Why Does My Lab Have Wavy Hair?

By Jodi Thornton O'Connell

Labrador retrievers don't have many types of looks. They are typically solid black, yellow or chocolate with only a minuscule amount of white and distinctly straight hair. Labs are closely related to Newfoundlands, who sometimes have wavy hair. If your Lab has a wavy coat, he could be a genetic anomaly, a mixed breed or another breed altogether.

Not Up to Standard

Some breeders sell pet-quality Labs who don't quite meet the American Kennel Club's breed standard for the show ring. Although a slight amount of wave to the coat along the back is permissible, a wavy coat is severely penalized in the show ring. Many breeders sell pet-quality puppies with limited registration and a mandatory spay-neuter contract. However, some pet-quality dogs aren't neutered before they produce offspring. If you're sure your wavy-haired dog is 100 percent Labrador, he may be a descendant of pet-quality ancestors.

A Close Relative

A curly-coated retriever is built very much like a Labrador retriever except for a super-wavy coat. A curly-coated retriever is black or brown with waves that run from the base of the skull to the tip of the tail. The face and lower legs are smooth and short-haired. His ears have curls or waves that are typically more loose than those on his body.