How Often Should I Brush My Labrador Retriever?

labrador retriever brushing for coat care

Regular brushing ensures healthy skin & coat of the dog. And with a high shedding dog breed like Labrador Retriever, you will have to pay more attention to it.

labrador retriever brushing for coat care

With so many advantages of having a Lab dog, there are some disadvantages as well. The main con is the breed’s high-shedding level.

Labradors shed moderately all year round, and excessively in spring and fall. That’s when they “blow” their coat.

Brushing is the best way to control excessive shedding

So, how often should you brush your Labrador, considering the fact that Labs shed throughout the year and excessively two times a year?

You should brush your Labrador 2-3 times a week. And during shedding seasons (spring and fall), you should be brushing 4-5 times a week (preferably daily).

Labrador Retriever Coat

Labradors have double coats (undercoat and overcoat) and that’s the reason why they shed so much throughout the year. As Labs shed a lot, they aren’t ideal for people with allergies.

Their double coats protect them from different weather conditions.

They lose their winter coat during spring and prepare for the summer. And in the fall, they lose a thin summer coat to prepare for a snug winter coat. It is a natural process.

Owning this double-coated dog means you have to get used to shedding. Dog owners often ask, can I prevent my Labrador from shedding?

No, you cannot stop your Labrador Retriever from shedding.

Though you can’t completely stop your Lab shedding, there are some ways you can minimize it:

  • Use a de-shedding tool
  • Maintain a regular brushing schedule
  • Feed high-quality food (food with high Omega fatty acids will improve your Lab’s skin and coat health)
  • Regular bathe
  • Keep your pup hydrated (allow your Lab to drink more water)

Labrador Retriever Brushing

Brushing is an important part of dog grooming that you cannot overlook. When you don’t brush your Labrador regularly, it sheds more and fur becomes tangled.

The best way to keep a dog’s coat and skin healthy is by brushing regularly. Regular brushing not only reduces shedding, it also helps to remove dead hair, remove mats & tangles, and distribute natural oils in the skin.

As a result, it gives your canine a new look and improves coat health. And, brushing is also a nice way to build a bond with your pup.

As I said earlier, you should be brushing your Lab 2-3 times a week on normal days, and 4-5 times a week on shedding seasons.

labrador dog coat care

What brush should you use on a Labrador?

Labradors are short-coated dogs. Considering the type of coat they have, I recommend buying three brushes: a slicker brush, a bristle brush, and a de-shedding tool.

  • Slicker Brush: A slicker brush is the most common type of brush. It will untangle mats and remove dead hair from your Lab’s coat, ensuring a clean & healthy coat.
  • Bristle Brush: Bristle brushes have soft tips. It will remove loose hair & dirt from your canine’s coat and also spread natural oils on the skin.
  • Deshedding Tool: This grooming tool can reduce a lot of shedding. Labrador Retrievers come under the high-shedding dog breed. With this dog, having a de-shedding tool is a must, especially during the shedding seasons.

For more information about grooming brushes for Labradors, I recommend you check this guide.

Other Grooming Needs of Labrador Retrievers

Regular grooming would improve your dog’s look, reduce shedding, and prevent many health conditions.

While brushing is the most important part of dog grooming, make sure you don’t overlook other grooming needs..


Regular baths can reduce shedding to a great extent. It will improve your Labrador’s skin and coat health. When you don’t provide regular baths to your canine, it will build up dirt & tangles and your dog will smell bad.

Bathe your Lab once every four weeks. If you have a Lab puppy, you can give it the first bath after it becomes 8-10 weeks of age. Keep in mind frequent baths can reduce natural oils from your dog’s skin, so avoid overdoing it.

professional groomer providing a bathe to black labrador

Nail Clipping

Regular nail clipping will keep your canine comfortable when he is walking. If your Labrador’s nails click when he walks, it’s time to trim his nails. Labs need nail trimming once every 3-4 weeks.

Ear Cleaning

Labradors are prone to ear-related health problems. So, keeping their ears clean reduces the chances of ear problems. Ear cleaning every 1 to 2 months is recommended.

Dental Health

Dental issues are quite common in Labs. They are prone to dental issues like tartar buildup, gum infection, etc. To improve your Lab’s oral health, first, you need to clean his teeth regularly; around 3-4 times a week is fine. Apart from that, you need to feed him the right diet and provide him with some chew toys.


Do Labradors need professional grooming?

Yes, Labradors do need professional grooming for a better look and improved coat health. You should take your Lab to a professional groomer every 4 to 6 weeks.

Do Labs like being brushed?

Yes, most Labs like being brushed. In fact, it’s a great way to build a bond with your dog. If your Lab doesn’t like being brushed, you can make him get used to it, with regular practice.

Can you shave a Lab?

The short answer is NO. Labs have a thick topcoat and soft undercoat. Their double coats protect them in different weather conditions. Shaving a Labrador can lead to problems like permanent damage to the coat, skin cancer, skin burns, etc.

Do Labs need haircuts?

No, Labs don’t need haircuts. As they are short-coated dogs; haircutting won’t benefit.

Final Thoughts

Brushing is an important part of dog grooming, especially when you own an excess shedder dog like a Labrador Retriever. With this dog, regular brushing is the way to healthy skin & coat.

Labs need to be brushed 2-3 times a week on normal days, and at least 4-5 times a week in spring and fall.

Besides brushing, you need to pay attention to other grooming requirements as well. These include bathing, nail trimming, ear cleaning, oral health, etc.


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Brandon Dickinson

Brandon Dickinson

I love playing and spending time with pups. On RetrieverPaws, I share tips, guides, and my experiences with retriever dogs (Labrador and Golden Retrievers mainly).

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