Your little Lab is an adorable ball of energy and puppy cuteness, regardless of whether he's a chocolate, yellow or black retriever. His soft puppy hair makes you want to pet him for hours, but it seems less cute as it comes off on your clothes at the barest touch.
They Grow Up So Fast
The soft downy feel of your Lab puppy's coat only lasts for so long, and before you know it that petable hair is suddenly all over your house. As your pup nears his first birthday, he'll start losing his puppy coat to make way for the courser, double-layered adult coat he'll have for the rest of his life. Various factors play a role in when your pup actually begins this transition, including genetics and season, but most Lab puppies start losing this baby coat somewhere between 7 and 9 months of age.
Hair, Hair Everywhere
When your puppy starts losing his coat, you'll think some internal shedding switch was flicked. Once the transition from the puppy to adult coat begins, loose dog hair will be a fact of life for you. Labs shed on a daily basis, and completely blow out their coats twice a year in the spring and fall. Between these major shedding episodes, the hair may simply be an annoying nuisance. But during a seasonal coat change, you may find clumps of hair throughout your home. Stock up on sticky rollers and lint brushes and stash them at various locations to keep your clothes hair free.
Grab Your Brush
Although there's no way to completely stop a Lab from shedding, you can get ahead of it by regularly brushing your pup. The earlier you start this routine the better, as your pooch will simply expect it and consider it a part of life. Brush your puppy daily with a slicker brush, pin brush or shedding rake to remove as much dead hair as possible before it ends up coating your couch. Go with the grain of his hair and empty the brush regularly. During his heavy shedding periods, you may need to brush him twice a day to keep ahead of the hair loss.
Giving your pup a bath may seem like a good way to remove as much of his shedding coat as possible, and technically it will work to scrub his dead hairs loose. But bathing him too frequently could dry and irritate his skin, and damage the waterproof quality of his coat. Wash your pup only as necessary, such as when he's really dirty or smelly. Use a gentle dog shampoo and rinse thoroughly to remove all trace of it, otherwise it will irritate his skin when it dries. After he's dry, brush him through again to remove any stubborn hairs that didn't end up in your drain.
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