I keep receiving emails and post comments from people asking whether or not they should shave their Labrador Retriever to keep them cool during the summer. The answer is simple: NO!
Labs should not be shaved ever! This is not because I think they would look silly without their fur but rather because the coat of a Labrador Retriever dog is meant not only for body temperature regulation but also helps maintain the overall health of a Lab. I think this website and Labrador Retriever breeder/owner from Woodhaven Labs summed it up very well:
Shaving a Lab
Do you want me to reach through the monitor screen and shake you? You never shave a Lab for maintenance. NO! NO! NO! NO! The ONLY reason to shave anything on a Lab is:
1. For Surgery
2. For a Hot Spot
If you dog is having surgery, let the vet shave the area that needs to be shaved. If you see a hot spot, then yes you need to shave the area where the hot spot is to keep it from spreading. Shaving a Lab for routine maintenance is just WRONG. As you can see, I feel very strongly about this issue.
Some people feel they must shave their Lab because all that hair must make the dog hot. WRONG. The undercoat actually keeps the dog cooler.
Some people feel if they shave their Lab they can keep the dog from shedding. WRONG. The dog will still shed. Shedding is natural for a Lab. What it will do is instead of shedding normal undercoat which is fluffy and soft, the dog will shed short, prickly hairs which will poke your skin if you make contact. Short, prickly hairs hurt.
Please don’t shave your Lab. Groom it thoroughly instead. Your dog will thank you. Besides, your dog won’t be the laughing stock of the neighborhood either.
So, please, please, please… for the love of Labradors don’t shave your Labrador Retrievers! Double-coated dogs are not meant to be shaved and you are actually making things worse for your beloved fur child!
Honestly, read this information on Why you shouldn’t shave your long haired or double coated dog for how harmful shaving a Lab truly is.