Labradoodle coats come in three different varieties: Wavy, Curly, and Straight. The difference tends to be caused by the amount of Poodle that the Labradoodle has in it’s parental lineage. However, there is no hard and fast rule for predicting coat types. A Labradoodle’s coat may also change as they mature, so be careful if choosing a puppy based on their apparent coat type.
Wavy / Shaggy Coats
The wavy or shaggy coat is the most common Labradoodle coat type. It occurs in all types of Labradoodle generations and is considered the easiest to maintain. It requires brushing a minimum of once a week, but more might be necessary in high friction areas (like under the collar or around the ears). The wavy/shaggy coat is usually low to non-shedding, but not always (particularly among F1 generation Labradoodles).
After the wavy/shaggy coat, the second most common Labradoodle coat is the the curly coat. It is particularly prevalent among F1B generation Labradoodles (more on F1B Labradoodles). The tightness and length of the curls will vary depending on parental lineage, but can be anything from a loose barrel curl to a tight kinky curl like full bred poodle would have.
This Labradoodle coat type requires almost daily brushing if it is to remain unmatted, although it can be shaved down to create a maintenance free coat if the owner prefers. Notably, the curly coat is almost always non-shedding, especially if the Labradoodle is an F1B generation.
The straight coat is much less common than the shaggy or curly coats. It generally does not occur in F1 or F1B generations and is typically found only in F2 and F2B generations (more on F2 Labradoodles). Often referred to as the Labrador Retriever coat, it’s very easy to maintain and requires minimal brushing. However, this coat type does not produce the “teddy bear” look that Labradoodles are renowned for displaying, nor will it produce a “beard” around the muzzle. This coat type is not considered non-shedding, but is usually fairly low shedding compared to full-breed Labs.
How to Tell the Difference Between Types of Coats
The easiest way to determine the coat type of a Labradoodle is to look at the fur around the face and muzzle. Labradoodles with muzzle fur that has crimps or waves will similarly have either wavy/shaggy or curly coats, although it is not possible to tell which until they’re older. Smooth face and muzzle fur indicates a straight coat.
Adult Labradoodles with a wavy/shaggy coat will have muzzle hair that is straight and forms a sweeping beard, while curly coats will have a curly hair that forms a bushy mustache. Lastly, straight coat types will have short muzzle hair that does not create a mustache or beard at all.