Shedding


Having lived for many years with a cream coloured shedding labradoodle in a house with black concrete floors I would never question people’s hope of getting a non shedding dog.
This is of course the big issue for most people – will the house be full of dog hair?
I’ve analysed this by breed and by coat type and you can see all the data here

The results show that my much loved F1 labradoodles were very unreliable which is why we have changed our breeding program to reflect the changing demands of modern living. The take home message from this is that if shedding is high priority – don’t get an F1 Labradoodle.

Golden Retrievers and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have long hair and when crossed with poodles are much more reliable with regard to shedding ,and Labradoodles backcrossed to poodle coated dogs are similarly reliable.
I have pooled the data from these crosses to look at the best predictors for non-shedding and the findings have been very useful:

82.5% of all these dogs are low or non shedding, 8.4% shed moderately and 8.7% shed heavily.

The most reliable predictor of a non-shedding dog is the amount of curl in the coat.
88% of curly coated dogs were reported to not shed at all, 10.5% are low shed and only 1.8% were reported to shed moderately – none shed heavily. So if shedding is an absolute priority – get a curly coated dog (like a poodle).

shedding and curl

I am often asked for dogs with a “fleece” coat – which I assume is a coat that is soft textured, long and wavy or a bit curly – like our Goldendoodles, Morris and Brown. These dogs fitted the description of having a coat which grows all the time, needs clipping and has a soft textured wavy or lightly curled coat.  The shedding characteristic of dogs fitting this description are good – but not as good as having a curly coat. We found 65.9% non shedding, 25.3% low shedding and 4.4% moderate – but surprisingly 4.4% of dogs in this group were reported to be heavy shedders.

FLEECE coat??

In future I will be looking at the figures “dog by dog” rather than on breed. Individual Golden Retrievers, Cavaliers and even Poodles have coat variations which combine differently.
I have a commitment to breeding crossbreds for health and temperament but I believe that we can aim to breed non-shedding dogs without compromising genetic diversity or losing sight of these main goals.