Which Retriever Sheds The Least? How Much Does Each One Shed

Shedding is completely normal for all dogs. Almost all dogs shed to some degree, but retrievers, in particular, are known to be quite the heavy shedders.

Retrievers have distinctive looks and coats, and these coats often shed all year long. So it makes sense if you are looking to get one to consider how much shedding you are willing to handle.

So, Which Retriever Sheds The Least? The Curly-Coated Retriever sheds the least out of all retrievers. With its unique coat, the Curly-coated Retriever sheds only a tiny amount, happening as frequently as twice per year; hence why it requires only moderate grooming and around once a month.

If you’re a retriever owner or thinking about becoming one, let me tell you everything that has to do with the shedding of each retriever, so keep on reading!

Which Retriever Sheds the Least? 

golden, labrador, and curly-coated retriever to show which retriever sheds the least

Although most retrievers are considered heavy shedders, The Curly-Coated Retriever may be an exception to the rule. If you are thinking of getting a retriever but are also looking into spending the least effort (and money) on managing their shedding, this is the retriever to get.

The curly-coated retriever has a unique coat that is quite different from the coats of other retriever. Their coat requires very light care, and the breed sheds just twice a year.

Curly-Coated Retrievers have an oily coat that is more prone to trigger allergic responses in people. If this is going to be a problem for you, you can check whether a golden retriever could be good for your allergies here.

How Much Does Each Retriever Breed Shed? 

Here is a table that sums up how much each retriever sheds;

Retriever BreedShedding Shedding Frequency
Labrador RetrieverHeavy shedderTwice per year
Chesapeake Bay RetrieverHeavy shedderAll-year-round
Flat-Coated RetrieverHeavy shedderLittle bits are coming off all year.
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling RetrieverHeavy shedderBlow their coat twice a year but always shedding
Golden RetrieverHeavy shedderBlow their coat twice a year but always shedding
Curly-Coated RetrieverLight ShedderTwice a year

All retrievers, in general, share standard shedding requirements. These include:

  • undercoat rake to remove the dead hair from the undercoat.
  • Overall grooming, with a slicker brush or a metal comb.
  • More than one brushing per week
  • Staying away from shaving the coat
  • Cutting extended haired areas with sheers 

There are thousands of options to choose from, but you don’t have to spend hours searching for the right option. If you own a retriever (whether a golden, labrador or another retriever), you can check this guide to the best retriever brushes here where I discuss the best brushes I’ve used and tested over the years with my dogs.

I also have another guide to the best dog shampoos here that can really help keep your dog’s coat healthy.

5 Tips to handle your dog’s shedding better 

There are literally books written on handling your dog’s shedding. That’s because this is a heavy topic. However, you don’t need to read books about it. Here are 5 tips that can make a real difference in handling your dog’s shedding better;

Choose your breed wisely

Shedding varies significantly between species. Some dogs shed all year, some shed heavily seasonally, some do both, and some don’t shed at all. If you’re a neat freak, you’ll need to either choose a low-shedding breed or broaden your horizons.

Choose the correct brush.

There are several types of brushes for your dog’s coat, depending on its type:

  1. Bristle Brush-On dogs with longer coats, a brush with more widely spaced and longer bristles are most suitable. At the same time, stiffer Bristles may be preferred for coarser hair.
  2. Wire-Pin Brush – This brush is ideal for curly coats of medium to long length.
  3. Slicker Brush: this one is beneficial while removing mats and tangles because it is made of fine wire bristles.
  4. Combs – Rubber curry combs massage your dog’s skin and aid in the removal of dead hair in short-haired dogs.

Healthy Diet

Malnutrition causes dogs to show signs of weakness, including shedding and hair loss all around the year.

Getting healthy food rich in all the vitamins and minerals is needed for stronger hair follicles to promote healthy hair growth and minimize the sing.

I have a guide to the best homemade, dry, and wet foods for golden retrievers here that can definitely help you out choose the right food for your dog and decide the right portion they need according to their age and health condition.

Water Intake

A dog should drink one ounce of water per pound of body weight per day, so keep a close eye on your dog’s water bowl to see if it’s maybe not drinking enough. Less water intake than recommended may cause more-than-usual shedding.

De-shedding Treatment 

Deshedding shampoos and conditioners are hydrating your dog’s skin and fur, resulting in healthier, stronger follicles. Deshedding treatments and baths also assist in loosening and dropping your dog’s extra undercoat.

As stated at the beginning, managing your dog’s shedding can be a tiresome process with a lot of details. I made a simple guide to managing dog shedding you can check here that will definitely help you a lot, so make sure to check it out.  

Related Questions 

Do Labradors shed less than golden retrievers? 

No, in fact, Labradors shed more than golden retrievers, even though their coat length is shorter than that of golden retrievers; Labradors are extremely heavy shedders that blow their coats twice a year.

Are there golden retrievers that don’t shed? 

No, there aren’t any Golden Retrievers that do not shed. A Curly-Coated Retriever is the lightest shedder of the breed, though, while labraLabradorievers come at the top of the list with the heaviest shedding.

Are Golden Retrievers Worth the shedding? 

Yes, Golden retrievers are worth the shedding and hassle if you are looking for a playful companion that makes a great family dog. But you can always go for a Curly-Coated Retriever: its personality is similar to that of a golden retriever but comes with a whole lot less shedding.

Shedding can be a significant hassle to all dog owners, whether retrievers or not, yet you can always keep your dog’s shedding under control.

First things first, the breed is the prominent factor, you should always choose a dog with a personality that fits yours and your living habits, but shedding should be given attention as well.

 It’s always wise to measure the pros and cons before getting yourself a four-pawed, fluffy partner – so it is either you choose a breed with light to no shedding to rest your head or shift your cleaning habits around a bit to deal with all the tiny hair strawn everywhere around the house.

At the end of the day, Retrievers all have outstanding personalities: they make fantastic companions, great with kids; and will plain out make your life more enjoyable with their hilariousness and goofiness; shedding may be a downside while getting this breed, but with such traits, it’s always okay to make ends meet.

Helpful Resources 

Golden Retrievers for Dummies by Nona Kilgore Bauer (you can check this book on Amazon here)

Retriever Breeds – AKC

Living with a Retriever: Recommendations and Sources


Hey there, I'm Matt, the author behind Retrievershub.com. With a deep love for dogs and a dedication to strengthening the bond between owners and their retrievers, I've created a hub of resources for enthusiasts like you. Through engaging articles, training guides, and product reviews, I aim to provide practical advice that makes a real difference in your life as a dog owner. Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the world of retrievers, my approachable and informative writing style ensures that you'll find valuable insights. Join me on this incredible journey of discovering what makes retrievers tick, unlocking their potential, and creating an unbreakable bond with your furry companion. Let's embark on an adventure of dog ownership together. Thank you for visiting Retrievershub.com and being part of our vibrant community.

Recent Posts