The Labrador retriever breed has short but thick double-coated fur. Because of the double layers of fur, this breed of dog needs constant grooming and brushing to help decrease the amount of shedding. Some people choose to shave their Labs, especially in the warmer seasons. The choice of clippers for a Lab's thick coat depends upon its power and speed.
Shaving a Lab
Grooming your Labrador requires much brushing to distribute the oils in the coat and remove dead skin and fur. The dog will lose a great amount of fur in the spring and fall. Many dogs are shaved down during shedding seasons to reduce excess fur at home. AllAboutLabradors.com advises against shaving Labs. Their coats are designed to keep them cool in summer and warm in winter. If you do shave your Lab, powerful clippers will be needed for successful trimming.
Brands of Clippers
The best recommended brand of clippers is Oster, which is also a well-known brand of household appliances. Most professional groomers prefer to use the durable and powerful Oster Golden A-5 model clippers. Other trusted names in clippers are Andis and Wahl. Oster and Andis clippers are professional-grade clippers that require less maintenance and provide longer performance while Wahl is a mid-range clipper.
Clipper Speed and Power
Both the Oster Golden A-5 and Andis brands of clippers are available in two speeds. Because of the extra-thick double coat of the Labrador, it is best to use a two-speed clipper for extra power. In addition to the two-speed Golden A-5 clippers, Oster offers a turbo A-5 clipper for use on the thickest of fur. Andis offers a dual-speed clipper as well for professional clipping at a slightly lower cost than the Oster brand.
The choice of blade for the clippers to achieve desired effect is important. Oster and Andis blades are interchangeable with each clipper. Most often, to shave down a dog such as the Labrador, the No. 7F blade works the best. Nos. 10 or 15 are good for clipping under the pads and private areas. The Nos. 30 and 40 blades are extremely close blades, which are most often used for surgery or when it is necessary to get clear down to the skin. When shaving a dog, the object is to get the fur as short as possible without skinning the dog completely.