Black Labs shed.
Most all dogs shed, but it seems that Black Labs do more than their share. And they do.
They shed everywhere and they shed in any season and in any temperature. They are hair producing machines.
Blacks Labs are blessed (my wife does not think it is a blessing) with a double coat. The outer layer of hair is a sleek waterproof layer and it covers a dense fluffy undercoat to keep them warm. So that have roughly twice as much hair as other short haired counterparts.
We find black do hair everywhere and if you are reading this article I bet you do too. On the furniture, on your clothes, along the baseboards, in the corners, on the car or truck seats, all over your legs and feet after a shower or bath.. yep we know. IT IS EVERYWHERE.
So the big question is what can you do about it?
Well.. sorry to say you can not DO a lot. But you can manage it and manage the way you deal with it. I will give you from our experience some tips on how to better manage to hair factory from your Black Lab.
A two fold approach is the way we tackle it
- First in trying to mitigate the amount of hair the dog has loose on his/her body to shed off.
- Second in having a plan to clean it up effectively when the shedding has occurred.
What we have found with our dog Guinness is that he seasonally sheds.. for the most part. Guinness actually sheds all year long, its just that in the spring when it starts to get warm and in the fall when it starts to get cold.. he sheds a lot.
In the spring, he usually has cabin fever so bad that he longs to be outside anyway. So by all means put your dog out side if you are able. He will acclimate better to the weather and when the shedding begins he/she can roll, shake, shimmy and do all those energetic dog-lab things and they will lose a ton of hair.
People think a lot of the time that their lab gets cold outside. After some of the things I have seen our boy Guinness go through I am almost convince he is totally oblivious to the weather. One time my daughter took him down to the river to for a walk and as soon as he got out of the truck he ran over and hopped in the river. It was February.. In Western Montana. So I guess what I am saying is that he/she will be fine outside, except for missing you if you are not out there too.
Brush Types for a Black Lab
We also use a rubber bristle brush on him. Not the wire type. A wire brush works, but it is harsh and abrasive. Use a rubber tooth soft brush. The
rubber bristle brush will remove the loose hair and at the same time massage the underlying skin to speed up and promote the new growth to get rid of the old shed hair quicker. If you can brush him every evening for about 10 days or so you will find that the amount of shed hair produced is greatly reduced. And… as an added bonus, your dog will love you for it. It feels really good. We use a specific Hertzko brush, my wife calls it the purple brush. It seems to be what we have ended up with after lots of trial and error. It is on Amazon for a pretty good price. Here is a link to it. I know they make different ones for cats and dogs of all sizes, but this one seems to be good on a Black Lab.
So now you have to figure out the best way to clean up the mess in the house, once that black hair factory lets loose a bale or two.
Tools for cleaning up dog hair
We have basically three tools.
- A Glove Brush
- A Vacuum that works on both carpet and hard floors
- The Purple Brush
First I’m going to talk about the glove brush. Basically it is a cloth glove, for both hands, with silicone covered fingers and thumbs with nubs on it. It works really well if you are just petting your dog (or cat.. or horse.. or goat..) to remove surface shed hair. Bravo you say, cuz I got a Purple Brush! Well, that is not the best part of this glove. The best part is that it works GREAT on furniture! It works GREAT on Car or Truck Seats! It works GREAT on clothing. You simply have to “pet” all those places and it picks up the hair. And to get rid of it, all you do is kind of brush it in the opposite direction and it comes right off the glove and you toss it in the garbage. It will get a little dirty after a while but we just wash ours in cold water and let it air dry. The one we choose, after trying a bunch, was this one. <- That is a link to it in Amazon. It a little more expensive, but the cheaper gloves seem to fall apart sooner and were not quite as hardy. The cheaper ones worked ok, just didn’t last as long.
You all already know about “The Purple Brush” When you are doing cleanup, you use the Purple Brush a lot in the same way as the Glove Brush. You use it mostly though on furniture and car/truck seats. Any of you that have taken your normally outdoor Black Lab for a ride in the truck have experienced the joy of anxiety shedding. It seems whenever Guinness gets to ride in the front of the truck, he gets so fired up that he sheds more than usual.. Anyone know what Im talking about? Anyway, the Purple Brush is the solution to car seats. It does a really good job. Then you clean up the cracks and crevices wearing the Glove Brush.
Lastly, I am going to comment on our vacuum cleaner. This is just maybe not totally aimed at shed clean up but at cleanup in generally. However if you have Black Labs as pets, that is a big part of it. For years we have gone to places like Kmart, Walmart or Shopko to buy vacuum cleaners when our old one wore out. We always bought like a middle of the line models because we thought the more expensive ones were not worth the high price and the cheap ones were.. well.. cheap. This last year when we needed a new vacuum we looked around in town and really didn’t find one that we felt we liked the features. So when we got home I looked online and found one on Amazon. We have never spent over $200 on a vacuum before but after I saw the features of the one we bought, I took the risk and ordered it. I also knew that if it was a piece of crap, I could send it back and get my money back.
Best vacuum ever for dog hair!
What we bought was a Bissell Pet Hair Eraser. Oh my Lord Jesus, God Bless Bissell! This vacuum cures the two biggest “pet” peeves that most vacuums have. First of all, hair gets wrapped around the roller in the head and it simply sucks to get it out. And secondly, when you empty the canister the hair gets jammed around the filter. What Bissell has done is make a head that has like a smooth foam like roller that hair does not tangle on. It works just as good on the hardwood floor and it does on the carpet. Also the canister filter is protected by a guard that keeps the hair away from the filter and keeps it from clogging. You just open the end and dump it out. We got ours on Amazon and here’s a link to check it out. The price is pretty good, but you might be able to find one locally too.
So I guess the bottom line after this long ramble is that: Yes Black Labs shed a ton and it can be pretty frustrating. But the Good news is that it can be managed and minimized. Plus the best part of the whole story? You have a Black Lab as a companion, pet and friend!