In this complete guide to Labradoodle hair types, we explore the three most common Labradoodle coats and find out which one is right for you!
- What determines Labradoodle hair types?
- Hair coat Labradoodle
- Fleece coat Labradoodle
- Wool coat Labradoodle
- Which Labradoodle coat type is best for me?
There are three common Labradoodle hair types: the hair coat, the fleece coat, and the wool coat. Though none of them are hypoallergenic, the fleece and wool types are low shedding compared to the hair coat. It’s impossible to predict exactly which coat type your Doodle will inherit before they’re born, but breeders can increase the chances of certain coat types by carefully selecting the parents. Let’s find out more!
Labradoodle Hair Types
|Hair Coat:||Straight, double layered coat. Most similar to the Labrador parent.||Moderate to high shedding.|
|Fleece Coat:||Wavy coat, most often single layer. Somewhere between the two parents.||Low to moderate shedding.|
|Wool Coat:||Very curly or corded fur, single layer. Most similar to the Poodle parent.||Low shedding but the highest grooming needs.|
What Determines Labradoodle Hair Types?
A Labradoodle puppy’s hair type will be determined by the genes they inherit from their parents. First generation mixes have one purebred Labrador parent and one purebred Poodle parent – so, there’s a lot of potential for variety. However, in later generations, breeders can increase the likelihood of certain traits, like a curly, low shedding coat.
Australian Labradoodles can have genetic influence from up to 6 different breeds. But, studies have shown an excess of the Poodle’s genome in Australian Labradoodles. So, they will often have fleece or wool coats that are single layered and low shedding, like the Poodle.
Some breeders will specialize in certain hair types. By backcrossing a Labradoodle to a Poodle, for instance, they can increase the change of curly fur, resulting in fleece or wool type puppies. A first generation (f1) mix is the most likely to have the hair type coat, since they often have the largest amount of Labrador influence.
Hair Coat Labradoodle
A Labradoodle with a hair coat will look the most like a Labrador. They will have a double layered coat with a straight top layer. You will be able to see the dense, warm underlayer if you examine your Doodle’s coat more closely. Some hair coat Labradoodles will have a slight wave to their fur, but it won’t be as wavy as the fleece type.
Hair Labradoodles tend to feel quite coarse to the touch. Their double coat helps to regulate their temperature, but will also protect their skin from scrapes and cuts, just like the Labrador coat.
The hair coat Labradoodle will shed the most, just like their Labrador parent. During the hot months, they shed heavily, thinning out their dense undercoat. For the rest of the year, they will shed moderately. But, this can be somewhat controlled with regular grooming. Groom them once a week in low shedding periods, and up this to two or three times a week during those hot months. It can also help to groom your hair coat Labradoodle outside, to avoid getting loose hairs in your home!
Fleece Coat Labradoodle
A fleece coat Labradoodle will usually look like the perfect mix between the Labrador and the Poodle! They will have a wavy coat, or very gentle curls that feel soft to the touch. In fact, many owners describe this hair type as feeling like angora wool.
Some fleece Labradoodles may have an undercoat, but the majority will only have one layer. If left to grow long, their coat will develop a shaggy appearance. This type of Labradoodle is the most popular, and the one referred to by the term teddy bear Doodle!
Fleece coat Labradoodles won’t shed as much as hair Labradoodles. But, they can still be moderate shedders at worst. It will vary from one Doodle to another. They will need more grooming than a hair coat Labradoodle, as the waves and curls in their fur will be more prone to tangles and knots. You will need to groom a fleece Doodle a few times each week, if not every day.
Wool Coat Labradoodle
A wool coat Labradoodle will look more like a Poodle. Their fur will either have very tight ringlet curls, or will be corded, like dreadlocks. Individual strands of fur will feel very coarse to the touch, much like the hair type. But, the wool coat only comes in a single layer.
This coat type is extremely low shedding. It does still shed, but you likely won’t see any hairs around your house. Instead, the curls or cords of your dog’s fur will catch shedding hairs and skin flakes. But, this means that regular grooming is much more important, as tangles and knots are more likely. If left alone, their fur can become matted, which is painful and often requires shaving to fix it. Wool coat Labradoodles must be groomed at least once a day.
Which Labradoodle Hair Type is Hypoallergenic?
It’s a common misbelief that Labradoodles are hypoallergenic dogs. Wool and fleece coat Labradoodles can be low shedding, but no Labradoodle is hypoallergenic. In fact, no dog breed is completely hypoallergenic! The allergen that triggers allergy symptoms can be found in your dog’s saliva, dander, and urine. Studies have found that “hypoallergenic” breeds often have lower levels of this allergen, but it is still present. So, a wool or fleece coat Labradoodle could still trigger your allergy symptoms. And, you’ll be in contact with their dander and fur a lot, since they have higher grooming needs.
If you suffer from dog allergies, there are a few precautions you can take. Firstly, spend some time with a Labradoodle before committing. See if you react to their allergens, or if you can tolerate them. All dogs are different! So, one might not trigger you as much as others have in the past.
Secondly, maintain a good cleaning regime. Wash any soft bedding and toys every couple of days, don’t let your Doodle on the couch, and hoover every day. Ask another family member to groom your dog for you, and make sure they do so outside. You can take your Labradoodle to a professional groomer, but they will still need brushing in between trips.
Which Labradoodle Hair Type is Best for Me?
Fleece coat Labradoodles are the most popular variety of Doodle. This is because they are often low shedding and feel very soft to the touch, but they have slightly lower grooming needs than the wool coat Labradoodle.
If you suffer from very strong allergies, you may be better suited to the wool coat Labradoodle, as long as there is someone else at home who can help you with grooming your dog every day. Alternatively, if allergies aren’t an issue for you, but you don’t want to spend all your time brushing your dog, you might suit a hair coat Labradoodle!
Labradoodle Hair Types – A Summary
Though the three Labradoodle hair types are quite distinct, they can all come in a wonderful shade of Labradoodle colors. Wool and fleece coat dogs are usually better for owners that suffer from allergies. But, hair coats require less maintenance. So, choosing the right coat type for you will entirely depend on your lifestyle and needs!
Which Labradoodle coat type is your favorite? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Readers Also Liked
- Long Haired Labradoodle
- Multigenerational Labradoodle
- Do Mini Labradoodles Shed?
- Flat Coated Labradoodle
- Labradoodle Paws
References and Resources
- Ali, M. (et al), ‘Genetic Analysis of the Modern Australian Labradoodle Dog Breed Reveals an Excess of the Poodle Genome’, Plos Genetics (2020)
- Miller, R. ‘Differentiation of the Can F 1 Allergen in Hypoallergenic Dog Saliva Compared to Shedding Dog Saliva’, Murray State’s Digital Commons (2021)
- Chan, S. & Yeung, D. ‘Dog and Cat Allergies: Current State of Diagnostic Approaches and Challenges’, Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Research (2018)
- Butt, A. (et al), ‘Do Hypoallergenic Cats and Dogs Exist?’, Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (2012)
- Nicholas, C. (et al), ‘Dog Allergen Levels in Homes with Hypoallergenic Compared with Nonhypoallergenic Dogs’, American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy (2011)
- Vredegoor, D. (et al), ‘Can f 1 Levels in Hair and Homes of Different Dog Breeds: Lack of Evidence to Describe Any Dog Breed as Hypoallergenic’, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (2012)