she might start licking himself/herself excessively. This can lead to skin infections. Plus, there’s a chance your dog will lick himself/herself raw. And that can lead to serious health issues.
Pros of Shaving a Labradoodle in Summer
Shaving off your dog’s fur makes him look cleaner, healthier and ready for summer action. It’s a good way to keep your pooch looking clean and actually staying healthy, especially during summer months. And it helps prevent parasites. A study published in the Journal of Veterinary Dermatology found that dogs who had been shaved experienced fewer cases of parasitic infestation than those whose coats weren’t regularly trimmed.
The same goes for fleas. If you want to avoid getting bitten by fleas, make sure your pet gets a trim every month. You can use clippers or even just a razor blade to shave your dog’s coat. This will help reduce the number of flea eggs they shed throughout the season. However a flea treated dog has great protection even with a longer cut (*e.g. a Lion Labradoodle cut).
Your dog will dry faster when washed and his skin will be better protected against bacteria. When you groom your dog, you are helping him maintain a healthy immune system. In addition to preventing infection, grooming keeps the skin moisturized. Dry skin can lead to itching and irritation.
Cons of Shaved Labradoodles in Summer
There are many pros and cons to shaving your dog’s coat. Here are some things to consider before you decide to shave your pet.
1. Dry Skin
Shaving your dog’s hair removes the natural oils that help protect against dry skin. This can cause irritation and possibly even bald spots.
2. Thicker Hair
When you shave your dog’s hair, some groomers claim it will grow back differently, making it harder to groom. You might find yourself spending more time grooming your pooch, while less time getting ready to go out. In reality, there is little to no difference to a single-coated Labradoodle coat when shaved. It is basically just a really short haircut.
How to keep your Labradoodle cool in summer
Dog owners know how important it is to take care of their furry friends, especially during the warmer months. But what do you do when your pup gets overheated? Here are some tips on keeping your dog cool in the heat WITHOUT shaving.
1. A cooling vest
If you have a dog that tends to get hot, try using a cooling vest. These vests work by circulating air around your dog’s body. They come in various sizes and styles so you can choose one that fits your dog best.
2. Use Ice Cubes
You can also freeze ice cubes in a plastic bag and place them inside cooling best. You can also put ice cubes in water that might be warmer to provide a cool drink throughout the day
3. Limit sun exposure
Less time in the sun, less heat, less issues. Monitor the time your longer haired Labradoodle spends outside
Takeaways for the Shaved Labradoodle grooming style
- Shaving a Labradoodle is a legitimate haircut with many upsides all year round (but particularly during the hot summer months)
- Shaving a Labradoodle does NOT change the coat color or type of coat a Labradoodle has
- Shaved Labradoodles still shed the same amount (though the physical hair shed is smaller)
- Shaving a Labradoodle can reduce heatstroke and overheating risk, but increases the risk of dog sunburn while exposing the skin to sun damage
- It takes around 8 weeks for a shaved Labradoodle to return to the longer-haired look
- You will avoid severe matting, but will still need regular brushing and regular grooming every couple of weeks. A consistent grooming routine is still necessary
I love my Labradoodle Max and his adorable teddy bear look – but the benefits of a shaved haircut for our beach-loving pup mean he gets a shave or two every summer.