How to groom a Labrador

Labrador Retriever

Labradors are gentle, eager to please and outgoing. They are social by nature, which makes them brilliant around children, dogs and other animals. Their intelligence makes them versatile working dogs. Originally bred to retrieve fishermen’s nets, later game & fowl, and more recently excellent assistance and guide dogs. They particularly love being in and around water

Don’t be fooled by their adorable puppy features. Labradors require a lot of mental and physical stimulation from an early age. As puppies they can be overly enthusiastic and bouncy – at this stage they need to be monitored with young children and the elderly.

Labradors have compact, webbed feet and a thick, dense water-resistant coat. Their defining feature is their thick, powerful tail which they use as a rudder when navigating the water. Their short, dense coat requires minimal grooming, but they should be brushed weekly to keep their skin & coat in healthy condition and shedding at bay. Interestingly it has been noted that Blace & Chocolate/Liver Labs tend to only shed in the spring and autumn, unlike Yellow Labs who shed profusely throughout the entire year.


It is important to never clip the coat unless they are going to undergo surgery or require a hot spot to be treated.


Coat Type

Short / Dense

Grooming Requirement

Bathe & Brush Out

Grooming Notes

Brushing daily with a natural bristle brush can help distribute natural coat oils throughout the coat and encourage a healthy coat. It will also pick up those loose hairs that will otherwise shed.


  • Labradors, particularly Yellow Labs, shed profusely all year long, and even more so in Spring and Autumn. Using a high-velocity blaster before and after bathing can really help release and dead/shedding coat, allowing the new coat to grow through
  • A shampoo specific for shedding coats can be really useful in Spring and Autumn. This will help encourage loose/shedding hair to be removed while grooming, fortify and strengthen hair follicles and ultimately reduce shedding between bathing   


Grooming Guide

Due to their thick, water-resistant coats it can be difficult to fully dry the coat. It’s important that the coat is thoroughly dried after bathing to prevent bacteria and odour developing on the skin/coat.


  • Use a high-velocity blaster and slicker brush before bathing to help loosen shedding hair before bathing, be careful not to be too heavy handed with brushing as this can cause brush burn and discomfort
  • Use a rubber curry brush during bathing to continue to loosen hair
  • After bathing use a high-velocity blaster to quickly get rid of excess water, loose hair and to speed up drying time
  • Use de-shedding tools such as shedding blade, undercoat rake, pumice stone etc. to encourage remove loose coat. Little/no coat should be being removed once the coat is fully groomed
  • Trim paw pads with a #15 – #40 blade or using safety scissors
  • Neaten feet and hocks with thinning scissors or a #4F in reverse, depending on the build and dog and length of coat.

Grooming Tool Recommendations

Other Health Recommendations

Clipper Blade Recommendations

Shampoo Recommendations

For everyday use, mild/hypoallergenic shampoos are recommended. You can also use coat specific shampoos depending on the coat requirement, such as shedding treatment, deep clean, speed dry or itchy skin relief.

Conditioner Recommendations

A conditioner can really help with the de-shedding process for this coat type. The conditioner will add ‘slip’ to the hair which makes the hair easier to remove via high-velocity blaster/brushing.

Coat Care Recommendations

4 years ago
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